Category Archives: Baked goods

Potato Biscuits

I love biscuits. Like, really, really love them. Let me count the ways: biscuits with butter, with jam, with gravy (especially a good Southern sausage gravy!), with fried chicken, or even for the making of a sausage biscuit sandwich…that’s just the beginning, I’m sure. But good, tender, moist biscuits are hard to come by, especially when one is gluten and dairy-free. So for us, biscuits are a special event.

What I do love about making gluten-free biscuits is that there isn’t that pesky gluten in there, making things tough and chewy. Makes for an easy time – you can’t accidentally overwork the dough. And when using potato flour, it seems there is no need for gums like guar or xanthan gum. It also makes the biscuits taste nice and potato-y; something I really enjoyed.

I do have to apologize to you, however. It seems I’ve been hoarding this recipe for a while now. I’ve had it tucked away for at least a year, digging it out once in a while, but I’ve never managed to get photos of these humble beauties. Well, my friends, there’s no time like the present. I hope you’ll make up for lost time by making these quite often. Grab yourself some potato flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill), so you’ll always have it on hand for a quick breakfast treat.

Print Recipe

Potato Biscuits (gluten-free, grain-free, vegan)

2/3 c potato flour (not potato starch)

1/3 c potato starch or tapioca starch

2 t baking powder

1/2 t kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling

3 T coconut oil

2/3 c canned full-fat coconut milk

1 T chia seed meal (grind chia seeds in a coffee grinder)

1/2 t apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the potato flour, starch, baking powder and salt. With your fingers or with a fork, blend in the coconut oil until the mixture is crumbly. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, chia seed meal, and apple cider vinegar. Stir the coconut milk mixture into the flour mixture until combined and the dough comes together. It will be crumbly, but it should hold together. Using a 2 inch biscuit cutter, press a handful of dough into a circle to form a biscuit, pressing just firmly enough for the dough to hold together. (Alternatively, you can simply form rounds by hand.) Repeat with remaining dough. Sprinkle each biscuit with a pinch of kosher salt.

Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 biscuits.

Do you make breakfasts more often during the summer, when kids are home? What do you like to make? Share at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!

This post is linked to Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free over at Gluten-Free Easily.

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Cake

Check out this chocolate sheet cake. Fudgy, chocolatey goodness. It’s gluten and dairy-free to boot. But what if I told you that it was a tad healthier than a traditional chocolate cake? And that there was a secret ingredient in this cake that contributes to it’s “healthy” status? Furthermore, no one can tell that this is anything but a fudgy, indulgent treat.

Wanna know what that secret ingredient is?

Head on over to The Balanced Platter, where I’m sharing the recipe for this chocolate sheet cake. I’ll be divulging all of my secrets and more!

 

Honey Teff Bread

It’s been a while since I’ve baked bread. I don’t really do it much – I don’t often have the time to allow dough to rise and all that jazz – and besides, up until recently, I haven’t done well when consuming many grains. (Over time, though, I’m finding I’m more able to tolerate them in moderate amounts. Hooray for healing!) But the other day, I decided it was time. Time to get back out the flours, knead some dough, and make some real, honest, good bread. I’ve been working on a bread that would be delicious for sandwiches for a long while. I was inspired by this recipe over at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen, but I played, played, and played some more with the recipe. I wanted to make something that was corn-free, so my corn intolerant family members could enjoy it, and so I used different flours and in varying amounts until it was right for me.

What I love about this bread is that it’s not dry. It doesn’t have to be toasted to be enjoyable, and it doesn’t crumble when made into a sandwich. It’s pliable, flavorful, and filling. I’ve enjoyed several turkey sandwiches with it this week, in fact. A sandwich is a simple thing, really, but it’s something I’ve missed. I’ve never been a huge sandwich “person”, but to have one every now and then is truly wonderful.

Anyway, back to this bread. I highly encourage you to try out a loaf for yourself. It’s therapeutic. Kneading dough is something many of us gluten-free bakers rarely get to do anymore. Usually, gluten-free dough isn’t kneadable. This is. Take advantage of it, and release some stress! You won’t overwork the dough – there’s no gluten in it, after all! Then relieve more stress when you bite into your first slice, because after all, my friend, it’s the best thing since…well, it is sliced bread!

