Tag Archives: Pecans

Gluten-Free Snacks

Holiday Spiced Pecans

I first tried these Spiced Pecans when my mom made them a few years ago. She got the recipe from our favorite cookbook: America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. My family swears by the America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks and recipes — they’re foolproof! In fact, if you’re looking for a good holiday gift for the foodie or cook in your life, I highly recommend their Family Cookbook or New Best Recipe Cookbook. I’ve used both extensively over the last six years and honestly love every recipe!

These Holiday Spiced Pecans are a delicious snack for guests to munch on before dinner! Or put some in a baggie and tie it up with ribbon to give as a gift. They're vegetarian, gluten-free and refined sugar free. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

For these Spiced Pecans, I used the original ATK recipe as inspiration and made a few tweaks to make them a bit healthier. Most importantly, I used unrefined coconut sugar in place of refined white sugar. As a reminder, refined sugar has no nutritional value and is very processed (think regular old white sugar you put in coffee), while unrefined sugar retains much more of sugar’s natural nutrients such as calcium and iron. I love baking with coconut sugar because it’s unrefined and it tastes just like regular ol’ sugar. You can find coconut sugar in most grocery stores, and usually you can get it inexpensively from places like Costco or Amazon. These pecans work best with superfine sugar, so I’d recommend pulsing the coconut sugar in the food processor for 10-15 seconds until it becomes fine.

These Holiday Spiced Pecans are a delicious snack for guests to munch on before dinner! Or put some in a baggie and tie it up with ribbon to give as a gift. They're vegetarian, gluten-free and refined sugar free. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

These Spiced Pecans scream holiday season to me! They’re an easy snack to munch on at a holiday event with a festive drink in your other hand. I also think they’d be a fun holiday gift to give to neighbors or coworkers. Just place about one heaping cup of spiced pecan halves in a clear treat bag (like these) and tie it up with a colorful ribbon.

These Holiday Spiced Pecans are a delicious snack for guests to munch on before dinner! Or put some in a baggie and tie it up with ribbon to give as a gift. They're vegetarian, gluten-free and refined sugar free. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

But honestly, I won’t blame you if you save them all for yourself. One pound of pecans may seem like a lot, but you’ll be shocked by how quickly they go! In case you’re a bargain hunter like I am, I recommend buying a two pound bag of pecan halves from Costco for this recipe. Nuts can be expensive, but Costco always has them for reasonable prices (and FYI — they’re less expensive in store than they are online.)

These Holiday Spiced Pecans are a delicious snack for guests to munch on before dinner! Or put some in a baggie and tie it up with ribbon to give as a gift. They're vegetarian, gluten-free and refined sugar free. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Happy holiday season to you and your family!

 

Holiday Spiced Pecans
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 1 lb. nuts
Ingredients
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound pecan halves, raw and unsalted
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (regular, not smoked)
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white, water, and salt. Add the pecans and toss in the egg white mixture to coat. Drain the nuts in a colander for five minutes and wipe out the bowl with a paper towel. Return the nuts to the large bowl.
  3. Place the coconut sugar in a mini blender and blend for 10-15 seconds, until the sugar is very fine. Mix the blended coconut sugar in a small bowl with the cumin, paprika, and cayenne. Add the spice mixture to the large bowl with the nuts and toss to coat thoroughly. Spread the nuts onto the parchment-lined baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 50 minutes, stirring the nuts and rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the nuts to cool completely on the baking sheet, 20-25 minutes. Break apart and store in an airtight container.
Notes
*Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen.
 

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Appetizer Snacks

Spiced Popcorn with Pecans

Hi food friends! So sorry for being MIA last week. There has been so much I want to talk about on the blog, but honestly just not enough hours in the day to sit down and write at the end of the day. I’m sure you’ve been there.

Things have been waaaaay busier than usual at my job and Travis and I have been working away trying to figure out where we want to get married — so many decisions! With all that’s going on, I’ve been neglecting this blog more than I would like. Thank you for understanding!

I am excited to pop in quickly today to share this Spiced Popcorn recipe that I threw together this weekend.

Spiced Popcorn with Pecans Recipe ll Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Refined Sugar Free ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com ll Healthy Popcorn Recipe, Popcorn Recipe, Healthy Snack, Gluten-Free Snack, Popcorn with Pecans

We love hosting friends at our apartment and when they come over, I always like to have a range of snacks out for them to munch on. I get this from my mom, who is a pro at putting out the best snack spreads. Your average chips and salsa can get boring, so I try to making something unique that’s also healthy and addictive.

