How To: Snack Healthy – No Bake Chocolate, Coconut, Almond, and Date Snack Balls

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The other day I was wheeling a cart around my local grocery store and noticed that all the Passover foods were out on the shelves in all their unleavened glory. How on earth is it time for Matzah already??

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This Friday evening Passover begins once again – the time when matzah replaces the usual bread and quinoa (the only kosher for passover grain product) begins to make an appearance at every meal.

The hardest part for me isn’t the meal planning – some quinoa granola and yogurt for breakfast, a salad of some kind for lunch, and chicken/salmon with sweet potatoes or quinoa for dinner. Doesn’t sound bad does it? The hardest part is the snacks.

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Sure, fresh and dried fruit, vegetables, yogurt, almond butter, and cheese are all Passover friendly, but I usually reach for a granola bar, muffin, or no bake treat for my 3pm pick me up – all no-no’s during this 8 day holiday. Thank goodness for these no bake kosher for Passover snack balls!

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Whether you’re celebrating Passover or just in need of a quick and healthy snack, these no bake balls fit the bill. Loaded with dates, almonds, cocoa, and coconut they will satisfy your mid-day hunger and chocolate craving all in one. They come together with a simple whirl of your food processor and will keep in your fridge for a good couple weeks.

Easy, one bowl, AND passover friendly – I think I’ve hit the snack gold mine here.

Dara

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No Bake Chocolate, Coconut, Almond, and Date Snack Balls

Serves 15-20 balls
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Snack
Misc Pre-preparable
Website Adapted from The Healthy Maven

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dates (pitted)
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 Tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp almond milk

Note

These balls are the perfect on the go or post workout snack and will surely satisfy your chocolate craving! Walnuts, pecans, or cashews could all be substituted for the almonds.

Directions

1. Place dates in the food processor and process until they have come together in a ball.
2. Break up the date ball with your hands and add the almonds, cocoa powder, 2 tbsp coconut, and salt. Process for a couple minutes, scraping down the sides, until mixture is starting to come together and almonds are broken down.
3. Add in vanilla and almond milk and process until mixture comes together in a ball.
4. Remove mixture from the food processor and roll into small balls. Roll each ball in remaining 1/4 cup of coconut. The balls will keep well in a sealed container in the fridge for a couple weeks.

How To: Make Your Own Granola – Almond Butter and Jam Granola

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There’s just something about a good old pb and j.

Spread nice and thick on some squishy white bread with the crusts cut off. You just can’t beat it.

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As mature adults we think we need to eat with a bit more sophistication than a simple sandwich. But if we change the peanut butter for almond butter and toss these flavours with some standard granola ingredients –  you’ve got one grown up pb and j.

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I love peanut butter, but I LOOOOVE almond butter. It has an almost cookie dough quality to it and is the perfect coating for an oat and nut mixture. It also acts as the binder in this granola and gives it a chewy and crispy quality. Or what I like to call granola perfection.

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So grab a bowl and a spoon and prepare to relive your favourite elementary school lunch.

Dara

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Almond Butter and Jam Granola

Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups oats
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 3/4 cups ground flax
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1 cup natural almond butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 1 cup raisins

Note

A twist on the classic sandwich, this granola is great served with yogurt or milk, or eaten on it's own as a snack. Feel free to sub your favourite jam, nut, and dried fruit.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl combine oats, pecans, almonds, flax, cinnamon, and salt and mix until combined.
3. In a small bowl combine almond butter and maple syrup (or honey) and microwave for about 60 seconds, or until runny. Pour almond butter mixture over oat mixture and mix until oats are evenly coated.
4. Add apricot jam and mix again. Spread out granola evenly on the baking sheet and bake for about 50 minutes, until it starts to brown.
5. Remove from oven and mix in raisins. Store in a sealed container or zip lock bag.

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How To: Snack Healthy – Date and Almond Oatmeal Cookies

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Simple seems to be the name of the game around this house lately.

Last Monday brought you a simple, single-serving banana pancake and this week, a simple oat based cookie.

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IMG_3184It is so simple, it can be whipped together in your food processor during even the shortest of nap times.

One bowl, 5 ingredients, well 6 if you count the optional chocolate chips – so I guess actually it is 6 because when are chocolate chips really ever optional!

