Category Archives: Snacks

Snack recipes to fill the hungry time between meals.

Fresh Spring Strawberry Bread

Sliced up and ready to eat.

Sliced up and ready to eat.

Every year, when I was a child, my mom would pull out her recipe for strawberry bread.  This sweet, yummy bread was a sure harbinger of Spring.  Even though my mom used frozen strawberries in her bread,  I seem to remember only eating this treat when fresh strawberries were available.  I loved slathering this bread with a tasty strawberry cream cheese she would make and then dunking it in milk.  While I remember loving this bread, when my mom shared the recipe with me, I decided to make a few tweaks to improve it’s nutritional punch.  (I would still qualify this bread as more of a treat then a nutritional powerhouse!)

Photo by Manchester-Monkey of flickr.

Photo by Manchester-Monkey of flickr.

The original recipe called for 2 cups of white sugar, 1 cup of vegetable oil, frozen strawberries and 3 cups of white flour.  I made some adjustments to these ingredients.  Check out the amended recipe.  I think it has much more to offer nutritionally than the original.

Wet and dry ingredients before mixing.

Wet and dry ingredients before mixing.

Batter after mixing wet and dry ingredients.

Batter after mixing wet and dry ingredients.

Some of the major changes I made to this recipe include:

  • Switching the flour from white to whole wheat and adding ground flax seed and almond meal to the recipe
  • Reducing the total sugar from 2 to 1 cup and replacing the white sugar with coconut sugar
  • Reducing the oil from one cup of vegetable oil to 1/2 cup of coconut oil and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of applesauce
  • Changing from frozen strawberries packed in sugar to fresh strawberries
Batter awaiting the oven to heat up.

Batter awaiting the oven to heat up.

 

Bread right out of the oven.

Bread right out of the oven.

Fresh Spring Strawberry Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup fresh ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup of almond meal
  • 1 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbs of applesauce
  • 1 lb of strawberries, stemmed and chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together.
  3. Make hole in middle of dry ingredients and add strawberries, oil, applesauce and eggs.
  4. Pour batter into a greased and floured pan.
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes, depending on your oven.
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I am satisfied with a not very sweet bread.  If you like a sweeter taste, you might experiment with the amount of sugar you use.

Final product.

Final product.\

Fresh strawberry season is a short one.  Take advantage of the bounty nature is offering and whip yourself up some of this tasty bread.

This post was added to the The Idea Room’sSix Sister’s Stuff, Skip to My Lou Natural Living Monday and Today’s Creative Blog linky party.

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Red Pepper Walnut Spread

Finished Dip ready to eat!

Finished Dip ready to eat!

 

I love hummus as much as the next person but with almost daily consumption, I am starting to get a little tired of it.  I like the idea of a dip that can be a quick snack with carrot sticks or crackers or that can serve as a spread to liven up a sandwich.   The amazing thing about this Red Pepper Walnut Spread is that it can serve all of those purposes.  Within minutes of making it, I had slathered it on crackers, slapped it on carrot sticks and heaped it on pasta for lunch.  Yummy!  (Even though I was too hungry to wait, it was even better the next day when the flavors had time to meld in the fridge!)

Roasting walnuts.

Roasting walnuts.

Ingredients all blended up.

Ingredients all blended up.

 

This spread is a nutritional powerhouse with two cups of omega-3 filled walnuts and 1/4 cup of walnut oil.  It also gets a healthy dose of vitamin A and a mega dose of vitamin C from the red peppers!  Both the red peppers and the walnuts offer a shot of fiber to your diet.  So go ahead, don’t be shy!  Whip some up in your food processor so you can discover for yourself all the different ways you can enjoy this dip!

 

Yum!

Yum!

 

Red Pepper Walnut Spread

This recipe is amazing on thick, hearty crackers. It would also make a great topping for pasta or a filling for a lasagna.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of dry roasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of walnut oil
  • 1 full roasted red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 tbs of lemon juice
  • 2 tsp of honey
  • handful of fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Dry toast walnuts in a large pan. Let cool.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor.
  3. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight to let flavors meld.
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Dark Chocolate Cherry Snack Bars

Finished Bars.

Finished Bars.

 

In our house, I am always looking for the easy grab and go snack for my active family.  As I have moved through this journey towards healthier eating for me and my family, I have been appalled at some of the ingredients listed on food boxes- especially foods marketed towards kids.  My kids love their snack bars so I like to try to develop recipes that appeal to their desire for a bar but without all the extra “special” ingredients of commercial bars.  With these Dark Chocolate Cherry Snack Bars, I think I have scored a winner.

They are crunchy, chewy, chocolaty, nutty mounds of goodness with tons of healthy omega-3′s, protein and other vitamins and minerals.  And best of all they have no “mystery” ingredients that you need a science degree to pronounce!

