Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Spiced Paleo Raisinets - Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Paleo and Primal Challenge Friendly

Last fall, when I was doing the Whole Life Challenge with my CrossFit box, my good friend was suffering some major chocolate cravings about halfway through the 8 week long challenge. We were permitted unsweetened chocolate at our chosen level (intermediate) of the challenge, so as a "hang in there" gesture, I came up with these.

These are paleo-friendly raisinets, and if you are involved in a challenge that permits their ingredients, they are little tasty nuggets of, "Phew, OK, I can do this."

Here's the dealeo:

Spiced Paleo Raisinets
Makes at least 32 servings at 1/2 oz. each

1 large round canister of raisins (3.5 cups' worth)
100g finely chopped Scharffen Berger unsweetened chocolate (or unsweetened high quality chocolate of choice)
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Generous dash of cayenne

Did I mention how much
I LOVE the ingredient list
on this bad boy?


Place chopped chocolate in a large oven-safe dish and set in a warm oven (around 200 degrees, not too hot so the chocolate won't scald). Pour the entire canister of raisins into a large gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Add the salt and spices and shake well until raisin clumps are broken up and each raisin is evenly coated in a fine dusting of the salt and spices.

Pull the chocolate out of the oven. Dump spice-dusted raisins into melted chocolate and stir thoroughly until each raisin has a light coating of chocolate. Spread the chocolate-coated spiced raisins out on wax paper to cool.



These are really yummy. I mean REALLY yummy. If you have any appreciation for dark chocolate and especially "zippy" dark chocolate as complimented with warming winter spices, they will do. it. for. you. They do it for me so much, in fact, that I could easily blow through a whole batch in a matter of a couple of days without much thought.

For that reason, I love the little 1 ounce lidded plastic cups that you can find at many stores these days. For me, they aid in portion consciousness and help me to keep my runaway raisin snacking tendencies in check. Since I chose to log my food intake for athletic performance and fat loss purposes, I calculated that 18 g of these (a bit over half an ounce)  comes in at 63 calories, mostly carbs. Here you can see how I have made several half ounce portions in these cups. It's my DIY challenge-friendly answer to 100-calorie snacks that are sold these days, and a decent way to scratch a chocolate craving itch without swan diving off of the wagon.

Bonus: sharing the raisinets with your friends who are also eating conscientiously will definitely boost some spirits!


What snacks are you making these days that helps you to keep on track three weeks into the new year?

Screaming January Deals on Amazon, Nearly ~40% off Gluten Free Groceries and Paleo-Friendly Finds

About 10 days before the end of the month, my husband and I scroll through our Amazon Subscribe and Save subscriptions list. We usually pare down the list, often for items we added previously on a one-time deal. Then, we have the fun of shopping for temporary monthly coupon deals on Amazon that we couldn't find elsewhere. We are often able to combine up to 3 different discounts on Amazon to get the best deal possible, shipped free to our door.

Here are some things we scored this week in our shopping for the February 1 Subscribe and Save delivery. We bought $62.61 worth of items for $38.39 (a 39% overall discount).
  • Zico coconut water - I picked up 12 x 14 oz. bottles of Zico for $15.57 (retail before discounts was $25.31, so 38.5% discount). $1.29 per bottle is a bargain compared to the $2.50+ per bottle I usually see in grocery stores. The same 20% off coupon applies to different Zico sizes and flavors, too, so you can shop for your preferred Zico. I like the plastic bottles because they make sipping some before and after a workout easier without worrying about spilling.

  • Pistachios. I picked up a pound of them combining the $3 coupon with Subscribe and Save to get a price of $6.34 (almost 45% off the $11.49 price).

  • Garden of Life organic gluten free sprouted brown rice protein powder - As I mentioned in a recent protein-themed post, most of my protein intake is from organically and naturally raised animals, but I do use protein powders, particularly in cases where it means I would not otherwise get enough protein owing to time constraints or other circumstances. Because I try to refuel conscientiously to allow my muscles to recover, I would rather get some good quality protein powder after a workout if my alternative is not eating any protein! As vegetable-based protein powders go, Garden of Life looks like a solid choice. I am trying this for the first time as it is 33% cheaper per gram of protein than my usual protein powder choice. I got a $25.81 jar for $16.48, a 36% discount off the Amazon price.
There are many other Amazon grocery coupons, including a list of coupon deals that can be used to purchase gluten free foods. (Be careful, though, some coupons in the gluten free deals take you to lists of products for that brand, some of which are gluten free and some of which are not.)

Here is how to combine the limited-time January coupons with Subscribe and Save to maximize your discounts:

  • Make sure your coupon is clipped for the specific size/flavor of item you've chosen! Coupons will be for a percentage off or for dollars ($) off. You can clip the coupon on the coupon products page OR on the page of the item itself.
  • Chose the "Subscribe and Save" option instead of the "Add to Cart" single purchase option. You can cancel your Subscribe and Save subscription at any time.
  • If you have at least 5 Subscribe and Save subscriptions for the month of February, then your total discount off all items on your subscription list will be 20% off.
  • Verify before clicking the final subscribe confirmation that you are receiving BOTH your coupon discount and your maximum Subscribe and Save discount.
Are you snagging any Amazon coupon + Subscribe and Save deals on nonperishables? What is your favorite bargain?
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