I first learned that bacon jam was a thing when I received a new cookbook in the mail from my aunt on the west coast. (BEST. MAIL. EVER.) It obviously seemed like a brilliant concept and to be honest I was a little mad I didn’t think of it first, but I got past it and gave this recipe a try. It’s incredibly rich and indulgent. And sweet and spicy, and savoury and wonderful. The mixture simmers aromatically for about 2 hours, cooking itself down into a sticky, sweet, spicy and rich jam like texture. You can also use a hand held blender at the end to break it up further and make it even more jam-like.
Bacon Jam Ingredients
Start by cooking up a pound of bacon, remove it to a paper towel lined plate, and drain off most of the grease. Leave about 2 – 3 tbsp and then throw in onions and garlic, and allow to cook until soft and golden brown. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 2 hours. Add 1/4 cup of water every half hour, or whenever it starts to burn a little or stick to the bottom of the pan. Not surprisingly, your home is going to smell pretty unreal.
Cooking Bacon Jam
Blend the mixture slightly, so that it is spreadable but still has some texture. Store it in a glass jar in the fridge and use it in any number of delicious ways.
Like on a grilled cheese sandwich! The one below also has herb and garlic cream cheese, roasted red pepper and old cheddar. Serve this with Bread and Butter Pickles on the side for a sublime grilled cheese experience. 🙂
Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon Jam
Bacon Jam Recipe
1 lb bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp hot sauce
1 cup brewed coffee
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp pepper
- In a deep pan, fry bacon in batches until lightly browned and beginning to crisp. Remove bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain bacon fat from pan, leaving only about 2 tbsp.
- Add garlic and onions to the rendered bacon fat and fry over medium heat for 5 minutes or until translucent. Return bacon to the pan and add all remaining ingredients. Simmer uncovered for 2 hours, adding 1/4 cup water every 30 minutes. Consistency should be thick and jam-like.
- Use immersion blender or food processor to pulse mixture for 2 to 3 seconds, leaving some texture. Allow to cool. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container.
I’m a sucker for anything that’s salty and sweet, and if you add chocolate to the mix it’s the best snack ever. What I like best about these candy bars is that they use all real, healthy ingredients and are very straightforward to throw together. You do have to plan ahead a bit though and let the cashew, date, shredded coconut, maple syrup and peanut butter filling set for a few hours. I skipped this step one time and they were messier and more crumbly than when you let them chill.
The recipe calls for almond butter, but since I didn’t have any I substituted natural peanut butter and I have zero complaints about how these turned out. Coconut flour and coconut oil are also in the original recipe but again I substituted (a bit less) regular flour and peanut oil. I’m sure there are many variations you could try and come up with an above average snack each time!
Candy Bar ingredients
Start by blending the cashews (or whatever other nut you want to use) until they’re a fine meal. Then throw in everything else (except the chocolate chips) and blend until a sticky dough ball forms.
Spread the mixture into a parchment paper lined dish. The parchment will make it much easier to free these treats from the dish later on, and you’re going to want fast, easy access.
Set up a double boiler and melt the chocolate chips and oil, then spread the melted mixture on top of the cooled nut mixture.
I actually felt that this amount of chocolate while delicious, could be overpoweringly sweet at times. Next time I think I’ll cut it in half and just get a hint of sweetness. Gotta find that flavour balance!
Candy Bars Recipe
1 1/2 cups salted cashews
1 1/2 cups dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup almond or peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (or 3/4 cups if you want just a hint of sweetness)
1 1/2 tablespoons oil (coconut, peanut, canola, etc.)
- Grind the cashews to a very fine meal in a food processor. Add the dates, peanut (or almond) butter, maple syrup, flour, shredded coconut, almond extract and pulse until you have a sticky ball of dough.
- Line a small sheet pan with parchment paper and press the cashew mixture out onto the paper, making a rectangle 1 inch deep. Refrigerate mixture for a few hours until it’s firm.
- Meanwhile, combine the chocolate chips and oil in a stainless steel or glass bowl set over a pot of boiling water (make sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl). Stir the mixture until it’s just melted, remove the bowl from the heat, and pour the chocolate mixture over the cold cashew mix. Return the bar to the fridge and let it cool until the chocolate coating is set, at least 1 hour.
