Monday, January 30, 2012

Peanut Buttery Pretzel Granola Bars

Hello there!!

Hope all is well with you today!

Here's a nice and nutritious snack for those times when you're on the go or want to grab something other than that deliciously tempting chocolate chip cookie. We've all had those moments...*looks longingly at cookie*

Lots of protein to keep you satisfied and delicious peanut butter flavour with a hint of banana. 

Not overly sweet but just sweet enough!

These bars are more similar to the texture of a soft cookie bar than that of the average granola bar but that doesn't make then any less of granola bar! 

They're still oat-y and toothsome nonetheless. Just like a granola bar should be ;)

These are made with FOUR bananas which cuts out that unnecessary fat that sometimes find its way into granola. 

Friday has officially been dubbed "Monkey Night" by Caitlin and I. Our local grocer always has a considerably large pile of overripe bananas stocked up every Friday night.

ALSO, once while waiting in line to purchase our overripe bananas a man lines up behind us, also with bananas as his only purchase, and as we turn to see this he says, "Looks like a couple of monkeys are in town." Well Caitlin and I thought this to be quite funny and so ever since then Friday night has been referred to as "Monkey Night."
Here's an exceptionally large pretzel rod that came with the regular sized ones!

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

2 cups toasted Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/2 cup chopped and toasted Salted Peanuts
4 mashed very ripe Bananas
1 cup natural Peanut Butter
1/2 cup chopped Whole Grain or Gluten Free Pretzel
optional: Natural Sweetener to taste

Preheat the oven to 350˚F with the rack in the middle. Lay peanuts and oats in a 9 x 13″ baking dish in a single layer. Bake for about 10 minutes until lightly toasted and golden brown. Set aside and let cool a bit.

Keep the oven set to 350˚F. Line the 9 x 13″ baking dish with parchment paper. Heat up peanut butter and mashed bananas in microwave or over the stove and stir well to combine. Let cool a few minutes. In a medium bowl combine the oats, peanuts and banana mixture. Fold in the pretzels. Taste granola and add any sweetener if desired. Spread the mixture evenly into the pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Your granola bars are done when the top is golden brown and the edges are a bit crispy. Let them cool so they are easy to handle, gently transfer to a cutting surface removing parchment paper and cut with a serrated knife or pizza cutter.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Riley and I wanted to try out some different gluten-free flours in a chocolate chip cookie so this is it. We found the recipe on The Cinnamon Quill and we thought it sounded pretty good. We made an almond based GF chocolate chip cookie before but these are quite different in their taste and overall cookie-ness.

We prefer thinner chocolate chip cookies so these worked well for us but if you would prefer a thicker cookie, use 1/4 C of potato starch instead of 3 tbsp.

Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe by The Cinnamon Quill

1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
3 Tablespoons potato starch
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup raw or white sugar
1/4 cup lightly flavoured oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2-3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Add oil, maple syrup, and vanilla, mixing by hand or with a mixer on medium. Dough will be thin. Fold in chocolate chips and let dough stand for 10 minutes to thicken a bit.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets. Bake for about 10 minutes–cookies will look a little underdone but will continue cooking after they are out of the oven. Let cool on sheet for 1-2 minutes, then remove to cooling rack. Cookies will be a little brittle until they cool.

Store in airtight container. Makes 16-18 cookies, depending on size.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hearty White Bean Soup

Continuing with the idea of a healthy 2012, here's a scrumptious soup that is hearty and flavourful!

We absolutely LOVE soups! You may be able to tell from the number of soup recipes stored on this blog :)

Soups are a great way to pack in nutrients, use up rotting old vegetables you may have in your fridge, and warm you up! They can also be a snap to prepare, like this one!

The inspiration for this soup came from here. I didn't have all of the required ingredients and also wanted to serve more so I just adjusted a few things to my liking and ingredient availability.

White Bean Soup
serves 4

2 (540mL/19oz) cans White Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

3/4 cup celery, chopped

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp smoky paprika

2 yellow flesh potatoes, baked and chopped (skin on)

season to taste with salt

In a soup pot, drizzle in olive oil. Add onion, garlic, and celery - cook until translucent or slightly browned. Add the pepper and spices. While this takes place, bake the skin-on potatoes in microwave for 5-7 minutes or bake in the oven beforehand at 375 degrees for one hour (or until soft). Add 3/4 of the beans, the potatoes, and stock. Bring to a boil then turn the heat on low and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and puree the soup until it is more or less smooth. Add the rest of the beans (this gives some textural contrast). Put back on the burner and warm through. Serve and enjoy.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chocolate Banana Smoothie


HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season! Filled with love and laughter.

It's been awhile! I thought maybe I could get away with not mentioning our lack of posts...and maybe we can...but I think we owe you an apology. So we're sorry for the meager attempt at posting lately.

December was a busy month and it just seemed as though whenever we made something the lighting wasn't know how it can be ;)

But we're back with a yummy breakfast or anytime smoothie that is nutritious as well as delicious! Just right for keeping all those new year resolutions for a healthy 2012!

It's going to be a great year and what better way to start off each morning of the new year than with a simple, fast and tasty smoothie!

The ingredients are simple which is ideal for busy mornings and the end product is great!! You can customize this smoothie however you like to boost up its benefits! We don't have any protein powders on hand right now but if you do by all means add a scoop!

Almond milk can be substituted for the milk in order to make this smoothie vegan!!

There is no real recipe for this smoothie...I just threw it together one night so you can adjust the quantities to your liking especially since these ratios are adapted to the single shot magic bullet.

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

1 tsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp flax seed meal

1 cup milk or almond milk

3/4 of a banana

ice (i used one mammoth ice cube haha)

1/2 tsp or more of honey

Possible Add-ins:

whey protein powder
strawberries (oooo chocolate strawberry-banana smoothie)
shredded coconut
s'mores schmalls (found here)
cocoa nibs

smoothie with a sprinkling of flax on top!

a sprinkling of flax aaand bottom-dwelling mini wheat shreds

tasty close-up!

Drink up and enjoy! Here's to more frequent posting!!

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