I threw together this Spiced Popcorn with Pecans and Raisin mixture and I love the way it turned out! It’s sweet, spicy and salty all in one.

Spiced Popcorn with Pecans Recipe ll Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Refined Sugar Free ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com ll Healthy Popcorn Recipe, Popcorn Recipe, Healthy Snack, Gluten-Free Snack, Popcorn with Pecans

It’s so easy to make, all you really need is a stocked spice cabinet. Popcorn is a great healthy snack because it’s low in calories, but contains a good dose of fiber and whole grains.

I hope you like this one!

 

Spiced Popcorn with Pecans
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2.5 cups popped popcorn (about ⅛ cup popcorn kernels)
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix the popcorn and the pecans in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a small skillet, heat the coconut oil over low heat. Add the spices (cinnamon through ginger). Stir constantly for 30 seconds and then remove from heat. Stir in the maple syrup.
  3. Pour the spice mixture over the popcorn and pecans and toss to coat.
  4. Spread the popcorn and pecans onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes. Remove from oven once the pecans are toasted.
  5. Let cool for 15 minutes and stir in the golden raisins.
 

Spiced Popcorn with Pecans Recipe ll Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Refined Sugar Free ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Desserts

Whole Wheat Blondies with Pecans

Well friends, I had fun travel plans scheduled for this upcoming weekend, but I think they might be foiled by the ridiculous blizzard that’s about to hit the east coast.

Tomorrow morning, I am supposed to fly to Washington DC to visit my BFF Emily, who is getting married in 9 short months! The plan was to do some wedding dress shopping and snuggle up on the couch with a good bottle of wine and catch up all weekend long. Now I am worried that all this snow will mean my flight will be cancelled, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can get out of LA tomorrow!

 

Anyway, if you happen to be stuck inside all weekend from the snow, I’ve got a delicious baking project for you!

These Whole Wheat Blondies with Pecans are a healthier alternative to the traditional butter-packed blondie bar. The whole wheat flour adds fiber and the pecans add a healthy fat to these delicious and addicting dessert bars. A great bake sale or lunch box treat for the kids! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I found a recipe for Whole Grain Blondies from Cooking Light, and after a couple of tweaks, I finally perfected them and made them my own.

These blondies are buttery and sweet, just like a traditional blondie recipe, but this recipe calls for whole wheat flour and waaaaaay less butter than usual.

Dear 2016 Resolutions, you’re welcome.

These Whole Wheat Blondies with Pecans are a healthier alternative to the traditional butter-packed blondie bar. The whole wheat flour adds fiber and the pecans add a healthy fat to these delicious and addicting dessert bars. A great bake sale or lunch box treat for the kids! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

If pecans aren’t your thing, I think mini chocolate chips would be DELISH. Travis requested that I try that next time.

These Whole Wheat Blondies with Pecans are a healthier alternative to the traditional butter-packed blondie bar. The whole wheat flour adds fiber and the pecans add a healthy fat to these delicious and addicting dessert bars. A great bake sale or lunch box treat for the kids! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.comThese Whole Wheat Blondies with Pecans are a healthier alternative to the traditional butter-packed blondie bar. The whole wheat flour adds fiber and the pecans add a healthy fat to these delicious and addicting dessert bars. A great bake sale or lunch box treat for the kids! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

Whole Wheat Blondies with Pecans
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 16 toasted pecan halves (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x8 inch square pan with unsalted butter or cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, warm the oil, butter and brown sugar. Cook until the butter is melted, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Pour into a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract and eggs to the sugar mixture. Stir to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture and the chopped pecans to the sugar mixture and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Arrange the pecan halves in 4x4 rows (as seen in the photos).
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-24 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack (at least 30 minutes) and then cut into 16 squares.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.
 

Whole Wheat Blondies with Pecans Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Snacks Vegan

No-Bake Nut and Oat Granola Bars

Where did June go!? Is it me, or did it just fly by? We were so busy all month with our trip to Chicago, friends’ events and a recent visit to New Jersey. I feel like I’ve hardly had any time to pop-in and say hi to you guys.

