zukerdoodles

Sometimes, you just really want a cookie. Something warming and chewy and crunchy and flavorful all at the same time. And sometimes, if you are me, you cannot resist trying to screw up a perfectly good thing by making it with vegetables and without grain.  This one took a bit of experimenting, but, as luck would have it, these ended up being delicious: a nutritious snickerdoodle packed with zucchini, sunflower, and hemp seeds. The seeds add a creamy “nuttiness” that pairs well with zucchini, which also has a way of tasting nutty. Instead of rolling them in sugar (one of my favorite holiday kitchen tasks as a little girl), I created a blend of dried date powder and cinnamon.

Ingredients: organic zucchini, organic raw sunflower seeds, organic dates, organic coconut flour, raw hemp seeds, organic coconut oil, lemon juice, vanilla extract, sea salt, organic cinnamon  

sunshine carrot cookies

If you’ve ever traveled with a toddler on a group vacation, then you might be familiar with the need to explore a new area much earlier in the morning than you might otherwise want to.  Last week, my husband and I flew to Oregon, where we drove to a nice spot along the Deschutes River for a family reunion of about 18 folks on my mother-in-law’s side. Our bodies loyally remained on East Coast time until, conveniently enough, the day we were flying home. Our son’s body seemed slowest to acclimate, as he was up between 5 and 6 every morning, when my still-sleeping brother-in-law would mumble at him groggily from under a pillow on the fold-out couch when reduntantly asked “what’s Uncle Bobbins doing? Is he sleeping? Is he sleeping?” On the second morning, we attempted to mitigate this kind of irritation by hightailing it to Bend, about 15 miles to the north, where we found very little open at 7 am. Except, that is, Sarah’s Raw & Vegan Cafe, a hidden jem in the back of a chiropractic office that offered a slew of different medicinal smoothies, a bunch of old toys, crayons, and (seriously) a sandbox out back. Perfect.

Not one for sweets so early in the day, my inner child was nevertheless wooed by the prospect of a snickerdoodle– curious what a raw and vegan version would taste like. What is a snickerdoodle without a generous coating of granulated sugar and cinnamon, anyway? At $3 a pop, finding an answer was a bit of an investment.  Fifteen dollars later, I had tried every flavor she offered, and quickly decided I would attempt a nut-free version as soon as I got home.  I even made a visit back the next day to buy a large stash for the flight home, and you can rightly surmise than none of them lasted long enough to see the inside of an airport, or get caught on camera.  I guess I was concerned with the more practical matter of taking home the list of ingredients.

Of course, I had to try to find a way to get some veggies in my version, and had acquired a large bag of small carrots from Elena Day (of Elena Day’s Pies & Produce) the day before our trip. So I revisited an old “carrot cake cookie” recipe attempted from This Rawsome Vegan Life (which is a rather inspiring site, by the way, if you have enough bandwidth to load and scroll past the zillion of food-porny photos accompanying each recipe– you know, in order to actually GET to the recipe?).  I did not manage to achieve the same perfectly crumbly texture that Sarah did (I think I that might require limiting the vegetable content and using more dry sweetener), but the result for these cookies is a crunchy exterior and a moist, chewy interior.  Fionn loves them and can eat several in a sitting, which is a lot for him!

Ingredients: local carrots, organic raw sunflower seeds, filtered water, organic dates, organic coconut flour, organic flax seeds, raw hemp seeds, organic coconut oil, sea salt, vanilla extract, organic cinnamon, organic ginger, organic nutmeg

#raw, #vegan, #paleo

 

 

Mint Mayhem

Minty Superfood Saucers with Kale (Beta)

We have a small bed in our garden that gets full sun, drains very quickly, and has come to be known as the “death bed.” This is partly an homage to Patton Oswalt* as well as an admission that every time we’ve attempted to plant even heat-loving vegetables there (sweet peppers, eggplant, and basil), each are met with a stunted, slowly dessicating demise.  So when I came into a chocolate mint plant at a Master Gardener sale a couple years ago, I knew exactly where to put it.  I discovered chocolate mint about 15 years ago, on the organic farm where my husband and I both once worked (when we had spry knees, hideous tan lines, and could be bribed into long hot hours of heirloom tomato transplanting with cans of Natty Boh). There, it sprawled vigorously along the outside walls of the greenhouse, out-competing other weeds. Sometimes, at the end of a hot day, I’d grab a sprig and rub the crushed leaves on my neck so that I could hide from my own stench for a while. It made a refreshing, richer-than-peppermint sun tea, too, which I guess is what I should have been drinking more of instead of Natty Boh. In any case, no one who has ever tried to grow a little mint will be surprised when I say our little chocolate mint turned the death bed into a vibrant purplish-stemmed jungle of fragrance, even creeping several feet out into the lawn. Even I can’t drink this much tea.

Thus, my inspiration for a Minty Kale Superfood Saucers was born. I had debuted the saucer at City Market this past Saturday, but wanted to experiment with new flavor that didn’t come out of a bottle, or resort to adding cacao nibs. Who wants to risk a potentially napless afternoon with an energetic toddler simply for a snack that had even a tiny bit of caffeine? Caffeine can be mommy’s little helper, sure; but only when it’s in HER hands.

