The Foodie Blogroll

Ten years past...

Before I start out with my regular post, I just want to send my love to everyone in remembrance of September 11, 2001.  I cannot believe it's already been ten years since that tragic day.  The other day on the radio, they were asking listeners to reflect on where they were that tragic day.  I remember that day so vividly.

I was in grade seven at the time and we had just come in from lunch.  My teacher Mme Danielle came in and had this look of horror on her face.  She had just finished telling us how she was walking her dog, went back in the house turned on the tv and was watching the news.  She explained to us the incident that happened, while crying.  At first I was a bit confused, not to say I was a dumb kid, but we were sitting there listening to her speak, and I'm doing the translation in my head from French to English, trying to figure out if I'd missed something, and the only thing I could think of is, why is she crying over tourism?  Needless to say I didn't quite understand until I went home and saw it on the news for myself.

A few years back, my brother, mom and I went to New York City, and we saw the emptiness of where the Twin Towers once were, and I can't even imagine, even to this day the sorrow those who's families, and friends were in the Towers.  It doesn't matter where we are in the world, September 11th, 2001 will always be a day that people will remember.  My heart truly goes out to each and every one of those who were affected, and are still mourning.

I almost feel selfish continuing to write this post, but I made a promise to myself that before I leave for Korea I was going to work through some posts since I know I won't be spending much time near a computer.

This morning, I was unfortunately visited by, what I believe to be my first real hangover.  It's not even that I drank a lot last night, but I got really affected by it.  Last night, my friend Mary and I decided to toast off to my farewell of Montreal.  I have four more sleeps remaining in this beautiful, wonderful city, and will be boarding my plane for Korea Thursday morning at 8:45 am.  This past week I've had mixed emotions regarding the whole vacation due to some incidents that have occurred, that I don't really want to get into.  But, I realized in the end that I am not living for anyone else, I'm not going to risk not making memories, not exploring a different part of the world because of other people.  Since then I've been really excited.  I picked up my money on Friday afternoon, 393 000 won, equivalent to $400.00 Canadian, I feel rich.

This morning I decided to start my packing.  I am one of those people who definitely over-packs, this time I'm trying really hard not, but I still feel like I have too much, but not enough of the right things.  It's making me a little anxious, but it's all part of the fun right?

Today, as much as I want to post another one of my delicious smoothie concoctions I think I'll save you guys the headache of seeing another smoothie recipe for a day, and instead I'm going to show you guys two dessert recipes that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Plum Date Squares

Recipe adapted from here

 

One of my mom's most well known dessert recipes at Christmas are her date bars.  Her date bars are like none I've ever had before, in being that... most date bars are healthy, hers not so much.  Other than the dates and the oats the health factor in her bars are negated by the chocolate chips, butter, looooaddsss of caramel, more chocolate, and more caramels.  They are the most wonderful bar, but especially at a time such as Christmas, or well any other day of the year for that matter they aren't the healthiest, heart-friendly, eco-friendly dessert there is.  While perusing the blogosphere I came across a recipe for a healthified date square, I decided to then further adapt to to what  I had in the house, and what I was craving.  I'll admit, most date squares are insanely crumbly, these just about top that list, but they are so worth the crumble.  These bars are fantastic, especially with an afternoon tea.  They have plenty of fibre, iron, grains, and you get loads of good fats.  These were fantastic and such a great alternative to a traditional date square.

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cups whole raw almonds
  • 3/4 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups regular oats
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 18 Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped (I love dates so I wanted more)
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup dried plums
  • 6 dates
  • 1/2 cup water
Directions:

Line a square pan with parchment paper.

In a food processor, process the almonds, cashew, salt, and oats until a fine crumble forms.  Add in the dates and process until crumbly again.

Melt the coconut oil and add to the mixture and process until sticky. Adjust oil if you feel it is too dry.  Remove dough from the processor, and set aside 3/4 cup of the mixture for later.

Press the mixture very firmly and evenly into the pan.

Place your plums, 5 dates and water in processor and process until a paste forms. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl often.  Scoop out the plum mixture onto the crust and gently spread until even.

Sprinkle on the 3/4 cup of mixture you set aside on top of the plum mixture and gently press down with fingers.

Refrigerate in the fridge until firm for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. Can also be frozen before slicing.  Cut into squares and serve.  Store in the fridge or freezer.

Raw Blonde Nanaimo Bars

Recipe taken from here

My first job was working at Tim Horton's.  With working at Tim Horton's came the introduction of my all time favourite bar; Nanaimo.  As we all know by now, chocolate is not on my happy list, however, I don't mind it when it is with either peanut butter or coconut.  Nanaimo bars has chocolate and coconut, and it is just perfection.  There is just something about biting into one of these little squares that you swear you'd died and gone to heaven.  Last summer I tried my hand for the first time at making Nanaimo bars, and they were certainly a hit, which have still been requested since.  Unfortunately however, I just don't see myself making them anymore because they just don't fall into my diet anymore, if I needed to go somewhere and bring a dessert I definitely would though because they were amazing.

When I stumbled across a recipe for a raw Nanaimo bar, that was blonde instead of chocolate I knew I would be making it very soon.  This recipe is wonderful, it takes a little time to soak the nuts, (which you can prepare the night before), and then from there your food processor does most of the work for you, so it really is a simple recipe to make.

This version of Nanaimo is surprisingly super healthy, albeit full of healthy fats, very, very good for you.  At first I wasn't entirely sold on them, since I was expecting it to resemble your traditional Nanaimo (even though I knew it wasn't), after my second helping I was hooked.  I couldn't wait until I the next day for my dessert so I could have them, and the cycle would happen again, until I was down to my last two with a very sad feeling in my heart.  These are definitely a perfect, simple dessert to make if you're a fan of coconut, and Nanaimo bars!

Ingredients:
Base:
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, soaked overnight
  • 10 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Filling:
  • 1 1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 tbsp ground chia seed
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp ground stevia leaf – the green powder tastes far better than the white!
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon rind
White chocolate top:
  • 1/2 cup cocoa butter – coconut oil can be used too
  • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch ground stevia leaf
  • pinch Himalayan rock salt
Directions:
    Soak the almonds and walnuts in one glass container and the cashews in the other the night before you plan on making this delicious treat. In the morning strain both containers of nuts and you’re ready to rock!


    To make the base:

    In a food processor, combine almonds and walnuts and pulse until they’re broken up into pieces the size of the eraser end of a pencil. Add dates and pulse until broken down. Then, mix in coconut and vanilla by hand. Press mixture evenly into a 9×9 pan and set aside.

    To make the filling:

    In a food processor, combine all filling ingredients. Grind until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Spread mixture as evenly as possible over top of the base layer and place in the freezer for 5 minutes.

    To make the white chocolate top:

    Melt the coconut oil in the microwave, once melted, slowly add coconut milk, stirring constantly, then vanilla extract, stevia, and salt. Whisk until combined. Remove pan from the freezer and pour the white chocolate over top. Place back in the freezer for 15 minutes to harden up.

    Remove from the freezer and allow to  soften slightly and cut into squares. Serve immediately, or freeze until read to serve.

    Makes 25 bite sized bars.

    Have you tried making healthy versions of traditional desserts?
    If so, which ones and how did they compare?

    2 comments:

    pharmacy said...

    To be honest, everything looks delicious, each picture have something special and they made me feel something weird inside my mouth... like a wish...so I will do it at home. Absolutely.

    xl pharmacy said...

    This is one of my favorite recipes 'cause it contains vanilla and the taste it's so good. Thanks for share.