Apple Crisp Oatmeal Smoothie

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Amy:
Ever tried to put raw oatmeal in your smoothie? I hadn’t until today which now I realize is a complete shame. The texture! The flavour! The nutrition! Of course the flavour options are endless but I wanted to make one that would taste like apple crisp. 😀

If you drink it right away it’s nice and thick like a milkshake but if you refrigerate it overnight it thickens so you can eat it with a spoon! It would be like overnight oats but it’s all smooth. Eating it raw preserves more of the nutrients and enzymes.

Ingredients:
1 green apple, chopped
3 madjool or sugar dates, pit removed
1 – 1/2 cups vanilla soy or almond milk
3-4 tbsp quick cooking oats (use clean oats if needed)
Dash of pumpkin pie spice or just cinnamon – as much as you like!

Directions:
1. Blend together for 1 minutes until smooth and frothy. Enjoy!
2. Refrigerate overnight for raw oatmeal.

Sunshine Coconut Curry Stir-fry

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Amy:
Well I figured it was about time for a nice stir-fry as I walked past a head of suey choy in the grocery store that I couldn’t resist. AND little cans of bamboo shoots and water chestnuts were on sale! All that mixed with some delicious chickpeas, coconut milk, spices and quinoa and it was a lick-the-bowl-clean kind of a meal. Hearty, wholesome, satisfying.

Ingredient spotlight: Suey choy…AKA Chinese cabbage or napa cabbage. Very popular in Chinese and other Asian cuisines. It is very mild in flavour compared to boy choy and adds nice bulk to dishes such as this. Benefits of eating it? It’s high in nutrients such as vitamin C, soluble and insoluble fiber, cancer fighting antioxidants and is very low in calories!
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Ingredients:
1 tbsp oil
1 head of suey choy (or bok choy), chopped
1 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 small can of bamboo shoots (optional)
1 small can of water chestnuts, sliced
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed

1 can of full fat coconut milk
1 tsp garam marsala and curry powder
1-2 tsp hot sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Chop all vegetables. Heat oil in a frying pan until hot and add vegetables. Note you will need a large pan for all of this! If you don’t have enough room, wait until part of the suey choy is whilted and then add in the rest!
2. Once the greens start to whilt, add in chickpeas.
3. Mix coconut milk and spices together and season as desired.
4. Once the vegetables are to your desired texture, add in the coconut milk mixture. Mix well to coat and allow it to heat up for a minute before serving.

I served this over quinoa. Makes some powerfully tasty lunches for the next day!

Italian Chickpea Flatbread

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Photo credit: http://savoringeverybite.com/2011/03/30/farinata-chickpea-flatbread/
Amy:
I’m totally into discovering foods that are naturally gluten free and at the moment…grain-free and very simple! Trust the Italians to come up with simple, delicious recipe ideas. This recipe is actually called ‘Torta Di Ceci’ in Italian. It’s so simple – chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt/pepper! I added some rosemary for some “pizzazz” and spread some cashew cream on it. My in-laws thought it was delicious! They shot me a sideways look and asked…where did you get this idea from?! The answer, from this blog http://inpursuitofmore.com/2012/11/12/recipe-authentic-italian-chickpea-flat-bread/

I am a big supporter of bean flours. They are higher in protein than grain-based flours, super nutritious and add variety to your diet which is very, very important for a healthy gut! I will definitely be making this again.

Ingredients:
2.5 cups chickpea flour (Can be purchased at Bulk Barn but may be contaminated with wheat. If that is a problem, I found success in purchasing some organic chickpea flour from well.ca)
3.5 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
Dash of salt, pepper and rosemary (optional)

Directions:
1. Gradually whisk water into chickpea flour a little at a time to prevent clumps.
2. Add the remaining ingredients. Allow to sit on the counter for about 3 hours. Whisk it up in the morning and let it sit until you are ready to make it!
3. Oil a large baking sheet well. Pour mixture into the pan and carefully transfer into a preheated oven. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until set and browned on the top.
4. Serve with a little sprinkle of parmesan (if able), cashew cream or other spread! It’s also delicious on it’s own!
Stores well in the fridge (air tight container) for a few days.

How to sprout lentils!

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Amy:
What is a sprout? A lentil in it’s dried form is a “sleeping” plant but sprouting it “awakens” the seed nutritionally and organically. Once that growth begins all the nutrients the plant needs to flourish are concentrated in the tiny sprouts

Benefits of Sprouting Lentils:
1. Lentils contain phytic acid, which can be difficult to digest. Sprouting neutralizes the phytic acid which means more vitamins and minerals can be absorbed by your body as they’re digested.
2. When you sprout lentils, you’re actually starting the germination process, which changes the composition of the lentils. Sprouting increases the amounts of vitamins and minerals in the lentils, especially B vitamins and carotene.
3. Sprouting also produces Vitamin C.
4. Sprouting also helps break down some of the sugars that create intestinal gas.