Print Recipe

Honey Teff Bread (gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free) – adapted from Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen

2 ½ c warm water (105-110 degrees)

2 active dry yeast packets

3 T honey

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1/3 c ground chia seeds

¼ c psyllium husk powder

 1 c teff flour

½ c sorghum flour

1 c millet flour

½ c sweet white rice flour, plus more for kneading

2 t kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling

Place the warm water in a bowl or 4-cup liquid glass measure. Add the yeast and honey, whisk together. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes to activate the yeast. The mixture should get foamy or bubbly.

 While the yeast is activating, mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

 After the yeast mixture is all bubbly, whisk in the olive oil, ground chia seeds, and psyllium husks into the water-yeast mixture. Let stand for a minute or two to let the chia and psyllium get thick.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together until thick. I usually start by using a wooden spoon and then eventually get in there with my hands for this step. Knead the dough to incorporate the flour – you could do this on a floured wooden board, or do as I do, and simply knead while it’s in a large bowl. Add additional sweet white rice flour, a little at a time, until the dough holds together and isn’t too sticky (about ¼ to ½ cup total). Form dough into a ball and cover with a damp towel. Place in a warm spot to rise. Let dough rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

After the dough has risen, place a pizza stone in your oven on the center rack. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Punch down the dough a bit and knead again for a minute or two. Form into a round ball. Place on a piece of parchment paper and use a sharp knife to cut slits on top. Pour a little olive oil on your hands and lightly rub over the top of the bread, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Let rise for about 30 minutes while the oven and stone are preheating.

Carefully lift the parchment paper with the risen loaf on top and place it onto the stone in the oven. Bake for about 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for an hour before cutting into it. It is preferred to allow to cool on a rack to allow air to circulate around the loaf. The bread will be somewhat gummy if cut into while the loaf is still hot.

 Store leftovers for a day at room temperature, but store in the refrigerator for longer term storage – about a week.

 

Coconut-Date Macaroons

It all started with a big ol’ bag of coconut flakes (chips). They’d been hanging out in my pantry far too long. Finally, after looking at them quite a few times, I decided that it was high time I put them to use. But what to do?

I’ve used these big flakes before in granola, and loved how in the oven, they got all toasty, a little crispy, and deliciously chewy. The wheels started a-turnin’, and I thought about how toasty, crispy and chewy would all be wonderful qualities in a macaroon. So I set to making some.

Which, as it turned out initially, wasn’t as simple as just swapping out the finely shredded stuff for these big flakes. Without other modifications, the stuff just didn’t hold together. Which seems fairly obvious now, but at the time, I was at a bit of a crossroads. How could I maintain that chewy, delicious texture that I loved and keep everything together?

Obviously, as you can see, I managed. I couldn’t let you down, dear friends. Deep down, I knew you needed some coconut-y goodness, and I’m all for trying to deliver! These macaroons definitely deliver. I brought them to my coworkers, which, as I’ve probably mentioned before, are all regular gluten and dairy-eaters, and they were definitely well-received. In fact, we regularly receive these (supposedly amazing) freshly-baked mail-delivery cookies for Board meetings and the like, and they were in the office kitchen as well, serving as steep competition. One of my coworkers said she bypassed those mail-delivery cookies in favor of my macaroons, and proclaimed them superior. Made my day.

I hope these macaroons make your day too!

Print Recipe

Coconut-Date Macaroons (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

2 egg whites

2/3 c powdered turbinado sugar (I process turbinado sugar in my coffee grinder to “powder” it. I bet using coconut sugar works well here too, though I haven’t tried it.)

1/2 t almond extract

1/4 t sea salt

3 c unsweetened coconut flakes/chips

1/3 c chopped Medjool dates

1/4 c potato starch

1/4 c superfine brown rice flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy. Whisk in the powdered sugar, almond extract, and salt. Stir in the coconut, dates, potato starch, and rice flour until everything is evenly distributed and mixed well. Scoop into 2-inch mounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Slightly press the cookies down with the back of a spoon or your palm, if desired, for more chewy texture. (They’ll be a bit softer if you leave them in a more rounded shape.)

Bake for 15-18 minutes, turning the baking sheet halfway through baking time. Allow to cool on the baking sheet.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.

Macadamia-Coconut Cookies with Cacao Nibs

This is what happens when you leave me to my own devices in the kitchen for an hour or so, folks.

Cookies happen.

Delicious, rich, heavenly, sinful-but-they’re-actually-good-for-you cookies.

Wait, what? Cookies that are good for you?

Yes. These cookies are full of nutrient-dense macadamia nuts, cashews, coconut, and cacao nibs, and are not only gluten-free, but also grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. So you get a good dose of omega-3s, vitamin E, palmitoleic acid, thiamin, lauric acid, and antioxidants, without a bunch of sugar or grain – both of which seem to bother many sensitive tummies (like mine!).

But don’t tell your tastebuds that. After all, macadamia+coconut+chocolate=pure heaven, right? And don’t let that somewhat plain photo above fool you. Truth be told, the battery on the camera died after just three shots, and I was running out the door for a soccer game, throwing these still-warm cookies onto a plate to share with my team. Speaking of, just don’t just take my advice on the deliciousness of these little treats. My soccer team and friends happily gobbled up cookie after cookie after our game on Saturday. (They’re thankful that I sacrificed a pretty photo of these cookies for their sake, I’m sure!) I find that the true test – if gluten and sugar-eaters go back for seconds, then it’s a sure winner.

Print Recipe

Macadamia-Coconut Cookies with Cacao Nibs (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, paleo)

About 1 cup macadamia nut pieces

About 1 cup raw cashew pieces

1/4 c Grade B maple syrup

1/4 c pitted Medjool dates (about 4)

1/3 c coconut butter* (also called coconut cream concentrate or creamed coconut)

1 egg

1/2 t liquid stevia (if you like your cookies sweeter)

1 t vanilla extract

1/4 t baking soda

1/4 t Kosher salt

1/3 c tapioca or potato starch

1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 c raw cacao nibs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a food processor, place the macadamia nuts and cashews. Puree for several minutes, until a smooth nut butter is formed. (Yes, it will clump to the side of the food processor a bit before the nuts completely release their oils, but let it keep going, as it will eventually smooth back out into a delicious nut butter.) Scrape out of food processor, and measure out 1 cup of nut butter. (If there’s extra, then I won’t tell if you just eat it by the spoonful.)

Add the 1 cup of nut butter back to the food processor along with the maple syrup, dates, and coconut butter. Puree until the dates are in tiny little bits. Add the egg, stevia (if using), and vanilla and puree again until well-blended.

In a large bowl, whisk together the baking soda, salt, tapioca starch and shredded coconut. Scrape out the nut butter mixture from the food processor into the bowl and stir together with a spoon until evenly mixed. Add the cacao nibs and stir again.

Scoop dough into small rounds (about 2 tablespoons in size for each) onto the baking sheet (about 2 inches apart) and bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes almost 2 dozen.

*NOTE about creamed coconut/coconut butter/coconut cream concentrate: It’s all the same thing; it just depends who makes it. Let’s Do Organic calls it creamed coconut , Artisana calls it coconut butter, Nutiva calls it coconut manna , and Tropical Traditions calls it coconut cream concentrate. Lexie of Lexie’s Kitchen made some from scratch. I have used several of these brands with success, and have even made my own. Any of those will work just fine in this recipe.

 

Sweet Potato and Rosemary Flatbread

I know it’s not really the height of sweet potato season. That being said, it’s sweet potato season around our house for much of the cooler months. Plain and simple – they’re healthy, easy, and we love them. Most often, we enjoy them in the form of a sweet potato puree. Of course, as evidenced by this recipe, we often end up with leftovers. That’s when I get creative.

