Mary's Busy Kitchen

Mary's Busy Kitchen

TDM CCN Header

Follow Me At

Sunday, November 16, 2014

GF Heart Healthy, Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

 Yes! The name needs to be that long…I didn't want to leave anything out!  







 A cookie that has no butter and eggs deserves a grand title!!





 A cookie that the health conscious can enjoy on a daily basis and mom's and dad's can feel good about feeding their kids for a snack.
 



 A cookie that has bananas, natural peanut butter, oats and pure maple syrup…good quality ingredients.

Oh…and maybe just a few chocolate chips...

























If you count weight watcher points, we are looking at just 2.2 points for each cookie.

GF Heart Healthy, Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies                Makes 35-36 cookies
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup natural peanut butter, I used creamy
3 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp water
1/2 cup gluten free flour blend. Gluten free flour blends. Use whole wheat if not gluten free.
2 cups gluten free old fashioned oats.
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum, or guar gum
1/4 cup allergy friendly mini chocolate  chips, or semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

In a large mixing bowl add mashed bananas, peanut butter, vanilla, pure maple syrup and water.
Mix well.  Add dry ingredients all at once and stir to mix. Fold in chocolate chips.

Place small scoop size or heaping tablespoons of dough onto lined baking sheets.
Bake for 12 minutes. Try baking some for 10-11 minutes for a slightly fudgy cookie.
Cool on a wire rack.

Eat them up or freeze for later.  Pop a frozen cookie in your kids or your own lunch and by the time you're ready to eat, the cookie will be as fresh as the day you baked them.


Add a chocolate chip on top of cookie before baking for different look.

                                                                                                               

Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

GF Dusted Chocolate Snow Balls




These are going to melt in your mouth.  In fact, if you are not careful…you might even lose the second half of your cookie.


It just wasn't right to leave them so plain.  They were good, but I was looking for something more…




After dusting them with powdered sugar, they kind of reminded me of another cookie I love this time of year…





I have made these regular and gluten free. You absolutely can not tell which ones are which.

This recipe idea came from, www.feedmeimhungry.com a wonderful blog that I suggest you check out very soon!

I changed a couple ingredients for my food sensitivities, but the main idea is the same.


GF Dusted Chocolate Snow Balls               Makes Several Dozen
(I apologize... I ate too many before I did a final count.  Maybe next time…)

1 cup sugar, I used beet sugar
1/2 cup butter softened, I used a dairy free substitute
2 cups crunchy peanut butter. Creamy is ok, but I like the extra crunch. Sun-butter can be substituted.
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup flour, I used a gluten free flour blend. See my suggestions or any purchased blend.
1/2 cup coco powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum for gluten free only
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, I used allergy friendly mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Powdered sugar for dusting.

Preheat oven to 375.  Prepare cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone liners.
In a medium mixing bowl combine butter or butter substitute with sugar. Beat until creamy.
Add peanut butter and vanilla. Mix well.
Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl, stir to mix. Add to creamed mixure. Mix on low speed or stir with a spoon. Fold in chocolate chips.

Form balls with about 2 Tbsp of dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, depending on size of balls.
Remove from oven and let sit to cool and become firmer. These are very fragile. 
Using a turner, transfer to a wire rack or large flat container. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Store in an air tight container for several days or freeze for a totally amazing frozen treat.

*NOTE- eat with your free hand underneath your chin…I'm not kidding. They are of course much more stable frozen, but magically melt in your mouth at room temperature.


So whether you eat them plain or dusted...



Please Enjoy!!





Saturday, November 1, 2014

GF Not Nutella Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cookies - 3 different cookie options

GF Not Nutella Chocolate, Swirled Peanut Butter Cookies

Who knew this little cookie had so many options!  It started out as a delicious yet simple GF Peanut Butter Cookie that my  whole family loved…and still loves.

Then I jumped on the band wagon and swirled in some Nutella, Gluten Free Nutella and Peanut Butter Cookies.  Only problem... I couldn't eat them because I am allergic to hazelnuts. When I discovered dark chocolate peanut butter, I got to join in the fun.



GF Not Nutella Chocolate, Swirled  Peanut Butter Cookies

With all the flavors of nut butters available now, I feel like these cookies have unlimited options.
This recipe is gluten free and can be made egg free as well, by substituting with an egg replacer. I've had good luck with Ener-G Egg Replacer in this recipe.



Here is another option for this recipe:
Half chocolate, half peanut butter…nuts and chips.  Mix it up however you like.


GF Half Chocolate - Half Peanut Butter w/ Nuts & Chips


A swirled dark chocolate and peanut butter cookie…with peanut butter and chocolate chips on top,






..and this gluten free very chocolate peanut butter cookie.


