Tag Archives: nuts

Sensational seed and nut bars!

A delicious healthy snack bar that will add some sweetness to your day!

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Eat them straight from the freezer or pack them into the lunch box.

Having healthy snacks on hand is vital if you are going to avoid making poor food choices. Being on a restricted diet is hard enough without feeling hungry or as though you are missing out. These bars are healthy, sweet, paleo, gluten, dairy and processed sugar free. They are filled with natural goodness and are a favourite snack of mine. The recipe is flexible and you can change them to suit your own preferences such as leaving out the nuts, using different seeds or changing some of the quantities. All of the ingredients l use are organic and the nuts and larger seeds are activated which means l have soaked them in filtered water and sea salt for a day, rinsed them well and then dehydrated. This process helps to remove the anti-nutrients and support good digestion.

Ingredients:

1 cup activated organic sunflower seeds

1 cup activated organic pumpkin seeds

1 cup organic sesame seeds

1 cup black chia seeds

1 cup activated mixed nuts (e.g almond, walnut, and brazil)

A generous 1/2 cup organic shredded coconut

8 Medjool Dates seeded and chopped (roughly chop just to make it easier for the food processor)

A good 1/2 cup raw organic honey (use organic or regular honey if that is what you have)

A good 1/2 cup organic coconut oil

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These ingredients add a delicious flavour to the bars.

Place the nuts, seeds, shredded coconut and dates in the food processor and chop until roughly chopped. Gently warm the honey and coconut oil in a saucepan and pour into the food processor. Pulse until all there is a good consistency and all the nuts and seeds have been broken up.

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Be careful of the very sharp blade.

Have a tray ready which is lined with baking paper. Run your finger around the edge of the tray so there is a crease in the paper. Pour the ingredients onto a tray lined with baking paper. Now is a good time to have a taste test. The mix should be sweet and delicious.

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The mix is ready to be flattened.

Use a spatula to flatten the mix and make sure it is quite even across the whole tray and give special attention to the corners.

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Ready for the oven

I have tried a few different oven temperatures and times but basically you don’t want the oven too hot as you will burn the seeds and lose lots of nutrients, and you want to just cook it until the edges are going golden. I cooked mine today in a Fan Forced Convection Oven at 170 Degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. You will be able to check this after your first batch.

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Remove the tray from the oven and let cool until cold. Another option is when it is slightly cool to place it in the freezer for an hour whilst still on the tray. This is what l do now as l don’t like to wait.

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Remove from the freezer and cut.

Use the edges of the baking paper to carefully remove the bars as a whole from the tray and lay it on a flat bench. Cut the bars while still on the baking paper into whatever size suits you using a very sharp knife and wiping clean after cutting a row.  Another option is to use a pizza cutter and it helps to give it or the knife a wipe after each row. I think it is better to have the bars quite small as then you have more of a choice over serving size.

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Carefully lift each bar into the container for freezing unless you are going to eat them all fresh, but they are very nice eaten when they are just out of the freezer and such a handy snack to take to work or when you are out.

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Store in an airtight container in the freezer

The best part of the whole cooking experience is eating the crumbs. Scrape them off the baking paper and into a bowl. Enjoy! You could dip something into these crumbs such as a banana or use them as a topping.

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I love this part!

Something to be aware of when eating these bars is that the chia seeds can get stuck in your teeth. This is really a cosmetic issue, so it is best to do a quick tooth check after you have eaten them and you may need a tooth pick to remove them as they can be a bit stubborn.

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Raw lime and cinnamon bars

My first raw bar and the flavours are lovely!

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A perfect snack!

The lime and cinnamon infuse through the bars which are firm, wholesome and delicious. I eat these straight from the freezer and they are a real treat.

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You will be able to stock up the freezer and pack these in the lunch box.

Ingredients:

2 cups of nuts (I used raw activated walnuts and brazil nuts)

2 cups of seeds (I used 1/2 cup each of pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and chia seeds)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

10 medjool dates that have been deseeded and soaked in warm water for 15 minutes then drained

The juice and zest of one large or two small limes.

1/2 cup raw organic honey (slightly warmed)

1/2 cup organic coconut oil (gently melted)

Extra pepitas to put on top of the mixture 

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Everything goes into the food processor.

Place everything into the food processor and pulse to the desired consistency. The soft dates, coconut oil and honey should be blended in well and the nuts broken into small pieces.

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Everything is blended well.

Press the mix into a baking dish lined with baking paper. Mine was approximately 22cm and was a glass dish. Use the spare pumpkin seeds (pepitas) to decorate the top of the mix.

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Push the pumpkin seeds into the top of the mix to decorate.

Place the mixture into the freezer for about an hour.

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This is the fun part!

Lift the slab out of the dish by grabbing the edges of the baking paper. Using a sharp knife cut the mix into long bars and then squares. After you have had a taste test, place the rest of the bars into a container and store in the freezer.

