Posts tagged with flax

My girlfriend, Kathy, came over for dinner last night and like clockwork, a hankering for ANYTHING chocolate set in as soon as we finished our meal. I really had no desire to whip up a batch of cookies or something equally labour/time intensive, so I started leafing through my online bookmarks. Gina, from Running to the Kitchen, posted these a few days ago and I knew that they would be a perfect solution to our raging sweet tooths (sweet teeth?).

These are similar to a larabar in consistency, and flavour, too. Larabars have a gloriously short ingredients list,  with usually only one or two ingredients in addition to dates and nuts! They are one of my favourite things to grab for a snack on the run.  I really don’t eat much pre-made/ pre-packaged foods because my mind gets blown by all the unpronounceable ingredients on their labels;  when did people lose desire to eat real, whole foods? Don’t get me wrong, I occasionally enjoy hoeing into a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos as much as the next person, but seriously, how do we expect our bodies to function if we’re fuelling it with that shizz.  For pre-packaged food’s ingredients- less IS more!

The ‘dough’ for these tasty treats can be shaped into whatever your little chocoholic heart desires. I rolled them into balls then flattened them, and popped a walnut half on top, just cause I’m fancy like that. You could shape it into bars and wrap them individually, or roll into little power-ball bites, regardless, they are addictive. Like, get-these-out-of-my-house addictive!

Feel free to play around with different nut combos and extract flavourings, like most of my recipes, there’s tons of room for playing around and making it your own!

Raw Two-Bite Brownies

  • 1.5 cups nuts (I used a mix of almonds and peanuts)
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 10 dates
  • 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp nut butter
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1-3 tbsp milk or water (I used Almond Breeze)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Add the nuts and flaxseed to a food processor and process it until it turns to a flour. Don’t let it go too long or you’ll get nut butter! You may have to stop a couple of times to loosen bits/scrape down the sides. That’s cool.
  2. Add  everything but milk to the food processor and process until everything is well incorporated. If it doesn’t begin to form a dough ball, add milk or water, just a little at a time, until it does.
  3. Dump dough into a small bowl.
  4. Put into desired shapes, place on a plate/tray and pop them in the fridge! They need to sit for an hour or so to firm up. Keep ‘em in the fridge!

Banana Bread Oatmeal

I can count on two hands the days in the past year that I haven’t had oatmeal for breakfast. No joke. Some people can’t get moving until they’ve had their morning cup o’ joe; I am useless without my oatmeal!

Waking up, I am one hungry, hungry hippo.  Cold cereal, eggs, toast, leave me hungry by 930,  oatmeal is the only thing that can go the distance with me, filling me up for the whole morning.

For those (crazy people!) who are grossed out by the look of oatmeal, porridge, whatever you want to call it, I have a few info-bits that may change your mind.

  • Oatmeal is a good source of fibre and protein,
  • It has a low glycemic index (won’t spike your blood sugar – it burns steady through your system)
  • It takes only minutes to make (you can even prepare at night for it to be ready the next day),
  • It is a blank slate for an endless combination of add-ins, and
  • It’s cheap! A kg bag goes for about $3.50 and can last a single person months.

I never, ever bother with the single-serving packages of oatmeal because the flavoured ones are just brimming with all sorts of weird dried ‘fruit’, sugars, dyes, and other unpronounceable ingredients. Not my cup of tea. Do yourself a favour, and buy a bulk Kg of oats from the grocery store, and kiss all those hungry mornings you’ve had goodbye.

The past few days I’ve been swirling some of my Spiced Carrot Butter into my oats. It instantly carrot-cake-orizes your breakfast! Canned pumpkin is another favourite of mine. Add a few shakes of cinnamon, nutmeg, a bit of vanilla soy or coconut milk, and walnuts and you have just whipped yourself up a bowl of pumpkin pie, sans guilt.

This recipe is no doubt, the one I eat most often. Two ingredients that the average person may not have in their pantry, but are definitely worth getting, are flaxseed and chia seed (aka salba). I add them to every version of oats, because both of these seeds are nutritional rockstars!

Chia seeds are an amazing source of fibre, protein, vitamin C, antioxidants, and help keep you full because they absorb liquid and increase in volume when added to foods.

Flaxseed is a great source of omega fatty acids, fibre, and adds a great nutty flavour to soups, salads, smoothies, whatever! Flaxseeds are sold ground or whole. Their benefits can only be reaped if they are ground up before consuming, so if you buy the whole seeds at the grocery store (organic/bulk section) be sure to bust them up in your blender, food processor, even coffee grinder. Keep them in the fridge, ideally in an opaque bag. They stay freshest that way!

So flax and chia seeds – love these little guys.

On to breakfast!

Banana Bread Oatmeal 

Serves 1

  • 1/3 cup quick oats (I prefer no name or Presidents Choice Organic brand)
  • 2/3 cup water or milk (for added protein/cals)
  • 1/2 ripe banana, chopped
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp chia seed
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • Drizzle maple syrup (optional)

Cook oats according to instructions, using water or milk. Halfway through cooking time (approx 1.5 minute in the microwave for quick oats), add chopped banana and continue cooking until all liquids are absorbed. Stir in flax, chia, spices and vanilla until combined. Top with walnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup if you like!

Nutrition Facts
Calories  373
% Daily Value*
Total Fat  16.6g 26%
Saturated Fat  1.6g 8%
Trans Fat  0.0g
Cholesterol  0mg 0%
Sodium  7mg 0%
Dietary Fiber  13.2g 53%
Sugars  7.9g
Protein  12.3g
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 9%
Calcium 12% Iron 20%
Check out these stats! Full of long lasting protein and fibre, with no added protein powders, or anything unnatural for that matter. Whole, real, clean food to pretty much guarantee that you have an awesome day!