Category Archives: Snacks

Chocolate PowerGather Cups

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These are total awesomesauce! They are Whole
Life Challenge approved, and unsweetened (really! I swear!), so I don’t even consider them a treat. They are chock full of satisfying fat, and just perfect for an energy boost and chocolate fix all in one. You might feel like you’re cheating, but I promise you’re not! another great thing about them…NO BAKING! You need to melt the coconut oil, but even for that, you could technically use a microwave ( blasphemy!)

Ingredients:

For the Chocolate:

1 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup – 1/3 cup cocoa powder, probably 6-8 tablespoons, depending on how strong you want it

Fillings:

1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon Chia seeds
1 tablespoon Flax meal
1/4 cup Hazelnuts
1/4 cup Macadamia nuts
1/2 cup Almonds
2/3 – 1 cup Almond butter
1/2 cup Dried apples
1/2 cup Dried currants (or raisins)
Sea salt

Add all the nuts to a plastic ziplock bag and use a hammer to break them up into smaller pieces.

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Then pour them, as well as any remaining dry ingredients to a bowl, and mix so they are well combined.

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add the almond butter and mix until it forms a batter and everything is well dispersed and combined.

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Take a spoon or an ice cream scoop and place a nice big dollop into paper or silicon cupcake cups.

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In a sauce pan, melt the coconut oil over low heat and grate in the coconut butter. Alternatively you can warm it so that it is soft and add it. Stir often and add the cocoa powder, stirring until combined.

Pour into the cups, and sprinkle with sea salt to finish. Then refrigerate for at least 30 – 45 minutes until the chocolate solidifies.

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Enjoy!

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Unsweetened Cocoa Almonds

Love it! Three words: Easy Cocoa Fix! I love finding ways to incorporate chocolate, in healthy ways, into snacks or foods. Knowing that chocolate is a lot of people’s downfall, I love finding ways to make  it fit into something like the Whole Life Challenge or a good clean paleo lifestyle. Guess what, it’s easier than you think! The only catch? You better like dark chocolate. I  personally love it, and I have no problem with really dark chocolate, so keep that in mind since there is absolutely NO SWEETENER in these. It has a nice bitterness to it, but sometimes that’s what I’m looking for. If you want to add sweetness, I would suggest adding some coconut butter or shredded coconut. Anyway, these are simple and only have a few ingredients:

  • 4-5 handfuls of Raw Almonds
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Himalayan Sea Salt

I made two different batches, but they started out the same: Melt some coconut oil.

For the first batch, My Roasted Cocoa Almonds, I tossed the almonds in a bowl with the coconut oil, and stirred until they were all well coated and shiny.

Afterwards, I put the cocoa powder into a container, added they oil coated nuts, covered, and shook, until they were all well dusted with the cocoa powder.

Then I placed them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and roasted for about 15 – 20 minutes at 250 degrees.

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I still had some oil left in the bowl, so I made a second batch, this time of Cocoa Covered Almonds with Sea Salt.

They started out the same, since I just stirred them around in the leftover oil. They even ended up in the same container which still had some cocoa powder left. However, I added a little more.

After I was done shaking them, for whatever reason, they were less dusted, and more wet. I guess the chocolate just combined more with the coconut oil. My guess is that the ratio of coconut oil to chocolate was more even, instead of there being 1/4 cup (or more) like before, there was probably only 1/8 cup of cocoa powder in the container.

Since they were more wet and thickly glazed with chocolate, I decided to try keeping them raw. I placed them on a parchment paper lined plate, sprinkled them with a generous amount of Sea Salt, and placed them in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. The chocolate hardened around them, and they were fused together in a chocolatey cluster, so it was fund to share, and eat, and break pieces off. This version was actually my favorite of the two. I think it was the salt.

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They were such a hit. My one friend that was over preferred the roasted ones, and Mike and I preferred the raw, cold, salted ones. I would honestly make both and decide for yourself!


Paleo Chocolate Covered Banana Almond Bites

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My love affair with banana and almond butter as a combination, started a few weeks ago. Back then it was just a sliced up banana with a heaping spoonful of almond butter on top, it was simple and it was good! Then I came across this recipe. It was originally posted by Racing and Saving Mama on her Facebook.

“Slice Up bananas and spread a little peanut butter in between. Freeze for one hour, then dip in chocolate. Refrigerate for another 10-15 minutes and boom you have an awesome snack”

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Her’s are obviously prettier… But anyway

So of course I had to put my own spin on it. ALSO I made it Whole Life Challenge compliant! So go ahead and feel indulgent, because it’s totally ok.

