Vegan Lefse

I am not Norwegian, but my husband is. When I was first introduced to this traditional flatbread I thought it was delicious. Then I learned how it was made. Lots and lots of cream and butter. Yikes! You would think by now, in all these years that I have been married, that I would have tried a healthier version. But nope. I asked around and no one could tell me any other way to make lefse other than using a lot of butter or cream or instant potato flakes.

Finally, I decided I would play around in the kitchen and see what happens if I try to make lefse myself. Without cream and butter, and with actual potatoes, not flakes.

Lefse had long been a family tradtion in Norway, with families gathering around to make this together. It was more about the togetherness than it was about the lefse. However, that has been changing, as more Norwegians are purchasing, rather than making it from scratch. Even in the Midwest, where the Norwegian community is quite strong, store-bought lefse is more popular. At a Scandinavian store in Minneapolis, Minnesota, generally $80,000 worth of lefse is sold annually.

Since I am all about family and traditions, what I love about this recipe is that super simple to make. Everyone can get back in the kitchen together and have a batch (or 2 or 3) of lefse ready in no time at all.

I use cooled mashed potatoes, so I find it easier to make the potatoes the day before, that way when you are ready to make the lefse, the potatoes are ready and waiting for you.

2 cups mashed potatoes, cooled

1/4 cup sorghum flour

1 tbsp tapioca starch

1 tbsp brown rice flour (plus more for rolling)

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

  1. In a bowl, mix together of the ingredients except the potatoes.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of the flour mixture into the bowl of mashed potatoes, mixing it well each time, until fully combined.
  3. Pull out about 2 tbsp sized portions of the dough and press out on a floured surface until thin (about as thin as a tortilla).
  4. Carefully, with a large metal spatula, transfer the flattened lefse onto a hot griddle and cook for about 3 minutes on each side.
  5. Transfer the cooked lefse to a plate covered with a towel to keep the warm while working on the rest.

No Bake Snack Bar

You know what I love about dates? It is a natural plant-based way to sweeten a recipe without refined processed sugar, but beyond that it is packed with so many nutritional qualities that I try to use dates as often as I can.

Dates are loaded with fiber so you can say bye-bye to constipation if you include dates into your diet. They also promote heart health, reduce blood pressure, improve respiratory health, and even alleviate anemia. Eat something sweet, and promote health in your body. Pretty easy, right?!

That’s why I love these snack bars for my kids. What kid doesn’t love a snack bar? They are easy to pack in lunch boxes, easy to grab from the pantry for a quick bite to eat, and they are super simple to make. Having these on hand means you will feel good about what your kids snack on. If you only have quality nutritious food as options, they will only be able to choose nutritious food. Eliminate the processed foods and replace it with easy to prepare foods, like these. Your kids will thank you for it, I promise. πŸ™‚

2 cups dates, pitted

3/4 cups cashews

1/4 natural almond butter (cashew butter or peanut butter work well, too)

1/2 cup coconut flakes

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

pinch of Himalayan sea salt

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture starts to clump into a ball. The dates will be smooth but you’ll have bits of nuts.
  2. Press the mixture into an 8×8 square dish lined with parchment paper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the bars, and cut into bars using a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Shortbread Crackers

These crackers taste like a cross between a graham cracker and a shortbread cookie. Both are delicious so I am perfectly happy with marrying the two flavors. I am also perfectly happy that they are refined sugar free and gluten free. They go even better with the pumpkin spice fruit dip I made for them. I will add the recipe for that at the bottom of the page.

Crackers

1 1/2 cups almond flour

2 tbsp coconut flour

1 tbsp tapioca starch

1 chia egg

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a food processor, add all ingredients and blend until a soft ball of dough forms.
  3. Transfer the dough to the counter, press out to about 1/4 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, knife, or pizza cutter, make cut out your crackers and place on baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack for cooling. They’ll be soft right out of the oven but till harden after cooling.
  5. Store leftovers in an airtight container for about 1 week.

Pumpkin Spice Fruit & Cracker Dip

1 can full fat coconut milk

1/4 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)

1/4 cup honey

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

pinch of ground cloves

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. The night before, chill the canned coconut milk in the refrigerator.
  2. The next day, place a glass bowl and hand beaters in the freezer.
  3. Once ready, open the can of coconut milk and scoop out the cream that has separated to the top of the can and place it in the chilled bowl.
  4. Whip that coconut cream with the chilled beaters until fluffy.
  5. Add in remaining ingredients and whip until well mixed.

** This dip is great served with sliced fruit, cookies, shortbread crackers, or evenΒ graham crackers. **

 

 

Gluten Free Herbed Crackers

These crackers are savory and crunchy and are perfect as a stand-alone stack or for topping a soup, stew, or chili.

They are made with nutritious ingredients, oil-free, sugar-free, and gluten-free.

