Make Ahead Breakfast Cookies (Plus a Trip to Vancouver and Seattle)

Healthy breakfast cookies to make ahead and bake up fresh for energy throughout the day. Get the breakfast cookies recipe here.

make ahead breakfast cookies

We found Spring!

It was hanging out at the West Coast!

make ahead  breakfast cookies, springtime dandelions in BC make ahead breakfast balls, spring flowers at Uncle Albert's place

We’re back from a road trip over Spring Break to visit relatives in the lower mainland area of British Columbia. We took my mom along, and two of our kids were able to make it, too. So even though it was ‘cozy’ in the vehicle, the holiday was full of great memories. In addition to the fun of visiting family, we played tourist a bit, visiting Vancouver and spending a couple days sightseeing in Seattle, Washington.

When we left home our yard was still covered with a foot of snow everywhere, although most of the snow was gone from town – those lucky ducks (I love to whine).

Snow was all gone at ground level in Jasper, and the mountains were beautiful. The wild animals were out in full force, checking out the vegetation at the lower altitudes. They knew spring is on its way.

a herd of mountain sheep in Jasper, Alberta

a herd of mountain sheep in Jasper, Alberta

Their winter fur was already getting scraggly-looking – they’re getting ready for their new spring wardrobe.

make ahead breakfast cookies, mountain sheep with scruffy coats, Jasper, Alberta

But the white-tailed deer still looked well-dressed and elegant:

make ahead breakfast cookies, white tailed deer, Jasper, Alberta

the white-tailed deer were looking sleek and well-dressed for spring

As did the elk on the outskirts of Jasper’s townsite:

make ahead breakfast cookies, elk in Jasper The summit of Mount Robson was wreathed in clouds, and the snow still lingered at lower elevations.

make ahead breakfast cookies, Mount Robson, BC But once we got into the Fraser Valley at the lower mainland, we found Spring peeking around every corner.

IMG_5652a make ahead breakfast cookies, daffodils and grape hyacinths make ahead breakfast cookies, mossy trees in Uncle Albert's yard

A stroll at the beach at White Rock – Andreas had to dip his toes in the chilly water.

make ahead breakfast cookies, a stroll at White Rock beach

Erika and Andreas at the beach – guess which one was rock-jumping in his bare feet?

make ahead breakfast cookies, White Rock pier

strolling along the pier at White Rock

Then off to Seattle – such a beautiful city. We filled up two days with as much sightseeing as we could. Our first stop was a ride up to the top of the Space Needle to have a view of the city and the surrounding bay with its many islands. Beautiful.

make ahead breakfast cookies, metal bamboo sculpture in Seattle

make ahead breakfast cookies, view of Elliot Bay, Seattle

view of Elliot Bay from the Space Needle in Seattle

make ahead breakfast cookies, metal bamboo sculpture, Seattle

Raymond, Erika, Andreas, and Mom, peeking out of the metal bamboo sculpture behind the Space Needle

The flowering cherry trees are blooming in Seattle.

make ahead breakfast cookies, flowering cherry trees in Seattle

stick your hand out the bus window to brush a flowering cherry tree blossom as the bus goes by

Our amphibious Duck Tour bus took us on a mad ride around the city, then drove right into the water and tootled around to give us a closer view of the boats and floating homes.

make ahead breakfast cookies, Seattle Duck Tour bus ride

hang on tight as the bus splashes right into the water to become a ‘boat’ of sorts

Pike Place Market was filled with stall after stall of spectacular spring bouquets in rainbow hues. Most of the tulips and daffodils are grown in colourful fields not far from Seattle.

make ahead breakfast cookies, flower stalls in Pike Place Market, Seattle

all the colours of Spring

And of course – Seattle is the seafood center of the northwest – 50% of all the fish consumed in the United States is caught, processed, handled, or shipped through Seattle. There is definitely enough fish to go around.

make ahead breakfast cookies, fish stall Pike Place Market Seattle make ahead breakfast cookies, salmon in Pike Place Market, Seattle

A visit to Pike Place Market is not complete without a stop at the famous ‘fish throwing’ stall, where dexterous fishermen expertly toss fresh salmon to each other, singing loudly as they do so!

make ahead breakfast cookies, fish throwing in Pike Place Market, Seattle We spent hours in the Seattle aquarium, poking at sea urchins (not me!) in the interactive area and checking out the huge variety of marine life exhibits.

make ahead breakfast cookies, poking sea urchins at the Seattle Aquarium

* * *

Eating out with a group that has varied food allergies isn’t always easy, but we had an amazing dinner in Seattle’s award-winning vegetarian restaurant, Cafe Flora. Delectable gluten-free pizzas, wonderful veggie paté platter, coconut tofu, quinoa cakes, mushroom wellington . . . mmmm.

