Pumpkin Spiced "Kind" Bars

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So today is the official kick-off of Fall on the blog- or at least of Pumpkin Spice!

It’s crazy to me that stores have had pumpkins and Halloween candy for weeks already, but today I figured it’s almost the middle of September so perhaps the time has come.

Now, while I’m not a PSL kinda girl, I do still love pumpkin and think it is the perfect fall flavour for both sweet and savour dishes. I mean a delicious pumpkin soup on a cold fall day - that is hard to beat.

So now let’s talk about these delicious “Kind” bars. Have you guys had a Kind bar before? They are great snacks or breakfast alternatives for almost anyone - even our gluten-free friends. Plus, while they are sweetened with honey and almond butter, so you are having natural sugars rather than all the other things that tend to be in those store-bought bars.

The only ingredient that you may not have on hand is the almond meal, but no fear. You don’t need to run out and buy a big bag of it, just take you whole almonds and either chop them super super fine or throw them in a food processor - just be sure not to let it go for very long otherwise you may end up with almond butter instead.

So next time you want a hearty snack, grab one of these instead of a store-bought version - plus its pumpkin-spiced, so you can celebrate the season and make all of your PSL friends jealous!

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prep time 15 minutes + 2 hours to cool

cook time 20 minutes

total time 35 minutes + 2 hours to cool

servings 10

Ingredients

1/4 cup honey

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup almond meal

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tbsp almond butter

1 1/3 cup whole almonds

1/2 cup dried cranberries

3/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Instructions

Preheat oven to 300. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper then set aside.

In a medium bowl combine honey, vanilla, almond meal, salt, pumpkin pie spice and almonds butter. Stir until it is mixed well then fold in roughly chopped almonds, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds.

Pour the mixture into your baking pan then press down firmly so that it is firmly packed into the pan. Bake for 20 minutes then remove and allow the bars to cool completely in the pan.

Place the cooled pan into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour to allow the bars to fully set. Remove from the fridge and using the edges of the parchment paper carefully remove the bars from the pan and place on a large cutting board. Slice into 10 bars then store in a airtight container or wraps in wax paper and freeze.

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Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh Salad

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Tabbouleh Salad - while this is not exactly a classic version it is low carb, super delicious, and gives me major greek salad vibes.

Are you're like me your trying to savour every last minute of summer, I mean seriously, how is it already the end of August? It feels like it was only June about 2 weeks ago. So while I maybe haven’t accomplished all of my summer goals, I did accomplish 1 important one - to make a killer Tabbouleh salad!

So while traditional tabbouleh would have bulgur, I don’t know about you but I don’t usually have that lying around my kitchen. So that is where riced cauliflower came into play and seriously, it’s such a good substitution. While I, and the rest of the world, maybe having a major obsession with cauliflower rice right now I don’t think that it’s fad food that’s going to go away any time soon. I mean it’s healthy, carb-free, and can be added into so many things. Plus, if you mix it with your favourite carb (potatoes or rice) it can be completely masked and give you the extra health benefits without anyone even knowing it.

The other great thing about this salad is that the ingredients are all things that you are likely to have on hand. Tomatoes, cucumbers, feta - they are all staples, right?

So go ahead and make this tonight - you will be soooo glad you did!!!

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prep time 15 minutes

cook time 10 minutes

total time 25 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved

1/2 long English cucumber finely chopped

1/2 red onion

3/4 cup sliced almonds

1 bag frozen cauliflower rice

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup feta

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup olive oil + 1 tsp

salt + pepper

Instructions

In a large frying pan add in 1 tsp of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add in sliced almonds and cook for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned - stirring often. Add in frozen cauliflower and cook another 3 minutes or until cauliflower is warmed just cooked through. Set aside and allow to cool.

In a large bowl combine halved tomatoes, finely chopped cucumber, minced red onion, parsley, mint and crumbled feta. Add in cooled cauliflower and almonds and stir until fully combined.

In a small bowl squeeze the juice of a lemon and stir in olive oil. Pour over your salad and season to taste with salt + pepper then toss and serve.

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Banana Chai Smoothie Bowl with Almonds + Blueberries

Nothing is better on a warm summer morning than a smoothie bowl! Blend up this perfect combination of chai spice, bananas and vanilla then top with sweet + crunch fixings for the most perfect way to start the day!

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Smoothie bowls - are they something that you are familiar with? They are one of those things that seem to be popping up everywhere and are almost always picture perfect!

Now for me, these bowls became a big part of my life when my parents opened an Acai Smoothie Bowl Food Truck. We taste-tested many many variations until they came up with the perfect combination for the smoothie base and topping combinations! Needless to say, even when we are not in taste testing mode I still tend to eat a smoothie bowl or two when I visit them.

So after my visit last week I knew that I needed to make a bowl of my own. Now, of course, I can't give away their secret recipe so I have gone in a completely different direction and do a straight banana base rather than berries and Acai.

For me, the flavours that go particularity well with banana are warm spices - aka cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg or…. Chai Spice! If you're going to use warm spices in your base the toppings you choose need to complement and not compete. Blueberries, almonds, coconut, almond butter and the perfect options as all of those flavours are mellow enough to not overpower the chai but rather enhance it perfectly.

