snacks


Please forgive me for my LACK of blogging this past month.  Life has been busy, and my NOOK has taken the majority of my free time.  I am guilty, and I promise to be better at creating in the kitchen and posting about my food adventures.

With that said…

Socca Inspired Raisin Crackers

These crackers are inspired by Edible Perspective’s Cinnamon Coconut Raisin Bake and they came about by accident.  I really wanted to try her socca bakes for about a month and finally went into the kitchen and mixed up a batch.  After mixing the ingredients, I realized I didn’t have a 9×9 pan so I threw the batter on a parchment lined bar pan, threw it in the oven, and discovered a great new cracker! 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 c. Garbanzo Bean Flour
  • 1/2 c. fresh ground Oat Flour
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1T sucanat
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1c water
  • 2T unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3c currants or raisins
  • 1/4c unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions –

Preheat your oven to 375* and line a bar pan (I think they are 9×12) with parchment.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients listed above.  Stir until all flour is incorporated.  Just a note, the batter is a little runny.  It’s okay.  Go with it! 

Bake for ~20-25 minutes.  These are crisp on the outside…a little soft.  Perfect spread with almond butter!  Mmmmm…great flavor and texture.

*After I baked these crackers, I went back to Ashley’s blog to find the link and discovered this.  She was smart and flipped her crackers mid bake.  This will make them crisper then the ones I cooked.  I will be doing this next time!

Thanks!

R-

There is nothing better than a nice piece of chocolate birthday cake…and am I ever happy that I discovered vegan baking!  Since both of my sister-in-laws on my side had birthdays this weekend we decided to have one get together and I was on cake duty.  I wanted to find a vegan cake to cover my dairy-free needs and ensure that my brother and sister-in-law (both vegans) could enjoy cake as well.  I did a google search and came across several recipes and finally decided on this Chocolate-Orange Cake found on the FABulous Fat Free Vegan blog.

Orange Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

  • 1 1/2 c. Unbleached White Flour
  • 1 2/3 c. Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 c. Cane Sugar
  • 1/2 c. Brown Rice Syrup
  • 2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 c. Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 3/4 c. Coconut Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar (I read that this brings out the chocolate flavor in addition to helping with raising)
  • 1 c. Water
  • 1/2 c. Fresh OJ
  • 3 Tbs. Grated Orange Peal
  • 1/2 c. Vegan Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Tbs. Vegan Chocolate Chip Minis

For Chocolate Icing

  • 1/2 c. Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tbs. Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp. Fresh Squeezed OJ + more as needed
  • 1/4 tsp. Vanilla

For Orange Icing

  • 1/2 c. Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Squeezed OJ + more OJ as needed
  • 1/4 tsp. Vanilla

Directions –

  1. Preheat oven to 350*.
  2. Spray bundt pan or grease with Spectrum shortening and lightly dust with cocoa powder (not in ingredient list).
  3. Combine dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  4. Add yogurt, vanilla, balsamic, water, and orange juice.  Stir by hand with a whisk until well combined.
  5. Stir in orange zest.

Pour mixture into bundt pan by pouring into one side and letting the mix fill itself into the bowl.  Don’t pour the mixture around the pan, this will make too many air bubbles.  Tap the pan against the counter a few times, you’ll see tiny air bubbles come to the surface. 

 Bake for ~40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely before icing.

When cake has cooled, mix the icings (just stir the ingredients together with a fork…simple as that).

Drizzle the chocolate icing over the top of the cake 1/2 tsp. at a time.  After you’ve drizzled the chocolate icing, wait 3-5 minutes for it to set before drizzling the orange icing.  Repeat the same steps.  Sprinkle with 2-3 Tbs. Vegan Mini Chocolate Chips. 

This cake is moist and dense…SOOOOOO Good!

R-

I was shocked to see the email from Foodbuzz stating that I had received enough votes to move forward in this amazing game!  I was, to say the least, NOT PREPARED!  My sister-in-laws’ birthdays were yesterday and I was on cake duty (you’ll get that post tomorrow) and today is a big game day and I had to find a way to make an amazing interpretation on a classic before heading out the door.  I wouldn’t want to miss this opportunity to move forward yet again!  You can view my profile here 🙂

A few years ago I went to Puerto Rico with my family and I can still remember some of the best food I have ever eaten at a small restaurant. 

