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We’re well on our way to summer!
Temperatures are reaching nearly a hundred degrees this week. Seriously? What IS nice is that the mornings are now like, 70 degrees (instead of a chilly 50 earlier this year, ugh), so I can comfortably wear the same outfit all day. No shedding sweaters for me anymore! That being said, I’m only a student, so that prime time between when the sun rises and hits the very top of the sky, at the perfect temperature: I’m stuck in class.
Yes, boo hoo for me. At least there’s only a month left until we’re out of those cold, air-conditioned classrooms. Temperatures aside, let’s enjoy the season while we have it! There are so many new vegetables coming in; spring is prime for young ones, too, and I stumbled upon some of these beauties when I was at Whole Foods.
What are they? Young garbanzo beans! (Or chickpeas as you may know them). They were sold in their shells, and inside each shell is a little green bean. How cute! I bought a small handful, knowing how time consuming it would be to peel them. That being said – I have no experience with these little guys. The only time I’d ever seen them was on the tv show Chopped; I vaguely remembered they were sautéed, but this wasn’t enough to quell my curiosity. So my research began!
Turns out you should never boil them, but they’re good prepared steamed, roasted, sautéed, or even raw! When they’re boiled, they’re akin to nasty over-cooked lima beans, ew. Dorothy over at shockinglydelicious gave a ton of suggestions at her site, too, one that I found particularly interesting being to roast them in a pan with a bit of oil and blend of salt, cumin, chili powder, and other spices for 5 minutes. That’s a pretty amazing sounding recipe over there!
What I did was simply steam them for about 6 minutes, and snack on them plain. They’re something like fresh peas or edamame, I can’t put my finger on what, but mighty tasty to just mindlessly munch on if you find yourself sitting by the pool sometime.
So if you run into these, buy them! They’re fun, healthy snacks that are just so adorable.
Seriously, who named them Snickerdoodles? I guess it is a fittingly whimsical name for a nostalgic cookie – little round drops of dough, rolled in a mixture of cinnamon sugar, and baked until delightfully soft and the smell wafts through your entire household.
I’ve decided to do a little upgrade on the good old snickerdoodle – I’ve replaced white flour for whole wheat to amp up the fiber, subbed coconut oil for butter (a healthy saturated fat with a wonderfully floral flavor!) and I’ve also subbed date paste for the sugar. Still delicious, and now you won’t feel guilty eating a cookie at 11 am.
What is date paste? It’s a great sugar substitute made from pure, dried dates. Add some whole pitted dates that have been soaked in hot water to a blender or food processor, and use it easily to substitute sugar. Date paste has a wonderful caramel flavor and is loaded with all the benefits of dates (fiber, potassium, magnesium, & other antioxidants). Here’s a great recipe for it if you want more directions.
Without further ado,
Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles
adapted from Chocolate-Covered Katie
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cream of tartar, & baking soda. In a separate bowl, melt the coconut oil, and beat in the date paste on medium until smooth. Stir in vanilla and milk. Pour dry into wet and stir with a spoon until just combined. Chill the dough in the fridge or freezer until it firms up.
Roll each ball in a 1:2 mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 9-10 minutes. They will appear underdone, but they will firm up after cooling. Enjoy with an ice cold glass of milk!
Happy April Fool’s! Eatocracy has done a wonderful article on the most epic of food-related pranks, from left-handed burgers to spaghetti trees. What will you do today? 🙂
For some people, April 1 is just another day. Others see a world of possibilities on April Fool’s Day. You can make this the day to: Install an air horn as a door wall protector, or paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish. Then there are the food-inspired pranks. For instance, replacing Oreo cream filling with toothpaste, or experimenting with mayonnaise-filled doughnuts. (Thanks to boredpanda.com for these inspirations.)
Of course, I want to hear any brilliant April Fool/Food jokes that anyone has perpetrated. In the meantime, let’s salute some truly epic ones.
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I used to be a banana hater.
I distinctly remember trips to Jamba Juice gone wrong because there was a banana in my smoothie. Even the slightest detection of the fruit would set me off; it was so stringy and sticky, and smelly, ick.
However, my banana aversion gradually withered away with time, thanks to quite a few loaves of banana bread and my introduction to banana chips. To this day, I’m pretty tolerable. It’s a great fruit, after all, loaded with potassium, super portable, good for muscle cramps, and versatile, too!
Speaking of how useful it is, it’s a truly amazing component in smoothies. It really binds the whole thing together, acts as a natural sweetener and thickener. It pairs well with a myriad of fruits and flavors, and I’ve learned one of my favorite combos with bananas is chocolate!
So why not put them together in a smoothie? Bananas are great quick sources of energy because they are easily digestible, and paired with a few spoonfuls of cocoa powder, and maybe some coffee beans to really accent that dark, rich flavor, they are truly stars. Smooth and creamy, streaked with little flecks of beautiful coffee beans, this makes a great afternoon snack or morning pick-me-up. And hey, this smoothie is easily vegan, gluten, and refined sugar free! Yay bananas!
Power Mocha Smoothie
Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix, gradually increasing speed, until coffee beans are ground into small specks. Pour into a tall glass and serve. You might need a spoon because of how creamy this is!
As part of theKitchn‘s cooking cure, I’ve been trying a load of new recipes for lunch. One idea that I will definitely be adding to my regular lunch rotations is an amazing spin on an old childhood classic: Peanut butter and Jelly!
Instead of the sweet route, this sandwich goes savory & southeast asian, with crunchy peanut butter, chili jelly, a drizzle of sriracha, and some fresh herbs on top. To lighten it up, I’ve decided to go open faced. Plus, the sandwich is SO much prettier that way!
Open-Faced Peanut Butter + Chilli Jelly
Layer peanut butter, then jelly/marmalade, then sriracha, then cilantro/mint. Enjoy!
I made a pretty amazing open-faced peanut butter, chili jam, sriracha, and cilantro sandwich today for lunch. I posted a photo and it was featured on theKitchn’s reader submissions! Awesomeness.
Recipe coming soon!
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