Peanut Butter Blossoms

Cookies galore! My kitchen looks like frosty the snowman blew up in it with flour and powdered sugar scattered everywhere. All right, so I made 8 different cookies and the all-time holiday winner is these babies….peanut butter blossoms. I love peanut butter and I love chocolate and I LOVE THESE COOKIES. Maybe a little too much, which is why I only let myself make them once a year.

Last year, I used a gluten free recipe of Pinterest and it came out a little dry. This year I threw in a little of this and a little of that until the dough came out to the consistency that I wanted. The hard part about posting cookies on my blog is I just eyeball how much needs to go in, pray like heck they are edible and then try to gauge how much of everything I put in. Nine times out of ten they freaking delicious (and I AM NOT JOKING), but I always do a few test cookies to make tweaks if needed.

One tip that I have is if you do a test cookie and the dough starts to flatten out like a pancake then you need more flour. Try mixing another 1/3 cup and test them again. Also, everyone says that you need to have absolute precise measurements when baking with gluten free flours. I CALL BS! I toss crap together all the time, never measure and poof they come out just fine.

These cookies turned out AMAZING! Great flavor, soft and just oh so delicious that I had to share. Now, my biggest challenge is to limit myself to two holiday sweets per day until December 26th then it is back to my usual only healthy treats diet.

So, what does everyone have planned for the holidays? I am building a gingerbread house with Mason today. I promised him if he went to bed without getting up 20 times to pee, read another book, ehhhhh whatever other excuse he pondered up then we could make one. He wants to put witches on it. Witches….hum, I not sure where that came from?? We are also doing our annual lobster, crab and steak dinner with my dad. Geez am I looking forward to that meal! Happy Holidays everyone!

Peanut Butter Blossoms
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Butter, softened
  2. 1 C Peanut Butter
  3. 1 C Sugar
  4. 1 C Brown Sugar
  5. 2 Eggs
  6. 1 tsp Almond Extract
  7. 1 tsp Vanilla
  8. 1/2 tsp Salt
  9. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  10. 3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum
  11. 1 1/2 Oat Flour
  12. 1 1/2 White Rice Flour
  13. 1/2 Potato Starch
  14. 1/4 Tapioca Starch
  15. 1/2 C Sugar (for rolling dough)
  16. 1 bag Hershey's Kisses
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and sugar together until smooth.
  3. Add in salt, vanilla, almond extract, xanthan gum, baking soda, and flour.
  4. Roll into walnut sized balls and coat with a light layer of sugar.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes. Push a Hershey kiss into the center and bake for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Cool for a couple minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Snowball Tea Cookies

Disclaimer…these are not healthy, AT ALL. Normally I transform recipes into healthier alternatives, but since I work so hard eating healthy 11.8 months of the year I decided that I was going to post my traditional holiday recipes for others who are gluten free and are missing cookies during this time of year!

One of my favorite cookies growing up were Russian Teacakes. I just love the tea cake consistency, but quite frankly I can do without the walnuts. Literally I would catch myself eating the dough around the tiny chopped walnuts and than tossing those. So, I thought well why not make them with mini chocolate chips instead. BRILLIANT! Now, I have the perfect cookie. Probably two perfect because I have already had 1 and 1/2 this morning and it is only 3 am, LOL! Good thing I have double workouts today with Insanity Asylum, “Back to Core” and running five miles. Feel the burn, feel the burn!

Snowball Tea Cookies
Serves 36
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Butter, softened
  2. 1 tsp Vanilla
  3. 1 tsp Almond Extract
  4. 1 Egg
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. 1/2 C Powdered Sugar, for batter
  7. 1/4 C Sugar
  8. 1 3/4 C White Rice Flour
  9. 3/4 C Potato Flour
  10. 1/3 C Tapioca Flour
  11. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  12. 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  13. 1 C Powdered Sugar, for dusting cookies
  14. 1/2 C Mini Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together butter and sugar with a hand mixer until creamed.
  3. Add in egg, extracts and salt to butter and continue to mix until combined.
  4. Put in all of the dry ingredients (except for 1 C of powdered sugar) and mix together until a thick dough forms.
  5. Roll dough into walnut sized balls and bake in preheat oven for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool for five minutes and roll into the powdered sugar. Cool for a 1/2 hour and roll into powdered sugar again.
  7. Store in airtight container on counter for a week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Oatmeal Raisin Bites

Peanut butter is HANDS DOWN my favorite food and our dog’s too! If we get out anything in the kitchen that remotely resembles peanut butter (e.g. toaster, knives, celery) she immediately runs to get her peanut butter bone. For those Harry Potter fans we have to call it Voldemart or she goes crazy. I totally get her reaction! I mean really what could be more incredible than eating peanut butter right out of the jar?

Nothing in my opinion! Give me a spoon!

But I do not like just any peanut butter. I am a PB snob! I either like to make it from scratch, which is way easier than you might think if you have a food processor. All you have to do is add 4 cups of peanuts, a tablespoon of sunflower oil, 1 tsp salt (optional), couple tablespoons of coconut palm sugar or evaporated cane sugar and let the food processor go until it is creamy. When I don’t make it from scratch my favorite brand of peanut butter is Justins (for almond butter and they make a mean hazelnut spread that actually has hazelnuts instead of sugar as the number one ingredient, unlike Nutella….don’t buy Nutella, EVER). This PB is sold at Target, but is hard to find at other grocery stores, so my runner up is Smuckers natural. I hate and I MEAN HATE Jiff, Skippy, Peter Pan…..EWWWW! There is a “fake” taste to them that I just can’t get over.   

Now, as far as peanut butter combos my favorite is apple slices and PB, but I also like celery and bananas with PB. The banana/PB combo is why I made these oatmeal cookie bites. Well, and due to the fact that I am STARVING 24 hours a day between nursing and distance running! All I can think of is, “LAY OFF ME I AM STARVING.”

