Nut-Free Pumpkin Spice Bites

It’s that time of year again, pumpkin spice is taking over everything!  I’m actually really excited about it.  I love pumpkins, sweater weather and just about everything to do with autumn (not to mention it means that Christmas is just around the corner!)

I admit to being a former lover of the infamous PSL, but I gave it up years ago (it’s full of junk, but we won’t get into that right now).  Still, I was needing some pumpkin spice in my life.  I was looking for a quick, work-friendly snack I could pack in my lunch bag and came up with these nut-free pumpkin spice bites.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Ingredients:

  • 12 Medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup of hemp hearts
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients into your food processor
  2. Mix until completely blended (it’ll form into a giant ball).  This will take a few minutes.
  3. Roll into bite-sized balls
  4. Makes 15-18 bites, depending on size
  5. Store in the fridge

My Go-To Green Juice Recipe (Blender Version)

I don’t own a juicer, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have fresh green juice anytime I want!  Making green juice in a blender is really easy (it just requires an extra step – straining through a nut-milk or jam making bag to separate the pulp from the liquid).  I make a batch of this juice on the weekend; it’ll keep in the fridge for a few days.  When I’m feeling fancy, I’ll mix the juice with some carbonated water.

Recipe:

  • 2 handfuls of greens (kale, spinach, etc., or a mixture)
  • 1 apple, cored and cut into quarters (I like to use granny smith)
  • 1 piece of ginger (about an inch or so)
  • Fresh parsley (rip a small small amount)
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into thirds
  • 1 small cucumber (mini or Persian), cut into smaller pieces
  • 1 lime, peeled
  • 4 cups filtered water

Place all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth and there are no large pieces left.  Strain the juice through a nut-milk bag.  Store the juice in the fridge for a few days.

**I know that the leftover pulp can be used in smoothies, breads, cookies, etc. but I have not tried any myself.  Let me know if you do!

My Top 5 Kitchen Tools

The kitchen is the heart of any home.  It’s where everyone gathers to refuel, where important conversations are started, where memories are created with friends and family and where we connect by cooking together.  I absolutely love being in my kitchen (outdated decor choices aside) it’s one of my favourite rooms in my home.  It’s the room we spend the most time in and where we naturally congregate.

Over the years I began to love cooking more and more.  My cookbook collection has grown quite a bit and my techniques have improved too (my hubs can vouch for that last one!)  I still experiment and sometimes things just don’t work out but I always have tons of fun in my kitchen, though it wasn’t always the case.

The kitchen shouldn’t be a place that intimidates you or a place where you feel lost in.  it’s an amazing place where you can create beautiful and delicious recipes to fuel yourself and your family.  That being said, you should make sure your kitchen is stocked with the tools you’ll need in order to do that.

Here are my five favourite kitchen tools:

1.Blender (Vitamix 7500)

This guy is used on a daily basis in my house.  I have a smoothie for breakfast every morning before work, and on weekends it makes for a quick post-workout shake.  I also use my blender to make homemade nut milks, coconut butters, soups, green juice… because our blender gets used to much, we decided to invest in a good quality one.

2. Food Processor

We have two different sizes: a small one that is perfect for mincing onions or small batches of hummus, pesto, etc.  Our large size is used to make things like avocado puddings, nut butters, healthy-ish desserts, just to name a few.  It also comes with a grater attachment, which is perfect for slicing or grating veggies like carrots, beets or brussels (great for soups or salads).

3.  Good Quality Knives

There is nothing worse than trying to chop anything with a dull knife (and super dangerous, too!  Most injuries are from dull knives).  I invested in some good quality knives a while back and they were a game changer.  No more squished tomatoes!!  Good quality, sharp knives will save you time in the kitchen and can make your meal prep feel less like a chore.

4.  Citrus Juicer

This is another item that gets used daily – I start my day with warm water and lemon juice and it makes juicing that lemon super quick and less messy.  I also use it to add lemon juice to salad dressings or lime juice to guacs.  I know this might not seem worthwhile, you could just use your hands or a fork to juice citrus, but trust me… anything that will help keep things easy and fast in the kitchen will also help keep you wanting to be there.

5.  French Oven

This is my newest addition to my kitchen; another item I saved up for and I’m so glad I did.  I use my French oven a couple times a month or more.  With the cooler weather coming, I know I’ll be using this to make warming stews and other one-pot meals.  I’ve also used it to make popcorn!  It was expensive, but so worth it for me.

Honourable mention:

6.  Kitchen scale

I use this when I’m baking; weighing your ingredients is a much more accurate way to bake.  I also use a scale when I’m portioning out my meals… I like to make sure everything is as even as possible.