Clean SNACK Recipes

the big Snack Attack… healthier alternatives to chips & dip

Quinoa Wonder Bars recipe

Full of protein, fibre, magnesium, and other nutritious goodies, quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) is a magic super-grain that is amazingly beneficial for your body.  Combine it with a few other tidbits, and you’ve got yourself some Quinoa Wonder Bars, perfect for a pre- or post- gym snack, or a quick breakfast as you run out the door.

I’ve already doubled the recipe here, as I’m assuming you’d like to make 38 at once.  Am I wrong?

1 cup quinoa (dry)
2 cups dried appleQuinoa Wonder Bars recipe
2 cups raisins (aka sultanas)
1 cup dates
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas)
3/4 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chia seeds (black or white or mixed)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
6 eggs
4 Tbsp maple syrup 
4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp powdered ginger (optional, but adds an extra zip of flavour)
rind of 1 orange

(Try to go for organic, chemical- and preservative-free ingredients… a bit hard with the dried apples, but try.)
 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 160° C (320 F).

Line two baking trays with baking paper.

Cook the quinoa: Add the 1 cup of dry quinoa to 2 cups water in a pot.  Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for about 12 minutes.  

Then cool the hot quinoa to room-temperature or cooler (or cook it the night before and put it in the fridge overnight.  If you skip this step, you’ll wind up with cooked eggs, so don’t.)

Chop the apple and dates into small pieces, or use a food processor for this. 

Mix all the ingredients together. 

Divide the mixture in half and spread evening across the two baking trays.  Press it down firmly. 

Bake for around 28 minutes.

Cool on a cooling rack, then slice into bars with a serrated knife (try for store-bought granola bar size).

Makes about 38 bars.  If you’re not feeding an army, put some in the freezer for later as they freeze really well and thaw quickly.

 

Hugo eating Quinoa Wonder Bar

Even Hugo (8.5 months old) loves these. (Don’t worry, there’s no choking going on.)


(To give credit where it’s due, this recipe is an adaptation of the one found at http://naturalnewagemum.com/gluten-free-nut-free-muesli-bars/  Many thanks for the great idea, Sonia.)

 

 

 

Chocolate Chick Cookies

My friend Jolene recently linked to a healthy cookie recipe on Facebook- she said it was not to be missed, and she was definitely spot-on.  The great thing about these little “chocolate chick cookies” is that they are high in protein from the chick peas, and also contain the good type of fat that your body needs (from the peanut butter).

Chocolate Chick Cookies

Hot outta the oven – at their most delicious stage

The first time I made them I just did a test run with a single recipe to see what all the rage was about, and decided everyone was right- they’re amazing.

However, they were also a bit of a pain in the butt to make since the peanut butter and honey got a little crazy, so the next time I decided to go big or go home.

Since I’m having a baby in a couple weeks and probably won’t be in the baking spirit for a while afterwards, I made 5 times the recipe last weekend and froze most of them.  They thaw out really quickly if you just leave them out on the counter for a few minutes… no need to microwave them or anything.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed (=1 can =420g)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup natural honey

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (leave these out if you really want them to be sugar-free)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional, but I’ve tried them with and without, and they’re definitely better with)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F / 177 C

Cover your baking pans with baking paper.

1. In a food processor, or using a hand blender like the Bamix, combine all the ingredients (except for the chocolate chips and walnuts) and process until very smooth.

Tip: heat the peanut butter and honey a bit in the microwave to make them easier to measure and pour, but not too hot or else the dough is too runny and the chocolate chips melt when you add them   🙁

2. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts

3. Use two spoons to plop the dough into 1-2 inch drops on the baking paper

4. Bake for about 12-15 minutes. They are soooo amazingly delicious when the chocolate is still warm!

 

-makes 15 cookies

-store in the fridge

 

ps- original recipe is from Bethany Jane’s blog, although I’ve changed a few things around 🙂 Thanks, Bethany.

 

Coconut Avocado Cookies (gluten- and dairy-free)

These little gems have been a big hit with the health-nut crowd I hang around… they’re gluten- and dairy-free, and nearly sugar-free as well… I guess if you omit the chocolate chips it would be the perfect health-food snack option, but I like to leave a little bit of fun in there  😉

coconut-avocado-cookies

Fresh out of the oven on the cooling rack

 

What’s In Them:

1 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup choc chips
1/4 cup shredded coconut

 
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 ripe avocado, mashed with a fork
1 cup almond milk
4 tbsp honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

What to do:

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C)

In one bowl, combine all dry ingredients, (first 6 things).  Un-clump any clumps of coconut flour.