Aside from making these bites, we finally overcame a 102.9 degree temp in Mason on Thursday afternoon. Poor kid! We knew something was up when he was not running around the house like a maniac! Kaeden is also tipping the scales. At his 2 month appointment he was in the 100th percentile for his height/weight ratio and was over the 100th percentile for head circumference. Big kiddo :)

Tomorrow is also my birthday. BIG 3-7. What the heck happened to me just turning 21. Geez! Anyway, I got three presents from Mason. A mini-basketball, glow in the dark bracelets and a toy car. The best part about this gift was Mason loved them so much and we were able to play together, BEST PRESENT EVER! Wow, do I love my kids. My other birthday present was dinner with Luke at Fogo de Chao. Delish! Thanks gamma for babysitting and undergoing chaos for a couple of hours so mommy and daddy could have some quality time! 

Oatmeal Raisin Bites
Serves 16
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Banana Chips
  2. 1 C Slivered Almonds
  3. 3/4 C Peanut Butter (or Almond Butter)
  4. 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  5. 1/2 C Raisins
  6. 1/3 C Maple Syrup
  7. 1/2 C Protein Powder (vanilla or chocolate)
  8. 1/2 tsp Salt
  9. 1 C Oats (gluten free certified)
Instructions
  1. Chop up banana chips and almonds into fine pieces in a food processor. Transfer this mixture into a large bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl.
  3. Mix together with a hand mixer until everything is blended together into a thick dough.
  4. Roll into walnut sized balls.
  5. Store in an air tight container or food storage bags in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

Felt weird hitting the new post button!

I took time off from blogging because I was seriously sleep deprived during my third trimester. Since then I had a beautiful baby boy, Kaeden Alexander and switched to decaf coffee. I think giving up caffeine was almost as bad as giving birth without an epidural (Kaeden decided he wanted to arrive 30 minutes after they broke my water so no time for pain relief…little s$&t head, I tell you)! He sure is a cutie though. At least I think so.

Kaeden

Enough of my potty mouth! In my last three weeks of maternity leave I vowed to do something more stimulating than another Netflix series (I think I plowed through at least ten). So, I decided to actually add some new grub.

First things first, DESSERT or sweet breakfast. Priorities people!

To move away from the pumpkin protein dip I have been eating weekly, I made these muffins. I only had sweet potatoes in the house, but you can use pumpkin, sweet potato and butternut squash interchangeably.

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins
Serves 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Pumpkin (or 1 C cooked Sweet Potato)
  2. 3 Eggs
  3. 1/4 C Hazelnut Butter
  4. 3 tbsp Grassfed Butter
  5. 1 tbsp Vanilla
  6. 1/4 C Coconut Palm Sugar
  7. 1/4 C Maple Syrup
  8. 1 1/3 C Almond Flour
  9. 2 tbsp Coconut Flour
  10. 1/2 tsp Salt
  11. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  12. 1 tsp Baking Powder
  13. 1 C Dark Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together butter, hazelnut butter, sugar, maple syrup and pumpkin for a minute on medium speed. Mix in eggs, vanilla and salt for another minute. Add dry ingredients and chocolate and mix for another minute.
  3. Pour batter a muffin tin (3/4 up to the top).
  4. Bake for 25-28 minutes.
  5. Test with a fork. If the fork comes out clean (no batter sticks to it) than the muffins are done.
  6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before eating.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Chocolate Chip Scones

 

One of my favorite things to eat with coffee is scones! I remember the first one was over a late night study date with my college friend, Jill. Oh man was it yummy! Normally I am fruit scone connoisseur, but I decided to make these chocolate chip treats for our little man (fully knowing his little fingers would pick out the chocolate chips first). They turned out pretty darn tasty, so I wanted to share the recipe.

Aside from baking, my baby sister graduated from high school. We are 18 years apart and it seems like yesterday that she was just a little peanut at my graduation. Watching her group up has been so much fun and I am excited for her next journey. Here is a picture of her and her boyfriend, Zach after the ceremony.

Katie Graduation

Chocolate Chip Scones
Serves 8
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/3 C Gluten Free Flour Blend (I used Pamelas Baking & Pancake Mix)
  2. 1/4 C Honey
  3. 2 tsp Baking Powder
  4. 1/2 C Mini Chocolate Chips
  5. 4 tbsp Butter, softened (replace with coconut oil for dairy free alternative)
  6. 1 Egg
  7. 1/2 C Non-Dairy Milk
  8. 1 tsp Vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add in the eggs, honey, milk, vanilla and butter to the bowl. Mix together with a hand mixer over medium speed for one minute. The batter will be thick.
  4. Pour the batter into the center of the cookie sheet. Evenly spread into a circle until the dough is about 3/4 to 1 inch thick.
  5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the scones start to turn golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife cut the scones into 8 wedges.
  7. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. Feel free to add nuts to the batter or frost with icing after pulling out of the oven.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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No-Bake Cornflake Treats

My favorite recipe from home education class in middle school was cornflake saucepan cookies. Of course I liked them, the recipe called for a 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of corn syrup, 3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter and oodles of cornflakes in just ONE BATCH. What is not to like about that much sugar!

Ever since starting my blog, I have been wanting to make a healthier version of my second favorite cookie (my ultimate favorite is peanut butter blossoms). Notice a peanut butter them in my favorite cookies, LOL. 

When I couldn’t sleep past midnight this morning I decided that instead of getting angry about not being able to get some more zzzzs that I would give this recipe a whirl. They are turned out great even in my zombie like stupor!

