A healthy snack: kale chips

Do you ever get the craving for something crispy and crunchy and deliciously salty? So do I but the truth is I don’t enjoy snacking on chips or crisps because if I have one, I must have a million and then it becomes everything but a snack… do you see where I’m going with this? I’m happy to say I’ve now found a nice, healthy substitute for the addictive little morsels.

Kale chips

One of my favourite local Cape Town bloggers, Emma Jude, posted a recipe for kale chips a few weeks ago and I decided to give them a try after remembering that I actually had some kale on hand in my fridge.

They came out well, I think! Extremely crunchy and ‘chip-like’, and MUCH more delicious than they look!

Here’s the recipe.

 

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Freeze-Dried Apple Crisps

These are amazing!!!

 

 

Head on over to  Wellness Warehouse and find out what I think of them!


Banana Coconut Granola

I must admit that when I make a batch of granola I find myself having to dig really deep for some sort of restraint because I could nibble on it All. Day. Long.  In fact I had some this morning for breakfast…and then a handful 2 hours later…oh, and I might have grabbed a little more to gnaw on while I was sipping tea…  ok fine, I’m eating some right now! Aaaaaaaaaaah! Will someone please take this stuff away from me?!!!

Let’s move onto the recipe.

(Just so that we are clear- I wouldn’t exactly call this granola ‘healthy’. The high percentage of fat in the coconut and nuts, as well as the sugar in the banana and honey make it rather high-calorie, so you may want to go easy (says me!!!).

Banana Coconut Granola

Ingredients

6 cups of rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)

1 cup of pecan nuts

1 cup of almonds

1 cup of desiccated coconut

1 cup of coconut shards

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

pinch of salt

1/2 cup of honey

¼ cup of oil

1 banana, mashed

½ cup of coconut milk

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 cup of dried  banana chips

½ cup of cranberries or raisins.

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Combine the oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, desiccated coconut and salt in a large bowl. Melt the honey in a saucepan and add the coconut milk, oil, vanilla and mashed banana. Pour the wet mixture into the oats making sure that everything is coated. Spread onto a large baking tray and bake for 45mins to an hour, checking every 20 mins and loosening the ‘clusters’. While the granola is baking, toast the nuts and coconut shards in a pan on the stove-top.

Once the granola is cooked and crunchy and has cooled slightly, add the nuts, coconut shards and cranberries. Mix it all up and tuck in store in an airtight container.

xxx


Carob Snack Bars for Madiba Monday

First of all, Happy Birthday Madiba! I actually cannot believe that he is 93 years old today. It felt like last year when he was celebrating his 80th! Time sure does fly…

Onto somewhat less important stuff- Like energy snack bars:)

I don’t know about you but I love to snack throughout the day to keep my energy levels up and my blood sugar regulated.  Some people see snacking as a terrible thing, but  if you choose the right foods, your metabolism will benefit and you’ll  prevent any sugar-crash-related grumpiness.

Now, before I go any further- you should probably know that I love chocolate! But the funny thing is that I will never go into a store and buy a bar of chocolate and spend the next five minutes chomping it. I keep a slab or two of good quality dark chocolate in my fridge and when the craving hits, I will snap off a piece and in no time the craving for sugar will have vanished. Sometimes though, during a busy week, or when I’m feeling pap and just need some comfort, I might have, well, let’s just say…a bigger  portion of the slab.

For those of you who have never heard of carob- it comes from a Mediterranean evergreen tree called, surprise surprise, the carob tree! The tree produces pods and it is from these pods that the actual carob powder is made. The important thing to note-if you’re curious, is that carob is naturally sweeter than chocolate and although it contains more carbohydrates, it has less fat and protein. The fact that chocolate is naturally bitter, means that we add loads of sugar to sweeten the taste and this is where the teeth-rotting evil lies.

So! having explained all that, let’s get in the kitchen.

These snack bars are so easy to make and you can wrap them up individually, keep them in the fridge and grab one or two before you head out the door. Convenience. What’s not to like? Oh and my favourite part? They contain Peanut Butter!!

Carob peanut butter oat bars

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup ground almonds

1/3 cup carob powder

3/4 cup natural peanut butter, creamy and salted

1/4 cup honey ½ cup soy milk (or cows milk)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Grease a 7×11 baking pan. Mix the oats ground almonds in a medium bowl and set aside. In a pot, whisk together the honey, soy milk and carob powder over med-low heat. Whisk constantly until steamy. Add the peanut butter and whisk until peanut butter is warmed and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the oats. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides with a spatula and cut into bars soon after removing from oven.

xxx


Celebratory S’mores !

Do you remember the stuff you used to eat as a kid? I was thinking about this the other day. I was one of those children that hated vegetables. Hated them! although if push really came to shove I may have been ok with eating carrots and peas. Thats it!

By the time my teen years rolled around I began to eat ‘normally’ and started to really enjoy veggies. I’d like to congratulate myself on being rather adventurous actually.

Nowadays my diet is probably 85% plant-based. Isn’t that funny? There are a few things however that I definitely recall eating during my childhood that I think every child should be compelled to try- even if they do happen to be diabetic or belong to those I-don’t-allow-my-children-to-have-sugar parents. 

These are some of the “snacks” my younger brother and I used to whip up in the kitchen from time to time:

Caramel coated popcorn – yes I know, you can buy it from the store but really, homemade is just so much better- especially when the caramel is still hot!

Rice-Crispie treats- you know the ones that are made into little bars by ‘gluing’ the Rice-Crispies together with melted marshmallows

Condensed milk in the tube- don’t think I need to say more here!!!

‘Treat’ caramel smeared on Marie Biscuits- this always reminds me of a girl, Megan I went to school with because whenever we would go on field-trips, she would ALWAYS have her tin of ‘Treat’ with her and a packet of Marie’s. Just a word of warning- these are totally addictive but are known to cause some serious abdominal pain if one consumes the whole tin of caramel. Who would eat an entire tin, you may ask. – As I said, they’re addictive.

S’mores- Marie Biscuit sandwiches filled with sweet puffy marshmellow and melted chocolate. These were pretty much a standard item on our midnight feast menu’s at boarding school. Yes, they are delicious.

It has been a while since I’ve thought about these wonderful treats, but while standing in the queue at Pick’nPay last week, I came across the little packets of ‘mini’ Marie Biscuits. I wasn’t aware that they were produced in such cute bite-sized portions!

Obviously when I saw them, only once thing came to mind…Mini S’mores!!!

Today presented the perfect opportunity to assemble these little guys. One of my lecturers has just sent off the first draft of her novel which she’s been working on for 2 years. If you’re a writer, you’ll know that something of this nature is pretty big. So as a class we have decided to help her celebrate. I thought that these bite-sized treats would be a perfect little something something to say “Well Done Karen!”

Hope she likes them!

 Don’t feel left out because you can rustle these up for yourself at home. And really, you should because they are dead easy to make.

All you need is:

-Packet of mini Marie Biscuits

-chocolate

-marshmellows

 So all that needs to be done is to chop up the marshmallows into smaller pieces (so that they fit onto the biscuits)

 pop them into the microwave until the marshmellow doubles in size. Top the oozing marshmellow with a piece of chocolate and watch it melt. Then top with another Marie and press together. Either pop straight into your mouth for instant pleasure, or leave to stand until you need them!

Easy peasy Japanesey 🙂