Before heading home from Seattle we ate at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and had a great meal, with excellent service and personalized attention to all our dietary restrictions.

Travelling gluten-free can be so difficult, and when you add in numerous other food allergies (dairy, eggs, corn, and a long list of others), it can become downright impossible, but these two restaurants made our eating-out experiences stress-free and memorable.

* * *

Back in Vancouver, we spent a wonderful (albeit rainy) day wandering around Granville Island Market, riding the harbour ferry bus, poking around some shopping areas, and the not-to be-missed ‘Fly Over Canada’ flight simulation ride in Canada Place. Wow – what a ride! I loved virtually traveling Canada from coast to coast and tried not to scream too hard as it felt like our plane dipped close over waterfalls, icebergs, mountaintops, and prairie fields.

make ahead breakfast cookies, Erika and Andreas at Canada Place

checking out the view from Canada Place

make ahead breakfast cookies, view of the inlet from Canada Place, Vancouver make ahead breakfast cookies, view of Canada Place, Vancouver

make ahead breakfast cookies, car sculpture in Vancouver

funky car sculpture near the stadium in Vancouver

But the best part of this whole trip was the time spent visiting family and catching up with aunts, uncles, and cousins I don’t get to see very often.

One morning for breakfast, my cousin Christy had us over for a light and bright breakfast, consisting of fruit smoothies, crisp bacon, muffins, cut-up fresh fruit, and these delicious breakfast cookies. I tell you – the cookie platter was emptied in minutes and had me requesting her recipe. I’ve adapted it slightly, and have experimented with making the dough ahead to bake up fresh when you want them. So wonderful.

make-ahead breakfast cookies I know I’ve been on a bit of a cookie bender lately, what with my One Cup Cookies (an absolute must-try!) and then these Power Patties, or the famous Breakfast Balls, but these Breakfast Cookies were so good, I just had to share. What makes them different, beside the wonderful taste, is that with no leavening in the dough, it is an easy dough to make ahead and chill. The breakfast cookie dough can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, and can even be rolled into cylinders and frozen, so that when you want a quick breakfast treat, you whip a roll out of the freezer, slice, bake and serve. Warm breakfast cookies to inhale. How easy is that?

These are not only breakfast cookies, they’re:

  • Lunchbox Cookies
  • Snack Cookies
  • Backpack Cookies
  • Hello New Neighbour Cookies
  • Hiking Cookies
  • Hungry at Midnight Cookies
  • Healthy Dessert Cookies
  • Camping Cookies
  • Who Needs an Excuse? Cookies

Kitchen Frau Notes: Christy used 2 cups rice flour for these cookies and they were great. I wanted to add some whole grain goodness, so used brown rice flour and sorghum flour. They tasted just as great. So I think they would work well with any combination of gluten-free flours. Work with what you have.

*Also, for regular, non-gluten-free cookies, you can substitute the two flours with 2 cups spelt or whole wheat flour. Leave a comment below if you tried another flour combo and let me know how they turned out – I’d love to hear.

I also reduced the sugar and oil slightly from Christy’s recipe, and was very pleased with the results.

And of course you could use regular dairy milk or almond milk instead of the soy milk if you wish.

make ahead breakfast cookies Make-Ahead Breakfast Cookies

gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegan

adapted from my cousin Christy, who adapted it from YEW Seafood + Bar in Vancouver

  • 2¼ cups (210gms) quick oats (small-flake rolled oats, but not instant oats)
  • 1 cup (130gms) brown rice flour
  • 1 cup (130gms) sorghum flour
  • 1 cup (140gms) sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup (130gms) pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup (50gms) shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ¼ cup  (40gms) hemp hearts (or flax seeds)
  • ¾ cup (125gms) coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1½ cups (200gms) raisins
  • 1½ cups (175gms) dried cranberries
  • ½ cup (120ml) oil – I like grapeseed oil
  • ¼ cup (60ml) fancy molasses – or 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses + 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1½ cups soy milk (plain or vanilla)

Mix all dry ingredients plus raisins and cranberries together in the bowl of a mixer (or by hand).

Add oil, molasses, and milk. Mix well.

Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before shaping cookies. The dough can also be refrigerated for up to 1 week in an airtight container or frozen (see below).

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Scoop out 2-tablespoon-sized chunks of dough. Roll them into balls and flatten slightly, or just plop them onto the cookie sheets, and use a spoon to even out the shape into flattened discs.

Bake in a preheated 350° F oven, for 15 to 18 minutes. Cookies should still be moist and chewy. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a rack to finish cooling.

make ahead breakfast cookies, fresh from the oven

*To freeze dough, measure the dough by packing portions into a 1-cup measuring cup, then scraping it out with a spatula and shaping it into 6-inch (15cm) long logs and rolling them tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months. To bake, remove a roll from the freezer.

  make ahead breakfast cookies, frozen log make ahead breakfast cookies, bake from frozen log Let rest at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes, then slice with a sharp serrated knife into 8 cookies. I like to cut the log in half first, then in quarters, then cut each quarter in half again. It is easiest to get evenly-sized cookies that way. You may need to use your fingers to gently pat the sliced cookies into rounded shapes, tucking in any stray bits that escaped.

