Quick Summer Pickles

These pickles are basically instant - just boil the vinegar mixture, douse the cucumbers, and cool it off in the fridge. Super easy and super delicious.

Add the vinegar, honey, water, sea salt and mustard to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.
While waiting for the pot to boil, slice the cucumbers and pack tightly into two quart jars (if using dill or garlic, put in jar prior to packing in the cucumbers).
When the honey has dissolved in the boiling mixture, pour over the cucumbers until the jars are full.
Refrigerate until cool.

Chocolate, Maple & Vanilla Fluffy Fruit Dips

I’m always trying to think of ways to make food more healthy, but still get our girls to want to eat it. I came up with this idea a few days ago when I found some nice strawberries at the store on sale. No refined sugars are used to make these and you would never know it. These dips would be great to serve at a party. You could also cut the recipe in half or just make one flavor as each individual recipe makes about 2 3/4 cups of dip.

For the whipped cream:
Whip all ingredients together until stiff peaks form.
For the dips:
In a mixing bowl, mix together all of the ingredients (except for the whipped cream) on low speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Then mix high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
Fold in whipped cream by hand using a spatula.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Serve with cut up apples, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, kiwi, etc.

Healthy Soaked Whole Wheat Cherry Clafoutis

This subtly sweet cherry clafoutis is a perfect breakfast dish with hints of maple syrup and buttermilk laced throughout the batter and beautiful sweet black cherries adding a burst of sweetness and beautiful coloring along the top of the clafoutis. This dish will please even the littlest members of your family.

Mix the flour and buttermilk in a small bowl. Cover the bowl and set in a warm place over night.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Mix the eggs, maple syrup, milk, applesauce, vanilla and sea salt in a small bowl.
Slowly incorporate the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Do not over mix.
Pour the batter into a greased pie pan or medium cast iron skillet.
Arrange and place the cherries in the batter. Press down gently to make sure the cherries are fully incorporated into the clafoutis.
Bake the clafoutis for 20-22 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and separating from the edge of the pan and a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the clafoutis.

Crunchy Baked Zucchini

This recipe makes a fun side dish that has wide appeal. I avoid using the store bought cooking sprays in the cans as they use cheap oils and added junk that I don’t want. Nor Pro makes a “Mr. Mister” that I use for my oil spraying needs. The oil aids in browning in this recipe, which gives a better appearance, texture and flavor. I make my own bread crumbs from bread failures (bricks) and keep them in the freezer so they are ready to use.

Combine sprouted flour (see my recipe for home sprouted flour), cheese, bread crumbs and seasonings. Coat each zucchini round in beaten egg, then in flour mixture, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with oil. Once laid out, spray the tops of each round with oil and bake for 18 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve with ranch dressing.

Crispy-Crunchy Lemon Garlic Roasted Chickpeas

Seriously, a nearly perfect real food on-the-go snack. The chickpeas (or garbonzo beans, if you will) are crispy like nuts, salty and have a tasty seasoning. The texture reminds me of Corn-Nuts, but they are so much healthier! These roasted chickpeas are a favorite with kids and so many different flavors can be made.

Rinse chickpeas well and place in a large bowl. Cover with at least 2 inches over the top of very warm water. Add 3-4 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar, lemon juice or whey. cover and allow to soak in a warm place for 12-24 hours. 24 hours is best.
Drain and rinse chickpeas thoroughly. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until done, about 1-3 hours. If desired you may want to remove the outer skins: Drain cooked chickpeas and fill the pot with cool water. Grab handfuls of chickpeas with your hands and rub them together between your palms. Do this several times, skimming off the skins as they rise to the surface. Then drain the chickpeas in a colander. This is an optional step.
Place chickpeas on a stainless steel baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper. Drizzle on olive oil and seasonings.
Roast chickpeas in the oven at 350 for about 40 minutes. Watch to be sure they don’t burn. I shake the pan several times during cooking.
Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

Creamy Enzyme-Rich Apple Pie Dip

One of my favorite snacks is raw yogurt cheese, flavored in a variety of ways. I made this one today, and it tastes like apple pie in a bowl! Chock full of probiotics and enzymes from the raw yogurt and raw honey, your body will love it as well as your taste buds! Serve with crackers for a classic apple pie flavor, or fruit for a grain-free option.

Saute peeled and chopped apple in butter until soft and fragrant, adding a splash or two of water if it gets too dry. Let cool to room temperature. Mix together yogurt cheese, honey, and spices, and then stir in apples. Serve with fruit or graham crackers, or eat with a spoon!
If you can, it is good to refrigerate this for several hours to let the flavors meld. This also makes a great packed lunch!

Plum Fruit Leather with Honey

This time of year I purchase large quantities of fruit from my CSA. I then make lots of jam, and this. The bright red color is beautiful, and the slight tartness really is a palate pleaser.

