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This was my first attempt at making a NSNG (No Sugar No Grains) and GF (Gluten Free) “cookie,” and also my first time using coconut flour.  I’ve got to say– I did pretty good!  The only thing “bad” about these is they are too small!  After they came out of the oven, I ate about 5 very quickly.

The hazelnut flavor really comes through in these moist little snack cakes.  The coconut ingredients add both richness and texture.  The fruits and carrot impart a subtle sweetness.

In this recipe, I used just 2 dates to bump up the sweet just a bit.  That works out to about 0.053 dates per cake, or about a quarter of 1 date per 5 cakes.  Not bad at all!

These hold together quite well, so I predict they’re going to be tucked into my ski jacket pocket this winter.  I can’t wait for the flakes to start flying!

Coco-Hazelnut Snack Cakes (NSNG)

Coco-Hazelnut Snack Cakes (NSNG)

INGREDIENTS

3/4 C hazelnut flour (raw nuts ground in the Vitamix blender)
1/4 C garbanzo bean flour
1/4 C coconut flour
1/4 C ground flax seeds
1/4 C finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 t allspice

1/2 C full fat canned coconut milk
1/4 C unsweetened soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 t vanilla extract
2 Medjool dates, pitted

1 C shredded carrot
1 C shredded organic apple (about 1 large)

ASSEMBLY

1.  Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

2.  Blend the wet ingredients (i.e. milks, vanilla and pitted dates).

3.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Stir in the carrot and apple.

4.  Use a cookie scoop (or 2 spoons) to drop batter balls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Flatten each ball and smooth the sides.  Note that these retain their form/size during baking.

Coco-Hazelnut Snack Cakes (before baking)

Coco-Hazelnut Snack Cakes (before baking)

5.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  Makes 38 or approximately 3 dozen.  Freeze what you’re not going to eat right away.

Happy Fall…Enjoy!

Sunflower in a pumpkin patch - Hood River, Oregon

Sunflower in a pumpkin patch – Hood River, Oregon

I first learned about “blended salad” from Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  If you don’t know who Dr. Fuhrman is, be sure to click the link!  In my opinion, his book “Eat to Live” is one of the best books on nutrition.  I love his “nutritarian” approach to health.  It’s all about nutrient density.

A blended salad is basically another type of green smoothie.  My morning green smoothie contains a lot of fruit.  My evening blended salad contains mostly vegetables.

Here’s what I put in my blended salad last night (serves 2):

Parsley, spinach, zucchini, carrot, cucumber, apple, red pepper and lemon juice (frozen).

Blended Salad Ingredients - IMG_2216

PREPARATION

These are tips for preparing lots of vegetables ahead of time.  This cuts down on the amount of work involved.  If it’s too much work, then you probably won’t make blended salads regularly.  Not good!

1.  Buy several bunches of parsley.  Discard the thickest stems. (I don’t need that much fiber!)  Rinse, spin dry, and freeze on parchment paper.  Store in a freezer container.

2.  Have dark leafy greens in your fridge at ALL times.  Rotate through kale, spinach, chard, collards, etc.  Rinse the leaves and remove the tough stem.  Most of the time I throw the stem away, but sometimes I mince it up for soup.

3.  Buy a large variety of vegetables and apples.  Wash, chop (2″ pieces) and freeze most of it.  Always save some of everything for the fridge.  Don’t forget about tomatoes, celery, and avocado.  Keep the tomatoes and avocado fresh.

4.  Use a citrus reamer to juice a whole bunch of lemons at once.  Freeze the juice in ice cube trays.

5.  If you have a juicer, you can also juice some of the vegetables and freeze the juice in ice cube trays.  Using some vegetable juice instead of all whole veggies will cut down on some of the fiber (if getting too much fiber is an issue.)  Save your carrot pulp for other uses (like these muffins).

5.  Blend everything in a high-powered blender like a Vitamix.  Add at least a cup of water per serving.

Blended Salad - IMG_2218

It’s interesting to read nutrition charts showing the percentage of protein, carbohydrate, and fat found in fruits and vegetables.  People are surprised to learn that fruits contain protein and vegetables contain fat.

Please repeat after me:

ALL PLANTS CONTAIN PROTEIN.

PARSLEY:  27% protein, 57% carb, 16% fat

SPINACH:  39% protein, 49% carb, 12% fat

ZUCCHINI:  25% protein, 67% carb, 8% fat

CARROT:  8% protein, 87% carb, 5% fat

CUCUMBER:  19% protein, 69% carb, 12% fat

APPLE:  2% protein, 95% carb, 3% fat

RED PEPPER:  13% protein, 78% carb, 9% fat

LEMON:  7% protein, 90% carb, 3% fat

(Protein, carb, and fat percentages are from the book, “Becoming Raw:  The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets,” by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina.  This is another excellent book on nutrition.  You don’t need to be “raw” to read it.)

Happy blending!

Smiling Veg - IMG_9118

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

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