Posts in snacks
Bumble Berry Oat Crumble Bars
 

During summer months, I love to hit up the local farmer's market. Unfortunately I often go there when I haven't eaten and my eyes quickly become much bigger than my stomach. The summer of 2015 was no exception, That's when the "Oat Crumble Bar" was born and quickly changed mine and Eric's life for the better. 

So what's my favourite market find? BERRIES! Berries of all kinds, shapes and colours. I always buy too many, and can't eat them fast enough. Originally, this recipe developed as a way for me to use up all those extra berries, but now I buy frozen berries just so I can make this all year round. It's one of Eric's real favourites, and we hope you enjoy it too! 

Here you will find a desert packed with fibre (from oats), vitamin C, and antioxidant rich phytonutrient "flavonoids" (from the berries). 

Enjoy these bars warm and gooey from the oven, or cool and partially frozen from the freezer, either way it's a win! 

All photos courtesy of  Miaou Photography

All photos courtesy of Miaou Photography

Bumble Berry Oat Crumble Bars

Crumble

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup gluten free flour or oat flour
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter or coconut oil (I use Melt brand vegan butter, or a combo of melt and coconut oil usually.)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Crumble method 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stir until well blended. 
  2. Set aside while making the filling. 

Filling

  • 2 cups mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries)
  • 2 tbls water
  • 2 tbls lemon juice (juice from about 1/2 lemon)
  • 2 tbls maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tbls chia seeds

Filling Method 

  1. In a small saucepan combine berries, water and maple syrup.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, add lemon juice and chia seeds.
  3. Simmer until thickened, stirring ocaisionally (about 20 minutes) and remove from heat.

Assemble and Bake

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line a x9 inch baking pan with parchment paper. 
  3. Using your hands, spread half of the crumble mixture evenly in the bottom of your baking pan. 
  4. Pour the filling in an even layer right overtop of the crumble layer. 
  5. Using your fingers, crumble the remaining crumble mixture over the top of the berry layer.
  6. Pop in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until crumble is lightly golden.
  7. Allow to cool, and partially freeze for easiest cutting.

Pro Tip: store in the freezer so you don't eat them too fast :P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Supreme Veggie Bars
 

When I was young, my mom used to make these amazing party snacks, she called "veggie bars". I think she found the recipe in a Kraft ad, or on the back of a Philadelphia cream cheese box. Either way, I'm sure you can imagine they weren't as healthy as the name would imply. 

Pre-made pastry out of a tube, topped with pillowy cream cheesy ranch goodness, finely chopped veggies, and you guessed it- more cheese! MMmMM! SO GOOD! Although not a healthy choice, they sure were delicious, and having them evokes fond memories of family gatherings, holidays and parties. Always a huge hit, there were rarely any leftovers! 

This holiday season, I just had to re-imagine this perfect comfort food recipe so that Eric and I could enjoy it alongside our family and friends. 

Try serving these at your next party/shindig/holiday gathering... or try it as a weekend meal. I'm sure there won't be any leftovers at your place either! 

Supreme Veggie Bars

crust ingredients

  • 1  cup almond flour
  • 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour (I use Pete's Gluten Free)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbls coconut oil
  • 3 tbls cold water

crust method

  1. Preheat oven to 325°c and lay two baking sheet sized pieces of parchment paper on the counter.
  2. With a fork, mix together crust ingredients until it crumbles and dough begins to stick together. use your hands to form a ball and place between the two sheets of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a square roughly 1/4 inch thick. Peel back the top layer of parchment paper gently and with a knife, clean up the edges and sculpt into desired shape. Use a fork to pretty up those edges. Slide the parchment paper (with dough on top) onto a cookie sheet and pre-bake crust for 10 minutes. 
  3. While crust is baking, put together the "Creamy cashew Ranch".
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Creamy cashew Ranch

ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked and drained)

  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 tbs finely chopped onion 

  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (or more to taste)

  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper (or more to taste)

  • 2 tbs finely chopped chives

  • 1 tbs finely chopped parsley

  • 1 tbs finely chopped fresh dill

Method

  1. Soak cashews in boiling water for at least 1 hour. Drain and rinse.

  2. Add cashews, coconut milk, garlic, chopped onion, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a high speed blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth. 

  3. Pour into a small mixing bowl and fold in the chives, parsley and dill.

  4. Pour the "Creamy Cashew Ranch" over the pre-baked crust and spread around as if it were a pizza, creating a 1/4 inch thick layer.