I used Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) to be able to send the cookies with Mason to daycare, but you really could use any creamy seed or nut butter. Each one will give you a slightly different flavor. It just depends on if you have allergies you need to work around. The current recipe is nut and peanut free :)

Mason’s first reaction after looking at these cookies was, “What are they? I don’t like them.” The “I don’t like them” came out before he even took a bite. Go figure! I broke one up into smaller pieces for him and told him to try one flake. Now he is halfway through his first cookie and saying, “Mommy these are delicious.”

No-Bake Cornflake Treats
Serves 24
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 C Gluten Free Cornflakes
  2. 1 C Sunbutter (or favorite nut or peanut butter)
  3. 2/3 C Honey
  4. 1 tsp Vanilla
Instructions
  1. Heat up sunbutter, honey and vanilla in a large microwave safe bowl for 60 seconds. Stir together to completely combine the ingredients.
  2. Add in cornflakes and stir together until the cereal is evenly coated.
  3. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment or wax paper.
  4. Allow to cool for 1 hour before serving.
Notes
  1. Store in airtight container for up to 3-5 days or in freezer for 1-2 months.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Raw Peanut Butter Cookies

Daddy is out of town, so I have been on single mom duty this weekend. I have to admit it was much easier to chase around a busy toddler alone when I was not 26 weeks pregnant, actually sleeping more than 5 hours a night and was not side-tracked thinking about my dad’s recent lung cancer diagnosis!

Despite my growing bump and fatigue, Mason and I had a great Saturday. I don’t often say this, but he was an angel the whole day.

Msaon and Berries

We walked to the park, had lunch at a hibachi grill (he loved watching the chefs light things on fire and cook at our table) and finished out the evening with some homemade cookie dough blizzards.

Mason’s favorite part was the ice cream from the blizzards, but mine was the cookie dough. Because the cookie dough was so delicious, I thought it deserved its own lime light!

Seriously if you are craving cookie dough, but do not want to processed sugars, eggs or butter in the dough than you need to give these a try. They are amazing!

Raw Peanut Butter Cookies
Serves 12
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 C Peanuts
  2. 1/2 C Honey
  3. 1 1/4 C Almond Flour
  4. 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
  5. 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  6. 1/4 tsp Salt (omit if peanuts are salted)
  7. 1/2 C Mini Dark Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Add peanuts to a food processor and process until peanut butter forms. This will take between 3-5 minutes.
  2. Pour in honey, extracts, salt and almond flour until cookie dough forms. Pulse in chocolate chips.
  3. Grab a spoon and eat the heck out of the dough ladies and gentlemen.
  4. If you have enough dough left, the easiest way to get uniform cookies is using an ice cream scoop. Scoop out the dough onto wax paper and form a crisscross pattern with a fork by pushing gently down in the center.
Notes
  1. Store in refrigerator for 1 week or in freezer for up to 3 months.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Cookie Dough Blizzard

 

Some days you just want something sweet for dinner. I mean really all I wanted was a blizzard from Dairy Queen, but I am frightened by the ingredients in their ice cream so I rarely go. For good reason too….just have a look at the toxic ingredients in Dairy Queen’s soft serve ice cream:

– Calcium Sulfate
– Polysorbate 80
– Magnesium hydroxide
– Xanthan Gum
– Corn Syrup Solids Corn syrup, corn syrup solids, and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are all made from corn, and bottom line, all are sugar and genetically modified)
– Potassium Sorbate
– Mono and Diglycerides
– Guar Gum
– Sodium Phosphate
– Soy Lecithin or Soya Lecithin
– Carrageenan

Sounds yummy, huh? Well, if you were to make homemade ice cream I guarantee you wouldn’t be reaching for any of these ingredients! When I have time and energy I prefer to make my own ice cream from Greek Yogurt. However, dairy is not always my best friend either! Today I decided to use bananas as the base for the ice cream and make a raw cookie dough from peanuts, almonds, honey, vanilla, salt and dark chocolate chips. Doesn’t get much healthier than that! I have to admit it tasted different than the highly unhealthy cookie dough blizzards from Dairy Queen (mostly because of the bananas), but it was delish!

Give it a whirl when you are craving ice cream and want it to be HEALTHY! Or just make the raw cookies. They are incredibly yummy! Doesn’t this picture just make you want to dig in!

Raw Cookie Dough Cookies

Cookie Dough Blizzard
Serves 2
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
Cookie Dough
  1. 3 C Peanuts
  2. 1/2 C Honey
  3. 1 1/4 C Almond Flour
  4. 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
  5. 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  6. 1/4 tsp Salt
  7. 1/2 C Mini Dark Chocolate Chips
Ice Cream
  1. 3 C Bananas, frozen
  2. 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  3. 2 tbsp Cacao Powder
  4. 2 tbsp Almond Butter
  5. 1/2 C Almond Milk
Directions
Cookie Dough
  1. Add peanuts to a food processor and process until peanut butter forms. This will take between 3-5 minutes.
  2. Pour in honey, extracts, salt and almond flour until cookie dough forms. Pulse in chocolate chips.
  3. Freeze for 1 hour to harden it a bit for the ice cream.
Ice Cream
  1. Add all ingredients to a high powered blender. The mixture will be thick, so you will have to stop the blender to stir and start again. I had to do this about 5 times before a smooth ice cream formed.
  2. Cut up the frozen cookie dough and stir into ice cream.
  3. ENJOY!
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Chocolate Chip Blondies

Whew, I did it! I ran 20 miles yesterday at 18 weeks pregnant. This was a run I have been dreading for the first 15 weeks of marathon training. I was not sure I was going to be able to do it, but I told myself going into it to just finish one mile at a time. All I can say is I felt great the entire run (well, minus having to take 3 bathroom breaks….but hey, when you have a baby pushing on your bladder that is to be expected). Now, I have two easy runs (14 and 10) before the Boston Marathon on April 20th. The hard part is I know I will be running the race a minimum of an hour slower than my usual pace, but in order to keep myself and the baby safe (doctor’s orders) I need to keep my heart rate in check. This requires me to run about 3 minutes per mile slower than usual. I am okay with this because it is knowing that I qualified to be there and participating in Boston is super exciting for me!

