magnolia crunch

Delighted by the popularity of our not-too-sweet but very seedy beet your heart out granola (made with gluten-free organic oats), we set out to create an entirely grain-free alternative that was equally crunchy and packed with protein and healthy fats to fuel you for hours. After some of the standard trial and error, we created something that, I think, is even better than the original.

ingredients: organic large flaked coconut, organic pumpkin seeds, beet juice, organic dates, organic sunflower seeds, organic raisins, organic chia seeds, organic golden flax, filtered water, organic virgin coconut oil, organic tapioca flour, organic cinnamon, organic ginger, himalayan pink salt, lemon extract, vanilla extract

beet your heart out granola

Even if you can proudly resist candy, donuts, ice cream, and pretty much all processed sugars (good for you), you’ve got a crutch. Something you need after dinner (even if you’re stuffed), before brushing your teeth at night. A habit so entrenched you fear you might start slapping your loved ones or twitching on the floor if you can’t have it. At least I hope you do, because I don’t want to feel like I’m going out on a limb here. For me, it’s granola.

I’ve been making granola for years, baking enough every week to fill about three 1/2 gallon jars, using a basic formula but essentially winging it every time with different seeds, nuts, and spices. Believe it or not, my tiny family (basically, me and my husband, though my 3 1/2 year old is joining our ravenous ranks, slowly but surely) goes through it like wildfire even when I screw up and it’s not that good. Even at its best, it’s never as sweet as any other brand I’ve tried (oh, and boy do I still buy and try many) in which maple syrup or honey is among the first three ingredients. I consider those “dessert granolas” for enjoying in a mug of (raw) milk after dinner.

I usually use local honey as a sweetener, but I wanted to try something different here– a breakfasty granola that’s less sweet but more textured and nutritious to get you through a busy morning. Steaming beets (my preferred preparation) leaves us with quite a bit of magenta juice in the bottom of the pot, and it’s too beautiful and nutritious to waste. Some of it goes into our sweet beet crackers, but the rest, I use in the granola, adding a bit of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory betalain, folic acid, and circulation-boosting properties to my daily breakfast (read more about beet benefits here).

I combine the beet juice organic dates to create a purée about the consistency of honey, and mix with the oats and four kinds of protein-rich seeds. The result is a low sugar snack that can add crunch and a smidge of sweet to your yogurt or even your salad.

ingredients: certified gluten-free rolled oats*, beet juice, raw sunflower seeds*, raw pumpkin seeds*, dates*, chia seeds*, golden flax*, raisins*, filtered water, virgin coconut oil*, vanilla extract, cinnamon*, Himalayan pink salt, lemon extract

*certified organic

el cuatro (four seed roasted red pepper cracker)

I have been looking forward to the full swing of red pepper season, and here we are in mid-late August with the staff at Whisper Hill Farm‘s market stand nearly begging people to buy whole flats of the things.  I took them up on the offer last Saturday, bartering a four-pack of superstar omega bars to keep those hard-working ladies fueled as they packed up after market.

On Monday, a visit from the woman who must be the most self-sacrificing friend in the universe found us, with our collective clan of three boys, in our garden. You know that point in late afternoon, about an hour after waking naptime, when toys start to be used a little too aggressively, evidenced by balls hurling through the air, yelps that “so and so hit me with the book,” etc.? At that point, you know you missed some magic window in which smarter moms would have proactively transitioned everyone to an outside activity. Oops. I had been waiting for my first delivery from bulk distributor Dutch Valley Foods, headed my way on a tractor trailer with a vague ETA. Awaiting a call from the driver when he got close, we headed out to the garden. Fionn was eager to show his friends Carter (5yo) and Alan (3yo) how to pick tomatoes, which he is quick to remind you that he doesn’t like (“they are too squirby for me”), but respects simply because red, he now repeatedly declares, is his favorite color.

Carter had the idea to make a salad, so I offered the challenge to see how many colors we could find for it. The eager team waded from tomatoes to peppers to beets to carrots, through knee-high weeds in what other people might refer to as a “lawn.” We got a meager but respectable haul, and I used some of their very carefully-harvested cherry tomatoes (and basil) in the dough mixture.

These crunchy crackers are packed with Vitamin A and C from ripe red peppers and cherry tomatoes, but also chock full of nutritious seeds, including flax and chia.

Ingredients: roasted red peppers (Whisper Hill Farm), organic millet, organic flax seeds, organic raw sunflower seeds, cherry tomato, organic chia seeds, filtered water, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic dates, organic apple cider vinegar, sea salt, roasted garlic, fresh basil, smoked paprika, cayenne

 

superstar & mighty mint bars

This is the perfect portable “treat” for the kiddos (you don’t have to tell them that there’s little bits of kale inside), or a great chewy re-fuel after a workout. In slightly more than 200 calories, each bar is a good source of protein (10 grams!), iron, Vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, & manganese, a very good source of Vitamin K, and contains about 1,900 mcg of omega-3 fatty acids from four kinds of seeds. Since just enough certified organic raisins and dates are used to hold the bars together, it wouldn’t technically be lying to call this a “chewy raisin bar” for the little ones particularly wary of new foods.  This is nutrient density at it’s best! 

mighty_mint_omega_bar
mighty mint omega bar

Flavors include superstar (vanilla rosemary) and mighty mint (cacao nibs with peppermint)

Ingredients (superstar bar): organic raw sunflower seeds, organic raw pumpkin seeds, organic seedless raisins, organic medjool dates, organic flax seeds, organic chia seeds, raw hemp seeds, local organic kale, sea salt, vanilla extract, lemon extract, fresh rosemary

 

Order here.

Seedy Apricot Saucers (with Spinach)

Have you been duped in the confusing profusion of “energy bars”? Well, I decided I had been duped for the last time a few days ago, trying to choose the “least bad” option for my little guy at the at the store, as he Go-Go-Gadgetted his arms toward everything within view of the shopping cart. Even the best of commercially available ones (those without some kind of rice syrup or other liquid sweetener) are still composed mostly of dried fruits, with some seeds thrown in for texture. Of course they will give you “energy” if they are mostly sugar! This recipe is better for two reasons: Even by weight, seeds predominate, lending a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and minerals. Secondly, I managed to sneak a decent amount of spinach in there. In retrospect, I laughingly admit that these would be much prettier with some goji berries.  See my post on Seedy Superfood Saucers regarding goji berries. Go ahead and add about 1/2 cup of them to the recipe below if you fancy.

Note: There are two options with this recipe. The traditional bar size is made in a 9 by 13 inch baking pan, while the saucers use a 24 cup mini muffin tin, which might require two batches. Alternatively, you could have it both ways by using a square 9 by 9 inch baking dish and simply use the remaining mixture for the muffin tin.

Seedy Apricot Saucers (with Spinach)
Yields 20
Not too sweet, these "space saucers" are mostly seeds, with just enough dried fruit to hold them together. Your little one will never guess they also contain spinach!
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Cook Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
134 calories
12 g
0 g
9 g
3 g
2 g
29 g
36 g
3 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
29g
Yields
20
Amount Per Serving
Calories 134
Calories from Fat 77
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 2g
12%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 36mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 12g
4%
Dietary Fiber 5g
18%
Sugars 3g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
8%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 medjool dates
  2. 8 dried Turkish apricots
  3. 3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  6. 1 1/2 cup (about 3-4 ounces) fresh spinach leaves, packed down (this should equal at least 1/2 cup purée)
  7. ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  9. 1 1/2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
  10. 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  11. 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  12. 1/2 cup chia seeds
  13. ½ cup whole brown flax seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F and line a 9” x 13” metal cake pan with parchment paper, OR grease the cups of a 24 cup mini muffin tin with coconut oil.
  2. Put the pitted dates and apricots in a metal or glass 1 cup measuring cup and pack down. Add about 3 tablespoons hot water and let soak for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the soaked dates and apricots (along with the liquid) to a food processor. (I use a Nutribullet). Add the spinach and blend to a smooth purée.
  4. In a small saucepan on low heat, whisk together the coconut oil, vanilla, and puree mixture, mixing till well combined for just a minute or two. Do not bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the ginger,cinnamon, and salt.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, stir the pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, flax seeds, and chia together.
  6. Pour the liquid mixture onto the dry ingredients and stir together thoroughly.
  7. For bars: spread the mixture into the parchment paper-lined metal pan and press down until you have an even thickness.
  8. For saucers: Spoon the mixture onto the greased mini muffin tin and press into each well, patting down firmly so that the mixture comes flush with the top in each one.
  9. Bake at 300 F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, let it cool completely on the counter, and then transfer to the refrigerator for one hour (or overnight, if it's late!) before moving onto the next step.
  10. For bars: Cut into 20 rectangles.
  11. For saucers: place a cookie sheet on top of the muffin tin and gently flip it over, setting the sheet on a counter before lifting the upside-down muffin tin.
  12. Store bars/saucers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (though they will probably last much longer if you let them!)
beta
calories
134
fat
9g
protein
3g
carbs
12g
more
http://goodphytefoods.com/

