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Sunday, September 28, 2014

GF Sun Butter - Pretzel Snack Bars

I guess I am kind of a "snack bar junkie" it seems like I am always trying a new one. Maybe it's because so many pre-made snack bars are full of ingredients I can't eat…not to mention costly.

This is an interesting idea I have seen a lot lately, adding pretzels to a snack bar recipe.  And of course for you folks that are not gluten free, use regular pretzels, don't pass up this recipe just because it says "gluten free." 

This recipe idea came from a very cool blog you must visit!  Family Fresh Cooking, her pretzel bars are called Telluride Trail Bars. There are many more wonderful recipes you may want to try from her blog as well.

Weight watcher points for recipe without chocolate chips 5.4 per bar.
Weight watcher points with chocolate chips 5.7 per bar.

I made a few changes in my recipe and added a little sweetener.

GF Sun Butter - Pretzel Snack Bars        Makes 18 Bars
2 1/4 cups gluten free old fashioned oats.
1/2 cup salted nuts
4 mashed bananas
1 cup Sun Butter, or other nut butter
1/2 cup chopped gluten free pretzels
1 Tbls honey, pure maple syrup or agave syrup.
1/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, I used allergy friendly. (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Pour oats and nuts on large baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes tossing a couple times during the baking time. Leaving oven on…remove oats and nuts from oven, set aside and let cool down.
Line a 9"x13" baking dish with parchment paper. You can do this while the oats and nuts are in the oven.

Heat Sun Butter or other nut butter and mashed bananas in the microwave or in a small pan on the stove stirring until well combined. Set aside to let cool a bit.

In a mixing bowl combine the oats, nuts, and banana mixture. Fold in cut up pretzels and 2 Tbls of chocolate chips. (they will melt slightly)

Spread mixture into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over the top.
Bake 25-30 minutes or when golden brown. Let cool and cut into any size bar you like. I cut mine into about 18 bars.

Store in an air tight container or freeze if you aren't going to eat them within a couple days.
I placed wax paper between the bars to freeze.

These snack bars are great for kids and a perfect "pick-me-up" snack for anyone.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Best Way To Store Onions From The Garden

This works so well I just have to share it. 

I told myself I had to try this method for a year first before I posted it…and I did. 

In the past I have always tied my onions on string and hung them from hooks in the basement or garage. (My dad taught me that). It worked pretty well, but often as the onion ends shrunk a bit from drying, they would fall off the string…very annoying!  I got so tired of having to retie them.

Using this new method my onions lasted all year.  

I would love to thank the genius who thought of this!
Using a standard hole punch, punch holes on both sides of lunch size paper bags.

Wash and dry onions. I like to allow them to sit for a little and fully air dry. 

Place several onions in a small paper sack. I put about 2 deep or fill 1/3 of the bag.

Roll the top of bag down and staple closed.

I label the outside of my bags so I know which onions are in each bag. I like to use different onions for specific recipes.

Store sacks of onions in a cool place like a basement or garage.

That's it! Enjoy home grown onions all year long.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Gluten Free Banana, Pumpkin & Oat Waffles - no added sugar or fat.

I've been wanting to make some pumpkin waffles but I didn't want to add eggs, fat, or sugar. I really like my Quinoa & Oat Banana waffle recipe so I thought, why not add pumpkin to that…along with some spices of course.

I was happy with the results and I am excited to share them with you.

Hemp seed sprinkled on top before closing the waffle iron is optional.
I like to add about a tablespoon of hemp seeds to my food daily…there are some great nutritional benefits.

Of course these are just as yummy without hemp seed! I made my batch half with hemp seeds and half without.

If you decide to try hemp seeds...
lightly sprinkle over the batter before closing the waffle iron.

And they will be nicely toasted on your finished waffle.

Weight watcher points are 6 per waffle, or 1.5 per section. If adding hemp seeds count an additional point for 1 Tbs.

Gluten Free Banana, Pumpkin & Oat Waffles           Makes 4 waffles
2 cup gluten free oats (regular if gluten free is not needed)
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1 banana
3/4 cup pumpkin
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2-3 tablespoons  hemp seeds (optional)

In a blender add all ingredients. Puree well. Don't worry, you can't over mix these.
Let mixture sit about 10 minutes. 
Prepare waffle iron with a non-stick spray. Heat waffle iron to medium heat. 
Pour 1 cup of batter onto hot waffle iron, sprinkle with some hemp seeds if desired. Let cook 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. 
Remove from waffle iron.

