Snacks

Spend This Thanksgiving With A Very Special Date

Spend This Thanksgiving With A Very Special Date
by Jason Coon

Jason's Date Crumble

ORGANIC California Jewel Dates!!!
Here is a great recipe we tried last week. It’s really yummy without being overly sweet.  It would be a super addition to any Thanksgiving table, as well as an evening treat for the family. (I even had it for breakfast!)

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups chopped pitted dates
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 fresh lemon squeezed or 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1-1/3 cups flour
  • 1-1/4 cups old fashion oats
  • 2/3 cup rapadura (sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup or 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Preparation:

1.  In 2-quart saucepan, bring dates, 1-1/2 cups water and lemon juice to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until thickened; cool.

2.  Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine flour, oats, rapadura and baking soda.  With pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture is size of coarse crumbs.  Add 2 TBS of water.

3.  Preheat oven to 350.  Use 8-inch stoneware  or spray 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Evenly pres 1/2 of the crumb mixture into pan, then top with cooled date mixture.  Crumble remaining oatmeal mixture on top, pressing gently.   (I think next time we will add some walnuts or pecans to the topping as well!)

4.  Bake 35 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely.  Cut into bars.

On this order we have 3 types of Organic Dates each available in 5lb boxes: Medjool, Deglet Noor Pitted and Date Pieces in Oat Flour.

Click Here to go to the Order Page!

Order Deadline for Drygoods and Cranberries: Nov. 13th, 10:00am

Delivery Date: November 21st and 22nd (depending where you choose to pick up)

Homemade Banana Bread Larabars

Homemade Banana Bread Larabars

I’d rather stand on my head than buy unhealthy munchies while I’m out with the kids, so I’m always on the lookout for pack-able snacks I can make at home. When we discovered the idea of making simple 3 to 5 ingredient Larabars at home, we had a hay day coming up with new flavors and experimenting with superfood bars for travel.

This banana version requires the additional step of dehydrating the bananas, but that part is really easy. Even without a dehydrator.

Banana Bread LaraBars

Banana Bread Larabars

1/4 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup homemade dehydrated bananas (not banana chips)
1/3 cup almonds, pecans, or a combination
Banana Snack Bars

The dehydrated bananas in this recipe need to be flexible, chewy bananas that you’ve made at home, NOT store bought banana chips. Either use a dehydrator or lay a sliced banana out on a greased cookie sheet and dry in the oven at 175 degrees for 2-3 hours or until dry like a raisin. *Update* These instructions for making dehydrated bananas in the oven are very good.
Dehydrated Bananas

Directions

1. Grind all the nuts to a coarse powder. I use my VitaMix for this step, but you could also use a food processor fitted with an ‘S’ blade, a nut mill, or powerful blender. Transfer the ground nuts to a bowl and set it aside.
Ground Nuts

2. Put the dried fruit into VitaMix and turn it on. In my machine, the dried fruit looks like it’s just getting thrown around by the blades, but it really is getting cut. Process it for about 30 seconds. It will become more finely ground when you add the nuts.

3. Now add the ground nut mixture to the dried fruit in the VitaMix and turn on the blades. You’ll need to use the tamper to push the mixture down into the blades and keep it moving. Keep it running until you can see that the fruit is getting sticky and combining with the nut meal.

4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and press it into bars with your hands. Wrap in waxed paper or parchment paper. These can be kept at room temperature for a few days or in the fridge for a few weeks.

Each recipe makes about 4 bars, 1.5″ by 3.5″.

Whole Wheat Apple Walnut Muffins

Some muffin recipes call for milk to make up most of the liquid. And that’s fine for those recipes. But this one is all about flavor since the apples themselves make up almost all of the liquid. If you use freshly ground soft white wheat flour, the muffins turn out light and soft, and baked in preheated stoneware pans, they’re heavenly.

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

Soft White Wheat Flour With Cinnamon and Rapadura

Ingredients

3 or 4 fresh apples, or you can substitute 2-3 cups of applesauce
1/3 c. melted butter
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. soft white wheat flour (use freshly ground flour if possible)1/2 c.
Rapadura (whole organic cane sugar)
1 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 c. chopped walnuts

Apple Muffins in Stoneware Pans

Directions

  • In a blender (or you can do this by hand), blend together the bananas, melted butter, egg, and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, rapadura, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and chopped walnuts.
  • Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and spoon into buttered muffin cups.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Variation: Apple Blueberry Muffins
Prepare as above except use 2 c. of applesauce instead of the bananas, and 1 c. blueberries instead of the nuts.

Over-ripe Mutsu Apples

Homemade Wheat Thins (Soaked 100 Percent Whole Wheat)

Homemade Soaked Wheat Thins

I packed these crackers on a winter trip to the north woods of Wisconsin, and we ate them with organic raw cheese and homemade raw jerky from a grass-fed steer. The butter I used in the crackers was deep yellow, in fact, raw too until the crackers were baked. To me, it was the most nourishing travel meal imaginable, because at the time, I was reading a book (Cure Tooth Decay, by Ramiel Nagel) that explains how to remineralize your teeth and reverse tooth decay by eating traditional foods, especially high quality, organic, yellow butter, soaked or sprouted whole grains, raw cheese, and grass fed meats.