Now, besides running I have been craving everything to do with peanut butter, almonds and chocolate the past 6 weeks. I mean seriously! Now, grant it I have found ways to add protein, unprocessed sugars and other wholesome ingredients into my recipes, but still I know I can’t keep up these cravings after the Boston Marathon is over or I will turn into a blimp. Okay, the feasibility of me turning into a blimp will never happen with how active I am, but you get my drift.

So, my recipe for today and sorry about the lapse in posts. Quite frankly I am too tried with working, training for a marathon, being pregnant and chasing around a toddler to have enough energy to post as frequently as I used to. I promise one day I will return to giving you all some incredible recipes again, but for now you have to settle for some chocolate chip blondies. I actually made this as a birthday cake for my wonderful husband.

I have to admit these are incredible! They have a crusty top just like brownies and are incredibly soft on the inside. They remind me of soft batch cookies in the bar form, but the best part is they are gluten free! YUM!!

 

Chocolate Chip Blondies
Serves 16
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Almond Flour
  2. 2 C Almond Flour
  3. 2/3 C Brown Rice Flour
  4. 1/4 C Tapioca Flour
  5. 1/2 C Butter, room temperature
  6. 2/3 C Evaporated Cane Sugar
  7. 1/3 C Honey
  8. 1/2 Tbsp Vanilla
  9. 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
  10. 1 Egg
  11. 1 Tsp Salt
  12. 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  13. 1/2 C Mini Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 cake pan.
  2. Process 1 C almond flour until smooth butter is formed.
  3. Add butter & evaporated cane sugar. Blend until smooth.
  4. Mix in eggs, vanilla, almond extract honey and salt.
  5. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Press dough evenly into the cake pan.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on the top.
  9. Cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Trail Mix Cereal Bars

15 weeks as of yesterday. Only 25 weeks to go, but who is counting? ME! 

I know some ladies love being pregnant (why? I will never, EVER understand), I am not a fan. Never was during Mason and am not this time around. I guess the nerves of being the soul provider for a baby really get to me. This is especially because after having several miscarriages I am a nervous wreck and constantly think, “Oh my goodness what if I lose the baby today.” I know, I know that is a horrible thing to say, but when you have faced loss it is hard to block these feelings. Debbie Downer, yes! 

Aside from me being a worry wort, I also do not like to feel like a Goodyear Blimp for 40 weeks. I know part of being pregnant is gaining weight to support the growth of the baby, but being bloated, growing out of your clothes and being endlessly gassy or constipated just flat out SUCKS. I am high endurance athlete who loves to run and all of these things make doing my favorite stress reliever extremely difficult. Yes, I still ran into 37 weeks with Mason, but 30 to 37 I really had to struggle to run 4 minutes per mile behind my normal pace. SNIFF, SNIFF…..it is hard to do my favorite hobby half-assed and more like quarter-assed for 9 months! Actually with after birth recovery it is really closer to 11 months.

Okay, I had to get out my feelings :) Thanks for letting me vent.

Aside from my depressive, I hate being pregnant rant….I did make some really tasty trail mix cereal bars this week. I made these two days ago and the pan is already over half gone. Mostly because my husband took some with him for his boy’s date night with neighbors. Although I do have to say that Mason and I put a pretty big dent into them too.

My main reason for making these was I wanted rice crispy bars, but didn’t want to use corn syrup or marshmallows. So, I replaced the nasty and unhealthy sweeteners with a combo of honey, maple syrup and can sugar. THEY ARE YUMMY FOLKS!  

Trail Mix Cereal Bars
Serves 16
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 C Brown Rice Cereal
  2. 1 C Sunbutter
  3. 1/3 C Honey
  4. 1/3 C Maple Syrup
  5. 3 tbsp Evaporate Cane Sugar
  6. 1 tsp Vanilla
  7. 1/2 C Sunflower Seeds
  8. 1/2 C Peanuts
  9. 1/3 C Raisins
  10. 1/3 C Chocolate Chips or Chocolate Coated Candies
  11. 1/3 C Yogurt Covered Raisins
  12. 1/3 C Dried Cranberries
Instructions
  1. Heat sunbutter, vanilla, evaporated cane sugar, honey and maple syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Stir occasionally to prevent the sunbutter mixture from burning.
  2. Add in the brown rice cereal and mix together until the cereal is evenly coated with the syrup.
  3. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then stir in the remaining ingredients.
  4. Press down in a 13 X 9 cake pan with parchment or wax paper. Wait 30 minutes before cutting and serving.
  5. Store at room temperature for up to five days (if they last that long).
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Banana Walnut Pancakes

To have something different than a smoothie for breakfast (which I currently have a distaste while being pregnant), I put together these pancakes. They are chalked full of protein and taste incredible with sweetness from the banana and the nuttiness from the almonds and walnuts. I will definitely make these again very soon! 

I topped these pancakes with a blueberry syrup. I made it using 2 cups of frozen blueberries, 2 tablespoons of water, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 3 tablespoons of honey and 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch. I added all of these ingredients to a small sauce pan over medium-high heat until it started to boil slightly. Once it started to boil, I turned it down to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Use this in place of maple syrup.