Bake from frozen for 18 to 20 minutes at 350°F.

Makes about 48 small cookies, or less if you make them larger.

Guten Appetit!

Make Ahead Breakfast Cookies

48 small cookies

Make Ahead Breakfast Cookies

Healthy breakfast cookies to make ahead and bake up fresh for energy throughout the day.

Ingredients

  • 2¼ cups (210gms) quick oats (small-flake rolled oats, but not instant oats)
  • 1 cup (130gms) brown rice flour
  • 1 cup (130gms) sorghum flour
  • 1 cup (140gms) sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup (130gms) pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup (50gms) shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ¼ cup (40gms) hemp hearts (or flax seeds)
  • ¾ cup (125gms) coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1½ cups (200gms) raisins
  • 1½ cups (175gms) dried cranberries
  • ½ cup (120ml) oil – I like grapeseed oil
  • ¼ cup (60ml) fancy molasses – or 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses + 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1½ cups soy milk (plain or vanilla)

Instructions

  1. Mix all dry ingredients plus raisins and cranberries together in the bowl of a mixer (or by hand).
  2. Add oil, molasses, and milk. Mix well.
  3. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before shaping cookies. The dough can also be refrigerated for up to 1 week in an airtight container or frozen (see below).
  4. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Scoop out 2-tablespoon-sized chunks of dough. Roll them into balls and flatten slightly, or just plop them onto the cookie sheets, and use a spoon to even out the shape into flattened discs.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350° F oven, for 15 to 18 minutes. Cookies should still be moist and chewy. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a rack to finish cooling.
  7. *To freeze dough, measure the dough by packing portions into a 1-cup measuring cup, then scraping it out with a spatula and shaping it into 6-inch (15cm) long logs and rolling them tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months. To bake, remove a roll from the freezer.
  8. Let rest at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes, then slice with a sharp serrated knife into 8 cookies. I like to cut the log in half first, then in quarters, then cut each quarter in half again. It is easiest to get evenly-sized cookies that way. You may need to use your fingers to gently pat the sliced cookies into rounded shapes, tucking in any stray bits that escaped.
  9. Bake from frozen for 18 to 20 minutes at 350°F.
  10. Makes about 48 small cookies, or less if you make them larger.
http://www.kitchenfrau.com/make-ahead-breakfast-cookies/

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Homemade Granola Bars with all Kinds of Variations

Healthy One-Cup Cookies – the Monster Cookies that Just Could Give You Superpowers

Oma’s Ginger Molasses Knobs Cookies

Breakfast Balls

Posted in Breakfast & Brunch, Cookies & Candy, Dairy-free, Travel, Vegan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Cooking With Kids: Jellied Easter Surprise Eggs

Kids love peeling these eggs to find the colourful jellied insides – a surprise for Easter!

cooking with kids: jellied Easter eggs Cooking with Meredith

What fun to crack an egg and peel away the shell to reveal a glistening treasure of wobbly jellied stripes in soft Easter colours! I want to be a kid again.

Meredith and I made these eggs together for an Easter project – I think it was almost as much fun making them as eating them – although their tart and tangy lemonade insides are a wiggly treat to eat.

cooking with kids - jellied Easter eggs I used to make these eggs for our kids when they were little, but back then I used commercial, flavoured Jello powder packets to make them. Meredith and I played around with using lemonade and fruit juice to make them – they turned out just as great, and I think the softer colours are more fun for Easter – but I’ve given instructions to make them either way.

cooking with kids: jellied Easter eggs

the egg on the left is made with Jello powder packets and the one on the right is made with fruit juice and lemonade

It’s fun to put a bowl of the filled eggs in the center of the table, with their holes facing down so they don’t show. Then watch everyone’s surprise as they crack the eggs to find these jewels inside!

cooking with kids: jellied Easter eggs cooking with kids: jellied Easter eggs You can lay the eggs on their sides as the jelly sets to make different kinds of patterns.

cooking with kids - jellied Easter eggs The biggest job is emptying out the egg shells – we had a few meals of scrambled eggs to use up the insides – no big hardship. If you clean out your eggs a few days ahead, they have a good chance to dry out. It’s a little tricky to poke a hole in the top. Hold the egg firmly in your hand, and use a metal skewer to make the small start hole. You could also use a metal screw or large sharp needle.

