Salted Chocolate Nut & Oat Bites

Salted Chocolate Nut & Oat Bites // www.mesacookingco.com

Happy Monday! Today I’m sharing a little treat that you can make in 10 minutes, perhaps to brighten your Monday evening!

The wonderful things of this recipe:

  • 7 easy ingredients
  • Protein power in the pecans and almond butter
  • 10 minutes to throw together
  • It’s a snack or a healthier dessert
  • They look cute
  • You can make them in mini cupcake papers like this or roll them into balls
  • SALTED – I never knew what salted chocolate was about until the past year or so and now I am all about it

Next time you need an easy treat, try a batch of these!

Salted Chocolate Nut & Oat Bites // www.mesacookingco.com

Salted Chocolate Nut & Oat Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12 bites
Ingredients
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • A pinch of coarse salt
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips, melted
Instructions
  1. Combine the oats, pecans, almond butter, honey, vanilla, and salt until incorporated. If it feels too crumbly, add a tablespoon of honey or so. Fill mini cupcake papers with the mixture and press firmly down (alternatively, you can roll it into balls). Pop in the fridge for a few minutes to allow them to firm up.
  2. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cups and sprinkle a bit of coarse salt on top.
  3. Enjoy immediately or keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Notes
Make gluten-free: Be sure to use GF-certified oats.
Make vegan: Substitute honey for a vegan sweetener like agave and use vegan chocolate.

If you try these salted chocolate nut and oat bites, I’d love to see the result! Tag your kitchen creations with #mesacookingco so I can admire your beautiful work!

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Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

A hummus with some heat and a how-to on roasted red peppers!

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus // AND learn how to roast red peppers // www.mesacookingco.com

See this beautiful pepper below? That is a red pepper that has been roasted to perfection: the raw flavor is mellowed and the texture is soft and smooth. Basically, it belongs in TONS of recipes that call for deliciousness and you will love it in this hummus recipe today!

Quick tutorial: How to Roast Red Peppers

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut your pepper in half and remove all the seeds and flesh.
  3. Place on a baking sheet and and drizzle or brush with a little olive oil.
  4. Cook until the skin is browning (just like the picture above!!) about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and peel the charred skin off. It will peel off super easy (and will be super satisfying if you’re into that type of thing – haha).

See? Super easy! All of four minutes of active time!

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus // AND learn how to roast red peppers // www.mesacookingco.com

So, let’s get to this spicy hummus. The hummus is made by throwing tons of goodness into your food processor. I love this part (and so will you) because this is an appetizer/snack that you can throw together in TEN MINUTES. And that’s what we all want (or NEED), right?? Plus, you will love this because hummus is truly just a trick to eat more veggies – a delicious trick, that is.

The base of this hummus is like most hummuses: chickpeas, olive oil, and tahini. Then, we’re gonna add some flavor: lemon juice, cumin, cayenne pepper, and garlic. The cayenne pepper is gonna give your hummus this awesome heat and how much you put in is 100% up to you and your taste buds. I added 1 and 1/2 teaspoons and that gave it a nice spiciness. If you’re not a fan of spicy, reduce it to 1/2 teaspoon or leave it out completely. If you like the feeling of your mouth on fire, add a whole tablespoon! Taste and adjust to your preference!

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Fresh Summer Rolls

How to make easy, colorful, and fun summer rolls!

Fresh Summer Rolls // How to make easy, colorful, and fun summer rolls! // www.mesacookingco.com

You got a sneak peek at these gorgeous summer rolls on Tuesday and I’m excited today to share the recipe with you! Plus, I’ll give you a quick tutorial on how to make those rice papers work for you and not against you!

Summer rolls are SO customizable – you can use all sorts of different ingredients in them! Practically any veggie and I’ve seen some recently with fruit in them too, which also sounds amazing (maybe a post later to come!) But today, I’m sharing my favorite veggie combination for summer rolls!

Wrapped in rice paper, you’re going to put carrots, cucumber, bean sprouts, spring mix lettuce, and bell peppers – an amazing crisp, crunchy combination! The carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers you’re going to julienne, which means you’re going to cut them into thin, long pieces. This makes the veggies pretty, helps them fit well in the rice paper, and also makes them easier to bite! (I mean, you don’t want have to gnaw on a huge, round carrot in your summer roll!)

Find out how to make these beauties!

Energizing Banana Blueberry Smoothie

A simple smoothie guaranteed to give you a boost of energy!