- Using the parchment, lift the bar out of the sheet pan and cut it into rectangles. Serve at once or store in an airtight container
From: It’s All Good
These popsicles could not be easier to make and are the perfect treat to pull out of the freezer on a summer afternoon, or for a healthy dessert one night. . There are only 3 ingredients: fresh or frozen blueberries, coconut milk and maple syrup. Just blend everything together (I used my immersion blender – the food processor would have worked as well, but the the clean up is waaay easier), pour into popsicle molds, freeze for a few hours, and voila! Very little work for a very high flavour return.
Blueberry Popsicle Ingredients
I also used a pitcher to hold all the ingredients instead of a bowl, since the spout factor was very convenient for pouring the mixture into the molds.
Blueberry Popsicle Molds
The only popsicle molds available at my local kitchen store are designed to make rocket pops – remember those? I figured they would work just fine, but didn’t really consider it would be nearly impossible to get a non-phallic shot of the finished product…This is the next best thing!
Blueberry Popsicle Recipe
2 cups blueberries, frozen or fresh
1/2 – 3/4 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
Blend all the ingredients with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 4-5 hours before eating.
From: It’s All Good
Often when my brother Robb and I get together, kitchen shenanigans ensue. On this particular occasion we made a giant batch of almond milk (more on that later) and were looking for ways to use it. We decided to try Gwyneth Paltrow’s frozen banana “ice cream” and were not disappointed. It’s only a handful of ingredients, and doesn’t require any fancy machinery, like an ice cream maker. A food processor works just fine! Needless to say, this turned out to be a very refreshing (and healthy) summer treat.
We started by slicing bananas and putting them in the freezer.
Frozen Banana Slices
Throw the frozen bananas in a food processor with some almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla.
Frozen banana mix
Pulse a few times until the mixture is just blended. mmmmmmmmm.
Frozen Banana Ice Cream
Mix some toasted, chopped pecans (or almonds, or whatever nut you have on hand) with maple syrup, a pinch of kosher salt and drizzle over top of the ice cream. Downright delightful.
My only complaint is that it melts quickly and therefore makes it tough to get a decent photo, but that’s not really a huuuuuuge problem.
Frozen Banana Ice Cream
Frozen Banana Ice Cream Recipe
4 Ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted almonds or pecans
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Freeze the banana slices in a single layer on a tray or plate lined with wax or parchment paper. Once the slices are frozen, use them immediately or keep frozen in a zip-top plastic bag or airtight container for up to a month.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the nuts with 2 teaspoons of the maple syrup and a pinch of salt and set the mixture aside.
- Combine the frozen banana slices, the almond milk, the remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and the vanilla in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is the texture of soft serve ice cream, scraping down the sides as necessary. Don’t worry if the mixture is not totally smooth at first – once the bananas start to break down and defrost in the food processor, they’ll give in and the “ice cream” will take shape quickly.
- Spoon the banana ice cream into bowls immediately and sprinkle each serving with a bit of the almond mixture.
From: It’s All Good
These are not your typical light and fluffy pancakes you’ll find at the sugar shack, breakfast buffet or maply syrup festival (what my small mennonite hometown happens to be famous for). These are panCAKES, in every sense of the word. And they are GOOD. They are hearty and thick, with a slighty sweet flavour. The quintissential comfort food. Usually pancakes fall into the breakfast food category, but I actually made these for dinner one chilly fall night (I always love breakfast for dinner days) and they hit the spot.
The batter for these pancakes is really thick and dense…..don’t be alarmed, they are supposed to be that way. That’s what makes them so cake-like. After you throw some batter into a buttered pan, make sure you let it cook until little bubbles appear on the top, so you know it’s cooked through and the inside won’t be doughy. This takes a bit longer than the average pancake, but it’s well worth the wait.
- Pancake Batter
When it’s good to go, flip it over and admire how beautiful and golden it is. Yes, I think pancakes are beautiful.
- Pretty Pancake
These are super filling, so you won’t need many, but why not throw a few on a plate for yourself, just in case 😉
Add syrup and butter. Real maple syrup if at all possible. And if you don’t have any, you should get yourself to the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival the first weekend of April every year so you can stock up.
Now you’re ready to eat!
3 cups Plus 2 Tablespoons (All purpose) Flour
½ teaspoons Salt
3 Tablespoons Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 cups Milk
2 whole Large Eggs
3 teaspoons Vanilla
4 Tablespoons Butter
1. Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl.
2. Mix together milk, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring very gently until just combined.
4. Melt butter and add it to the batter, stirring gently to combine.
5. Cook on a greased skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown. Serve with an obscene amount of butter and warm syrup.
From: The Pioneer Woman