Pumpkin Sage Hummus

The pumpkin kick continues! Thank goodness pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween and are perfect for Thanksgiving (and really, all of winter!), otherwise I would never get enough!

I used to make hummus often because once you have the ingredients (or maybe you’re someone that just normally has tahini in the house!), it’s really so easy and so tasty. The only drawback (although this is a positive as well), is that it doesn’t last as long as the store bought versions since there are no preservatives. Regardless, I’ve found it’s super easy to just whip up a small batch whenever you want it, and only keep for a few days!

In keeping with our fall pumpkin kick, I found this Pumpkin Hummus recipe and decided we needed to give it a go! One thing to point out, this recipe makes a metric ton of hummus. Unless you’re feeding a huge crowd, I recommend cutting it in half.

DSC_0207DSC_0210

I was absolutely not disappointed – this hummus  is amazing, and seriously so easy. For my foodies who like to take photos, it photographs beautifully, and honestly, no one will believe you when you tell them how quickly you were able to make this!

Go get your hummus on! And stay tuned….. this hummus will be featured in my next post’s recipe as well.

You can find the full recipe here.

xx Jess

Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars

These gorgeous Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars popped up on my Instagram feed the other day (one of my favorite ways to find recipes I want to make) and I just had to have them! Gluten and dairy-free, these can also be made nut-free, so lot of options!

I followed the recipe from Smitten Kitchen to a tee, and while they were fantastic (how can you ever complain about a chocolate chunk bar?!) there were a few things that I would want to change next time around:

  • I used peanut butter instead of the nut butter Smitten Kitchen recommended. And it was a lot. It’s not that the taste was off, but it was a bit strong, and these ended up being a little bit soft, so I would probably try to cut it down to 3/4 cup of the nut butter to see if that is enough to still hold these together.
  • I used the full 1 cup of dark chocolate chips and (again, can’t complain too much) it was also a lot. I would cut this down. You could probably use 1/2 cup if you were putting other things in it too.
  • For the dried fruit portion, I used 1 cup of dried cranberries and just kept it there. Next time, I would LOVE to incorporate some dried dates / figs – I think this would just be such an excellent flavor and since they’re sticky in their own, they might also help hold the bars together if you’re cutting down the nut butter as I mentioned above.

Two things that I did take on advice from the recipe that were great:

  • I bought millet. Not only did I not know what it was, the cashier had no idea how to ring it up. Note to self, write the price on the hand-written tag if you’re scooping your own! The texture and crunch of this in the finished bars was outstanding and honestly stole the show, in my opinion!
  • I also got the shredded coconut. My grocery only had giant bags of it, so I was hesitant, but the shreds / flakes were an excellent texture as well and totally made it. I’m also guessing that these strands did a lot to keep the bars together.

Final note on these, I have finally busted out the Nikon for the food photos! I feel as if I’ve opened a Pandora’s Box of ideas and potential, because now I’m obsessed. I foresee — in the not-so-distant-future — my husband asking my why I have to photograph every piece of food that comes my way / out of our kitchen. Honestly the camera makes a world of difference and I hope you can tell in the images!

If you’re making these as well, let me know what you think and any custom variations you tried!

The full recipe is linked here.

xx Jess

Peanut Butter Energy Bites

3:00pm hits and I need a pick-me-up. I’m not a coffee drinker (trust me, I’ve tried, but just can’t get into the flavor!) and the FREE towers of M&Ms in the office are wayyyy too tempting, but I’ve found these quick and easy Peanut Butter Energy bites that hit the spot. They end up being a combination between a peanut butter snack, and cookie dough (largely because the consistency will remind you of uncooked cookie dough) and they’re just sweet enough and filling enough to keep me from snacking too, too much.

I found this recipe in The Low-FODMAP Diet for Beginners cookbook. For anyone with a sensitive stomach (especially if you’re not sure what foods are really upsetting you), this book is fantastic. Any time I feel like I need a reset / have gotten off track with eating too many things that I shouldn’t, this is a really great place to head for super clean, wholesome, nutritious and also tasty recipes.

There are so many different versions of this recipe, but below is the one that I use from the cookbook. If you’re at all inclined, I highly suggest you snag this book!

Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Prep time: 10 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill
Makes 24 energy bites

1 1/2 cups steel-cut oats

1/2 cup peanut butter or other nut butter

1/4 cup maple syrup (it’s honestly worth using the real stuff!)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. LIne a baking sheet with waxed paper
  2. To the bowl of a food processor, add the oats, peanut butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Pulse just until the ingredients are mixed together. Add the chocolate chips and pulse until the chips are pulverized and the mixture has achieved a sticky texture
    • This Jess note: I prefer when the chips are still chunky, but some may like this in a more smooth texture!
  3. Using wet hands, form the mixture into 1-inch balls. Place them on the baking sheet
  4. Refrigerate energy balls for at least 1 hour so they firm up. Then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week

Modifications:

Feel free to try this recipe with different nut butters, adding whole nuts or seeds. The next time I made these, I think I’ll add some dates (not Low FODMAP approved), but I think that would give this a really nice sweetness.

This Jess rankings:

  • Making it: 10/10 – super easy, and you know I love using the food processor!
  • Eating it: 10/10 – so satisfyingly sweet and salty at the same time
  • Looking at it: 8/10 – they’re peanut butter balls, so can’t ask for too much 🙂

Check out the full book, The Low-FODMAP Diet for Beginners, on Amazon! If you’re already using it, let me know what your favorite recipes are so I can try them too!