How To: Snack Healthy – No-Bake Tahini Oat and Cinnamon Balls

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Erin and I were talking about our blog recipes over a recent dinner. It seems we each have a style.

Most of our soup recipes were developed by Erin.  Have you tried our chicken soup? Or the hot and sour soup? Just two of our SOUP-er bowls (I apologize – that’s the last time I use that joke, pinky swear). With this weekend’s recent snowmageddon, I have craved a bowl of soup or two, but for your everyday soup needs, Erin is your gal.

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Now our breakfast and snack recipes on the other hand, those were mostly conceived by mois. It may have something to do with the fact that I have a daughter who the second she gets into the car after school pronounces “snack and water please.” With this statement in mind, I have tried to come up with several easy and healthy snack recipes I can keep on hand to help quench her after school hunger (and mine!) and help prevent both of us from getting “hangry.” Because no one wants to see that.

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These no-bake bites are similar to our most popular recipe, the no-bake peanut butter oatmeal ball. In this version, I’ve swapped the honey for maple syrup, the peanut butter for tahini, and added a healthy dose of cinnamon. I wanted to try to create something that was nut-free so you could feel good about tucking it into your kids lunch boxes for their afternoon snack as well.

I am also having a moment with tahini – I want to put it on everything, and in fact, I do! This sesame seed butter is delicious in salad dressings, spread on toast, and even drizzled on your morning bowl of oatmeal. If you don’t have tahini on hand and still want to keep these balls nut-free, sunflower butter would make a great substitution.

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As I am typing this I have just downed two balls, and am thinking of going for my third. I encourage you to do the same.

Dara

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No Bake Tahini Cinnamon Oat Balls

Serves 12 balls
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Snack

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 Tsp salt
  • 1/4 Cup plus 1 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 Cup plus 1tbsp ground flax seed

Note

These one-bowl, no-bake snack balls come together in less than 10 minutes. If you wanted to jazz them up, add in a handful of chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped nuts.

Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
2. Place in the fridge to firm up for about 10 minutes. Roll into golf ball sized balls and store in the fridge.

How To: Snack Healthy – Oatmeal Molasses Muffins

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“Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes!”

This David Bowie song has been playing in my head on repeat this past weekend.

My babe – the youngest of my two girls is starting daycare today. DAYCARE. When did this happen? I swear I closed my eyes for like a minute and my 3 month old tiny babe turned into an almost 1 year old big girl. She’s starting daycare, turning one next month, and my oldest starts Junior Kindergarten in September. “Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes!”

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I don’t deal well with change. Does anyone really? If you have any strategies – please comment below! One of mine – baking. Now, I would normally refer to myself as more of a home cook than a home baker. But when it comes to taking my mind off something, the need to concentrate on exact measurements of flour and sugar definitely helps. And when the result is something as delicious as these muffins, that extra concentration and attention to detail is so worth it.

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These muffins, brought to you by the food blog queen turned Food Network superstar The Pioneer Woman, are my new favourite. They are so tender without the need for any additional fat. Mashed banana, applesauce, and some buttermilk provide all the moisture you need. I usually avoid recipes that call for buttermilk since I’m always left with half a carton that ends up in the garbage. So for this recipe I simply made my own by adding some lemon juice to milk which sours it, creating your own buttermilk.

These muffins are quick, easy, and the perfect blank canvas for all of your wildest muffin dreams. I happen to like them just the way they are but they are also a great vehicle for some raisins, nuts, or chocolate chips. My girls devoured these as is – the perfect first day of daycare breakfast.

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The molasses in this recipe adds a unique sweetness and flavour, but I imagine maple syrup or honey would also work just fine.

I know change can be a good thing and help us grow or whatever it is people usually say. But please excuse me if you happen to see a lot more muffins or baked goods over the next few weeks here – some baking therapy sessions may be in order.