This recipe comes straight from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, but it’s not a cracker recipe in the book. It’s actually the recipe for Yogurt Dough, which is used to make crusts for empanadas and even pizza. In somebody’s real food blog – sorry, I can’t remember whose it was – I read that this recipe produces crackers that taste a lot like Wheat Thins. And it does! It’s a simple recipe too, and best if you actually take the time to soak the flour. I use yogurt sometimes, but most often, kefir is what I have in the fridge, and I think I like it’s flavor best in the crackers. You can use either.

Soaking the flour in this recipe makes the crackers easier to digest and the minerals more available to your body because the phytic acid will be broken down. It’s best to soak the flour for 8-12 hours. Much longer than that, and they may become too sour. (Of course, if your kitchen is cooler, you may be able to get away with a longer soak time.)

Soaked Cracker Dough

Ingredients:

1 cup plain, whole yogurt or kefir
1/2 pound butter, softened,
3 1/2 cups freshly ground soft white wheat flour, or, if you can’t mill it yourself, use pre-milled whole wheat pastry flour
2 t. fine sea salt, plus more to sprinkle on top
unbleached flour for rolling out the dough

 

Soaking the Flour

In the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, the recipe calls for creaming the butter and yogurt together, but I’ve never had any luck with that method. Instead, I’d suggest that you mix the yogurt with half of the flour and half of the salt in one bowl, and mix the butter with the other half of the flour and salt in another bowl. Once you have two separate balls of dough, one with yogurt and the other with butter, combine the two together. I do it this way, sometimes it produces a cracker with pretty marbling.

Cover the dough and leave it at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

Rolled Out Cracker Dough

Rolling Out the Crackers

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Use a pastry cloth if you have one. Otherwise, just sprinkle some unbleached flour on the counter to keep the cracker dough from sticking. Roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick. It’s nice to sprinkle salt on at this point and give the dough one more light rolling to press the salt in a bit. Or you can sprinkle it on later.

Either with a pizza cutter or a knife, cut out your crackers. Prick with a fork. Transfer them to an ungreased metal cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, checking now and then to be sure they don’t burn. They’re done when they’re golden brown on the edges.

Homemade Whole Wheat Crackers

Gluten Free Almond Cookies

My mom found this recipe in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, and wanted me to try making these for her. I thought the idea of putting arrowroot powder into cookies instead of flour sounded a bit strange, but I made them anyway.  They’re awesome! When I took them out of the oven, they were very crumbly, and broke easily (probably because they don’t have eggs in them), but after they cooled down for a few minutes they were very nice.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups almonds
1 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 cup Rapadura Whole Organic Sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon, or 1/2 orange
1/2 cup softened butter or coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
about 18 almonds for decoration (optional)

Directions:

Put the 1 1/2 cups of almonds in a blender or food processor. Turn the machine on low and grind the almonds into a meal. Pour the almond meal, arrowroot powder, Rapadura and lemon rind into a bowl and mix them together. Then add the softened butter and vanilla, and stir until combined.
Drop rounded tablespoons of cookie dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork, or press an almond into the center.
Bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the cookies are just slightly brown. Remove from the oven and cool before serving. Store in an airtight container. (Makes about 18 cookies.)

Gluten Free Corn Bread with Millet

Gluten Free Corn Bread
Made with all corn or a combination of corn and millet

One of our kids is not eating wheat right now because her skin stays much clearer without, so this cornbread has been a staple for simple lunches around here lately. I’ve added millet because it’s an alkaline seed which helps to balance the body’s PH. Besides that, I like to feed our family as much variety as I can, and this is one easy way to do it.

Add the millet if you’d like, but this recipe works just fine with all corn, freshly ground if possible.

Ingredients:

3-4 tablespoons ghee (butter oil) or coconut oil, or a combination

3 eggs

1 3/4 cups coarse cornmeal, preferably freshly ground

1/2 cup coarsely ground millet (or use 1/2 cup additional cornmeal instead)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

scant 2 cups yogurt, buttermilk or kefir

Preheat your oven to 400°.

Place an 11″ cast iron skillet or 9″x13″ baking dish in the oven. Add the ghee or coconut oil to the skillet and let it melt in the warming oven while you mix up the batter. The hot oil will give your cornbread a nice crispy crust, especially if you’re baking in cast iron.

Mix the cornmeal, millet flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl and set it aside.

Beat the eggs with a fork and add the yogurt, buttermilk, or kefir. Combine the mixture together with a spoon or fork until it’s a fairly even color (no unmixed swirls of egg).

Add the egg mixture to the cornmeal mixture and stir to combine, but be careful not to overmix.

