Monthly Archives: June 2016

Everyday Oatmeal

I love the simplicity and speed of oatmeal and I love that it’s inexpensive, filling and a great whole foods breakfast or lunch! I buy my rolled oats in bulk from Costco or Sprouts so they are super cheap. The recipe below is the way we most often cook our rolled oats and it’s so yummy and it only takes about 5 minutes…and they’re not even the quick oats, just regular rolled.

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Measure your oats and water and put it in a medium saucepan and turn it up high. Once the water starts to boil, stir and turn off the heat, keep stirring and remove from heat once it’s thickened. Add in your milk, ground flax and pure maple syrup (or whatever sweetener you choose) and stir to combine. Pour into individual bowls and serve while warm. We like to dip a piece of whole wheat toast in our oatmeal too! Yum!

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THE RECIPE:

Everyday Oatmeal
*serves 2

1 c regular rolled oats (quick oats work too)
2 c water

3 Tbsp ground flax
1/4 c pure maple syrup (more or less depending on how sweet you like it)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 c unsweetened almond milk

In a medium saucepan combine oats and water and bring to a boil. Turn heat off and stir until it thickens, about 1 minute, and then remove from heat. Stir in syrup, flax, cinnamon and milk and serve warm in individual bowls. We love to dip in a slice of whole wheat toast.

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Filed under Breakfast, gluten-free, vegan

Almond Butter and Apple Rice Cakes

My kids are on week 2 of summer break and we are loving all of our free, non-scheduled time. We have a couple of things still going, like piano is year-round for our 4 oldest kids, and our ten year old son is doing flag football, plus we have a couple vacations planned, family visiting, cub scout camp, girls camp, swimming lessons later in the summer and our move (just locally, but still, a move is a move and it’s a big deal when you’re packing up and moving 7 human beings). After writing that out, it doesn’t sound very unscheduled anymore but it still feels better when you don’t have school on weekdays. We are currently visiting Bryce and Grand Canyon, doing some hiking and camping in a tipi :). Aren’t I good for posting this while I’m on vacation?! No, I don’t bring my computer on vacations, I actually wrote this post last week and scheduled it to post today, which is something I do when we have a lot going on, which seems like always :). Anyway, let’s get onto our recipe for the day which is a super fast, simple and nutritious snack food that I love and eat regularly.

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Plain rice cakes, the ones where the only ingredient listed is, ‘whole grain brown rice’, are one of those foods that I always have on hand. You can buy a pack for $2-$3 and it comes with 14 cakes which is pretty inexpensive.

I like to cover my rice cake with a tablespoon of almond butter (my kids use peanut butter) and then top it with either some carob chips or very thin apple slices, which is something my little sister recently taught me(and I’ve heard banana slices are good too). I love the salty/sweet combination along with the crunchy rice cake. I often have this for a late afternoon snack, or in the morning if I’m going for a long run (more than 6 miles…otherwise I just drink water and make my green smoothie when I get home). I’ve even started making my own almond butter since I got my new Blendtec Twister jar, and it’s super easy and fast. It literally take less than 1 minute to make your own nut butter and that time includes getting the nuts out and grinding them up. But I’ll save that recipe for another post :). I hope you enjoy this fast, simple, and tasty snack!

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THE RECIPE:

Almond Butter and Apple Rice Cakes
*serves 1

1 brown rice cake
1 Tbsp almond butter (or peanut butter)
4 thin apple slices

Spread 1 Tbsp almond butter on a rice cake and top with 4, thin apple slices. Enjoy!

*this is a great snack or pre/post -workout food; I eat this before a long run

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Filed under gluten-free, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers, vegan

Roasted Beets

I eat a lot of salads in the summer but they can get boring after awhile if you don’t mix things up. Roasted, sliced beets make for a nice addition. Roasting the beets is super simple: just cover in tinfoil and bake in a hot oven for about an hour. Once that’s done, slip the skins off and slice the beets into quarters and then slice those quarters thin and throw them on any green salad. I like to pair my beet salad with a vinaigrette, poppy seed  or sweet/fruit dressing along with some sunflower seeds and sliced onion. By the way, beets will make your hands dark pink, along with everything you’re using to prepare them with (cutting board, knife etc), so handle them with care and try not to get it on your clothes.

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Roasted Beets

2 medium beets
tin foil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wrap the beets in foil and roast for 40-60 minutes or until you can pierce them easily with a fork. Allow the beets to cool a little and then slip off the skins and slice the beets into quarters and then into thinner slices if you like.

I love to add these to all different salads. One of my favorites is romaine lettuce and spinach, sunflower seeds, sliced red onion with these beet slices and a fruity or vinagrette dressing to top it off.

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Filed under Salads, vegan, vegetarian

Healthy Candy Bars

My sister and her family are traveling from Idaho to stay with us this weekend which we’re all very excited about! In anticipation for their stay, we made these super yummy, gluten-free and vegan candy bars that are sweetened with pure maple syrup and dates. They truly are amazing! And you store them in the freezer which means they are cold and so the perfect summer treat!

2016-06-07 10.12.16I found this recipe in Gwyneth Paltrow’s cook book and made a couple of small changes. She has you store them in the fridge, but my kids will only eat them if they’re straight out of the freezer (otherwise the bottom is too soft and they don’t like that consistency when combined with the harder chocolate/carob shell on top). The one down side to these bars is that you can’t throw this together in half hour. You have to allow it time to chill. I either make them in the morning or early afternoon so that they’re ready for dinner, or I’ll put them together in the evening and let them sit in the freezer overnight to have another day. And because they’re a frozen treat, you can enjoy them for a long time…if you can stand the temptation of them sitting in your freezer, just waiting to be eaten, that is :).

