Healthy Treats, Snacks

Raspberry Bliss Bars

IMG_2809

It feels like it’s been awhile since I’ve last posted a recipe! We are currently riding into our second week of spring break and enjoying ever minute of it-the absence of rushing to get from point A to point B, not having to pack lunches or worry about who’s having what for breakfast or even eating it!  Breaking from our busy schedule means I’ve with drawn form my work as well. As much as I love my job, my kids are my number one priority- we only have them for a small window of time before their adulting on their own (hopefully)…..I don’t know about you but my kids seem to grow at a rapid rate!! 😉

Enough of that, how about these bars??

IMG_2774

The bits of cashew along with little bits of raspberry, all held together with sweet gooey dates….

IMG_2776

I find these little energy bars to be very indulgent. Their packed with antioxidants, fibre, plant protein, vitamins and minerals. They are also cheaper than their store bought counter part!

These bars are fairly easy to make. If you have dates, nuts/seeds, you can turn it into a number of plant based desserts/snacks- energy bites, energy bars, pie crust, crumble, gooey filling, raw muesli…etc. Just add in a few extras to turn it into something fabulous!

To start the process, I like to grind the nuts/ seeds into a type of nut/seed meal until it looks like this…

IMG_2680

Next, I add in the chewy/dried fruit such as dates and raisins along with the raspberry extract and a pinch of sea salt. Then, process until it forms a gooey dough.

IMG_2699

I added in the   freeze dried raspberries* last so that they wouldn’t turn to dust in the bars. I wanted keep some of their form so that you can see and taste the berries.

Once your mixture has come together nicely, place it in an 8X8 inch baking pan that is lined with parchment paper. Next, with clean/slightly damp hands, press the mixture out to the edges making sure that it is even.

IMG_2731

You can cover the mixture with an extra piece of parchment paper to help smooth it out even more. Leave the mixture covered and place in the freezer for 4 hours or over night. These bars are better if kept in the freezer until they are ready to be eaten. If you want these bars to be “shelf stable” and lunch kit worthy, use less dates (3/4 cup of packed) instead of the full amount. And to make them nut free, you can use sunflower seeds or a mix of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds instead of the cashews.

Once the bars have firmed up, cut into 10 bars-feel free to cut them up smaller for younger children because these can be quite filling.

IMG_2766

Don’t worry if yours don’t turn out perfectly formed……mine never do. I usually cut off the odd looking edges and they end up becoming samples for the kids that happen to be watching and drooling during the whole process 😉

IMG_2768

A note about the berries….. if you’ve clicked on the highlighted area, you’ve probably noticed that they aren’t cheap! A bag will last for three to four batches of these bars though. Also, I’ve found that if you buy in multiples, they are cheaper.

IMG_2715

Raspberry Bliss Bars

Serving: 10 bars

Time: 5 minutes plus freezing time

Ingredients:

1 cup pitted dates, packed

3/4 cup raw unsalted cashews

1/2 cup raisins

1/8-1/4 cup freeze dried raspberries*

1 tsp pure raspberry extract*

Pinch of sea salt

Instructions:

1. Place cashews into a food processor and process until it turns into a crumbly mixture, about 30 seconds.

2. Add in your dates, raisins, raspberry extract and sea salt. Then, process until mixture forms a gooey dough, about 30-60 seconds.

3. Add in your freeze dried raspberries and pulse for 20 seconds. If there are bits of raspberries that haven’t made their way into the mixture, mix them in by hand when taking the “dough” out and into the lined baking dish.

4. With clean/ lightly damp hands, press the formed mixture in the middle, spreading it out evenly to the edges.

5. Cover and place in the freezer for 4 hours or leave in over night.

Tip:

To make these bars nut free, sub the cashews with your favorite seeds or a combination of seeds. You can also add in 1/8- 1/4 cup of rolled oats for a firmer bar.

