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Saturday, August 16, 2014

I Feel Like I Am Married To My Garden...

In case you're wondering…I've been preserving the continual flow of produce my husband so carefully grows.

I thought I was all done with the onions, but while in the garden picking tomatoes I discovered more.

The onions will be washed and dried then stored in small paper bags that I have added small holes to with a standard hole punch. I will be adding this post soon.

Today also included picking apples and pears. I will dry pears as always - we love dried pears. And making pie filling with the apples.

This year I am going to try something different with my tomatoes.

Instead of freezing the tomatoes whole I am going to puree them, pour the mixture into freezer bags, place the filled bags on cookie sheets and freeze.  This way, once frozen, they will be flat for easy stacking in the freezer. I think this will be a faster and more efficient way to preserve tomatoes. Plus make it easier to use when I need them for a recipe.

I will be posting the steps as soon as I can.   Until then…you know where to find me!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Gluten Free Banana Bread Bites

I love these!! I can just pop a mouthful of banana bread in my mouth whenever I feel like it! 
One of my nephews happened to be staying with us when I made these and ate about 7 of them in a row.  I decided not to tell him they were gluten, dairy, and egg free…

A gluten free cereal called, puffed millet, gives the speckled look to the banana bread bites without adding any crunch. They are soft and yummy.  Chocolate blends nicely with banana, but feel free to substitute  these mini chips with raisins.

The original recipe is, Best Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies, found in, The Super Allergy Girl -Allergy & Celiac Cookbook.  I thought they tasted so much like banana bread, I changed the name for my post and just a couple things in the recipe.

Weight watcher points are just 2 for each ball.

Gluten Free Banana Bread Bites     Makes 58-60
1 cup butter, butter substitute, or shortening.
1 cup white sugar, brown sugar, coconut, or beet sugar or 1/2 of any 2 combinations.
4 Tbsp hot water
5 tsp Egg Replacer
3 mashed bananas
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups gluten-free flour mix (if using Pamela's Baking Mixes leave out xanthan gum from recipe)
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 cups puffed millet
1 cup allergy friendly semi-sweet mini chocolate chips or 1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl add butter, butter substitute, or shortening, and sugar. Mix well.
Mix hot water and egg replacer in a small custard type dish. Add to creamed mixture along with vanilla and bananas and mix well. Add all remaining ingredients except chocolate chips. Mix well.
Stir in chocolate chips. Drop small scoop sized balls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 7-9 minutes.
Cool on wire racks.

Enjoy soft little bites of banana bread.

Freeze leftovers if not planning on eating them in a couple days.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Fat Free Banana-Peach Sorbet w/Fresh Fruit On Top

It wasn't me…it was my husband who came up with this oh so delicious banana-peach sorbet.  He's getting to be a regular in the kitchen these days!! 

Weight watcher followers count the entire batch of sorbet at 14 points and divide as you please. 

Fresh fruit does not have to be added on top, it is delicious plain.  But if you are like us and really enjoy the fresh fruits of the season…you might want to try it.

Fat Free Banana-Peach Sorbet 
4 frozen bananas, cut into medium sized chunks
1 large fresh peach, cut into 1/4 sections.
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 Tbsp any type of milk or milk substitute as needed for desired consistency.

Put all ingredients into a heavy duty blender or food processor. Stop and stir often. Be patient it takes a few minutes before it becomes a smooth sorbet.  If the sorbet seems to soft, pour into a freezer container and let firm up for an hour or more. Any left overs can also be stored in a freezer container.

Finished sorbet ready to dish up or freeze for later. We use an flat, oblong freezer container. Since it is shallow it freezes faster. 


Thursday, August 7, 2014

GF Sun Butter & Chocolate Chip Snack Bars

I love simple recipes for weekdays and this one is just that!  I actually think these taste better several hours after making them and even better the next day.   I used sunflower seed butter, but peanut butter or any other nut butter is optional as well. 

GF Sun Butter & Chocolate Chip Snack Bars                                       Makes about 10 bars
1/2 ripe medium or large banana, mashed
1/4 cup agave syrup (honey is optional)
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sun-butter (sunflower seed butter)
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, I used an allergy friendly brand.

Line a 8" x 8" square baking pan with foil. Preheat oven to 350.
In a large mixing bowl add mashed banana, agave syrup, sun butter, and vanilla. Mix well.
Stir in all remaining ingredients. 
When mixture is thoroughly mixed,  press into prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
Cool to room temperature. Cut into preferred sized bars.
Store in an airtight container or freeze.

