Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Peanut Butter Granola Balls

I found this little snack in a magazine and thought it would be a good snack for all of us - but lo and behold when checking out ingredients - rice krispies are NOT gluten free! They have barley malt and barley has gluten. Looks like some of the health food brands might have one that is gluten free - will have to research this a little further. Anyway, even though they are not gluten free they make a great snack for the kids - and they love them! If you find a gf rice krispie cereal you can easily make them gluten free by using gf oats as well.
I did find gluten free rice krispies and made these and they were yummy

Peanut Butter Granola Balls

1/3 cup honey (I use local, raw honey)

1/4 cup natural peanut butter (I use Adams)

2 Tablespoons butter

1 cup crisp rice cereal

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking) and if you are making it gluten free be sure and use gluten free oats

1/4 cup dried fruit (I use cranberries)

Place rice cereal, rolled oats and dried fruit in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium, heat honey, peanut butter, and butter. Stir until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over cereal mixture.

Drop mixture by tablespoon (I use my smallest pampered chef scoop) into mini cupcake liners placed in a mini muffin pan. Refrigerate about 15 minutes until set. To store, refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week (if they last that long)

Makes about 24

Monday, October 4, 2010

Homemade Lara*Bars and other Healthy Snacks

In my attempt to cut out all "white" sugar from my diet I looked for a healthy, gluten free bar that I could grab when I needed something to tide me over or something to grab before I go walking in the morning or when I don't have time to make my breakfast first thing. The bar that I found and love is the Lara*bar. It is made totally of fruit and nuts - there is nothing else added except the occasional spice like cinnamon in the Apple Pie version.
Last time my sister was visiting I offered her one and she told me she had bought an e-book on a blog that had 14 recipes for variations of the bar. I immediately looked it up and bought the ebook. It was only $6.95 and worth every penny to me as the bars in the store can add up quite quickly. The ebook is available at Kitchen Stewardship . Right now there is a link near the top of her page but the link can always be found in the right hand column. There are also many other healthy recipes and some of them are gluten free. All are well marked and she gives suggestions on how to make some of the non-gluten free ones, gluten free. She also has another book about real food for camping that looks like a great book for any serious campers that still want to eat healthy away from home.
Some of the ingredients that are called for are dates, peanuts, cashews, raisins and chocolate :-). Not all of these are in the same bars but these are the kind of ingredients that are used. Buying all the ingredients can be a little spendy to start with but most will do several batches of the bars. Each batch makes about 5 bars. She gives different ideas for forming them but the way I have found and really like is to put regular cupcake liners in a cupcake pan, roll the dough into 5 even balls and then press them into the liner. After they are formed I take them out and wrap each one individually in plastic wrap and put each kind in a separate bag with the name and ingredients listed on the outside and then refrigerate. If I am making more than one kind or double batches I reuse the same liners over again.
I got a Kindle for my birthday and I was able to email the PDF to my Kindle so I have it right there with me in the kitchen in a handy form and don't have to worry about printing it out. (I keep my kindle in a quart size ziploc bag when I have it in the kitchen to protect it)

Soooo - bottom line - if you are looking for some frugal, healthy snacks I highly recommend this e-book!