In fact, I was so excited by the crust from that quiche that I’ve since been playing with the recipe, coming up with various ideas based on the same theme. In fact, I made sweet potato puree just so I could have “leftovers” for this flatbread. I highly suggest you do the same. This flatbread is that good. It’s perfect with a salad, but really shines alongside a soup, or even roast chicken with some gravy or au jus, so you can use it to mop up the soup or some sauce. You could definitely use it as a pizza crust. Whatever you do, you’ve gotta try it out.

Print Recipe

Sweet Potato and Rosemary Flatbread (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

2 egg whites

1 egg

1 T psyllium husk powder

1 T ground flaxseed

1 c sweet potato puree (follow instructions on how to make sweet potato puree here, omitting maple syrup)

2 T coconut butter* (also called creamed coconut or coconut cream concentrate)

1/2 c white rice flour

1/2 c blanched almond flour (I used Honeyville)

1 t kosher salt

1/2 t baking powder

1 T chopped fresh rosemary needles

Additional coarse salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add the psyllium husk powder, flaxseed, sweet potato puree and coconut butter (warm this a bit if it is too hard) and stir until well-blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the rice flour, almond flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until well-blended. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and press out evenly into a rectangle about 12 inches long and 8 inches wide. If the dough sticks to your fingers, oil them with a little olive oil before pressing. Sprinkle a bit of salt over the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the bottom is browned and the middle springs back when pressed lightly. Allow to cool for a few minutes, and cut into 8 pieces. (I found using a pizza cutter to be the easiest way to do this.)

Enjoy!

*NOTE about creamed coconut/coconut butter/coconut cream concentrate: It’s all the same thing; it just depends who makes it. Let’s Do Organic calls it creamed coconut , Artisana calls it coconut butter, Nutiva calls it coconut manna , and Tropical Traditions calls it coconut cream concentrate. Lexie of Lexie’s Kitchen made some from scratch. I have used several of these brands with success, and have even made my own. Any of those will work just fine in this recipe.

 

Grain-Free, Dairy-Free “Ding Dongs”

Who here remembers Ding Dongs? Those delicious little chocolate cakes with a creamy white marshmallow-y center, coated in a thin shell of chocolate were one of the only Hostess treats I enjoyed. Twinkies? Nah, I’ll pass. Cupcakes? Meh. But Ding Dongs? I was definitely game. I wasn’t much for cake as a child (I know, what was wrong with me?), but I could go for one of these treats.

Of course, even before I went gluten-free, it’d been years upon years since I’d had one. And now, with Hostess in bankruptcy, there currently aren’t Ding Dongs to be found. Not that I would want to eat one today anyway – they’re full of gluten, dairy, tons of sugar, and processed chemicals. That’s not really my thing. I’d much rather just grab a square of dark chocolate and call it a day.

But a few weeks ago, the idea of making my own Ding Dongs popped into my head. While I’m typically a fan of speedy, simple desserts (cookies are my forte), I decided this just simply must happen in my kitchen.

And so it did.

I started out playing with the cake recipe. Not having a fresh memory of a Ding Dong in my head, I did the best I could, remembering a somewhat dense (but not so much that it could be confused with a brownie) cake with as much chocolate in it as you could possibly add. I opted for coconut flour, as I’ve loved it in other cake and cupcake recipes. Coconut flour is tricky – it soaks up so much more moisture at first than other flours – but once you get used to it, it can provide a tight, tender crumb in a cake. It worked perfectly, and my cake was tasty and held together when cut perfectly.

In a real Ding Dong, I honestly have no idea what is in the filling they use. It’s freakishly white and likely has multiple chemicals that allow it to stay marshmallow-y forever. My filling was a version of a 7-minute frosting – simply egg whites, maple syrup, and vanilla. Now, this means that it won’t stay marshmallow-y for all eternity, but it’s good. Darn good, if I do say so myself.

The exterior coating couldn’t be simpler - I merely melted chocolate and brushed it over. It worked perfectly. Who needs weird waxy stuff when you’ve got good ol’ chocolate?

