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Air Fried BBQ Chicken Skin

18 Jul

Don’t like Pork Rinds? Try chicken skins instead! These are crispy and oh-so-juicy at the same time.

Air Fried Chicken Skins

A Ketoevangelist Coach mentioned eating chicken skins from a whole chicken. I decided to try it ASAP with my air fryer. This is so simple and delicious!

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  1. Skin a whole chicken. (I then make chicken broth using the whole chicken but that’s for another post.)
  2. Rub the spices of your choice onto the raw chicken skin. (I used this BBQ rub.)
  3. Place in an air-fryer for 6 to 10 minutes, watching closely so that these don’t burn.
  4. Allow to cool.
  5. Enjoy these crispy treats.

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Holy Chicharrón: Delicious Air Fried BBQ Pork Rinds in 3 minutes!

2 Jul

Holy Chicharrón! My son and I discovered we can air fry our own pork rinds in 3 minutes!

Chicharrones

Ingredients:

  • microwaveable pork rinds pellets

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Method:

  1. Dump a handful of pork rind pellets in the air fryer.
  2. Cook at 400F for about 3 minutes. You’ll hear them popping after a minute and stop. Check on them around this time to make sure all the pellets have cooked.
  3. Add your choice of spices!
  4. ENJOY!

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My son loves BBQ spices on his pork rinds. Mix together the following:

  • 2T Swerve or other sweetener
  • 2T smoked paprika
  • 2T sea salt
  • 1 1/2 T pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more to taste

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If you have a 3 oz bag of store bought plain salted pork rinds, add 1 – 2T of this mix into the bag and shake to distribute the spices. For home fried, sprinkle the spices on to freshly air fried pork rinds and mix well. You may have to add a little more salt to taste. Enjoy!

The Unpredictably Perfect Vegan Chocolate Pecan Praline

8 Oct

This post is for days when an exact recipe won’t do, when you don’t feel like being predictable, and when you want to play in the kitchen.

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I haven’t eaten Praline Pecans in years. I have cooked them before but with egg whites and butter. I’ve also wanted to buy them many times since turning Vegan (8 years now!) but the ingredients invariably list butter, egg, cream, and/or corn syrup, and I’d put the package back on the shelf.  I decided it was time to make my own Vegan version using better ingredients.

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The Unpredictably Perfect Vegan Chocolate Pecan Praline

I brought out:

  • 16 oz pecans

I lay them flat on a prepared cookie sheet (with a Silpat mat) and toasted them slightly for 5 – 7 minutes at 350F. Then, I poured them in a big bowl and added:

  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil

I stirred well to coat evenly, then added:

  • enough maple syrup to slightly coat the pecans (I added around 4 Tbsp, but start with 2 Tbsp and keep adding by Tbsp until you think you have added enough)

I stirred again to coat the pecans evenly, then added:

  • Sucanat, to taste (I added around 1/2 c, but start with 1/4 c and keep adding by tablespoonful until it is just sweet enough)
  • sea salt, to taste (I added around 2 tsp, but keep tasting as you add by the 1/4 tsp)

I stirred to incorporate well. You want to make sure the sugar is sticking to the pecans. If not, you need more maple syrup. Now for the chocolate.*  I added to the bowl:

  • half a bag of Vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips (around 5 oz, but add whatever amount you want)

I stirred one last time to incorporate everything. Taste. Is it sweet enough? Is it just salty enough? Then, I poured it out on the prepared baking sheet, making sure it was in one layer, and baked at 350F for 10 to 15 minutes until fragrant, toasted, and the chocolate chips slightly melted. I took it out of the oven and allowed it to cool. Place in the refrigerator if you can’t wait.

*NOTE: at this stage, you can bake the pecans without the added chocolate chips. After baking, you can then drizzle melted chocolate in fancy patterns over the cooled pecans. The result will be even prettier Pralines but the thought of more washing up put me off this step. It probably would have been worth it though.

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When cooled, dig in. WOW. This was delicious!

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I’ve been nibbling on these Chocolate Pecan Pralines since yesterday. I left a plate out for my husband to try and he finished them off too. I love it when he enjoys my food!

Got Vegan Chocolate Oat Bars, Will Travel!

1 Oct

When we travel long distances, I usually carry fruits and some food with me. This past year, we have started our journeys in the early morning, so I have prepared many different types of breakfast bars. Some were crunchy and some were sweet. Some had dry cereal in it and most had some type of chocolate. I also made a very plain bread-type oat bar and topped it with jam. Here are some of the bars I’ve made and packaged in the last few months:

My family prefers the lighter, crunchier, and drier oat bars, while I tend to prefer the denser, chewier, and more moist ones. So here are two recipes for Chocolate Oat Bars: one crunchy with double chocolate and coconut, and one chewy with bananas and peanut butter. Both are addicting.