We ate mofongo (traditional plantain meal), fresh fruit, and yummy sweet potato balls.  Sweet potato balls are traditional end to meals in Puerto Rico.  Sometimes they are served with custard, sometimes not, but however they are served, they are delicious.

I decided that I wanted to put a spin on these sweet potato balls…since my hubby doesn’t like sweet potatoes and I’ve been craving pumpkin…I’d try my hand at pumpkin balls with a basic vanilla custard. 

Traditional Sweet Potato Balls (Nesperos de Batatas)

  • 2 lbs Sweet Potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 6 c. Water
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Coconuts, made into 3/4 c. Coconut Milk
  • 3 c. Sugar
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • cinnamon
  • whole cloves

Directions

  1. Boil pealed and chopped sweet potatos in water and salt, ~40 minutes
  2. Drain and push through a rice strainer.
  3. Add egg yolk, coconut mik, and sugar.  Stir with a wooden spoon.
  4. Transfer to dutch oven, bring to rapid boil while stirring with a wooden spoon in a back and forth motion.
  5. Turn down heat to medium, and continue to stir until the mixture is pulingl away from the bottom and sides of the pan.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Cool slightly.  Roll into small balls and dust with cinnamon.  Place one whole clove in each ball.

My twist – make this vegan and with pumpkin!  This took a bit longer than I had anticipated…but the ending is VERY TASTY!  It is not perfect, I couldn’t get the right consistency and will be tweeking this recipe until I get it right, this ended up more like a custard…tricky to form into a ball and roll into spice and coconut.  BUT, since I’m short on time, this will do (and nicely at that).

Pumpkin Spice Balls

  • 1 can Pumpkin
  • 1.5 Tbs. Chia Seed
  • 1/2 c. Almond Milk
  • 2 Tbs. Coconut Butter
  • 1 1/3 c. Cane Sugar
  • 1/2 c. Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 c. pecans

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Make certain everything is well mixed and turn into a dutch oven.  Heat on high until it starts to boil.  Reduce to medium heat and stir back and forth with a wooden spoon constantly.  This took me about 25 minutes.  It will look something like this:

Allow the mix to cool for about 15 minutes and scoop the mixture one Tbs. at a time onto a tray.  Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice and coconut flakes (if you want, you can roll these in the mixture…it’s messy, but possible and then stick in the fridge to harden before eating).   The PERFECT END to a meal.

These are sweet, so one or two will be plenty…Enjoy!

R-

 

I think these were my favorite mini cupcakes made for my sister-in-law’s shower.  The agave cupcakes are so moist and not to sweet….they were perfect with the fruit topping and simple “glaze” drizzled on top.  SOOOO Good!  Again, these were inspired by Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, the Simple Vanilla and Agave Nectar Cupcakes & the Sexy Low-Fat Vanilla Cupcakes in particular.

Agave Berry Cupcakes

To make these yummy cupcakes, start off with the cupcake recipe found here.  It’s the same recipe that I used for the Agave Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting.

Then gather up these ingredients:

  • 1-3 tsp. Oat Milk
  • 1 c. Powdered Sugar
  • 1 pt. Raspberries (or any fresh berry, sliced if needed)
  • ~ 1/2 c. Strawberry Conserve/Jam

Directions –

  1. After allowing cupcakes to cool completely and develop proper texture and flavor (at least one hour), place them on a plate or rack that you WILL NOT be using to present on (unless you want the glaze to be decorative on the plate).
  2. In a measuring cup, measure out 1 c. powdered sugar, add 1 tsp. oat milk and mix by hand with a fork.  If the glaze is too thick, add a little more oat milk.  It should be runny, but still have “thickness” to it.
  3. Spread your cupcakes with a little strawberry conserve/jam (or any fruit conserve you like).
  4. Pop a juicy berry on top of each cupcake…if you have regular sized cupcakes you may want to add 4-5 berries.
  5. Drizzle icing on top of berries shortly before serving.
  6. Enjoy!