In your food processor, grind the raw cashews to a very fine meal. Add the dates and process together. Add almond butter, maple syrup, coconut flour, shredded coconut(or in my case, I used all shredded coconut and no flour…kinda turns into a flour as you mix anyway), and extract and pulse until it is a sticky ball of dough. Line a 9×13 dish with parchment paper and press the mixture into the paper. You can put a little oil or water on your hands to keep it from sticking too much. Stick it in your fridge.

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While it’s chilling, combine the chocolate or carob chips and coconut oil in a stainless steel or glass bowl and set over a pot of simmering water (make sure the water does not touch the bowl…I just did this in my veggie steaming pan with a glass dish sitting on the steamer).

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Stir the mixture until it’s just melted, remove the bowl from the heat and pour the chocolate mixture over the cold cashew mixture.

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Return to fridge and let it cool until the chocolate coating is set, about 1/2 hour. Cut into rectangles and then using the parchment paper, lift the bars out of the sheet pan.

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Put in airtight container, separated by sheets of parchment paper if stacking, and freeze overnight (or for at least 3 hours).

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THE RECIPE:

Healthy Candy Bars –  Vegan and Gluten-Free; lightly adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s, ‘Candy Bars!’ recipe
*makes about 20 bars

1 1/2 c raw cashews
1 1/2 c dates, pitted 12 dates
1/2 c almond butter
1/2 c pure maple syrup
1/2 c coconut flour (I just ground my dried coconut in blender…so really I just did 1 c unsweetened coconut flakes)
1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp almond (or vanilla) extract

1 1/2 c dark chocolate chips or carob chips
1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil

Grind the cashews to a very fine meal in a food processor. Add the dates and process together. Add almond butter, maple syrup, coconut flour, shredded coconut, and extract and pulse until it is a sticky ball of dough. Line a 9×13 dish with parchment paper and press the mixture into the paper. You can put a little oil or water on your hands to keep it from sticking too much. Put in the refrigerator.While that’s chilling, combine the chocolate or carob chips and coconut oil in a stainless steel or glass bowl and set over a pot of simmering water (make sure the water does not touch the bowl). Stir the mixture until it’s just melted, remove the bowl from the heat and pour the chocolate mixture over the cold cashew mixture. Return to fridge and let it cool until the chocolate coating is set, about 1/2 hour. Cut into rectangles and then using the parchment paper, lift the bars out of the sheet pan. Put in airtight container, separated by sheets of parchment paper if stacking, and freeze overnight (or for at least 3 hours).

*These bars need to set up in the freezer for at least 3 hours, so plan ahead.

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Filed under Desserts, gluten-free, vegan

Shortbread Cookies

Life is always busy when you have 5 kids at home, but these past couple of weeks in particular have been insanely busy! No free time whatsoever, except when I exercise and read scriptures from 5-7am in the mornings, and when I sleep at night. So that means I did not read my book club book this month and it means that I am a day late getting this post out. I apologize and I am praying things will get to a more manageable pace here pretty soon…it is the kids last week of school so hopefully that will help…or maybe it’ll make things worse “:). Only time will tell :). Until things calm down, I am going to do my best to stay on top of these weekly posts, but if I’m a day late, please bear with me.

I found a similar recipe for these shortbread cookies in Alicia Silverstone’s cookbook called the Kind Diet, and I just tweaked a couple of things and this is a recipe we love and have made for years. The cookie itself is not super sweet which I love, but still satisfies your sweet craving. When you add the carob or chocolate chip coating it definitely ups the sweet flavor, but it’s still not going to be sweet like a frosted sugar cookie. About half the time I make these just plain, with no dipping so they are great both ways.

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil(will have to melt your coconut oil if it’s not liquid), syrup, vanilla, and water. Add the flours, baking powder and salt and stir together with a wooden spoon.

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Roll the dough out into 1/2 inch thickness between 2 sheets of parchment paper (this helps prevent sticking).

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Use cookie cutters to cut the dough into desired shapes.

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Arrange cookies on the prepared baking sheet (can cook them on the parchment paper on the baking sheet), and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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We made some into hearts for Valentine’s Day :). See how festive you can be, all the while eating healthily :).

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Now, these cookies are great just as is, or if you’re wanting something a little sweeter, you can make a chocolate/carob sauce to dip your cookies in halfway by combining  chocolate chips, syrup and oil in the top of a double boiler(I usually put a small glass dish in the top of my steaming veggies pan) and place over simmering water and melt ingredients and stir until smooth . Then dip each cookie halfway into the chocolate sauce and place on a sheet of wax or parchment paper. Let sit on counter for about 15 minutes (or in fridge to speed process), until hardened.

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And they are ready to eat! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

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Shortbread Cookies
*makes about 2 dozen

1/2 c coconut oil, melted
2/3 c maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp water
1 1/2 c whole white wheat flour
1 1/2 c spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt

Optional Chocolate Coating:
1 1/2 c carob or chocolate chips
1/3 c maple syrup
2 Tbsp coconut oil, or butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, syrup, vanilla, and water. Add the flours, baking powder and salt and stir together with a wooden spoon. Roll the dough out into 1/2 inch thickness between 2 sheets of parchment paper (this helps prevent sticking). Use cookie cutters to cut the dough into desired shapes. Arrange cookies on the prepared baking sheet (can cook them on the parchment paper on the baking sheet), and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Instructions for Optional Chocolate Coating:
While cookies are cooling, combine the chocolate chips, syrup and oil in the top of a double boiler(I usually put a small glass dish in the top of my steaming veggies pan) and place over simmering water and melt ingredients and stir until smooth . Dip each cookie halfway into the chocolate sauce and place on a sheet of wax or parchment paper. Let sit on counter for about 15 minutes (or in fridge to speed process), until hardened.

 

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Filed under Desserts, vegan