You are probably wondering what are the benefits of using almond flour in pancakes? Refer to the following detail from Elany’s Pantry:  

Health Benefits

  1. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats as are found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease. ((http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20.))
  2. Researchers who studied data from the Nurses Health Study estimated that substituting nuts for an equivalent amount of carbohydrate in an average diet resulted in a 30% reduction in heart disease risk. Researchers calculated even more impressive risk reduction–45%–when fat from nuts was substituted for saturated fats (found primarily found in meat and dairy products). ((http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20.))
  3. In addition to their cholesterol-lowering effects, almonds’ ability to reduce heart disease risk may also be partly due to the antioxidant action of the vitamin E found in the almonds, as well as to the LDL-lowering effect of almonds’ monounsaturated fats. (LDL is the form of cholesterol that has been linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease). ((http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20.))
  4. In addition to healthy fats and vitamin E, a quarter-cup of almonds contains almost 99 mg of magnesium (that’s 24.7% of the daily value for this important mineral), plus 257 mg of potassium. ((http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20.))
  5. Almonds appear to not only decrease after-meal rises in blood sugar, but also provide antioxidants to mop up the smaller amounts of free radicals that still result. ((http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20.))
Banana Walnut Pancakes
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 C Walnuts
  2. 4 Eggs
  3. 1 tsp Vanilla
  4. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  5. 1 Banana
  6. 1 1/2 C Almond Flour
  7. 1/4 tsp Salt
  8. 3 tbsp Non-Dairy Milk
Instructions
  1. Place walnuts to a food processor and blend until broken down into a course powder. Add in remaining ingredients and mix together until thoroughly combined.
  2. Heat up a large skillet over medium heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour 1/2 cup of batter on to the pan per pancake. When the pancake starts to bubble in the center, turn and cook on the other side.
  3. Top with maple or a fruit syrup.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Peanut Butter Pudding

Pregnancy craving of the day….peanut butter cookie dough! 

I was seriously envisioning making up an enormous batch of cookie dough and eating it to pieces.

However, these dreams were crushed when it dawned on me that we didn’t have any butter. RATS! Back to the drawing board…..BOO, HOO! 

Finally I decided to make the peanut butter protein pudding I used to eat every morning for breakfast. Except in this version I added another protein source through chickpeas. 

Chickpeas? Yes, you read that right! Before you turn your nose up or completely dismiss this recipe (which I am sure many of you already have) know that chickpeas have a very mild flavor and create a wonderful creamy dip when pureed. It is the perfect protein source to for this scrumptious treat!

Trust me when I say this pudding tastes amazing and is good for you too :) 

Peanut Butter Pudding
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Peanut Butter
  2. 1 Can Chickpeas
  3. 1 C Greek Yogurt, plain
  4. 1/4 C Honey
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. 1 tsp Vanilla
  7. 4 tbsp Mini Chocolate Chips (optional topping)
Instructions
  1. Blend together chickpeas, peanut butter and Greek yogurt in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Add in honey, vanilla and salt and mix together until combined.
  3. Divide into bowls, top with chocolate chips and chill for one hour before serving.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Orange Cinnamon Rolls

What a day yesterday! I started out my day with a 40 minute lap swim. I am incredibly slow swimmer! I mean ridiculously slow. I seriously think I swallowed a gallon of water as fast Thing 1, faster Thing 2 and wicked fast Thing 3 were making so many waves that I felt like I swimming in the damn English Channel. My competitiveness really wants to call them Jerk 1, Jerk 2 and Jerk 3, but I know deep down that if we did a running race they would eat my dust!

All right, so besides swimming, I also picked Mason up early and treated us to some Chipotle. Everything was going great until Mason turned into the Exorcist. He ate quite a bite of guacamole and rice, so when it came up the second time around I was immediately taken back to the scene in the movie! Talk about a fun time trying to get him calmed down because he was scared out of his whits and holding back the dog from eating it while trying to clean it up. Why on earth do dogs insist on eating vomit? Complete chaos I tell you! Then Mason threw a fit because he wanted to continue to wear his exorcist stained t-shirt. Come on dude? Really? NOPE, in the wash you go! Wow, wow, wee, wow!

Before all of the chaos happened I did make two batches of orange glazed cinnamon rolls. Two batches, what for? Well, I followed a recipe from my new cookbook, “Every Last Crumb” by Brittany Angell. So, I am not usually a follow the recipe to the “T” kind of girl. I am just a rebel by nature and just don’t like to follow the rules. In fact people who are total rule followers get on my nerves rather quickly. I just want to scream at the top of my lungs, “Loosen up your bung hole, folks”. I mean really is adding another teaspoon of flour going to muck up your recipe, NO! Anyway, I actually was a rule follower when making the cinnamon roll dough and filling (the icing I changed because I wanted it to be orange flavored). Curses for being a stickler because the dough came out too sticky to roll. It turned out I could only make a orange cinnamon roll cake and the bottom burnt to smithereens. It still tasted incredibly good, but who wants to scrap the top off and toss the burnt part. NOT I, said the cat.

Not satisfied I made another batch. These are yeast rolls kids, so this was a daunting and long process! I am talking an over an hour per batch. However, I knew exactly what I wanted to change to make them turn out the second time around. So, back to my trailblazer ways of doing what I wanted instead of following the rules, I added more tapioca flour to the dough, tossed in some vanilla to give a bit of Pazzazz, changed the way I rolled out the dough (using flour as the non-stick surface instead of oil) and prepped the pan differently for baking in the oven (original recipe lined the bottom with parchment).

BOOM, BOOM, they turned out G-R-R-EAT (in my Tony the Tiger voice). I mean so great that I wanted to eat the whole pan. I didn’t, but darn it, wouldn’t that be awesome to do! However, I do like being fit and I am pretty sure eating 9 cinnamon rolls would surely defeat that purpose! I mean look at this picture don’t you just want to dig in with your fork…..

Orange Cinnamon Rolls Pan

Thanks to the brilliant Brittany Angel for the recipe because with a couple modifications these Paleo friendly rolls are simply amazing! 

