How To: Snack Healthy – Oatmeal, Flax & Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

img_2007

Did you know last Sunday was #nationalcookieday?

Not to be confused with #nationalpecancookieday, #nationalchocolatechipcookieday, #nationalsugarcookieday, and #nationalpeanutbuttercookieday (my personal favourite).  There seems to be a “day” for literally everything. Did you know there is even a National Day Calendar website to keep track of every unique and special day.? While I don’t need a special day to give me an excuse to bake up a batch of my new favourite cookies, I’ll take it!

img_1998

img_1999

These cookies have become a regular addition to my weekend meal prep. One batch makes 6 and I can tell you that every weekend the container definitely needs refilling.

There is no butter or oil in this recipe – almond butter and almond flour add the needed fat to give these cookies the right texture and flavour. You could definitely replace the almond butter with peanut or sunflower butter. Almond flour is something I can find at my local grocery store, but if you can’t find it or simply don’t want to purchase it, you can easily make your own by grinding up some almonds in your food processor. I’m sure you could also swap an equal amount of whole wheat flour, but it may change the texture or flavour, and these cookies are pretty perfect the way they are. But if you try it, let me know!

img_2004

img_2029

I love how large and satisfying these cookies are – perfect with a glass of milk or even for dessert as the base for an ice cream sandwich (just sayin’). These cookies also happen to be vegan, gluten and dairy free – that is of course if you aren’t adding that ice cream, which would just be a silly thing not to try.

Perfect for #nationalcookieday, or any day really!

Dara

fullsizerender-10

Oatmeal, Flax, Almond Butter, Chocolate Chip Cookies

Serves 6 cookies
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Fannetastic Food

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup ground flax
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Note

These cookies are great as an afternoon snack or as an on-the-go breakfast paired with a yogurt and some fruit. You could sub raisins for the chocolate chips if you would like. I love these cookies baked in large mounds, but if you would prefer a smaller size you could definitely make 12 smaller cookies.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl combine oats, flax, almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and chocolate chips. In a smaller bowl whisk together maple syrup and almond butter.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Spoon cookies evenly onto baking sheet and lightly flatten with your hand. I like to make 6 large cookies.
4. Bake for 13 minutes until brown and set. Let cool and enjoy!

How To: Snack Healthy – Vegan Banana Chocolate Muffins

IMG_0212

I generally have at least four different nut/seed butters open in my fridge at one time.

We’ve got the classic peanut butter, almond butter, my new favourite sunflower butter, and generally one other “special” one – right now it’s a coconut/peanut butter blend. Pretty darn delicious. And it’s not only because of me – my daughter’s new favourite breakfast is any one of these butters with a side of strawberry or apricot jam. Just give her a spoon and she is in breakfast heaven.

IMG_0215

In an attempt to try to create a bit of a more balanced plate (the dietitian in me does come out at times), I try to get her to eat her peanut butter and jam with something a bit more socially acceptable – a piece of toast, maybe a pancake, even a banana. But the biggest hit in our house to round out her breakfast plate has been these muffins.

I love that they are made with whole wheat flour and coconut oil and she loves that they have chocolate chips in it. Win win!

IMG_0216

An excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast and the perfect vehicle for your nut butter of choice – the perfect muffin recipe if you ask me!

Dara

IMG_0214

Vegan Chocolate Banana Muffins

Serves 12 muffins
Dietary Vegan
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 Tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 4 ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 Tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Note

These muffins freeze really well - just defrost in the microwave for 20 seconds when you are ready to eat them. I love them topped with a smear of peanut or almond butter.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl combine whole wheat flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl mix together mashed bananas, coconut oil, almond milk, and vanilla.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Add chocolate chips and mix to evenly distribute.
4. Divide batter among muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes, or until firm. Remove and let cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes before removing.

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

IMG_8499

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??

FullSizeRender 5

FullSizeRender 3

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.

FullSizeRender 7

FullSizeRender 2

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!

IMG_8498

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

FullSizeRender 6

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 – Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

This is an adapted recipe and I’ll be honest with you,  I only chose to make it in the first place because 1. I was really craving chocolate cake batter. 2. I had a wilty zucchini that needed using up.

The end game, a chocolate cake, was pure bonus.

IMG_2981

A really super surprisingly delicious bonus.

Not that I’m surprised a chocolate cake was delicious.  Just surprised that I adapted the original recipe quite significantly and it still turned out.  I don’t have a ton of faith in my baking adaptations just yet. Getting there, though!

IMG_2983

I repeated my adapted recipe juuust to make sure my changes worked and to accurately measure ingredients and bam, it was perfecto again.

I wouldn’t classify this as a recipe makeover per se. It stills calls for refined flour, sugar and a good amount of fat.  BUT it’s not so bad either in that there isn’t loads of sugar or fat,  the cake gets some of it’s moisture from zucchini, there is some added protein (walnuts/egg/yogurt) and even a dash of omega 3s (if using omega 3 eggs & walnuts).

IMG_2986

Semi sweet or really dark chocolate would both work well in this recipe. Both my husband and I loved it because the end result isn’t too sweet.  It’s chocolatey without feeling insanely decadent.

IMG_2987 IMG_2988 IMG_2989

The batter will be extra thick and sticky when you transfer it to the pan.  Not to worry, you’re on the right track.  Don’t forget the zucchini still needs to release all of its juices whilst baking.  Mmmm zucchini juice.

IMG_2695

I’m already looking forward to my next meeting with a wilty zucchini in need of some love.

Erin

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Website Adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ cup grated zucchini (approximately 1 large)
  • ½ cup chopped semi sweet chocolate chunks (or chocolate chips)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Butter and flour an 8"x4" loaf pan.
2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, butter and oil until well blended. Add egg, vanilla and yogurt. Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until just combined after each addition.
4. Stir in zucchini, chocolate chunks and walnuts and transfer mixture to loaf pan.
5. Bake until toothpick tester comes out clean, about 60-65 minutes.

 

 

 

How To: You Only Live Once – S’mores Dip

IMG_6877

Well hello there! It’s been a while – about one month to be exact.

Please accept my sincerest apologies for our blog silence this past month. Between life, work, and summer vacations, there was really very little cooking happening in our kitchens these past few weeks.

IMG_6873

But as summer sadly is coming to an end, we are getting our butts back in gear and back in the kitchen. And can I just say I am so happy about that. Sure, a little cooking break does a body good now and then, but I sure do miss my home cooking.

IMG_6878

And what better way to kick off our blogging return than an unbelievable dessert. The classic campfire treat can now be made any time of year – perfect for drowning your end of summer sorrows. I had seen this recipe circulating the blog world and after my husband and I devoured it this past weekend I knew I just had to share it with all of you. I made it to serve two very hungry adults, but feel free to double or triple it for a crowd. But I have to say, I kind of like the cute individual portions.

IMG_6877

Serve this dip with graham crackers to recreate the classic summertime treat, or just dig in with a spoon. I am not one to judge!

Dara

IMG_6880

S’mores Dip

Serves 2-3
Meal type Dessert
Website Dessert For Two

Ingredients

  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 8 marshmallows (cut in half)
  • graham crackers (for serving)

Note

This dip can easily be doubled or tripled to serve a crowd. It makes a great show stopper dessert for a dinner party or a casual night at home.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Divide chocolate chips evenly among two single serving ramekins or one 6 inch baking dish. Top evenly with marshmallow halves.
3. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until marshmallow begin to brown. If they haven't browned yet, broil for about 1 minute, watching closely so they don't burn. Serve warm with graham crackers for dipping and a spoon for eating straight up!