These Pumpkin Lentil Flax Crackers would be perfect as an appetizer for a Thanksgiving gathering. They’re festive and chock-full of healthy ingredients like lentils, flaxseed, coconut oil, and beets – yes, beets! This recipe was a bit of an accident. Earlier this year I was trying to make a cracker in honor of Valentines Day and wanted to use a natural ingredient to color the dough red so I added beets, which did in fact make the dough a beautiful shade of red. The only problem was that when baked the color of the dough faded to orange. The crackers still tasted delicious so I posted the recipe anyway but they were not what I had envisioned. I did, however, make a mental note to recycle this recipe for Thanksgiving because the crackers turned out to be the perfect shade of pumpkin orange! If you don’t like beets I hope you won’t shy away from making these delicious crackers. I don’t like beets but I love these crackers. I know it sounds odd to use beets as an ingredient in crackers but you don’t really taste them – they just give the crackers a hearty, earthy quality that would be lacking without them. (more…)
This recipe for Maple Glazed Pumpkin Seed Clusters comes with a warning – you will NOT be able to stop eating these! The combination of salty, maple sweetness is seriously addictive. Fortunately these delicious little clusters are a healthy treat, as they contain no refined sugar and are roasted in coconut oil instead of the overly processed oils that are typically used for roasting nuts and seeds. In addition, pumpkin seeds are one of the best plant sources of zinc, a mineral that is important for optimum immune function. Maple Glazed Pumpkin Seed Clusters are super simple to make – just a couple of minutes of prep and 20 minutes in the oven. (more…)
Valentine’s Day is coming up so I thought it would be fun to make gluten free heart-shaped crackers. Before making Valentine Red Lentil, Beet, and Flax Crackers I had never used red lentils but I’d heard about them and thought they might produce a cracker in honor of Valentine’s Day that was some shade of red. Well, it turns out red lentils are not red at all, but more orange in color. I thought I could fix this by adding some beets and was encouraged when the dough mixed up to a beautiful deep, ruby-red color – perfect for Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately the crackers lose that beautiful deep red color when baked. I was going to rework the recipe to omit the beets but they give the crackers an earthy quality that would be lacking without them and, more importantly, everyone that tried the crackers said they were delicious as is and that I shouldn’t change a thing.
A healthy and savory alternative to mass produced ketchup with lower sodium and less than 1 gram of sugar per serving.
Once you try Roasted Garlic Ketchup it’s highly unlikely you will ever buy ketchup at the grocery store again. It’s so simple to prepare and you won’t believe the difference it makes in the way your food tastes. There is none of that harsh tang and excessive sweetness you get with store bought ketchup. It is simply the essence of tomato with a few savory additions that heighten the natural tomato flavor. It’s great on burgers and fries but also makes a delicious cocktail sauce for shrimp (just add horseradish if desired) and is a great base for barbeque sauce too. Pretty much anything you’d put store bought ketchup on will taste better with this as a condiment. And it’s a lot healthier too. It’s no secret that most ketchup is made with high fructose corn syrup – a refined sweetener that is unhealthy to consume. More and more food companies are replacing high fructose corn syrup with less refined, more natural sweeteners, yet it’s still found in most mass produced ketchup. All the more reason to make your own! One tablespoon of this ketchup has less than 1 gram of sugar versus 4 grams of sugar in your typical store bought ketchup. It also has 50% less sodium. Once I discovered this recipe I started buying the 6 oz. cans of tomato paste by the case at my warehouse store. Since the rest of the ingredients are, for the most part, pantry staples, I almost always have what I need on hand to make this.
You probably already have most of what you need to make Roasted Garlic Ketchup in your pantry right now.
Drizzle olive oil over the head of garlic before wrapping it up in aluminum foil. Some recipes will tell you to slice off the top of the head of garlic prior to roasting. This isn’t necessary. The garlic roasts just fine left intact so I eliminate this step to simply the recipe.
The right balance of colors on a plate can rouse the senses before even the first morsel of food is put into your mouth. We taste with our eyes first. Black Bean Salad in Pepper Cups is a perfect example of how just seeing a dish can fire up your taste buds and ready them for a delicious meal. (Check out this short article on How Color Affects Your Perception of Food.) Whenever I’m serving an entree that’s lacking in color I can always count on this salad’s bright and vivid ingredients to make an otherwise bland looking plate come alive. Using the peppers as a serving vessel provides an extra pop of color and makes beautiful presentation. (more…)