Tasty and mostly simple food for the whole family.

Tasty, healthy, simple, verstile, practical, seasonal, fun food for all to enjoy. I will endeavour to make things gluten-free, dairy-free (cow's milk only here, I'm not super-human), and low sugar as able. I hope others feel motivated to add their recipes to this collection so we can all try them. Thank you!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Crispy Granola Bars (gluten-free/dairy-free)

This recipe came out of a recent need to have granola in the house.  As a recovering child of a hippie, granola wasn't actually a staple- it was considered junk food.  Right along with Grape Nuts and other shocking foods of the like.  Don't get me wrong- it isn't lost on me that I resent all of the organic whole foods and recycling that my mom thrust upon me decades before it was cool- yet I have wholly embraced it as a person and parent.  I just have to live with that.  Anyway, for some reason I have just been craving granola.  A good friend of mine, (Our CarolMerrill), gave me a recipe a year or so back and I finally got to making it.... then Cooks Illustrated put Granola in their recent issue and I felt it was a sign.  As with many things Cooks Illustrated, it sounds great but there are just too many steps to make it perfect- So basically this is a recipe inspired by CI and friends, then a recipe gone wrong in a very yummy way. 

Crispy Granola Bars
  • 2c reg oats
  • 1/4c coarse flour- oat flour or almond flour work great
  • 1/2c crispy (brown) rice cereal(whole foods has a good 365 brand for pretty cheap)
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1/4c nut butter of your delight (see note)
  • 1/4c sweetie: I used 2T agave and 2T maple syrup
  • semi-optional: 2-4T mini chocolate chips 
  • optional: 1-2T flax meal, 1T chia seeds or what ever you love to add (nuts, seeds, dried fruit....).  
Nut butter note: my favorite has been to use Sunflower Butter or Almond Butter because of their mild flavor.  When I have made these with Peanut Butter, I have simply found them too Peanut Buttery if you know what I mean.  Mike loved them that way but he is funny like that.

Directions: (Preheat oven to 350deg)
1. Mix dry stuff in one bowl
2. Mix wet stuff together in a separate bowl (as with the Breakfast Cookies, I just build it in a wet ingredient measuring cup)
3. Mix together and smash the heck out of them into a parchment lined pan (really smash them) and cook ~10-12 minutes depending upon if you want a chew or crunch factor.
4.  Let cool for 15-20 minutes before cutting.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies (Gluten-free/Dairy-free)

So these are basically granola bar drops or something.  They will pass as a cookie if they have to (say, if you are trying to get healthy food into your kids *ahem*) but they really are a nutritional snack (and therefore totally OK to eat if, say,  you have given up sweets and treats for Lent as some folks I know).  They are ridiculously easy to make,  totally packable and a great bite to keep you going in a pinch.  The 'recipe' below is absolutely just a suggested combination of ingredients. I would certainly encourage you to add nuts if you like, add dried cranberries, coconut, whatever. Clearly, the above batch was greatly helped by Mia this morning who felt strongly about having goldfish, O's and Honey Sunshine included.  I was just happy they didn't burn, but can't possibly imagine how unpleasantly soggy those fish will be tomorrow. 

I typically just literally pile everything into my 2c wet measuring cup, just adding stuff as I go- start with the applesauce, add peanut butter, then just dump it all in after that, adjusting the oats or whatever I choose to plop into them as I see fit to have the mix the consistency I like.  I am not one who likes much moisture in my foods, so I tend to put more oats and such in to keep them dry and cook them a long time.  If you prefer a more moistureful item, go a little scant on the oats and take them out a few minutes earlier.  I actually tend to keep them out on the counter uncovered to dry and stale out a bit.  I have issues.

Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies
  • 1/2c unsweetened applesauce (our mix of applesauce, mashed banana &/or squash puree is good, too)
  • 1/4c nut butter of your liking
  • 1/4tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp vanilla
  • 1/8tsp salt
  • 1Tbls sugar, agave or maple syrup
  • 3T raisins (I greatly prefer currants here)
  • 3/4-1cup whole oats
  • 2-3Tbls mini chocolate chips (optional, but really....)
Directions (preheat oven to 350deg)
As I said above, I just dump all of the ingredients into a 2c measuring pitcher and mix.  I would mix the nut butter and and applesauce first to get it well combined, then add the rest and adjust to your taste.  Then drop in 1oz/1Tbls blobs on a parchment lined cookie sheet and cook 18-20 minutes.  Let cool a few minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.

Adapted from this recipe at Chocolate Covered Katie.