Chocolate Chunk Energy Bites… with a surprise ingredient!

Guess what these energy bites are made of?! Primarily CHICKPEAS! Who would have thought?

Chickpeas are a low fat alternative to use in many recipes. Chickpeas are also a great plant-based source of protein, fibre, B vitamins, and iron. Tonight I am hosting a class on this Versatile Bean at our Sobeys Stratford. This is one of the few recipes I came up with to demonstrate this little bean’s great versatility! More recipes will be coming your way after our class.

chocolate chunk energy bites

Ingredients (Makes ~ 24 small bites):

  • 1 ½ cups canned unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup natural almond butter
  • 3 tbsp natural honey
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 1/3 cup oat flour (gluten-free Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 70% cacao dark chocolate chunks

 

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine the rinsed/drained chickpeas, almond butter, honey, cinnamon powder, and vanilla.
  2. Process these ingredients until completely combined into a thick puree.
  3. Using a spatula, scrap the mixture from your food processor into a large mixing bowl.
  4. In the large mixing bowl, add the oats (a small amount at a time) and mix in thoroughly.
  5. Next add the maple syrup and mix.
  6. Finally, add your flour. Add ¼ cup at a time with regular mixing. (It is difficult to combine so the smaller amount at a time, the better).
  7. Fold in your dark chocolate chunks.
  8. Form the mixture into bite sized bites and place in the refrigerator for storage.
  9. Eat chilled and enjoy 🙂

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

 *This recipe is a low carbohydrate alternative to regular pizza dough.  It can also be made gluten-free.*

TIP: If you do not want to end up eating your pizza with a fork and knife, I recommend going light on the cheese or cooking both sides of the crust before doing your toppings. How? Cook the crust for ~10-15 minutes until browning and then use a plate to remove the crust from the parchment paper. Slide/place the cauliflower crust back on the parchment paper so that the bottom side is now turned up. Bake for ~10-15 minutes again until this side is browning. After both sides are baked – add your toppings and put in the oven one last time.

cooked final pizza
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Crust Cook time: 10-15 mins (more if you are cooking both sides)
Total time: ~40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of fresh or frozen cauliflower florets (500g)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan (from container)
  • 2 tbsp spelt flour (or gluten-free flour of choice.. e.g. almond meal)
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • ¼ tsp ground sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cheese cloth

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. Place the chopped cauliflower florets in the food processor. Pulse for approximately 30 seconds until the cauliflower resembles snow.
  3. Place the ground cauliflower in the microwave-safe container. Microwave for 3 minutes covered.
  4. Remove from the microwave and allow to cool.
  5. Place cauliflower on the cheese cloth and ring out as much water as you possibly can. (Squeeze as hard as you can! The more water removed the better your crust will turn out).
  6. When finished removing the water, place the cauliflower in a large mixing bowl.
  7. Add every ingredient except for the egg. Mix.
  8. Add the egg last and stir until the mixture is fully blended together.
  9. When evenly combined, spread and pack down the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make into your desired shape.
  10.  Bake for ~10-15 minutes until browning. Remove from the oven.
  11.  Add your favourite pizza sauce, toppings, and whatever your heart desires!
  12.  Bake for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy 🙂

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Baked Spicy Sweet Potato Fries with a Vegan Southwest Style Dip

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For this recipe I used the Japanese Sweet Potato (reddish skin with yellow inside). The Japanese sweet potato has slightly lower carbohydrate content than the yam (orange inside). Therefore, this makes the Japanese sweet potato a bit more diabetic friendly than its competitor…it also has a slow carbohydrate release time. Sweet potatoes are packed with fibre, beta carotenoids, and vitamin A. Be sure to cook your potato fries with the SKIN ON! The skin of fruits and vegetables pack the highest nutrient content.

