Snacks

Walnut Cocoa Bites

Don’t get me wrong- I am a big fan of some convenience protein bars, but I’m also a big fan of making snacks from scratch when able to. The closest I get to making granola or protein bars is these poppable little energy bites! I love how easy they come together, how the ingredients can be customizable, and that they are a perfect midday snack or fuel before a workout.

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During the winter I seem to have an abundance of unsweetened cocoa powder around from hot chocolate making, and so I figured it deserved some love during snack time too! The sweetness and flavor comes not from the cocoa, but from the naturally sweet dates and nut butter. These bites stay fresh in the fridge for about a week, after which I’d recommend storing in a container in the freezer to enjoy for weeks to come.

What are you waiting for? Go, cocoa!

Walnut Cocoa Bites- makes 22 small bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted dates

  • 2 cup dry, unsalted walnuts

  • 5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 3 tbsp nut butter- almond or sunflower seed work great

  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds, plus extra for finishing

  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. In a food processor pulse dates until broken into very small pieces. Then add walnuts and pulse until a fine ground meal is made.

  2. Add cocoa powder, nut butter, hemp seeds, and salt. Process until everything comes together and a semi-wet dough forms. Chill this dough for about 10 minutes in the freezer.

  3. Use your hands to form the chilled dough into small bites; the size is really up to you, but quarter sized bites will yield about 22 bites. To finish, sprinkle with more hemp seeds, finely shredded coconut, or even more cocoa powder.

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Savory Rosemary Granola

We’ve all heard how sugary granola can be- some varities containing upwards of 15 grams per 1/2 cup (and let’s be real, no one is eating just a half cup), which is three-quarters of the way to the level recommended Americans consume in added sugars. So, when a friend of mine told me she had a savory granola at a restaurant, the wheels in my culinary brain started turning and I was determined to make my own!

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What resulted was a nutty-tasting, crispy yet crumbly, herb-packed topping that I have been adding to just about everything! This granola is nut free, gluten free, and could be made vegan by substituting more olive oil for the egg white. With so many diet preferences these days, I bet you’ll be cooking Thanksgiving for someone with an allergy or intolerance, so this granola is the perfect answer to everyone’s needs.

I have so far used this seed topper on my steamed green bean side dish, added it to last week’s potato and cauliflower soup for a bit of crunch, would even be so daring as to bring it in to breakfast and use it over eggs, and highly recommend it as a nosh for your holiday hors d’oeuvre hour. I hope you enjoy!

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Savory Rosemary Granola- makes about 3 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup popped amaranth

  • 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds

  • 1/4 cup unsalted pepitas

  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds

  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary

  • 1 tbsp dried fennel seed

  • 1 egg white, beaten

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and use a wooden spoon to combine everything together, ensuring an even coating. Spread mixture in an even layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes.

  3. After 10 minutes, stir mixture by turning over with a spatula. Bake for 10 more minutes, keeping an eye on to not burn. Remove from oven once mixture looks lightly browned and toasted. With a spoon, gently break into shards for snacking, or crumble completely to use as a topping.

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Pumpkin Spice Edible Cookie Dough

Pumpkin spice season is in full swing! It’s also the tail end of apple picking season, and I’ve come up with the perfect healthy combination to showcase these two fall favorites!

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Edible cookie dough seems to be all the rage these days as people search for a healthier way to satisfy their sweet tooth. It even comes packaged and sold in the refrigerated section of some supermarkets- have you seen it? Making a homemade version is SO easy and I’ve found it to be my go-to treat when asked to contribute to a potluck or party. In fact, this could be perfect for a Halloween costume party dip or a great way to introduce kids to something sweet but nutritious among all the holiday chocolate and fruity candy.

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Pumpkin Spice Edible Cookie Dough- makes 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained

  • 3 tbsp smooth almond or peanut butter

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1 tsp ground cardamom

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

  • sprinkle of dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients (minus the chocolate chips) into a food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed to fully mix everything. Spices can be adjusted to your liking!

  2. To serve, top with chocolate chips and use apple slices or graham crackers for dipping. Keeps in air tight container in fridge for up to 1 week.

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