Pumpkin Pie Chia Roll-ups

In my ongoing, increasingly half-hearted quest to use the entirety of the 30 pounds of cut, seeded Seminole pumpkin acquired on Sunday (see my Solstice post on Pumpkin Parmesan Crackers with Sage), I tried my hand at making a leather that was higher in fiber and protein, lower in sugars, and, well, tasted kinda like pie. Adjust the spices to your liking; nutmeg can overwhelm other spices, so I use it very sparingly.

Pumpkin Pie Chia Roll-ups
Yields 8
A fun way to get some beta carotene into your little one, and much easier for little hands to eat than a slice of pie.
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
37 calories
6 g
0 g
1 g
1 g
0 g
58 g
21 g
3 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
58g
Yields
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 37
Calories from Fat 10
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
2%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 21mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 6g
2%
Dietary Fiber 3g
10%
Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
96%
Vitamin C
3%
Calcium
3%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup puréed baked pumpkin, sweet potato, or other sweet winter squash (including skin!)
  2. 1 cup baked apples (I used Albemarle Pippins)
  3. 1 tsp fresh squeezed juice from an orange (though I probably would have used a lemon if I had one around)
  4. 1/4 cup water
  5. 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  8. 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  9. Pinch of ground cloves
  10. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  11. Pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Make sure your baked pumpkin is fully cooked, and purée with skins (omitting any burnt skins) in the food processor. Add the 1/4 cup water.
  2. Add the baked apple, again including the skins.
  3. Add spices, chia seeds, salt, orange juice, and vanilla extract and purée the whole mixture until very smooth.
  4. Line a dehydrator tray with paraflex or parchment paper (not wax paper).
  5. Pour the mixture onto the sheet and use a rubber spatula to evenly spread the mix from one corner to the other, about 1/4 inch thick. Get it as smooth and even as possible, erring on the side of making the edges just slightly thicker than the center.
  6. Place in dehydrator and dry at 135°F or 57°C for about 3 hours (maybe longer in humid conditions).
  7. To test for doneness, press the leather lightly with flat fingers. If your finger leaves an indentation, it is not ready. If the leather feels moist or sticky, it is not ready. It will be slightly tacky, but it should not feel wet at all. If it pulls off the paper easily, it is done. If parts stick to the sheet (which is more likely at the center), it is not done. Look for color variations, wet spots may be much lighter or much darker in color.
  8. If it is dry and brittle, it is too dry, but it makes a nice crunchy "chip."
Notes
  1. This recipe makes one full sheet of leather for use in a 14" by 14" Excalibur dehydrator. The edges tend to get crispy by the time the center is done, so I trip off these drier parts as "chips", which will reduce the total number of roll-ups you are able to cut from the sheet.
beta
calories
37
fat
1g
protein
1g
carbs
6g
more
http://goodphytefoods.com/