All three so delicious and simple. 


Now the hard part...which one will you make first?




GF Not Nutella Chocolate, Swirled Peanut Butter Cookies              
Makes 2 dozen cookies (I made larger cookies, ending up with about 14)

Preheat oven to 325.
1 cup  peanut butter, creamy or chunky. I used chunky in mine.
1 cup sugar, or other dry sweetener
1 egg, or egg replacer. Ener-G Egg Replacer works well with this recipe.
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp chocolate peanut butter, I used a dark chocolate flavor.
optional - 1/4 cup chocolate or peanut butter chips to add on top.

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except dark chocolate peanut butter. Mix well.
Stir in dark chocolate peanut butter with a spoon to give a marbling effect.
Shape dough into 1" or a little larger balls.
Place on an ungreased baking sheet or cover with parchment paper.
With a large tined fork, flatten each cookie to give a crisscross pattern on top.
Bake 8 minutes for smaller cookies and 13 minutes or larger cookies. After baking slightly press in a few peanut butter or chocolate chips on top.
Cool on a wire rack.         Cookies will become stable after cooling.
Store in an air tight container or freeze leftovers.























GF Very Chocolate - Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes 2 dozen cookies (I made larger cookies, ending up with about 14)

Preheat oven to 325.
3/4 cup  chocolate flavored peanut butter. I used dark chocolate in mine.
1/4 peanut butter
1 cup sugar, or other dry sweetener
1 egg, or egg replacer. Ener-G Egg Replacer works well with this recipe.
1 tsp vanilla extract
optional - 1/3 cup chocolate or peanut butter chips.

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except flavored chips.  Mix well.
Stir in flavored chips if desired.
Shape dough into 1" or a little larger balls.
Place on an ungreased baking sheet or cover with parchment paper.
With a large tined fork, flatten each cookie to give a crisscross pattern on top.
Bake 8 minutes for smaller cookies and 13 minutes for larger cookies.  Remove from oven and press  a few chips or candies on top.
Cool on a wire rack.         Cookies will become stable after cooling.
Store in an air tight container or freeze leftovers.





















GF Half Chocolate - Half Peanut Butter w/Nuts & Chips
Makes 2 dozen cookies (I made larger cookies, ending up with about 14)

Preheat oven to 325.
1/2 cup chocolate flavored peanut butter
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp peanut butter, crunchy or creamy
1 cup sugar, or other dry sweetener
1 egg or egg replacer, Ener-G Egg Replacer works well with this recipe.
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup peanut butter chips
1/4 chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped peanuts, not necessary if using crunchy peanut butter.

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except flavored chips and nuts. Mix well.
Stir in chips and nuts. Shape into 1" or a little larger balls.
Place on an ungreased baking sheet or cover with parchment paper.
With a large tined fork, flatten each cookie to give a crisscross pattern on top.
Bake 8 minutes for smaller cookies, and 13 minutes for larger cookies.
Remove from oven and press a few more chips on top gently pressing down.
Cool on a wire rack. Cookies will become stable after cooling.

Store in an air tight container or freeze for longer storage.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Allergy Friendly Sun Butter Cookies



I just love these little cookies. They are perfect when you don't have a lot of time and it seems like the ingredients are always around. Any nut butter will work with a slight change in flavor of course. You can even add in flavored nut butters, there are so many options now.

Allergy Friendly Sun Butter Cookies         Makes 2 dozen cookies
1 cup sun butter
1 cup dry sweetener (I used coconut sugar)
1 egg or egg replacer equal to one egg. (I used Ener-G Egg Replacer)
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325
In a medium bowl, combine sun butter and sugar. Mix well. Add egg or egg replacer and vanilla. Mix well.
Shape into 1" or a little larger balls and place on baking sheet. Slightly flatten with a fork to make a crisscross pattern.
Bake 8 minutes for smaller cookies, 13 minutes for larger cookies. Let sit about 3 minutes before removing from pan. These will be slightly crumbly until completely cool…but we always start eating them anyway!

Store in an airtight container or freeze left overs for longer storage.

Weight watcher points are 3.5 for smaller cookies.

*I like to use parchment paper or silicone liners when I bake cookies, but an ungreased baking sheet is fine for these cookies.



Enjoy!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How To Choose A Fresh Pineapple





I think just about everyone would agree that there is nothing quite like a fresh, juicy, ripe pineapple. 

And just about the best way to enjoy a fresh, ripe pineapple is to know how to pick one out correctly at the market.




















Fresh pineapple is delicious on pizza, bbq'd  on a skewer with vegetables, in a fresh fruit salad, and of course, just eating some with your fingers piece after piece.