Then, using the skewer, poke it under the edge of the shell and lift up to gently break out pieces of shell, or use your fingers to break out small pieces, until you have a hole about ½ inch (1cm) in diameter.

cooking with kids - jellied Easter eggs Poke the skewer into the egg and stir it around to break the yolk. Hold the egg up over a bowl to catch the insides, and shake it vigourously straight up and down until all of the egg is shaken out.

cooking with kids - jellied Easter eggs Rinse the eggs by filling them with water, then tipping them and shaking them vigourously straight up and down, until the water is all shaken out. (The shaking helps clean out the insides.) Repeat this four or five times, until the water runs clear.

cooking with kids - jellied Easter eggs cooking with kids - jellied Easter eggs

Set the eggs hole-side-down in a carton to drain for about 15 minutes, then turn them right-side-up so the remaining water can evaporate out. Leave them to dry like this at least 24 hours.

cooking with kids - jellied Easter eggs Then have fun filling them.

Happy Easter and happy-egg-hunting!

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: We used double strength lemonade, limeade, and 5-citrus juice, from frozen concentrates, and didn’t add any additional sugar. The consensus here was that the lemonade eggs could have been a bit sweeter (they are a treat, after all), so you could add a tablespoon or two of sugar, or a tablespoon of honey, to each juice mixture if you like. (Not necessary if using Jello powder.) When the juice has been gelled it is less intense in flavour than as a liquid, so it will taste less sweet once it has firmed up.

If you make your own lemonade or limeade, make a batch using all the lemon juice and sugar, but half the water you normally would. Measure out the amount you’ll need for the recipe, then add water to the remaining lemonade to use it for drinking.

*To keep it simple, you could also just fill each egg up with juice of all the same colour, and not make layers. If you are doing this project with really young children, that might be a better option.

cooking with kids - jellied Easter eggs Jellied Easter Surprise Eggs

  • 1 dozen emptied large egg shells, washed and dried
  • 1 cup lemonade, made with half the amount of water the recipe calls for (I use frozen lemonade concentrate, mixed with half the amount of water the instructions suggest)
  • 1 cup limeade, made with half the amount of water the recipe calls for
  • 1 cup orange juice, made with half the amount of water, or use regular strength freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh raspberry juice (drained from defrosted frozen raspberries)
  • 6 packets powdered gelatin (7 grams/2¼ teaspoons in each packet) or ¼ cup +1½ teaspoons loose powdered gelatin
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons natural evaporated cane sugar or 3 tablespoons honey, optional

To make pink mixture – Remove 2 tablespoons of the lemonade and discard. Replace with 2 tablespoons raspberry juice to make 1 cup total pink juice.

For orange mixture – add a tiny pinch of turmeric if it isn’t yellow enough

Taste for sweetness and add a tablespoon of honey or a tablespoon or two of sugar to each of the juices, if desired, or leave them tart.

Set out three bowls. Place ½ cup of each of the concentrated juices into the bowls, one type of juice per bowl. Sprinkle each bowl with 2 packets (4½ teaspoons) of the powdered gelatin. Stir with a fork until all the powder is moistened. Let sit and gel for 10 minutes.

cooking with kids - jellied Easter eggs Start with whatever colour you’d like to use first. Heat the remaining half cup (120ml) of the matching colour juice until hot, either in the microwave or a small saucepan on the stove. Pour the hot juice over the softened gelatin of the same colour. Stir with a fork until the gelatin is dissolved, and all lumps are gone. Transfer the liquid to a spouted cup or pitcher. (Cover the remaining two bowls of gelled juice with plastic wrap.)

Pour 1 – 1½ tablespoons of the mixture carefully into each egg. Use a small funnel if you have one. Wipe off any drips on the outside of the egg. Tilt some of the eggs onto their sides, if you wish, to make slanted stripes. Support the eggs in the lid of the egg carton, or with wadded up paper towel to keep them sitting angled.

Let the gelatin set, either by carefully placing the eggs in the freezer for 15 minutes (don’t forget about them!) or in the fridge for a half hour or longer. Check if they are set by gently poking into the hole with the end of a chopstick or straw to feel if the gelatin is firm.

Then heat up the half cup of the next juice colour you’d like to use, and repeat the process, letting that layer set.

Repeat with the last colour and fill the eggs to the top.

If at any time the gelatin sets before you finish using it, it can be gently rewarmed in the microwave, or set the cup into simmering water to re-liquify.

If you have any bits of remaining gelatin they can be re-liquified and poured into a small glass or container to make sample jellies.

Let the jellied Easter eggs chill for several hours or overnight to fully set the gelatin. Can be kept refrigerated in their shells for up to a week.

