Nut and seed spread for healthy snacking

IMG_6842.JPG

One of my favourite finds as a vegan are the nut-based spreads and sauces that have become really popular – for good reason. You can find all kinds of nut cheeses in stores that taste fantastic and feel indulgent even though they are good for you.

There’s really nothing more satisfying than a dollop of cashew cream to top off a taco and if you mix the leftovers with salsa, you’ll have a delicious dip. I’ve even been using cashews as the bases for my gravies for a creamy and delicious sauce.

The one challenge people may face when making nut-based sauces, gravies and spreads is having a powerful enough blender to get the right texture. You can make it easier on your blender by soaking the nuts overnight but having a super-powerful blender does make all the difference in the end.

Here’s a really simple nut and seed spread that makes a satisfying snack for adults and kids as well. Spread it on crackers, use it in your sandwiches or with a pita. If you’ve overindulged on hummus and need a change, this is a good option.

img_6845

Nutritious nut and seed spread

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/4 cups of water
  • 3 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon herbs de provence (or other herb mix that you like)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Soak the nuts and seeds in a bowl overnight or cover them with boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain and add them to the blender with all the other ingredients. Blend until creamy. Add water if necessary.

Enjoy! This makes a good mid-afternoon snack at the office or after-school snack for the kids to keep them satisfied until dinner is ready.

You can change the ingredients up according to your tastes and the contents of your cupboard. You’ll need nuts or seeds, water, an acid and salt – the rest can be easily omitted or changed.

Oatmeal raisin cookies with friends

The kids had friends over this afternoon and when hunger hit, I fuelled the fun with an easy classic – oatmeal raisin cookies. The whole batch was gobbled down in no time.

vegan oatmeal raisin cookies
These cookies are crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside and packed with oatmeal and raisins.

These cookies are based on the Banana Everything Cookies fromĀ Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Treats. The original cookies have a banana base with plenty of chocolate chips, oatmeal and walnuts – they cook up gooey and irresistible.

I make oatmeal cookies regularly since the oatmeal makes for a hearty cookie packed with extra nutrition to back up the sugar kick. If there’s a little something healthy, like oatmeal, nuts or dried fruit in the cookies, I’m okay with the kids indulging.

I went to make these trusty Banana Everything Cookies today when the kids asked for a snack and I realized I didn’t have anything on hand for the crew. But we were out of chocolate chips and the kids weren’t so keen on walnuts so I decided to swap the chocolate chips for raisins and leave out the walnuts completely (something I have to do regularly since the kids’ school is nut free). Sometimes I’ll swap the nuts for seeds since there’s no allergies in the school to pumpkin seeds and they provide the extra protein and fat the kids need at snack time but when I’m cooking for other people’s kids, I stick to the basics to ensure they go over well.

Vegan oatmeal raisin cookie
Very gooey oatmeal cookie held together with banana goodness.

I knew the chocolate chips would go over well with the kids – but I’m glad to say the raisins were a hit too. They were crispy on the outside with a gooey banana-flavoured interior and a classic raisin pairing. Like most oatmeal raisin recipes, there was a sprinkling of cinnamon included.

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

This recipe book includes 100 cookies from brownies to chocolate chip and everything in-between. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a special book with lots of cookies options. It includes gluten-free cookies as well.

What’s your go-to playdate snack?