Whole 30 snacks and a recap

Strawberry and cherry energy bites | Me & The Moose. Dried fruit and raw nuts combine to make an easy and filling snack. #meandthemoose #energybites #snacks #snackrecipes #whole30 #whole30recipes #almonds

Today is the day! Last day of my Whole 30! This was my hardest round of Whole 30 eating so far. I blame world events for my extreme wine desire throughout the month. I'm sure the plan's founders would blame my "sugar dragons" and suggest that I stay the course and keep Whole 30ing until I truly didn't want it anymore, but...that's not happening. Mostly because it already happened. I caved a few days ago. I think that, as much as January is a great time to clean up your eating, perhaps this January was an exception.

No matter, I made it for most of the month and I feel pretty good, all things considered. Something I did out of some desperation was to pick a meal every day and make it a little special. This happened at breakfast with extra herbs and salmon roe. And often, a little extra effort with a snack made a difference to my motivation later in the day. Here are some of the "treats" that got me through the winter of my discontent and ALL are toddler-approved. There was a day last week when M refused anything other than the kale smoothie below and homemade pickles.

Strawberry and cherry energy bites | Me & The Moose. Dried fruit and raw nuts combine to make an easy and filling snack. #meandthemoose #energybites #snacks #snackrecipes #whole30 #whole30recipes #almonds

Strawberry and Cherry energy bites

1/2 cup dried strawberries
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw almonds
1 Tbsp water

Put everything in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency, adding 1 Tbsp of water if needed to bring everything together.

Recipe notes: Give your dates a rough chop because I've never had a batch of "pitted" dates without any leftover whole pits or pit shrapnel. Nuts.com is the only place I've found dried strawberries that were Whole 30 compliant, but Trader Joe's carries dried cherries and dates without added sugar.

Yield: About 16, 2-3 bite snacks

 

Deviled eggs | Me & The Moose. These deviled eggs provide a tasty hit of salt and protein to satisfy snack cravings. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #deviledeggs #snacks #snackrecipes

Deviled eggs

2 hard-boiled eggs
2 tsp avocado oil mayo
1 tsp dijon mustard
pinch paprika
s/p
pickles, salmon roe, capers, olives, leftover bacon

Hard-boil your eggs. I like to use Martha's method and find that it leads to a very clean peel. However, I almost never peel the eggs right after cooking them. If making these for a larger crowd or just care a lot about aesthetics, hard boil your eggs one day in advance and store in the fridge. Peel cold.

Slice your eggs in half length-wise and pop the yolks into a bowl. Add the mayo, mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper and mash with a fork. Add back to the egg whites and top with your choice of accoutrements.

Yield: 1-2 servings, depending on your hunger level

Persimmons with coconut cream and pepitas | Me & The Moose. Dress up your fruit with some good fat from coconut cream and some crunch from pepitas. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #persimmons #snacks #snackrecipes

Persimmon with coconut cream and pepitas

1 fuyu persimmon, peeled and sliced
2 tsp coconut cream
2 Tbsp pepitas, roasted
pinch cinnamon

Peel and slice your persimmon. I like to toast a bunch of pepitas ahead of time and store them at room temperature, but if you don't have any on hand, roast in the oven or toaster oven at 350 for about 5 minutes or until they begin to smell nutty. Add the pepitas, coconut cream, and cinnamon. Eat immediately.

Yield: one serving
 

Kale smoothie | Me & The Moose. This smoothie is a bit of a whole30 cheat, but a good way to sip on some extra veggies and prolong that snack. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #kalesmoothie #snacks #snackrecipes #smoothierecipes

Kale smoothie

Adapted from Minimalist Baker
1 cup kale, packed
1 cup frozen peaches
1 apple
1/2 inch piece of peeled ginger (about the size of your thumbnail)
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp water

Add everything to the blender and process until smooth.

Yield: 1 adult smoothie and 1 toddler smoothie, or 1 very large adult smoothie, or 2 toddler smoothies
 

Bananas with cardamom and pistachios | Me & The Moose. Dress up your fruit with some nuts and coconut cream for more protein and fat to keep you full. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #bananas #snacks #snackrecipes #coconutcream #pistachios

Bananas with cardamom and pistachio

1 banana
1 tsp coconut cream
1 Tbsp shelled pistachios
pinch cardamom
pinch sea salt

Slice or mash a banana and add the coconut cream, pistachios, cardamom, and salt. Eat.

Yield: 1 serving

 

Babaganoush | Me & The Moose. What’s better than a dip that’s mostly veggies? #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #babaganoush #snacks #snackrecipes #diprecipes

Babaganoush

I like Epicurious's recipe, but I halve the amounts, use the smallest Japanese eggplants I can find so that I can use the whole thing (peel and seeds included), add 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, and add 1 Tbsp of avocado oil mayo for some added creaminess.

Yield: about 2 cups

Happy snacking!

 

Cardamom and pistachio meltaways (and a healthier option!)

Cardamom and pistachio meltaways | Me & The Moose. This unusual spin on the classic Christmas cookie is both unique and familiar at the same time. #meandthemoose #cardamomandpistachiomeltaways #christmasbaking #christmascookies #cookierecipes #meltaways #Russianteacakes #Mexicanweddingcookies

These cookie are GOOD, y'all. Sorry, I've been watching a marathon of Fixer Upper while writing, which is really the only logical reason for this Yankee to use the word "y'all." Anyway, I've called these cookies "meltaways," but they're the treat of 1000 names: Snowballs, Butterballs, Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cookies, meltaways, you name it. At their core, these are egg-free, simple cookies that are a little crumbly, very buttery, and subtly sweet. Adding in cardamom and pistachio just makes them a tiny bit more interesting.

I tested this recipe more than was technically necessary (not sorry). But it felt like there were many possible variations that would radically change the final product, so here are a few lessons:

1) Buy already roasted and shelled pistachios, if you can. Trader Joe's calls them "nutmeats" which is just awful. But your fingertips will thank you.
2) Use unsalted nuts even though you're adding salt to the batter.
3) The amount of cardamom in the recipe is for a new or newish bottle. If you can smell the cardamom when you open the bottle, use the amount listed. If you have to really stick your nose close to the spice to smell it, increase the amount to taste. I used the dregs of a VERY old bottle of cardamom in my initial recipe and I had to more than double the amount used to get the taste I wanted. Then I tried with a brand new bottle and 1/2 tsp was more than enough. So, get friendly with your spices to judge for yourself.

One unfortunate side effect of all this cookie testing was that I ate cookies for breakfast more than once. Not exactly the meal of champions. But there is a healthier way to enjoy this combo: Cardamom, pistachio, and honey yogurt.

Cardamom, pistachio, and honey yogurt | Me & The Moose. A little spice, some good fat from the nuts, and a little bit of honey make this a special, wholesome holiday breakfast.  #meandthemoose #cardamomandpistachio #yogurt #Christmasbreakfast #breakfastrecipes

Cardamom, pistachio, and honey yogurt

1/2 cup yogurt
1-2 tsp honey
1 Tbsp crushed pistachios, divided
pinch cardamom

Yield: 1 portion

Combine yogurt and honey to taste. Stir in 2 tsp crushed pistachios and a pinch of cardamom. Sprinkle 1 tsp crushed pistachios on top. Serve with blackberries (optional). A note about the appropriateness of this for little guys: Obviously, the honey makes this a food for one-year-olds and older, but you could substitute some pear or apple puree for a younger baby. M would have gagged on the pistachio crumbles when he was in the puree phase, so I attempted to make pistachio butter from inspiration I found here and here. Thanks to the Cuisenart recall, our large food processor is out of commission until we get the replacement blade and the little one wasn't cutting it. I'll definitely try this once we have the right tools again.

Cardamom and pistachio meltaways | Me & The Moose. This unusual spin on the classic Christmas cookie is both unique and familiar at the same time. #meandthemoose #cardamomandpistachiomeltaways #christmasbaking #christmascookies #cookierecipes #meltaways #Russianteacakes #Mexicanweddingcookies

Cardamom and pistachio meltaways

Adapted from Bon Appetit
1 cup roasted, shelled pistachios
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 Tbsp powdered sugar, divided   
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp cardamom
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ tsp lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350. Grind the pistachios in a food processor or spice grinder to desired consistency and set aside. Or just put them in a bag and whack them with something heavy. (The holidays are stressful, no judgment.)

Cream the butter and 2 Tbsp of sugar (whip on high for 3-4 minutes until the butter gets a little lighter, increases slightly in volume, and is shiny). Add the vanilla and beat for 1 more minute. Add the flour, cardamom, salt, lemon zest, and pistachios and beat on low until just combined.

Scoop 1 Tbsp of dough at a time, roll into a ball, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with all of the batter. Bake for 7 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for 7 more minutes, until the cookies start browning on the bottom and form tiny cracks on top (but too much cracking means dry cookies, so be careful not to overbake).

Let cool completely. Place the remaining 4 Tbsp of powdered sugar in a bowl and roll the cooled cookies in the sugar, one at a time. Leave out for a few hours before storing: This helped keep the sugar from dissolving into the cookies, I found.

Yield: 15 cookies.

Cardamom and pistachio meltaways | Me & The Moose. This unusual spin on the classic Christmas cookie is both unique and familiar at the same time. #meandthemoose #cardamomandpistachiomeltaways #christmasbaking #christmascookies #cookierecipes #meltaways #Russianteacakes #Mexicanweddingcookies