Sleep well!

R-

The FABulous people over at Foodbuzz, with the help of Electrolux, have allowed me the opportunity to participate in this month’s 24×24!  And what a great month to participate.  September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and with the help of Electrolux and Foodbuzz, The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund is going to receive valuable funds to help research for early detection as well as for a cure .   If you are interested in making a donation click the link to OCRF and donate today!  A dear friend of mine was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and has beat the odds.  Later this week we will hear a little about her story in a guest post.  Please stay tuned, she is an inspiration!  

 OVARIAN CANCER

 About Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecological cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women. The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,880 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the U.S. in 2010 and about 13,850 women will die from the disease. It is an insidious disease that can strike without warning or cause.

 The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose. There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms. In spite of this patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region. However, when ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.

Until we have better early detection tools, all women should be educated about the disease so they can achieve early diagnosis and successful treatment. A woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67. Listen to your body. Do not ignore symptoms.”   – Ovarian Cancer Research Fund 

Symtoms Can Include: Bloating, pelvic/abdominal pain, urgency/frequency with urination, and difficulty eating and becoming full quickly.  Additional symptoms to consider (although these symptoms are common in all women they are good to consider) include fatigue, indigestion, pain during intercourse, back pain, constipation, and irregular menstral cycles. *

Risk Factors Include: Women 50 years or over, familial history of female cancers (ovarian, breast, endometrial) or colon cancer, presense of gene mutations BRCA1 and BRCA2, infertility, and having no pregnancies. *

IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS OR QUESTIONS DON’T HESITATE TO  SPEAK TO YOUR OBGYN

 THE MEAL

The focus of my meal was to provide several “Tasty Bites” for my family and friends that focused on the premiss that vegan foods, naturally high in antioxidants, phytochemicals, and low in fat, have been thought to reduce risk factors for all types of cancer.  Each and every one of these ‘Tasty Bites” are free of animal products and full of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats.  So, on Saturday, September 4, 2010 me and 5 of my girlfriends gathered in awareness of ovarian cancer.

WHOLE GRAINS+ COLORFUL FRUITS and VEGGIES +VEGAN DIET = POSSIBLE CANCER PREVENTION  

Tasty Bite #1 – Chocolate Covered Cherry Protein Shots

For starters I thought I would introduce my family and friends to the powers of Amazing Grass which is full of powerful antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and chlorophyll.  Consuming ingredients in Amazing Grass are considered to be cancer preventative foods.   

The Recipe:

 

The Verdict:  

 5/6 Thumbs-Up – I had one friend pass…not a fan of coconut water.  Everybody was pretty happy with the drink and commented on how pretty it was…they were even excited to see a sample pack of Amazing Greens in their goodie bag!  

 Tasty Bite #2 – Bruschetta with Warm White Bean Spread

Whole grain bread, fresh tomatoes and white beans come together for a healthy take and fun little spin on classic Bruschetta.  Beans, tomatoes and whole grains all contain valuable nutrients important for overall health…not to mention that benefit of possible CANCER PREVENTER

 The Recipe:

  

  

 The Verdict:

 6/6 Thumbs-Up – Everybody loved the Bruschetta!  It was fresh and the contrast between warm beans and cold tomatoes was a nice combination.   

Anika enjoying some YUMMY Bruschetta with Warm White Bean Spread

Tasty Bite #3 – Chickpea Summer De-Lite Salad (OSG Style)

When I found this recipe on Angela’s blog I thought it was a perfect addition to this cancer preventative meal.  Full of veggies and of flavor!  I was afraid this salad would be a little sweet from the maple syrup, but it’s NOT…just perfect, and my onion was a little spicy, in a good way, and gave it a little kick.  FREAKING YUMMY!!!!!!  This recipe is super easy, and quick.  I made this up early in the morning on Saturday (I tried prepping as much ahead of time as possible…wanted to take pics to send to one hour photo for recipe cards, plus I wanted to visit with my friends) and by the time dinner rolled around all the flavors were well combined.  There is a tiny bit left…and it tastes AWESOME the next day!

