Homemade Fig Newton Power Balls
Yield 24 power balls
We've taken two of our favorite things (ok three if you count Fig Newtons) and created a whole new snack that will knock your socks off. When figs meet graham crackers, anything can happen...
1/2 sleeve graham crackers
2 cups dried figs
1 cup dried and pitted dates
2 Tbsp coconut oil, at room temperature
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup whole flax seeds
- In a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, break up graham crackers and pulse until you've crushed everything to dust.
- Next, poor graham "dust" into a bowl for coating.
- In the same food processor with the very same blade, add all of your other ingredients and pulse/puree until a fine paste forms.
- Shape paste into quarter-sized balls using a small cookie scoop (or watch our video to see what we did with what we had on hand).
- Coat balls in graham "dust", store in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy as needed.
peanut or almond or cashew butter
flax meal for coating
cocoa (for paste and/or coating)
DESSERT Vegan No Bake Brownies
Yield 16 brownies
Enjoy this Vegan, No Sugar Added treat! It's filled with protein from the walnuts and fiber from the dates, plus an extra benefit from the unsweetened cocoa powder and avocado, which provides an excellent source of healthy fats.
Assuming that the people you serve this to do not have nut allergies, this is a fantastic alternative to normal brownies, and since it is a No Bake recipe, the nutrients are also preserved!
For the No Bake Brownie Base
2 cups walnuts, raw
1 1/2-2 cups dates, pitted
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, divided into 3/4 cups & 1 1/4 cups
1 cup hot water
1 tsp salt, divided
cooking spray, as needed
For the Ganache
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and scooped out
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 cup dates, pitted
1 tsp maple syrup *optional
1 cup walnuts, toasted *optional for garnish
For the No Bake Brownie Base
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the raw walnuts, 1 1/2 cups dates (reserve the last 1/2 cup and use as needed to thicken), 3/4 cup of the cocoa powder, and half the salt.
- Blend until nuts are completely ground and there are no lumps, pulsing as needed to pull down any stragglers.
- Next, add hot water 1 Tbsp at a time while the machine is on and processing, continuing to add water until you form a thick paste. *Too thin and the base will have too much liquid and not firm up properly so remember you can always add but you can't take away. At this point if you've accidentally made your base too thin, add that 1/2 cup of reserved dates!
- Once mixture is done, allow to rest for a few minutes while you work with your pan:
- Pull out two sheets of plastic wrap and spray each on one side with cooking spray.
- Place one sheet into the bottom of a square brownie pan and press to form into the pan. *If you have trouble with this step, spray some cooking spray under the plastic to help it stick to the pan.
- Lift up your food processor and place your finger underneath the bowl and into the hole of the blade. This will keep it in place while you spoon out the base mixture.
- Empty the base mixture into the brownie pan on top of the plastic and place the extra sheet of oiled plastic on top. Press gently to smooth out the base and spread to the corners of the pan. Make sure the base is level and smooth, then remove the top layer of plastic and reserve.
- Return your food processing bowl to the stand, replace the blade (it's ok if a little bit of the mixture is still sticking to the blade and/or bowl) and add the Ganache ingredients:
- Place your scooped avocado, coconut oil, the 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder, the rest of your salt, and 1 cup pitted dates into the processing bowl. Blend until smooth and repeat the process as above, adding hot water little by little until everything comes together and looks smooth and spreadable. At this stage you can add maple syrup for extra shine and sweetness, but that's optional if you'd like to keep added sugars out of this dessert.
- Spoon out ganache and spread on top of the base mixture.
- Cover loosely with that oiled piece of palstic wrap you reserved and place in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- While you're waiting for your brownies to chill (and firm up), toast your walnuts for garnish if desired using this recipe.
- Te serve, remove top layer of plastic wrap, sprinkle with nuts, and slice into triangles or squares. This can be served at room temperature or still cold, but we recommend enjoying cold since they are easier to handle!
We love the avocado in this recipe especially because since it is mixed with cocoa powder, you won't be able to see that unappetizing brown color as the avocado oxidizes!
SIDE Deviled Egg Salad over Romaine
Yield 8-10 servings
This recipe is very allergen-friendly, containing no gluten, dairy, nuts, grains or beans. It's also really inexpensive to make, so if you can, choose to spend just a little more on higher quality eggs--which will make this egg salad rich, creamy and healthier.
12 eggs, hard boiled & chopped
½ cup Dijon mustard
½ cup mayo
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1-2 tsp honey or agave, to taste
½ cup chopped dill or sweet pickles
½ shallot, minced
½ bunch dill, rinsed and chopped
1 tsp salt and pepper, to taste
3 heads romaine lettuce, rinsed and sliced into ribbons (chiffonade)
- Add eggs (all if possible) to a large stock pot filled with cold water. Bring to a boil, and once water is at a boil, set a timer for 8 minutes. Once 8 minutes is up, drain off hot water and replace with cold water and ice to chill eggs and help their shells come off more easily. Peel the eggs (little hands can help!) and chop.
