Tag Archives: snacks

Sour Cream n’ Onion Kale Chips

Looking for a sure-to-win way of getting more greens into your family’s diet? Well, try these kale chips! This crunchy and savoury snack conquers any mean craving for a potato chip. Guaranteed.

sour cream n'onion kale chips

Our family has been making these kale chips for the past few years now. So addictive. Seriously. Just try stopping at one. And, just to brag a little, these chips have been kid-approved by all the little people who have ventured through our house. 🙂

You’ll find this recipe in Brendan Brazier’s book Whole Foods to Thrive: Nutrient-Dense, Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health. Another kale favourite of mine from the same book is Brendan’s Quick Kale and Avocado Salad.

If you don’t own the book, you’ll find the recipe here. We make our chips in my Excalibur dehydrator, but the oven works just as well. The recipe is perfect. In my last batch (pictured above), I added a small handful of hemp seeds – just to kick this nutrient-dense snack up a notch. I also doubled the recipe.

Tried another kale chip recipe that you love? There really are some great recipes out there. Care to share your favourite? We have a wonderful supply of organic and local kale in our stores right now. I’m wanting to make me some more!

 

Summertime Guacamole

Angela Liddon's Strawberry-Mango Guacamole

Angela Liddon definitely knows how to tempt your taste buds. I bought her cookbook, The oh she glows Cookbook: Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Outshortly after its release in early March of this year. One of my best cookbook purchases to date.

If you don’t own this book, I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy. With every page turn, you’ll find yourself blurting, “ooh – I gotta make that!”. Like the inside cover states, Whether you are a vegan, “vegan-curious”, or you simply want to eat delicious food that just happens to be healthy, this cookbook is a must-have for anyone who longs to eat well, feel great, and simply glow!

Over 90 recipes in Angela’s book are gluten-free while many are free of common food allergens, like soy, nuts, sugar and grains.  I could make a serious long list of our family favourites, but here are a few dishes that we just can’t get enough of this summer: chakra caesar salad with nutty herb croutons (these croutons are to-die-for!), perfected chickpea salad sandwich (ideal for picnics and long days on the water), sweet potato and black bean enchiladas with avocado-cilantro cream sauce, and our favourite veggie burger.

Another family favourite is Angela’s glowing strawberry-mango guacamole. 🙂

For Canada Day this year, the girls and I spent a wonderful afternoon with family and friends at my sister and brother-in-law’s house. With strawberries at their peak (and Angela Liddon being Canadian and all), I decided to take this guacamole to share poolside. The temperature outside was a balmy 32 degrees C and we were in need of light, fruity and refreshing fare. You know…something to go nicely with my sister’s Canada Day Sangria.

This guacamole was definitely a crowd-pleaser.

For your next social gathering I suggest that you get yourself some sweet strawberries, a succulent mango, fresh cilantro, a lime and a couple of ripe avocados and make this appetizer. Your friends will love you forever. (And you’ll love yourself even more if you reserve a half a cup for sole snacking later in the day…just a thought).

You may also want to consider treating yourself and your family to this cookbook. Angela’s beautiful and mouth-watering photographs will have you licking your lips and begging for more wholesome, plant-based foods.  mmmm – so many dishes and so little time.  You just gotta laugh when asked, “you’re a gluten-free, vegan? what do you eat?“.

 

Maple-Glazed Apples (with spiced non-dairy yogurt and buckwheat granola)

I rose this morning to a beautiful winter’s day and to the sweet sound of my 10 year-old strumming “Jingle Bells” on her guitar. Ahhh, I am so thrilled she loves to practise. 😉

Over a hot cup of chai tea, I decided to go through my binder of old recipes. I came across this one which I thought was a perfect dish for celebrating our first Sunday of Advent.

maple-glazed apples

I used to make this a few years ago with unsalted butter, non fat yogurt, and a low-fat granola. Like most recipes, this one can easily be made without all the dairy and be just as tasty, if not better.

Today, I used a wee bit of coconut oil, yoso coconut yogurt (a carrageenan-free, non-dairy yogurt), and an adapted version of Laurie Sadowksi’s tasty and wholesome Raw Cacao Buckwheat Granola.  So delicious!

MAPLE-GLAZED APPLES (WITH SPICED NON-DAIRY YOGURT AND BUCKWHEAT GRANOLA)

  • 4 spartan apples, cored, and each cut into 8 slices
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 tablespoon organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup yoso creamy cultured coconut (plain unsweetened) yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat granola

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Place apples, 3 tablespoons of maple syrup and melted coconut oil in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Toss until well coated.

