Do you have a gift for dad? Father’s Day is almost here and I have some quick and easy food ideas. These recipes require little time or cooking skill and are sure to be a hit with any dad. Plus, they each include nutrient-dense superfoods to nourish the body and sharpen the mind.
Superfoods offer a myriad of nutritional and health benefits. Those high in antioxidants and flavonoids have demonstrated an ability to help ward off diseases, as well as boost the immune system. Offer your dad a healthy alternative to highly processed foods this Father’s Day.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a potent package full of essential vitamins and minerals. They provide an excellent source of plant-based protein, help boost digestion and stabilize blood sugar levels.
Nuts are antioxidant powerhouses, when eaten regularly, they may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and offer long-lasting metabolic benefits. In addition, they are loaded with protein, high levels of minerals and healthy fats to fuel and protect the body. Although, containing slightly different properties, nut butters offer many of the same health benefits as raw nuts.
Virgin coconut oil, consumed in moderation, has beneficial effects linked to boosting metabolism and improved immune function.
Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and flaxseeds: three super healthy seeds that are small in size but mighty in vitamins and minerals the body needs to function at peak performance. These tiny seeds are a good source of fiber, iron and omega-3 fatty acids.
Dried fruits have a high antioxidant content to help keep your cells healthy. They contain numerous vitamins and minerals and offer a convenient way to increase your fruit intake. For optimum health benefits, avoid dried fruits with added sugar and preservatives.
Cacao beans, in their raw state, are the purest form of chocolate that you can consume. Cacao powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans, a process that helps retain the natural enzymes. This rich, dark powder is full of magnesium, calcium, iron and flavonoids. It also contains a natural mood-enhancing compound!
Maple syrup is a natural sweetener with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s nutritional profile is similar to many other well-known superfoods. When used in moderation, it can entice your taste buds and be beneficial to your health.
Whole grain oats are one of the best sources of soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels and can improve blood sugar control. Oats are an incredibly nutritious grain that should be incorporated into your diet on a regular basis.
A great on-the-go option, these healthy snacks will provide a fantastic pick-me-up to boost dad’s energy level and get him through the day. Present individually or in a gift basket and they are sure to be well received.
Chickpea Superfood Snack Mix
Yield: Approximately 4 cups
1 15-ounce can chickpeas
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon chipotle
1 1/2 cups raw mixed nuts
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
pinch fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Dry thoroughly with a paper towel and remove any loose skins.
- Place chickpeas on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until chickpeas have become crispy.
- While the chickpeas bake, add the coconut oil, maple syrup and spices to a medium saucepan and heat over low, just until the coconut oil melts. Stir to combine.
- Remove the chickpeas from the oven. Using a spatula, carefully scrape the chickpeas into the saucepan with the warm syrup mixture.
- Add the raw mixed nuts into the saucepan with the chickpeas. Stir together until the syrup mixture evenly coats the chickpeas and nuts.
- Pour the coated chickpeas and nuts back onto the rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add the pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. Using a spoon, toss on tray to combine.
- Allow to cool completely. Store for up to 1 week in an airtight bag or container at room temperature.
Tip: The chickpeas combine well with many different ingredients, so feel free to swap out the pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries according to what you have on hand and what you like.
Easy Dark Chocolate Coconut Oil Bark
Yield: Approximately 15-20 pieces
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened cacao powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
pinch fine sea salt
- Line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the coconut oil over low heat (just until melted).
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla and salt until a smooth consistency is reached. (At this point, you can taste the mixture and adjust the sweetness to your taste.)
- Stir in half of the chia seeds, coconut flakes and chopped pistachios.
- Pour onto prepared parchment-lined baking sheet and smooth out into a 1/4 inch thick layer using a spatula. The consistency will be very liquid.
- Sprinkle the remaining chia seeds, coconut flakes and chopped pistachios over the top of the chocolate.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes until the chocolate is hardened.
- Once frozen, remove the baking sheet and separate the chocolate from the parchment paper. Break the chocolate apart into pieces.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight bag or container in the refrigerator or freezer. I do not recommend keeping it out on the counter for long, as it has a tendency to melt fast.
Tip: You can replace the pistachios, coconut flakes and chia seeds with an equal mix of your favorite nuts, dried fruit and seeds.
Maple Oat No-Bake Cookies
Yield: 8 cookies
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 cup old fashioned oats
pinch of salt
- Combine maple syrup, butter and milk in a medium saucepan with a thick bottom. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 4 minutes, while stirring. (Make sure to keep a very close eye on the maple syrup, as it has a tendency to rise quickly as it boils.)
- Remove from heat and add peanut butter, vanilla, flaxseed and salt. Whisk until smooth.
- Add oats and stir to combine.
- Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Cool at room temperature until hardened.
- Store in an airtight bag or container at room temperature.
I hope this has inspired you to get in the kitchen. Remember, these recipes can be customized to include dad’s favorite ingredients. He will thank you as he snacks on this loving crafted array of sweet and savory goodies. He may even share a few bites with you!
Here’s to a healthy and happy Father’s Day!