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Ready for the freezer

I have found that the lovely lime flavour is enhanced over time, and the bars l have eaten from the freezer have had a very enticing hint of lime, which reminds me of the feeling l get when l am drinking a beautiful herbal tea.

If you have enjoyed this post please share with a friend. Thankyou carolyn

You can follow me on Instagram: holistic_paleo and Twitter; holistic paleo@carolynlgray

Sensational Seed and Nut bars

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Healthy, easy to make seed and nuts bars, or just seed bars if you leave the nuts out as the ones above. This recipe is very flexible and l know there are heaps of other bar recipes on the web but this one suits me, my lifestyle, tastes and food choices. The ingredients are all wonderful and you can add more or less of each seed and it wont matter. To be adventurous you could add herbs, raw cacao, cinnamon or garlic and l may start experimenting a bit now l have this basic recipe worked out. The ones in the picture above do not have nuts or coconut, but l prefer the batch l made today which included them. I use organic and activated ingredients but it is up to you and your preferences. Regular nuts and seeds will work well, but l need to support my digestion and overall health as much as possible so use the best ingredients l can.

Ingredients:

1 cup activated organic sunflower seeds

1 cup activated organic pumpkin seeds

1 cup organic sesame seeds

1 cup black chia seeds

1 cup activated mixed nuts (I used walnut, almond and brazil)

A generous 1/2 cup organic shredded coconut

8 Medjool Dates seeded and chopped (roughly chop just to make it easier for the food processor)

A good 1/2 cup raw organic honey (use organic or regular honey if that is what you have or even rice malt syrup)

A good 1/2 cup organic coconut oil

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Place the nuts, seeds, shredded coconut and dates in the food processor and chop until roughly chopped. Tip this into a good sized glass bowl. I used the same measuring cup for the organic coconut oil and raw organic honey and with both in there it should look really full. Put the coconut oil in the cup first so it is easier to remove.

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Melt the coconut oil and honey in a saucepan on very low heat. You don’t want it too hot so remove from the heat just before it is all melted. Give it a stir and then pour it into the seed, nut, date and shredded coconut mix. Stir well and taste test. It should be delicious and sweet.

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Place a sheet of grease proof paper over a baking tray and run your finger around the edge to make a crease. Pour the mix onto the tray and flatten with a soft spatula or the back of a spoon. Make sure it is quite even across the whole tray and give special attention to the corners.

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I have tried a few different oven temperatures and times but basically you don’t want the oven too hot as you will burn the seeds and lose lots of nutrients, and you want to just cook it until the edges are going golden. I cooked mine today in a Fan Forced Convection Oven at 170 Degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. You will be able to check this after your first batch.

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Remove the tray from the oven and let cool until cold. I left mine for about 1.5 hours.

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Use the edges of the baking paper to carefully remove the bars as a whole from the tray and lay it on a flat bench. Cut the bars while still on the baking paper into whatever size suits you using a very sharp knife and wiping clean after cutting a row. I think it is better to have the bars quite small as then you have more of a choice over serving size.

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Carefully lift each bar into the container for freezing unless you are going to eat them all fresh. If they are a bit crumbly you can place the whole lot into the freezer with a cutting board underneath so they harden a bit before placing in the tub.

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The best part of the whole cooking experience is eating the crumbs. Scrape them off the baking paper and into a bowl. Enjoy! You could dip something into these crumbs such as a banana or use them as a topping.

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Snack bars-all natural

 

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Another lunch box filler or sweet snack to fill in the holes that are left by following a restricted diet. These snack bars are crunchy and sweet eaten straight from the freezer which is how l prefer them, but if l pack them in my lunch box for work l use a cool block so they stay cool. The raw organic honey, medjool dates and organic coconut oil provide the elements of sweetness and stickiness that helps to hold the bars together. Everything in these bars is healthy and natural and the best part is scraping the bits off the tray and eating them while still warm. See if you can resist!

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I like to make things in bulk and freeze them but if this doesn’t suit you then just halve the recipe. If you halve it just use one baking tray instead of two. It can be good to start with a smaller quantity as it often takes a few goes to get a recipe right or to make adaptations to it that suit you.

Ingredients:

1 cup Almond Meal (I keep mine in the fridge)

1 cup organic shredded coconut

1 cup organic sesame seeds (I also keep all of my seeds and nuts in the fridge)

1 cup of Pepitas

1 cup of Sunflower Seeds

1 cup of Chia Seeds

2 cups of chopped nuts (I used walnuts almonds and macadamias)

2 teaspoons organic cinnamon

12 medjool dates seeded and chopped

4 generous tablespoons raw organic honey (or organic honey)-warm so it is just a liquid

1 good cup of organic coconut oil-warm so it is a liquid

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Method:

Place the nuts and dates in the food processor and pulse. Add all of the other dry ingredients and mix well. Place in a bowl and mix through the liquid honey and coconut oil. This is the time for a taste test. Yum!

