Tag Archives: gluten free

Chocolate-Cashew Snack Bars

Allergen Information: Contains Tree Nuts.  Gluten free & Dairy free

Special Equipment: Food Processor

Final

One of my favorite breakfasts or go-to snacks when I was a teacher was a Quaker Granola bar.  Only 90 calories. Held me over for about 20 minutes until I wanted another one. 90 calories quickly turned into 180, and sometimes 270.

These days, I’m not one to talk about calories because I don’t count calories EVER.  But back then, that’s all I cared about.  Who cares that the bars were full of sugar, corn, and soy?  No wonder they never really satisfied me or gave me the energy boost I needed.

This recipe is another example of how you can still have something (similar) you enjoy—just cleaned up a bit.  Well, a lot.

Take a look at the ingredients….Think about this for a minute—why must there be that many ingredients to make a product that really only needs 4 or 5?

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Cost & Shelf life. Two things that have nothing to do with YOUR HEALTH. I understand that most people are more concerned with cost than health, and it makes me sad!

The only thing (at the beginning of my journey) that spoke to ME was education.  When I stopped looking at the FRONT of the package and started reading the BACK, I was appalled.  I took it one step further and started looking up each ingredient listed.  Now I know why I had so many health problems.

LarabarsThese snack bars are a mock of my favorite “approved” bar that I have on hand in a pinch, Larabars.  If I’m too busy to cook breakfast or my morning doesn’t go as planned, I’ll snack on one of these and some fruit!

They have only a few REAL ingredients and are non-GMO approved.  I buy mine at Kroger 10 for $10 in the Organic section, but also love to make them.

I always have cashews and dates on hand, so these are always a snack I can make on the weekend for the coming week!

For this recipe, you’ll need raw cashews (which just means they haven’t been roasted).  I buy mine in the bulk section of Earth Fare.

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Step 1: Cut the pits out of the dates by cutting them in half and removing the pit

Step 2: Put the cashews in the food processor and pulse it until the cashews are in small bits, but not powdery

Step 3: Add the dates and pulse until combined and stuck together

Step 4:  Add the coconut and chocolate chips and pulse until combined.  Add 1 teaspoon of water, pulse until combined.  If needed, add one more teaspoon of water.  You want them to be sticky, but not watery.

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Step 5: Take the mixture out of the food processor and form a ball on a counter lined with parchment paper.

Step 6: Roll or use your hands to form a large rectangle

Step 7:  Cut the mixture into large or small bars, however you prefer & store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

 

Chocolate-Cashew Snack Bars
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 10 medjool dates, pitted (more if necessary)
  • ¼ cup coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (see note)
Instructions
  1. Cut the pits out of the dates by cutting them in half and removing the pit
  2. Put the cashews in the food processor and pulse it until the cashews are in small bits, but not powdery
  3. Add the dates and pulse until combined and stuck together
  4. Add the coconut and chocolate chips and pulse until combined. Add 1 teaspoon of water, pulse until combined. If needed, add one more teaspoon of water. You want them to be sticky, but not watery.
  5. Take the mixture out of the food processor and form a ball on a counter lined with parchment paper.
  6. Roll or use your hands to form a large rectangle
  7. Cut the mixture into large or small bars, however you prefer & store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Notes
You may use your favorite chips here (preferably a good dark chocolate kind) if you don't have this brand or don't need to worry about allergies. Enjoy Life chocolate chips are free of the top 8 allergens and are usually the choice for us Allergy folks 🙂


Iced Chai Tea

Allergen Information: Contains tree nuts (substitution given).  Gluten-free & dairy free

Special Equipment: High Powered Blender

Iced Chai Latte 2I know it’ll be hard to believe both of these statements can inhabit the same sentence, but they’re true….I used to have a Starbucks addiction AND I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life.

I will smell it, cheer for you when you drink it, burn a coffee candle, but will NOT drink it…..

Two reasons.  I really just don’t want it (my thought about beer, too!) and I don’t need anything else to “need.”  Chocolate already does enough for that vice!

So when Starbucks was the new thing, I wanted to tag along, too–except mine manifested itself in anything NOT coffee. Venti was the only size for me and the Iced Chai Tea Latte was the culprit.

At the beginning of my “eat clean” journey, I just used self control to stay away from things like this, and like many of you, believed that eating “healthy” meant giving up everything I love.  It took me almost a year to understand that I wasn’t giving up foods I loved, I was just changing them. And in essence, changing them back to their original state….

In the process, I found that this “real food” I was eating tasted MUCH better, and this drink is no different.  Instead of tasting some low-fat milk and a concentrated syrup (with some bad-for-me ingredients), the interesting flavor of cardamom and bite that the ginger brings makes this drink sweet, spicy, and beautiful.

What else is beautiful? Saving money!  You can buy these ingredients, save them in your pantry, and make your own CHAI LATTE over and over without spending $4 a day.

The two spices that are vying for your attention in this drink are the cardamom and ginger–both very unique and strong flavors, but also both with healing powers.  You can read about some benefits of cardamom here and ginger here.

Give this one a try, and get ready for a very strong and flavorful start to your morning!

Iced Chai Tea
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • ½ frozen banana
  • 2 dates, pitted
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk, or non-dairy milk of choice
  • ¾ t ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • ¾ t cinnamon
  • ¼ t cardamom
  • ½ t vanilla extract
  • 1 T Agave (or liquid sweetener of choice)
  • small pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients (except almond milk) in blender. Pour milk over & blend on high until well combined. Serve over ice (or blend in the ice for a frozen treat!)

 

 


Honey-Jalapeno Corn Muffins

Allergen Information: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free.  Contains Tree Nuts (substitution given).