Remove the hot pan from the oven and swirl the melted oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Then pour in the batter and bake 20 – 25 minutes. The cornbread will pull away from the sides of the pan when it’s done, and it will be a nice golden color.

Championship Bean Dip

We’ve adopted this recipe from Tast of Home, and we make it all the time.  It goes well with a lunch, as a snack, or even by itself since it’s so filling.  We like it best with our favorite Organic Corn Chips (available in Bulk Natural Foods dry goods orders).

1 1/4 cups Pinto beans
1 cup salsa
1 cup (4  ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
corn chips

Directions:

Put the beans in a large glass bowl and cover them with about 1 inch of water.  Let them soak for about 36 hours, adding more water if necessary.  Rinse them in a colander and put them in a pot with clean water and a little salt.  Let them boil for about an hour, or until soft.  Drain out about 1/2 of the broth, but keep the other half in the pot.  Mash the beans with the broth.

In a bowl, combine the mashed beans and all the other ingredients except the chips; transfer to a slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or until heated through, stirring once or twice.  Serve with Corn Chips.  Makes 4 1/2 cups.

Simple Peach Slushy

With all the peaches we’ve had lately, we’ve been making this refreshing slushy quite a bit. It’s so easy that I don’t think I can really give you a recipe, but I’ll tell you what we do. For our 8 cup capacity VitaMix, we put about 3 cups water in the blender container and then add frozen peaches while the motor is running until the container is full. Add a spoonful of honey or a pinch of stevia powder, and it’s done.

This slushy is equally good made with frozen strawberries instead of the peaches. Yum!

Sprouted Trail Mix

Whenever we travel, I am always careful to pack plenty of good healthy snacks so we aren’t tempted to garbage out on fast food and sugary granola bars. We make healthy cookies, homemade grass fed beef jerky, homemade crackers made with good yellow butter, dried apples, and this awesome trail mix, among other things.

A couple weeks ago, we took a trip to the northwoods of WI, and in an effort to save some money on our trip, we determined not to eat out at all. So for the 16 hour drive both ways, we munched on all the healthy goodies we had brought along. This trail mix was among the favorite snacks. And since the seeds are soaked first, they’re more easily digested so you feel good after eating this stuff by the handful.

Of course, you can make this trail mix without sprouting the seeds, but the sprouting process is said to increase the B vitamins, improve the protein quality of the seeds, and destroy the antinutrient, pyhtic acid.

For this recipe, you don’t really want the seeds to sprout a tail, so just soak them for about 4 hours; long enough to improve their digestibility and nutrient content.

First, soak each type of seed in a separate bowl of water with about a teaspoon of sea salt.

2 cups sunflower seeds
2 cups pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2 cups whole, raw almonds

Strain the seeds and dehydrate at 115 degrees.

Then add:
2 cups raisins
2 cups chopped dates
2 cups flaked natural coconut
2 cups Sunspire unsweetened carop chips

Mix everything together in a big bowl and store in an airtight container.

Linda’s Raw Cranberry Maple Granola Bars

My friend Linda brought a bag of these yummy granola bars to the herb plant pick up on Friday. What a blessing!  With all the kids helping, and so much going on, it was great to have a healthy snack to give everyone.  Here’s her recipe.

Recipe by Linda Lagos

Ingredients:

1 apple, cored and chopped

2 cups dates made into a paste*

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. orange zest

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 3/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 cup sunflower seeds, soaked 2 hours

2 cups almonds, soaked 4 hours

3 cups pecans, soaked 2 hours

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked 2 hours

3/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins, chopped

1/4 cup golden flaxseeds, ground

2 tbsp. sesame seeds

2 tbsp. hemp seeds (optional)

Directions:

In a high speed blender put chopped apple, maple syrup, orange zest, lemon juice, sea salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract, then put in dates.  Blend until well blended but does not need to be smooth.  Set aside.

Rinse and drain all the nuts. In a food processor break up sunflower seeds and pour them into a large mixing bowl. Then put in food processor the almonds and break up into small pieces.  Do the same with pumpkin and pecans.  Pour all these in the mixing bowl as you do each nut.  Add ground flaxseeds, sesame seeds and hemp seeds.  Put in date mixture into nut mix and mix well.  Then put in chopped cranberries and mix well.  You may want to use your hands to mix it.

I have an Excalibur dehydrator and I put the mixture on 3 trays with the teflex sheets.  I spread it to the thickness I desire and dehydrate for 24 hours at 115 degrees, then turn down to 105 degrees for 12 more hours or until done.

*To make date paste you normally would put the amount of dates the recipe asks for, usually a minimum of 1 cup.  With 1 cup dates to 1/4 cup water in a vita mix and on high speed it does not bother the machine.  I have been doing this for the last 4 years that I have had my Vita Mix.  I do soak my dates if they are not real soft and fresh.  But with this granola bar recipe, you just use the apple and agave or maple syrup as the liquid to blend the dates.