Grease the two trays well with coconut oil (one if halving the recipe) and place half of the mixture on each tray. Spread the mixture evenly over the tray and using an egg flipper push the mix down so it is flattened and compacted. Focus on the corners and edges also. Place the trays in a pre-heated 160 degree celcius oven and bake until the edges are quite golden. Around 30 minutes but it will depend on the oven.

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Let the trays cool for about five minutes and then run a sharp knife around the edge of the tray and carefully cut lines into the mix as shown in the picture. When the trays are completely cool, cover with cling wrap and place into the freezer for about one hour. Take the trays out of the oven and use a cake server to go around the edge of the tray and loosen the bars. Bend the tray slightly until you can see the bars lifting off the tray. Use the cake slicer to carefully lift each piece out of the tray. Place into a container and put in the freezer. This is the time to scrape the leftover pieces off the tray and enjoy. So yummy!

If you have enjoyed this post please share it with a friend. I am also on Facebook at Holistic Wellness For Life and Twitter at Holistic Wellness@carolynlgray. Thanks Carolyn

Egg salad with walnuts and seeds

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Delicious, crunchy, healthy and full of flavour.

Eggs are a great protein source and l experimented with some of the ingredients here to make a really healthy and crunchy salad. I served this salad with my Zingy tomato salad and roasted sweet potato and the flavours blended together beautifully. Some of you might ask where the meat is in this meal and certainly l could have served some grilled fish or chicken on the side or had a nice piece of Salmon with it. Sometimes it is just nice to have a non-meat meal and there were good sources of protein in this meal including the eggs, walnuts and chia seeds. Those of you who follow this blog will know that l have had my gall bladder removed and as a result l don’t eat red meat as l find it hard to digest and find that a light non-meat orientated meal can be a good way to finish the day.

Ingredients:

8 hard boiled free range eggs

2 small finely diced carrots

1 cup of activated walnuts (raw walnuts soaked and dehydrated)

1 cup of finely diced cabbage

2 spring onions (the green ends finely diced)

2 stalks of celery finely diced

1/4 cup activated sunflower seeds

1/4 cup activated pumpkin seeds

Method:

Mix all of these ingredients together in a nice glass bowl and add your favourite dressing.

My dressing:

In a bowl mix with a hand blender:

1/4  cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar, sea salt, black pepper, 2 cloves of crushed garlic and the juice of one small lemon or lime. You can add in any herbs or other spices you have that you think would make this dish extra delicious. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until serving.

Activating your nuts and seeds

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Activating my nuts and seeds has taken a while to get the hang of. The many wellness books l have all say that it is essential to activate the nuts and seeds you are eating if they form a regular part of your diet.

What is activating your nuts? It involves soaking the nuts in water and a small amount of salt, then drying them at low temperatures so that they are easier to digest. This process also helps to remove substances in nuts and seeds called phytic acid and protease inhibitors which can interfere with the absorption of important minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Iron and Zinc.

I started off activating the nuts using my oven. Hard nuts such as almonds, walnuts and brazil nuts need to be soaked over night. Place them in a tub and cover with room temperature water and add a small pinch of sea salt. In the morning, rinse off the nuts under running water. Place them directly on to oven trays and place in the oven at the very lowest temperature (under 60 degrees celsius) so as not to destroy all of the enzymes in the nuts.  Make sure they are not piled high on top of each other. After a few hours turn them over. Keep them in the oven for around ten hours, and try one every now and again to see if they are ready. Store them in the fridge in a container and place any excess in the freezer. Softer nuts such as cashews and macadamia nuts only need about 6 hours soaking and less time in the oven, so you could do this all in one day. Because of this, l buy nuts in packets with just one type of nut, rather than mixed because then l have to pick all of the soft ones out. Aldi have a good selection of nuts such as macadamias, almonds and walnuts. You want to buy raw, unroasted nuts. Activated nuts can take some getting used to as they are a bit softer than unactivated nuts, but that is good for your teeth also.

I was given a dehydrator and it has really changed my dehydrating a lot. I was never comfortable with having the oven on for hours and the dehydrator just sits on the bench and doesn’t heat up the kitchen. I can also put the temperature on very low. I recently had great success with my first batch of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. I soaked them overnight separately and because they are thin they only took a few hours to dry. You will know when they are ready as they won’t taste as if there is any moisture in them. I have never been a big snacker of these seeds but after they were dried they were so delicious. The ones that were not eaten have been placed in air tight containers in the fridge. If you are in Australia l can recommend http://www.bulkwholefoods.com.au for organic seeds and nuts. If you spend over $100 delivery is free, the service is really good and if ever there is a problem with the order it is resolved quickly. I met the owner at a recent Wellness Expo and she was really nice and she had a range of their products on display which was very impressive. Good luck with the activating!