No-Bake Nut and Oat Granola Bars Recipe

I thoroughly enjoyed being home for three days over 4th of July weekend. June’s schedule left me very little time for recipe development, so I was excited to have a few extra hours to spend in the kitchen. I have a backlog of recipes I’ve been meaning to try this summer.

No-Bake Nut and Oat Granola Bars Recipe

On Sunday we had exactly zero plans (yay!), so I spent the afternoon trying three new recipes. These No-Bake Nut and Oat Granola Bars were one of them. I am usually wary of no-bake recipes because the texture can often be pretty funky. But, these bars were GREAT! All you have to do is press the mixture into a baking dish, place the dish into the freezer for a couple hours, slice, and enjoy! Easy peasy. Freezing is key – otherwise if you try to slice them, they’ll just fall apart into a crumbly mess.

These No Bake Nut and Oat Granola Bars couldn't be easier! They're the perfect portable snack or breakfast when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I absolutely loved the flavor of these granola bars. They’re packed with fiber (oats and dried fruit!) and healthy fats (nuts and chia seeds!), making them a healthy and delicious mid-day snack. Plus, they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and refined-sugar free! So you can definitely make them for your friend who has ALL the food allergies…you know who I am talking about ;-)!

These No Bake Nut and Oat Granola Bars couldn't be easier! They're the perfect portable snack or breakfast when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The recipe makes 10-12 bars. If you’re only making them for yourself, you can cut the recipe in half OR place half the sliced bars in the freezer until you’re ready to eat them.

 

No-Bake Nut and Oat Granola Bars
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dates
  • ¾ cup almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup pecans, toasted
  • 1.5 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1.5 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • pinch sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Line an 8x11 or 9x9 baking dish with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, soak the dates in water for 15 minutes.
  3. Place the almonds and pecans in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped, about 15 seconds. Make sure not to process the nuts too fine - you still want chunks. Combine the almonds and pecans in a large bowl with the oats, chia seeds, salt, and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Stir in the raisins.
  4. Drain the dates, reserving a few Tablespoons of the water. Place the dates in the food processor with the almond butter and vanilla. Process until smooth, adding one Tablespoon of reserved water as needed. Add the date mixture to the nut and oat mixture. Stir well - you may need to use your hands to thoroughly combine.
  5. Spread the mixture into the greased baking dish, using the back of a rubber spatula to press the mixture completely flat. Cover and place the dish in the freezer for 1.5-2 hours until hard. Remove from the freezer and using a sharp knife, slice into 10-12 bars. Wrap individual bars in saran wrap. Store in fridge or freezer until ready to eat.
 

These No Bake Nut and Oat Granola Bars couldn't be easier! They're the perfect portable snack or breakfast when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Appetizer Gluten-Free Side Dishes

Honey-Mustard Green Beans with Pecans

When the weather is warm, Travis and I try to use our grill as much as possible. We don’t have air conditioning in our apartment, so if the temperature goes above 80 degrees, the thought of turning on the oven or stove sounds dreadful. (Although, admittedly we live by the ocean so it’s rare that it ever gets too hot around here).

If Travis is grilling outside, I typically make a quick side-dish indoors and I am always pleased if it requires less than 10 minutes of oven or stovetop time.

I’d put these Honey Mustard Green Beans with Pecans in the arena of perfect BBQ side-dishes: easy, healthy, and quick.

Honey-Mustard Green Beans with Pecans Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

This recipe came out a desire to throw together something healthy using ingredients I already had on hand, and I’ll bet you have them in your pantry as well. These green beans are ultra-easy to make, even the most novice of cooks should be just fine (just don’t burn the pecans!)

Honey-Mustard Green Beans with Pecans Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Try these Honey-Mustard Green Beans alongside a burger, grilled chicken or fish – they really go with anything!

 

Honey-Mustard Green Beans with Pecans Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • ¾ pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast in oven, tossing once, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Be careful not to burn the pecans, check regularly. Let cool, then chop.
  2. Steam the green beans until tender, about 6 minutes; let cool. While beans are steaming, whisk together the olive oil, honey, and mustard and season with a pinch each salt and pepper. Toss the green beans with the dressing and sprinkle with the toasted pecans. You can either refrigerate for a few hours or serve immediately. Just before serving, toss with the red wine vinegar.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Real Simple Magazine
 

Honey-Mustard Green Beans with Pecans ll 10 minutes, Vegan, Gluten-Free ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com