23 February 2006

Special Treats

I love snacks. Ray loves snacks. Killian (above) loves snacks, but I don't give him these. This is where Killian sits and "helps" me in the kitchen!

I like to keep snacks in the house, except I very seldom buy pre-made or processed snacks anymore. With the exception of ice cream, in which there must always be at least one pint of something soy in the freezer. With that in mind, I have been making a lot of snacks that are simple. Plus, with the "no oven" thing, these are either all raw or stovetop only. I never make the same exact snacks twice, although I do use the same basis for a lot of them. I never follow any recipes, I just make up my own and take what I have in the house.

This time, these snacks are super-chocolately, and I have made these junkier and sweeter than my previous weekly snacks. Ray has told me that they are a huge hit, and people literally slow down and stop in their tracks (or backtrack) to ask him what he is eating. I love it!

These super-tasties were made late last night, as I had dinner after 11pm. Had the alarm set for 5:30am and it's my day off (long story). I just threw in what I had in the house.

I realized that I didn't have any fresh nut butters (I don't keep jars) in the house. Oops, but I still want to make snacks. I decided to make my own cashew butter and didn't bother learning how to first, as it was late. I just put raw cashews in the VitaMix (best thing ever) and ran it until it was somewhat smooth. I think something should have happened, but it was powdery, but when I touched it, it was creamy in my hand. So, I took the ground cashews and put them on a low-heated pot. Then I added brown rice syrup and let it heat together while I took out all the other stuff that was going to be thrown in.

I added a splash of vanilla, cinnamon and agave nectar to the heated pot. Stired for a while. Then I added a handful of chocolate chips to make it a chocolatey snack. Ray loved the idea of this and decided his part of "helping" would be to keep the chocolate stirring so it won't burn.

Oh, keep in mind that when I make these awesome snacks I don't measure anything. It comes out better that way. Plus, what would I be measuring for? If you guys want the recipe, I suggest just adding what you feel is best and whatever you want and it's more fun that way anyway.

Back to the ingredients... Once those were heated, I poured it over the following mixed in a big bowl.

Dry ingredients: (all organic, wet and dry ingredients)
Kamut Puffs
Brown Rice Puffs
Hemp Seed Nut
Chocolate Chips - barley sweetened
cashews (yes, more)
walnuts, raw
coconut, shredded
almonds, raw, whole
pecans, raw
sunflower seeds, raw

There ya have it!


KaiVegan said...

I haven't been hangin' around your blog that long to know why you don't keep processed snacks in the house.
That is my ultimate goal, too, but for now I just couldn't see how. (check out my blog to see what my kids eat.)
Just like I've always admired vegetarians/vegans, but never thought I'd become one. I didn't like veggies, and I guess it was ignorance also that kept me.
So would you mind sharing why?

Julie said...

Those look sooo freakin' delicious! All I have been doing cooking-wise lately is heating up veggie burgers :(

Those Vita-Mix blenders are awesome. The lady I used to babysit for has one & we used to whip up smoothies (or anything) all the time!

That's really cool how you kinda have a cook's intuition and you know what will go good together. I usually have to use a recipe--cause I'm afraid I will combine things that shouldn't be combined if I do it myself! hehe.

EatPeacePlease said...

Hey Julie. I tend to make better things when I don't try too hard. Or measure, really. Unless it's following a recipe word for word, I like to do my own thing.

I have an eye for presentation, and I just wish I had the tools at home to do what I have in mind.

As for the mixer... it really is the best. I've had mine for a long time and it is already worth all that money. Good quality stuff!

EatPeacePlease said...

Hi KaiVegan... You know, I never said why. I just post about food. And that's not even everything I make, I wouldn't have time to post everything.

