Archive for Snacks

Chewy Cranberry Crunch Energy Bars

chewy cranberry crunch energy bars

These bars have a crunchy, sweet and creamy thing going on that was totally inspired by an energy bar I found at Home Goods. Yes, of all places.

I swore I would re-create that energy bar at home one day, and I finally did. Of course, I added my own flare to it and came up with what I call an adult version of a rice crispy treat that will give your teeth a workout. But in a good way! I really do like to chew. Most vegans still do ;)

Pre-packaged protein bars can really break the bank after a while. Not to mention they have a long list of ingredients especially that whatchamacallit ingredient that happens to still be vegan, but not ideal. I’m growing tired of falling into that trap, so I’ve been on a mission to make so many things at home this year. I’m saving money and I’m in control of the ingredients.

Ya know, most of the stuff is SO EASY to make. It’s a shame we all got duped. It really is.  Sometimes I wish I lived among friendly vegan neighbors who all made their own stuff with simple ingredients and we all swapped. There are quite a few things to make at home but you just can’t do it all at once. I’m noooo Martha. I guess I’ll keep dreaming because it seems to me the only thing some neighbors swap… are partners… bah dun dun dun if you know what I mean. Aaand we ain’t goin’ there. Ever.

Because I’m making my own everything these days, I have to tackle the mindset just like I do each grocery trip, where I try something new I haven’t tried before. This is the same way I transitioned into veganism… each week I tried a new vegan recipe until I had so many that I liked, I couldn’t even keep count. Now, each week I intend to make something homemade rather than buy pre-made and so far I have tackled a lot!

I say, just put your mind to it and walk in that direction. Intention draws experiences toward you and builds momentum. When you put your mind to the fact that you will be vegan, vegan people, places, things start showing up for you. Then before you know it, 8 years go by. It’s pretty amazing.

About this chunky crunchy energy bar…

I soaked my almonds just because those can be tougher to chew when raw, plus I leave them whole in this recipe. I left the millet unsoaked because I wanted insane crunch. And insane crunch I got.

I don’t have but a few taste testers. My husband gave these an enthusiastic thumbs up. Just looking at the picture makes me want to make these again. I only really share successful recipes, but everyone has their own tastes and opinions.

Definitely let me know about your experience with this recipe. I also want to hear about the things you are making at home instead of spending oodles of cash on at Whole Foods.

Please share!

chewy cranberry crunch energy bars

Chewy Cranberry Crunch Energy Bars

 

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of Almonds (Soaked Overnight)
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Millet (I didn’t soak these. I wanted the extreme crunch)
  • 1 Cup Rice Puffs  – (I used Enjoy Life’s brand Crunchy Rice)
  • 1 Scoop Garden of Life- Raw Protein Powder, Vanilla flavor
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Butter Melted (30 seconds in the nuker will do it)
  • 1/4 Cup plus 1 Tbs Brown Rice Syrup
  • 3 Tbs Dried Cranberries
  • 2 Tbs Raw Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
  • 2 Tbs Sunflower Seeds

Directions

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Line your pre-sectioned brownie pan with saran wrap and pour mixture into each square. I layer another sheet of saran wrap over everything and press the mixture into the pan using my hands, this way my fingers don’t get stuck to the sticky bars. They also pop out easier. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour. These bars need to stay refrigerated or cold until ready to eat, to keep their shape.

Enjoy

Christa

~The Karmatarian

 

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Sweet Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

“Thoughts of lack manifest as limitation. Thoughts of abundance manifest as success and happiness. Failure and success are but two ends of the same stick.”

~Ernest Holmes

Happy Friday everyone! No, this quote doesn’t have much to do with chickpeas unless you think about all the creative ways in which chickpeas can be used in a plant-based diet. Plant-based eaters tend to think abundantly! After all, we have so many wonderful foods to choose from, it’s hard not to. I also believe the standard American diet tends to lend a hand in people not thinking about their food at all. Not caring where their food comes from and certainly taking it all for granted. At least this used to be me and it’s what I observe in others. Now I savor everything and appreciate the hell out of it! I appreciate colors, flavors, textures and good ethics that go along with creating it.

So have you ever heard of roasted chickpeas? I recently discovered this idea online and so I made these a few weeks back for the Forks Over Knives movie review and discussion I hosted. I didn’t exactly make them correctly, yet one of the guests couldn’t stop eating them! She even took them to go! So even if you screw them up a bit, like I did. They will still taste good. Practice makes perfect, but I think if you follow the directions you won’t screw up. I was in a bit of a hurry.

The key is to roast them until crispy on the outside. I didn’t quite get them that crispy on the first try because I was afraid of burning them. You just have to keep tossing them while baking. I used my toaster oven the second time around which seemed to help. I could see them a little better. Less distance. Maybe I need more Vitamin A for my eyesight?!