Now, because these cakes are lacking in preservatives and chemicals, they won’t last forever. They’re best served the same day they are made, as it seems the marshmallow center gets absorbed a little into the cake over time. But chances are, you won’t have to worry about that, as they’re quite the perfect treat, and won’t last long around a crowd of teenagers, kids, or nostalgic adults. But if for some reason you actually do have some left over, they’ll still taste delicious.

Print Recipe

Grain-Free, Dairy-Free “Ding Dongs”

For the chocolate cake:

5 large eggs

¼ c coconut oil, melted

1 ½ oz bittersweet chocolate, melted

1 T brewed coffee

1/3 c maple syrup

1 t vanilla extract

¼ c + 2 T coconut flour

¼ c cacao powder (I used a raw cacao powder, you can use regular cocoa powder, as long as it isn’t dutched)

¼ t salt

½ t baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and cut a piece of parchment paper to fit inside; grease the parchment paper.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the coconut oil, chocolate, coffee, maple syrup, and vanilla and continue to beat until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, cacao powder, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl, beating on medium speed, until well blended.

Scrape the batter into the cake pan and spread out evenly with a spatula.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pan. Once cool, use an offset spatula to go around the edges of the cake and release it from the pan.

(This can be done one day ahead – just wrap the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.)

For the fluffy white filling:

½ c maple syrup (or agave nectar – I haven’t tried honey, but I have a feeling it would work)

¼ c water

2 egg whites, room temperature

1 t vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, bring maple syrup and water to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 3-4 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees F.

Meanwhile, beat eggs in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until foamy. With the mixer still beating the eggs at high speed, slowly pour in the hot syrup along the side of the bowl. Continue to beat on high for 7 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add in vanilla and continue to beat for another minute.

For the chocolate ganache:

Melt 6 oz bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler (or in a large bowl set over a smaller pot of simmering water).

 

To make the cakes:

To assemble the cakes, cut the cakes using a small round cutter – I used one about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. (You can save the scraps for snacking or for cake balls.)

Using a small knife or an apple corer, turn the cut cakes over, and cut out the center three-quarters of the way through and remove the small cut out. Set it aside.

Fill each cake with your fluffy frosting. Replace the cut out. Repeat with remaining cakes. (You’ll probably have leftover fluffy frosting. I won’t tell if you eat it.)

Then, once your ganache is melted and ready to go, use a brush and brush it over the bottoms of the cakes. Place these cakes in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to harden the chocolate. Then turn over the cakes, and brush with chocolate on the tops and sides. Place back in the fridge or freezer to harden the rest of the chocolate.

Serve. Refrigerate if storing any leftovers.

I managed to get 11 ding dongs out of this recipe – you might manage 12 if you are better at cutting out the cakes than I!

Do you have old favorites that you’ve converted to gluten-free? Share them at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!

 

Book Review and Giveaway: The Everything Guide to Living Gluten-Free

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Michelle Senst, who won the copy of The Everything Guide to Living Gluten-Free!

 

Need a one-stop shop for all your gluten-free needs? The Everything Guide to Living Gluten-Free by Jeanine Friesen might be just the thing.

As you probably have seen, there are quite a few gluten-free books showing up on the market. (I own a great many of them!) How do you decipher what’s worth your money? Personally, I look to see what the author knows about gluten-free living. Secondly, I like to know whether they can actually cook. As much as I’d like to think those two qualifications were required for all books like this, a quick browse through the bookstore seems to reveal that is not always the case.

But when it comes to Jeanine, she’s more than qualified! Jeanine has been gluten-free since 2008 after being diagnosed with celiac disease, so she lives the gluten-free lifestyle day in and day out. What’s more, she’s always been one to play around in the kitchen. Her blog, The Baking Beauties, chronicles a multitude of amazing gluten-free baked goods, as well as other dishes. You’d never know they were gluten-free. I’ve browsed through and even made some of Jeanine’s recipes over the years. She was instrumental in helping me satisfy those baked goods cravings I had early in my gluten-free life. Her style is very approachable, and she makes a ton of crowd-pleasers. In short, this girl can cook.

