Friendly Food Snobs


protein pancakes + divine sundays

Sundays often start around here with these high-protein pancakes. Full of oats, egg, cinnamon and fruit they keep us full long past lunch. My dream Sunday starts with these pancakes and ends with a clean house, full fridge and glass of red wine sipped curled up on the couch. Between those two events, there’s a lot of room to slow down and feel joy. This recipe has actually been taped to the inside of my kitchen cupboard for years. It even moved into our new house with us. Tattered and taped and all. It’s a winner. Hope you enjoy them. Makes four pancakes.

high-protein pancakes

1/2 cup oats
1/2 flour or gluten-free flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon each baking powder and baking soda
1 banana mashed
1 egg
2 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt (balkan or greek)
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
cinnamon to taste
frozen wild blueberries or peaches sliced (optional)
butter or coconut oil for cooking
Combine all ingredients except for fruit. Using a whisk or hand blender mix batter. Let sit for five minutes for optimal fluffiness. Heat a non stick pan and lightly coat with butter or coconut oil. Pour a fourth of the batter into pan. Just before flipping add the fruit. I make these one by one and keep the rest warmed in a 200 degree oven. Feel free to add any fruit or nuts you like, or a scoop of plant based protein powder or ground flax seed for more protein.

squash pecan muffins for fall


Fall’s arrived. Sweaters are being yanked out of storage and scarves are back. All I want is cozy. Muffins made with squash, oats, pecans and coconut oil, perfect for chilly morning with a cup of something hot. Texture is crispy on the top and moist inside. “It’s fall in a muffin!” Neil exclaimed as he ate his third. You can’t even tell they’re squash, promise. Makes 12.

squash pecan muffins

1 cup mashed oven roasted acorn squash
3/4 cup flour or gluten-free flour
1 cup oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (use 2 tsp if using gluten-free flour)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil
1 egg

Squash can be roasted in advance. Slice in half, remove seeds and bake at 375 degrees skin side down with a little water for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine wet ingredients with brown sugar. Combine remaining dry ingredients. Mix together. Spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Great with almond butter or regular butter for breakfast. Acorn squash is my favourite, but butternut squash, sweet potatoe or pumpkin would all work well.

nut + date bars


141These little bars have no gluten, no baking time, require minimal effort and then they reward you with how loaded with protein and delicious they are. Love these recipes where the healthier version tastes so much better than store bought granola bars. Perfect for travel, lunches or general snacking needs. Use your food processor or a good quality blender. I use my blender on the same setting that crushes ice. Makes 12 bars. Let’s get started.

nut + date bars

1 cup unsalted almonds
½ cup unsalted pepita seeds
½ unsalted cashews
pinch salt
1 cup unsweetened cranberries
8 medjool dates pits removed
1 heaping tablespoon of room temperature coconut oil

Line an 8 by 8 or 9 by 9 pan with plastic wrap. The edges at the sides will help you lift out the bars. Pulse the almonds first. Add the pepita seeds, cashews and salt to pulse. Lastly blend in the remaining dates, cranberries and coconut oil. Tumble the mixture into the lined pan. Press down. Wrap it up and store in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight. When set, lift out and slice. Store in the fridge for 10 days or freeze for longer.

Experiment with what you have on hand. Raisins, orange zest, chocolate or crystallized ginger chunks would all be lovely additions. I make these as bars. But if there are little (or big) hands at home that want to help, they could easily be rolled into small balls, and then set in the fridge the same way. Thanks to my own mom and sees for this recipe inspiration!

mango coconut almond granola

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I love to shop for food. Fruits and vegetables. Salt. Wine. Cheese. Meat. If we are travelling and I spy a spice store I will run to it.

This week I was shopping at my local health food store Evergreen. I was about to throw a box of granola in my cart when I glanced at the price, and then the price of a bag of organic rolled oats. Show’s over. Time to try making granola.

One bite of this and I was a convert. Except for the dried mango, I had all the other ingredients in my pantry. Great tossed over plain yogurt. Or eaten by the handful. You could easily swap out the mango for some raisins or any dried fruit you have on hand.

mango coconut almond granola

1 and 1/2 cup rolled oats
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup unsalted sunflower seeds (optional)
½ cup unsalted pepita seeds (optional)
¾ cup shredded coconut
½ cup coconut oil (melted)
1/4 – 1/2 cup maple syrup (depending on how sweet you prefer)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch salt + tiny pinch nutmeg
1 cup chopped dried mango

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine all ingredients, except for the mango. Tumble onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet or large glass baking dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Stirring every 10 minutes to ensure it browns evenly. In the last 5 minutes add the dried mango. Let granola cool for at least at hour before packaging. The texture crunches up as it cools. Store in airtight container for 10 days or freezes well.

Chocolate and salted caramel pecan squares


If you don’t like chocolate and caramel, just stop reading right now.

These squares are the stuff dreams are made of. Salted caramel swirled with chocolate spotted with pecans on a shortbread crust. You’ll curse me for this recipe.  Their saving grace – they freeze perfectly.

Chocolate and salted caramel pecan squares

Shortbread base
1/2 cup soft butter (1 stick)
1 cup flour
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch salt

Caramel filling
2 cups whole or halved pecans
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream or canned coconut milk (I always use the latter as it’s a pantry staple around here)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 or 1 teaspoon salt depending on how salted you like (I prefer 1 teaspoon)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with foil. Spray lightly or very lightly butter.

Combine all crust ingredients and using a pastry cutter or your hands, cut butter into dry ingredients until small lumps form.

Press mixture into pan and pack down firmly.

Evenly sprinkle the pecans on top as well as the chocolate chips.

In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine 1/2 cup butter, brown sugar, cream, and heat on high for 1 minute to melt. (You can also do this in a saucepan over medium heat) Once warm, whisk until mixture is smooth. Then return bowl to microwave and heat for 1 minute on high power. Truth, I rarely use our microwave at all, but I do for this recipe.

Remove bowl from heat source and whisk until mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla and salt.

Evenly pour that caramel sauce over the chocolate chips and pecans. You’ll want to lick the bowl here and just do it. Totally worth it.

Bake in the middle of oven for 30 minutes, or until caramel is bubbling.

Here’s where the magic happens – you must let the squares cool and set for at least 3 hours. I often make these at night, and let them cool for an hour, then wrap well and store in fridge overnight. In the morning lift out of the pan using that clever foil and then slice with a sharp knife. These are decadent so I like to cut squares quite small. They freeze well for up to four months.

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