Vegan Zucchini Energy Bites

bites1As I was perusing Pinterest for ways to use up the abundance of zucchini we got with our CSA share this summer, I saw this recipe “No-Bake Zucchini Bread Granola Bites” by Dara of the blog Cookin’ Canuck (http://www.cookincanuck.com/2013/08/no-bake-zucchini-bread-granola-bites-recipe-gluten-free-vegan/). I didn’t have all of the ingredients listed, but I made do with what I had around the house & BOY did these turn out FAN-FREAKING-TASTICALLY. They’re small, but they sure fill you up & give you some great energy for a low carb count. Not to mention it makes a large batch that will last in your fridge for over a week! I like to have 2 or 3 with a piece of fruit for breakfast & I’m set for the day.

I used Skippy Super Chunk peanut butter, hemp seeds, and a mix of yellow and green zucchini for my version, but use whatever you’ve got on hand, as usual 😉 If you don’t want to waste the zucchini liquid, you could drain them over a jar/Tupperware & save it to use in a soup, smoothie, etc.

Vegan Zucchini Energy BitesSnip20151027_10

Yield: 25 bites, about 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cup of oats
  • 1/3 cup sunflower kernels
  • 1 Tbsp hemp or chai seeds
  • ¾ cup chunky peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup (packed) grated zucchini

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together oats, kernels, & seeds.
  2. Stir in the peanut butter, syrup, & cinnamon until well combined. I found that using my hands was the easiest way to combine everything evenly.
  3. Squeeze handfuls of grated zucchini over the sink to drain out the excess liquid.
  4. Add zucchini into the oat mixture until well combined.
  5. Using 1 – 1.5 Tbsp. of the mixture for each, form bite-sized balls and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. TIP- if you spray your hands with cooking oil first, the batter won’t stick to you as much!
  6. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
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Magnificent Mango Salsa

mangosals1I’ve always had trouble with fruit. The textures in fruit just don’t sit right with me & I’m always concerned on the hit or miss with flavor. Will it be sweet? Will it be sour? Why did this berry taste WAY different from the last one I pulled out of the same container? Needless to say, the only fruits I’ve consumed in the last almost 20 years were always bananas, apples, and grapes. For me these were the most consistent fruits in both taste and, especially, texture. I would sometimes eat other fruits in smoothies or pies where I could obliterate their texture or drown them in sugar, but for the most part my fruit intake was very limited.

Thanks to a wonderful vegan friend from college, this summer I realized that there are others out there like me who avoid certain foods for a variety of reasons (see Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder). It’s usually associated with children & most people seem to grow out of it as they age, but I did not.

Rather than avoiding fruit like the plague for the rest of my life, this summer I finally decided that I need to step out of my comfort zone and play around with fruit more. In the last few months, I’ve fallen (hard) for mangoes. I found mango to be very sweet & somewhat slimy, but my immediate thought was: I need to make mango salsa!

So, without further adieu, here is my very simple mango salsa recipe! I used Tapatio for the hot sauce & pre-made lime juice, but use whatever you have on hand. Yields 4 servings with 75% of your daily vitamin C each. Obviously fresh, organic, and local ingredients are the absolute best.

Ingredients:Snip20151027_7

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, give it a few stirs to combine.
  2. Enjoy!

Baked Apple Skins

I made an apple pie earlier this week that called for peeled & cored apples. Not wanting to waste the peels, I decided to simply bake them with some cinnamon & brown sugar. What a delicious snack!

Baked Apple SkinsSnip20151027_6IMG_0933

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of leftover apple skins (about 8 apples’ worth)
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Combine apple skins, brown sugar & cinnamon in a bowl, tossing to coat
  4. Bake 20-30 minutes for soft apple skins or bake 40 mins for crispier apple chip skins