Category Archives: Snacks

Protein Bars–Quick, Easy, Nutrient Dense

Looking for a protein bar?  Are you properly overwhelmed at the offerings?   How about trying to find one that is soy free?  “Good luck!”  Because soy is so cheap and readily available and high in protein per ounce, soy is WAY overused in the protein bar market.  As are artificial sweeteners.  Is there an answer to the need for a quick, tasty protein fix that doesn’t affront you in the natural foods department?  That was the challenge.  We are quite pleased with the result.  Not cookies, but a decent protein bar.  Without soy isolate, which, by the way, I hate :(.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

First, the dry ingredients:

3 cups old fashioned oatmeal

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1/2 cup coconut, shredded

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped peanuts

1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries

1 cup vanilla whey protein powder, if using a protein powder offends you, you could use oat or other grain flour

Then we will use the following for the “wet” ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup Greek honey yogurt, full fat

1 cup natural peanut butter

Mix all dry ingredients together and pour into food processor

Process to make into a coarse crumb

Dump dry ingredients back in to large mixing bowl.

Now for the wet ingredients:

Blend together

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup Greek honey yogurt, full fat

1 cup natural peanut butter

Whisk until fully incorporated

Pour over processed dry ingredients


it will be a thick batter

Line a sheet pan with foil…I am a big fan of the non stick foil

Pat into pan

Bake for 15 minutes

Cool 10 minutes on rack

Remove carefully from pan and cut into bars  (I use a pizza cutter)

Lift  bars onto baking sheets

leaving an air space between them

Bake another 15 minutes

Cool.  If your peanut butter always needs a chocolate fix, drizzle melted chocolate on the top

Chill to harden chocolate.  Wrap in foil.

A nice supply of additive free, natural protein bars.

Quick fix for the on-the-go crowd.

This recipe would lend itself to all sorts of changes (different dried fruit, seeds, etc)…I choose what I had on hand.  Adapted from

This post is linked to Real Food Wednesdays:




Filed under Breakfast, Eating well, Snacks

Salted Caramel Butternut Squash

Who knew you could have butternut squash for dessert? Or breakfast? Or all by itself for a snack?  With this recipe all sorts of butternut squash eating opportunities present themselves.  I confess!  Yes, I ate almost the whole recipe myself over a couple of days at various times and meals.  Salted/Peppered Caramel is showing up in all sorts of foodie sites.  Here’s a great starter recipe for you!

Salted Caramel Butternut Squash

2 medium butternut squash

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup brown sugar, light or dark, your preference

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

(Adapted from Barefoot Contessa)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Peel and removed seeds from squash.  Cut into cubes. Place in large bowl.

Melt butter in small saucepan

Add sugar, salt and pepper

Whisk into butter

Pour butter mixture over squash

Using your hands, coat squash with glaze (butter/sugar mixture).

Spread on sheet pan.

Bake 45-50 minutes, until beautifully caramelized

So simple, so delicious at any temperature–warm, cold or piping hot!


This post is linked to “Tempt my Tummy” Tuesdays.


Filed under Breakfast, Eating well, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Lunch, Side Dishes, Snacks

Homemade Pita for Everyone

I am consistently surprised at the price of bread; any and every kind.  It seems pita is especially overpriced and generally not very good.  One of my fall goals is to start making almost all of our bread again.  The past four or five years my work schedule has not permitted as much bread baking as I enjoy but this fall, I am determined.  I have scaled back my commitments so look forward to many more bread-y posts! As a follow-up to my ‘bread for everyone‘, I have been wanting to post on this wonderful Pita bread recipe.  It is easy, easy and turns out perfect every time.  I have previously posted a sourdough pita but not everyone has joined the sourdough wagon… here’s an easy pita for everyone.

Homemade Pita

In mixing bowl, stir together:

1 packet active dry yeast (about 1 tablespoon)

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) water

Let sit until foaming, about 10-20 minutes (this depends on your room temperature–warmer is faster)

Add to bowl:

2 more cups warm water

1 cup unbleached flour

Mix thoroughly and add, one cup at a time:

2 cups white whole wheat flour (or unbleached white, if you prefer)

Let mixture set an additional 10 minutes.  These rest periods are the secret!

Now add:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

Mix in thoroughly and beat in

3 more cups unbleached flour

Knead with dough hook about 7-10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.

In a large bowl, place 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Now place the ball of dough in the bowl, roll it around to smother with oil.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 1-2 hours.

The dough is doubled when you poke a finger and hole doesn’t fill.

Preheat pizza stone on middle rack of oven to 500 degrees.

Punch down dough, knead briefly and shape into a round.

Cut your round with a dough scraper into 16 pieces–to do this, cut in half; cut in fourths, cut in eighths, cut into sixteenths :).

Roll into small balls by stretching the smooth surface around the ball and let these balls rest under a cloth for 20 minutes.  Use as much flour as needed to not stick.

Roll the ball in to a disk and “throw” onto pizza stone.  Bake 2-3 minutes until lightly golden and puffed.

Wrap warm pitas in a clean cloth to keep them soft.

Serve with hummus……that recipe coming up next!


This post is linked to Real Food Wednesdays

1 Comment

Filed under Breads and such, Eating well, Side Dishes, Snacks, Vegan

Better Breakfast Cookies

Not everyone would consider chocolate chips a good addition to “breakfast cookies” but I am not in that camp.  Especially the Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate chips, the only ‘chip’ in the market for me.  In fact, I have given up using any other kind of chocolate for eating or baking.  But, I digress.  This is not a sales pitch for chocolate chip varieties but another installment in the search for the perfect breakfast cookie.  This is a better breakfast cookie recipe but I am not calling it ‘perfect’ yet.