Weight watcher followers might want to cut these in half. Total points for each full size bar is 9.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"Power Up" Fruity Protein Cookies

As I mentioned before when I posted the Chocolate Protein Cookies...
these aren't meant to be a dessert cookie, they are more of a workout or energy type snack.  They also make a great in-between meal snack for maintaining good blood sugar levels.

They are full of nutritious carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. I keep a small freezer container at work for quick, healthy afternoon "pick-me-up" snack.

This idea came from a book called, Thrive:  A guide to optimal health & performance through plant-based whole foods,written by Brendan Brazier. In this book I found a few interesting recipes. You can read about the author by clicking on the link.

"Power Up"  Fruity Protein Cookies             Makes 16 Cookies
1 cup dates, fresh or soaked (I used 20 California Dates - soaked)
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (about 44 grams) or a fruit flavor,  I used one of each. (vegan)
1/4 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup other nuts of your choice, chopped. I used all walnuts.
1/2  tsp orange zest
1 cup gluten free old fashioned oats, or 1/4 cup quinoa flakes and 3/4 cup oats.
1/2 cup frozen blueberries.

Put first 6 ingredients in a food processor and mix until a thick paste like mixture forms.
Remove mixture and scoop into a mixing bowl. 
Stir in oats and frozen berries. Mix well, ending by kneading mixture with your hands to fully combine.

Shape into flat rounds or squares. I used a  cookie dough scoop for mine. Place cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicon sheets. 
Let sit uncovered for 30-40 minutes. Place in a freezer safe container with wax paper between cookies to prevent sticking.

Eat frozen or at room temperature.  I like to let mine sit out for at least an hour until they dry out just a bit, but my family prefers to eat them frozen.

These protein cookies have 9.25 points each if counting weight watcher points.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

GF Chocolate Peanut Butter Hurricane Cookies

Cookie of the year!      Chocolate, peanut butter, and nuts.What a treat!

                                    A surprise ingredient…


 And the dough is as good as the cookie. (Yes! I break the rules and eat the dough)

Check out all the yummy chocolate pieces and nuts to bite into. 

You can make them with regular flour as well as gluten free. Please note though, these have dairy.

GF Chocolate Peanut Butter Hurricane Cookies                          Makes about 36 cookies
1/2 cup butter or butter substitute
1/2 cup peanut butter, chunky or creamy
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar, I used beet sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, or egg substitute
1/4 cup milk or milk substitute,  I used soy
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups minus 1 Tbsp gluten free flour blend, I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter chips                ** or 1/2  cup of each flavor
1/2 cup peanuts cut into pieces
6 chocolate covered peanut butter cups, cut into small wedges. (use a non-dairy type if needed)

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. (not required, but I prefer this method).
In a large mixing bowl add butter or butter substitute, peanut butter, and sugars. Mix well.
Add egg or egg substitute, milk or milk substitute, and vanilla. Mix well.
Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Don't over mix if using regular flour (non-gluten free).
Fold in flavored chips, peanuts, and peanut butter cups.

Place small scoops of cookie dough on baking pans. Bake for 11-12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
These freeze well too.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate - Zucchini Pan Muffins

Have you heard of a pan muffin?   Well, I certainly hadn't...

My daughter was sampling my new brownies and said, "this is a muffin." I told her that since they were in a pan, I would have to call them "pan muffins." So the name pan muffins was created.
This is a super moist, low-fat treat that is really nice to bite into. The nuts are optional.
*Use regular all-purpose flour if gluten free isn't needed.

Gluten Free Chocolate - Zucchini Pan Muffins         Seves 24
2 medium bananas, mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cups sugar, I used beet sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 tsp xanthan gum 
2 cups gluten free flour mix, I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, I used allergy friendly mini chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9"x13" pan with a non-stick spray. 
In a large bowl add bananas, applesauce, and sugar. Mix well.
Add vanilla and cocoa. Mix well.
Add baking soda, salt, and zucchini. Mix well.
Stir in flour and xanthan gum. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips.
Spread evenly in prepared pan and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Pan muffins should spring back when lightly touched.

Let cool slightly before tasting…cool to room temperature before serving. 
These are a little sticky when cutting into squares so I just wiped off the knife as I cut.

Weight watcher points are 3.4 for each square with nuts.  Without nuts 3 points each.

Store in an air-tight container for several days or freeze extras for later.

To freeze, separate squares with pieces of wax paper to prevent sticking. They will be just as delicious as the day you made them. You might even like them frozen…we do.

These are also delicious with,  Allergy Friendly Vanilla Soft-Serve, it's like having cake and ice cream without all the fat, eggs, and dairy!