How To Make Crunchy Granola in the Slow Cooker
Granola with Pecans, Cherries & Coconut Flakes
Adapted from Early Bird’s Olive Oil Granola via The New York Times
3 cups rolled oats (certified gluten-free, if needed)
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup dark amber maple syrup
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup dried cherries, currants, or a mix, coarsely chopped if large
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Mix dry ingredients together, followed by the wet ingredients and spices. (Save the fruit for later). Spread on a sheet pan and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until crunchy and golden brown. Remove from oven, add the dried fruit, and stir to loosen up the granola and mix in the cherries. Cool completely before storing.
Store in an airtight container for 7 to 10 days.
(Image credits: Kimberley Hasselbrink)
Acai, Hibiscus & Banana Popsicles
It’s been so nice and warm the last couple of days that I couldn’t help myself and made some popsicles. I actually had one for breakfast this morning. They are super easy to make and quite healthy too. I made a reduction with acai pulp, hibiscus tea and banana. Then I swirled it around with Greek yogurt. A guilt free breakfast that tastes like dessert!
This recipe makes about 7 small popsicles
½ cup of dried hibiscus flowers
1 cup of boiling water
100gr of frozen acai pulp
8 tablespoons of honey
1 banana, chopped
2 cups of Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon of vanilla essence
For the chocolate shell:
300grs of dark chocolate, chopped
3 teaspoons of coconut oil
Dried coconut (optional)
Place the hibiscus flowers in a small bowl, add the boiling water and let it steep for 5 minutes.
Once the 5 minutes are up, pass the tea through a sieve and discard of the flowers.
Place the hibiscus tea, 6 tablespoons of honey, acai and banana in the blender. Blend until smooth.
Then place the mixture in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let it reduce to a thick syrup while stirring so it doesn’t burn. This will take about 5 minutes. Then transfer it to a bowl to cool down.
Once the acai mixture has cooled down, start making the yogurt part. Whisk the Greek yogurt with the remaining 2 tablespoons of honey and vanilla.
Place a bit of the acai mixture in the popsicle molds, then add some of the Greek yogurt and then some more of the acai mixture. Use a toothpick or tip of a knife, to make the swirls. Insert the sticks and freeze overnight.
If you want to coat them in chocolate, microwave the dark chocolate with the coconut oil in intervals of 30 seconds. Stirring in between until it is completely melted. Dip the popsicles in the chocolate shell and immediately sprinkle some of the dried coconut. You can eat them right away. If you want to keep them in the freezer, wrap them individually in plastic film or a Ziploc bag.
Mulberry Peanut Cacao Crunchy Bars
I have to admit, I am not a fan of making raw chocolate. It never seems to come out how I want it to. If you don’t temper it, you can have problems and since I am all about simplicity, tempering isn’t something I want to mess with. But I still want good, healthy chocolate treats!
I finally have discovered a great shortcut, Organic Raw Cacao Paste. It is an amazing find. Simply melt, add ingredients and you have a wonderful chocolate base that you can make as sweet as you like.
I worked very hard to keep the sugar low in these treats. Processed sugar is not our friend. And using excessive amounts of any kind of sugar in recipes, even “natural sugars” has become a trend in on-line recipes. It catches people’s attention. It stimulates our appetites. It hooks into our “I have to have that” mentality.
I have a sweet tooth which I am actively reforming to the point of eliminating almost all processed sugar from my diet. It was a choice born from the knowledge that sugar is one of the most harmful “foods” we can put in our bodies. And I’m over it. I want vibrant health 100% of the time and highly-processed sugar doesn’t have a place in that plan.
These bites have super nutritious dried mulberries, and peanuts. I used raw peanuts. You can substitute with any nut or seed. The peanut/mulberry combination is a favorite around here and can taste a little like a Butterfinger bar. The bars are super easy to make, low in sugar and delicious!
Mulberry Peanut Cacao Crunchy Bars
MAKES 8 1-INCH BARS
8 ounces Divine Organics cacao paste
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup dried mulberries
1/2 cup buckwheat groats (soaked and dehydrated if not ready to eat)
1-3 tablespoons coconut sugar, powdered in spice or coffee grinder (taste to figure out how much you want)
1/2 teaspoon powdered stevia
Flaked salt (optional)
- Chop the cacao paste into small, thin pieces. To keep it raw, melt in the dehydrator at 115 degrees. It will take under an hour.