Enjoy 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

Advertisements
Breakfast, Healthy Treats

Vanilla Chia Pudding

 

This pudding recipe is an absolute winner in our household!! Those of you with multiple children that can’t seem to synchronize their taste buds will understand how victorious it is when everyone, including a picky husband ( singing praises that mine isn’t),  can come together and say “this is great, can I have more?”…..someone cue the Hallelujah chorus. Ahhh, feels great, doesn’t it? These are the moments we live for, they are the moments that keep us from going insane 😉

This recipe was adapted from my chocolate chia pudding which is also a winner but I was looking for a little variety.

IMG_1189

Vanilla Chia pudding is so versatile. You can dress it up or down with whatever you have on hand- fruit, nuts, seeds, coconut or you can even add in a nut or seed butter.

This pudding was turned into a delicious breakfast treat for Valentines Day. And of course I had to add some red and pink to it. To me, it tasted like I was eating strawberries and whipped cream…….who wouldn’t want that for breakfast? ♥♥ 🙂

IMG_1316

 

Vanilla Chia Pudding

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsps of chia seeds

1 1/2 cups of full fat coconut milk

1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite milk alternative, we used organic non GMO soy milk

4 Tbsps of pure maple syrup or 3-4 tsps. of Stevia to sweeten

1 1/4 tsp of pure vanilla

pinch of sea salt

 

Instructions:

Place chia seeds and stevia, if using, into a medium sized glass bowl (with a lid) or large mason jar. Then add your milk, vanilla, maple syrup and sea salt.

Next, stir to combined. Make sure there aren’t any clumps of chia seeds. Let it sit for a half an hour and then stir again. Repeat this one more time, this will ensure there is an even consistency. If left without being stirred, the chia seeds tend to for clump together at the top, leaving some of the liquid at the bottom or vice versa. If using a mason jar, place the lid on it and give it a shake a couple times instead.

Place in the fridge for 3-6 hours or make ahead the night before if you are wanting to make this for breakfast.

If your pudding turns out a little thinner than you’d prefer, add 1-2 tsp of chia seeds until desired thickness. Be sure to wait a bit because it takes a little while for the seeds to plump up. If your pudding ends up being too thick, add milk of choice until desired consistency.

 

Hope you enjoy!!

IMG_1209

 

Drinks

MORINGA TEA LATTE

IMG_0147

What Is Moringa Anyway?

Moringa is a small tree, also known as a “Miracle Tree” or   “Horseradish Tree”. This tree comes from India and parts of it have been used to help certain ailments for many years. The best quality brands are the ones that try to retain as much of the nutrients in moringa as possible. To do this, the leaves are kept raw by gently drying them. They are then ground up into a fine powder-this is what to look for at your local health foods store.

IMG_0252

 

Moringa’s  Health Benefits

Like chlorella and cilantro, moringa produces phytochelatins. In a study with rats and mice, theses phytochelatins helped to bind up heavy metals. In chlorella, these phytochelatins are also known to clean up heavey metals in bodies of water.Until further research is done on humans………it’s a wonder if they’ll have the same affect in us?

However, we do know that moringa is a great source of non-heme iron. In just 6 grams or 2 teaspoons, it contains 15% of your daily recommended intake. It’s also a great source of vitamin A,E and C which are also antioxidants. At 10% a serving, moringa a great source of calcium as well.

With 2 grams of protein and 1 gram of fibre ( per serving),on top of all the other nutritional value, makes this a food supplement worthy of a try!

IMG_0148

Moringa Tea Latte

INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup of preferred milk alternative ( unsweetened). I use Silk organic soy milk in this recipe for taste and texture.

1/4 cup of boiled water

3 Medjool dates, pitted

1/4 tsp of pure vanilla extract

1 tsp of moringa leaf powder

1 tsp of coconut sugar (optional)

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place dates and boiled water into a blender and let them soak for a couple minutes. Heat milk while dates are soaking. Then, add the rest of your ingredients, including milk, into the blender. Blend on low for 20 seconds and then on medium/high for another 20 seconds.

If you don’t like as much froth in your latte, blend for less time.

CHEERS!