Toppings

  • 2.5 cups of finely chopped assorted veggies such as bell peppers (red, green, yellow or orange) broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, tomato (seeds removed) and zucchini.
  • 2 finely chopped green onions
  • dairy free cheddar cheese (optional)

method

  1. Load up on toppings, don't be stingy!
  2. Sprinkle the cheddar last.
  3. Return to oven for an additional 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.
  4. Use a pizza cutter to cut into small squares or triangles.
  5. Serve warm or cold, both are delicious!
All photos courtesy of  Miaou Photography.

All photos courtesy of Miaou Photography.

*Crust recipe borrowed from Heather Crosby of Yum Universe, cookbook pg. 239.

 

 

 
Sweet Potato Breakfast Chips

So, one of my girlfriends used to compete in bikini competitions. Whilst on “prep” she had a very strict meal plan to say the least. Her favourite “carb” choice was of course sweet potatoes. She would cut them into thin slices, sprinkle them with cinnamon and bake them in the oven. Then she would bring those heavenly scented, delightfully sweet, tasty rounds into work and eat them right there in front of me! Man... did I love that slightly sweet cinnamony smell. I started thinking of ways in which I could turn those “carbs” into a more complete meal. Then it hit me! I could combine them with nuts to complete their protein chains!

Adding hazelnuts to your sweet potatoes will contribute higher levels of histidine, methionine, and tryptophan which are found in insufficient amounts in sweet potatoes.  

Voila! A new breakfast favourite is born! -This one's for you Danielle ;)

All photos courtesy of Miaou Photography

Sweet Potato Breakfast Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet potato

  • 1/4 cup raw hazelnuts

  • 2 tsp coconut oil

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp cardamom

  • pinch of salt if desired

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 300°f.
  2. Place the hazelnuts in a large tea towel. Fold the towel over and rub vigorously to remove loose skins.
  3. Chop the hazelnuts very finely, you can use a food processor for this but be mindful not to create a paste or butter, just a finely chopped meal.
  4. Melt coconut oil, pour into a large mixing bowl and combine with cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Then add the hazelnuts and stir well. A kind of dough like consistency will form.
  5. Slice your sweet potato into 1/8 inch thick rounds -if you have a mandolin slicer, it will come in handy for this. (I like to leave the skin on but you do what your feel, no judgement here.) Add your sweet potatoes into the bowl and toss until they are coated with the mixture.
  6. Lay the rounds flat, in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake 30-40 minutes.

*This recipe is meant to be single serve, depending how big your sweet potato is it could serve two. Good luck trying to share. ;P

*Fact: baking the potatoes at a lower temperature reduces the chances of the oil burning or being converted to dangerous trans fat. It will also retain more active enzymes, vitamins and other nutrients.

*This recipe can be used as a snack or even a dessert topped with a dollop of coconut whip cream or your favourite vegan vanilla ice cream! 

The Nomshell Power Bar

One day was scrolling through power ball and bar recipes and I noticed, they all had one ingredient in common, Almond Butter... I thought to myself "there are so many other nut/seed butters to enjoy, how come so many recipes are all using the same one?" Besides we should all be using almonds more sparingly due to the drought in California (almond producing country). You may have noticed your favourite almond butter skyrocketed in price over the past year. 

I sat down and started thinking about my favourite flavours, and the Nomshell power bar was born! Not only is it delicious, it packs 10 grams of protein, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of healthy fats, as well as 16% of your daily iron intake. It's a great post workout or on the go snack.

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Photos courtesy of Miaou Photography

The Nomshell Power Bar

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashew butter
  • 1 cup gluten free large flake oats
  • 1/2 cup vanilla or unflavoured protein powder (I used Vega Sport BCAA's + Glutamine)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbls chia seeds
  • 2 tbls dark chocolate chips (I used enjoy life brand) 
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, except chocolate chips and coconut oil. With a wooden spoon or with the help of an electric mixer, mix until a ball of dough forms. If dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of non-dairy milk or water.
  2. Line a 9x9 inch square baking pan with waxed paper (this will make it easier to remove the bars later) and spread dough evenly. Use a pastry roller to flatten and level out the dough. Set aside.

  3. In a small microwave safe dish, combine chocolate chips and coconut oil. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir and microwave an additional 20 seconds. Remove and stir until smooth. Drizzle chocolate over the flattened dough and pop in the freezer for around 30 minutes. 
  4. Remove from freezer and cut into 12 bars.

*Store in the freezer for one to two weeks, if they last that long! ;)