 

cooking with kids - jellied Easter eggs, with Jello

this egg was with lemon, grape, and lime jello. a red-coloured jello would be a little lighter, instead of the grape

*Optional Variation: Using Jello Powder (makes darker-coloured eggs)

  • 1 dozen emptied large egg shells, washed and dried
  • 3 packets different coloured Jello powders (85gram/4-serving size)
  • 1½ cups (360ml) cold water, divided
  • 1½ cups (360ml) boiling water, divided
  • 3 packages powdered gelatin (7 grams/2¼ teaspoons in each packet) or 2 tablespoons + ¾ teaspoon loose powdered gelatin

Pour ½ cup (120ml) cold water into a small bowl. Sprinkle with 1 package (2¼ teaspoons) gelatin powder. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the gelatin to ‘bloom’. In another bowl, empty one packet of Jello powder mix. Pour ½ cup (120ml) boiling water over the powder. Stir until all the Jello granules are dissolved. Add the clear softened gelatin mixture. Stir until the gelatin granules are dissolved, too. Transfer the liquid to a spouted measuring cup or small pitcher. Proceed to fill the egg shells as above.

Repeat with the next colour once the first layer has set.

 Guten Appetit!

 

For more fun kitchen projects to make with kids, see the ‘Cooking With Kids’ series.

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Creamy Mustard, Egg, and Quinoa Bake (or How to Turn Easter Eggs into Dinner)

Bacon, Egg, and Spinach Salad

Ham ‘n Egg Salad, Hazelnut-Flax Crackers, and Asparagus with Hazelnut Vinaigrette

Curried Chicken Luncheon Salad

Posted in Cooking with Kids, Eggs & Cheese, Snacks | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Apricot Orange Energy Balls (also known as Little Dinosaur Eggs)

Little energy balls of dried apricots and coconut rolled in crunchy chia seeds for a quick energy pick-me-up. Get the energy balls recipe here.

little dinosaur eggs - apricot chia coconut energy balls Yes, it’s only the third day of Spring and we’ve had as big a snowstorm as any we’ve had all winter. Last night, driving home from visiting friends in the city, the roads were treacherous and visibility was awful as the headlights cut only a few feet in front of the vehicle in the mesmerizing swirling snow.

apricot orange energy balls - snow scene It snowed all day and all night yesterday, and driving to yoga this morning, the roads were still bad, but by the time I came home, the sun was shining and the snow had stopped. Just that quickly we can go from despair at our fickle weather, to shining hope that Spring will soon show itself.

apricot orange energy balls - snow scene I came home feeling great after my yoga session and inhaled a couple Apricot Orange Energy Balls. Yummeeeeee – a great bite-sized little snack to nibble on whenever you need a bit of healthy energy.

Which I’m definitely needing a lot these days – I’ve finished Day 18 of my 30-Day Yoga Challenge!  Yup, I’ve only missed three days (I can’t make it on Saturdays because I teach kindergarten at the German School and they have no late afternoon or evening classes at the yoga studio those days) and I think I’m getting into the rhythm. I’m slowly moving out of the ‘class dummy’ spot – I’m not one move behind everyone else anymore. I’m not landing on my nose when I try to do the plank. I’m not wimping-out into the resting pose every few minutes (well, maybe still occasionally), and I’m even flinching less as I straighten up from some deep bend that I swear I’ll never get myself out of.

My only injury so far has been a pulled groin muscle as I was rolling up my mat after class – yes, it is possible, I’m especially talented – I slipped in a puddle of sweat beside my mat, and my foot went flying out sideways (laugh all you want, but it hurt). I looked a little funny going up the stairs for a few days, but all is fine now.

I think I’m loving this sweating-like-a-leaking-sieve, breathing-like-Darth-Vader, and stretching parts of my body in ways I never thought they could stretch, all in a steamy 38°C room with a bunch of like-minded souls. There’s something deeply satisfying  about it all – especially when the hour is over and I realize, to my surprise, I’ve survived . . . again.

I’m starting to feel quite limber and there’s a spring in my step.

apricot chia coconut energy balls - little dinosaur eggs And these yummy little balls of energy have been a great snack after workouts. Don’t let their crackly, scaly look fool you – these little balls provide a burst of zippy flavour when you bite into their soft, dense, yolk-yellow insides. The crunchy chia outsides look like some prehistoric reptile life-form so I can’t help but call them ‘Little Dinosaur Eggs’. Chia seeds are amazing tiny kernels of goodness – nature’s superfood, rich in antioxidants, fiber, protein, and nutrients.

Make yourself a big jug of refreshing cucumber mint Wonder Water and snack on a couple Dinosaur Eggs, and you’ll feel light and energized.

* * * * *

apricot orange energy balls

healthier natural unsulphured dried apricots are darker in colour than regular ones, but the flavour is similar

Kitchen Frau Notes: The amount of orange juice you need depends on how moist your dried apricots are. When I use the regular ones from Costco, which are very moist, I only need 2 tablespoons of orange juice.