So whip up your own Insta-worthy bowl tomorrow morning, though consider this a warning, your friends may all be requesting their own bowls once they see your creation!

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prep time 10 minutes

blend time 5

total time 15 minutes

servings 1 - 2

Ingredients

2 large or 3 medium frozen bananas

1 1/2 tsp chai spice

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 coconut milk

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 cup granola

1/2 cup blueberries

4 tbsp almonds shavings

4 tbsp almond butter

drizzle of honey (optional)

Instructions

In your vitamix or high powered blender combine frozen bananas, cinnamon, vanilla and coconut milk. Blend until smooth and no chunks remain.

Divide blended banana between 2 bowls and top with granola, blueberries, almond shavings and almond butter. Drizzle with honey for added sweetness.

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Almond Glazed Butterhorns

It’s a blast from the past with these soft flakey butterhorns topped with the sweet glaze and crunchy almonds. Sometimes traditional flavours just don’t need to be messed with!

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So today’s recipe is one that I grew up with. My mom made these all the time and they were one of those treats everyone loved. I must admit, these are the only “danish” type baking I have ever done, so perhaps at some point, I should branch out, but I don't know about you I find it so hard to try new things when you already have a recipe that is just so delicious!

So going back to my mom making these, everyone loved them so much they often suggested that she sell them at our local farmers market. Now, unfortunately (or probably fortunately because I don't trust some peoples houses), you need a commercial kitchen to sell things in public so these little puppies being for sale never quite happened, but luckily for our friend and family they were often stocked in the freezer ready to be served any time of the day!

So, what’s your family favourite recipe? Do you have one that instantly brings your back to your childhood?

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prep time 25 minutes + 2 hours rising time

cook time 18 minutes per batch

total time 3 hours 30 minutes

servings approx 18 butterhorns

Ingredients

2 cups milk

1/2 cup white sugar + 1 tsp

1 cup butter

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup warm water

1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

6 cups flour

1 large egg

Instructions

In a small saucepan add milk and allow to come to a low simmer then remove from heat. Add in 1/2 cup of sugar, butter + salt and stir so that the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Set aside and allow to cool.

In a small bowl combine 1 tsp sugar, yeast and warm water and stir. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes until yeast is frothy.

In a large bowl pour in flour and make a well in the centre. Add in an egg that has been lightly beaten, cooled milk and yeast. Stir gently until combined then stir more vigorously until it is mixed very well (at this point your dough will be very sticky).

Cover with a tea towel and allow to rest in a warm place for 1 hour or until your dough has doubled in size. Press down on your dough using the back of a large spoon and cover again and allow to rise another 30 minutes.

Once the dough has risen a second-time press down again with the back of your spoon then divide into 2 pieces. On a very well floured surface roll out your dough into a 12x10 rectangle. Cut your dough into 1.5-inch strips then roll each strip gently to forms a cylinder. Coil each strip until your form a circular “bun” then place on a parchment lined baking sheet leaving 2 inches between each bun. Continue until all of your dough has been used. Cover with tea towel and allow to rise another 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake 1 tray at a time for 15 - 18 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool before icing then top with sliced almonds.

Almond Glaze

2 cups icing sugar

3 tbsp butter

2 tbsp milk

2 tsp almond extract

Sliced almonds to garnish

In a small bowl combine icing sugar, milk, melted butter + almond extract. Whisk until smooth.

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Charred Brussels Sprouts with Sweet + Spicy Glaze

Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables that people either love or hate! But if you serve them charred and with a delicious glaze and you may convert even the biggest skeptic.

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So are you for or against brussels sprouts? I must say that growing up I was wholeheartedly opposed to them, but then something changed. I think perhaps it was the fact that as a kid the fresh variety was less common where we lived, so the only ones we had come from the frozen sections, and they were mushy. Then about 8 years ago I bought fresh ones at the grocery store and let’s just say I have never looked back!

Also, fun fact of the day! Did you know it’s actually brussels sprouts, not brussel sprouts? Maybe only I was unaware of the additional s - or maybe I just blew your mind like mine was just blown just a few short minutes ago!

So what is your favourite way to eat them? I also think that cooked with Pancetta and Pine nuts is an instant winner with most people, but let’s be honest, adding bacon to almost anything is always an instant winner!

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prep time 10 minutes

cook time 25 hour

total time 35 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

1 lb brussels sprouts

2 tbsp olive oil

salt + pepper

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 cup slivered almonds

zest of 1 lemon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425. To prepare wash and dry your Brussel sprouts then trim off the end of the core. Slice in half and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt + pepper. Toss to coat then place in oven for 20-25 minutes or until slightly charred (turning halfway to avoid burning).

In a small saucepan combine maple syrup, red wine vinegar and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 2-3 minutes then set aside.

Once your brussel sprouts are fully cooked place in a medium-sized bowl and pour the warm liquid over then carefully stir until everything is fully incorporated.

On a serving tray place your Brussel sprouts and cover with slivered almonds and lemon zest. Serve immediately.

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