Tag Archives: Gluten Free

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Almond + Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Hi everyone! It’s been awhile. I’m back today with a little recipe that has become a recent love of mine. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated, but special anyway. Almond + peanut butter energy bites. Let’s talk about ’em.

I have been making + loving these little energy bites for months and it has just now occurred to me to share them with you. Last week while I was rolling a batch out, I thought, I should share these on the blog. I know that there are many, many “energy bite” recipes out there and that this one isn’t anything revolutionary, but after many experiments in different flavor/ingredient combos, this is the one that I have come to know and love and it makes me happy to share it with you today.

Here is why I love these:

1) I haven’t had to buy granola bars in the store. And that makes me so happy. Since I have been eating these, granola bars from the grocery store just won’t do the trick. 2) They satisfy a sweet tooth craving. I have had a major sweets craving lately. Like, I never want to pass up dessert. And guess what, these satisfy that craving perfectly. 3) Not only do they healthfully satisfy my sweets cravings, they are filling. Whenever I am feeling drained in the afternoon and lunch is long past and dinner is far away, these save me. They fill me up until dinner and give me the evening energy that I need. Love it. 4) I know every ingredient. No mystery ingredients here. Also – every ingredient is one that I keep on hand and every ingredient is one that is good for me. Can’t get much better than that!

If you are looking for something to replace store bought granola bars, or looking for a snack that is super healthy + filling, please make these energy bites. This little snack has brought me much happiness and I know that it can do the same for you!

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*Recipe inspired and adapted from How Sweet Eats — click link to view her recipe.

Almond + Peanut Butter Energy Bites
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup peanut butter
  2. 2/3 cup honey
  3. 1 teaspoon almond extract
  4. 2 cups rolled oats
  5. 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  6. 1/2 cup ground flax
  7. 1/4 cup chia seeds
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  10. Extra almonds or peanuts, finely crushed, for rolling, if desired
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter and honey. Microwave for 15 seconds, then stir well to combine. Add the almond extract and lightly stir. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, sliced almonds, ground flax, chia seeds, salt and cinnamon. Stir well to combine.
  3. Add the peanut butter mixture to the dry oat mixture and stir well to combine all ingredients. Mixture should be wet + slightly sticky. If it seems overly sticky and won't roll into balls, add more oats.
  4. Using your hands, form the mixture into balls, rolling each ball in crushed almonds or peanuts, if desired.
  5. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. For best results, store in the refrigerator and serve cold. They can be stored/eaten at room temperature, although they will be much softer. I highly prefer them right out of the fridge.
  2. This recipe yields 15-20 energy bites, depending on the size you make them.
  3. I prefer to roll the bites in crushed almonds over crushed peanuts - just a personal preference. Use a food processor to finely crush the nuts.
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/
6-2

Apple Crisp

I cried after my last farmers market of the year.

There was a local arts + crafts show occurring after market, and I wanted to wait around for it to start. It would start 30 minutes after we were done cleaning up, which seemed like forever after already being out in the cold Philly air for six hours that day. I sat in the car and cried. And I thought about it. I thought I was crying because of the seemingly long wait to check out arts + crafts (dramatic, much?). But I wasn’t. I was crying because I didn’t want market to end. I didn’t want to get into the car and go home. That would just mean that I’d have to admit that it was over.

While reminiscing with Greg recently, I told him that I’d never forget the very first time I got to work market. It was just over two years ago. I was still at IUP, finishing my bachelor’s and Greg was living in Philly, just beginning his time at Drexel. It was a Saturday, and I was sitting on the bed in his tiny studio apartment. He was sitting at his desk when he turned to me and said, nonchalantly, “We are good to work market tomorrow.” I freaked out. I had always loved farmers markets and for me, it was a dream to work at one. I get to work at one TOMORROW?? And for his family’s farm?! Dream. Come. True. The next day, I geared up with a light green Three Springs tee shirt, traveled to market, and loved every second of it. 

That was September 2012. Then, until May of 2013, I worked market when I was in Philly, visiting Greg on weekends – and yes, that is how I wanted to spend my Sundays visiting. May 2013 – present, I’ve worked market every Sunday that Greg and I have been home in Philly – which has been most.

This past Sunday was the last market that I will have worked as a Philly resident. The last Saturday that I made sure to be in my Queen Street apartment bed early, to be refreshed for market Sunday. The last Sunday morning that I took my breakfast to go, to eat in the car while taking in the Philly skyline on the drive to market. The last Sunday we searched for a parking spot along Pine Street. The last Sunday Greg and I came home with goodies from all of our favorite Headhouse vendors. To be honest, there won’t be many “lasts” in Philly that I am sad about, but all of these, are surely some of them.

Completely bittersweet.

I can honestly say that I’ve looked forward to working Sundays for the past 2 years. I’ve enjoyed every moment working at market for Three Springs Fruit Farm. All of this is thanks to Greg, and his family. Thank you Greg, thank you Three Springs and thank you Ben (Greg’s cousin), for giving me the opportunity to live out a dream. How a farmers market has made me so happy and particularly emotional, I do not know, but it surely has. In this new adventure that Greg and I are embarking on, I can hope that I find something that makes me as happy as market has here. 

Now, this recipe. I’ve had this apple crisp recipe and post sitting in my drafts for months. I couldn’t find the right words to pair with the post. But it’s time to share, and my recent emotions with my last market seem the right fit for a recipe featuring Three Springs apples.

I know that there are a lot of apple crisp recipes out there, and a lot of people are loyal to one, so I’ll tell you just a bit about mine.

Here’s what I love about my crisp recipe. The apples are just lightly sweetened, with no cinnamon – just 1 tablespoon of sugar in all of those apples, for a very natural apple taste. The apple skins are still on – a must for me. There’s no traditional white flour – instead I’m using almond flour which adds a great, nutty flavor (and for gluten free friends, is naturally gluten free). And butter, because sometimes it’s just necessary and it tastes so darn good in this. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

-Almond flour: I know that it is not a staple ingredient for most people, but it is for me and I love always having it on hand. It adds great taste and texture to baked goods. If you don’t keep almond flour on hand, consider it. In addition to today’s recipe, use it in these, these and this, too!

-Apples: Use any variety, don’t be particular. Admittedly, I am particular about many things in life, but which apples I bake with is not one of them. I’ve made this crisp many times and have used a mix of different apples each time – whatever I’ve had on hand. What you use will be good. Also, use local apples when possible!

-Arrowroot starch: This is what I have been using instead of cornstarch. Arrowroot is a natural and more nutritious option. Cornstarch can be substituted if desired, and although I have never made it with cornstarch, I feel fairly confident it would produce a similar end product.

Penzeys vanilla sugar: I picked this up about a year ago and to be honest, this is the first time I’ve used it. I am in love with it for this recipe though and plan to keep stocked with it just for this. It’s just sugar mixed with vanilla beans (yum!). Plain, white sugar can be substituted, and, if you’re feeling fancy, throw in some vanilla beans with that sugar.

It’s been awhile since I’ve share a dessert recipe with you (or any recipe, for that matter!), and this is one that I feel especially good about. I hope that this crisp is enjoyed in every way by all who try it.

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Apple Crisp
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Ingredients
  1. 4-5 large apples, any variety
  2. 1 tablespoon Penzeys vanilla sugar (or plain, granulated sugar, see note in post)
  3. 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch (or cornstarch, see note in post)
  4. 2 cups rolled oats
  5. 1 cup almond flour
  6. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  7. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  8. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  9. 6 tablespoons cold butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350*.
  2. Rinse, dry and slice apples as thin as you can get them.
  3. In a large, but shallow baking dish, add apples, 1 tablespoon sugar and arrowroot starch. Mix gently to coat all apples.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add oats, almond flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well to combine.
  5. Cut butter into small cubes and add to the dry oat mixture. Using a pastry blender or your fingers (like me!), mix butter into the dry mixture to make the crisp. When done, the mixture will look like coarse crumbs and butter will be fully incorporated.
  6. Evenly distribute crisp mixture on top of the apples in the baking dish. Bake 45 - 60 minutes, or until apples are soft and crisp is slightly browned and crispy.
  7. Enjoy!
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/
13

Thanksgiving Burgers

Or: lentil-rice-cranberry-thyme-walnut burgers.

That’s what these really are, but that’s far too long a title, and I like Thanksgiving Burgers better anyway. Each one of those ingredients is important though, and with one missing, this burger just wouldn’t be the same.

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Around Thanksgiving, there are always sandwiches talked about that have all the season’s fixings on them. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy. I always think that sounds so good other than the fact that I don’t like turkey, and a stuffing, cranberry + gravy sandwich just doesn’t sound as appealing. Lately, I have been craving a Thanksgiving sandwich, so I decided to make one of my very own.

All of the ingredients and flavors in this burger are what remind me of Thanksgiving. And all of the flavors bring me comfort during these cold months.