 The Recipe:  

  The Verdict:  

6/6 Thumbs-Up – This was one of the crowd favorites.  Fresh, perfect balance…and a surprising little kick (thanks to the purple onion).  FABulous!  

From this....

To THIS!!!!

Tasty Bite #4: Zucchini Coins

My garden is bursting with zucchini this year….I swear they grow like weeds in Colorado!  Good thing I like zucchini LOTS of ways.  I also enjoy stuffed squash of any kind…SO,  

Summer Squash +Quinoa = Zucchini Coins  

The Recipe:  

The Verdict:  

6/6 Thumbs-Up – This was really good…the stuffing was KILLER!  I just love the depth of flavor that cumin adds to things.  My only complaint…and it’s minor, is that I might boil or roast the zucchini for a bit before stuffing them.  The zucchini could have stayed in the oven another 15-20 minutes but the quinoa would have tried out too much.  Simple solution, roast the zucchini in the oven with some EVOO for 15 mintues, stuff, and cook as directed in recipe.  Oh, FYI…this was another crowd favorite.

Tasty Bite #5: Vegan Lasagna (Yum Universe Style)

This recipe is full of vitamines, minerals, and antioxidants…and not a LICK of dairy!  When I found this recipe on Yum Universe I had to try it.  Recently, I went dairy free and I miss things like lasagna.  I was a little skeptical, but as the lasagna cooked my nose began to change my mind.  This was a good meal to make ahead of time…I prepped it the day before and then popped it in the oven at 350* for about 20 minutes ~ 45 mintues before it was time to serve (you need it to rest before serving).  SOOOOOOO creamy!  

The Recipe:  

You will also need this recipe…  

  

The Verdict:  

6/6 Thumbs-Up – By the time I entered the living froom from the kitchen (I served everybody before myself and had to go grab some food for me) one of my friends had already gobbled up her lasagna!  It was soooooo good and creamy, you won’t miss the cheese in this recipe…I SURE didn’t.  This is a “lasagna” recipe and has several layers, but as we all ate and discussed the bite we decided it was more like a veggie casserole.  Still, whatever it’s name….UBER good!  

Tasty Bite # 6: Cantaloupe Berry Salad

Fresh fruits are vital to a healthy, CANCER FREE lifestyle.  This is one of my go-to meals/snacks when I want something cool, refreshing, and sweet with a bit of crunch.  

The Recipe:           

The Verdict:  

6/6 Thumbs-Up – Although everybody gave this bite a thumbs-up, a couple chose not to eat the coconut on the salad  I had to giggle because I LOVE coconut and sometimes you forget not everybody has the same taste as you!  Super Easy & Super Fast!  Makes a great breakfast in the summer with a simple Amazing Meal shake!   

Amber - That's "Lick the Plate" Good!

Tasty Bite #7: Chocolate Dream Protein Balls

These chocolate treats are full of protein, greens, and healthy fats.  Great to take on a hike, as a pre/post workout snack…or to just snack on when you need some chocolate, guilt free!  I made these about a week ago (see post here) and decided I needed to add them to my menu…everybody needs a good protein ball recipe!  The base comes from Kelsey at Bites and Bowls and her base is perfect for allowing versatility!   

The Recipe:  

  

The Verdict:  

6/6 Thumbs-Up – Everybody was impressed.  My sister said my balls taste better than my brother’s power balls and Anika said she knows what I am bringing to the cookie exchange this year!   

No more daylight…sorry so dark.

Tasty Bite #8: Vanilla Bean Banana Soft Serve

This recipe is so easy…and a must for warm summer.  Doesn’t taste exactly like soft server from DQ, but it has the right texture and is so versitile you can add almost anything to it!  Plus, there is none of the fat or carcinogins from animal products!  

Bananas + vanilla + Rice Dream = REALLY GOOD  

The Recipe:  

  The Verdict:

6/6 Thumbs-Up – This was probably the one bite I was most nervous about because I knew a few of my friends are not huge fans of “banana” stuff.  But to my surprise everybody really enjoyed the soft serve.  Anika said it reminded her of her childhood on St. Thomas!  I made up an extra batch so she could take some home to her little guy.  He love it too!

