An addictive grain-free granola that’s chock-full of nuts, seeds, and aromatic spices. Great as a trail mix type snack or on top of yogurt.
WHY GO “GRAIN-FREE”
New terms describing adherence to a particular type of diet seem to come out of nowhere every few years. One dietary term I’m hearing more and more frequently these days is “grain-free”, which, as the term implies, means avoiding the consumption of all grains or products that contains grains. (Click here for a complete list of the many types of grains.) I’d always thought that “whole” grains in particular were desirable as part of a healthy diet, so I was surprised to learn that consuming grains can sometimes cause:
1. skin conditions, 2. digestive problems, and 3. issues with mental acuity
As you might expect, there’s a lot of skepticism around this topic, but suffice it to say that a small subset of the population simply feels better all-around when they either limit their consumption of grains, or don’t eat them at all.
Oats, one of the most consumed grains here in the U.S., and the main ingredient in traditionally made granola, are off-limits on a grain-free diet, but, this healthy and wholesome Pumpkin Spice Grain-Free Granola is the perfect replacement for conventionally made granola.
There are a dizzying array of snack/protein bars on the market. A grocery store I was in recently had almost an entire aisle filled with bars, each with a different marketing angle and in flavors so appetizing you would have thought they were candy bars, and indeed, they looked like candy bars! The colorful packages boasted the amount of protein, fiber, and sugar in each bar with, in most cases, ingredient labels a mile long. There are some good products amidst this crowded field, but for the average person, it’s hard to decipher what’s truly healthy and what’s not. Some weird sounding ingredients are perfectly harmless while others should be avoided, despite any nutrition claims on the package. One day, several years ago, I found myself standing in one of these jam-packed grocery store aisles looking at ingredient labels and googling words like “isomalto-oligosacharides”, “dextrin”, and “carnauba wax”. That’s when I decided I’d had enough. Since then, I’ve been making my own snack bars and have never looked back. These Almond Hemp Heart Bars are my newest creation. They contain just 5 simple ingredients – ingredients you’ll actually recognize – but the best part is, they’re soft, chewy, and utterly delicious! (more…)
This vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, bread has a super nutritious line-up of ingredients, including 5 different kinds of seeds, and a mixture of savory Mediterranean herbs and warm, earthy spices.
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to white, or even whole wheat bread, look no further! This Seeded Mediterranean Herb Bread is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and contains no refined sugar. You’ll be hard-pressed to find bread with a more nutritious line-up of ingredients, including almond flour, brown rice flour, 5 different kinds of seeds, and a mixture of savory Mediterranean herbs and warm, earthy spices. This hearty, delicious bread takes a full hour to bake, but preparing the dough involves nothing more than combining all the ingredients thoroughly, and, since there’s no yeast in this recipe, there’s no extra time required for rising. (more…)
A healthy remake of classic chocolate pecan turtle candies. Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. These little bites are sweet, chewy, chocolately, and utterly delicious!
Anyone who has a sweet tooth knows that when cravings strike, they’re hard to ignore. Even those of us who aren’t “addicted to sugar” won’t pass up a sweet treat every now and then. We can blame our yearning for sweet tasting foods on our early ancestors, who evolved to crave sugar because it was a good source of energy and protection from starvation. But the amounts and forms of sugar consumed back then were quite different than what’s readily available to us today, and this has led to over-consumption and, some would argue, contributed to the obesity crisis here in the U.S. So, what’s a sugar-loving person to do? In my opinion, the worst thing you can do is deprive yourself of sweets. Instead, look for ways to reduce your sugar consumption. Read nutrition labels carefully, and as much as possible, steer clear of foods with added sugars, especially refined and artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup and aspartame. And, when reaching for treats and desserts, choose ones sweetened naturally, without processed/refined ingredients. These Vegan Chocolate Turtle Bites fit the bill. They’re free of gluten, dairy, refined sugar, and are also vegan. Candy doesn’t get much healthier than this! (more…)
Grilled asparagus gets a boost of flavor with a delicious sesame citrus dressing. The perfect side dish for spring! JUMP TO RECIPE