Chopped and roasted pistachios.

Chopped and roasted pistachios.

In this bar, I have used both quinoa, a seed most people are familiar with and millet, a grain most people aren’t familiar with eating.  (Even though people in Europe have been eating it for centuries, most Americans will only recognize it as one of the ingredients in bird seed.)  I like to add millet to baked goods because it is a gluten free, high protein, high fiber grain that adds a little crunch to whatever I am whipping up.  Millet is high in amino acids, B-complex vitamins including niacin, folate, thiamine, and riboflavin, and is high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and potassium. It also is a good source of calcium and zinc.  However, if the thought of eating “bird food” makes you squeamish or can’t find millet, you can  replace it with quinoa or another of your favorite grains.

Oat mixture before the almond butter.

Oat mixture before the almond butter.

 

Oat mixture combined with the almond butter mixture.

Oat mixture combined with the almond butter mixture.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Snack Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup soaked uncooked old fashion oats
  • 1/4 cup soaked uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup soaked uncooked cup of millet
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup of salted dry roasted pistachios, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup of hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds
  • 1 ounce of dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of almond butter, smooth
  • 6 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Instructions

  1. Soak oats, quinoa and millet for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight- (if you are going to soak).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Drain oats, quinoa and millet and then spread on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake at least 10 minutes but until lightly brown. Stir to break up any clumps that form.
  5. Let cool.
  6. Place oat mixture in a large bowl and add the coconut, cherries, pistachios, flax meal, chocolate and hemp seeds.
  7. Combine the almond butter, coconut oil and maple syrup in a pot.
  8. Bring to a boil. Stirring constantly.
  9. Pour almond mixture over the oat mixture. Stir to combine.
  10. Press mixture into an 8x8 pan greased with coconut oil.
  11. Bake for 13 minutes or until lightly brown.
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Finished product. Yum! Yum!

Finished product. Yum! Yum!

This post is part of a link-up party on Tip Junkie.

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Seven Seed Bars

Photo by Naomii on flickr.

Photo by Naomii on flickr.

One of the major bonuses of being in a Wholistic Nutrition program is having other students and teachers cook for you.  We have shared some seriously tasty meals in the year we have been in school.  In one of our beginning classes, the Wellspring teachers brought a snack bar that has become a stable in our house.  This bar is something I can cook up in a short amount of time and know the boys are getting some good, healthy nutrition in a grab and go package.  These bars do not hang around very long in our house.

Measured quinoa.

Measured quinoa.

 

Roasting macadamias and quinoa.

Roasting macadamias and quinoa.

 

Stirring up some seeded goodness!

Stirring up some seeded goodness!

 

Seven seed bars ready for consumption.

photo 3 (20)

 

Seven Seed Bars

Ingredients

  • ½c quinoa toasted
  • 1 ½c almond butter
  • ½c maple syrup (I don't like mine really sweet, so I often short my 1/2 cup a little.)
  • ½c brown rice syrup or agave (I will also short this a little too.)
  • ¼tsp cardamom
  • ¼tsp cinnamon
  • ½c sunflower seeds toasted
  • ¾c pumpkin seeds toasted
  • ¼c hulled hemp seeds
  • ½c macadamia nuts toasted & chopped
  • ¼c cacao nibs (sometimes I leave these out, depending on if I have them or not)

Instructions

  1. Toast nuts and quinoa in 350 degree oven or on the stove top in a heavy pan.
  2. Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  3. Mix almond butter, syrups and spices.
  4. Add all seeds.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Oil a 9x13 pan and spread batter evenly.
  7. Bake 15 minutes til golden brown.
  8. Cool before slicing.
  9. Stores well in the fridge for about a week but only if they don't all get eaten in the first hour.
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As you can see, these are an amazingly dense bar, packed with nutty nutrition.  These bars offer a high amount of protein in a small package.  Quinoa is a gluten free seed which is an excellent source of vegetarian protein.  It contains eight essential amino acids our body needs to thrive.  One cup has 5 grams of fiber and is an excellent source of manganese, potassium, copper, B6, phosphorous and thiamine.

Almonds have been recommended for years as a quick source of healthy protein.  They contain two essential brain nutrients, the amino acid, l-carnitine and riboflavin.  Both nutrients have been shown to increase brain activity.  Almonds help raise the HDL cholesterol, “good”  cholesterol, and lower the LDL (bad cholesterol) in the body.  They also contain high levels of phosphorous with helps build strong bones and teeth.

Depending on the other nuts or seeds you choose to use in this recipe, you can create a nutritional powerhouse for your own family based on the flavors and textures they enjoy.

This post shared with Gluten Free Homemaker.

 

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