3. Roast apples for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are crisp and tender.

4. Meanwhile, whisk yogurt, spices and remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup in a small bowl.

5. Spoon roasted apples into a shallow bowl. Sprinkle with granola, then drizzle with spiced yogurt.

*Note on the granola: I have made Laurie Sadowski’s granola recipe a few times now and love it. In my latest version of her recipe, I substituted raw almonds for hazelnuts, added dried cranberries, and eliminated the cacao and cacao nibs. My kids enjoy eating a bowl with my homemade almond milk, but I prefer eating the large clumps as an afternoon snack.

As I write this, it’s early afternoon and the snow has been flying since dawn. Our tree is lit (soon to be decorated) and my daughter is busy putting together our advent wreath. My plan is to spend the afternoon pouring over, once again, all the amazing vegan dishes at last month’s Virtual Vegan Potluck. Tonight I will make my final decision and vote for my favourite dish in each category. (December 2 is the last day to vote). Have you checked it out, yet? If not, you must! (uberdish brought a side dish – herbed spaetzle with beet puree!)

Banana-Chai, Chia and Sesame Seed Crackers

I am so excited to share these raw, vegan and gluten-free snacks with you! If you are like me and love a good cup of Chai tea on a chilly November morning, then you will love these slightly sweet and spicy crackers.

banana-chai crackers

BANANA-CHAI, CHIA AND SESAME SEED CRACKERS

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or agave syrup (optional)*
  • 1 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds, soaked for 4 hours and rinsed
  • sea salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper

Using a food processor, blend bananas, spices and syrup. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and add chia seeds, sesame seeds and salt and pepper. Mix well. Pour batter evenly on Paraflexx lined dehydrator trays. Set dehydrator to 112 degrees Celsius and dehydrate for approximately 12 hours.

I served these crackers to my kids this morning for breakfast.  You may want to try pairing a few with a pear and almond smoothie.  🙂

*If you have been following me for some time, you’ll know that I have a tendency to sweeten some of my dishes with pure maple syrup. Maple syrup is one of my choice sweeteners because it is full of vitamins and minerals. I also adore its distinct flavour. I live in the heart of Ontario’s Maple Sugar Capital, so I am very fortunate to have this heavenly sweetener at my fingertips.

However, if you are at all concerned with using maple syrup because of its high glycemic index then you can certainly leave it out. My previous attempts at these crackers did not contain maple syrup or any other sweetener. They were good, but I found that maple syrup highlighted the chai flavour of these crackers perfectly.

Put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

I read this quote not too long ago and I can’t agree with it more.

Last month, we were fortunate enough to abandon our not-so-nice Spring weather and drive nearly 3,000 kilometers to the sunny state of Florida.  I have an aunt that lives in a heavenly nook on the ocean in the Florida Keys.  Knowing we are avid travelers, my aunt has asked us several times to visit her – all the while enticing us with tales of iguanas, alligators, dolphins and some fabulous kayaking.  My husband and I finally decided earlier this Spring that June was the right time to pack up the family and pay my aunt a visit.

One of the first things we noticed when we finally pulled up to my aunt’s home was that she was surrounded by a splendid crop of palms and they were all lush with coconuts – beautiful, green coconuts!

Fresh, young, green coconuts are a true gem.  If you were to crack one open, you would find a nearly clear liquid that is mildly sweet, refreshing and fat-free.  This liquid is called coconut water.  Chock-full of electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants, coconut water is known in the tropics as a “natural sports drink” due to its ability to combat dehydration and heat stroke.  According to Bruce Fife, N.D., in his book Coconut Water for Health and Healing, coconut water has also gained popularity for its amazing “anti-cancer” and “anti-aging” properties.

With temperatures reaching the high 30s (Celsius),  you can imagine our excitement at having so many green coconuts right there within arms’ reach.

With some fruit smoothies and a kayak through the mangroves in mind, my husband, Dan, set out to harvest some coconuts.  This became a ritual each morning we were in the Keys.

Once cut from the tree, Dan would carefully cut off the top of each coconut.

He would then puncture a hole at the top.

The coconut water was finally poured into a large glass. We received nearly 2 cups from every coconut.

You may want to consider adding coconut water to your water bottle before your next outdoor adventure or workout.  Compared to commercial sport drinks and fruit juices, coconut water has far less sugar and contains more electrolytes and nutrients.

However, like most food products,  when choosing a brand of coconut water, it is very important to read the label of the product carefully.  Some brands do contain added sugar, artificial flavourings, and preservatives which make it no better than a flavoured drink.  Look for a brand that is “not from concentrate”.  You should find one in your local health food store and in the natural foods section of your grocery store.  It may cost a little more, but so worth it!

Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman Triathlete and formulator of Vega products, uses coconut water as the base ingredient in many of his sport drinks recipes.  One of our personal favourites is Brazier’s Classic Lemon Lime Sport Drink (from his book, Thrive Fitness).  Along with a full water bottle, my daughter likes to take this drink with her to the ice rink for training.  It’s super easy to make – just blend all ingredients together in a blender.  If you enjoy a sweeter drink, try adding a tablespoon of maple syrup. 😉

  • 2 large Medjool dates
  • 2 cups coconut water
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • juice from 1/4 lime
  • sea salt to taste

sportsdrink

Candied Pumpkin Seeds and Walnuts

This year I struggled with finding something for the men on my Christmas list.  I was tired of wrapping up gloves, ties, motor oil, and aftershave.

I recall back in October, I made a dehydrator full of candied pumpkin seeds.  I really had to stop my husband from devouring them in one sitting. So, this weekend I decided to fill my dehydrator with candied pumpkin seeds and walnut pieces.  The men on my list will each receive a jar full of these crunchy and heavenly sweet snacks.  A healthy gift of good protein, antioxidants, zinc and Omega 3s.

One of my favourite raw food books is “Raw Food Real World” by Mathew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis.  (This book is signed by Sarma herself, having met her at The Seed in NYC last Spring! You see, I don’t get all giddy and star struck over rock stars. Rather, I find myself adolescent-like when I meet vegan chefs!)  I followed Mathew and Sarma’s recipes for candied pumpkin seeds and candied walnuts with a couple of minor alterations.

seeds

CANDIED PUMPKIN SEEDS

  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds, preferably soaked for 4 hours or more, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 maple syrup powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Toss all ingredients very well in a medium bowl.  Spread on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 112 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 24 hours, or until dry and crisp.

If you are using an oven instead of a dehydrator, bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour and a half until dry and crisp.  * Check seeds and walnuts often, as time may vary.

walnuts

CANDIED WALNUTS – follow recipe above

Fill glass jars or containers with candied pumpkin seeds or candied walnuts or a mixture of both.  Reserve a wee bit for yourself, as these nuts and seeds are awesome thrown in a mixed green salad.

Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits and Apple-Date Butter

Sweetened only with maple syrup, these biscuits are a delicious and easy to make accompaniment to any soup, salad, or stew.  Last day, I reserved 1 cup of sweet potato puree (minus the butter, milk and seasonings)  from my Curried Coconut Sweet Potato Soup.  Making your own puree is simple and healthy,  but canned sweet potato puree works well for this recipe, too.

My family loves to smear butter or preserves on their warm biscuits.  Although a spread is certainly not needed, I decided to surprise my family with something different.  I had quite a few organic McIntosh apples in my fridge, so I chose to make apple butter!   This recipe uses a handful of pitted dates instead of sugar.  Dates work wonders in smoothies and baking, so I thought they would go nicely with the stewed apples.  I was right.  The outcome was outstanding!  And…it was made in my crock pot while I was out at the kids’ activities.

SWEET POTATO DROP BISCUITS

  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour*
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthum gum*
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg (I use fresh, grated nutmeg)
  • 2-3 tbsp. water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Stir together mashed sweet potato, coconut oil, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and sea salt in a large bowl.  Combine gluten-free all purpose flour, xanthum gum, baking powder, and ground nutmeg in a separate bowl.  Cut flour mixture into sweet potato mixture with a fork.  Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time,  to hold mixture together.  Drop golf size mix onto baking sheet and bake for approximately 15-17 minutes.  Serve warm with apple-date butter.

*Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour Blend – This recipe comes from a copy of one of my many Living Without magazines.  I purchase the ingredients from a bulk store and make it up in a large container for future baking.  I usually double or triple the recipe to guarantee quick access to the flour when needed.  I suggest copying the recipe and attaching it to your flour container.  Store your flour in the fridge to preserve its freshness.

  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
  • 1/4 cup potato starch

*Xanthum gum keeps your baking from crumbling! Some commercial flour blends contain xanthum or guar gum, so there is no need to add more.

APPLE-DATE BUTTER

  • 7 medium sized apples, cored and quartered (yes, I left the skins on!)
  • one handful of pitted dates
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • about 1/4 cup water

Place all of the above ingredients in a crock pot.  Cook on high for the first hour, then reduce temperature to low for 5 hours.  Puree mixture with a hand-held mixer or, once cooled,  in a food processor.  Serve with warm biscuits.  Leftover apple-date butter can be stored in a glass jar in the fridge.  I plan to use 3 tablespoons as an egg substitute in some future oatmeal and raisin cookies!