Snack bars revisited – this time with Millet!

31 01 2012

Do other people who blog about the food they make ever feel like “hey, sometimes I wanna revisit stuff I made a while ago and I don’t wanna feel bad about that”?

I made these ages ago and I really loved how complex the flavour was, you were hit with sweetness and bitterness from the agave and the coffee, the molasses adds a nice depth of flavour and then… THEN you taste some chocolate. It’s like a diversity party in your mouth.

Last time I made these with less sauce and with amaranth. It was different this time but it was a good kind of different. (Let’s revisit the diversity party idea, again.)

Millet Snack Bars

1 cup coffee

3 Tbsp molasses

3 Tbsp agave nectar

1 tsp vanilla

3 Tbsp cocoa powder

3/4 cup peanut butter

2 cups puffed millet

1/2 cup almonds, chopped or slivered

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

1 cup dried cranberries

Prepare a 9″ x 9″ pan, either greasing it or lining it with parchment paper. I normally go with greasing the pan because folding parchment paper is a lot like work.

Chop pecans and almonds, then place in a large bowl – I didn’t toast like I did last time. Measure all other dry ingredients (except cocoa powder) into the bowl with chopped nuts: puffed millet, unsweetened coconut, and cranberries.

Heat coffee in a saucepan on medium-high heat in order reduce. You want to have roughly 1/3 cup coffee after reducing. Remove from heat and add molasses, honey, vanilla, cocoa, and peanut butter, stirring until mixed.

Pour coffee-peanut-butter mixture over millet-nuts-n-coconut mixture, stir until all the dry ingredients are lightly coated.

Scoop mixture from saucepan into 9″ x 9″ pan, pressing bar mixture firmly into pan. Place in fridge or freezer and allow to set for at least an hour before cutting into bars and trasferring to an air tight container and storing in the fridge.

Beware: these do not travel well because they have to stay cold, but they are delicious and totally worth having to keep them at home and never share them with your work colleagues. Totally worth it.





Granola you could thrive on

23 01 2012

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I used to make granola religiously and then I started eating oatmeal.  I’m growing tired of oatmeal and looking for something new, something crunch, something satisfying.  So I made some granola.

Looking at a bunch of recipes that I have, I pulled my favorite parts together and tried something new.  Something healthier, fruitier, and downright protein-i-er.

My favorite thing about this granola is cooking it at a low temperature.  It’s so much more forgiving!

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My Newest Granola Creation

1 cup oats

1/2 cup almonds, chopped

1/2 cup protein powder

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (optional)

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 cup unsweeted coconut

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup apple, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup agave nectar

1/3 cup apple sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 250ºF.  Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix all the dry ingredients, stir until everything is evenly combined.  Measure wet ingredients into bowl full of dry ingredients.  Stir until combined, ensuring that all the oats, flax, and protein have been been moistened.  The resulting mixture should be thick and moist, not runny.

Divide the granola between two baking sheets and spread thin.  Bake for at least an hour or until the granola seems mostly dry.  This recipe does not require you to stir the granola during the process, although you can stir it, stirring will break up the granola into smaller bits.

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Butternut Squash ‘n Banana Loaf… with some pecans

21 01 2012

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This is another modified creation from Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook.  First, I thought putting pecans on the top before baking would look pretty and taste delicious.  I was wrong, the pecans got a little overdone and, although I enjoyed picking them off and eating them, this would have had better presentation without burnt pecans on top.

The original recipe called for pumpkin, but I used butternut squash instead.

It also called for a lot more sugar, which I replaced with less sugar and some protein powder.

The end result is, perhaps a little dry, but totally delicious.  Spreading applesauce on each slice helps with any moisture issues without adding any fat.  Genius.

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Butternut Squash ‘n Banana Loaf

2 cups flour (I used a combination of spelt and buckwheat)

1/2 cup protein powder (no protein supplements? just add 1/2 cup extra flour)

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups puréed butternut squash

1 banana

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp stevia powder

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat over to 350ºF.  Lightly oil a large loaf pan and dust with flour.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, protein, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt.

In a blender or food processor, blend squash, banana, oil, water vanilla, sugar, and stevia together until smooth.

Mix wet and dry ingredients together until just mixed.  Fold chopped pecans into batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

 

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Sugar-free Muffins for V

15 01 2012

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V slept over last night and we had a girlie night in.  We drank wine, ordered talk-away, painted nails, did face masks, and played Wii video games before falling asleep in front of the television watching movies.