Ingredients:

bananas, sliced
Almond Butter
2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Coconut Butter
2 teaspoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder.

Like she instructed above, I sliced the bananas. I used almond butter, since I generally don’t eat peanut butter (peanuts are legumes) but you can technically use either. I say almond butter all the way. Then I popped them in the freezer.

When it was almost time to take them out, I melted the coconut oil and coconut butter (which is like concentrated coconut cream, and has a lot of natural sweetness to counter the bitterness of the cocoa powder) over medium heat. I used a glass bowl suspended over water I was heating in a saucepan. Then I mixed in the cocoa powder until everything was combined.

I took the chocolate off the heat, and took the banana/almond butter sandwiches out of the freezer. Then, I dipped them nd rolled them around until they were covered. Into the refrigerator they went for 20 min.

They….were….so….good! They weren’t the prettiest things, certainly not as pretty as her’s in the picture, but they tasted like gold. Sweet, creamy, chocolate goodness, without all the guilt! Even Mike was surprised at how good they were…and the chocolate, I might just stick that combo into a mold and see what happens!

Next time I make them, I’m going to use parchment paper. I just put them in a Tupperware to harden, and they stuck to the bottom. This would have been fine, but the chocolate broke a little if I squeezed too hard to pull them off. They wer


Hunter-Gather Jerky Bars AKA “Meat Cookies”

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Holy wow these are definitely one of my favorite and best creations. They are way addictive, and at least in my house, don’t last very long! Best of all, they are a great protein rich snack, and while I don’t know how long they last out of the fridge, they should be a pretty safe and easy energy source on the go. They aren’t as dry as traditional jerky, they are a little softer, but they are still dehydrated, so they should be pretty well-preserved. Just refrigerate, as dehydrator jerky from what I understand, doesn’t have that long of a shelf life.

Batch #1

My first batch and second batch were slightly different. Mainly because the first batch had a higher fat content (25%) and wasn’t dehydrated as long. The flavor was great, and I think the sweetness of the fruit dispersed more because of the higher fat content, but they didn’t dry as well. I wouldn’t recommend using more than 15% fat because of this. I ended up, after 12+ hours in the dehydrator, sticking them in a hot oven to ensure they were cooked through, and to render away some of the extra fat. Some minor roadblocks, but overall a huge success. They didn’t even make it to the refrigerator because they were devoured so fast!

  • 1 lb ground beef, I used 75% lean from US Wellness Meats
  • 1/4-1/3 cup dried apple (unsweetened, unsulphered) pieces
  • 1/4-1/3 cup dried currents or raisins (unsweetened, unsulphered)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons almond butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • Cinnamon, salt, pepper, a little cumin, thyme

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Batch #2

The second batch was a double batch, since they went so fast the first time. I used more fruit and added pumpkin seeds to the mix. You can play around with the nut/seed/fruit ratio depending on how sweet you want them. Here, the dried fruit gives it a hint of sweetness, against the nutty seeds and savory beef. They were a little less sweet, but I liked them more in the end.

  • 2 lb grass-fed ground beef 85% lean, Trader Joes
  • 1/3 cup dried apple
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • Cinnamon, cumin,salt, pepper, thyme, paprika, turmeric

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These dried nicely, and I didn’t need to finish them in the oven. I would definitely recommend using the leaner beef. I dehydrated them for a good 18 hours without touching them.

Prep Instructions:

  • Mix together and roll or press out to 1/8-1/4 in thick
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  • Cut into strips, separate, and press the edges to smooth
  • Arrange on dehydrator rack and dehydrate for 15-18 hours

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  • You shouldn’t have to even use the oven, but if for whatever reason (too much moisture in the house, too thick, too much fat etc), after 15-20 hours there is still a little pink inside, just blast them in the oven at 450 for a few minutes. I think if you use beef with a lower fat content, you shouldn’t have much of a problem.

No Added Sugar Cocoa Souffle/Custard with Cocoa Berry Sauce

I love when I decide to “wing it” and something awesome happens. I’m definitely happy with how this came out. It’s not too sweet, but I’d definitely think of it as dessert. It’s not too heavy, but still indulgent enough to be a fun after dinner treat. It’s hard to even  call it a treat, maybe it’s not. Honestly I’d totally have this for breakfast. I also can’t decide if it’s a custard or a souffle….but does it matter? Anyway, this was my answer to a “birthday cake” replacement for Mike, since we were looking to have a  Whole Life Challenge compliant birthday for him. It’s super easy and satisfying. I used a 9×9 glass pan and we each had 1/4 of it….meaning there was 1/2 a cake left to split the next day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 5 egg whites
  • 5 eggs
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Insides of 1 vanilla bean
  • 7 Oz Coconut butter/ cream (softened)

Prep:

Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer and mix everything together until well combined. Pulse hand mixer, and move it around, as well as up and down as it mixes, to let a lot of air in the mix (it should have bubbles). I don’t know if this actually matters. Just make sure it’s well mixed.