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Directions
1. Place the lentils in a strainer. Rinse lentils with plenty of cool running water for a minute or two. Fill the jar with water, add lentils and let them rest overnight as the dried seeds absorb water and rehydrate. Cover with papertowel or cheesecloth and secure with an elastic or jar ring. (Note: The lentils will quadruple in size from start to finish so only use about 1/2-3/4 cup of lentils for a 1 litre mason jar.)

2. In the morning drain the jar thoroughly and rinse the lentils with lots of water once again, but this time drain them thoroughly and rest the mason jar on its side. You may not see it yet, but the lentils are starting to grow!

3. Twice a day rinse and drain the lentils, taking care not to leave them sitting in water. After just a day or so they will start to sprout! The whole process works best if the sprouts are not in direct sunlight, which tends to dry them out too much.

4. Continue rinsing and draining the lentils twice a day until the sprouts are about ½ inch long with small green leaves forming on the ends, about three to four days. When the sprouts are beautiful, remove the papertowel and replace the lid on the jar and store them in the fridge. They will keep for about a week, but that is no guarantee they will last that long!

© Chef Michael Smith (adapted from http://www.lentils.ca/?q=recipes/sprouted-lentils)

I have used lentil sprouts raw as a topping for salad, steamed gently for 10 minutes, in a casserole and in soup (excellent in soup!).

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Raw Mocha Brownies

Amy:
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This one should need no convincing. It’s goodness in the form of a brownie. Try it. You’ll like. No white flour, sugar or margarine!

Ingredients:
1 cup oats (wheat free for those that need GF)
2 cups dried dates
1 cup cashews (I substituted about 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds – tasty!)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1-2 tbsp ground coffee (totally optional)
2-3 tbsp coconut oil
Dash of salt

Directions:
1. Blend everything in a food processor until fairly smooth and sticky.
2. Press into a 9×9 inch pan firmly and refrigerate to let set.

Raw Nature’s Bounty Bars

Amy:
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Whooooo baby are these ever good! I have to lock them away so I don’t eat them all before our road trip….on which they won’t last long anyway…
I wanted to make some granola bars for my man with a million food sensitivities. Fortunately I discovered this recipe idea from the blog This Rawsome Vegan Life (my favourite blog at the mo) and adapted it. All this recipe consists of is dried fruit, seeds and nuts (in one form or another)! I did add some oatmeal into mine but that is up to you. And – judge for yourself – but these are about 100 times more tasty (and nutritious) than the one you can buy in a box! Bliss 🙂

Ingredients:
3 cups of “dry ingredients” any combination of nuts, seeds, oats….use more or less based on preference and what’s in your pantry
What I used: 1 cup clean oats, 1/3 cup walnuts, 1/3 cup coconut, 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/3 cup chia seeds, 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, 1/3 cup flaxseed
1 cup dried fruit (I used 1/3 cup madjool dates, 1/3 cup raisins and 1/3 cup prunes)
1/4 cups “sticky ingredients” – 1 tbsp sunflower seed butter and 3 tbsp coconut oil

Directions:
1. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Put 1/3 of dry mixture, 1/3 of the dried fruit and 1/3 of the sticky ingredients together in a food processer. (Mine is small – if you have a big one, dump it all in there!) Process until ingredients are fairly blended and stick together.
3. Empty into a parchment paper lined 9X13 baking dish or onto a baking sheet. Continue until all ingredients are mixed.
4. Press firmly with your fingers to smooth out the bars. I used a baking sheet and it allowed me to make it into the thickness I wanted. I garnished with dried apples but that is optional.
5. Chill in the fridge. Cut into bars!

Raw Fig Bars

IMG_8551Amy:

I remember my Mom buying fig newton cookies when we were kids! They had such lovely jam centers. Fig newtons are the first thing that I think of when I see a fig…and since I am still working through my Costco sized bag of figs, I was inspired to try and create a “raw” version of these. I based my recipe off of this terrific blog – http://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com/2012/10/raw-fig-bars.html. They turned out great! Think date square…but with figs…and no margarine, flour or sugar…
Figs are a great source of potassium, fibre, and have the type of antioxidants that protects your heart and help prevent cancers!

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 cup wheat free quick oats
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut
1 heaping cup dried fruit (Dates, apricots and/or raisins)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tbsp coconut oil (optional)

Filling:
2 cups dried figs, soaked in water for 2-4 hours (keep the water!)
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon or juice (optional)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. To make the crust: process the dry ingredients in your food processor until you get really fine pieces – like flour. Add the dried fruit and coconut oil, process until crumbs are sticky. Press into a 9X9 pan. Save 1/4 of the crumbs for the topping.

2. To make the filling: blend the figs, juice, chia and salt in the food processor (no need to wash it), adding the soak water as needed to make it smooth but still quite thick. Spread this on the crust.

3. Sprinkle crumbs on top of the fig filling and press down a little. Refrigerate, cut and enjoy!

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