So it’s no surprise she’s now the author of such a guide as The Everything Guide to Living Gluten-Free. In this guide, she takes you from the beginning steps of gluten-free living, describing what gluten is (even including primitive versions of wheat, such as einkorn and emmer, which I found interesting), what celiac disease is, other related disorders and diseases, and other reasons one might go gluten-free. There are beginning steps describing how to eliminate gluten from your diet, including probably the most daunting task to someone new to a gluten-free diet – how to reading labels. Jeanine gives detailed tips that make this process as easy as possible. She also discusses cross-contamination on various tools in your kitchen – a very often overlooked, but important topic. There are also travel tips, and even a section dedicated to gluten-free kids.

Of course, the recipe section is always my favorite part. This book covers all of the favorites – muffins, pancakes, soups, salads, macaroni and cheese, pizza, nachos, lasagna, meatloaf, pot roast, bagels, bread, biscuits, and of course, desserts such as cream puffs, banana cake, and cookies.

What did I decide to make?

 

You guessed it – cookies. For as long as I’ve been alive, I’ve always been a cookie monster. They’re my dessert of choice. I opted to make her Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, substituting palm shortening for the butter (and I used dairy-free chocolate chips).

Just look at those babies. Chewy and yet still a touch soft, these were definitely a treat. For one that rarely eats regular sugar, these were sweet to me, but my soccer team gladly added them to their (most definitely not gluten-free) homebrewed beer and pizza party weekend before last – and nobody could tell they were gluten or dairy-free. That’s the tell-tale sign of a good recipe – when the regular gluten-eaters are happy to chow down! Jeanine definitely wins with this one.

Want to win a copy of this soon-to-be-released book?

Here’s how you can enter to win – each one of these steps will earn you an entry:

1. Leave me a comment telling me your favorite treat you’d love to see made gluten-free.

2. Like Tasty Eats At Home on Facebook and leave me a comment here telling me you did so.

3. Follow Tasty Eats At Home on Twitter and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

4. Like The Baking Beauties on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

5. Follow Baking Beauties on Twitter and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

6. Share this giveaway on Facebook or tweet about it on Twitter and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

 

That’s it! Lots of chances to win! This giveaway is open to all U.S. and Canadian residents 18 years of age and older. The giveaway will end on Sunday, February 24, 2013, at 11:59PM CST.

Best of luck to you all! If you don’t win, or you just can’t wait, you can pre-order your copy on Amazon today!

 

Chocolate Chip Brown Rice Crispy Cookies

Here’s a Valentine’s Day thought: What if a rice crispy treat and a chocolate chip cookie met, fell in love, and had children?

My bet would be that these treats would be the offspring.

The other day, I was in my pantry and the Erewhon box of Crispy Brown Rice cereal was staring back at me. You’ve forgotten me, it seemed to exclaim. Oh no, I replied, I just…wanted to make something special with you. That’s all!

(What, you don’t have conversations with your cereal boxes?)

Anyway, I determined that now was the time to make that “something special”. I didn’t want another rice crispy treat (although I adored making these peanut butter ones, as well as these maple pecan ones!). I wanted to take this cereal in a different direction. So why not attempt to combine two iconic treats into one?

The result was a chewy, delicious chocolate chip cookie with the lovely, crisp texture of the crisp rice cereal. I was smarter this time around than most – I had plenty of kids around to whom I pawned off these addictive treats. No one seemed to mind. I definitely had my fair share, especially with tastes of the cookie dough (which admittedly tastes more like a rice crispy treat, much to my delight – oh, the pains the baker must go through!).

I dare you to eat just one!

[recipe-link]

Chocolate Chip Brown Rice Crispy Cookies (gluten-free, dairy-free)

1/3 c coconut oil, softened slightly

2/3 c coconut palm sugar

2 t vanilla extract

4 T maple syrup

1 egg

1/2 c brown rice flour

1/2 c gluten-free oat flour

2 T tapioca flour

1/4 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

1/4 t xanthan or guar gum

1 1/2 c gluten-free crispy brown rice cereal

1 c chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life minis)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the coconut oil and coconut palm sugar. Add the vanilla extract, maple syrup, and egg and continue to beat on medium speed until incorporated well. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, the oat flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, salt, and the xanthan or guar gum. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat on medium-low speed until combined well. Add in the crispy brown rice cereal and chocolate chips and stir in.