Grease a foil lined 9×9 baking pan with coconut oil and pour in the mixture….The foil isn’t totally necessary, but allowed me to remove it from the pan easily . You could also use one of those silicone baking things, or a well grease spring form pan.

Bake at 400 degrees until toothpick comes out clean, about 35 min

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Optional: I put a plate on top of the pan and flipped it over and removed the pan. Then I peeled the foil off, put another plate on top, and flipped again, so the top was back on top. It made it easy to cut, and remove slices.

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To top:

In a small sauce pan, heat a frozen berry mixture. Once it is warm, and getting juicy, add a spoon of coconut oil and a spoon or two of unsweetened cocoa powder and stir. Spoon mixture over souffle and eat!

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Paleo Beef Jerky (Food Dehydrator)

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Ok, seriously I think I have a new addiction. This stuff lasted all of 2-3 days. It was so good, and totally knocks anything you buy from the store out of the park. Plus, it’s totally customizable, and you control exactly what’s in it. Holy cow food dehydrator, where have you been all my life! I can’t wait to start making dried fruits in this thing, it’s so darn easy! So anyway, yes, I got a food dehydrator for Christmas; the Nesco FD-37 to be exact. I’ve read reviews on it, and for the price point this gets the job done quite well. After my first use, I have to agree, and it was easy to clean to boot!

Anyway, I used about 1.5 lbs of Top Round, trimmed of any fat. I stuck it in the freezer for a couple of hours, which made it easier to cut. Then I sliced it against the grain, into thin slices. You want them as thin as you can make them easily,

Then, you marinate it for 15-24 hours. Here is what I used, it was yummy.

  • Coconut aminos
  • Sesame oil
  • Organic Balsamic vinegar
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Coriander
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Apple cider vinegar

When you’re ready, you just wipe off the extra marinade, arrange in the dehydrator, and turn it on. It takes about 4-6 hours depending on the thickness of the slices and how chewy you want them to be. I like them a little chewier, and Mike prefers them a bit softer. You want them to be stiff, but flex easily when you bend them, cracking a little but not breaking.

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Review: US Wellness Meats: Sugar Free Beef Bacon!

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Click to go to the US Wellness Website and get some!

It’s BACON! Seriously, who doesn’t love bacon? Well I’ve definitely been looking for a good bacon, and I’m pretty sure I’ve found it at US Wellness Meats, in their Sugar-Free Beef Bacon! What’s great about it? Well, first of all, for mainly personal reasons, we don’t really eat pork in my house…..well I occasionally will, but my boyfriend tries to stay as pork free as possible. Also, most bacon has sugar in it, so even if you grab one of the many nitrate free choices, they still aren’t Whole Life Challenge compliant. Enter the solution to all my problems – Beef Bacon! Add the fact that the ONLY ingredients are beef and celtic sea salt – it’s a Whole Life Challenge/ Whole 30 Approved Grass-Fed match made in heaven for my house. So when I made my first order at US Wellness Meats, you bet I added a package to my cart!

Let me tell you, this stuff is DELICIOUS! In the past I’ve had turkey bacon, which is….meh, and duck Bacon, which is super tasty, but again, usually has sugar. None, were a solid substitute for good ol’ pork bacon. The main issue I had with the non-pork options was the texture, and the potential to be crispy and awesome. It just wasn’t the same. Enter my grass-fed beef friend…..beef bacon get’s it right! It crisps up nicely, it has a perfect bacon texture, and it tastes amazing. It’s a little on the salty side, but hey, it’s bacon. My boyfriend finds it a little “tallowy” but still likes it, so it’s really a matter of preference. I think it’s kind of what happens when bacon and beef jerky have a baby….and there are so many things right about that! Another perk? Beef fat! Get the bacon going on the griddle, and use the grease to cook your eggs afterwards! It’s so flipping good!

Oh, and I should mention that I have no affiliation with US Wellness Meats, nor do I get any money from you clicking the images in my post and wandering to their website to buy bacon. I’m strictly spreading the love.

Perfect addition to a Paleo Morning...Afternoon...Or Evening meal!

Perfect addition to a Paleo Morning…Afternoon…Or Evening meal!

 


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