Crunchy Double Chocolate Coconut Oat Bars (Makes 8 bars)

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Heat in a small pot over a low flame:

  • 2 oz cacao butter

When melted, add in:

  • 1/4 c maple syrup or your choice of liquid sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Set aside. In a bowl, mix together about 2 1/2 c your choice of dry ingredients. My family loves this mix:

  • 1 3/4 c quick oats
  • 1/3 c semi-sweet Vegan chocolate chips (if your family prefers a sweeter bar, increase the chocolate chips and decrease the amount of oats OR add tablespoons of Sucanat, to taste)
  • 1/4 c flax seeds
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Place a parchment paper on an 8 x 8″ pan (very important because otherwise the bar will stick to the pan even if it is greased). Place the mixed ingredients into the pan and pat down well so that it is evenly leveled and packed in. Bake for 20 minutes at 350F. Turn over carefully onto another sheet of parchment paper and bake for another 20 minutes. You want to make sure that it is thoroughly cooked and dry. When cooled, place in the refrigerator till it hardens. Slice into 8 pieces. Package or place in a container. It will last longer in the refrigerator, but will do well stored in the pantry for a week as well.

Chewy Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars (Makes 8 bars)

Vegan Granola Bars

Mash in a bowl with a fork:

  • 2 large bananas, about 11 oz

Add in and mix to incorporate well:

  • 1/4 c peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Now add in about 3 c your choice of dry ingredients and mix well. I love this mix:

  • 2 T flax seed meal
  • 1/3 to 1/2 c your choice of chocolate: cacao nibs, dark chocolate or semi-sweet Vegan chocolate chips
  • 2/3 c chopped dates
  • 2 c rolled oats

Place in a greased (use coconut oil or other oil) 8 x 8″ pan. Pat down well so that it is evenly leveled and packed in. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until browned. Cool and place in refrigerator until it is easier to handle. Slice into 8 portions. Store in the refrigerator for a week.

Now that you have two kinds of bars, you’re ready to travel anywhere!

Sweet Rice Cakes: Quick, Healthy and Gluten-Free

26 Jan

When I asked my son what he wanted for breakfast, he smiled at me and hugged me tightly, “Cupcakes!”

Really?  Hmmmmpf!  Let’s just say I made an extra effort to be sure he enjoyed his healthy meals today.

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For breakfast, we had our favorite Green Sundae.  It is always a big hit!  Instead of oranges, bananas and avocado, today I substituted pears for oranges.  Delicious. My hubby actually prefers it with pears.

Sweet Rice Cakes

For a snack, I made Palitaw, which I grew up eating for ‘merienda’ (snack time).  It’s quick and easy to make.

1. Boil water.

2. Make a thick batter of Sweet Rice Flour and water. Make sure the batter is thick enough so you are able to form small balls and then flatten them in your hands to resemble pancakes. The batter is not as sticky when your hands are a little damp with cold water.

3. Carefully drop the cakes in boiling water.

4. When the cakes resurface and float, they are done.

5. Carefully lift the cakes out of the water and place on a plate.  Sprinkle with equal parts Sucanat (dehydrated cane sugar) and coconut (I used raw dehydrated coconut, but freshly grated mature coconut is traditionally used). You can also add a little mixture of sesame seeds and salt.

6. Serve.

My son ate two pieces and exclaimed, “Mama! This is the best!”

I guess he didn’t miss his cupcake.

We Love Bananas

1 Feb

 

Banana Lollipops: A Treat Anytime of the Day! Slice bananas, skewer with toothpick, freeze if desired, serve topped with chocolate sauce (equal parts raw honey and raw cacao powder) and sprinkle with chopped nuts or seeds or dried shredded coconut or dried fruit.

We love bananas at our house.  Some days, our 4 year old can eat 4 in a row.  Although we eat a varied array of fruits, some friends have cautioned that 2 bananas a day is one too many.  Needless to say, I was worried about his excessive banana consumption possibly causing hyperkalemia.

According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, 1 medium banana has 467.28mg of potassium.  The recommended daily intakes of dietary potassium are (and equivalents in bananas, assuming other potassium rich foods are not consumed):

  • Infants birth – 6 months: 500 mg or 13 mEq (around 1 banana)
  • Infants 7 months – 12 months: 700 mg or 18 mEq (around 1 1/2 bananas)
  • Children 1 year: 1,000 mg or 26 mEq (around 2 bananas)
  • Children 2 – 5 years: 1,400 mg or 36 mEq (around 3 bananas)
  • Children 6 – 9 years: 1,600 mg or 41 mEq (around 3 1/2 bananas)
  • Children over 10 years and Adults, including pregnant and nursing women: 2,000 mg or 51 mEq (around 4 bananas)

However, research also suggests that doctors believe, like Dr. Jennifer Shu of CNN states here:

“A diet that is high in potassium may also be the cause [of hyperkalemia], although if a person’s kidneys are working properly, the extra potassium is usually removed from the body through the urine.”

So, we continue to enjoy our bananas heartily – but as they say, too much of anything isn’t good for you.  We make sure we have many other fruits available and don’t eat excessive amounts of bananas everyday!

What do we do with our bananas?

Breakfast Puddings – to make them thick

Smoothies – to make them smooth

Wrappers – so they are not too brittle when we use them as sandwich wrappers

Ice Cream – to make them healthy

Lollipops (recipe above) – to give your kid something fun and still healthy to eat!

Popsicles – place smoothie mix in popsicle molds, freeze and voila!  Yes, even the ones with greens work!

Fast Food Snacks – just peel and enjoy.