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These cookies actually get a double hit of almonds from the almond butter and almond flour. If you’re not familiar with almond flour, it can now be found in most grocery stores in the baking aisle. If you can’t find it, you can take regular whole almonds and grind them up in your food processor. But we’re keeping things simple over here so I bought a bag and store it in the fridge – perfect to have on hand when the baking itch strikes.

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The batter will look wet and sticky – but after a rest in the fridge it is easy to handle and shape into golf ball size cookies. If you are also working against the nap clock of an 8 month old, a short 15 minute rest in the fridge will do just fine.

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The sweet dates lend all the sweetness you need and combined with the creamy almond butter, they hold the cookies together without the need for any extra fat. In fact, these would be just as suitable for a healthy breakfast on-the go.

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Betcha can’t eat just one!

Dara

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Date, Almond, and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Serves 25 cookies
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Website Adapted from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and then drained)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 3/4 Cup + 2 tbsp almond meal/flour (purchased or grind fresh almonds)
  • 3/4 Cup + 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used half white chocolate and half peanut butter chips.)

Note

These simple, one bowl cookies are an easy and healthy snack you can whip together. They taste delicious on their own as well as crumbled on a bowl of Greek yogurt - a good breakfast option too!

Directions

1. Add the dates to the food processor and process until they are in small pieces.
2. Add the banana and almond butter and process again until combined.
3. Add the almond meal, salt, and rolled oats and process again until combined. The dough will be sticky and wet, that's how it should be.
4. Turn dough out into a large bowl and mix in your 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
5. Place the dough in your fridge for at least 15 minutes and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
6. Scoop out about a tablespoon or so of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom.
7. Store for 2-3 days at room temperature in a covered container or for about 1 week in the fridge.

How to: Make Your Own Veggie Burger – Tofu Almond Burgers

I love burgers. Beef and veggie alike.

The gourmet burger trend in Toronto is booming at the moment too, which is awesome.

At home, if you take the time to make a homemade beef burger, you’ll almost always get a better end product than what you would find frozen in a box.

Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case with the veggie version.DSC_5908

And while pre made veggie burgers can taste pretty good, they’re not necessarily a healthy option and they often contain a ridiculously long list of ingredients (many of which are hard to pronounce).

DSC_5854I was actually spending the afternoon testing several batches of oven baked sweet potato fries when I found this quick and easy recipe online.  I thought it would be a good compliment to my fries, which I planned on posting about for the blog.

DSC_5857Thing is, the fries were…well, not good.  I trialled several recipes all guaranteed to be healthy and crispy.  I think I’m coming around to the idea that good fries just need to be fried. And I’m fine with it.DSC_5862

The burgers though.

Whoa.

Big asian inspired flavour and a satisfying texture using a few simple ingredients. In hindsight, I’m glad I took photos.DSC_5863 DSC_5869My toppings of choice for this burger were avocado, mango salsa (atulfo mango, red onion, parsley, lime juice & salt), and sriracha mayo (mayo & sriracha). All on a sesame egg bun.  A big crunchy piece of lettuce would have been a perfect addition if I’d had some.

Do you have a favourite homemade veggie burger? Do tell!

Erin

Tofu Almond Burger

Serves 5-6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Website Adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 3/4 of a package extra firm tofu (about 325g) (patted dry)
  • 1/2 cup toasted almond slices
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots (minced)
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 2 teaspoons grated (ginger)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Large egg
  • panko breadcrumbs (if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

Directions

1. Cut tofu into large chunks. Combine with almonds in a food processor and pulse until it resembles the texture of ground beef.
2. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté shallots, carrots and ginger until softened, about three minutes.
3. In a large bowl, add sautéed vegetables, tofu almond mixture and remaining ingredients (aside from breadcrumbs) and mix until well combined.
4. Each burger will use about a 1/2 cup of the mixture, give or take, to make 3.5" inch patties. If the mixture is too sticky, add a Tbsp of panko breadcrumbs at a time (if you add too much at once, the mixture will become dry and the patties will fall apart).
Once formed, let them set in the fridge for at least an hour.
5. In a medium sauté pan, heat 2 Tbsp of canola oil over med-low to medium heat. Pan fry each patty for about 3 minutes per side until nicely browned and heated through. You will have to do this in 2-3 batches. Be gentle when flipping the burgers.
6. Serve on a bun with your toppings of choice.
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