Orange Cinnamon Rolls
Serves 9
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Prep Time
50 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
50 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Ingredients
Sweet Dough
  1. 1/2 C Applesauce
  2. 1 tbsp Quick Acting Yeast
  3. 3/4 C Coconut Flour
  4. 3/4 C Tapioca Flour
  5. 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  6. 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
  7. 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  8. 3 Eggs
  9. 1 tsp Vanilla
  10. 1/2 C Palm Oil Shortening or Spectrum Vegetable Shortening
  11. 3/4 C Coconut Palm Sugar or Evaporated Cane Sugar
Cinnamon Roll Filling
  1. 2 tsp Cinnamon
  2. 1 tbsp Melted Coconut Oil
  3. 2/3 C Coconut Palm Sugar
Orange Glaze
  1. 1 1/4 C Coconut Palm Sugar or Evaporated Cane Sugar
  2. 1 1/2 tsp Orange Extract
  3. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  4. 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  5. 2 tbsp Non-Dairy Milk
Directions
Sweet Dough
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Add applesauce to microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 60 seconds if applesauce is cold or 30 if warm (make sure it is lukewarm; roughly 110 degrees for proofing the yeast). Stir in the yeast until combined and allow the yeast to sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Mix together coconut flour, tapioca flour, salt, xanthan gum and baking powder in a stand mixer. Add in the sugar and butter and combine until a crumbly dough forms together.
  4. Pour in three eggs, vanilla and the applesauce mixture. Mix on high speed for 2 minutes until a sticky dough forms.
  5. Place a large piece of parchment paper on the counter and cover the surface area with additional tapioca flour. Place dough on top of the paper and add a couple more tablespoons of flour to the top so that you can push down the dough. Form a 14 by 10 rectangle by pressing down the dough as evenly as possible with your hands. Make sure you have enough flour underneath and on the top to avoid it from sticking to your fingers or the work surface.
Cinnamon Filling
  1. Grease an 8X8 metal cake pan with palm oil shortening to avoid the rolls from sticking during baking.
  2. Mix together the melted coconut oil, sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the dough.
  3. Start to roll the dough into a cylinder. It may be sticky so work slowly and use a spatula to lift the dough as necessary along the way. After the roll is formed us a sharp knife to cut the dough evenly into 9 pieces. You may need to wipe of the knife after each slide because the dough will stick to the blade.
  4. Using a spatula, lift each roll into the pan, placing them cut side up. There will be about a 1/2 inch gap between the rolls. This gap will fill in as they rise and bake.
  5. Turn off the oven and place the rolls inside. Allow them to rise for 15 minutes with the door open. After 15 minutes close the door and allow them to rise for another 25 minutes.
  6. Remove them from the oven, preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake them uncovered for 30 minutes.
Orange Glaze
  1. While the rolls are baking, add the sugar to a spice or coffee grinder to make powdered sugar. Depending on the size of your grinder you may need to do this in two steps. Stir together the powdered sugar with the non-dairy milk and extracts.
  2. Remove rolls from oven and allow rolls to cool for 10-15 minutes before sprinkling on the glaze.
Adapted from Every Last Crumb
Adapted from Every Last Crumb
http://barerootkitchen.com/

 

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Cherry Coconut Flax Cereal

Yesterday was sort of a pooh, pooh day. Okay it was good for the most part, but I got a little down thinking about how our family doesn’t eat normal. When I say normal I mean I cannot just grab a jar of pasta sauce and noodles and whip together spaghetti for dinner.

A, because tomatoes flare up Luke’s arthritis and B, because he can’t have any grains on his diet right now (not even rice because he had a slight flare up of inflammation after eating it). Nor after working 10 hours a day can I call Dominos to deliver a pizza. Again because it has pasta sauce and grains.

It is extremely difficult to coordinate meals around my husbands’ diet because I can’t use eggs, corn, rice, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, amaranth, wheat (Mason and I are gluten free so that doesn’t really matter), tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, dairy, soy, peppers (bell, jalapenos, cayenne pepper, chili powder), cumin/seed based spices, etc. It is by far one of the biggest challenges I have faced and lately I have been short on ideas!

So, I actually drummed up an idea for dinner….FINALLY! It is going to be stuffed artichoke and spinach chicken breasts wrapped in bacon with an egg-free/grain free flat bread. Stay tuned for this yummy goodness and sorry about my ranting. All I want to do is make food for my husband to feel better and it is a challenge that exhausts me many days, so I wanted to garner up some support :)

All right, now I predominantly eat Paleo (e.g. no grains). However, when training for a marathon I have found that I need grains to fuel this high endurance activity. I know, I know you could run marathons on a Paleo diet, but it doesn’t get me to my maximum performance. Trust me I have tried Paleo approved high carb goodies before runs and they do not work as well as a bowl of oatmeal or gluten-free cereal!

The hard part is finding a good gluten-free cereal that is loaded with protein, dried fruit and solid mix of grains. I seriously stared at the grocery aisle for 15 minutes trying to find the perfect multi-grain one. Finally I gave up! I bought almond butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, dried cherries, dried raisins, oats, coconut, nuts, seeds, Enjoy Life Crunchy Flax cereal, and Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise Flakes and made my own amazing protein packed multi-grain cereal. It came out as a cross between granola and cereal, but it is oh so delicious.

