Saucy: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip PowerBalls

We proudly present another episode of our new HCC TV Show: Saucy where we provide practical answers to you culinary queries with some sass and some laughs.

This episode is something most of us can relate to: Sugar Cravings!

The issue is especially rampant this time of year with cookies baiting and tempting us at every turn!

Our motto? If you can’t beat ‘em, join em!

We came up with a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, no-bake cookie that’s simple to make, satisfying and surprisingly delicious.

Let’s kick it back to our viewer.  Here’s what she had to say…

Dear Robyn + Quinn, My sweet tooth is out of control.  Like, I literally need something sweet every day around 4pm.  It’s so hard because the office candy bowl is always stocked full of Snicker’s minis and I have this one co-worker who is constantly bringing in cookies.  Why is she trying to destroy me?!  Is there something I can have to satisfy that sweet craving that isn’t a piece of fruit?  That never seems to do the trick.

Help!
Nicole

Well Nicole, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  We feel you so hard and sincerely hope this helps…

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip PowerBalls
Servings: about 12 balls
Time: 10 minutes
NOTE: If you’re someone who doesn’t like a ton of sweets hanging around you can half this recipe like we did in the video.  If you want to share, make the full recipe (or even double it and store some in your freezer!).

  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raw almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsps. dark chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. hemp seeds
  •  ½ tsp cinnamon
  •  ¼ tsp sea salt

Directions

Stir together oats and almond butter.  Then add in maple syrup, seeds, chocolate, cinnamon and salt.

Mix until thoroughly combined (you can just go ahead and use your hands!). Add some more oats if mixture feels too wet.

Spoon out 1 tablespoons’ worth and firmly shape into a ball. You might need to firmly squeeze them into a ball so they keep their shape

Place on a container and put in the fridge to “set” for 30 minutes.

But we really need to know, what are your favorite healthy holiday treats?  Share the goodness in the comments below…

 

Dip, Baby Dip

by Health Coach Quinn

Last year I had my first ever foray into latke making.  Not sure how I’ve gone my whole culinary life without making them.  It’s a travesty, I know.  But luckily it has been remedied.

In typical HCQ fashion I needed to test the crap out of the recipe.  When I make something new I need to get inside the recipe.  Try a whole bunch of different swaps and really put on my scientist hat to understand how and why the recipe works.  Then I can intuit my way through it and make upgrades as I see fit.

This time started on the traditional route, using my grandmother’s recipe which comes straight from the Molly Goldberg Jewish Cookbook, then went rogue by adding in some sweet potato.  Both efforts were pretty darn good, if I do say so myself, and I fully intend to keep testing the recipe with other add-ins such as parsnip and celery root.  But in this culinary adventure the real standout stars were the accoutrements.  

I’m an accessories girl.  If latkes are jeans and a t-shirt, I threw down some serious statement jewelry with my sauces… Here’s what happened

(the options look limitless!  That beautiful latke is like a blank canvas just waiting to get sauced!)

Homemade Chunky Apple & Pear Sauce
This one is seriously heaven.  It would be amazing with pork chops, in some yogurt or just on its own as an awesome autumn snack.  Try it.  People WILL fall in love with you if you feed them this apple (& pear) sauce.  Promise.

  • 2 apples (pink lady or honey crisp)
  • 1 pear (anjou or bartlett)
  • 1 cup organic apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • a few sprinkles of freshly ground nutmeg (it’s gotta be fresh!)

Directions

Peel, core and dice the apples and pears as finely as you can.  Put them in a pan with apple cider over medium-high heat.

Stir occasionally as the cider boils.  The apples and pears will begin to break down after about 810 minutes.  Help that process along by using a potato masher.  Just go in there and give them a nice smash every couple of minutes.

After about 10-15 minutes (depending on how small you cut your pieces) you will see that the apples and pears are starting to break down into mush.  Add in the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Give it a stir and continue to cook, mashing occasionally until you have a nice, yet smooth chunky texture.

 

Maple Cinnamon Cream
This one is heavenly when paired with the Apple (& Pear) Sauce.  It’s also a fab dessert on its own.  If you’re someone who loves that sour cream texture with your latkes but would rather keep it sweet than savory, this is your jammm.

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoons grade B maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

Put everything into a bowl and mix well.  Garnish with a little extra dash of cinnamon.