In a 2 qt. pot, heat plums, water and honey. Once the fruit is tender puree in a blender or food mill. Spread out on lined dehydrator sheets. Dry in dehydrator for 7-8 hours. Remove and cut to desired shape.

Better-Than-Nutella Creamy Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread

What’s better than Nutella? A homemade chocolate-hazelnut spread made of real food ingredients in your own kitchen, of course. This creamy chocolaty spread is perfect when paired with fresh berries, in raw desserts, or right off the spoon with a glass of raw milk. Absolutely delicious, and quite healthy too!

Soak the hazelnuts overnight. This step is pretty important to make the hazelnuts more digestible, and get rid of some of the phytic acid that can inhibit the absorption of other nutrients. Cover 2 cups of raw hazelnuts with warm water and a dash of salt. Leave to soak overnight, or for as long as 24 hours. Rinse well before use.
Toast the hazelnuts. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheed and roast for about 15 minutes, or until fragrant. Make sure to roll the nuts halfway so all sides can roast evenly.
Peel the hazelnuts. When hazelnuts have cooled, place in a bowl, add another bowl on top and shake vigorously between the two bowls so the skins can come off. You can also try rubbing the nuts between paper towels, but I have found the bowl method to be easier.
Blend hazelnuts to a nut butter consistency. Add the peeled hazelnuts to your food processor and blend on and off for about 3-4 minutes, scraping the sides of the processor container throughout, until the nuts have become completely smooth.
Add other ingredients and blend. Add sweetener (I prefer maple syrup), unsweetened raw cocao powder, coconut oil, heavy cream, whole milk, vanilla, and salt, and blend for 2-3 minutes on and off until all ingredients are very well integrated. Taste test the mixture, and adjust ingredients to your liking.
Refrigerate and enjoy. Add blended spread to a glass jar and refrigerate. It will keep for a couple of weeks (if it stays that long!)
*To make this vegan, use coconut manna instead of the heavy cream and homemade (unflavored) almond milk or coconut milk instead of the dairy milk. I will not lie - the one with dairy is much tastier than the vegan version (at least it is to me), but the vegan version is pretty good too.
**Adapted from Nutmeg Nanny with my own modifications.

Fried Ripe Plantains

These authentic Carribean treats are not as sweet as you might think. Many recipes call for the addition of sweeteners, but they are really quite delicious on their own. They are only slightly sweet, with a tang. We loved them. Be sure to use super ripe plantains that are covered in brown spots, but not black.

Cut the ends off of the plantains and make a slit down the length of the skin . Peel off the skin and discard. Slice the plantains into 1/3-inch thick diagonal slices.
Place the coconut oil or ghee into a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Once oil is hot, carefully put plantain slices into the skillet.
Cook the plaintains slowly until caramelized on that side, about 7 minutes. Then flip over to caramelize the other side for another 7 minutes or so.
Drain on a cloth or tea towel.
Season with salt to taste and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.

Savory Wild Salmon Dip

This dip is a great way to incorporate an inexpensive type of seafood into your diet, and tastes especially good on sourdough crackers or celery.

In a bowl combine the cream cheese, sour cream, butter, parsley, onion, garlic and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in the salmon and dill. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Kettle Corn

If you like Kettle Corn like I do but don’t want it made with nasty rancid oils and white sugar this is the way to go. Quick easy and oh so good! Great for a snack or a night of popcorn and a movie. Also great for kids lunches.

Put coconut oil and popcorn in a large heavy bottom pot. Turn heat on Medium/High.
When the popcorn just barely starts to pop put in the Sucanat. Shake pot constantly while it finishes popping so the Sucanat won’t burn.
Put in bowl and add salt to taste if desired.

Parsnip Fries with Lambs Quarter Pesto

Parsnips are beautiful in all their simplicity and also delicious all by themselves made into fries. Serve them with a bowl of pesto and you’ve got yourself one stunning side dish (or snack), pleasing to both the eye and palate. I didn’t realize pesto could be made with herbs other than basil until my friend Karen introduced me to this delightful, in-season variety made with lambs quarter and Swiss (or rainbow) chard. GAPS, paleo, gluten-free, and the general foodie alike can all commune over this springtimey snack.

Preheat oven to 400º F. Melt coconut oil on low and stir in the garlic, rosemary, and pepper. (Take a moment to close your eyes and breathe it in. Heaven. Nevermind the strange stares when you open your eyes back up.) While the oil melts, prepare the parsnips.
Toss parsnips with oil mixture in a bowl. Place seasoned parsnips on a baking sheet (stoneware makes these fries deliciously crisp) in a single layer, not overlapping.
Bake on high for 30 minutes or until browned on the edges.
While the fries bake, prepare pesto by placing all ingredients in a food processor. Process until it’s of the desired consistency. Serve with warm parsnip fries.