Cherry Coconut Flax Cereal
Serves 16
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Unsweetened Coconut
  2. 2 C Oats, Gluten Free Certified
  3. 1 C Dried Cherries, unsweetened
  4. 1/2 C Raisins, unsweetened
  5. 2 tsp Cinnamon
  6. 2 C Mixed Nuts, chopped
  7. 3/4 C Sunflower Seeds
  8. 1/2 C Maple Syrup
  9. 1 tsp Vanilla
  10. 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  11. 2/3 C Almond Butter
  12. 1 box Enjoy Life Flax Crunch Cereal
  13. 1 box Nature's Path Mesa Sunrise Cereal
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt together almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 60 seconds.
  3. Add oats, nuts, seeds, coconut and dried fruit (cereal will be added after roasting the oats and nuts in the oven) to a large mixing bowl. Pour the melted almond butter mixture over the oat/nut/dried fruit mixture and stir until even coated.
  4. Evenly space the almond butter and oat/dried fruit mixture onto a large cookie sheet.
  5. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely before stirring in the cereal.
Notes
  1. Store in an airtight container in the pantry for 3-4 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Enjoy with your favorite non-dairy milk or yogurt.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Tropical Blueberry Bars

As I was mixing together the Peanut Butter Oat Bars, Luke comes up to me and says, “What are you making?” I told him, “Peanut Butter Oat Bars.” After hearing the words peanut butter and oats he immediately got a sad look on his face because he can’t have either on his AIP diet.

After he left for work, I rummaged through the pantry looking for ingredients for protein bars that he could eat and came up with these tropical blueberry bars. When he got home that night he was like a kid in a candy store eating these bars! Over the years I have learned that it is the little things that truly make people happy and I am just glad something so small could make Luke’s day!

So, if you are allergic to peanuts, cannot tolerate oats (I have a hard time digesting them so I eat them occasionally and pay for it later) or are following the Paleo diet than these are the perfect bars for you.

Tropical Blueberry Bars
Serves 16
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Dried Pineapple, chopped
  2. 1 C Dried Blueberries
  3. 6-8 Medjool Dates, pits removed
  4. 3/4 C Almond Butter
  5. 1/4 C Sunbutter
  6. 1 1/2 C Walnuts
  7. 1/2 C Pepitas
  8. 1/4 C Maple Syrup
  9. 4 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
  10. 1 tsp Vanilla
  11. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Add dried fruit and nuts/seeds to food processor and chop until they are in small pieces. Mix in the maple syrup, almond butter, sunbutter, sea salt, vanilla and coconut palm sugar until blended together and resembles a thick dough.
  2. Press into an 8 X 8 cake pan. Refrigerate for an hour before cutting into bars and serving.
  3. Bars can be stored in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for 3 months if they are in an air-tight storage container.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Cranberry Brownie Bites

I made these brownie bites while Mason was eating breakfast. As the food processor was going he kept pointing at it and saying, “I want that, Mommy.” I gave him a spoonful and he absolutely loved it!

Seriously this batter is so good that if you are having sugar cravings or want a healthier, higher in protein and allergy friendly alternative to brownies, MAKE THESE!

Aside from making this yummy snack, I have been listening to the Autoimmune Summit. Autoimmune conditions are detrimental to the body because they tricks the body into attacking healthy cells and joints. The summit discusses how food contributes to the growing epidemic of autoimmune conditions, ways to reduce symptoms through elimination diets and what herbs/extracts promote the growth of healthy gut cells/prevent leaky gut.

The talks are EXTREMELY informative and are free if accessed within 24 hours of them airing online. Thus far, my key takeaways I have found to be the most relevant are:

– Clean eating elimination diets can help improve digestion issues and reduce symptoms associated with autoimmune conditions.
– Our digestive system makes more decisions related to our immunity in one day than the rest of our body does in our lifetime. 
– Food as a curative medicine is 5 1/2 times more effective at treating autoimmune conditions than conventional prescription medicine. 
– Children of parent’s suffering from autoimmune conditions are more likely to develop similar diseases if fed a gluten, GMO and processed food diet. 
– Toxic chemicals from GMO products are further exacerbating the growth of bad bacteria and causing the cell walls of the gut to break down, which is allowing particles to escape into our blood stream. Once in our bloodstream our body is treating the particles as a foreign invader through an autoimmune condition.

Cranberry Brownie Bites
Serves 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/3 C Cacao Powder
  2. 2 C Cashews
  3. 1/2 C Carob Chips
  4. 6 Medjool Dates
  5. 1 C Dried Cranberries, unsweetened
  6. 4 tbsp Honey or Maple Syrup
  7. 2 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
  8. 2 tbsp Palm Oil Shortening, melted
  9. 1/2 tsp Salt
  10. 1 tsp Vanilla
Instructions
  1. Put cashews, dried cranberries, cacao powder and coconut palm sugar in a food processor and process until broken down into course flour (2-3 minutes).
  2. Add palm oil shortening, salt, vanilla, carob chips and honey. Pulse together until smooth batter forms.
  3. Roll into walnut sized balls.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 1 month.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Apricot Cashew Cups

This recipe is the beginning of many energy bars, cups, balls and bites that I will be making over the next 22 weeks for Boston Marathon training.

I am fully aware that it would be a hell of a lot easier just to grab a box of Clif bars from the store. However, the protein blend in these bars typically contains soybeans, soy protein, soy flour, rice flour and barley malt and a grain blend of inulin, flaxseed, oat bran and psyllium! Soy, barley and oats are difficult for me to digest and give me intestinal distress, so this recipe is my attempt to make a more allergy friendly alternative for fueling my runs.

The star ingredients are cashews and apricots, but I tossed in Maca as an added bonus. Maca powder is a Peruvian nutritional supplement that is used to treat various conditions, ailments and diseases. The key benefit of Maca is it has been associated with enhanced athletic performance. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, examined “eight healthy cyclists were timed while completing a 40-kilometer bike ride before and after 14 days of taking maca. The study found that maca supplementation significantly improved the athletes’ cycling time, pointing to maca’s energizing effects.”

You will also notice I have included carob chips and are probably curious as to why I am classifying this recipe as Paleo when carob is a legume. Well, according to Mark’s Daily Apple, it is Paleo-friendly because we are actually consuming the carob pod and not the seed where harmful anti-nutrients reside. 