No other vegetable symbolizes spring as much as asparagus. If you’re making an effort to eat seasonally, now is the time to enjoy this perennial flowering plant species. Of course, you can find asparagus at the grocery store any time of year, but in the off-season, it’ll likely come from Peru or China and will certainly lose some of its freshness during the transcontinental plane ride to the U.S. After all, vegetables suffer from jet-lag too! To really savor asparagus, you’ll want to jazz it up a bit so that you fully appreciate its beauty, versatility, and amazing flavor. This recipe for Orange Sesame Grilled Asparagus will help you do just that! A simple citrus dressing and a sprinkling of delicate sesame seeds on top of perfectly charred asparagus spears will leave you with a newfound love for asparagus and one more reason to welcome spring! (more…)
Aromatic za’atar and smoky roasted red peppers flavor this ultra-creamy cashew hummus. A delicious alternative to chickpea-based hummus. JUMP TO RECIPE
I feel the same way about hummus that I do about pizza and chicken salad. That is, one can never have too many recipes for these dishes because no matter what variation you make, the end result is almost always delicious with near universal appeal. I guess that’s why there are countless recipes for hummus floating around the internet and no matter how many new ones appear in the blogosphere, people seem to love them. So here’s another, but this one’s a little different. Za’atar Cashew Hummus is every bit as delicious as traditional hummus but it’s made with raw cashews and roasted red peppers instead of chickpeas, and it’s flavored with za’atar – an aromatic Middle Eastern spice with amazing savory flavor. (more…)
“Candy is dandy” as in these easy to make dairy free chocolate treats sweetened with maple syrup. JUMP TO RECIPE
Valentine’s Day is coming up and if you love classic holiday traditions then maybe you’re planning to give your loved ones some chocolates. If so, why not earn extra bonus points and “make” instead of “buy” them. These Dairy Free Crispy Chocolate Cups are a great homemade Valentine’s gift and you can whip them up quickly without any special equipment. All you need is a handful of simple ingredients and some cupcake liners. (more…)
Vegan, gluten-free, dairy free snack bars that taste like caramel. Similar to Larabars, they’re made with healthy, unprocessed ingredients, and sweetened naturally. JUMP TO RECIPE
It might seem counterintuitive, but one of the best way to maintain good eating habits is to enjoy a healthy treat each day. Following this rule has really worked for me because like a lot of people, I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and if I don’t satisfy my craving, I just end up feeling deprived, which makes me much less likely to eat healthfully over the long term. So I allow myself a little something sweet after lunch or dinner, as long as it’s made with healthy, wholesome ingredients and minimally processed. One of my favorite healthy treats are these Peanut Butter Cookie Flax Bars. I have one almost every day. In fact, my whole family is addicted to these bars. They taste like candy, but unlike candy, they keep you feeling full for a long time because they have a decent amount of protein, and are high in healthy fats. (more…)
A nutritious, delicious, Italian inspired dish the whole family will love. JUMP TO RECIPE
If you’re looking to incorporate more whole grains into your diet, here’s a great recipe to add to your rotation. Fig Balsamic Farro with Spinach, Cranberries, and Almonds is a flavor packed, Italian inspired dish the whole family will love. Whenever I make this I always double the recipe because we gobble it up so quickly. It’s great for lunch and as a side dish with dinner. The sweet, tart, fig balsamic flavor, along with cranberries and almonds, is an awesome complement to chicken and pork, but really, this dish goes well with just about anything. And, if you like tapas style dining, you can even serve it as a small plate appetizer, as pictured below. (more…)
Vegan, gluten-free, dairy free crackers with a wholesome taste and tender texture. JUMP TO RECIPE
I put crackers into the same category as salad dressings. They’re not at all hard to make from scratch yet most people purchase these foods at the grocery store. This is probably even more true for crackers than salad dressings. I once mentioned to a friend that I make my own crackers and she said she never once considered making crackers – that it was so easy to buy good ones, why bother. And this is someone who loves to cook! Well, I’m here to tell you that making crackers couldn’t be simpler and you’ll be rewarded with ones that are healthier and taste so much better than store-bought crackers. These Herbed Sesame Sunflower Seed Crackers are nothing like any crackers you’ve ever purchased. They’re vegan, gluten-free, and dairy free and have a wholesome taste and tender texture. A few of these crackers dipped in Sun-Dried Tomato Red Lentil Hummus is the perfect, healthy snack to stave off those hunger pangs that sometimes strike before dinnertime. (more…)