Energizing Banana Blueberry Smoothie // A simple smoothie guaranteed to give you a boost of energy // www.mesacookingco.com

Recently, I’ve been starting to wean refined sugars and refined grains out of my regular eating habits. To be honest, I typically eat a lot of sugar and a LOT of refined grains. While I have long avoided highly processed foods, I’m realizing just how unhealthy refined sugars are and I want to make better food choices when confronted with them. I still am planning to happily enjoy these foods occasionally, but I want to see them more as treats and not as foods I’m addicted to.

As a result, I’ve been in search for healthy go-to snacks that curb the craving for sweets and sugar. Enter: smoothies. Duh. Smoothies are a classic healthy snack so of course I’m going to turn to them in my hour of need! Smoothies harness the natural sugars found in fruits to provide a great substitute for a cookie craving. Plus, smoothies can be filled with all the add-ins and fruits and veggies you want to give you more protein, energy, flavor, you name it.

Click to continue reading and for the recipe!

Roasted Garlic with Thyme Goat Cheese

A savory appetizer for garlic and goat cheese lovers

Roasted Garlic with Thyme Goat Cheese // A savory appetizer for all garlic and goat cheese lovers // www.mesacookingco.com

 

Imagine.

Christmas Morning 2014: Giant family gathering. Introducing my new fiancé to everyone. Loud and crazy in my grandma’s house. Loads of food. Pretty decorated tree. Then — my aunt walks in with a life-changing appetizer — meet this Roasted Garlic with Thyme Goat Cheese, served on crackers and warm, crusty baguette slices. I was in heaven from the first bite.

Doesn’t everyone love garlic? I love cooking with it. That distinctive flavor adds so much to every dish! Although I’m not a big fan of peeling and mincing garlic, I’ll do it for the meal!

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Peanut Butter Crunch Granola Bars

A recipe inspired by the soft and delicious Clif Bars

Peanut Butter Crunch Granola Bars // a recipe inspired by the soft and delicious Clif Bars // www.mesacookingco.com

I LOVE granola bars! I see granola bar recipes on Pinterest all the time and I try a new one every once in awhile. So many delicious variations out there and I thought I’d throw my own version into the mix!

Granola bars make the perfect grab-and-go breakfast and they’re also a great snack. My husband and I enjoy hiking (we even got engaged on a hike!) and I always pack granola bars. I’m one of those people who need to be feed every two hours and there is no way I can start up a mountain without a backpack of goodies. So, in a granola bar, I’m looking for something that provides energy and fills me up. This recipe is stuffed with so many healthy, substantial ingredients that it will keep you fully satisfied! Continue reading!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

A perfect, simple, and quick picnic dessert

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars // A perfect picnic dessert // www.mesacookingco.com

Isn’t springtime the best? The weather is warm; the sky is beautiful, and the sun, OH THE SUN, is around all the time!! I wake up at 6am everyday and there is just nothing like waking up to see sun peeking through the blinds. I usually just about hop out of bed, but with that gorgeous sunshine – I’m practically dancing out of bed! And the sun hangs out so much later at night too. In the winter I’m falling asleep around 7pm because it’s so darn dark and depressing. Now the sun sticks around so much later and I feel so productive and energized! So crazy how much light affects us.

Last weekend my husband and I attended a fun church potluck at a nearby park. And, well, it wasn’t exactly the warmest day. It was windy and chilly, but nothing a few attempts on the monkey bars and the climbing wall couldn’t fix. We were assigned to bring a dessert and I searched for an easy dessert I could throw together. It was such a busy week and I needed something I could prepare ahead. And I hoped for a dessert that would take less than 30 minutes to make and suited a picnic. Of course my kitchen at that point was still overflowing with my multiple batches of meringues, but that just didn’t seem like picnic food, or is that just me?

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Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce

An easy tutorial on how to make homemade applesauce!

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce // An easy tutorial on how to make homemade applesauce // www.mesacookingco.com

About a week ago, my husband had surgery on his gums – I know, it’s pretty gross to think about. He was on a soft-food diet for several days, had to be very careful about chewing, and had one very swollen cheek that I may have laughed at from time to time – but it was kinda endearing too, really!

I am not a naturally compassionate person, especially when it comes to sickness or recovery situations. I try to be a tough-it-out person when it comes to illness and so I kinda expect everyone else to grin and bear it too. As a result, sympathy doesn’t exactly leak out of me….sometimes the opposite (I know, I gotta work on this! It’s totally selfish). To combat this, I expressed my care this past week in the way most natural to me: cooking like crazy.

Continue reading “Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce”