Posts Tagged ‘Almonds’

Date Night – Sweet Date, Coconut and Walnuts Energy Balls

Sweets

I’ve been wracking my brains out, thinking about something for Valentine’s Day.

The first thing that comes to mind is cookies, those sugar coated (sometimes with added food colorings) heart shaped cookies, but I don’t really do that. Well, maybe for my kids’ class sometimes, and even then I do my best to not use or minimize the use of food colorings (sometimes, you can’t really avoid some colored sprinkles, right?).

So I was thinking really hard, what looks cute, can be given as a sweet gift and is somewhat healthy? and then it hit me – Energy Bars. But energy bars are not really something to put in a box of bonbons aren’t they? that’s when I had a ‘light bulb’ moment, realizing that the answer (along with the ingredients) was right in front of me all that time.

So here they are, my Energy Balls. No dairy, no gluten, no eggs and no added sugar – Just plain ol’ healthy treats.

Took me some extra time to make the mix because I was too lazy to take out the food processor and decided that my small food chopper would be enough (almost killed the motor), but if you use a decent food processor this should really take minutes.

Also, one last note: when adding water, add just enough for the mix to be nicely combined (kind of like playdough 🙂 )

And now, I’ll give you the recipe for these cuties! Valentine’s Day or not, these are excellent year round, and such a great substitute to your chocolates and candies and generally sweet tooth.

Dates and Walnuts energy balls

Dates and Walnuts energy balls

Date Night - Sweet Date, Coconut and Walnuts Energy Balls
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Energy Bars
Cuisine: Healthy
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Why make or buy energy bars when you can put it all in a small ball and enjoy it just the same if not more? These are packed with energy and flavor.
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ Cups Walnuts - Divided
  • ½ Cup Raw or Roasted Whole Almonds
  • 2 Cups Pitted Dates
  • 3 Tbsp shelled Flax
  • 10-14 Tbsp Water - Add just enough to form playdough like mix
  • ¼ Cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
  • Extra Shredded Unsweetened Coconut for coating
Instructions
  1. Place the almonds (only if raw, if roasted you don’t need to soak them) and dates in a bowl of hot water and soak them for 10-20 minutes (this will help to soften both ingredients a bit).
  2. In a food processor grind 1 cup walnuts until they become crumbs and set aside in a medium bowl. Break the other ½ cup walnuts into small pieces using your hands.
  3. Add the shelled flax and ¼ cup shredded coconut into the bowl with ground walnuts.
  4. Using a colander, drain the dates and almonds and place in a food processor.
  5. Blend the dates and almonds in the food processor until they become this ‘play dough’ looking mix.
  6. Add 5 Tbsp water to the date mix to start with, before blending (this will ease the blending and maybe save your food processor motor from overheating) and then gradually add the additional tablespoons water until you get the right consistency of mixture (like I said - Playdough)
  7. Once you’re done with blending the almonds and dates (you may still have chunks in the mix but that’s OK, it’s not supposed to be smooth), add them to the bowl with walnuts and flax.
  8. Using a wooden spoon, stir and mix all the ingredients in the bowl together until evenly combined.
  9. Prepare a plate with shredded coconut on the side to roll the balls in.
  10. Scoop one teaspoon at a time from the batter and roll into a ball and then roll in the coconut plate to give them the coconut coating (it might be easier to form balls with wet hands).
  11. Store in an airtight container, preferably in the fridge.

Dates and Walnuts energy balls

Dates and Walnuts energy balls

Dates and Walnuts energy balls

I’ve been wracking my brains out, thinking about something for Valentine’s Day. The first thing that comes to mind is cookies, those sugar coated (sometimes with added food colorings) heart shaped cookies, but I don’t really do that. Well, maybe for my kids’ class sometimes, and even then I do my best to not use […]

Read More

Easy Spelt Biscotti

Cakes and Cookies

Biscotti. Biscotti. Biscotti.

It’s almost as if you say it enough times you’ll sound more sophisticated right? especially saying it with an Italian accent 🙂

I’m not sure why, but lately I’m seeing many biscotti recipes and mouth watering photos, of course it had to take a toll and here I am, writing about the biscotti I made.

But not just ANY biscotti, these are made with Spelt flour and honey, which means they’re kind of, sort of better for you if you need another reason to eat them.

I just used (again) whatever I had at home and so can you, you can sub the walnuts with a different kind of nut and the dates with your favorite chopped dried fruit, how amazingly convenient is that?

My biscotti also have a lemony aroma with a hint of cinnamon. the more the merrier I say.

Just keep in mind that Spelt flour is more crumbly than all purpose flour due to its lower gluten, so when you slice the biscotti, use a bread knife and make sure you don’t slice too thin.
And now, I’ll go away and leave you with this recipe.

Easy Spelt Biscotti

 

Easy Spelt Biscotti
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Spelt
Cuisine: Italian, Healthy
 
So easy and so perfect with a cup of tea. And the best thing is that they're made with honey and spelt so they're good for you, eh.
Ingredients
  • ¼ Cup Honey
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg + 1 Egg Yolk
  • ½ Lemon - Juiced
  • Zest from ½ lemon (same lemon you juiced)
  • 1 ⅓ Cup Spelt Flour (175gr)
  • ¼ tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ½ Cup Walnuts (whole or halved)
  • ¼ Cup Whole Almonds (non salted or roasted)
  • ¾ Cup Chopped Pitted Dates
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C)
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the honey with the vanilla, egg, egg yolk, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  3. Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, walnuts, almonds and dates and mix everything well together until fully combined.
  4. Empty the bowl into a loaf pan covered with parchment paper.
  5. Smooth the batter using wet hands. Smooth and straighten the top.
  6. Place in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and take out of the loaf pan. Let the cake cool completely before continuing.
  8. Preheat oven to 300F (150C) and prepare a large flat baking tray covered with parchment paper.
  9. Once cool, Slice the biscotti cake into 1cm thick slices and place the slices on the prepared baking tray.
  10. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until slices are dry.
  11. Cool and store in an airtight container.
Notes
**Note: best results when using convection oven, but a regular oven will work as well (time may vary a few minutes give or take)**

 

Easy Spelt Biscotti

Easy Spelt Biscotti

Biscotti. Biscotti. Biscotti. It’s almost as if you say it enough times you’ll sound more sophisticated right? especially saying it with an Italian accent 🙂 I’m not sure why, but lately I’m seeing many biscotti recipes and mouth watering photos, of course it had to take a toll and here I am, writing about the […]

Read More

Almond Brown Sugar Spelt Cookies

Cakes and Cookies

Me and my Spelt flour again – yay! 🙂

This time, there is no real story behind these cookies other than the fact that I REALLY wanted something sweet and crunchy for dessert. These cookies were perfect because the dough needs to be stored in the fridge for 2 hours prior to making the cookies, and that gave me enough time to finish eating (and preparing) dinner and then move to next favorite thing which is making these cookies.

They are easy to make and the best part is (aside from the flavour) that you can make the dough, roll it into a tube (kind of like a sausage) and freeze for up to a couple of months, and then when you have company over or when you have that sweet tooth craving, all you need to do is remove the dough from the freezer, slice it and bake it and within minutes you got yourself freshly baked cookies.

Now how’s that for a huge bonus feature. You’re welcome.

Almond Brown Sugar Spelt Cookies

Almond Brown Sugar Spelt Cookies

Almond Brown Sugar Spelt Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Spelt Flour, Desserts
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 60-65 cookies
 
Great brown sugar cookies made from spelt flour and almond flavored. Easy and fun to make and can be stored in the freezer for later, much later.
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Spelt Flour (Whole Grain)
  • ½ Cup Powdered Sugar
  • Lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 150gr Butter (⅔ cup) - Cubed
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract
  • 6 tsp Water
  • ¾ Cup Blanched Sliced Almonds (break them between your hands a bit)
  • ½ Cup Brown Sugar - For Coating
Instructions
  1. In a stand mixer bowl place the flour, powdered sugar and lemon zest and mix together
  2. Add in the cubed butter and almond extract and mix well until you get a grainy texture (like sand)
  3. Add in the water, one tablespoon at a time until the dough all sticks together into one dough ball and is no longer grainy (do not mix for too long, only until a dough ball forms)
  4. Add in the sliced almonds and give it a short mix until they are blended in evenly.
  5. Pour the dough out onto your working surface and divide it into 4 equal parts
  6. Roll each part into a tube/sausage shape 1 ¼ inches thick (3cm) and about 6 ½ inches long (16cm).
  7. Sprinkle a quarter of the ½ cup brown sugar for coating and roll each tube in the brown sugar until well and evenly coated.
  8. Place the 4 sugar coated dough tubes in the fridge (cover with plastic wrap) for 1 ½ - 2 hours.
  9. Before removing the dough from the fridge, preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  10. Take the dough out from the oven (work on one tube at a time to avoid heating of the other tubes) and using a sharp knife slice each tube into thin circles about ¼ inch (½ cm).
  11. Place the sliced cookies on the layered baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until cookies start to brown a bit.
  12. Let the cookies cool completely before moving them to the cookie jar.
Notes
**To freeze the dough and use at a later time - roll into tubes, coat with the sugar and freeze wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 2 months**

Brown Sugar Almond Cookies

Almond Brown Sugar Spelt Cookies

Almond Brown Sugar Spelt Cookies

Me and my Spelt flour again – yay! 🙂 This time, there is no real story behind these cookies other than the fact that I REALLY wanted something sweet and crunchy for dessert. These cookies were perfect because the dough needs to be stored in the fridge for 2 hours prior to making the cookies, […]

Read More

Mini Chocolate Brownie Muffins

Cakes and Cookies

Weather is starting to get warmer and we definitely see a bit more sun these days. While most normal people would prefer spending a sunny day on their decks just soaking in vitamin D, I would probably prefer to work in the garden or surprise- surprise, bake something.

So the other day I went to Wal-Mart with my girl to buy some cupcake decorating supplies for her birthday. They had a Mini Muffin Pan (Clickable link) on sale and once again, I just couldn’t resist. Bake and cookware on sale immediately turn me into a kid in a candy store. So of course I purchased my new toy and rushed to the kitchen.

I didn’t feel like baking the traditional fluffy muffins, I wanted something sweet and chocolaty. The solution was crystal clear – Brownies!

How fabulous would it be to bake brownies in mini muffin cups? Very cool! Not to mention super convenient and pretty. So that’s exactly what I did. I also added some almond extract because as I mentioned in the past, I just LOVE the smell of almond extract, it kind of adds sweetness without the sugar; it’s just so good.

I ended up making 16 mini brownie muffins which ended up being eaten in about 30 minutes. That’s about one mini brownie muffin every two minutes – pretty impressive don’t you think? Oh yeah – they were DELICIOUS!

Mini Chocolate Brownie Muffins

 

Mini Chocolate Brownie Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Sweet Treats
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 mini muffins
 
So easy, so fast and so yummy! These Chocolate mini brownie muffins have amazing almond fragrance and are just impossible to resist.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Almond extract
  • ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup butter – melted
  • Icing Sugar – for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C)
  2. Place mini muffin cups inside mini muffin baking pan
  3. Melt butter and set aside
  4. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and then add the melted butter. Mix well until batter is smooth.
  5. Pour into mini muffin cups (about ¾ full) and place in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes
  6. Sprinkle with icing sugar or cover with icing

 

Mini Chocolate Brownie Muffins

Weather is starting to get warmer and we definitely see a bit more sun these days. While most normal people would prefer spending a sunny day on their decks just soaking in vitamin D, I would probably prefer to work in the garden or surprise- surprise, bake something. So the other day I went to […]

Read More

Almond Portobello Pasta

Home Made Cooking

Pasta is always my go-to dish. Why? Well, two reasons: 1) The pasta I have at home is always Gluten-Free, which means that it is rice pasta, which means it’s less likely to give that ‘heavy’ feeling after eating it, and we like that. 2) There are so many options for pasta. You can add veggies, meat, sauce, cream, everything goes and it’s very hard to ruin a pasta dish. Of course, it is also usually a pretty fast process until the pasta’s ready which is perfect for dinner after coming home at the end of a work day.