Tasty Bite #9: Mini Peach Pie

Fresh peaches, minimally processed sucanant, and vegan phyllo (fillo) dough.  If pie could be healthy, this qualifies 🙂

The Recipe:

The Verdict:

4/6 Thumbs-Up – The pies were gobbled up along side a scoop of vanilla bean soft serve…but this pie wasn’t as good as I had hoped.  It wasn’t very sweet and needed a little more spice.  Plus, next time I might crisp up the phyllo on the bottom of the pan before scooping in pie filling.  Mess around with this recipe and let me know how you made it a 6/6 Thumbs-Up!

Peach Pie and Ice Cream!

Beverage:  Tea Spritzer

Herbal tea, natural gingerale (reads, no corn syrup), and fresh fruit.  A helthy drink that looks grown-up!

The Recipe:

 

The Verdict:

6/6 Thumbs-Up – Naturally sweet (we didn’t need to add any sweetner) and refreshing.  Pointer…if you don’t like mint then simply leave it out!  Pretty versitile drink…you can use almost any tea and/or fruits and change the flavor. 

THE GET-TOGETHER

Sadly my camera battery died shortly after we got started.  Pictures are random as I would grab battery from charger, take a few pics, and then back in the charger it went.  Lighting was AWFUL in my house so please excuss the darkness of the photos. 

Placing goodies in the bags!
Barley, quinoa, cacao nibs, Chocolate Amazing Meal, Justin’s Chocolate Peanut Butter, mini condiment spoon, recipe booklet, and information sheet

 

Pile that needs put away...

My friend Rainne
Mi Mama

My Sista!

Sis-In-Law Amber, Jenelle, Me, Mom

 

Heatin' up the beans.

Stuffing Zukes...this one was a MONSTER

Ugg...what did I get myself into!

Good Night!

That’s it!  I want to thank the people at Electrolux and Foodbuzz for an AMAZING opportunity!   So, in honor of all those who have or will ever battle Ovarian Cancer, WEAR YOUR TEAL PROUD all September long!

R-

* Information taken from Ovarian Cancer Research Fund

Since coming across Banana Soft Serve I’ve prepared it several different ways and have been pleasantly surprised each and every time.  Friday night I was working on some photos for recipe cards (you’ll see more on those tomorrow) and decided to throw a few vegan mini chocolate chips in a batch.  PERFECTION!

Chocolate = ALL IN LIFE IS GOOD

As I took a few bites I realized I still had about 2 oz of a chocolate protein shake left in my glass and thought, “OH, chocolate sauce” and proceeded to dump the entire contents of my glass on top of my soft serve.

SOOOOOO good, I could eat this every day and be happy 🙂

R-

I teach preschoolers and encourage parents to send in healthy snacks with their children…and often I see Fruit Roll-Ups (click link for a little shock…these things always surprise me, USE YOUR OWN JUDGEMENT PEOPLE) come out at snack time.  Fruit Roll-Ups are loaded with “sugar” and other ingredients.  They are obviously not a replacement for fruit, rather candy.  But, kids LOVE their Fruit Roll-Ups, and I did as a kid too!  So, now that I’m grown I make my own…using 100% whole fruit and a touch of honey.  Simple, Easy, DELICIOUS!  And kid approved.  My nephew loves them 🙂

Fresh Fruit Leather

  • 8 oz fresh fruit
  • 1-3 tsp honey

Blend your fresh, cleaned fruit in a mixer/blender.  Sweeten with honey.  Place the blended fruit on a fruit leather sheet (you can place on parchment paper but the fruit leather will wrinkle and stick a bit)

Place in your dehydrator for 6-8 hours on 95-100*  When done, peel your fruit leather from the sheet, cut into strips, roll them up, and store in an air tight container for up to 4 weeks.  Makes 1.5 – 2 sheets (10×10, about 1/8 inch thick).

This was Strawberry Peach – YUMMY!

R-

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