Apricot Cashew Cups
Serves 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 C Cashews, Raw
  2. 1/2 C Apricots
  3. 3 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp Salt
  5. 1 tsp Vanilla
  6. 2 tbsp Honey
  7. 1/2 C Carob Chips
  8. 1 C 65% Dark Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Put 2 cups of the cashews, apricots and coconut palm sugar in a food processor and process until broken down into fine pieces (2-3 minutes).
  2. Add salt, vanilla, carob chips, honey and remaining cashews. Pulse 10-15 times until cashews have been broken down into small pieces.
  3. Line muffin tin with paper cups. Press down the cashew mixture into cups about 3/4 of the way up. Make sure to firmly press into cups before adding chocolate.
  4. Pour chips in microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between. Repeat 3-4 times until chocolate is melted. Do not over do it or chocolate will become lumpy.
  5. Pour a thin layer of chocolate into each cup. I use a large soup spoon and then push it out to the edges.
  6. After cups are filled, you can smooth out the chocolate more by tapping the muffin tin lightly on the counter a couple of times.
  7. Place muffin pan in refrigerator for an hour before serving.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Sleigh bells ring….are you listening? In my kitchen, baked goods are glistening. A beautiful sight, my mouth’s happy tonight! Eating some drizzled cookie bars! 

How about a little tune to kick off my holiday baking expedition?

Every year, I make a whole host of different cookies and bars to share with family and friends for Christmas. Normally, I make a mixture of gluten free and gluten filled goodies. However, this year I am only going to make Paleo and gluten free versions because everyone in my house now eats gluten free.

One recipe that I tested yesterday was a chocolate drizzled almond cookie bar. My whole mission was to omit eggs and dairy, considering several folks are allergic, and to use as little sweetener as possible while still making them edible. Mission accomplished because these are DELICIOUS!

Obviously these are not going to make it to Christmas because either myself or Mason will have them devoured before then, but you could make these up to a month in advance and freeze them. In fact, for Holiday baking I make cookies up to 3 weeks prior and just store them in our garage. Now grant, I live in Minnesota and have the luxury of doing that, but if you live in a warmer climate just put them in an airtight container in your freezer. I promise they will still taste great after you thaw them for an hour.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Serves 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 tbsp Palm Oil Shortening, melted
  2. 2 C Almonds, raw
  3. 1 1/2 C Almond Meal
  4. 1 tbsp Coconut Flour
  5. 1/3 C Agave Nectar or Maple Syrup
  6. 1/3 C Coconut Palm Sugar
  7. 1/2 tbsp Vanilla
  8. 1 tsp Salt
  9. 2 C Mini Chocolate Chips, I prefer Enjoy Life
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add almonds to a food processor. Mix until a fine powder forms. Toss in the melted palm oil shortening and mix together until almond butter forms. Will take approximately 5-10 minutes. You may have to stop and push down the sides to get a uniform mixture.
  3. After butter has formed, pour in the almond meal, coconut flour, agave nectar, coconut palm sugar, vanilla and salt into the food processor. Pulse until a thick cookie dough forms.
  4. Add in 1/2 of the chocolate chips (1 Cup) and pulse together a few more times until the chips are combined into the dough.
  5. Press the dough into a lightly greased (I used a little palm oil shortening) 8 x 8 metal cake pan. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. While the cookie bars are cooling, add remaining chocolate chips to a small microwave safe bowl. Heat up in 30 second increments, mixing in between until chocolate is completely melted. It took 1 minute and 30 seconds for me.
  7. Using a metal spoon, scoop up some of the melted chocolate and lightly drizzle over the top of the bars.
  8. Cool for an hour (if you can wait that long), cut into squares and eat your heart out!
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Peanut Coconut Bars

I just hired my first employee this week. Boy am I excited to get another research analyst on my team to work on the backlog that has been building up!

Aside from my new hire, I have been craving Reese’s because it is getting close to Halloween. After researching the harmful ingredients (see my coconut peanut butter cup recipe for more detail) in Reese’s I have been trying to make my own healthier alternatives.

My little guy loves breakfast bars with chocolate on them. In fact, this morning he woke up saying, “Mommy, I hungry. Beckfast baas peez.” Code for Mason lingo that means, “Can I have some breakfast bars please.” So, I whipped up these babies for him! Win, win because I totally wanted them too! 

Have to toot, toot my own horn, but Mason loved them and I thought they were pretty darn good too.   

I know chocolate bars are probably not the best way to start out little Mase-Man’s day, but I used dark chocolate and I think these bars are much better than giving him PopTarts, sugary cereals or donuts. So, no judging peeps :) 

Peanut Coconut Bars
Serves 16
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Creamy Peanut Butter
  2. 2 C 70% Cacao Chocolate Chips
  3. 1 C Unsweetened Coconut, shredded or flakes
  4. 3 tbsp Butter or Ghee, melted
  5. 1/2 C Sunflower Seeds
  6. 2 tbsp Flax Seeds or Meal
  7. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  8. 1 tsp Vanilla
  9. 2 C Gluten Free Cereal Flakes
  10. 6 Medjool Dates, pits removed
  11. 2 tbsp Lucuma Powder
  12. 1/4 C Maple Syrup or Honey
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor except for the chocolate chips. Mix until all of the coconut, cereal flakes and dates have been broken down into tiny pieces. You may need to stop and stir the ingredients a few times during the process.
  2. Press down the peanut butter mixture evenly into a 8X8 cake pan.
  3. Pour chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and melt on high for 30 seconds at a time. Stir after each 30 second increment. Repeat this process up to three times or until chocolate is completely melted. Do not over do it or heat up the chocolate all at once or you will have a chunky mess. Trust me I know from experience.
  4. Spread the chocolate over the peanut butter mixture and cool in the refrigerator for one hour before serving.
Notes
  1. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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