Almond-Oat Cookie Bites

Leslie Patton, owner #2871

unnamed.jpg

This has got to be one of my favorite snacks. My daughter loves them, too, and requests one nearly every day. It's super easy to eat on the go, and involves only a few ingredients that you likely have hidden in the pantry. The addition of the chocolate chips takes these right into dessert territory.

Keep these vegan by using dairy-free chocolate chips. I like the Enjoy Life brand that's sold at Dill Pickle. The bulk bins have many of the other ingredients.

These freeze well so consider doubling the recipe. Trust me, they won't go to waste!
 

The Recipe

makes about 12 bites

1 cup old-fashioned oats
6 Medjool dates (pitted)
1/4 cup almond meal
4 tablespoons natural almond butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons almond milk (or water)
pinch salt (optional)
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Pulse oats in food processor or blender until a flour-like consistency is achieved. Add in dates and almond meal, and then pulse again until well combined.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Add those in last and pulse just once or twice to mix.
  3. Roll into 12 balls. Store in refrigerator or freezer to keep fresh.

Florida Orange Crop Ravaged by Irma

Leslie Patton, owner #2871

AdobeStock_67198710 (1).jpeg

The Florida orange crop has been seriously hurt by Hurricane Irma -- the state's harvest is expected to be the lowest in about 70 years, the government said. That's sent U.S. retail prices soaring to the highest in more than a decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tracks food prices. This means shoppers are likely seeing price hikes at the grocery store. In November, prices were up about 20 percent compared with last year.

Farmers in Florida weren't able to reach their crops during the storm, which dumped 17 inches of rain on some areas in just a day. Orange trees were damaged and fruit fell to the ground and was unable to be harvested.

Brazil, however, is helping to make up for the shortage. The South American country, the world's largest grower of oranges, will keep prices in check. The Brazilian harvest is projected to be better this year due to favorable weather, according to the U.S. government. While still up compared with last year, November navel orange prices dropped from their high in October. 

Stock up on citrus at Dill Pickle, with blood oranges and clementines featured as Fresh Deals this week! 

 

Cherry Bran Muffins

Leslie Patton, owner #2871 

Bran-Muffins_7156.jpg

As a mom of three, I'm always looking for creative ways to sneak more fruits, veggies and whole grains into my family's diet. These muffins fit the bill and were a big hit with adults and kids alike. They're packed full of fiber and protein, thanks to the bran, whole wheat flour, hemp seeds and eggs. And they're easily made vegan by subbing in flaxseed or chia eggs for chicken eggs. I like to grab my dried fruits, nuts and grains from Dill Pickle's bulk bins, a budget friendly option. And you can certainly find the other ingredients there, too!

The Recipe

makes about 12 muffins

1 cup wheat bran (I used unprocessed from Bob's Red Mill)
1 1/2 cups flour of choice (I used a combo of garbanzo and whole wheat pastry flour)
1/4 cup hemp seeds
pinch salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup dried cherries (or raisins)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup molasses
2 eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (Fahrenheit) and lightly oil or grease 12 muffin cups. Alternatively, line with paper baking cups.
  2. Whisk together first six ingredients in large bowl. Stir in cherries. 
  3. In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine almond milk, applesauce, oil, molasses and eggs (or flax/chia eggs). Stir wet ingredients into dry just until combined. Do NOT overmix! Top with some oats and coarse sugar, if desired.
  4. Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 18 to 20 minutes.