Fries – What you will need:

  • 4 medium-large sized sweet potatoes (more if desired)
  • olive oil
  • ground sea salt
  • ground pepper
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • optional: chili flakes

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
  2. Scrub and wash your potatoes. Creat a few holes with a fork in each potato. In a microwave safe dish, microwave your potatoes for 3-4 minutes with 1/4 cup of water just to soften them. (This saves cook time and makes for easier slicing).
  3. Remove potatoes from microwave once they have been slightly softened. Cut into French fry sized slices.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread your fries evenly on the sheet.
  5. Drizzle your fries with olive oil, sprinkle with chili powder, ground pepper, garlic powder, and sea salt.
  6. Place them in the oven to bake for approximately 40-50 minutes (until browning). Regularly mix the fries around using a spatula. If you like your fries crispy, place them on broil for the last 5-10 minutes! Keep your eyes on them during this time to prevent burning! 🙂
  7. Give them a taste and add more spices, salt and pepper as desired.

Serve with my Southwest Vegan Mayo Dip (it’s SO good!)

Vegan Southwest Mayonnaise:

  • 1 cup Vegenaise (vegan mayonnaise)
  • 2 tbsp plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp Bragg’s Apple cider vinegar
  •  1/2 tbsp chili powder (add more to taste if needed)
  • 1 tsp cumin (add more to taste if needed)
  • 1/2-1 tbsp minced garlic
  • ground pepper
  • ground salt
  • pinch of paprika to taste

Directions: Mix all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Add more spice to suit your taste buds (increase the chili, cumin, and paprika as desired… Be careful with too much paprika as it can be overpowering!) *store the dip in the fridge if you are not using it immediately.*

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Gluten-Free)

Got a cookie craving?? TRY THESE OUT. They are a huge hit fresh, warm, and gooey out of the oven. Also, delicious from cold storage in the fridge! I made these gluten-free. However, if you do not need to use gluten free oats/flour you can substitute for regular oats/oat flour/all purpose flour.

BUT!!! Do NOT substitute out the almond butter. The almond butter MAKES IT!

Another tip, don’t cheap out on the dark chocolate. Choose a good quality dark chocolate bar (at least 55% cacao) because these cookies will be drooling with dark chocolate when they’re done!

vegan-chocolate-chunk1

Ingredients: 

Wet Ingredients:

  • ½ cup natural smooth almond butter
  • ¼ cup + 3.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp unrefined Nutiva coconut oil, melted to liquid form (allow to cool before using)

Dry ingredients:

  • ½ cup gluten-free quick cooking rolled oats
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp gluten-free oat flour (**TIP at bottom of post**)
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ¼ cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 100g (1 bar) Camino 55% dark chocolate, chopped into pieces/chunks (or dark chocolate bar of choice)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients one at a time with mixing. Stir until completely combined.
  3. Begin to stir in the dry ingredients to the same mixing bowl one at a time until thoroughly combined.
  4. Chop up your chocolate bar into chunks. Fold into the mixture.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Form your cookies into desired size (small or large). Note! They will spread out a lot while cooking! See below photo of the original tiny size I made mine.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes on 350F (or until the edges are browning).
  8. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

vegan-chocolate-chunk-pre-cooked

UMMMM helloooo yum… look at the centre of how this cookie turned out… *drool*

vegan-chocolat-echunk

**Tip: Make your own oat flour by blending oats in your vitamix, blender, bullet, etc.*

Banana Nut Bread (Low Carb, made with coconut flour!