In a second, larger bowl (or in pitcher using the Bamix), add in the remaining 7 ingredients, mashing the banana and avocado with a fork. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in bowl, mixing well.

Let sit for 2 minutes for the coconut flour to absorb some of the moisture. (Seriously, this works, although I’m not sure why.)

Spoon out dough blobs of about 2 tablespoons each onto a greased baking sheet.  Bake cookies for 20 minutes, or until golden-brown.

(For some reason, they taste MUCH better after refrigerating for a couple hours, as they come out of the oven quite crumbly and a bit mushy-tasting)

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Let me know what you think (or how yours turn out) in the comments below.

 

Motion Potion Smoothie recipe

Ate a little too much junk over the Easter weekend and feeling it in your gut now?  Here’s a smoothie that will get things moving in the backdoor department… I like to call it “motion potion.”

smoothie ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 green apple
1 banana
1 peach
1 plum
1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
1/8 cup of chia seeds
1 cup of prune juice (or sub in water if you don’t have any)

What to do:

Cut up all the fruits in large chunks and place in blender, or in a pitcher if you’re using a hand-held stick blender.  Blend till smooth (the apples took the longest to blend… should have cut them up smaller before blending).  Makes about 3 big glasses full.

I used my Bamix mixer, which is definitely the BEST blender I’ve ever used… seriously, I use it SO often, and the best thing about it (apart from it not smelling like burnt rubber like a lot of my previous blenders), is that it’s super fast and easy to clean… basically just rinse under the tap and put back into its holder on the counter.  Waaaay better than taking apart a million pieces, washing and drying them all, and then trying to figure out how to put them back together again.  (And no, Bamix is not paying me to write this 🙂 ).

bamix smoothie

Half-way through the blending… the Bamix goes super fast.

Chia Seed Pudding recipe

This amazingly healthy and delicious chia seed pudding looks like this:

chia seed pudding

Served up for dessert in two cute little Pyrex bowls

 

… and uses these ingredients:

chia seed pudding ingredients

 

1 cup chia seeds
3 cups coconut milk (I use the reduced fat kind… you could also use a nut milk like almond milk)
3 tablespoons Stevia
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

 

Here’s how you make it:

Mix the chia seeds, coconut milk, Stevia, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl

Stir the mixture well, so there are no clumps… I use a fork to mash out any lumps which takes a couple minutes

Let it sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate.

When serving, you can either eat it as is, or top it with some fruit.  My favorite are mango or peach slices.  I find that two big spoonfuls is quite filling, so the recipe lasts for a while.  Perfect for taking as a snack to work too.

 

Chia seeds are amazing tiny nuggets of healthy goodness.  Here are a few of their benefits:

-they pack a lot of protein… in fact, they are one of the highest plant-based sources of complete protein

-they’re full of antioxidants, helping prevent free-radical damage in your body, which can cause premature aging of your skin

-they contain healthy omega-3 oil, which is the healthy oil found in fish, but if you don’t want to eat fish every day or you’re a vego, chia seeds are the perfect alternative

-they balance your blood sugar which lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes, and give you steady, constant energy throughout your day

-they promote fertility… so if you’re trying to get preggers, these could be your golden ticket to babyland

-they are super versatile- use them in baking, smoothies, pudding, etc

 

(ps- to give credit where it’s due, this recipe is adapted from www.juiceboks.com)

 

Full-flavoured healthy Banana Bread recipe

If you’re wondering why your normal banana bread recipe doesn’t pack enough fun tropical flavour, here’s a novel idea – try adding a few extra bananas (rocket science, eh?)  😉  This totally used to be me… I’d put like 2 bananas in and wonder why it tasted more like bread than bananas.

full-flavoured banana bread recipe

Banana Bread – fresh outta the oven

 

But that was then, and this is now.  The trick I’ve discovered is that you need to add about FIVE bananas to the mix.  Plus, there are ways you can make it a lot cleaner and healthier than the traditional recipe which uses processed white flour and sugar.