Lentils: I was cooking lentils the other day and they smelled so buttery. I thought they would be the perfect base for my Thanksgiving burger.
Brown rice: A hearty grain that I love on its own and in vegetarian burgers.
Cranberries: Can’t have a Thanksgiving burger without the cranberries. A sweet/tart punch among the many savory flavors in this sandwich.
Thyme: I am obsessed with it. It is the perfect-to-me cold weather seasoning.
Walnuts: Can’t get enough of putting walnuts in food. They add a great crunchy texture to these burgers.

I would never pass up the real Thanksgiving dinner for one of these burgers, but they will from now on quickly satisfy a Thanksgiving craving whenever one hits. Although these burgers are great plain + right out of the skillet, they are even better on a bun, with melted cheese and sautéed mushrooms.

Thanksgiving, in a burger. Healthy, comforting deliciousness:

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Thanksgiving Burgers
Yields 5
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup prepared green or brown lentils
  2. 1 cup prepared brown rice
  3. 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  4. 1/2 cup rolled oats
  5. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 2 celery stalks, diced
  7. 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
  8. 1/2 cup walnuts
  9. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  10. 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  11. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  12. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  13. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  14. 1 tablespoon ground flax
  15. Buns, optional
  16. Cheese of your choice, optional
  17. Sliced mushrooms for topping, optional
Instructions
  1. There are a lot of little parts to this recipe. I found it easy to do all the little parts as my lentils and rice were cooking, then everything was ready to put together at once.
  2. While the lentils and rice are cooking, place the dried cranberries in a small bowl and cover them with hot water. This will rehydrate them. Let sit for about 25 minutes.
  3. Pulse the 1/2 cup rolled oats in a food processer until they resemble a coarse crumb. Remove from the food processor and set aside in a small bowl.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced celery and onion. Cook for several minutes, or until the veggies are softened and slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. In a pan over medium-high heat, toast the walnuts. I place them in the pan and toss around for about 5 minutes, or until they smell fragrant and are slightly golden. Once toasted, remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Once all of the parts are prepared and the lentils and rice are slightly cooled, add 1 cup lentils, 2 minced garlic cloves, thyme, salt, pepper and onion powder to a food processor and process until mixture is paste-like.
  7. Add the cranberries, celery and onion and pulse a few times, just to lightly incorporate. You want to retain chunks of the veggies and cranberries.
  8. Add 1 cup of rice, toasted walnuts and ground flax to the food processor and pulse several times, just to lightly incorporate. You want the burgers to have texture to them, rather than being completely smooth.
  9. Add the mixture to a large bowl and add the pulsed oat flour, a little at a time, until the burgers come together and are just slightly sticky. You want to be sure they will stay together when cooked.
  10. Add olive oil to a pan and once hot, add patted out burgers, cooking on the first side until toasted and golden brown. Flip burgers, and cook until other side is toasted and golden brown.
  11. While the burgers are cooking, add the sliced mushrooms to a pan with olive oil and cook until softened. If you want, add some white wine in with the mushrooms and cook until all liquid is absorbed.
  12. Place burgers on a bun and if desired, top with cheese and sautéed mushrooms.
  13. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. On their own, these burgers are vegan + gluten free.
  2. These burgers cook well right after putting everything together, but cook even better if mixture is refrigerated a few hours. If you have the time, refrigerate several hours after oat flour is mixed in.
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/
7

Vegan + Gluten Free Banana Cinnamon Muffins

Greg and I seem to be developing a Sunday morning routine. Waking up slowly (but still setting an alarm, otherwise we’d never wake!). Making coffee in our new French press. Enjoying the coffee while relaxing over whatever interesting things we see on the computer. And also, muffins. Muffins to hold us over before we enjoy a weekend breakfast that includes eggs. And then each getting to work. Him on science-related things and me on food. This past Sunday he took a slight break from his work to give me a hand with photos – notice the action shots below – love them.

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These muffins are an adaptation of the vegan + gluten free pumpkin cranberry muffins I shared with you in December. Those were inspired by this recipe. I make the pumpkin muffins every week for snacking, so it’s now nice to have a new version to throw into the mix. These banana cinnamon muffins are free of white flour, dairy, butter and oil. But trust me, you won’t miss any of those things. A flax egg is used in place of a chicken egg in this recipe. Applesauce is used in place of butter or oil and my hearty oat + pecan flour blend is used in place of white flour.

These are a healthy every-day-of-the-week muffin, made using a short list of natural, recognizable ingredients. They are incredibly moist and full of banana cinnamon flavor. One muffin fills you up and keeps you satisfied.

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Vegan + Gluten Free Banana Cinnamon Muffins
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 tablespoons ground flax
  2. 4 1/2 tablespoons water
  3. 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  4. 3/4 cup pecans
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  7. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 3 large bananas (or 1 1/2 cups)
  9. 1/2 cup applesauce
  10. scant 1/2 cup sugar
  11. 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*. Line a muffin pan with 12 liners and lightly spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Prepare the flax egg. Add the ground flax and water to a medium mixing bowl and stir together well. Set aside.
  3. Add the oats, pecans, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a food processor and process until the mixture resembles a fine crumb. Transfer to a separate bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the bananas, applesauce, sugar and cinnamon to the food processor and process until smooth.
  5. Add the banana mixture to the bowl with the flax egg and stir until combined. Add the oat + pecan mixture to the mixing bowl and stir until incorporated.
  6. Scoop the batter into the 12 prepared muffin liners and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Recipe based on my vegan + gluten free pumpkin cranberry muffins. That recipe was inspired by vegan banana muffins from Healthy Green Kitchen blog.
  2. If you don't have a food processor, you can try to make the oat + pecan flour in a blender. The banana mixture can be mashed together with a potato masher or fork.
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/
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Vegan + Gluten Free Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Please tell me I am not the only person who is not sick of pumpkin.

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I hope not, because these muffins are delicious, and I want everyone to enjoy them.

I did not overdo it on the pumpkin pre-Thanksgiving. I actually had no pumpkin pie during the holiday. Only 1 or 2 pieces of my mom’s delicious pumpkin roll. I did not go so crazy with pumpkin baked goods that I am now burnt out. I am still going, and going strong with these vegan + gluten free pumpkin cranberry muffins. 

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What these muffins are:

-flavorful
-just slightly sweet
-full of plump cranberries
-so amazingly moist
-hearty
-filling
-a great snack
-so healthy

Now, I’ll talk briefly about what these muffins are not. They are not traditional, they are not super soft and fluffy. They are not bakery muffins. They are not what you make for a special occasion. They are not what you make for someone who has no interest in health. 

But, if you are even slightly interested in being healthy, these are the perfect everyday muffin! Yes, I would eat one (or two) of these everyday, and feel good about it, if I could bake enough. Greg and I have been going through them like crazy. I’ve been making batch after batch and they are just so good every single time.

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These muffins were completely inspired by this recipe, for vegan banana muffins from Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen. I have been following her blog for years, and I find many of her recipes and ideas inspiring. (Her recipe was inspired by this one, from Food Loves Writing, also a beautiful post). I made several tweaks from her recipe that I have listed below. 

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I made this recipe gluten free by making my own flour. Sure you could use a gluten free flour blend, but you would not get the hearty texture I am so in love with and quite honestly, I haven’t have great luck in the gluten free flour blend department. Making your own oat + pecan flour for these muffins is fun, affordable, healthy and delicious! Just be sure to note that using this homemade oat + pecan flour will not produce a fluffy, soft, bakery-style muffin. These muffins are dense and hearty in the best possible way. 

And, for anyone reading who doesn’t know about flax eggs, let me tell you just a little about them. Ground flax + water = a great binder in baking that can replace an egg for a vegan option! It works and doesn’t affect taste!

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These muffins are delicious right out of the oven and the same day as being baked but their flavor really enhances as they get older. They get better every day and I have kept them in a sealed container good for up to 8 days! 

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So here you are my friends, healthy + hearty pumpkin cranberry muffins. Hope you enjoy!

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Vegan + Gluten Free Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
Serves 9
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup rolled oats
  2. 1/2 cup raw pecans
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 tablespoon ground flax
  7. 3 tablespoons water
  8. 1 cup pumpkin puree
  9. scant 1/2 cup sugar
  10. 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  11. 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  12. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  13. 1/2 cup dried cranberries, slightly chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*. Line a muffin pan with 9 paper liners.
  2. Combine the oats, pecans, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a food processor and process for several minutes, until it resembles a fine crumb. The mixture won't be as fine as flour, and that's okay. Set aside.
  3. Add the ground flax seed to a bowl with 3 tablespoons of water and mix to combine. Set aside.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree to a small skillet over medium heat. Cook several minutes, stirring so that it doesn't stick, until the pumpkin doesn't smell as "raw". It should smell slightly sweet.
  5. Add the pumpkin, sugar, melted coconut oil, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon to the bowl with the flax and water. Stir everything together to combine well. Add the oat + pecan flour mixture and stir well to combine. Add the dried cranberries and stir until just incorporated.
  6. Scoop the batter into the nine prepared muffin liners.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Enjoy!
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/
*Recipe inspired and adapted from these vegan banana muffins from Healthy Green Kitchen