This recipe makes ~9 large slices/servings. It is packed with wholesome ingredients and healthy fats to keep you satisfied longer!

banana nut bread.jpg

Ingredients: 

  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium-sized bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup natural almond butter
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (0% m.f.)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup rye flour (or other flour of choice, gluten-free all purpose, almond flour, etc)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon (I like using a lot for flavour!)
  • 2 packets of stevia
  • Touch of ground sea salt
  • Optional: add pecans, almonds, dark chocolate chips, or what ever suits your tastes buds. Note: I calculated the nutrition information based on adding pecans.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the four eggs and whisk to combine.
  3. Begin to add in the other wet ingredients and continue mixing by hand.
  4. Slowly start to add dry ingredients to the bowl with regular mixing. You can combine quickly using your mixer but, do not over mix as the bread will become gummy.
  5. Optional: if you adding additional nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, or fruit, begin to fold them into the batter at this time.
  6. Spray a baking loaf pan with coconut oil, and pour mix in. Ensure it is all evenly distributed.
  7. Bake for ~50 minutes until browning. Use a sharp knife to assess whether it is cooked fully through the centre by poking within.
  8. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy! P.S. as you can see from my below photo I sprinkled the top of our banana bread with pure maple sugar from FarmBoy!

Nutrition Facts per serving:

Calories: 216 cal Fat: 11 g Protein: 7g Net Carbs: 13 g

banana nut bread 2.jpg

Ranch Dip (you can whip it up in under 10 minutes!)

Whip this easy vegan ranch dip up for SuperBowl Sunday… A much healthier alternative than the other cream dressings you find on the market. It also is quick and easy to make. Preparation time is under 10 minutes! Woohoo! 

Why not give it a try?

Ranch Dip Ingredients:
1 cup Vegenaise (or vegan mayonnaise of choice)
1/8 cup plain almond milk, unsweetened
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp parsley
1 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped finely
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Directions: Combine ingredients one at a time in a bowl and mix!

vegan-ranch-dressing

Pair with fresh cut veggies, my cauliflower buffalo bites recipe, crackers, whatever you fancy!

Spicy Cauliflower “Wings” with a Ranch Dip (The perfect Superbowl Snack to keep you on track)

(Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly, Sugar-Free)

cauliflower-buffalo-wings-2

Looking for a healthier snack to make for Superbowl Sunday?? Stay on track with your diet by snacking on these cauliflower “wings”! OMG they are so delicious…. and the ranch dip….omg again.  Adjust the amount of hot sauce used to suit the level of spice you can tolerate. I made them for staff and customers at our Sobeys today and they were a HUGE hit. Many found it so hard to believe it’s actually cauliflower.

Additionally, these guys are BAKED not fried. Let me know how you like them…

For the Cauliflower Wings:

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of a small/medium cauliflower, broken into large chunks (wing size)
  • ½ cup Silk unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free White Rice Flour (or gluten-free flour of choice)
  • ¾ tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup frank’s red hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance vegan original butter spread

Instructions

  1. Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or grease very well with oil. Preheat your oven to 425-450 F depending on your oven.
  2. Wash and cut cauliflower head into bite sized pieces/florets.
  3. Mix the nut milk/water/flour and spices in a medium mixing bowl (set aside the hot sauce and butter for later). Mix until the batter is thick and is able to coat the cauliflower without dripping.
  4. Dip the cauliflower in the batter. You can do this one by one or in batches. shake off excess batter before placing cauliflower on the baking sheet. Lay the cauliflower single layer on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, flipping the florets over half way through to get all sides golden brown and crispy.
  6. While the cauliflower is baking, get your buffalo wing sauce ready. In a small saucepan on low heat melt earth balance “butter” and mix in the hot sauce. Remove from the heat just as it starts to melt. Stir together and set aside.
  7. When the cauliflower is done its first bake in the batter, remove them from the oven and put all the baked florets into a mixing bowl with the wing sauce and toss to coat evenly. Return cauliflower to baking sheet and bake in the oven for another 20-25minutes. Broil for the last 5 minutes to improve crunchiness!
  8. While this is baking, start mixing up your quick and easy vegan ranch dip. It’s so delicious!

For the Ranch Dip:
1 cup Vegan Mayonnaise (Vegenaise)
1/8 cup Silk unsweetened original almond milk
2 tsp Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
1 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator until consumption.
  2. Use for dipping for your “wings”, vegetables, chips, what ever you desire!

cauliflower-buffalo-wings-1