Better Breakfast Cookies

Grind one cup whole almonds in your food processor.

Add and process with ground almonds, one cup old fashioned oats.

Sprinkle in 1/2 cup raw sugar.

Into the processor goes:

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup almond flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Whirl together until thoroughly mixed.

Now add one whole egg.

Process briefly.

Using a spatula, mix  in 1/2 cup chocolate chips, if desired.

Shape into about 1 inch balls.

Put 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut in a plastic container and fill with several cookie balls.

Put on the lid and shake.

Place the coconut-ty balls on parchment and flatten with your fingers.

Admire your handiwork.

Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes.  Remove cookies when puffed and slightly browned.

Cool on rack.  Serve.  Makes approximately 14 cookies.

Bon Appetit!



Filed under Breakfast, Gluten Free, Snacks, Tea time

Soaked Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today’s post is a guest post from a great friend and fellow ‘real food’ cook – Lucy. These cookies are mostly refined sugar free (most chocolate chips have some type of refined sugar, although Sunsprie makes grain sweetened chocolate chips – if you use these, they are 100% refined sugar free) and whole grain. I haven’t tried this recipe yet because I am waiting on my source for maple sugar to be back in stock. I will post when I do. I also think they would be delicious with palm sugar.



Soaked Chocolate Chip Cookies

loosely based on Sally Fallon’s Raisin Nut Cookie recipe


Total prep time: about 14 to 26 hours

Hands-on prep time: about 20 minutes


½ c whole yogurt (or more, depending on texture)

½ c butter, softened

¼ tsp sea salt

1 ½ c whole wheat, kamut, or spelt flour

1 c maple sugar

1 overflowing tsp vanilla extract

½ to 1 bag dairy-free chocolate chips


Two hours (or so—depending on ambient temperature) before you want your flour to start soaking, set out butter to soften and yogurt to come to room temperature.

When butter is soft, cream together butter and yogurt in a large bowl. Thoroughly mix in flour and salt. (Consistency will be more like bread-dough than regular cookie dough—but make sure it’s not too stiff, or the sugar and vanilla won’t mix in well.) Cover and leave at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. (The longer the mixture soaks, the stronger the flavor will be.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease your cookie sheet(s). Add maple sugar, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips, and stir or knead thoroughly into dough. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet(s). Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Move from cookie sheets to cooling racks before they’ve finished cooling. The dough can be refrigerated for a few days and baked in small batches.


Filed under Eating well, Snacks, Tea time

Better Almond Butter Cookies

Although we had no trouble consuming the Almond Butter cookies, I wanted to improve them.  They were a bit heavy and crumbled in your hand……’s what I did for batch #2 ….a big improvement in texture and taste.  I also simplified the recipe by making it all in my food processor–what could be easier?

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a food processor–

Whirl I cup old fashioned oatmeal until finely ground.

Add I cup dark brown sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, sprinkle of kosher salt and process briefly.

Put 1/2 cube (1/4 cup) unsalted butter and 1/2 cup almond butter into processor and mix thoroughly.

Add 1 egg…process until a soft mass.

Make into 12 balls and roll in unsweetened finely grated coconut (instead of sugar).  Smash with a fork.

If you want the chocolate as before–bake 9 minutes.  Remove.  Make an impression; drop on a few chocolate chips; bake 3 more minutes.  Spread the chocolate while warm.

I found them so improved, I wouldn’t even bother with the chocolate next time.  The texture was chewy; the taste much more mellow.  Think almond macaroon :)…..still wheat free.

We would love to hear how you play with our recipes, too!



Filed under Breakfast, Eating well, Gluten Free, Snacks, Tea time

Cheese Crackers–Better than the Box

After reading S.’s post, I couldn’t resist letting our readers in on a secret I have discovered about “Cheez It”.  If you have been following our blog for long, you know we are a big fan of homemade crackers.  My favorite all-time cracker is “Cheez It”–I could totally identify with their “get your own box” advertising campaign.  As I have been experimenting with the cracker recipe, paprika seemed to be the “thing” that gives that cheesy taste.  Here’s my updated cheese cracker variation–

Mix together in a glass bowl:

1 cup sourdough starter

1 cup whole wheat flour (or flour of choice–spelt, white wheat, pastry…..)

1/4 cup olive oil (this, too, adds to a cheesy taste)

Cover with plastic wrap.

Let sit overnight in a warmish spot.

In the morning, add:

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 ounce grated Parmesan or other dry, full flavored cheese (or you can even leave the cheese out for a vegan variation–they still taste cheesy from the paprika!!)

2 teaspoons paprika–smoked paprika if you want a more BBQ taste

A bit of snipped parsley for color, if you like


Divide into four balls.  Sprinkle parchment paper with flour.

Roll one dough ball onto floured parchment paper as thin as possible.

Once you are happy you have rolled it as thin as possible, prick with a fork and cut into cracker size with a pizza cutter.  Lightly dust with coarse kosher salt.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-13 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Thin, crispy, flavorful crackers–who can resist?

In case you are interested–here is the list of ingredients on a box of Cheez It–




Filed under Breads and such, Snacks, Vegan