sweet fruits of summer

My favorite part of summer has to be all the fresh fruit and the time spent making it into deelicious things! The day after I came home from my Ecuador trip, mom and I took Hana strawberry picking, and we still have bags of frozen peaches, raspberries and blueberries in the freezer to use up before we get this year’s harvest! Comus fruits are a bit different from the variety I was eating in Ecuador— fresh mangoes, maracuya (passion fruit), guayabas (guava)—and while I loved having all of these exotic flavors fresh from the vine, nothing beats the warm sweet strawberries we pick from Butlers, wild raspberries from the Martin’s farm, and Peach Tree Road peaches.

Mom whipped up a few mini berry pies to use up last year’s frozen fruit…

Then I decided to make these Strawberry Oat Squares, which I had been thinking about the whole time I was in Ecuador. I knew that right when I got home would be peak strawberry picking time, and this recipe looked like a great way to use them.

They almost taste like a good old Nutrigrain bar, which I enjoyed many of in my childhood days. But they’re much more hearty, wholesome, and healthy tasting, with homemade jam slathered and baked right on top. They’re also vegan, and interestingly made with chia seeds both in the jam and in the dough. Chia acts as a thickener in the jam and as an egg-replacer in the dough. I also like the seedy texture it gave to the jam— i love jam with chunks of fruit and seeds! Overall I loved these as a healthy treat- not too sweet but just enough. Mom even said she could eat them for breakfast. Yum!

Thennnn I made a simple peach-blueberry crisp for Grandma & Grandpa’s anniversary picnic at our house. It was a fairly healthy recipe by cutting the amount of sugar and using oats and whole wheat flour. Delicious with vanilla froyo!

yummyumyumyumyum, nothings better than a summer fruit crisp, except the one that I’m going to make when we get THIS year’s harvest!

-mich

awesome snack alert

My new abundance of peanut flour (thanks mom!) has led to much experimenting and some very happy taste buds around here….. what a useful, versatile, flavorful, and super healthy product— why is it so hard to find?!

I’ve made simple peanut butter, sprinkled it on oatmeal, mixed it in banana “ice cream,” made peanut flour cookies with chocolate chips as well as raspberry jam thumbprints, sprinkled it on frozen banana bites, concocted an asian coconut-peanut sauce, and simply mixed it with mashed banana and cinnamon for a healthy treat. Endless possibilities. But my favorite creation, which I adapted from this blog, is cinnamon roasted chickpea “peanuts”, a protein- and fiber-full addicting snack that instantly won me over. It’s right up there with my beloved pumpkin spice granola. They taste just like those crispy, crunchy cinnamon-sugar roasted nuts you get in a little cone bag at the fair. Since I will sit at my desk reading textbooks and mindlessly snacking for hourrrrrrs every day, I like to have something relatively healthy to be shoving into my mouth…. at least something better than chocolate chips =P But these are not relatively healthy, they are pure nutrition. And incredibly simple to make.

Cinnamon Roasted Chickpea “Peanuts”

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl mix together:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • a teeny bit less than 1/3 cup peanut flour
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • (I like to add a sprinkle of sea salt)

Drain and rinse 1 can of chickpeas and toss with a little spoonful of applesauce, just so they’re very lightly coated. Add chickpeas to dry mixture and toss to coat completely. Bake on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir chickpeas around a bit, and bake for 15-20 minutes more, checking to make sure they don’t burn. When they’re done they may still be a little soft, but they’ll quickly harden up as they cool. After they cool, don’t bother storing them away because you’ll eat them all within a few hours—which is okay because they’re good for you!!

Few ingredients, few minutes of your time, few dirty dishes, and pure nutrition. Sums up everything I love in a recipe :)

Happy Snacking!

-mich

Tags: healthy snacks