Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almonds... lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure, and lower cholesterol levels.

 

Have you ever found a cookie recipe and thought "wow, those look amazing" and then you make them only to find out that, well, they are not so amazing? Well, I have and, to be blunt, it's a total bummer. After many batches and many different ingredients, I have finally found a fantastic combination that has left my family wanting to eat the whole batch in one sitting! I would say chocolate cookie success :)

I have made two batches of these so far and knew the recipe needed to be shared. If you like chocolate, almonds, and oats, then this nutritious cookie is for you. These are perfect if you are on the go, or even as a treat in your child's lunch box! Plus they can be 100% vegan and gluten-free - bonus! 

Ingredients
Makes 12-13 cookies

Dry Ingredients
1/2 Cup Organic Rolled Oats
1/4 Cup Organic Oat Flour *
1/4 Cup Arrowroot Flour/ Corn Starch
1/4 Cup Finely Ground Roasted Unsalted Almonds
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
1/2 Cup 60% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Chips (I used Ghiradelli - you can use non-dairy also!)

*Oat Flour - I just blend oats at high speed to make the flour.

Wet Ingredients
1/2 Cup Natural Smooth Almond Butter
1/4 Cup Honey or Pure Maple Syrup
3 Tbsp Organic Virgin Coconut Oil softened (not hot)
1/2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Method
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl combine wet ingredients and until completely smooth. You can add the dry ingredients to this mixture but I personally like to combine them in another bowl and mix the dry ingredients before adding to the wet ingredients. Your call. Be sure to add the dry ingredients a little at time as it will be easier to combine. Once all ingredients are thoroughly combined, you will have a dough that is slightly wet/ oily which is perfectly normal.

Grab a large baking sheet (21 x 15") and line with parchment paper. You can either use a tablespoon or ice cream scooper to scoop mounds of dough onto the baking sheet (about 2 tablespoons per cookie). I didn't find these cookies to spread too much so I rolled the mounds into balls and then pressed them down on the top and shaped them slightly.

Bake for 10 minutes. Let cook directly on baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes. The cookies will be delicate until cooled but I recommend trying one that is still warm with chocolate oozing out. Goes well with a cup of tea!

 

 

Leek and Spinach Lasanga

Dark leafy greens like spinach provide protein, iron, vitamins and minerals.

I remember growing up and having amazing meat lasagnas as a child. Once I became a vegetarian at 16, those lasagnas quickly became a distant memory. Over the years, I may have made vegetable lasagnas a handful of times but it was only until recently, making this leek and spinach one, that my love for lasagna resurfaced. It has also become a great way to get some more leafy greens into Ava's diet - a sure way to get her to the table! Keep in mind that this is a freeze-friendly meal so you can make it ahead of time, or even make mini ones, so you can take it out when you need something quick and easy.

Ingredients
Olive Oil
3 Large Leeks, thinly sliced
1 Medium Red Onion, thinly sliced
A Bunch of Spinach (300g approx.), washed and chopped
Ricotta Cheese, 16oz – 454g
Tomato Sauce, 1 litre (Ideally I would love to make it fresh but lately I have been using the Sonoma Gourmet Plum Tomato Marinara or the vegetable one – Both organic and no water or sugar added), 25oz – 709g jar, I use about 1 and a half of another (approx..)
1 Packet of Organic Brown Rice Pasta Lasagna Sheets, or whatever your preference is
Fresh Mozzarella, 8oz – 226g (it comes in a log form so you will need to slice to place evenly on top)
Fresh Parmesan (I use Stella Asiago), grated
Freshly Ground Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 420F
Heat large saucepan or pot and add a splash of olive oil. Add leeks and red onions and let sweat slowly until soft and translucent. Add chopped spinach and allow it to wilt down. Turn off heat and set aside to cool slightly and then drain any excess liquid. Add ricotta into the mixture (leek, onion, and spinach) and season with fresh ground sea salt and pepper to taste.
Cook lasagna sheets as instructed on box. I cook them for about 9-10mintues approximately.

Now it’s time to put the lasagna together! Get an oven safe dish (mine is 12 x 8.5”) and pour a quarter of the tomato sauce in. Add a layer of pasta sheets (about three go across in mine), add half of the ricotta mixture, add another quarter of the tomato sauce, add another layer of pasta sheets, then the remainder of the ricotta mixture, top with another quarter of the tomato sauce, add another layer of pasta sheets and top that with the remaining tomato sauce (I always find that I need more tomato sauce so I always use more than 1 jar). Finally, top with grated parmesan and fresh mozzarella. It’s now ready to go in the oven :)

Bake for 45minutes or until golden brown and crispy on top. It should also be sizzling! Enjoy with a green leaf salad.

Roasted Almond Coconut Granola

A great way to get your Omega 3’s!

Breakfast! A bowl packed full of goodness. Shown above is organic everything and one favorite way to start our day. Strauss Plain Yogurt, Blueberries, Ava + Mum's Roasted Almond Coconut Granola, Nutiva's Hemp hearts, and a nice drizzle of Dark Amber Maple Syrup.

If you are a granola lover, below is the recipe for our Roasted Almond Coconut Granola. I have experimented with the ingredients in the past but always come back to this one as it seems to be a winner in our family every time. 

Enjoy!

 

Ingredients
1 cup of Whole Roasted Almonds (Whole or Sliced depending on preference)
1 cup of Unsweetened Coconut Flakes (Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup of Honey or Dark Amber Maple Syrup
2 1/2 cups of Rolled Oats (Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free)
1 tsp of Cinnamon Powder (or more depending on preference)
1/2 tsp Sea Salt (Optional) 
2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
1/4 Coconut Oil (Nutiva)

Method
Combine almonds, oats, coconut and cinnamon in a bowl. Melt coconut oil in small pot on low. Once liquid, add honey and vanilla and then mix into the almond and oat mixture. Mix well.

Pour into a baking sheet or pan and spread mixture evenly. Bake in oven at 350F for a total of 30 minutes making sure you mix the granola at the 15-minute mark. You will know when it's done as you will have a nice golden looking batch of granola.