I also like to use natural unsulphured dried apricots when I can find them. They are drier and dark brown in colour because they haven’t been treated with sulphate, so they are a healthier option. If they are too dry, they should be covered with boiling water and soaked for 20 to 30 minutes until they are pliable, then drained well and measured.

You can also roll the balls in poppy seeds or finely shredded unsweetened coconut. They don’t look as much like dinosaur eggs, but are still tasty.

little dinsaur eggs - apricot, coconut, and chia energy balls Apricot Orange Energy Balls (Little Dinosaur Eggs)

  • 2 cups (170gms) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1¼ cups packed dried apricots (250gms)
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest – from an organic orange, if possible
  • 2 tablespoons honey, maple syrup, or raw agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 6 tablespoons chia seeds, poppy seeds, or fine shredded coconut

If the dried apricots are soft and pliable, they will be fine to use as is. However, if they are dry and hard, cover them in boiling water and let them soak for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are soft and pliable. Drain them well and pat them dry with a paper towel, then measure them.

Place the shredded coconut into the bowl of a food processor and blend until finely ground. Add the soft dried apricots, orange zest, honey, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons orange juice.

Pulse with the food processor, stopping often to push the mixture back down with a spatula, until the mixture spins freely around the bowl. Add additional orange juice if it seems too dry. The mixture will be quite stiff, but should be sticky when you pinch a small amount between your fingers. With my food processor, I find I have to stop often and pat the mixture back down between the blades, until it finally starts moving around the bowl on its own.

Remove the blade apparatus and scrape the mixture into a smaller bowl, if desired. Place the chia seeds or coconut into a small bowl. Roll the energy ball mixture into 1″ (2.5cm) balls and roll in your coating of choice.

Store the ball in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks, or freeze them.

Makes 32 Apricot Orange Energy balls.

Guten Appetit!

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Power Patties

Chocolate Walnut Cookie Dough Balls

Gingerbread Cookie Dough Balls

Breakfast Balls

The Great Green Smoothie

Posted in Cookies & Candy, Grains & Seeds, Snacks | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread and a Visit to Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day

A gluten free version of traditional Irish Soda Bread to help celebrate the luck o’ the Irish on St. Paddy’s Day (or any other day). Irish soda bread When it comes to that cheerful and and somewhat magical celebration on March 17th, I think we all wish we had a wee bit of Irish in us. Wouldn’t it be fun to be part of a culture that includes leprechauns and shamrocks, Riverdance and jigs, misty green glens and mossy old castles, Irish bread and cheese and whiskey, blarney, and limericks, and the gift o’ the gab?

ruins at Glendalough Ever since I discovered the joy of reading as a child, and transported myself to all the far off places hidden between the covers of books, I have wanted to visit Ireland. Raymond’s family has a good dose of Irish in their ancestry (which makes our children part Irish) so the pull has been even stronger to visit this stunningly beautiful country.

even in March there is a lot of green in the 'Emerald Isle'

even in March there is a lot of green in the ‘Emerald Isle’

Five years ago I spent a month in the British Isles visiting our daughter Olivia, who was spending a year in Ireland being a nanny to three small children.

feeding the ducks in St. Stephen's Green, Dublin

Olivia feeding the ducks with two of her young charges in St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin

We did a lot of walking and explored her home turf around Dún Laoghaire (pronounced Dun Leary in that wonderful and confusing Irish language). The first day there I went for a long walk along the sea wall fronting Dublin Bay, gulping in great breaths of fresh sea air.

Howth Island, Dublin

walking the sea wall along Dublin Bay in Dhun Laoghaire (the island of Howth in the distance)

the climate is so mild in places that small palm trees can grow, in Dhun Laoghaire

the climate is so mild in places that small palm trees can grow, in Dhun Laoghaire

on a long afternoon's walk from Dhun Laoghaire to Dalkey

on a long afternoon’s walk from Dhun Laoghaire to Dalkey

fishermens' homes

fishing boats in Dhun Laoghaire

We visited the beautiful estate of Powerscourt, originally a 13th century castle and strolled around the spectacular grounds.

Powerscourt Estate, County Wicklow, Ireland

the beautiful Powerscourt Estate, County Wicklow

crocuses at Powerscourt

the crocuses are out

We took the bus to Galway and spent a few days exploring the west coast of the Emerald Isle in County Clare.

castle ruins, Ireland

castle ruins, somewhere on the way from Dublin to Galway

street scene, Galway

street in Galway, early evening

The pubs are lovely and dark and full of thick, old wood beams and tables. Galway is famous for its fresh oysters harvested right in the bay.

first taste of fresh oysters in Galway, 2010

Galway’s famous fresh oysters

colourful houses in Galway Bay

colourful houses in Galway

We headed down to The Burren to explore the desolate rolling hills of limestone paved with cracks and boulders.

limestone hills and stone fences of the Burren, south of Galway

limestone hills and stone fences of the Burren, south of Galway

Ireland, The Burren, cows in the field

the cows that produce the fantastic Irish milk and cheeses

Portal Tomb, Ireland, The Burren

the Poulnabrone Portal Tomb, County Clare

Irish soda bread, signposts in the Burren

signposts in County Clare

Then on to the stunning heights of the Cliffs of Moher. Walk carefully near the edges . . .

