Tag Archive for healthy

Energy Bites {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

One BIG challenge of being a food blogger is that you are always getting invites to amazing dinners and tastings. I’m not complaining, mind you, but sometimes it’s hard to fit in healthy eating in and around the fried chicken (which I ate last night).

It means more trips around Stanley Park on my bike, and really focussing on eating healthy at home when I’m not eating out. I eat a lot of salads topped with protein, wraps that incorporate a lot of vegetables, and stir-fries. Plus, of course, I’m a huge fan of smoothies and juices, and the incredibly humble, but still really tasty, celery sticks dipped in peanut butter.

raw vegan gluten free energy bites

I made this last week, and they’ve been sitting in my fridge for quick grab-and-go snacks or breakfasts. They’re almost the equivalent of a granola or protein bar. There’s no added sugar, as they are made with dates, which are both sweet, and also offer a ton of fibre. There is lots of protein in here, too, in the form of nuts and peanut butter, and dried fruits to offer texture and taste. These are also packed with healthy fats. As a bonus, they are raw, vegan and gluten-free (yay! no baking–it’s starting to get hot).

This is a very loose recipe. Take the base recipe with the dates, coconut oil and coconut flour, and then add whatever you like to it in terms of dried fruits and nuts. I used almonds and dried cranberries, because that’s what I had on hand, but dried blueberries, cherries or apricots (even raisins) would be just fine. Same with the nuts. Pumpkin seeds would be a great substitute for the sunflower seeds. You can substitute any nut butter for the peanut butter.

You could also add a 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, or cacao nibs for the chocoholics amongst you.

energy bites

Vegan, Gluten-Free Energy Bites


  • 10 dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup peanut (or other nut) butter


  • 1/2 cup dried coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried fruit: apricots, blueberries, cherries, cranberries or raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts: almonds, peanuts, cashews, walnuts


Cover the dates in warm water and allow them to soak and soften for about 15 minutes. Drain, but reserve the water. In a blender or food processor, add the dates, and chop well, drizzling in enough of the reserved date water to create a thick paste. You should be able to work with it easily, but it shouldn’t be super runny.

Turn the date paste out into a bowl, and add the peanut butter, flax seeds and coconut oil. Mix well. Now add the coconut flour, a little at a time, until you get the desired consistency. You may not need the entire 1/2 cup, or you may need a little extra. The final consistency should still be wet, but not so wet that it sticks like crazy to your hands. You should be able to easily pick up a blob and roll it into a ball without it leaving lots of dough on your hands. The ball should also be wet enough to stick together, though.

Once you have the desired consistency, add in your extras, and mix well. Scoop the dough and roll it into balls, and then place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, until they are firm.

Transfer to a covered container and store in the fridge.



Habibi’s Dips Giveaway!

Okay, so we’re well into the new year. How are your healthy new year’s resolutions coming along?

This coming weekend will no doubt be a great reason for us all to eat our body weight in chocolate, and not feel guilty for it, but let’s talk healthy options, anyways, for both before and after.

habibis hummus vegetables

It’s worthy to note that dark chocolate really is good for you–so you shouldn’t feel guilty eating that anyway. It really is the world’s most perfect food. But the world’s second most perfect food, for me, is hummus.

It’s kind of amazing. It’s made from chickpeas, which are a wonderful, inexpensive and vegetarian source of protein. And it’s really a blank slate. Hummus is creamy, and you can use it in a ton of ways. You can also add all kinds of spices and flavourings to it, and it will take those flavours on, changing its profile from spicy to sweet to daring.

The nice folks at Habibi’s (which is a local manufacturer of Hummus), sent me a ton of their stuff, and I’ve been scarfing it down every which way. They have a wide variety of flavour options, and they also sell baba ganoush (a wonderful, smoky-tasting roasted eggplant dip/spread) and tzatziki (a cooling yogurt-based dip with lemon and dill), as well as tahini (a sesame seed paste).

habibis hummus

I’ve been making wraps with my hummus: you just schmear a bunch of it on a tortilla, add whatever vegetables turn you on (shredded carrots, lettuce, cucumber, sprouts, I also like to throw in some olives), wrap it up, and off you go. I have also been taking some time on the weekend to prep vegetables, and then I put them in containers that have a side separate container for the hummus. You could also do this in a mason jar: you just put the hummus in the bottom of the jar, and then load it up with veggies, standing vertically. These make great grab-and-go snacks.

I’m giving away a gift basket of Habibi’s Dips, worth $30. You’ll get to sample all of their different flavours.

Photo 2015-01-28, 1 38 32 PM

To enter, comment below and answer one of the two following questions: 

  • What’s your favourite way to enjoy hummus? 
  • What flavour of Habibi’s are you most excited to try? 

You can get an extra contest entry by tweeting: 

You must reside in the Lower Mainland. I’ll draw one person at random at the end of day on Monday, February 16.

Good luck!! May the odds be ever in your favour.