Honey Jalepeno Corn Muffins 2

Every good bowl of soup needs a matching muffin.  For me, this one hits the spot, especially with anything Mexican.  There’s a subtle, yet flavorful combination of sweet honey and spicy jalapeno.

We paired this muffin with our Savory Southwest Chili, but they would be perfect for any soup needing a extra kick.

The ground flax seed and almond mixture will act as your binding agent, like your egg would.  When you eat this corn muffin, you’ll be amazed at how fluffy and moist they are!

Here in South Carolina, we are preparing for our first snow this year, and we just made two batches of these along with two batches of soup to munch on the next few days…..

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Honey-Jalapeno Corn Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (see note)
  • 1.5 T ground flax seed
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ honey (use local if possible!)
  • 1 cup corn meal (*ORGANIC important here!)
  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour (see note)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, & chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 liners.
  2. Mix almond milk and ground flax seed in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl until combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix applesauce and honey. Stir until well combined.
  5. Add the almond-flax mixture to the applesauce and honey and stir.
  6. Slowly stir in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  7. Fold in jalapenos.
  8. Distribute the batter evenly among the muffin tin.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Brush some honey on top of muffins while hot.
  11. Enjoy!
Notes
1. For nut allergies, feel free to substitute rice or hemp milk. I make my own almond milk, but you can buy it. Just make sure it is unsweetened for this recipe.
2. You can buy oat flour, but if you have a high powered blender, you can make your own out of gluten-free oats by putting them in the blender and blending on high for about 10 seconds. I find it easier to do that than to buy oat flour, since I don't use that very often.

 


Coconut Whipped Cream–Dairy Free

Allergen Information: Free of the top 8 allergens

Special Equipment: Electric hand mixer

Cool whip is one of our American staples.  Velveeta, Cool Whip, Lays Potato Chips, Kraft Mac & Cheese. It’s Fourth of July; it’s a barbecue; it’s all holiday.  It’s light and fluffy and promises to please every time. It’s made by our favorite trusted household brand, Kraft, and we know they have our health on the forefront of their minds, right?

I remember a time that this trusted product was my go-to dessert.  A few dollops of cool whip, some chocolate chips, and maybe a few strawberries–what a healthy dessert! (I’m cringing).

I haven’t bought this stuff in quite a while, so I have to admit tonight was the first time I researched the ingredients.  I’m honestly going to need a moment to recover from this one….

……

Whew.  This one’s bad y’all.  There is nothing “real” about this product, except the water.  If you are curious about each individual ingredient listed, check this article out.  I didn’t even need to look them up because I already know all of those ingredients listed are bad news.

Ingredient Collage

I hope I didn’t crush your spirits—Although I do hope you are a little stunned!

I promise there’s some good news here.  You can make your own from home in about the time it would take to unwrap the packaging of the Cool Whip and thaw it out a bit.

CanIf you have five minutes and these three ingredients (canned coconut milk, maple syrup, and real vanilla extract), you can make this delicious sweet treat.  You can use it to top your morning oatmeal, on a dessert (I used it on a homemade pecan pie at Thanksgiving), or with anything that needs a little sweetness.

*Please make sure to buy full-fat coconut milk (do not buy LIGHT) or you will not get the cream you need to make the whipped cream

There’s only one catch.  The can must stay in the refrigerator overnight before you can make it.  The easy thing to do is just always keep one in there, so you can make this treat whenever you like!

Ok, so step 1: Refrigerate the coconut milk at least overnight. Why? Because the cream will rise to the top and separate from the milk, allowing you to make the whipped cream!

Step 2: Turn the can upside down, THEN open.  This will make the liquid on top and will be much easier to pour out of the can, leaving only the cream at the bottom.

Opening

Step 3: Pour the liquid portion in the bowl for another use (maybe a smoothie??)

Pour Can

Step 4: Put the “cream” in a large bowl

Out of can

Step 5:  Beat with electric beaters for about 4 minutes, until creamy and stiff.

whipped

Step 6:  Add 3 teaspoons of maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon of real vanilla extract and blend again until mixed.

Step 7: Enjoy on your dessert or oatmeal (or eat plain with strawberries & dark chocolate for an awesome treat!)

Do you have $3 and 5 minutes to spare this week?  (If you’ve got maple syrup & vanilla).  Give this a shot!

 


Chocolate Milkshake–Dairy Free

Allergen Information: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Soy Free. Contains tree nuts (substitution given)

Special Equipment: High powered blender

Chocolate Milkshake 2

Sometimes we don’t want something to taste green (for some of us, that might be most of the time 🙂 ).  We just need CHOCOLATE!  That is where this Almond Milk Chocolate Milkshake comes into play.  Now you can have your chocolate milkshake without feeling guilty! This milkshake is full of good stuff AND tastes great.  Next time you feel the need to eat ice cream or devour a box of cookies, try this first!

Cacao NibsA note about Cacao Nibs: Cacao nibs are just raw, shaved pieces of cacao beans, the basis of chocolate.  If consumed by themselves, they don’t taste like the processed chocolate we know, but more like coffee beans.  If you eat them alone, you will notice how much processing, sugar, and/or milk must go into chocolate to make it taste like we like it.  Unlike regular chocolate, cacao nibs are considered a superfood and provide your body with some amazing benefits, including antioxidants, minerals, and fiber. Who knew?!

I prefer to make my own vanilla almond milk so I can make sure I have only the ingredients I want in it, but if you are going to buy it, try this Pacific Vanilla Almond Milk–it’s wonderful! For a nut-free option, try rice or hemp milk or organic cow’s milk if you have no dairy allergy/intolerance!

Cheers 🙂

Chocolate Milkshake--Dairy Free
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 T Cacao Nibs
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • ½ cup ice
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients (except ice) in the blender in the order shown. Blend until smooth. Add ice & blend again until creamy. Enjoy!