Category Archives: snacks

Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy New Year + Spiced Cashews

Spiced cashews

This Holiday I made several batches of spiced cashews as gifts for family and friends.  To round out the goodie bag, I added a homemade candle and some chocolate bars.  So fun and easy.  I happen to adore receiving homemade gifts – I actually prefer it to store bought items.  I wanted to share my simple spiced cashew recipe with you today.  The combination of spices are endless really, but I like the combo of sweet and spicy.   Continue reading

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Labels: homemade gifts, Paleo, snacks.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Grain-Free “Corn” Dog Bites

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I am on a never ending mission to make new and fun snacks and lunches for my kiddos.  It makes me happy to fill their lunch bags every morning with nutritious whole food that I feel good about.  My kids LOVE corn dogs, as do I.  I recently saw a new product pop up in the frozen food isle.  They are these little mini corn dogs – they are round and gluten free (the coating is mostly corn).  I bought some to try.  They were good, but the coating was really hard, but I loved how they were bite size!  And do you know what else is bite size?….MINI MUFFINS.  So I created a very basic almond flour batter as the “corn” and used our favorite grass fed beef dogs to make a fun little snack that isn’t deep fried, isn’t on a sick, but mimics the flavor and essence of a corn dog.  My kids gave them a rousing thumbs up, so yay!  Another fun idea for their lunch boxes.  

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Labels: grain free, kids, Paleo, snacks.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Grain-Free Apple Cinnamon Mini Muffins

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I wanted to make a fall-inspired snack for my kiddos this week…and they LOVE apple cinnamon anything, so some yummy apple cinnamon mini muffins fit the bill. I find that mini muffins are perfect for snack time – they are easy to pack and easy to eat.  I prefer to make muffins with almond flour, as one cup of almond flour has 20 grams of protein! I love that my kiddos are getting a good protein surge for their morning snack (not to mention all those good fats) to hold them over until lunch. I’m excited about more apple recipes in the coming weeks, especially this one from Ricki Heller. I hope everyone is having a great fall so far.  I’ve got my Halloween costume all set and ready to party.  Woot-woot.   Continue reading

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Labels: fall treats, grain free, holidays, muffins, Paleo, snacks, thanksgiving desserts.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Almond Flour Blueberry Mini Muffins

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Last year I finally bought myself a mini muffin pan…and I love it! I try to keep snack time creative and healthy for the kiddos and mini muffins were a perfect new addition.  I love using almond flour for the muffins, as they are packed with protein.  Any flavor combo is possible and I adore that they are easy to make, easy to pack, and easy to eat.  Today I am sharing blueberry, as blueberries are in season and such a delightful little berry.  I also use cherry, strawberry, or raspberry or any combo of each.  The kids also love banana chocolate chip, which I will share soon.  Have you ever made mini muffins?  I am addicted! Continue reading

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Labels: grain free, kids, muffins, Paleo, snacks, summer cuisine, summer treats.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (dairy free, cane-sugar free, nut free)

This chocolate chip cookie is a grand baking success for me!  Woot-woot.  I’ve been trying to capture that traditional chocolate chip cookie flavor in tasty alternative form for years.  Finally, last week, I did it.  If you’re gluten free, or new to gluten free, this is must recipe in your repertoire.  
Enjoy my friends, enjoy!
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Labels: allergy-friendly, chocolate, cookies, dessert, nut free, snacks.

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Cinnamon & Coconut Sugar Dried Apples

I absolutely adore making homemade holiday gifts for friends and family.  They are always well received and appreciated.  Dried apples were on my list this year to make as gifts and the addition of cinnamon and coconut sugar makes these dried apples so festive and delicious.  You could certainly leave the apples plain, but I just love the added spice.  As gifts I also like to make homemade greeting cards, coconut ginger granola, homemade almond butter, and homemade lotions (and other beauty products such as facial toner and body spray).  Another favorite is the gift of tea.  You can get so creative with tea, purchasing loose leaf and fun tea paraphernalia (check out my All Things Tea Pinterest board for more tea ideas).   
 
