Apricot Delights

Between school, sports and family activities, energy bites and bars are the ideal grab and go nutritious snack.

Most of the treats or sweet snacks that are stocked in the refrigerator are made with dates.

Dates are my most favorite ingredient to use for treats or sweeter plant based goodies. I am always trying some new way of changing them up and this time I chose apricots to add to the mix. The apricots gave these bars a bit more of a fresh pep in each bite.

If you haven’t tried dates, or use them to add some sweetness to your taste buds, I highly recommend using them.

These little powerhouses are rich in fiber, potassium and have many phytonutrients. Also, they are high in sugar, however it is sugar your body can easily digest and breakdown.  Dates do not have any adverse on blood sugar or weight.  They provide beneficial improvements in triglycerides and antioxidant stress levels.  Not mention the kind of carbs you should eat.

Just like dates, apricots are packed with potassium and fiber, but are also a great source of Vitamin A. They too have a higher sugar content, but again due to its whole food natural state, the body can easily digest and keep the blood sugar from soaring like many processed snacks will do.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup raw or roasted almonds (no salt)
1/2 cup raw cashews
12 medjool or halawi dates
10 dried unsulphured apricots
1 tablespoon unsweetened dried coconut
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.

Using a food processor, add nuts and apricots.  Process until mixture is a coarse meal.

Next, add the remaining ingredients: vanilla, dates, coconut and almond butter.  Continue to process until mixture begins to stick together.  You can grab a small amount and if it sticks together, then it is ready.

Firmly press the mixture in the lined baking dish.  Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to firm up.  Cut into squares, circles, bars and enjoy.  They can be stored in the fridge for about 5 days in a sealed container wrapped in parchment paper.

 

 

 

 

 

*Cited nutritional information: Nutrition Facts.Org

No Bake PB Cookies

School is back, sports are back and we are back on track with some consistent schedules – woohoo!!

Decided to take an old recipe and replace a few ingredients and ended up with a delicious result.  These were tested on my teenagers and a couple families. There was a request for the recipe, so I am finally getting to it!

Super easy, quick and no baking involved. Even more of a reason to try them!

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons unsweetened nut milk (I used almond milk)
3 tablespoons cacao powder
generous 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (don’t skimp with Aunt Jemima or Log Cabin, etc.)
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup pure peanut butter (no oil/salt added, don’t skimp with Skippy or Jiff, etc.)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped peanuts

Directions:

In a pot, add the syrup, nut milk and cacao powder and bring to a bubble, stirring frequently.

Let it bubble for about 1 minute, continuing to stir.  Then turn off heat and add the oats, peanut butter, vanilla and chocolate chips.  Stir well to combine.

Scoop out desired size onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  I did a generous tablespoon size and then gently pressed them together and then flattened them but you can make them how you want.

Place in the freezer for about 20 minutes and enjoy.

Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator or in freezer.

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Verde Nachos

If you are dealing with hot temps like we are, I know using the oven and stove is not at the top of your list. From time to time during this ridiculous summer heat, I have sucked it up and used the stove.  And this meal was worth the sweat ;)

Stepped away from the typical black beans or re-fried beans and tried something a little different.  Also, because I didn’t have any of those beans – haha!  And the result was a  super easy and delicious bowl of nachos.

Ingredients:

Chips of choice
1 1/2 cup North American Beans/ White Beans
1 1/2 cup corn (if frozen, thaw)
1 cup sweet onion, diced
1 generous teaspoon diced/minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano

Add some toppings if ya wanna get fancy:

Avocado
Shredded/sliced romaine or lettuce of choice
Jalapeno
chopped cilantro
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa or Salsa Verde of choice

Cream Ingredients:

1 cup soaked cashews (soak at least 30 min, ideally over night)
1/3 cup packed spinach
about 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon ACV or white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon mustard

Directions:

Combine the beans, corn, onion, garlic, cumin and oregano in a sauce pan with about 1/3-1/2 cup water.  Stir well, cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until beans are tender.  Optional, salt and pepper to taste.

Make the cream while the beans are cooking.  Drain cashews and add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add a little water to desired creaminess.

Grab a plate or bowl, arrange your chips and drizzle the cream and salsa then layer the bean mixture, top with shredded or chopped greens, then finish it off with more cream drizzle and salsa and any other toppings you desire!

 

Apple Salsa

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This is a recipe from way back, 2014, and it is such a great salsa for summer, for anytime really.

As you scoop this salsa into your mouth, savor the tantalizing sweet and spicy flavors that envelope the taste buds in every bite.  This delicious salsa has become my go to when attending get togethers with friends and family.

Ingredients:

1 sweet onion, chopped
2-3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped (I use 3)
1 large tomato, chopped
about 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice – not stuff in container
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and chopped
2 tablespoons honey
salt and pepper to taste

apple salsa prep

Chop chop till ya drop!

 

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and serve with chips or crackers (I personally prefer tortilla chips)

apple salsa

How do you like them apples?

Easy Chickpea Salad

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I have been squeezing lemons and limes on my salads lately for a quick and easy dressing on these warm summer days.  Lemons and limes not only bring out flavor, they provide some benefits to the body.  They are and excellent source of Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, are an antioxidant, and help aid in digestion.  All the more reason to squeeze freshness into your food.

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Blender Pancakes

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Since some mornings can be more hectic than others, who is a fan of anything quick to make and easy to clean up?

ME! ME! ME!…

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Tacos with Sweet Potato Wedges

Our family tends to eat our fair share of beans and legumes, rice, millet or quinoa and veggies all mixed together in some form.  I love that they offer versatility, are filling yet satisfying and full of yummy goodness our active bodies thrive on. These ingredients haven’t failed me and adding different mixes of spices to them gives them a variety in taste.  Sometimes potatoes are added as well. Whether we packed them in a tortilla, fill a taco or toss in a bowl, some of our favorite meals are created with these staples.

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Coconut Cashew Hangry Bars

Not sure how many Lara Bars we have purchased over the years, but more than enough to have given one to everyone at a soccer tournament!  Peanut Butter Cookie and Coconut Cream Pie are the top favorites in this house.

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