As always, what I did with this one is take a look at the fridge and see what I have for ingredients. I first spotted that lonely Portobello  mushroom and though to myself I can make mushroom sauce, but then I noticed I have no cream, so I kept on looking and I noticed other veggies. I took everything I had and added almonds. What can I tell you? It was super easy to make and the results looked like I spent a lot of time and effort making this one, well between us? I didn’t 🙂 and once again I was happy! Because hey, I got to use whatever I had in the fridge and the food tasted amazingly good.

Portobello Almond Pasta

 

Almond Portobello Pasta
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
 
Easy pasta recipe that will help clean your fridge and will end up looking like a million dollars.
Ingredients
  • 450gr Pasta (1 pack)
  • ½ Cup Olive Oil
  • ½ Onion – Sliced
  • ½ Bell Pepper – Sliced into small strips
  • 6 Mushrooms (white) - Sliced
  • 1 Portobello Mushroom – Cubed
  • 2 Garlic Cloves – Cut into quarters
  • 1 tsp Dry Basil
  • ¼ Cup Sliced Almonds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to the cooking instructions on the package
  2. In a large skillet, frying pan or wok heat up the oil over medium heat and add the sliced onion. Saute for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the mushrooms, the Portobello, bell pepper, garlic and basil and stir.
  4. Let cook for about 10-15 minutes while stir frying.
  5. When the peppers soften just a bit, add in the almonds. Stir fry for another 2-3 minutes (almonds should be golden) and remove from heat.
  6. Add the ready veggie mix into the cooked pasta and stir gently until combined and serve.

 

Portobello Almond Pasta

Pasta is always my go-to dish. Why? Well, two reasons: 1) The pasta I have at home is always Gluten-Free, which means that it is rice pasta, which means it’s less likely to give that ‘heavy’ feeling after eating it, and we like that. 2) There are so many options for pasta. You can add […]

Read More

Almond Chocolate Cupcakes – With or without a Halloween theme

Cakes and Cookies

I have a few websites I like to follow, cooking websites obviously, and everywhere I look all I see is pumpkin. Pumpkin cakes and cookies, pumpkin donuts and breads, pumpkin pies and pastries, and I know it is the season and that orange goes so well will the fall and the upcoming Halloween but to be honest, I’m not sure I like pumpkin 🙂 and I’m not even going to discuss the fact that most of the recipes are from canned pumpkins, not a can fan here. So I was trying to think what I can make that’s tasty, will go well with my morning coffee and of course, will make the kids happy. I went online, copied and printed a bat image. I made a stencil and decided to decorate my almond chocolate cupcakes with it. The kids were thrilled because they were t honed who made the cupcakes and because they got to eat the cupcakes the next morning. Needless to mention that my mission was accomplished and I didn’t even need to use pumpkin.

 

Almond Chocolate Cupcakes - With or without a Halloween theme
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Holiday
 
A great cupcake recipe and an even greater decoration idea 🙂 You'll taste the chocolate and feel the almond flavor. Just wonderful.
Ingredients
  • 1⅓ Cups All purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • ¾ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1½ Cups White Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract
  • 1 Cup Milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C)
  2. Prepare muffin pan lined with muffin cups
  3. Combine dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Mix well using a mixer until well combined and you get a smooth batter.
  4. Fill each muffin cup ¾ full and place in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean.
Notes
To create the decoration simply sift confection sugar over your stencil.

 

 

I have a few websites I like to follow, cooking websites obviously, and everywhere I look all I see is pumpkin. Pumpkin cakes and cookies, pumpkin donuts and breads, pumpkin pies and pastries, and I know it is the season and that orange goes so well will the fall and the upcoming Halloween but to […]

Read More

Gluten Free Almond Bites

Cakes and Cookies

Cookies with no flour and very little sugar, can you believe it?
These cookies didn’t have a very long life, they were gone about 45 minutes after I took them out of the oven – beware! 🙂
4 ingredients in total go into these great snacks! Read More

Cookies with no flour and very little sugar, can you believe it? These cookies didn’t have a very long life, they were gone about 45 minutes after I took them out of the oven – beware! 🙂 4 ingredients in total go into these great snacks!

Read More