It doesn’t get any simpler than this. It’s almond butter on a rice cake with bananas and pears.
After I’ve come home from a yoga class or run in the park, I want to eat something fast. This snack is easy to throw together and hits the spot every time. What you eat after a workout is important as it serves to supply your body with new energy that it will use to either refill its muscle glycogen stores or to repair the damaged muscle tissues. This snack is a great combination of complex carbohydrates and protein to do just those things.
Almond Butter and Banana + Pear Rice Cakes
- 2 brown rice cakes
- 2 Tbsp almond butter
- 1 banana, sliced into pieces
- 1 pear, sliced
- drizzle of honey (optional)
- hemp seeds (optional)
- Spread almond butter on the rice cake and top with banana, pear, drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of hemp seeds. Devour.
*Additional topping ideas:
- peanut butter
- cashew butter
- sunflower seed butter
- coconut butter
- chia seed jam
- cacao nibs
- strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
- shredded coconut
- hummus & veggies
Photo credit: my sister, Jenny Norris
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I just returned from a relaxing trip in Ireland visiting my man. Being engaged to an Irishman makes for some interesting debates on what food should or shouldn’t be (and how it should or shouldn’t be pronounced). Irish scones are more like American style biscuits. They aren’t sweet, but they’re generally eaten with dollops of cream and jam.
The Irish use the word biscuit to describe…well, everything. Cookies are biscuits. Crackers are biscuits. I’m pretty sure everything is a biscuit. Except for cake. Everything else is cake. Brownies are cake. Cake is cake. Pudding is cake. Although sometimes pudding is bread. Pudding is also meat. Confused? You and I both.
There is one thing I can agree on with my man though – scones are best served freshly baked, warm from the oven with some homemade preserves or honey. Scones for breakfast or teatime; they are good all the time.
If you’re not thinking of the classic Irish scones, you’re probably thinking of the scones that are crumbly triangles drenched in glaze served in coffeehouses and bakeries galore. That’s not what’s happening here. We’re using simple, natural ingredients. Although slightly more compact than a classic scone, they still have a light texture and wonderful flavor. They are especially delectable with this berry chia seed jam. If there is one thing worth debating, it is who is making tea?
Simple Spelt Scones
Lightly adapted from Babycakes NYC Cookbook
- 2 cups whole spelt flour
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup hot water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sea salt and baking powder. Stir to combine. Add to the mixture melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir until a very crumbly/dry batter forms. Add the hot water and stir until just combined.
- Grease a 1/3 cup measuring cup and fill it with portions of the dough. Drop the portions onto the baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes, keeping an eye on these little gems. Allow scones to cool slightly before serving with jam.
Berry Chia Seed Jam
Vegan & Gluten-free
- 1 cup berries (I used blackberries & blueberries)
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp chia seed
- In a blender or food processor, blend the berries up with maple syrup and vanilla until smooth. Put the mixture in a saucepan and place over low to medium heat for about 3-4 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add chia seeds and turn down the heat to super low/simmer. Keep mixing while chia seeds start to gel up and jam starts to thicken. About 5 minutes. Turn off heat and keep.
- Pour mixture into a glass jar with a lid. When it’s cool, seal up the container and store in fridge for about 5-7 days.
Oh, I’ve been looking forward to sharing this with you! Not only because it has become my favorite snack/meal, but also due to the fact that it is a tribute to spring and all the amazing light summer meals this time of year! While we have seen many more rain showers than we’ve seen the sun over the last few days, I know warmer temperatures are on the way (fingers crossed!). Spring rolls are the perfect food to get you feeling like warmer days are already here.
Before I made my first spring roll, I have to admit, I was intimidated to take on the task – especially after my sushi rolling experience. But let me tell you, once you start making your own spring rolls, you’ll never stop. It is so much easier that you would think, and this way you can come up with crazy concoctions that you would not be able to order from take out. After a little practice, I know you’ll be raving about them as much as me.
I love the idea of stuffing what is fresh and seasonal into a spring roll. Because spring is here, I chose to go with a mostly green veggie palette – cilantro, lettuce, avocado, cucumber and carrot for a little color and something sweet. Use whatever you have on hand and what is in season. This meal is a great way to use up all the little bits of veggies hanging out in the fridge that you haven’t found a use for.
Vegan Spring Rolls
Serves 6 rolls
- 6 rice paper wraps (found in health food shops or the Asian section of well stocked markets)
- 1/2 cup cilantro sprigs
- 1 1/4 cup grated carrots
- 1 2/4 cup grated cucumber
- 1 large avocado
- Set up your roll work space. You need a large bowl of warm water and a damp dish towel to work on. Set out your lettuce, cilantro, carrots, cucumber and avocado.
- Working one roll at a time, put the rice wrap flat into the large bowl of warm water, being careful to not let it curl up, until soft, about one minute.
- Lay the wrap down on the dish towel. Down the center, like a burrito, layer the cilantro, lettuce,small handful of the carrots, cucumber and a few slices of avocado. Fold over the top and bottom ends over the filling, tuck the right flap over and then roll to close. Repeat with remaining wraps.
Photo Credit: my sister, Jenny Norris – jjnorris.com
Valentine’s day is silly, but I’ll look for any kind of excuse to get dressed up and take my handsome man out on the town. While we don’t go over the top with celebrating, I get into the spirit of the day the only way I know how to show true love: food. I baked again, and with a vengeance.
These are my latest creations – Exotic Spice Cookies. They are perfectly spicy, wonderfully soft and deliciously chewy. They are an ideal companion for a hot cup of tea. And the best part of all – baking a batch or two is incredibly easy. And on a day like today (rainy), baking is the perfect way to pass the time.
Exotic Spice Cookies
Makes 12 cookies
- 1 cup quick oats
- 1 cup spelt flour or whole grain whole-wheat flour
- 2 tsp. fresh or powdered ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup nut butter (I used organic almond butter)
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used rice milk)
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
- In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients: oats, flour, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
- In a small bowl mix nut butter and oil until well blended. Stir in sugar, non-dairy milk and vanilla until combined.
- Add wet to dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon just until combined.
- Drop dough by spoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.