Hummus; The Homemade Way.

I love hummus! It’s the perfect snack, not only is it healthy, it’s also super tasty and delicious with vegetables, breads, crackers or in a sandwich! I love putting a bunch of fresh veggies in a pita with a ton of hummus for lunch, yum! This week, instead of grabbing one of those pre-made hummus’s at the grocery store, I grabbed a can of chickpeas and a bottle of tahini (that will last me a lifetime) and decided to make my very own homemade hummus!
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The process was way easier than I thought. It’s all about the order in which you mix the ingredients together, and it actually tasted better than the store bought hummus. (Obviously this is a matter of opinion, but try it out yourself and you’ll see.) By making it from scratch you know exactly what’s going into your food, and the added bonus? You save so much money!

You can go the extra mile and buy dried chickpeas, but I decided to skip that step and buy them in a can. I also skipped the step where you shell the chickpeas and opted to just throw them in as is. By shelling them it creates a creamier hummus, but leaving them on was just as good in my opinion, and it saved me 10 minutes and another mess to clean up!

Homemade Hummus Recipe (adapted from Inspired Taste)

Ingredients:
1 – 15-ounce can (425 grams) chickpeas
One large lemon about 1/4 cup (59 ml) fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup (59 ml) tahini (I used Clic but any will do)
A large garlic clove, roughly chopped
about 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving (this is not a science)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 to 3 tablespoons water
dash of ground cayenne for serving

Directions:
1. In a large bowl or food processor add lemon juice and tahini and process for about 1 minute, scrape the sides and continue to process for another minute. The result should be a whipped and creamy mixture!
2. Add the olive oil, cumin, salt, pepper and garlic to the whipped mixture and process for another minute.
3. open a can of chickpeas and drain them in a colander under cold water, add half of the chickpeas to the mixture and process until smooth then add the remaining chickpeas and repeat the process. (this should take about 1 to 2 minutes)
4. depending on your texture preference, if you find it too thick at this point, add water to the mixture while the processor is running to make the consistency just right. About 1 to 2 tablespoons should be enough.
5. Put the hummus in a dish, add some olive oil and a sprinkle of cayenne for color and flavour, serve and enjoy!

You can keep the hummus in a sealed container for up to a week!

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Food Therapy; Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Coconut Cookies

When stress hits, everyone deals with it differently. Some take a walk, some read a book, others take a bath. I find that when I have had a rough day or I am feeling overwhelmed, all I need is a little food therapy. Once I start creating in the kitchen, my mind is completely focused on the task at hand and all of my days stress disappears! The greatest part is that I get a reward at the end… the delicious finished product to eat, enjoy and share with others!

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These easy Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Coconut cookies were my food therapy. They are not only easy to make and delicious to eat, they are also fairly healthy for a cookie. I substituted the 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of white sugar for 3/4 cup of pure maple syrup. You can find the rule for subbing maple syrup for sugar here!

These cookies came out great! They are so big and fluffy, filled with sweet banana, maple syrup, oats and a little added touch… coconut. Delicious!

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Ingredients: (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 cup (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup of pure maple syrup
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 large)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 cup)
1/4 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut (optional and add for your own taste)

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 355 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together flours, salt, and baking soda; set aside.
3. Put butter and maple syrup into a separate bowl and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy.
4. Reduce speed to low, add egg and vanilla; mix until well combined.
5. Mix in the banana and add the flour mixture to it slowly; mix until just combined.
6. Fold in oats and chocolate chips.
7. Grease a cookie sheet with a bit of oil
8. Drop about a tablespoon of the mixture at a time onto the cookie sheet, carefully spacing them in order to give them room to expand (about 2 inches apart).
9. Bake cookies until golden brown or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
10.Let them set for 12 to 13 minutes and then transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.

Cookies can be stored in airtight containers up to 2 days.

Key Lime Pie

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My favorite pie of all time is the Key Lime Pie at Rockaberry’s! Why? Because it makes my taste buds extremely happy, since it has mastered the perfect balance between tart and sweet! I love that it has a tart and creamy lime infused center that’s sandwiched between a delicious buttery graham cracker crust and a thick layer of sweet whipped cream. I never in a million years thought I could re-create anything close to Rockaberry’s Key Lime Pie until a friend told me how easy it was to make. I gave it a try and have been hooked ever since!

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I love the fresh lime flavour that comes from squeezing delicious ripe limes. The smell in the kitchen after making this pie is amazing! I like to use whipped cream as a garnish rather than using merengue leaving it bare, because it accomplishes that sweet and sour balance. I allow the pie to cool completely before I layer the whipped cream on, then I chill it for the 2 recommended hours before I dig in and enjoy!

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This pie is a big hit with everyone that tries it and I have to say its really close to being as good as my favorite Rockaberry version!

Key lime Pie

(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

9 to 10 graham crackers (each 2 1/2 by 5 inches)

1/4 cup (for the crust) and 1/2 cup sugar for the filling

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 4 to 6 limes), or fresh or bottled key-lime juice

4 large egg yolks

Pinch salt

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

3 Tbsp confectioner sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Process graham crackers and 1/4 cup of sugar in a food processor until fine crumbs form; add butter. Process until combined. Transfer mixture to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom; pat into bottom and up sides. Place pan on a baking sheet, and bake until crust is fragrant and slightly colored, about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, lime juice, egg yolks, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and salt; whisk until smooth. Pour mixture into crust (warm or cool is fine), leaving 1/8 inch at the top; return to oven. Bake until filling is set around edge but still slightly loose in center, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Cool completely at room temperature;

4. Pour 1 cup of whipping cream into a bowl add 2 Tbsp of confectioners sugar and whip until soft peaks form

5. Lather onto the pie, refrigerate until chilled; at least 2 hours then enjoy!

People’s Pops!

I recently bought a friend of mine this for her birthday! She loves to be creative in the kitchen and had recently started making her own popsicles so I thought it would be the perfect gift. Before purchasing it I flipped through it to make sure it would be well liked and was instantly hooked. Each page displayed a different delicious looking popsicle with flavour combinations that made my mouth water!

Their concept is really simple: Local, fresh and in season and they let their creativity and imagination do the rest. Anything can be turned into a delicious and refreshing popsicle, and every season reveals a new flavour combination to try! I knew right then that I was not only going to have to buy my own copy, but on my next trip to NYC I would have to taste one for myself.

This past weekend during my short visit to New York City I got my chance! We went to their shop in Chelsea Market where they had a few flavours to choose from, many of which included strawberries. I steered clear and went for something I had never tried before. It was a Canary Melon and Jasmin Popsicle. It had a bright sweet melon flavour with a hint of jasmin and was very refreshing and extremely delicious.