 

Lemon Dill Yogurt
This one is kind of like raita minus the cucumber.  Super light and refreshing.  It’s great for cutting through the fat of the latkes.  The sheep’s milk yogurt adds a little something extra, plus it tends to be easier to digest than regular cow’s milk yogurt (for anyone out there with dairy sensitivity)

  • 1 cup sheep’s milk yogurt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tablespoons freshly minced dill

Directions

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Your Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is just around the corner (and this year it falls on Channukah! Even more holiday fun), so it’s time to start planning your menu or thinking about what show stopping dish you’ll be bringing to your pot luck feast.

To help make this year’s holiday cooking as simple and FUN as possible, we are providing a completely comprehensive, tried and true recipe guide.

Firstly, when it comes to the bird this is all you need to know.

thanksgiving sides

For side dishes & dessert (which are the best parts anyway), follow this fool proof menu…

Gluten Free Quinoa Stuffing

Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Cauliflower Parsnip & Apple Puree

Cranberry Citrus (Awesome) Sauce

Gluten Free Apple & Pear Crumble

Spiced Pumpkin & Dark Chocolate Cupcakes


In our Healthy Basics Cookbook you can find other perfect recipes (for the Holidays or any time) like…

Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet Balsamic Collards with Pine Nuts

Roasted Veggies topped with Vanilla Roasted Nuts (uh-mazing)

We’d love to see what you make!  Inspire us, and the rest of the Cooking Camp Crew by posting your pics on our Facebook page.  

turkeys

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gluten Free Orange & Sage Quinoa Stuffing

This recipe has all the flavor a classic Thanksgiving stuffing…but won’t leave you with a raging gluten hangover.

Because so many of our Campers avoid “the glu” (our sometimes code-name for gluten) we wanted to give you a Thanksgiving option that has all the flavors and fixins’ you’ll  find in a traditional stuffing but give it a totally whole-grain, healthified makeover.

Preeeetty sure we nailed it with this one.  What do you think?

quinoa stuffing

Gluten Free Orange Quinoa and Sage Stuffing
Servings: 6-8
Time: 40 minutes

  • 2 cups quinoa, well rinsed
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp dried sage OR 2 tablespoons chopped fresh
  • 1 tsp dried parsley OR ¼ cup chopped fresh
  • ½ cup of walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped (can use white button, baby bellas or any kind)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for cooking plus more quinoa
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

*Note: save a little parsley, zest and walnuts for garnishing at the end

Directions

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot.  Then add your quinoa, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer, then cook the quinoa for 15 minutes, or until most of the water has been absorbed (quinoa will continue to bake in oven so it’s okay if it’s a little wetter than usual).

In a separate pan heat extra virgin olive oil on medium-high heat.  Sauté onions with garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown, about 6-7 minutes.

Add celery, mushrooms and herbs and season generously with salt and pepper.  Continue to cook an additional 5-6 minutes (until mushrooms begin to brown).

Toss cooked veggies and herbs into a baking dish with quinoa, orange zest and walnuts and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Garnish with an additional sprinkle of parsley, zest and walnuts and serve.

Mercury Levels in Fish

By now you’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t eat too much fish because it’s high in mercury.  But like many people, you might also be wondering, what does mercury do to me and why is it found in fish?

Here’s the deal:

Mercury is a metal that exists naturally in the environment.  But we humans do things that negatively impact the environment, such as factory farming, burning coal, and using mercury in manufacturing.  This increases the amount mercury that flows through the air, water, and soil.

When in water, mercury changes its form and becomes methylmercury. Fishies absorb this mercury just like we often inhale bad chemicals when we breath in oxygen.

All fish and shellfish have some level of mercury, but it’s typically not a huge deal because fish also have so many health benefits.   However, if you eat fish ALL the time, or choose varieties that are higher in mercury (see chart below) it can be potentially harmful.

The good news is, mercury will leave the body over time in the urine, feces, and breast milk.  The bad news is if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding that mercury could have detrimental effects on your little one.

Mercury can also have nevetive effects on us grown ups.  Remember when Jeremy Piven had to drop out of a Broadway show?  Yeah, mercury poisoning is a real thing so read up below and be in the know…

fish_mercury

Chart from Canton Becker

NOTE: Mercury is only an issue with wild caught fish even so, this option is WAY better than farm raised fish.  Fish that are farmed are fed a completely unnatural diet, including dyes to make their flesh appear more vibrant and they are kept in confined spaces where they can’t get enough exercise.

Always, always, always avoid farm raised fish!!!