Posts tagged with nuts

I love my local bulk store. I can spend an embarrassing amount of time perusing the aisles, taking little baggies of this and that; it’s a great way to try out new spices, grains, flours etc in small quantities until you decide they’re not for you, or that you love them! In which case you can come back and fill your boots for a price that’s usually way better than at the grocery store. You guys know I am a shameless bargain hunter!

The hazard of shopping like this though, is that my very deep kitchen cupboards make it easy to unintentionally  hoard odds-and-ends baggies of nuts, seeds, and other baking supplies. I’ve had a pile building up for a couple of months now, it was time for these misfits to have their turn in my belly.

These little treats take zero time to whip up and have a fluffy yet hearty vibe. They’re completely sans grain, so eat your heart out GF and Paleo folks! Super yummy with tea in the evenings, or even as a pre-workout energy boost!

Trail Mix Cookies

Yield: 12

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp almond flour
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt (omit if using salted nut butter)
  • 1/4 cup natural nut butter, softened (I used PB)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or foil. If you have neither, be sure to grease your sheet well.

If you are making almond flour out of raw, whole almonds, toss about 3/4 cup into a food processor and let them process on high until they become flour-like in texture. Do not go too long, or you will end up with almond butter! Measure out a generous 1/2 cup of the flour, or about 1/2 cup +1 tbsp.

Mix together the rest of the dry ingredients with almond flour in one bowl. Combine PB, maple syrup, and beaten egg in another bowl until mixed then add to dry ingredients until totally combined.

Drop rounded tablespoonfuls on the lined baking sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes, until just starting to get golden. Be careful not to overcook!

Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

You know what gets me all fired up? The challenge of having a bunch of odds-and-ends laying around the kitchen and making something new and awesome with them. I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of that lately, and when I ended up  with a mountain of forlorn broccoli and a dozen bags of miscellaneous nuts kicking around, I did whatever any normal person would do….throw them in a blender!

I love the versatility of pesto, it’s so delicious smeared on a sandwich, mashed in with potatoes, or tossed with some pasta and perfectly grilled shrimp. Yum. Store-bought pesto is pretty heavy on the oil, so I am always mindful of using it pretty lightly, just because it’s green, doesn’t mean you can just slap it on everything all willy-nilly like!

This recipe is very different from the usual pesto, and gets its greenery from the broccoli and uses hazelnuts instead of traditional pine nuts. Be not afraid, it is all kinds of delicious. I made mine extra garlicy (because my boyfriend is in another country, I can get away with it) and added nutritional yeast for a bit of vegan-cheesy flavour. If you’re pro-moo, toss some parmesan in there, if you don’t have either, don’t sweat it!

I have been putting this shiz on everything!

Nutty Broccoli Pesto

Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic (I used 3...it was pretty strong!)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp italian spice mix
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Put everything in a blender or food processor and zap until totally combined! Add more water or oil if it is a little dry, and add salt and pepper, gradually, until it reaches your desired consistency. Store in the fridge.

 

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!

The bottom of the jar...big fat sad face.

The instant I finished whipping up a batch of this stuff, I knew it was a very, very bad idea. I stood in the kitchen, opened the lid to my food processor like I was unhinging a trunk full of forbidden treasures, and shamelessly spooned it straight into my mouth. Cue beam of light from the heavens and a chorus belting out Hallelujah. It happened, I swear.

I banned store-bought Nutella from my house, well, since always. I am pretty good at being an ‘in moderation’ type gal, but there is a short list of food that can catapult me into a full-blown sugar binge. On that short list, Nutella may be the #1 culprit. This is a problem, as ONE tablespoon of the stuff packs a hefty 100 calories. Now, that’s comparable to the same quantity of peanut butter, but I can put the brakes on PB. Not this stuff. Before you know it, you’ve just earned yourself an extra hour of spin class. Good one!

Now naturally, a condiment that revolves around nuts and chocolate is never going to be a health food. But I knew that there must be room for improvement. I browsed some recipes on line, and worked my way towards an epiphany. I did it. I made a healthified nutella! Huzzah! Enjoy!

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups hazelnuts, roasted
  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F, spread nuts on a dry baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until the skin has darkened and they begin to smell yummy. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Rub all the skins off the hazelnuts by rubbing them with a clean dishcloth. This makes kind of a mess, but is important!

Process nuts in a food processor on high until they\'ve formed hazelnut butter. This will take some time and patience, scrape down the sides of the processor as needed and have faith that it will become creamy, when the nut oils have released.

Once nutbutter consistency is reached, melt your chocolate in the microwave (about 2 mins) or double boiler until liquid. Add to nut butter and process until smooth and fully incorporated. Add honey, mix well, add vanilla and salt, mix well.

This recipe yields about 1.5 cups of spread! Store in a clean jar/container in the fridge, it will harden once chilled but the flavour just gets better and better!