Scoop small balls of dough (about 2 tablespoons-sized) and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove and allow to cool a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.

 

Quinoa Protein Breakfast Bars

I have a sneaking suspicion that a great many of you are focusing on healthy eating with renewed vigor. Am I right? Of course, if you’re changing up your routine, it can quickly become overwhelming. (Especially if you’re not accustomed to cooking all of your meals, and are now making an effort to do so – I feel ya there!)

Something that helps immensely to keep me on track with healthy eating is to prepare things in advance. Sunday afternoon is my “prep” time – I go to the grocery store, and when I come home, I make sure I have made a few essentials made for the coming week to take to work. Often this includes prepping for my daily morning green juices, cutting up veggies and fruit for snacks, and boiling some eggs for easy breakfasts. Sometimes I’ll even make crackers or trail mix to help with snacks.

This week, I decided I wanted to change up my breakfast routine a bit. Often, alongside the hard-boiled eggs and green juice, I’ll enjoy a piece of fruit, or some avocado and tomato. And while I am all for variety during other meals, I’m happy to eat the same breakfast day in and day out. For whatever reason, though, this week called for a change. Enter these protein breakfast bars.

I occasionally use protein powders for green smoothies as a breakfast solution. I don’t use them every day, as I prefer to get my protein from whole food sources, but sometimes, protein powder in smoothies is convenient. I often switch from brand to brand, although I am partial to Vega Performance Protein. I was pretty excited to find another gluten-free, non-dairy protein powder with an ingredient list I could definitely get behind – pumpkinseed protein powder. I found this brand – Omega Nutrition – and their protein powder is 100% organic and is reasonably priced. And get this – the ingredients? Organic pumpkin seeds. That’s it. Love when I don’t have to decipher whether something is actually food or not. (And no, I have no affiliation with Omega Nutrition, I just happen to love this powder.) I also like that it blends pretty well into my smoothies without any real flavor or texture issues.

This time, however, I decided to use it in these bars. I’ve seen people bake cakes and cookies with protein powder, so why not a healthy breakfast bar? These bars ended up chewy, subtly sweet, and satisfying – kind of akin to an oatmeal cookie. They’re not just for breakfast – they could be packed for a good little snack any time of day – but they’re great to make ahead of time and have on hand for the week. With a good amount of protein from the protein powder, peanut butter, and quinoa, plus fiber from the chia seeds, quinoa, and pureed fruit, they can help power you through your morning without being hungry. That’s key for me – I don’t want to feel like I’m starving an hour after breakfast!

So if you’re one to crave a little treat in the morning, these bars might just do the trick, and keep you on track to developing a new, healthier breakfast habit!

Print Recipe

Quinoa Protein Breakfast Bars (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)

1/4 c peanut butter (I made my own, so the only ingredients were peanuts and salt)

1/4 c pumpkinseed protein powder (I am unsure whether you can substitute other protein powders, but give it a try!)

1 ripe banana

1/2 c unsweetened applesauce

1/2 c mashed sweet potato (I make mine using this method, but don’t always add maple)

2 t ground cinnamon

1/2 t liquid vanilla stevia

1/4 t fine sea salt

1 1/2 t baking powder

1 T ground chia seeds

3 T maple syrup

1 c quinoa flakes

1/2 c raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 in X 9 in baking pan and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, puree the peanut butter, protein powder, banana, applesauce, sweet potato, cinnamon, stevia, salt, baking powder, chia seeds, and maple syrup until well combined and smooth. Scrape into a medium bowl and stir in the quinoa flakes and raisins. Scoop into the prepared baking pan and spread out evenly.

Bake for 25-30 minutes (mine took 28 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the edges start to brown just a bit. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Store in refrigerator for a week, or in the freezer for several months.

Makes 16 squares.

Want to talk more about health and fitness goals? Join our Live Chat on Wednesday, January 9, 2013, at 9PM EST at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community. We will be discussing New Year’s Resolutions and health and fitness goals!