Cliffs of Moher, O'Brien's Tower, County Clare on the west coast of Ireland,

Cliffs of Moher, O’Brien’s Tower, County Clare on the west coast of Ireland,

Irish soda bread, Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

Cliffs of Moher

And back to Dún Laoghaire, with day trips on the speedy Dart train to poke around Dublin.

I love the brightly coloured doors everywhere in Ireland

I love the brightly coloured doors everywhere in Ireland

bridges over Liffey River, Dublin

there are many beautiful bridges over the River Liffey in Dublin

. . . or explore the surrounding area. We climbed to the top of Bray Head, in Bray. Spectacular views of the ocean and countryside.

Bray Head, Bray, Ireland

a local walking his dogs on Bray Head

Dun Loaghaire harbour gazebo

gazebo on the east pier at Dun Laoghaire harbour

little Geoff poking around in the tide pools at low tide

little Geoff poking around in the tide pools at low tide

I took a day trip by myself to visit the ancient ruined monastery at Glendalough in County Wicklow.

ruins at Glendalough, County Wicklow

monastery ruins at Glendalough, County Wicklow

Glendaough, Ireland

the cool foggy day made the ruins at Glendalough seem mystical

And best of all – the timing for my wonderful Irish adventure couldn’t have been better – I was in Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day!

waiting for the St. Patrick's Day parade, Dublin

waiting for the St. Patrick’s Day parade, Dublin

If you want to see a whole city full of green-bedecked revelers thronging the streets to watch the St. Patrick’s Day parade – you need to get yourself to Dublin. The festive atmosphere and joyful Irish spirit swirls from person to person, old and young, turning the city into one huge leprechaun party.

St. Patrick's Day, Dublin, Ireland,

the best vantage point for the St. Patrick’s Day parade, Dublin

Irish soda bread, St. Patrick's Day parade, Dublin

a big Irish chicken float in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Dublin

Music, dancing, singing, and laughing thread through the crowds, and the merriment lasts long into the evening as the Guinness starts flowing and revelers pile shoulder to shoulder into every pub in Ireland.

St. Patrick's Day in Dublin

sit on the curb and drink a Guinness, and park your strollers outside the pub

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with great gusto and abandon in its country of origin.

Here is a recipe for a little taste of Ireland – Brown Soda Bread. Slather it with butter and enjoy a big slab of it on St. Paddy’s Day. Maybe a little leprechaun will grant you a wish.

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: To make this bread vegan, use a chia egg (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds mixed into ¼ cup water and soaked for 5 minutes), melted coconut oil instead of butter, raw agave nectar instead of honey, and vegan yogurt and plant milk instead of dairy products. I’ve made it this way too, and it turned out well.

Sweet rice flour is different than regular white rice flour – it behaves more like a starch. It is made from glutinous rice (the name pertaining to the sticky nature of the rice – there’s no gluten in it) and is sometimes called ‘Mochiko’.

Irish soda bread

Gluten-Free Irish Brown Soda Bread

  • 2 cups (210gms) gluten free oat flour
  • ½ cup (60gms) sorghum flour
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (100gms) potato starch (not potato flour)
  • ½ cup (80gms) sweet rice flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup (240ml) natural yogurt
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) milk
  • optional add-ins: 2 teaspoons caraway seeds or ½ cup dried currants

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 7″ or 8″ (18 – 20cm) round cake pan.

In a large bowl stir together the dry ingredients.

In another bowl, beat the egg, then add the rest of the liquid ingredients. Whisk to combine.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until well combined. The dough should be soft and sticky, but firm enough to pat and shape into a rough ball with a silicone spatula. (If it’s too soft, add another tablespoon or two of potato starch.)

Irish soda bread Using wet hands, lift the ball out of the bowl and shape it into a smooth 7 ” (18cm) ball. Place it into the prepared cake pan. Smooth out any uneven spots with wet fingers.

Dust the top lightly with potato starch, then cut a shallow cross shape into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.

Irish soda bread ready for the oven

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the loaf is brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

Let cool on a wire rack before cutting.

Makes one 8-inch round loaf.

Guten Appetit!