I don't know what the exact reason is for not wanting to keep processed foods in the house. I guess a total of the following is why:
1, I have a degree in nutrition and spent almost 6 years learning/researching/eating foods although what my lifestyle and beliefs are, are really the opposite of what I learned in a mainstream university.
2, I love to cook and I'd rather have my own snacks around.
3, There's a lot of crap in packaged things. They are convienent, but I make my snacks so they are too. I either put them in reusable plastic containers (like tupperwares) or reusable baggies for Ray to take with him to class and work. I also make snacks that are raw (easy) or one-pot deals so that's simple too and usually 30 minutes or less!
4, I like to know what is in my own food. I don't want machines and random people and latex gloves handling my foods. I also don't want to see "artificial flavor" or "natural flavor" on my packages, which is weird and gross. I am not perfect, I still do eat these foods, but I am conscious of the ingredients and try to check out alternative choices. I am not 100% extreme, as I eat out, still buy certain things like that, but am cautious.
5, I always have new ideas in mind. I don't always pursue them, but when I make a batch of snacks, I make sure it's large enough for the whole week (or longer, if frozen). I love snacks!
6, If I always buy packaged foods, I know companies come out with variations and such, but it seems like what is there is always there, and I know it can be changed up, prepared differently and with other foods, but this is how I think about things I make at home. Just lots of variations, and at the store, it seems so "vanilla" (literally).
7. I also buy as much food as possible in bulk (even small amounts) because its cheaper and you aren't paying for a label, advertising, etc. You can even bring your own container, but you have to tare it first on the scale. I like contributing to companies that I support, but I'd rather buy bulk when possible. I just have lots of random pantry/freezer (non-perishable) items on hand and mix and match.

I hope this gives you (and the rest of you if you aren't sleeping by now) an idea of my pickiness. I have been refusing meat since I'm a small child and I never think or have thought of animals as food. For the last 6+ years, I have been educating myself, following next going to school to study food (nutrition, food science, and food service management) and became vegan and did a lot of research and testing new foods. I was always a really picky plain eater, and now I eat more foods (and healthier) than ever before. I love new flavors, but still don't like certain things either. You don't have to like ALL veggies to be a veg.

Thanks for the question, and I hope my long answer helps you understand. I'd love to keep up with you, and if you do want advice (from a person who loves to cook, nutritionist, vegan) I'm more than happy to help/work with you. ~Leslie~

EatPeacePlease said...

Funny story: Today Ray took these to the high school (he student teaches 3 music courses) and I wrote the list of ingredients for the teacher (no snacks for the students). I have included hemp seeds because they are so healthy with protein, EFA's and more(do a google-search for more).

The teacher said, "Hemp seeds?" kind of in shock I guess...
"Where did she buy (emphasis on the buy part) hemp seeds"?

Ray said, "I don't know, we shop at the co-op, WFM, Sunflower Market, etc..." Did she think it was from the street or something!??

He didn't bother explaining about them or the nutritional value, in which I was upset he forgot to mention, not like he should really know anyway.

The teacher was freaked out about the hemp (maybe she thought she'd be stoned?) or the fact that it's a school (still, different plant/part of plant), but ended up eating 2 of them and loved them!

I thought it was funny. I wish people would "get out more", or at least expand their horizons on foods that are not so conventional.

Harmonia said...

Oh! Might have to TRY this!

Isil S. said...

I'm jealous of your snacks ;)

EatPeacePlease said...

Don't be jealous... make some. I am jealous of your cuisine in Turkey, Isil!!!

EatPeacePlease said...

All you do once the wet is mixed into the dry, is press it into your pan of choice (I like baking ones) and pop it in the freezer for 20 minutes. Then store in the fridge. If you aren't eating them right away, just go ahead with the fridge. NO BAKING!!! WOO HOO!

KaiVegan said...

Leslie, thanks for the response. This is actually my 2nd time reading it! haha.
You're an inspiration. I just need to keep visiting here, I supposed! I have a picky eater in my house too. She told me the other day that she'd want to have a vegan restaurant or a vegan store someday, so that ppl could have better and healthier choices. How cool is that?

Jorge Gajardo Rojas said...

Very interesting your blog.
The best is your image.

EatPeacePlease said...

Jorge, thank you for the nice comment.

Kai, I was extremely picky as a child! It's amazing how that has made me who I am today. I hope you do keep coming back as well as posting comments. I want to have a vegan restaurant/products too!!!

me said...

Looks like a great snack, and what a cute kitty...

Jane M said...

Killian looks so much like my Maggie! Ahhh yeah, she insists on helping in the kitchen too...sigh...