Sesame Peanut Chewy Bars

Sesame Peanut Chewy BarsI bought puffed buckwheat and quinoa recently to eat as a cereal for breakfast. I don’t know if any of you have tried this stuff, but it pretty much tastes like air. Out of frustration of wasting money on these products I decided to incorporate them into a granola-type bar.Just in this case, I swapped the ‘granola’ for puffed buckwheat- and I’m so glad I did. These bars make a perfect breakfast or snack as they aren’t overly sweet but leave you satisfied. The addition of sesame and ginger play on the savoury side of things so I highly recommend these to those absolutely crazy ‘non-dessert’ people out there. These come together super quick and stay nicely in the fridge or freezer. Hope you love them!

Sesame Peanut Chewy BarsSesame Peanut Chewy Bars
Sesame Peanut Chewy Bars

Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup pitted dates
• 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
• 2 tbsp coconut oil
• 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (all natural)
• 1/2 cup water (or more) to thin out peanut butter mixture
•1 tsp freshly grated ginger (optional)
• 2 cups puffed buckwheat (or your favourite gluten free cereal)
• 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
• 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
• 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
• 1/2 cup 70% dairy free chocolate, melted
• pinch of sea salt

Directions:

1. Line an 8 x 10 inch or 5 x 20 cm baking dish with parchment paper.

2. Process dates in a food processor until a paste forms.

3. Melt coconut oil, peanut butter, sweetener of choice, and ginger in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk until combined.

4. Once combined, whisk in your date paste. Use hot water as needed to thin out the mixture. It should almost look like caramel.

5. Remove from heat. Fold in your peanuts, puffed cereal, sesame seeds and coconut.

6. Press your mixture into baking dish and allow to firm up in the fridge or freezer for at least an hour. Remove from the cold, and drizzle on melted chocolate then sprinkle with sea salt. ENJOY!

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Sesame Peanut Chewy Bars

Banana Chocolate Chip Granola Clusters

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If you love the taste of chocolate chip banana bread, and the crunch of granola then these clusters are for you! Although Goddess Granola, will be my one true granola love, these crunchy clusters come in at a close second. Perfect on top of coconut yogurt, chia pudding- or straight from the jar… these babies are the perfect pick me up when fuel is running low. These have the perfect amount of natural sweetness from overripe bananas and lots of fiber from buckwheat and oats! As always these are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. They are also vegan! Mornings just got a little easier…

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Ingredients:

• 2 cups gluten free rolled oats
• 1 cup buckwheat (I used sprouted, or you can use more oats!)
• 1 cup walnuts (roughly chopped)
• 1/4 cup coconut sugar
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
• 1/3 cup maple syup
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1 ripe banana mashed
• 1/4 cup 70% chocolate chips or cacao nibs

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mash banana with a fork in a small bowl.

2. In a large bowl combine oats, buckwheat, walnuts, coconut sugar, sea salt and cinnamon.

3. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt coconut oil and whisk in maple syrup, mashed banana and vanilla. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and mix until combined and well coated.

4. Spread the mixture evenly onto your baking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden. Do not mixture during baking to keep clustered! Allow to cool and then break granola up into palm sized clusters. Add chocolate chips and stir. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
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Buckwheat Mushroom Risotto with Squash and Toasted Hazelnuts

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I’ve gotten a lot of requests for some recipes that are both comforting and healthy at the same time. Without added cream, butter or gluten for that matter, it can feel like a daunting task to make a dish comforting. But, as we now know, my goal is for no one to have to miss out on anything because of food allergies or dietary choices. So keep checking in for lots of delicious, warm your soul kind of meals/desserts to keep you toasty right through winter.

Risotto in particular is a meal you associate with butter and/or cream. It is so delicious but can be entirely too rich and heavy for me. The risotto I have created is equally as satisfying without the heaviness and stomachache you would get from the restaurant variety. That being said, this makes a great side for any protein source be it meat, beans or tofu. How about turkey? The combination of earthy mushrooms and sweet butternut squash with crunchy hazelnuts just screams holiday! Don’t you think? This can be a perfect stuffing substitute for your gluten/dairy – free guests!

Besides for its delicious flavour, this meal packs a big nutritional punch. I used a combination of porcini, oyster and portobello mushrooms which deliver cancer fighting properties and can lower cholesterol. Many people don’t know that Buckwheat isn’t actually a grain but comes from a plant (despite its grainy appearance). It ranks low on the glycemic scale which keeps your blood sugars levelled – which helps prevent weight gain and obesity. Most importantly, this recipe is DELICIOUS and gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. Happy holidays and bon appetit!
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Ingredients:

• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (divided)
• 1 butternut squash (cubed)
• 2 french shallots (finely chopped)
• 3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
• 3 tbsp toasted hazelnuts (chopped)
• 2 cups mushrooms chopped (I used a mix of oyster and portobello… choose your favourite!)
• 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
• 1 cup buckwheat groats
• 1 cup boiling water
• 2 cups vegetable broth
• 1/2 tsp dried oregano
• 1/2 tsp fresh or dried thyme
• 3 tsp apple cider vinegar
• 2 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)
• salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350. On a large baking sheet, coat chopped butternut squash in 1 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 45-60 min. Allow to cool.
2. In a bowl, place dried porcini mushrooms with boiling water and allow to reconstitute for 10 minutes.Place vegetable broth in a stock pot over medium heat and have a ladle on hand.
3. In a large skillet, heat remaining olive oil on medium heat. Add your shallots and cook until translucent and soft. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes or until mushrooms have reduced down. Add 1/2 tsp salt.
4. Add 1 cup of buckwheat into skillet along with oregano and thyme. Sautée for 2 minutes and then add 1 ladle broth. Stir until buckwheat absorbs all the liquid, then add another ladle of broth. Continue to do this until all the broth is absorbed, then add 1/2 of the porcini liquid and stir until absorbed. Add remaining porcini liquid. Chop the reconstituted porcini mushrooms and add to buckwheat mixture. Add apple cider vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
5. Toast hazelnuts in a dry pan for about 5 minutes or until oils are released.
6. Carefully toss cooked butternut squash into the buckwheat mixture. Top with fresh chopped parsley and toasted hazelnuts.

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