If you haven’t heard my empty calorie rant, or my frustrations with “energy bars,” then I will only say briefly here that these saucers, like all my experiments, are designed to have a significant amount of vegetables (organic kale from Brightwood Vineyard & Farm) and lots of healthy essential fats from whole food ingredients. No isolates, syrups, sweeteners, unpronounceable preservatives, gluten, nuts, or dairy.

After getting some feedback from vegans on Saturday, I made a few changes in this beta recipe (Mint Modification V1.0), that allowed to me make a completely raw, vegan version. That means the texture is slightly different, with the sunflower seeds, chia, and flax more thoroughly puréed. Nevertheless, I am always looking for ways to improve size, texture, shape, and other attributes in order to make things most appealing to kids. Who cares how many vitamins are in something if it never gets to their mouth?

Ingredients: organic raw sunflower seeds, organic pumpkin seeds, organic unsulfured apricots, organic medjool dates, organic flax seeds, local organic kale, organic chia seeds, organic virgin coconut oil, chocolate mint, sea salt, organic vanilla extract

By now I understand why most energy bars are in opaque packaging. They are ugly, and I lack the food-porn photoshopping skills or hipster craftiness to make them look sexy with a little jute twine and parchment paper. Little help, anybody?

Until I find the magic packaging solution for these, each bag has four saucers, which are about 100 calories a piece and packed with vitamins and healthy fats from seeds. Order here for pick up at ACAC downtown on the mornings of Tuesday June 2nd or Thursday 4th. Add a comment if neither of those times work for you and you want to arrange another meet-up.

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*If you have read this far and are afraid to raise your hand and ask what the heck Patton Oswalt has to do with gardening, well, he doesn’t. But please watch his “Death Bed” stand-up sketch after the kids have gone to bed. There are rather superfluous F-bombs.

Seedy Superfood Saucers

I’ve never been a fan of the long-winded anecdotal recipe style endemic to many food blogs (just give me the recipe, damn it!), but as with all things in my life, I humbly (and maybe only temporarily) retract this bias. Let’s just say this whole post is about stubborn Stacy stepping out of character and embracing her own hypocrisy.

With nothing planned on a rainy Saturday afternoon in the itchy hours between naptime and dinner, my husband floated the idea of driving across town to Dick’s Sporting Goods (aka ‘The Ball Store,’ just as Whole Foods is “The Banana Store”). Loathe to patronize a big box store but confident it would be one our high-need-for-physical-activity two year old might enjoy, I upped the ante: “Only if I can go to T.J. Maxx,” which was right next door. Oh, Maxx, how I hate to love you, your back corner aisles like a treasure hunt of motley cooking supplies, all of which you didn’t know you needed until you saw them. I like to think of it as the Tiffany’s of thrift stores, except, you know, minus the whole ‘Reuse & Repurpose’ value. Among my reluctant purchases late that afternoon, just as toddler meltdown necessitated a lot of rapid decision-making, was a pound bag of dried goji berries for $9.99. Which might have made sense if I liked goji berries, or believed that ‘Superfoods’ were anything more than aggressively marketed crops whose beneficial properties largely stem from the fact that they, unlike the fruits and nuts we enjoy more commonly in the US, have not yet been the subject of intensive breeding programs that unintentionally dilute a lot of promising phytochemicals. I make fun of my husband’s pricey proclivity to liberally shower his daily oatmeal with chia and cacao nibs, but by now have grown to appreciate them myself when making granola or raw food treats, and stock up whenever they are on sale in the bulk bins. Aaaaaaand even when they are not. So, long story short, I made these today for my husband who worked a long 13 hour shift at the hospital.

Seedy Superfood Saucers
Yields 12
These are a handy post workout snack, but you can sub whey protein for the cocoa powder if making these for little ones. Caffeine and naptime make foul bedmates.
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198 calories
25 g
0 g
10 g
6 g
1 g
62 g
104 g
11 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
62g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 198
Calories from Fat 85
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
16%
Saturated Fat 1g
6%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 104mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 25g
8%
Dietary Fiber 8g
34%
Sugars 11g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
3%
Calcium
9%
Iron
11%
* 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. 1/2 cup ground flax
  2. 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  3. 3/4 cup chia seeds
  4. 1 cup pepitas
  5. 7 dates
  6. 5 dried unsulfured apricots
  7. ½ teaspoon sea salt
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  9. 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  10. 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  11. ½ cups cacao nibs
  12. 1 cup goji berries
  13. 3 tablespoons water
Instructions
  1. Grind flax, sunflower seeds, sea salt, coconut flour, and cocoa powder in a food processor. Add the pepitas part way through so they remain coarsely chopped.
  2. Add dates, apricots, vanilla, and water, and pulse the mixture few more times, leaving some texture.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl; add the goji berries and cacao nibs and mix well.
  4. Spread mixture into a 24 cup mini muffin tin (or a rectangular pyrex baking dish, but the circles are prettier) and press down into each well with a greased spatula or large spoon until even and firmly packed. The mixture, when packed down, should completely fill each one.
  5. Put the tin in the freezer for about an hour. Then, gently use a knife to pry one corner of each "muffin" out and transfer to a container for keeping in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. This recipe will make at least 24 mini-muffin "saucers." Based on how dense they are, I would say 2 makes a generous serving size. These will keep in the fridge longer way longer than you will be able to resist eating them.
beta
calories
198
fat
10g
protein
6g
carbs
25g
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