Chickpeas are a staple food in a plant-based diet. Think hummus. I do have a wonderful homemade fat-free roasted red pepper hummus that I will be posting soon. YUM! We go through hummus like water around here!

I like that we can switch things up regarding chickpeas. I actually used a chickpea oil blend in place of eggs for gluten free brownie recipe and it was amazing! They were like brownie protein bars! But in regards to this recipe, think about all the different spice combos to be tried. Many fun possibilities.

Roasted chickpeas, especially the spicy, salty ones, remind me of bar nuts, minus the musty bar smell, neon Miller sign and beer goggles.

Not only fun to eat, here is what you can expect from a cup of chickpeas: 14 grams of protein, 12 grams of fiber, 45 grams of good carbs. Of course lots of vitamins and minerals… not going to get into details because it’s Friday. Just trust me. It’s all good.

Sweet Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients

  • 1 can of Chickpeas, rinsed and drained, (patted dry with a paper towel) and laid out to dry on a towel for at least 30 minutes
  • 1 Tablespoon of melted Coconut Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of Raw Organic Sugar. I used Coconut Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
  • Dash of Sea Salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly mist with oil.

Mix the sugar, cinnamon and dash of sea salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Coat the beans in melted coconut butter and sprinkle evenly with the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Spread the beans out evenly onto your baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, tossing every five or ten minutes, all while checking that they are not burning , just getting nice and crispy on the outside.

Let cool and enjoy. Have a great weekend!

~The Karmatarian

Ps. I certainly want to hear your comments, especially if you make these!

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Lemon Maple Ginger Kale Chips

Raw Lemon Maple Ginger Kale Chips

“The stuff we should be eating has become the decorations on the plate”

~Doug Lisle, Ph.D

So I hear that Kale is the new beef. I believe there is a lot of truth to this… and here are 7 reasons why. But let’s be honest. Beef and kale are not comparable! Kale is packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phyto-chemicals that fight off cancer and disease. Beef = Zip! Beef actually promotes cancer and disease. Hmmm, so which one should I eat? YES, KALE… It’s what’s for dinner!

I recently purchased a new dehydrator and I’ve only been able to play with it about a dozen times so far. I made a couple batches of kale chips which were so easy. No dehydrator? You can even try making them in the oven, cracking open the door and keeping the temp at 120 or below if your oven will allow. I haven’t tried this. If you have, please let me know what worked for you in the comments below. It may take a while longer to use the oven and it seems a little dangerous keeping the oven door open so may I suggest for your healthiest (and safest ) you, add a dehydrator to your wish list. It’s inspiring to have one around!

You may think kale chips? Really? I thought the same thing at first. There is something addictive about Kale chips… They are soooo so good. A must try!

Kale is easy for me to consume in a green smoothie, such as my favorite kale and Bosc pear combo, but I haven’t wrapped myself around the kale salad craze. I have had some, not-so-tasty ones over at Whole Foods. I haven’t yet tried to make one myself (I am hoping I can do a little better, but who knows?). If you massage the kale with lemon, olive oil and sea salt, this helps break the kale down to a more pleasant texture and takes some of the bitterness out for a salad. Sauteing kale is another great way to get this superfood into the mix.

So far, kale chips are my favorite way to eat kale. Different flavors are fun to experiment with and so far I have made chocolate, apple raisin cinnamon and these lemon maple ginger chips which are inspired by one of my favorite organic teas I am obsessed with! It’s just a lemon ginger tea that I find at the local grocery chain (I’m shocked they even carry some organic. But I’m thankful).

My lemon maple ginger kale chips have a fun zippy kind of flavor. They have far less calories than potato chips and do a hell of a lot more good for your body. Try them and let me know what you think! I have only used the curly kale for my chips but I’m thinking that for a heartier chip I will try the Lacinato kale aka dinosaur kale next round. It’s important to tear the kale pieces larger than you think as they shrink with dehydration.

Lemon Maple Ginger Kale Chips

Ingredients

  • Large head of Kale torn into bigger than bite size pieces away from the stalks (you can then juice your stalks or discard)
  • 2 Tbs Lemon Juice. I use Santa Cruz brand organic pure lemon juice
  • 4 Tbs Maple Syrup, Grade B
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger Root
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt

Directions

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except for the kale pieces. Blend well with a whisk and then incorporate the kale, mixing and tossing to coat evenly using your hands. Spread out on the dehydrator sheets lined with Paraflexx and dehydrate until crisp, about 12 hours. If it needs more time, place onto the mesh sheet and dehydrate another 4 hours.


What are some of your favorite kale chip flavors? Favorite kale salad recipes? Favorite ways to prepare kale? Please let me hear it!

Enjoy

~The Karmatarian

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