Please Note - If batter becomes too thick while sitting, add more water until desired consistency returns. This will not effect the outcome of the waffles.

Serve whole or cut up in 1/4 sections.  Serve with nuts butters, syrups, or  plain as a healthy sugar free snack.  Freeze leftovers for a quick breakfast on a busy morning. Pop in toaster or microwave for quick defrost.



Thursday, September 25, 2014

It's the season for pumpkin! GF Double Chocolate-Pumpkin Muffins

Be sure and try these delicious low-fat chocolate-pumpkin muffins this fall. They are allergy friendly plant-based treats that you will want to share with your friends!

Weight watcher points are 4 for each muffin. 

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins            Makes 15 muffins
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour baking mix- I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All-purpose Baking Mix. (same measurements for all-purpose flour)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp boiling water
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp almond butter (or other nut butter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand)

Preheat oven to 350 
Prepare muffin tins with papers or with a nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl mix apple sauce and cocoa powder together. Set aside.
In another medium size bowl combine flour, xanthan gum, seasonings, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Boil water. Add 1/3 cup of water to the chocolate mixture. Stir well.
Add to chocolate mixture:  pumpkin, sugar, nut butter and vanilla. Stir well. A wire whisk works great for this.
Now add 1/2 the flour mixture and stir until just mixed. Add 1 Tbsp of the hot water. Stir.
Add the second 1/2 of the flour mixture, stir. Add the last of the water and stir.
Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove the muffins from tins and let cool on a wire rack. Or eat one right away!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Simple Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes

I'm not always able to make things from scratch…there is just not enough time. But when I  added 1/2 cup pumpkin to my favorite pancake mix, I had a pancake that tasted like it was from scratch!

My favorite gluten free pancake mix is The Craving Place Gluten Free Pancake & Waffle Mix.
I love this mix because there is no sugar or fat added or needed. Simply add water until you have the consistency you prefer. A thicker mixture for a thicker pancake…and a thinner mixture for a thinner pancake. As you can see I like a thinner pancake. Thin pancakes are fast and easy to cook, I never have to wonder if the middle is fully cooked.

Add some pancake mix to a mixing bowl. I used about 1 1/2 cups. Add 3/4 cup of water to start with, 1/2 cup pumpkin, and 1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon. Continue to add more water until you have the desired consistency.  Cook on a hot griddle or in a large skillet.

I used about 1/3 cup mixture for each pancake.  Griddle as you would any other pancake. I used a non-stick spray instead of oil on my griddle.

Any time you are making pancakes be sure to let the top get nice and bubbly before flipping.

Flip pancakes and let other side get a nice golden brown.

Serve some up with some nut butters or pure maple syrup.

Remember to freeze leftovers for a quick breakfast or use as a substitute for gluten free bread for a tasty P&J sandwich in a cold lunch.


Monday, September 15, 2014

A Delicious Way To Dry Plums

I'm just not a big prune fan…but I do like plums. We have two plum trees that provided us with more plums than we could eat and share.  Being fans of dried fruit, we decided to try drying the plums sliced like many other fruits.  

We learned a couple things from this…they take twice as long to dry, and they are wonderful!!

Just place sliced plums on dryer racks and set the temp at 135. Let dry least 6-8 hours but depending on thickness of slices it could take longer  .

When they are dry there should be no juicy or squishy parts on the fruit. As you can see in the photo below.

 Place in freezer bag or other air tight containers and store in a cool part of the house for 6-12 months.

We like to add cut up dried fruit to our green salad, cereal, trail mix, or just eat alone as a snack.
Weight watchers count 3 points for 1/4 cup of dried fruit.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Frozen Pears - Simple & Delicious

Too many pears and out of ideas? Join the club!!
I have been drying pears and apples for almost a month now.

But here is a really tasty treat my husband and I came up with late one night when we were dreading the thought of filling the food dryer one more time. Don't get me wrong….we love dried fruit, but we have our limits!!

This is so simple...
Spread the cut pieces of pear on a large baking pan lined with parchment paper. Let pears freeze completely. I just leave them in the freezer over night or while I am at work. Then dump frozen pear pieces into freezer bags and return to freezer.

Now you can have a healthy, refreshing, fat free  treat any time. And what a great snack for kids!
Of course you can also use these frozen pears for fruit crisps and cobblers throughout the year.

Weight watcher followers will love this. It's such a delicious treat and fruit is non-counting when it's not in a recipe…correct?  Don't forget grapes are a yummy frozen treat too!

Here are the pears after they are frozen.