An excellent evening that required an excellent breakfast start that wasn’t too fussy.

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As I’ve mentioned in many a post, it’s January and not only am I broke but I’m trying to get out of the bad habits I developed over Christmas: eating lots of cookies, having chocolate for breakfast, and not caring about what I was eating at all.

You have nothing to feel guilty about with these muffins.

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Sugar-free Oatmeal Muffins

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1/2 cup soy milk or almond milk

2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 Tbsp water)

2 Tbsp ground flaxseed (yup, more flax)

2 Tbsp canola oil

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup dried cranberries.

Preheat oven to 375º.  Prepare muffin tins with paper liners or cooking spray.

Combine oatmeal, applesauce, soy milk, flax eggs, flax and oil in a bowl; stir and allow to rest.  In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients, including dried cranberries.  Combine wet and dry ingredients together until just mixed.  This is one instance where a wooden spoon is the tool of choice over an electric mixer.

Portion your batter into the muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.  I use my ice cream scoop for consistent portions.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes and allow to cool before eating.  Serve with coffee and enjoy with a good friend.





My new favorite dressing

3 01 2012

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I had a box of mixed greens that were gagging for his dressing.

Gagging.

But when I opened the box of mixed greens, they had gone off.  Why is it that my salad greens ALWAYS go bad before I can eat them all?

Fortunately this dressing goes with so many things.  It’s not too sweet, not too salty, not too tangy – it’s just the right mix of flavours.

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Salad Dressing

1 green apple; cored, peeled, and chopped

1 tsp dijon mustard

1/3 cup oil (grapeseed or olive oil)

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup tamari or Braggs

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

Blend apple, dijon mustard, oil, and water together until smooth.  In a separate container mix Braggs and vinegar together.

Once the apple, mustard, oil, and water have been blended until smooth, add to vinegar and Braggs mixture.

Store in the fridge in an airtight container.  Separation will occur but the dressing will keep for 2-ish weeks.

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Thanks Giving Muffins

20 10 2011

SO grabbed one of these off the stove and headed to his favourite chair to begin his morning review of webcomics when I heard, “What the — did you put in these that tastes so tart?”

Cranberries.  Fresh cranberries.

“Oh… They’re really good.  Can you bring me another one?” he replied from the living room.

From inauspicious beginnings, these muffins quickly turned their fortune around and then just as quickly disappeared from my counter forever.

Thanks Giving Muffins

1 cup oats

1 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling!)

3 flax-eggs

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp pumpkin spice

1/2 cup almond or soy milk

3/4 cup spelt flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup fresh cranberries

1/4 cup raisins and/or pecans (optional)

Preheat over to 375ºF.  Line muffin pan with paper liners or coat with cooking spray.

Combine oats, pumpkin, soy milk, flax eggs, and oil.  Mix until combined.

Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.

Use your trusty ice cream scoop to fill muffin tins 2/3 full.  (You can also you spoons or other kitchen implements, but I really do love my ice cream scoop.)  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

They taste best while still warm from the oven but can be kept for several days in the fridge, sealed in an airtight container.





Banana Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

3 10 2011

I had bananas that were going brown and a craving for oatmeal raisin cookies. That’s right, I like oatmeal raisin cookies and I’m proud of it.

My Aunty Dee used to make these wicked amazing oatmeal cookies and, despite her best efforts, my mom could never them quite right. I’m pretty certain that the key ingredients were love and fat. This recipe has lots of love, no fat, nor does it include eggs or sugar. Well, no refined sugar, there’s only a little bit of maple syrup.

Having shared these with a picky SO, a yoga instructor, a kettlebell instructor, a nurse, and a 2-year old, I feel pretty confident that these cookies are a taste sensation that will rock you nation. These cookies are chewy and subtly sweet, with a nutty crunch.

Banana Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup soy milk

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

2 ripe bananas

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 cup toasted walnuts

1 cups raisins

Preheat over to 325ºF. Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Measure oats, soy milk, and vanilla together into a mixing bowl. Set this aside and let the oats soak in some of the milk and vanilla for 5 minutes or more.

Mix bananas and maple syrup into oat mixture. Once the sweetness has been combined with the oats. stir in flour, baking powder, and vanilla. Lastly, stir in your toasted walnuts and raisins.

In 1 or 2 tablespoon balls, scoop cookie dough onto baking sheets and squish them down a little bit – they won’t spread out in the oven.

Bake for 14 minutes.

Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Or allow to cool before devouring straight from the cookie sheet.