 

 

 

 

 
Drinks, Healthy Treats, Smoothies

Chocolate Mint Green Smoothie

This Month has been jam packed with activities and events and yet it seems like we we’re just starting the first week of December. I find my self wanting December to slow down. If you’ve already been to a few Christmas parties or family gatherings, you might be like me and you’ve over done it a little…..or a lot!!

After eating a few too many of the things I don’t normally eat, I decided my digestive system needed a little siesta! But I still wanted to enjoy some of the holiday flavours…….that is when this green, healthy holiday smoothie, was birthed.

 

Chocolate Mint Green Smoothie

Chocolate Mint Green Smoothie

Recipe:

 

Chocolate Sauce:

1/2 Cup plus 1 Tbsp of preferred milk alternative

1/4 Cup  medjool dates, pitted and soaked

2 Tbsp good quality cocoa powder

1/2 tsp Pure vanilla

Pinch of sea salt

 

For the Smoothie:

2 Cups Baby Spinach, washed

1 Cup preferred milk alternative

4 Medjool Dates, pitted

1/2 Frozen banana

3-4 Mint leaves

1/8 pure peppermint extract or 1-2 drops of food grade peppermint oil

Small handful of raw pumpkin seeds (optional)

 

Instructions:

Prepare the chocolate sauce first. If you don’t have a high speed  blender, soak your dates for two hours in the milk that you’ll be using. If you’re pressed for time, you can soak the dates in boiling water for 15-30 minutes, be sure to drain the excess water afterwards. Place all your ingredients for the chocolate sauce into a high speed blender or you can use a hand held blender and blend until mixture is smooth. Pour into a small bowl, set aside and rinse your blender.

For the smoothie, place all your ingredients into your blender, adding the milk last and blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until your smoothie is well blended.

Add a tablespoon of the chocolate sauce to the bottom of a medium glass. If you want, you can add some of the chocolate sauce to the top of the glass and let it drip down into the glass if you’re feeling a little creative. Then, pour in the green smoothie and drizzle a little extra chocolate on top if you’d like 🙂

 

Hope you enjoy this little healthy indulgence!

 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

 

Drinks

Dairy Free “Egg” Nog

IMG_9543

Egg nog is one of those things that you either love it or hate it. I’m one of the nog lovers but wouldn’t drink it any time other than during Christmas. Next to candy canes, mandarin oranges and short bread, eggnog is apart of the holiday flavours even if your aren’t fan.

The first Christmas after I went dairy free, it dawned on me that I wasn’t going to be able to have any egg nog-this was almost a year after I went dairy free and was only realizing this now because who thinks about egg nog before Dec.? I’m sure there a few die hard fans out there 😉

After trying some of the dairy free versions, I felt that they kind of tasted a little meh. Don’t get me wrong there are a couple that I don’t mind…..thing is, I don’t consider them to be a health food which is fine if your only going to have it a couple times a year. Plus, I’m always looking for a way to make it better, fresher and with more nutrient value.

So, after completely turning my kitchen into a post tornado scene………

IMG_9502

 

I’ve come up with something that I’m pretty pleased with.

IMG_9503

Dairy Free “Egg” Nog

 Ingredients:

1/4 -1/2 cup (depending on desired thickness)  raw unsalted cashews, soaked

1/4 cup pitted dates, packed and soaked

1 cup full fat coconut milk

1 1/2- 2 cups of preferred milk alternative

1 tsp pure vanilla

3/4 tsp of good quality ground nutmeg (it makes a big difference)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

Pinch of sea salt (optional)

 

Directions:

Soak cashews and dates in separate bowls for at least an hour. If you are using a high speed blender, you can skip this step. Place your cashews, dates, vanilla and 1/4 cup of the milk into a blender and blend on low until fully combined. Then, add in your spices and sea salt, if using, along with the rest of the milk and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. And your done!

This drink is best if served fresh. It does tend thicken up after being in the fridge for several hours. If you’d like, you can add a bit more of the milk (not coconut milk) if you’d like to thin it out a bit. You can also add fewer cashews if you prefer a thinner “egg” nog.

Cheers!