- Combine mustard, mayo and vinegar in a bowl with 1 tsp honey or agave to start. Add salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
- Add to a large bowl with chopped eggs and add pickles (chopped), shallot, and dill.
- Mix gently with a spoon to combine and serve over a bed or romaine lettuce cut into ribbons.
*Once your egg salad is made, keep it in a large container for use throughout the week (and for lunches!).
Remember to keep the egg salad and romaine separate so that the lettuce doesn’t get soggy. Also, once chopped, store the romaine shreds in a large plastic bag or container with a wet paper towel and close tightly to keep salad fresh and crisp.
Popcorn the Old-Fashioned Way
In case you've never made popcorn on the stove, start here! It's easier than you think and can be so versatile.
1 bag popcorn-specific corn kernels
1 stick melted butter
1 tsp salt
*See Notes for other flavor options
- Begin by heating a large soup pot over a medium flame on the stove.
- Add vegetable oil just to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Cover and let heat for 5 minutes.
- Uncover, add kernels to coat bottom of the pan plus a bit extra. Shake pan to distribute kernels evenly.
- Cover and allow popcorn kernels to pop slowly.
- Remove from heat once kernels begin to pop less steadily. (This will prevent burning.)
- In a large bowl, pour out popped kernels in three batches, drizzling in melted butter (or oil) and sprinkle with salt.
- Once all popcorn has been poured into your serving bowl, shake slightly to spread out the yummy salt + butter flavoring and serve hot.
- If storing extras in a plastic bag, wait until the popcorn is cooled completely so as to prevent sogginess!
Other flavoring options:
Olive oil + dried herbs, garlic powder and salt
Lemon juice + parmesan cheese
**For Kettle Corn, add 1/2 cup of sugar to kernels in hot oil once they start to pop. Swirl pan often to coat kernels with sugar as it caramelizes.
Yield 4-6 servings
A tried and true favorite perfect for summertime! This recipe is adapted from the very best (and first) version I made by none other than Julia Child. (Have you noticed yet that I'm a huge fan?!) Make sure to read all of the instructions through to the end and allow yourself enough time to make this the right way. The flavors are unprecedented! Bon Appetit.
2 eggplants, sliced into ¼ “ rounds
2 tsp salt
2 zucchini, sliced into ¼ “rounds
1 yellow summer squash, sliced into ¼ “ rounds
8 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
2 yellow onions, sliced thinly
2 red bell peppers (or any color of your choosing), stems and seeds removed and chopped
2 lbs ripe tomatoes, chopped
¼-½ cup good olive oil
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp each salt and pepper, or to taste
1 cup basil, leaves torn
1 loaf ciabatta, optional
- In a large bowl, combine eggplant with 2 tsp salt and toss. Allow to sit for 20 minutes. Drain off any liquid that has gathered in the bottom and rinse salt off. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Working with 2 Tbsp olive oil at a time, work in batches in a large skillet set over medium-high heat to brown both sides of each round of eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash, about 2-3 minutes each side. *This step seems arbitrary but it is very important! Remember to add olive oil as needed to the skillet. Remove all browned veggies to a bowl to allow juices to gather in the bottom. You will use these juices so don’t throw them away!
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Next, in the same skillet add more olive oil if needed and saute garlic and onions together, adjusting the heat to medium. After 5 minutes, add tomatoes and bring to a boil, then remove skillet from heat. Add salt and pepper.
- In a large baking dish, layer eggplant and squash in three layers, making sure to pour ⅓ of the tomato sauce on top of each layer as you go. Top with remaining liquid from the bottom of the bowl.
- Place in the oven and bake until bubbling, 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with torn basil and serve hot with crusty bread if desired.
MAIN Vegetarian Mexi-Stuffed Avocados
Yield 4 servings
These are great for kids and adults alike to make in a snap! Fill with any of your favorite ingredients, but we'll give you the run down of what we like here.
BONUS: this dish is PALEO if you leave off the cheese!
2 avocados, sliced in half and pitted
1 pkg cauliflower rice
1 can black beans
1 small can fire roasted tomatoes
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp taco seasoning (or 1 tsp each chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, paprika)
1 pkg shredded Mexican blend cheese *option to leave off if Paleo
- Prep avocados and preheat oven to 375 F.
- In a medium saucepan, add all other ingredients except cheese, and fill empty tomato can half full with water. Add that to the pan and heat over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until cauliflower has softened and water has evaporated slightly.
- Spoon warm mixture into avocado halves, sprinkle with cheese and place avocados on a sheet pan and into the oven.
- Set a timer for 10 minutes, and check after it goes off. Cheese should be melted and avocado mixture should be bubbling.
- Serve hot!