1 cup almond flour

1 tbsp flax seed

3/4 tsp granulated garlic

1 tsp dried oregano

pinch of Himalayan sea salt

ground black pepper, to taste

3 tbsp water

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a bowl combine everything except the water.
  3. Add the water 1 tbsp at a time and mix until it becomes a wet ball of dough.
  4. Press the dough out on the counter top, to about 1/8 inch thick. Using a knife, pizzacutter, or cookie cutter, cut the shape/size cracker you want and place on baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, being sure to check that they don’t burn. Allow to cool on baking sheet. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.

Pumpkin Cake

You can have your cake and eat it, too! Especially when it is pumpkin cake! Anything with pumpkin is delicious, right?! Especially in the fall.

I have made this with maple syrup to sweeten it and also with unsweetened applesauce to reduce the sugar load. Both are equally delicious, but the syrup version is a tad sweeter.

This moist and spongy cake is great for breakfast, dessert, or a snack.

1 3/4 cup oat flour (you can purchase oat flour, or grind your own oats in a food processor for a more hearty texture which is my personal preference for this recipe)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)

1 tbsp aquafaba or chia egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup maple syrup OR unsweetened applesauce

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

 

Graham Crackers

A healthy twist on a classic snack. Strong enough to hold up to dips (like almond butter + coconut milk yogurt dip…yum!) and sweet & flavorful enough to satisfy your sweet tooth. Great to decorate for the holidays, or use for s’mores!

They couldn’t be any easier to make! Well worth it to make sure we (and our kids!) get nutritious snacks.

3/4 cup brown rice flour

3/4 cup oat flour (you can purchase oat flour or grind your own oats to make a course flour)

1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking soda

3 tbsp pumpkin puree

1 tbsp aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) or 1 chia egg

6 tbsp dairy-free milk

3 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp blackstrap molasses

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the wet ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. It is easier to use your hands, so dig in!
  5. To roll it out, I find it is much easier to use my hands. It isn’t a sticky dough, but it is too sticky for a roller. Just grab about a softball sized amount and press it out to 1/4 inch thick using your hands. Don’t flour your surface, it won’t incorporate into the cracker and you’ll be left with powdery crackers. It won’t stick to the countertop. If the dough sticks to your hands, just lightly dampen your fingers (not too wet, or you’ll make the dough too wet!) and keep pressing it out. Using a knife or a cookie cutter, cut out your shapes. Using a small spatula, carefully slide it underneath each cracker and place the cracker on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
  6. You can poke holes using a fork so the crackers have air holes – and look like store-bought crackers πŸ˜‰
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they do not burn.
  8. Allow the crackers to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a cooling rack. They’ll firm up in the cooling process.

Peanut Butter Bites

There isn’t much to say about the peanut butter bites except YUM! Most peanut butter bites are made as a dessert and are filled with sugar and coated in processed sugary chocolate. Because of that you wouldn’t really consider them a healthy snack so much as a sweet treat. These bites are different. They are refined sugar free, only have 4 ingredients and not coated in sugar, either. Yet, they taste sweetly delicious.

The secret for the sweetness is in the coconut flour. Coconut flour is high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats but low in sugar (and therefore low on the glycemic index).

 

1/2 cup natural peanut butter (be sure to find PB that does’t have added oil or sugar)

1/2 cup coconut flour

3 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. In a large bowl mix all your ingredients until combined.
  2. Roll into balls a little smaller than golf ball sized.
  3. Store in an airtight container.

Oatmeal Raisin Energy Balls

If you like quick, easy, no-bake yet non-toxic, refined sugar-free, healthy, and satiating snacks for you or your kids then you’ll love this one.

They make excellent snacks, breakfast-on-the-go, or even a sweet after dinner snack.

1 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup ground flax seed

2 tbsp ground chia seeds

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup almond butter

1/4 cup raw local honey

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

handful raisins

  1. In a large bowl, combine the oats, seeds, and cinnamon.
  2. In a small bowl mix the almond butter, honey, and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Pour over the oat mixture.
  3. Roll into small balls, a tad smaller than golf ball sized. Place in an airtight container. You can leave them out for a few days or will last a few weeks in the fridge.

** Add-in options, besides raisins, are goji berries, dried cranberries, or chopped walnuts.

Superfood Oat Bars

What makes these super? Well, for one, these are raw so therefore no bake which means quick to make. You could even get your kids to make them. Delegate, moms! πŸ™‚

What else makes them super? Goji Berries! Learn more about goji berries here. They are naturally sweet so add a great pop of flavor to this otherwise savory bar.

These are a great snack for sustainable energy for a hike, for your kids school lunch, or to stave off the afternoon slump without having to reach for the junk snacks.

 

1 3/4 cups oatmeal

1/2 cup goji berries (dried cranberries or raisins are also good)

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds

a dash of cinnamon

1/2 cup room temp creamy peanut butter

  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well until all ingredients are incorporated.
  2. Press into a square baking dish and refrigerate to set. They are good cool, so you could keep them stored in the fridge in an airtight container, but they also taste good slightly soft so you can keep them in an airtight container in the pantry.