You might also like (but please excuse the quality – they were my first posts and I’ve learned a lot since then!):

Irish Cheese Toasties

A Rainy Day and Bread

 

large leprechaun in Ireland

this leprechaun looks like he needs a touch of magic to make him smile

Posted in Breads, Biscuits & Other Baking, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Cooking with Kids: Fish ‘n Chip Sticks with Easy Tartar Sauce

Crispy potato-chip-coated fish sticks are easy for kids to make, especially good with a simple, 4-ingredient tartar sauce for dipping.

cooking with kids: fish and chip sticks cooking with kids: fish and chip sticks

Most kids love fish sticks – or if they don’t love them, will at least tolerate them.

Mild white fish coated in a crispy fried crumb coating – what’s not to love? (And it’s a great way to get kids eating fish.) The version Meredith and I made is an easy cheat; no frying involved, just roll the fish spears in flour, eggs, and crispy crushed potato chips, then a quick bake. The simplified, kid-friendly tartar sauce is perfect for dipping the crispy batons into. Meredith thought she wouldn’t like the sauce, but once she stirred it up and got to adjust the ingredients to her taste, she loved it.

I’d tried making fish sticks with Meredith once before during our cooking sessions, and it was a bit of a bust. We used frozen blue cod fillets I had in the freezer (they weren’t even that old), that actually smelled so fishy it was hard to work with them. Meredith was a good sport about it, though!

cooking with kids: fish and chip sticks

those are so GROSS! do I really have to touch them? ! ! !

cooking with kids: fish and chip sticks

okay . . . if I HAVE to do it, I will . . . but that doesn’t mean I like it . . .

cooking with kids: fish and chip sticks

actually that wasn’t SO bad . . . I guess I survived

I didn’t want Meredith to think that is how all fish smells, so this time we used fresh cod fillets (from Costco), and they were amazing – no fishy smell – just the smell of the ocean – like fresh fish should smell. She enjoyed cutting them up much more than last time!

cooking with kids: fish and chip sticks

this doesn’t even smell bad, it smells like the ocean!

cooking with kids: fish and chips sticks

this fish is fun to cup up

Also, the first time we made it, we coated the fish sticks with crushed corn flake cereal, which was okay, but nothing special (a little too heavy and dry). The potato chips we used for this recipe were much better – lighter and crispier, and the flavour went so well with the fish. It was a total hit – fish and chips rolled into one!

We steamed carrots and made a batch of kale chips to serve with the baked fish sticks (kale chips recipe here). The kale chips were very popular. A certain little girl kept sneaking over to crunch on the cooling chips whenever my back was turned.

cooking with kids: fish and chip sticks {When Meredith and I cook together, I let her use a sharp knife, with supervision. We’ve talked about knife safety, and she is very responsible about how she uses it. She cut up all the fish herself.}

Kitchen Frau Notes: This recipe stretches easily to serve 6 – just use about 1½ lbs (700gms), or more, fish and about another ½ cup (40gms) crushed chips. The flour and eggs should be enough to coat the extra fish. You might want to double the Easy Tartar Sauce.

cooking with kids: fish and chip sticks with easy tartar sauce

Fish ‘n Chips Sticks with Easy Tartar Sauce

Skills covered: knife skills, handling raw fish, crushing chips, 3-stage breading process

  • 1¼ lb. (550gms) fresh, firm white fish fillets (we used cod)
  • 2 cups crushed plain, salted potato chips (about 150 grams) – see below
  • ½ cup (70gms) flour (or your favourite gluten-free flour blend)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs

for the Easy Tartar Sauce:

  • ¼ cup (60ml) mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup (60ml) plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1½ teaspoons prepared yellow hot dog mustard

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the fish fillets into sticks about ½” x 1″ in diameter and about 4″ long (1 x 2 x 10 cm).

Crush the potato chips by placing them in a heavy duty bag and rolling them with a rolling pin, or just by smooshing and crushing the sealed bag between your hands. Both ways are fun.

cooking with kids: fish and chip sticks cooking with kids: fish and chip sticks

Line up 3 bowls on the counter. In the first one, stir together the flour and spices. In the second one, break the eggs and whisk them until beaten. In the third one, place the crushed potato chips.

Roll the fish sticks first in the seasoned flour, then dip them in the beaten eggs to coat all sides. Finally roll them in the crushed chips. Lay the coated fish sticks in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet.

*This process is easiest and less goopy on the hands if one person rolls the fish sticks in the flour and the other person rolls them in the egg and then the potato chips.

cooking with kids: fish and chip sticks Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

While the fish is baking, stir together the ingredients for the Easy Tartar Sauce. Serve in little bowls for dipping the fish sticks into.

Serves 4 to 5.

Guten Appetit!

See other fun ‘Cooking With Kids’ posts here.

 

You might also like:

Butter Fish

Salmon Burgers with Dill and Feta Cheese

Spinach and Salmon Salad Rolls

Fish Tacos

Posted in Condiments & Sauces, Cooking with Kids, Fish & Seafood | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments