Category Archives: Snacks

No-Bake Choco Coco Oat Cookies

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 4 T cocoa powder
  • 1 T ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (or any nut butter)
  • 1/2 cup raw cinnamon honey [or regular raw honey (+ cinnamon if you please)]
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 t vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Take a 2-cup glass measuring cup, and fill it with coconut oil, melting it slightly in the microwave, until you reach the 1/2 cup mark. Add honey until you reach the 1 cup mark. Add peanut butter until you reach the 2 cup mark.
  2. Pour this mixture into a medium pot on medium heat, and stir until well combined.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the oats, coconut flakes, cocoa powder and flaxseed.
  4. Take the pot off of the stove and add the dry ingredients and the vanilla. Stir until combined.
  5. Drop heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or equivalent.
  6. Freeze for 15 minutes, and then remove from cookie sheet, and store in a tupperware container in the freezer.
  7. You can eat them right out of the freezer, or let them thaw for 10 minutes before serving.

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Feel free to make substitutions to suit your tastes/what you have on hand. It would be hard to screw these up!

Adapted from Dr. Axe

 

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Filed under Desserts, Gluten Free, Snacks, Vegetarian

Coconut Oil Popcorn

Know what is silly about popcorn?

Coconut Oil Popcorn | real food. home made.

Butter-flavoured microwave popcorn is consistently on Top 10 Worst Foods To Eat lists, but not a lot of people know that homemade popcorn can be one of the tastiest and healthiest snacks you can eat! Following is a simple recipe that produces the best popcorn you’ve ever made at home!

Coconut Oil Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup organic popping corn
  • sea salt to taste
  • (optional) additional melted coconut oil or grass-fed butter for drizzling

Method:

  1. Melt coconut oil over medium heat in a large pot with tight fitting lid.
  2. Add 2 corn kernels to the oil in the uncovered pot and wait for them to pop.  Then, the oil is ready!
  3. Add the rest of the kernels, put the lid on, and shake every 10 seconds or so.
  4. When the popping slows down considerably, remove the pot from the heat and shake everything around for another 10 seconds.
  5. If  you are drizzling with extra oil or butter do so now, otherwise just add your desired amount of salt and shake to coat.

Now it’s time to curl up and watch a movie!  Last night we watched Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).

I love keeping my extra popcorn in an air-tight container and snacking on it throughout the week.  If you’re lucky enough to have any extra!  I know we didn’t.

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Filed under Gluten Free, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian

Homemade Granola -and- Why Boxed Cereal is the Worst Breakfast

How is it that in the United States a bowl of Froot Loops™ is a widely acceptable way to start your day? Or any cereal for that matter. A bowl of sugar?  When they say that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” they are certainly not talking about cereal.  I have learned to completely avoid the cereal aisle; there is only garbage down there. Cereal is a convenience food; what’s easier than cereal?  If you do not have time to prepare eggs in the morning, wake up earlier!  😉

When you eat cereal for breakfast, or doughnuts,  bagels, anything that is made of refined sugars and starches, “particularly alone, without fats or protein, they enter the blood stream in a rush, causing a sudden increase in blood sugar” (Nourishing Traditions, p. 24).  And don’t you notice, on days you eat cereal, you are hungry again well before lunch time?

The problem with cereal is not only its sugar content and added chemicals, but the extrusion process is equally harmful.  Many popular cereals are now boasting that they are “Whole Grain”, however “whole grains that have been processed by high heat and pressure to produce puffed wheat, oats, and rice are actually quite toxic and have caused rapid death in test animals” (Nourishing Traditions, p. 25).

If you need a crunchy bowl of something doused in milk, please stay away from the cereal aisle!  Even brands like Kashi®, Nature’s Path®, Cascadian Farm®, while they are better than Kelloggs® and General Mills®, are not the best.  The best is always home made!!!!

Always read the ingredient labels on your cereal/granola products (like everything else).  If the list includes items that you yourself would use to create a homemade version, then by all means, you deserve a little convenience every once in a while!  The best granolas usually come in plastic pouches and were crafted in small batches by people who care.  These can be quite expensive though! I suggest adding granola-making to your Sunday evening routine, and you will have cereal for the week, home-made.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (make sure gluten free if allergic)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup local raw honey
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup unsalted cashews, almonds, walnuts or pecans (or mixture of whatever you have), chopped
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins or chopped dates

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients except raisins.
  2. Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil, and spread mixture out evenly.
  3. Place into a cool oven, turn the heat to 300°, and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Take it out and give your granola a good shuffle, then bake for another 15 minutes.
  5. Let it cool completely, add raisins, and then transfer to an airtight container – store for 1 week.

Look at that list of ingredients!  Coconut oil/flakes, local raw honey, beautiful nuts and dried fruit, cinnamon, unprocessed oats.  Those are ingredients I can get behind starting my day with. “When sugars and starches are eaten in their natural, unrefined form, as part of a meal containing fats and protein, they are digested slowly and enter the bloodstream at a moderate rate over a period of several hours” (Nourishing Traditions, p. 24).

One of my favourite breakfasts includes greek yogurt, topped with fresh fruit and homemade granola.  This is a very nutritionally balanced braekfast (and did I mention it is delicious???)

Homemade Granola -and- Why Boxed Cereal is the Worst Breakfast | reak food. home made.

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Filed under Breakfast, Gluten Free, Nutrition, Snacks, Vegetarian

No Bake Carrot Cake Balls

No Bake Carrot Cake Balls | real food. home made.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (make sure gluten free if allergic)
  • 1/3 cup cashews, chopped
  • 1 T ground flax seed
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (packed) grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup raisins

Method:

  1. Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Form into comfortably sized balls, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  3. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.  If there are leftovers, pop them in the freezer to enjoy any time at a moment’s notice!

I love these little guys.  They are perfectly satisfying when you feel like a quick, healthy snack.  Forget processed granola bars!  These are the real deal.

Adapted from Cookin’ Canuck

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Filed under Appetizers, Breakfast, Desserts, Gluten Free, Potluck, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian

Spinach Quinoa Flax Balls

Spinach Quinoa Flax Balls | real food. home made.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red or white quinoa (or blend of both)
  • 1 3/4 cups organic free-range chicken broth
  • 2 boxes of frozen spinach, defrosted and water thoroughly squeezed out
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter (grass-fed)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour (make sure oats are gluten-free if allergic)
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Bring quinoa and chicken broth to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and cook for 20 minutes.
  2. Make your flour mixture by adding a handful of almonds and a handful of old-fashioned oats to a food processor and grind – Make a 1/2 cup of flour total.
  3. Mix quinoa, flour, and all other ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350*
  6. Grease baking sheet with coconut oil or butter.
  7. Roll mixture into balls and bake for 20-30 minutes.

These are so pretty!  If you use red quinoa, the red and green colour scheme make them perfect for bringing to Holiday parties!

Adapted from Lauren Kelly Nutrition

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Filed under Appetizers, Gluten Free, Potluck, Snacks, Vegetarian

Grass-Fed Corn Dog Bites

Grass Fed Corn Dog Bites | real food. home made.

This advertisement came in the mail yesterday, and I burst out laughing.  I am going to start collecting these prime examples of our country’s sickening problem with food.  We are equating the word “protein” with “corn dog”?  How did we let this happen?  Protein is one of the prime building blocks of life, I feel so sorry that the word has to appear so large alongside this abominable “edible food product”.

However, corn dogs are not inherently bad.  I believe that as long as you make a dish home made from quality real food ingredients, nothing is off limits!  Not even corn dogs.  Following is a recipe for mini corn dog bites – they are an excellent appetizer to bring to a superbowl party, or any other gathering under the sun (except maybe a vegan potluck).

Grass-Fed Corn Dog Bites | real food. home made. 

Grass-Fed Corn Dog Bites

Yield: 36 mini-muffins

Ingredients:

Now, contrast that list with the State Fair corndog ingredients:

Grass-Fed Corn Dog Bites | real food. home made.

When reading the labels on packaged food products, ask yourself the question: “Are these the ingredients I would use to make this item”?  If the answer is no, which it will be more often than not, do not risk it.  Remember, your body is not a garbage can.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º
  2. Whisk butter and sugar together, add eggs, then buttermilk, whisking them all together.
  3. Whisk dry ingredients in a seperate bowl: cornmeal, flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  5. Spray a mini muffin pan with coconut oil.
  6. Add a glop of batter to, then press a hot dog section into the center of, each cup.  Each cup should be nearly full but not quite.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until cornbread just starts to brown.
  8. Let them cool for as long as you can stand it, and then transfer to a tupperware to bring to the party.
  9. You can serve these at room temperature, or re-heat them in the oven for a bit at serving time.

Grass-Fed Corn Dog Bites | real food. home made.

Now that’s a fun source of protein I can get behind!

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

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Filed under Appetizers, Potluck, Snacks

How to Eat Real Food While Traveling

How to Eat Real Food While Traveling | real food. home made.

While on road trips or during traveling in general, it can be hard to find real food options. There are a lot of fast food and vending machine options, and not much available in terms of real food. In the airport, you can often find a variety of dried fruits and nuts in the book and magazine shops, and sometimes coffee shops will sell apples and bananas at their counters.

When I take road trips, I always bring a homemade “trail mix” concoction with me, and you will find me munching on it while sitting at the table at Wendy’s with my fast-food approving comrades. Don’t worry about looking silly, you will actually look smart.

I don’t like to order even the salads at fast food restaurants.  Just for example, I looked up the ingredients in Wendy’s Asian Cashew Chicken Salad and found:

Chicken Breast, Water, Seasoning (sea salt, maltodextrin, natural flavors, yeast extract, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, gum Arabic, dextrose), Modified Corn Starch, Sodium Phosphates. Rubbed with Paprika and Spice.  Iceberg Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce, Spring Mix (baby Lettuces [red & green romaine, red & green oak, red & green leaf, lolla rosa, tango], spinach, mizuna arugula, tatsoi, red chard, green chard), Fire Roasted Edamame, Cucumber, Red Bell Peppers.  Cashews, Onion Garlic Seasoning (onion powder, garlic powder, salt), Canola Oil, Soy Lecithin, Sea Salt, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper. Water, Brown Sugar, Corn Syrup, Rice Vinegar, Chili Garlic Sauce (salted chili pepper [chili peppers, salt], garlic, sugar, rice vinegar, water, modified corn starch, acetic acid), Soybean Oil, Miso (water, organic soybeans, rice, salt, koji starter [aspergillus oryzae]), Lime Juice (water, lime juice concentrate, lime oil), Soy Sauce (water, soybeans, salt, alcohol), Cilantro, Ginger, Mustard Seed, Sea Salt, Garlic (dehydrated), Spice, Natural Flavor, Roasted Garlic, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Red Pepper (dehydrated), Yeast Extract, Oleoresin Rosemary, Citric Acid. CONTAINS: SOY.

That is far too many ingredients for me.  Plus, I don’t like giving these companies my money.

When I get where I’m going I will stock up on my essentials.  Luckily in L.A. it was easy to find my favourite brands.

How to Eat Real Food While Traveling | real food. home made.

There solves the breakfast problem.  I always have to have my peanut butter banana toast within a half hour of waking up, or I get grumpy.  “Going out to breakfast” always takes so long; by the time everyone is finally showered, dressed and ready to go, and then you wait for a table, it is lunch time anyway!  Lunch and dinner are usually eaten out during vacation, and luckily in L.A. everything is free-range, grass-fed, and organic!

We had so much fun on our trip, I can’t wait to go back again someday.  My favourite part was probably the availability of real food.  Here in Michigan, the term is hardly, if ever, used.  I don’t even have any real foodist friends, do I?…..

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