Here are the ingredients:

banana bread ingredients

Only 2 bananas shown here, but I really used 5

 

2 cups whole wheat flour, spelt flour, or any other kind of flour you want to sub in (if you’re gluten-free)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup organic butter (100g)

3/4 cup organic, unsweetened applesauce

4 teaspoons organic Stevia OR 1/2 cup Natvia)

2 organic, free-range eggs, beaten

2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas (about 5 bananas)… I usually freeze my dodgy, over-ripe ones, and thaw them in the microwave when I’ve collected enough to make this banana bread

1/3 cup dessicated coconut (optional… just for sprinkling on top)

* please note- I use natural and organic ingredients whenever I can… if you can’t or don’t have them, just use the regular ones

 

Here’s what you do:

1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C.  Grease or spray a loaf pan or cake pan (I find that this banana bread is super dense, so using a cake pan spreads the whole thing out more and bakes it more evenly (rather than cajun on the outside and raw on the inside)).

2. In one bowl mix together your flour, baking soda, and salt.

3. In another bowl mix together your butter (I melt mine to make it more mixy friendly), applesauce, and Stevia or Natvia.  Add in your eggs and mashed banana (I mash my bananas using my Bamix hand-mixer… way faster than by hand with a fork… a blender works well too).

4. Mix together the stuff from the two bowls.  Pour the batter into your greased loaf or cake pan.  If you’re using a loaf-pan, bake for about 60-90 minutes (keep inserting a toothpick into the middle and see if it comes out clean.  The outside will look done, but the inside may be total soup).  If you’re using a cake pan, 30-40 minutes should be perfect.  Again, use a toothpick.

5. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, then take it out of the pan and let it cool on a wire rack for a while before slicing it.

* this banana bread doesn’t rise a whole lot, so you can put the whole recipe into one loaf/cake pan, even if it looks rather full

 

 

3-Ingredients Healthy Cookies

3-ingredients cookies

Fresh outta the oven…

Okay, people keep asking me for the recipe for these amazing 3-ingredients cookies, so it’s time I finally moved my butt and posted it.  In the spirit of non-false-advertising, let me just say that it’s a base of 3 ingredients, and then you can throw in whatever other little treats you want, so in the end it might be 5 or 6 ingredients.

So, without further ado, here it is:

Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C)

2 medium-ripe bananas
2 Tbsn peanut butter (or any other nut butter, like almond butter if you’re allergic to peanuts)
1 cup oats

Mash the bananas with a fork, or use a blender if you want to speed things up.

Heat the peanut butter for 20 seconds or so in the microwave to soften it up a bit, and then mix it with the mashed bananas.  If you’re using dry-ish or not-quite-ripe bananas, add a few drops of water or almond milk to moisten the mixture.

Add the oats.

Then you can add whatever else you want.  I usually put in a few craisins, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or slivered almonds.  Once I did frozen raspberries and dark chocolate chips… bad me, I know (but they tasted incredible).  Be creative with your additions.

Spray a bit of  non-stick cooking spray onto a baking tray.  Drop cookies onto the tray with a spoon, and then flatten them a bit with a fork so they’re not all haystacky.  This way they’ll bake better.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they look done (golden-brown).  If they need a couple extra minutes, so be it.

FYI, I usually double the recipe (makes 24-30 cookies) and then freeze half for the following week.  Make sure you keep ’em in the fridge so they don’t go off, especially if it’s summer or you live in a warmer climate.

Enjoy.

(to give credit where credit is due, I originally found this recipe on www.amanda-russell.com and have just tweaked it a bit.)

 

 

Cucumber slices with Greek yogurt and Moroccan spice

 

In the mood for some munchies that aren’t chips?  The other day I was too, so I sliced up a cucumber (no need to peel it if you wash it well), put a dab of Greek yogurt on top of each slice, and sprinkled the whole lot with some Moroccan spice.

Instant delicious snack.

 

cucumber with greek yogurt

Cucumber slices with Greek yogurt and Moroccan spice

Ingredients:

-1 cucumber, washed and sliced

-3/4 (approx.) cup Greek yogurt

-1 Tbsp Moroccan spice (combo of rosemary, tumeric, papika, cumin, ginger and lemon)

 

It works great to pre-make these, store in the fridge, and serve as an appy.