Happy Holidays to all.  I’m signing off until January.  Until then, wishing you a restful and peaceful holiday filled with love and laughter.    
-Amber & The Tasty Alternative Family 
Cinnamon Coconut Sugar Dried Apples 
 
Ingredients:
-4 pounds of apples (any variety will do, I used Fuji)
-1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
-1/4 cup coconut sugar
 
Equipment:
 
How To:
1.  Wash, peel and slice apples (slice thick for chewy dried apples, slice thin for crispy dried apples).  I like to cut out center seeds and the core.  
2.  Add apples to a large bowl and using hands, toss the apples with the cinnamon and coconut sugar, making sure all the apples are well covered.
3.  Transfer apples (in one layer) onto a dehydrator with mesh screens.
4.  Dehydrate on 95 degrees for 8 -10 hours  (basically, overnight). I encourage you to test out different drying times.  For another method, dehydrate on high (140 degrees) for 3 hours, then turn down to 95 degrees and dehydrate until your desired texture.  
 
Notes:
*Yes you can make these in the oven set at a low temperature, however, I have not tried this, so I cannot give any specific directions.  If you try it in the oven, please report back and let us know how it goes.  I suspect they will be more like apple chips, but you never know.
*If you use a mandoline, the slices will be very thin and almost crispy.  Hand slice thicker pieces for that nice chewy fruit dried texture.
The cut apples tossed in the cinnamon and coconut sugar 
Here are the apples all dried and ready for the jars
Good morning you pretty little apples.  
These dried overnight.  

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This recipe was shared on: Wellness Weekend, Paleo Link PartyWhole Food Fridays

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Labels: AIP, allergy-friendly, fall treats, Paleo, raw, snacks.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Festive Coconut Ginger Granola

I posted this granola recipe two years ago and thought it was worth revisiting this year.  At the time I included it with a homemade raw persimmon pudding as parfaits, but feel like this granola needs its own post.  I LOVE making homemade gifts and granola is such an easy (and always well received) gift.  So if you’re feeling a little stuck on what to make for your child’s teacher or searching for something to take to a gift exchange, this is a great option.  
Happy Holidays.  
Festive Coconut Ginger Granola 

Ingredients 
(click on links for where to buy)

dry:
-2 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats
-1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 
-1/2 cup raw organic almonds
-1/2 cup raw organic walnuts
-1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
-2 tablespoons hemp seeds
-1 tablespoon chia seeds
-1/4 cup coconut sugar
-Pinch of salt
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1 teaspoon ground ginger 

wet:
-1/2 cup local honey (vegans use maple syrup or coconut nectar) 
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
-3 tablespoons melted coconut oil here or here

How To
Preheat oven to 350
1.  Combine oats and shredded coconut in a large bowl.  
2.  Add the almonds to a food processor (with S-blade), and chop up until they are in little bits, then add almonds to the oats and shredded coconut.
3.  Add the walnuts and pumpkin seeds to a food processor and chop until they are in small bits, add to mixture.  
4.  Then to the bowl add the hemp, chia, salt, ginger and cinnamon.
5.  In separate bowl add honey, coconut oil and vanilla.  Mix well with spatchula (I use a silicone)
6.  Add wet ingredients to dry and mix (with hands preferably) until the entire mixture is well incorporated and moist.  Now allow this mixture to rest for about 10 minutes.  
7.  Put a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.  Spread the granola out on the parchment paper.  Please note that when you spread out the granola, it needs to be in a very thin layer with small holes of parchment paper showing through.  This allows the heat to cook all around the granola and latch it together.  
8.  Bake for 10 minutes exactly (not a second longer).  Transfer the parchment paper to a cooling rack.  The granola will be soft out of the oven, but become hard once cooled.  

This granola tastes great with my vegan 
persimmon coconut pudding in sweet little parfaits 

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This recipe was shared onWellness Weekend 

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Labels: breakfast, homemade gifts, snacks.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

3-Ingredient Creamy Raw “Caramel” (SCD, GAPS, Paleo)

One of my more popular posts and perhaps one of my favorite recipes is my raw “caramel” sauce.  I make it quite frequently and practically drink the stuff.  I’ve been experimenting with the original recipe in hopes to make a thicker version that would mimic actual caramel so I could spread it or use it in chocolate.  Well, with very little effort I made it work just by adding more dates and excluding some of the liquid ingredients.  Let me first say that the cashew butter is a must in this recipe. You can make your own or buy the super expensive (albeit super delicious) store brand.  Either way, cashew is the way to go.  This “caramel” is thick, creamy, and delicious.  And it remedies my husband’s sweet tooth like nobody’s business.  Great for kids too – check out how fun and easy it is to spread on tart apples.  I hope you’ll give this a try.  It’s a delightful raw treat.  
Creamy Raw Caramel
 
