Monday, March 26, 2012

Food For Life

It's time once again for sweet treats! Healthier than the average dessert, and always fun to make, here are three sweet snacking ideas to take you through the week!

Apricot and Grapefruit Toffee
* You can swap the almonds for any other nut, and grapefruit juice with any other citrus juice

What you will need:
1 1/2 cups of dried apricots
1 cup of grapefruit juice
1/2 cup of roasted almonds
2 tbsp of dried shredded coconut (unsweetened) 

  • Soak the apricots in 1 cup of grapefruit juice for 3 hours. 
  • Roast the almonds at 300 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Remove from the oven, and leave heat on. 
  • Add nuts to a blender or food processor and pulse for 20 seconds or until the almonds have turned into coarse flour. Pour into a cup and set aside.
  • Add the grapefruit soaked apricots to the blender, together with half of the remaining juice. Pulse until everything has turned into a sticky mess. If the apricots won't blend, add a little more of the juice. 
  • Add the almonds and shredded coconut to the blender and pulse until everything is combined 
  • line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the mixture out on it. Use a spatula to form the mixture into a rectangle, around 1/2 inch high
  • Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cut into preferred size and put back into the oven for 7-8 minutes more. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn. 
  • When warm, they will still be a bit loose. When they cool, they will become more firm. 
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge, wrapped in paper, and enjoy within one week.

 "Healthier" Carrot Cake 

What you will need for the cake:
3 eggs
1-2 bananas
10-15 fresh dates (without seeds)
6 tbsp of sunflower oil
1 cup of whole wheat flour 
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
3 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
1/2 tsp of cardamom
3-4 carrots (medium sized, grated)
1/2 cup of coconut flakes
1/2 cup of roughly chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of raisins 

What you will need for the glaze:
7 oz. of cream cheese
3 tbsp of honey
Juice of half of a lime
1/2 cup of hazelnuts

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the eggs in a medium sized bowl. 
  • Use a hand blender or regular blender to mix bananas, dates, and oil into a thick cream in another bowl
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon and stir together with the eggs and the banana cream. Add in grated carrots, coconut flakes, walnuts and raisins and stir until everything comes together.
  • Pour into a greased cake pan and bake for about 40 minutes. Test with a toothpick to see if the cake is done. When nothing sticks to the toothpick, remove and let cool. 
  • Whip together cream cheese and honey (bananas and dates would also work as sweeteners for the frosting.
  • Add frosting once the cake has completely cooled. Serve with roughly chopped hazelnuts or walnuts on top. 

Raw Hemp Protein Bars

What you will need:
1 cup of pumpkin seeds
1 cup of coconut flakes
1/2 cup of hemp hearts
1/2 cup of hemp protein powder
4 tbsp of chia seeds
2 tbsp of bee pollen (optional)
20 fresh medjool dates, pitted
6 tbsp of coconut oil, melted
4 tbsp of raw cocoa powder
1 tsp of ground vanilla or vanilla extract
6 tbsp of rolled oats 
2 tbsp of poppy seeds

  • In a food processor or blender, pulse the dry ingredients quickly. Do not over process, you want it to be crunchy.
  • Place the mixture in a bowl and set aside. 
  • Add in all wet ingredients to the food processor, or high speed blender and blend to combine. This may take some time, and if your blender isn't strong enough, you may have to help out by stirring a few times with a fork, or add a bit of water. 
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, add in oats and poppy seeds and stir until well combined. 
  • Spread the batter evenly into an 11x7 greased baking dish, making sure it is compact. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes and cut into bars. 
  • Wrap in paper and store in an airtight container. they will keep for about a week in the fridge. 
*All recipes and pictures courtesy of