- Pulse peanuts and mulberries in food processor until finely chopped.
- Stir mulberry mixture, coconut sugar and stevia into the melted cacao paste.
- Using a silicone mold, drop a few flakes of salt in the bottom (optional) and fill with chocolate and place in refrigerator to cool. The silicone will give you a nice shiny finish.
- Pop out and eat! They store just fine at room temperature.
Baked Eggs on Sweet Potato Skins with Avocado
This was my breakfast yesterday and I got many questions on Instagram on how to make it, so I decided to post the recipe. It’s super easy and very healthy.
This recipe makes 4.
2 sweet potatoes, I used small ones
1 tablespoon of chopped chives
Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parmenchent paper. Once the oven is hot, bake the sweet potatoes for 1 hour, or until tender.
Then take them out of the oven (keep the oven on) and slice them in half. Scoop the flesh out, leaving a thin layer attached to the skin so it keeps its shape. You can use the sweet potato flesh for another recipe.
Sprinkle a bit of salt on top of each sweet potato skin. Since I like my yolks still runny, I separated the eggs whites from the egg yolks. I added an egg white to each sweet potato skin and baked them for 20 minutes until the egg white had set. Then I removed them from the oven and added the yolks. Finally baked them for an additional 3 minutes. If you don’t like your egg yolks runny, just add the whole egg at once.
Once the eggs are done, remove the potato skins from the oven. Topped them with thinly sliced avocado and sprinkle with some chopped chives, sea salt and chili flakes.
I was tired. And I didn’t want to cook. But I wanted something super healthy and super healing. Take-out just never seems to fit that bill. It had to be fast, easy and delicious.
We seem to have an over abundance of sweet potatoes around (one should always check before going shopping and buying a big bag of them) and I had a lovely bunch of broccolini. I chopped up the broccolini, lightly steamed the sweet potatoes and threw together a 4 ingredient garlic-ginger tahini sauce.
My daughter walked through the kitchen, took a bite and said, “Mom! This is incredible!” I count that as a success. I was a bit amazed at how much flavor was in this easy dish. Don’t be afraid of the raw garlic. It really makes it.
Your nutritional heavy hitters? Sweet potatoes, broccoli, garlic and fresh ginger. Sweet potatoes top the charts as far as nutrient rich per dollar.
I left the broccolini raw in this recipe but lightly steamed the sweet potatoes. You can also lightly steam the broccoli if you don’t want it raw, just make sure you cut it 20 minutes before cooking so the enzymes can start working their magic.
- 4 cup sweet potato, cut in 1-inch chunks and steamed for 15 minutes or until tender
- 4 cups broccolini (can substitute broccoli), cut in bite sized pieces
- Lightly mix the broccolini and sweet potato together in a large bowl.
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos (can substitute low sodium soy sauce)
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- Whisk all ingredients together.
- Pour dressing over broccolini mixture and toss to coat.
Recipe By: Nava Atlas www.vegkitchen.com
You can make this vegan cheese-y appetizer as a spread in no time, or let it set up into slices. I like it both ways and hope that you will, too. This is good with sliced fresh baguette, or serve it with whole-grain or gluten-free crackers or crispbreads. It’s also quite nice served with chunks of red bell pepper and peeled celery cut into short sections. Grapes served in small bunches on the side add a nice flavor balance. Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
Serves: 8 to 10
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup baby carrots
- 1 cup rice milk
- 1/4 cup agar flakes, optional
- 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
- 1 teaspoon prepared yellow or Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons mesquite seasoning*, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika,
or 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, any of these to taste
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of turmeric
Combine the cashews, carrots, and rice milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a rapid simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the carrots are tender-crisp. If you plan to make slices, stir in the agar flakes and continue to simmer for 5 minutes longer.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor along with the remaining ingredients and process until very smooth. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula from time to time. It takes a good few minutes to make this smooth.
If you skipped the agar and plan to serve as a spread, transfer to an attractive crock. Allow to cool to cool, then cover and let stand at room temperature until needed, or cover and chill.
If you used the agar, transfer the mixture to a lightly oiled loaf pan (or 2 mini-loaf pans). Pat in as smoothly as you can. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Before serving, run a knife around the edges of the loaf pan(s). Turn upside down onto a serving platter. If you’d like, sprinkle a little extra mesquite seasoning over the top. Slice 1/4 inch thick, arrange with slices of baguette and anything else you’re serving with this, like the suggested grapes, and dig in!
* Mesquite seasoning is easily found among the grilling and barbecue spice blends in supermarkets. In my opinion, this gives the cheez spread the most delicious flavor — complex but not spicy-hot.
Recipe By: Nava Atlas www.vegkitchen.com
Photos by Hannah Kaminsky
Recipe By: www. flourchild.ca
Raw Vegan Dill Cream Cheese
1 1/4 cup of soaked cashews
1 tbsp. of fresh chopped dill (finely chopped)
3 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
1/3 tspn. of sea salt
First things first, you need to soak your cashews. Soaking nuts and seeds is done for a few different reasons. In this recipe, it will definitely give you a smoother final product. Soaking them will also boost their nutritional value and allows for better absorption of nutrients in the body. Other nuts and seeds, like walnuts for example, are not as bitter after a couple of hours of soaking. The soaking process also rids the nut or seed of any residue or dirt that it might have picked up in the processing or packaging plants. All in all, it is a good idea to at least wash your nuts and seeds before consumption.
To soak your cashews properly place them in a bowl; submerge them in water and cover. Keep them soaking and refrigerated for about 4-6 hours if possible. When you take them out they will feel soft and almost rubbery.
Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and turn the speed up slowly to incorporate. You may need to scrape down the sides, and possibly add a tablespoon of water if you aren’t getting a smooth consistency. Once you see the texture of regular cream cheese, you are good and done. Store in a mason jar, and refrigerate. This recipe should last a couple of weeks in the fridge. It is wonderful on toast, in a sandwich, as a dip for veggies or in a wrap!
Recipe By: www. flourchild.ca
Pictures By: www. flourchild.ca
Ah, the Holiday Cheese Ball. When you’re standing around snacking on it at a family gathering, you feel like you’ve got the most coveted spot in the kitchen. If you take this to a real live potluck, you’d better guard it fiercely so it doesn’t simply disappear while your back isturned, leaving you cheeseless and forlorn.
Thankfully, this is a virtual potluck, so nobody can hork this from me. Though, I have to admit to scrambling at the last minute to put this post together since the last cheese ball I made disappeared in the middle of the night last week. Apparently, I’m not the only one in this house who is obsessed with it. Luckily, the recipe is ridiculously simple with only about 10 minutes of hands on time.
You can serve the cheese ball with any of your favorite raw vegetables, we even put sliced honey crisp apples on our tray, the combination of the sweet crisp apples and the piquant cheese was amazing
The cheese ball is also incredibly good with crackers, raw or otherwise.
Kick Ace Extra Sharp Raw Vegan Holiday Cheddar Cheese Ball
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in purified water for 4-6 hours
- 2 packed tablespoons dry pack sun dried tomatoes, snipped into small pieces with kitchen scissors then soaked in the purified water with the cashews
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry (optional)
- 1 heaped tablespoon mellow white miso (use chickpea miso if you are sensitive to soy)
- 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- dash cayenne
- 1/2 cup organic unrefined coconut oil
Method: Pour the soaking water off the cashews and sun-dried tomatoes and then rinse them with fresh purified water. Drain well. Place the cashews and the tomatoes in a food processor or high powered blender and pulse until they start to form a paste, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add all of the seasonings and pulse until thoroughly combined. Add the coconut oil. Blend or process until the mixture is completely smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally. This process takes up to 10 minutes in a food processor and a few minutes in a power blender. Scrape the soft cheese into a container. Cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or until the cheese is quite firm. Scrape the cheese out of the container and place onto a clean surface. With your hands, form the cheese into a ball. See note below for topping/variation ideas.
Notes: The organic unrefined coconut oil does leave a very slight coconut flavor in the finished product. If you prefer, you can use refined coconut oil for no coconut aftertaste.
The cheese ball can be served as is or rolled in any variety of chopped nuts and or herbs. I used sliced almonds, but walnut pieces or pecan pieces with some fresh minced parsley, thyme or sage would be amazing.
The cheese ball gets softer as it reaches room temperature, so it’s best if it’s kept chilled until immediately before use.