Ingredients:
-2 cups of Medjool dates – 24 dates (make sure they are fresh and soft)
-1/2 cup cashew butter*
-2 tablespoons honey*
-2 teaspoons vanilla (optional)
 
How To:
1.  Seed the dates and soak the dates in room temperature water for 1 hour (do not soak longer, as they will become too soft and create very thin caramel).
2.  After the dates have soaked for 1 hour, drain all the water off and add them to a food processor fitted with the S blade and pulse until broken down and coming together as a paste.
3.  Add in the cashew butter and blend.
4.  Drizzle in the honey and optional vanilla 
5.  Blend until everything is well incorporated and the mixture is thick and creamy.
6.  Eat as is or store in refrigerator.
 
Notes:
*For the cashew butter, use homemade or this store brand is quite delicious. 
*Cannot have cashews, try sunflower seed butter – it will completely change the flavor (just FYI).  Almond butter might work, but it has a much different texture, so the final product will not be as creamy (probably thin and gritty).  Sorry if you cannot have dates, I don’t have any subs for the dates. 
*In place of the honey, vegans use grade B maple syrup, coconut nectar, yacon syrup (or 10 drops of stevia).
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Labels: dessert, GAPS, Paleo, raw, SCD, snacks.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Dairy-Free Banana Carob Pudding with Vanilla Bean Whipped Coconut Cream + Why I LOVE Carob

Last year after I posted my Bottomless Key Lime Pie recipe one of my lovely readers left a comment in the post introducing me to Great Lakes Gelatin.  I was so thankful for this reference, as I was using Knox gelatin up until that point and appreciated this new ingredient.  I’ve since been using Great Lakes to make weekly homemade Jello and to thicken smoothies and puddings (and most all my SCD desserts that need thickening).  Today I am sharing a carob pudding recipe that is the perfect anytime treat for my kiddos (and yes for my sweet tooth husbandwho LOVES this pudding BTW).  It’s smooth and creamy and has a lovely malty flavor from the carob.  We are big carob lovers in this house for many reasons (no caffeine & no theobromine) but for me I love that carob has so many health benefits (please see below for that information).  Pudding is such a great treat anytime of the year and so easy to fill with nutrient dense, whole foods!  
Health Benefits of Carob:
(Information below generated from this site)
Once referred to as locust, carob pods are found mainly in Mediterranean countries. Evergreen carob trees generally can grow wherever citrus or olive trees do, meaning a warm, dry climate. The pod’s fruit is technically a legume. 
 

Antioxidant

Carob is high in antioxidants. A study published in the “Plant Foods for Human Nutrition” journal in March 2011 found that carob germ flour showed not only antioxidant but also cytotoxic activities. The flour has capabilities to attack and target specific cervical cancer cells, the study found. The antioxidant activity helps the body repair free radical damage, which is a process of aging.

Fiber

Plants are naturally high in insoluble fibers, which contain polyphenols. Another study published in “Plant Foods for Human Nutrition” in January 2010 compared two groups of people with high cholesterol. One group took a placebo, while the other consumed approximately 4 grams of carob fiber a few times a day. After four weeks, the group eating the carob fiber had lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.

Gastrointestinal Support

Carob has a binding action within the intestinal tract. This means it helps absorb liquid and aids problems such as diarrhea. Mixing carob powder with pureed cooked fruit or an electrolyte solution is a gentle and natural way to help with diarrhea, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Talk to your health care provider before using carob or other herbs to treat diarrhea.
Please see HERE for Carob’s complete nutritional breakdown.  And HERE for another post discussing carob’s benefits.  Dairy-Free Banana Carob Pudding

Ingredients

Carob Banana Pudding:
-1 can room temperature coconut milk here or here 
-1 1/2 cups very ripe banana
-3 tablespoons local honey or grade B maple syrup
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
-2 teaspoons grass fed gelatin (see notes for vegan sub)
-1/4 cup carob powder

How To
1.  In a 1 cup glass Pyrex add 1/3 cup coconut milk and 2 teaspoons gelatin.  Whisk together well and let “bloom”
2.  In a sauce pan heat the remaining coconut milk until heated, not boiled (do not boil the milk).  
3.  Remove sauce pan from heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture.
4.  Add all the coconut milk to a blender along with the other pudding ingredients and blend on high for 15 seconds.  
5.  Pour pudding mixture into a bowl or several little jars or glasses.
6.  Transfer to refrigerator and allow to set up for at least 8 hours.  
7.  Top with maple coconut whipped cream or vanilla bean coconut whipped cream (recipe below).  

Vanilla Bean Coconut Whipped Cream:
-1/2 cup soaked cashews (4 to 6 hours)* 

-Coconut cream from 1 can of coconut milk here or here 
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
-1 vanilla bean, sliced in half and scraped out 
-2 tablespoons local honey or grade B maple syrup 

How To
1.  Drain the cashews and add to a blender (preferably high speed). Add in the coconut cream, vanilla, vanilla bean, and honey.
2. Using the tamper, move the mixture around and blend until everything is well incorporated, smooth and creamy.  
3.  Transfer to a glass container and store in fridge for 4 to 6 hours.
4.  Remove from fridge and mix.  Fill a pastry bag and top pudding. 

Notes:
*Omit cashews for AIP – just use the coconut cream 
*Vegans add 3 tablespoons ground chia seeds in place of the gelatin.  If you are a die hard chocolate lover and looking for a vegan chocolate recipe, please see my Chocolate Pumpkin Pudding. Or for a different flavor combination, try my Vegan Raw Persimmon Cranberry Pudding

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Labels: AIP, dessert, Paleo, pudding, snacks.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin, Banana, Cranberry Muffins (gluten free, dairy free, cane-sugar free, nut free)

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying all this baking.  My house always smells awesome.  No longer relying on store bought baked goods, we always have a muffin recipe on the ready for breakfast, snack, dessertanytime.  I’ve been learning a lot about gluten free, dairy free, cane-sugar free baking along the way.  I’ve limited myself to just a few gluten free flours to make things easy (brown rice, millet, and sorghum) and using only tapioca for the starch.  I have learned that psylum husk is a good sub for xanthan gum, and that coconut milk and applesauce keep egg-based baked good nice and moist.  There are so many gluten free flours to explore.  This is the fun of it – if think about it, compared to gluten baking, there are so many MORE possibilities with gluten free.  I have one more muffin recipe to share (chocolate of course), then I will start my vegan baking adventure.  Lastly, I will spend some time with grain-free, egg baking, then grain-free vegan baking.  
I hope you enjoy this fall inspired muffin recipe.  
Pumpkin, Banana, Cranberry Muffins


Ingredients:

wet
-2 eggs room temperature 

-1/2 cup pumpkin puree room temperature
-3/4 cup ripe banana
-1/2 cup coconut sugar
-1/2 cup melted coconut oil 
-1/4 cup applesauce 
-3 tablespoons full fat coconut milk 
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-10 drops stevia

dry
-100 grams sorghum flour (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) 
-100 grams brown rice flour (3/4 cup) 
-60 grams tapioca flour (1/2 cup)
-1 tablespoon cinnamon
-1 teaspoon ground ginger
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum or 1/2 teaspoon psyllium husk
-1/2 cup dried cranberries

How To:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
1. In a medium bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (except the cranberries).  
2. Next, in a large bowl, add in the eggs, banana, pumpkin, coconut sugar, coconut oil, coconut milk, applesauce, vanilla, and stevia.  Beat on medium with a hand mixer for 30 seconds.  
3.  Add in the dry ingredients.  Mix gently to incorporate then beat on medium with hand mixer for 15 seconds.  Hand mix in the cranberries.
4.  Fill batter to near the top of the muffin cups, add little pumpkin seeds for garnish.    
5.  Bake for 16 minutes.  
6.  Remove muffins from tin and cool on rack.  
Makes 12 muffins

Notes:
*For wet ingredients use a 1 cup glass Pyrex for measuring. 
*For dry, use metal measuring cups.  And when measuring flours, spoon the flours into the measuring cup, then level off with a knife.  Never pack in the flour. 
*The muffins will stay moist for 3 or 4 full days at room temp in a container.  
*I use these large baking muffin cups.

 Ethan just LOVES to help mommy bake!! 
*
And lastly on my list here to share before I move on to vegan baking are these chocolate cupcakes
Here is a recap of my gluten free/dairy free/cane-sugar free recipes: 

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Labels: breakfast, fall cuisine, muffins, nut free, snacks.

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