Dara

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Whole Wheat Oatmeal Molasses Muffins

Serves 12
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1% but I imagine any milk will do)
  • 1 Tsp vinegar
  • 1 ripe banana (mashed)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2-1 cup mix ins of your choice (raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, pecans)

Note

I think these muffins are fantastic as is, but I've also made them with raisins, chocolate chips, and walnuts and all are delicious. They freeze really well and are a great grab-and-go breakfast or snack option.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12-count muffin pan with cooking spray or line with cupcake liners. Mix milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine both flours, oatmeal, flaxseed, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
3. In a small bowl combine the mashed banana, egg, applesauce, molasses, and milk mixture. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. If you are adding any mix-ins, add them here and stir again until evenly distributed.
4. Divide mixture evenly among the 12 muffin cups and bake for about 17-18 minutes. Remove and let cool or devour warm if you just can't wait!

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

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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!

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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!

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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

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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: Healthy Snack – Double Sesame Cereal

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My husband is religious about his breakfast – 364 days of the year he has a bowl of cereal with almond milk.

What about that other day? Challah french toast. But 9 times out of 10 it’s a bowl of cereal. And not just one cereal – four cereals go into his bowl. A layer of raisin bran, then comes kashi go lean, multigrain cheerios, and lastly a sprinkle of bran buds. Gotta stay regular.

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Now, if we he’s lucky, he gets a fifth fun cereal. His favourite? Homemade granola. While he does love our pumpkin version and the almond butter one also ranks up there, this new almost savoury spin has been the latest addition to his morning bowl.

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I have a recent obsession with tahini – it’s just as creamy as peanut butter but has such a unique flavour. And along with maple syrup, it acts as the “glue” for the dry oats and rice krispies. The “double sesame” component is a couple spoonfuls of sesame seeds that get mixed in with some coconut, which all together amounts to an extremely crunchy and delicious final product.

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This granola like cereal is great on it’s own, sprinkled over yogurt, or drowned in almond milk, my husband’s preference.

Dara

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Double Sesame Granola

Serves makes about 1 1/2 cups
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Shutterbean

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice krispies
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 Tsp salt

Note

While I was eating this cereal, I tossed in a handful of toasted almonds and it was just delicious. So I would suggest adding a handful of the nut of your choice to the oat mixture before baking it. You could substitute honey for the maple syrup if you would like.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine rice krispies, oats, coconut, and sesame seeds. In a small bowl mix together the maple syrup, tahini and water.
3. Pour tahini mixture over oat mixture and stir until evenly coated. Pour mixture over parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve with milk, yogurt, or just eat straight up. Store in an air tight container for up to 1 week.

How To: Make Your Own – Trendy Green Smoothie Bowl

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I’ve never been so into smoothies as a meal.

Sure, as an on-the-go snack or to quench the thirst on a hot day, sign me up. But I feel like in order to truly be satisfied, I need to chew my food, not drink it.

Then I see this new hashtag all over instagram – #smoothieinabowl. Light bulb moment. All the best qualities of the smoothie but with all the toppings and chew of a good breakfast. This is a bandwagon I was ready to jump on.

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So when I was generously gifted some Zespri Sungold Kiwifruit, my first ever green smoothie bowl was born. The best part about this whole smoothie bowl movement is the toppings. It’s like being at your local self serve frozen yogurt bar, only it’s breakfast! I went with some more deliciously sweet kiwis, toasted coconut flakes, and peanut butter, but the kitchen is your oyster!

And wouldn’t you know it, there is a whole two handfuls of baby spinach in that bowl. Well on your way to getting your daily dose of green vegetables and it’s not even noon! Perfect start for the first morning back to school.

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Jump on the smoothie bowl bandwagon with me and quench your thirst AND your hunger all at once! #breakfastwin

Dara

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Trendy Green Smoothie Bowl

Serves 2
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients

  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 banana (frozen)
  • 2 Large handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1 kiwi (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 1/2 Cups almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp almond or peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed

Toppings

  • almond or peanut butter
  • coconut flakes
  • sliced kiwi
  • chia seeds
  • granola
  • toasted nuts or seeds

Note

These smoothie bowls are easily adaptable to whatever fruit you have on hand - frozen pineapple or mango would be delicious in place of the berries. Add whatever toppings you like! If you want it a little thicker, add a handful of ice to your blender.

Directions

1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Divide between two bowls and top with toppings of your choice.
3. Leftover smoothie will keep in the fridge for a couple days.