 Here are just a few steps that will help you pick the perfect pineapple:

- Smell the pineapple right at the base. It should have a sweet, pleasant aroma.  If it has more of a vinegar-like smell, don't buy it…it is beginning to rot. And this is also true...no smell, not ripe.

- No withered leaves in the crown, they should be fresh and green.

-The body should be firm with just a little give, not soft and wrinkly.

- Is it heavy? A heavy pineapple is a juicy pineapple…just like picking an orange. Feeling heavier is different than finding the biggest pineapple. Let several sit in your hand with your palm up, and you will notice a difference.

- No mold, no mold, no mold!

-Refrigerate your pineapple if you are not going to use it right away.

*Note: And just for the record…pulling a leaf from the top is not the correct way to choose a ripe pineapple. I found that out the hard way!

And remember…it's easier to encourage healthy eating when the food is delicious.





















Enjoy your pineapple!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Heart Healthy Apple Crisp - gluten free, With a New Banana - Grape Sorbet Recipe








I'm always on the look-out for healthier desserts. My husband loves apple crisp…any fruit crisp for that matter. But right now since we have an excess of apples, I am focusing on apples.  I found this recipe in a new cook book called, Forks Over Knives, The Cookbook. It's great, I love the lower fat options. I have made it twice now, and my version has a few changes as far as spices, a thicker crumb topping,  and gluten free oats vs regular oats.




My household likes lots of topping, so I doubled the recipe, and I used sun flower butter instead of cashew butter. As I mention below, any nut butter is fine. I also added 1/2 cup chopped walnuts to the topping.


Heart Healthy Apple Crisp                        Serves 6-8
8 apples, peeled and sliced (I have also made this with 1/2 pears)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 cloves
2 - 2 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400.  Prepare  9"x 9 " baking pan with a non-stick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl add sliced apples. Sprinkle vanilla extract over sliced apples. In a small dish mix dry ingredients. Add dry mixture to sliced apples mixing well to coat. Pour pure maple syrup over apples and mix well. Pour into pan. Push down a little if it looks like there won't be room for the topping, not to worry...it will cook down.

*Note: Optional tip. I like to precook my filling for about 3-5 minutes in the large mixing bowl before placing into the baking pan. This always ensures the apples fully cook.

Topping
4 1/2  tbsp nut butter, I used sun flower seed butter. Almond, cashew, hazelnut are ideas too.
6 Tbls pure maple syrup
3 Tbls applesauce, I use unsweetened
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups gluten free old fashioned oats, regular if gluten free is not needed
*optional 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a small mixing bowl add nut butter, pure maple syrup, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix well. Add oats, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well. Spread the topping over the apples. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Set oven temperature at 350 and continue to bake another 30 minutes. If necessary cover with foil the last 10 minutes to prevent over browning.





Let cool a bit and serve with a fat free Vanilla Soft Serve variation or a whipped topping of your choice.

We served ours with a delicious banana and grape sugar free sorbet that took about 5 minutes to prepare.

Banana - Grape Sorbet
3-4 frozen bananas, cut in chunks
2 1/2 - 3 cups of frozen grapes, we used mixed varieties from our garden
1/4 -1/2 cup non dairy type milk, we used rice milk

Mix in a heavy duty processor stirring often to move the frozen pieces around. Once it is swirling in the processor…it's done.





Maybe pack some apple crisp in a picnic lunch. A delicious treat on a warm fall day.



















Enjoy!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cinnamon Sprinkled Dried Apple Slices



My daughter likes to buy these dried apple slices with cinnamon, but it's expensive for a college student on a fixed budget…so we decided to make our own.


We like to leave the peeling on the apples, think of it like...getting an extra bonus. There are antioxidants and essential nutrients in apples with peels.





Cinnamon Sprinkled Dried Apple Slices
Apples - any variety you like. Washed, dried, and sliced. Core removed.
Cinnamon - a container with a shaker on top is helpful.
Food dehydrator 

I set my dehydrator temperature on 135. 
Place sliced apples on a flat surface like a large baking sheet. 
Sprinkle with cinnamon. We go heavy on the cinnamon, my daughter really loves this stuff.
I suggest starting lightly and let your taste buds decide.
Let dry about 4-6 hours. It will depend on the thickness of your slices and your particular type of dehydrator. The key is making sure all the moisture is gone from the apple. This increases the shelf life. A properly dried apple can last all year in a tightly sealed container or freezer bag, stored in a cool place, away from heat. 

Eat your dried cinnamon apples for snacks, cut up in cereal (hot or cold), add to trail mix and granola.
Maybe stir some cut up dried apples in a cookie or snack bar recipe. 

Take some to a party and watch how fast they disappear!  

A no sugar added healthy snack!



















Enjoy!