Friendly Gluten Free Foods

Adventures of a recipe tinkerer and food explorer


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Overnight Breakfast Polenta Bowl

After a stint with Thistle meal delivery service, I was introduced to polenta and decided to make an overnight polenta breakfast similar to overnight oats for quick morning meals.

I have tried to make polenta in the past and didn’t care for the time and attention it needed, so I switched to the tube of polenta (no herbs or flavorings added). If you want to make polenta from scratch for this recipe, I’m sure it would work. Kitchn has a quick way to make polenta.

Polenta bowlIngredients

  • 1/2 tube of already cooked polenta
  • One small piece of whole fruit (nectarine, apple, peach, pear, 1/4 cantaloupe, cherries or dried cranberries) or 1/4c jam
  • 1/4 cup milk (coconut, cows, rice, etc)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sweeter of choice (maple syrup, honey, sugar, stevia, brown sugar, etc)
  • 1 tablespoon diced nuts (walnuts, almonds) or granola

Heat polenta in a bowl for 1 minute. Smash polenta with a fork. Add 1/4 cup milk and heat 30 seconds more. Smash polenta with fork some more. Add extra milk for desired consistency.  Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup into polenta mixture.

Layer 1/2 diced whole fruit into a pint mason jar then 1/2 polenta mixture. Finish with remaining fruit then polenta mixture. Put in refrigerator over night. Top with nuts or granola and enjoy.

 

 


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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

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Peanut butter is a good source of protein and can be filling and satisfying in small quantities. Pair that with antioxidant rich dark chocolate and you have yourself a match made in heaven. This is a simple recipe for when you are craving something salty and sweet. I often have chocolate bars laying around and always have peanut butter on hand, so this two-ingredient recipe will certainly be a “go to” chocolate candy treat for me in the future.

Feel free to play with with this recipe depending on how much peanut butter you like with your chocolate. I also recommend trying different chocolates though I suspect the best chocolates will be on the darker and semi-sweet kind to balance the peanut butter. I used a mixture of 72% dark chocolate with just a little milk chocolate mixed in (~2:3 ratio) to make it a silky and I’m not a fan of milk chocolate by itself so this was a good way to hide it. Then used 1.5-2 teaspoons of low sodium all natural creamy peanut butter for the center. I also enjoyed it with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter! Just be aware, with more peanut butter it will goo out the sides when you bite into it.

Ingredients to make one peanut butter cup

  • 3 oz of semi-sweet or dark chocolate. 1/4 cup morsels work well. This was my breakdown:
    • 2 squares (~2 oz) Trader Joe’s 72% cocoa Pound Plus Bar (or any other chocolate of your choosing including semi-sweet chocolate chips)
    • 1-2 squares (~1.5 oz) of your favorite milk chocolate (optional) or more of the chocolate used above to make ~3 oz in total
  • 1.5-2 teaspoons of low sodium all natural creamy peanut butter (or any other choice of nut butter, chunky works too!)
  • 1-2 Almonds (optional)

The trick is to slowly melt the chocolate over a double boiler or for 30 seconds at a time in the microwave until just melted (keep checking on it and stirring). Once melted, place a shallow layer of chocolate to cover the bottom of the cupcake liner (my silicone cupcake holders work great!), and set the remainder aside. Put the cupcake with chocolate layer in the fridge for about 5-10 mins until the top of the chocolate becomes cloudy and firm. I turned my fridge onto instant cool to cool them faster.

Then, working quickly if you have runny peanut butter like I did, place the peanut butter in the center, and drizzle chocolate around the outside of the peanut butter, along the edge of the cupcake liner to contain and encapsulate the peanut butter. If you aren’t able to seal it totally because the peanut butter hit the side of the cup, that’s ok. Then finally cover the top of the peanut butter with the remaining chocolate. Feel free to add a couple of whole almonds on top if that’s to your liking. Refrigerate for 20-40 minutes. Enjoy!

Note: I can’t find the recipe now, and while searching for the recipe, I see other recipes call for a number of additional ingredients that jack up the calorie count (butter, powder sugar, brown sugar, etc). I’d rather just add more nutritious peanut butter. =)

Alterations to try:

  • One recipe had added protein powder and flax meal which is an interesting idea
  • Adding part of the chocolate to the peanut butter then melting them together in the microwave
  • Adding 1/2 teaspoon jelly on top of the peanut butter before you seal the top for  PB&J cup
  • Adding a few crystals of sea salt to the top instead of almonds
  • Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups

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Gluten Free Granola Bars

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We discovered something the last time we made these. After you combine the liquid ingredients for the fruit variety, we poured the liquid into the food processor. Then we added some pieces of the dried fruits (big chunks of papaya and mango) and hit them with the processor. With the liquid in there it kept the fruit pieces from getting all clumped together. We were able to get a much better and more uniform chop on them, which in turn gave a better texture to the bars. Way easier and better!

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Fruit and Granola Bars

3 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats (Gluten Free)
1 cup chopped almonds (or a mixture of nuts like peanuts, cashews)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c sunflower kernels, or 4 tbls. ground flax seed (optional)
12 oz (about 3-3.5 c) dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, figs, apricots, mango, papaya, apples, etc)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Steps:
1) Combine oats and almonds and spread on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes (or until toasted) stirring occasionally.
2) In a food processor lightly blend eggs, butter, honey, vanilla, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
3) Gradually add pieces of fruit to the food processor and blend until the fruit is finely chopped (this is the most important step to get the bars to stick together).
4) Place oat mixture and sunflower kernels in a large bowl and add mixture from the food processor, mix until oats are well coated.
5) Press mixture into a large cookie sheet* coated with cooking spray.
6) Bake at 350 for 13 – 18 minutes* or until set and edges are lightly browned. Set on wire rack until cool and then refrigerate for at least an hour.
7) Cut into bars, store in airtight container and refrigerate (they last quite a while and also freeze well).

*I love the big oat bars from Philz Coffee shop so the last time I made these I put them into an 11×7 pan and cooked them until the center was no longer spongy (35-45 mins) and the entire top is brown throughout.

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Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

3 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup chopped almonds
1 egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1) Combine oats and almonds and spread on cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes (or until toasted) stirring occasionally.
2) In a large bowl combine eggs, butter, honey, peanut butter, and vanilla.
3) Stir in sunflower kernels, chocolate chips, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
4) Stir in oat mixture until well mixed.
5) Press mixture into a large cookie sheet coated with cooking spray.
6) Bake at 350 for 13 – 18 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. Set on wire rack until cool and then refrigerate for at least an hour.
7) Cut into bars, store in airtight container and refrigerate.

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ORIGINAL RECIPE FROM
http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/Granola-To-Go-Bars

Ingredients

  • 3-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sunflower kernels
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apples
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  • Combine oats and almonds in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally.
  • In a large bowl, combine the egg, butter, honey and vanilla. Stir in the sunflower kernels, coconut, apples, cranberries, brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir in oat mixture.
  • Firmly press into a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 13-18 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 3 dozen.


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Dairy Free Pudding

The box of Jello chocolate cook and serve pudding says to not use soy milk or powdered dry milk because it won’t set so I was hesitant to try almond milk. However, I had exactly 3 cups of almond milk that needed to be used before the expiration (I wish they came in smaller containers) and decided to give it a go. The pudding set up just fine!

Next time I’ll make a gluten free corn flake crust* or a gf vanilla creme cookie crust* then top the chocolate pudding with meringue for a gluten free chocolate  meringue pie.

*The gluten free pie crust I tried before didn’t rank high so I will try a different recipe like the two I linked to above.