Tag Archives: paleo snacks

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.

20140218-011625.jpg

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.

20140218-011616.jpg

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!


Hunter-Gather Jerky Bars AKA “Meat Cookies”

20140201-194640.jpg

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

20140201-194542.jpg

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

20140201-194635.jpg

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
    20140201-194550.jpg20140201-194556.jpg

20140201-194602.jpg20140201-194608.jpg

  • Cut into strips, separate, and press the edges to smooth
  • Arrange on dehydrator rack and dehydrate for 15-18 hours

20140201-194621.jpg20140201-194614.jpg

  • 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.

Paleo Beef Jerky (Food Dehydrator)

20131228-161119.jpg

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.

20131228-161235.jpg


%d bloggers like this: