The one area that we struggle with in our eating is finding tasty healthy snacks. I keep searching for different things to try and once in a while something great comes along.

We have been buying raw almonds now for a few years as a snack option. We do enjoy them, but never really thought of them as something outstanding or really desirable. They were “just there”.

Well, the other day I met up with our friend, Tayla, who is a great chef and raw food enthusiast, and she had me taste some teryaki almonds she made. I tried to steal the whole container, but I wasn’t allowed, as they were for a gathering she was heading to later . Thankfully, she did leave me with the recipe, and it is so easy to make, I had to jump right on that!

The recipe came from a book she purchased called I Am Grateful.

Teryaki Almonds

2 1/2 cups soaked almonds

1/2 cup well packed, chopped dates

1/4 cup Nama Shoyu

1 1/2 tsp. chopped garlic

1 tsp finely minced ginger

That’s not a lot of ingredients, and I only made one substitution. Instead of Nama Shoyu, I used Bragg’s Amino’s – my friend Tayla used tamari. If you have none of these 3, plain old soy sauce will do!

Seasonings

I didn’t chop the dates before, I just threw everything in the Nutribullet and let it handle it.

Mixing Teryaki Teryaki Mixed 2

Then I added them to the almonds (that were soaking overnight)

Teryaki Seasoning on Almonds Mixing Almonds

That’s really it for prep! So, I had like 3lbs of almonds, and so I decided to make two other flavors. These I just made up, but it was worth it :-).

First, I went with a “Chipotle Almond”. Let me just say, I had no chipotle powder, but I couldn’t think of what else to call it :-). I used the juice from one lemon, 1/4 Bragg’s Amino, 1 T minced ginger, and 1 tsp. each of chili powder, cayenne powder, and taco seasoning. This one turned out okay, but I may not make it again.

Chipotle Seasonings Squeezing Chipotle Mix

Finally, I went with a cinnamon sugar….hmmmm. I had a couple different ways to attempt this. I used 1 cup of sugar, 1 tsp. of sea salt, 1 T of vanilla, 1 tsp. of cinammon. I went with mixing the ingredients in the pot until it becomes syrupy, and mix the almonds in it.

Cinnamon Sugar Seasonings Sugar in Pot Cinnamon Sugar

After these were done, I placed them on a tray of parchment paper, and let them dehydrate for 48 hours..

Chipotle Almonds on Tray Teryaki Almonds on Tray Cinammon Sugar on Tray Dehydrator 1

We have been indulging (not over-indulging ) for over a week now, and we are really ENJOYING them! Almonds aren’t boring anymore!

Seasoned Almonds Weight Loss Snack

 

Do you make roasted or flavored treats? What easy and healthy snacks do you make for your family?

 

 

 

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A few weeks ago I came across an article by Lindsay on The Lean Green Bean about her simple method of getting spinach into her smoothie by making frozen spinach cubes. As we wrote to you before, we already freeze greens as a way to save money – we purchase them in bulk and immediately freeze a large amount.

For some reason, we don’t always freeze the greens ahead of time when we know we want to put them in a smoothie – as opposed to cooking them or using them in a salad. You would think that freezing them in preparation for a smoothie would make perfect sense, but we seem to underestimate the amount that we actually have.

Making Frozen Spinach Cubes For Smoothies

We will normally buy either a huge bag of spinach or a mix of spinach, kale, and chard. Even though we eat or freeze the majority of our greens, we found ourselves throwing some away from almost every shopping trip.

Earthbound Farms Organic Power Greens

Well, that was until I read Lindsay’s post! Now we just turn the greens into ice cubes as soon as we get them in the house. Here is our weekly procedure:

1. Wash the Greens – no matter what the package says 😉

Washing Power Greens

Even though the package says “triple-washed”, we still wash them ourselves (usually with vinegar)!

2. Blend the Greens – you’ll have to add a little water to the greens

Blendtec Classic 570 Power Greens Inside Blendtec Classic 570 Spinach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For this we use our Blendtec Classic 570 blender. It handles greens and other soft things (like medjool dates) extremely well and doesn’t leave any pieces – if you don’t have or choose to buy a Blendtec, you can use any blender for this initial step since you will blend the ice cubes again when you make your smoothie.

3. Pour Into Ice Cube Trays

Blended Greens in Ice Trays Blended Greens in Mason Jar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, we didn’t have enough room in our ice trays (we won’t have that problem any longer…see below) so we poured the remainder into a mason jar to freeze the next morning.

Frozen Spinach Cubes Smoothies

4. Crack Open Your Ice Trays & Enjoy Your Frozen Spinach Cubes

Spinach Kale Chard Ice Cube

Frozen Spinach Cubes

Having these green cubes around makes things so easy for us. I put a few in a bowl so  you could get an idea of the size of one of them (the ones in the bowl were made with our new trays, see below).

Our New Trays!!

We purchased a few (actually, 6) silicone trays from Amazon the other day and they work so much better than the traditional ones. We’ll post a full review of them with video included, but for now I’ll just say that they make it much easier to pop out the cubes.

Silicone Ice Tray Spinach

Frozen Spinach Cubes Makes Smoothies Easier

Pre-made Smoothie Pack

This is a preview of our smoothie preparation. A few of the solid items have been frozen ahead of time so we don’t have to prepare them when we want a smoothie. What you see in this picture is a banana (cut up and at the bottom), strawberries, avocado (the light green cubes), and the spinach/kale/chard cubes.

Even when we want to make ice cream, we can easily throw in a couple of these cubes to get in more greens into our diet.

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My Recent Trip To The Emergency Room

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College students, no matter what age they are, can feel the stress when it comes time to paying back college loans. College isn’t cheap, no matter where you go, and unless you have a full ride or some good scholarships (or maybe some savvy parents that saved up money for your college fund), you will […]

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