Baked pumpkin seeds

Don’t throw them out!

The pumpkin innards might be ooky and gooky but it’s worth digging through them for the seeds. And since you are making a family activity of the carving, why not teach the kids about a healthy treat?

We used a cookie sheet with paper towels for the collection of the seeds, just so we had something to wipe them on when our fingers were sticky. Once all of the pumpkins were cleaned out, we rinsed the seeds in a draining basket under hot water and removed all of the remaining pulp.

Try to remove as much water as possible by patting with a paper towel or draining longer. I found the paper towel method to be cumbersome because they stuck to the towel.

Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. I used canola. Then cover the sheet with pumpkin seeds, they may overlap. Then spray a good layer of canola oil on top as well and sprinkle with salt (and pepper, if you choose) or other seasoning like sriracha for hot ones.

Bake on 350 in the oven for 20-25 minutes and cool for 10 minutes. pumpkin seeds hand

 

 

Gluten free Gooey Delight

This is something that I created by accident. I admit it. Those things happen and sometimes they taste amazing!

Mix all ingredients below in bowl:

1 bag Brookes Naturals Brownie mix

2 egg whites (instead of the 3 eggs on the bag)

1 C applesauce (instead of the three eggs on the bag)

3/4C melted coconut oil (instead of butter on the bag)

Spray baking dish with coconut oil, add mixture above and bake for 20 minutes. Line top of brownies with square campfire marshmallows, end to end and bake for 4 minutes.

Pull out of oven and cool on counter (so marshmallows reduce in fluffiness). This will be a liquid consistency that is scoopable into a bowl. Great with ice cream!

To transport, cover with wax paper before a lid. Enjoy!

Gluten free treat bars

You know I love easy recipes!

Here’s one of my favorites for celiacs and non-Celiacs will love them too.

1 16 oz container Marshmallow fluff (I prefer this brand as it’s food coloring free)

1.5C Coconut oil

10oz (half a family size box) Cheerios (your choice of flavor) I use the original flavor because the fluff is so sweet and it’s a nice contrast.

Add-ins welcome: chocolate chips, sprinkles, nuts mini marshmallows, etc

Line baking dish with wax paper and spray with coconut oil (Critical if you want them to come out of the pan after cooling). 

Heat coconut oil over medium heat in large stock pot. When melted, add entire container of marshmallow fluff and stir continuously until entire container is warm (about 3 minutes) then add cheerios and stir until all cereal is coated. Immediately transfer onto the lined baking dish. 

If you use add-ins, sprinkle then on top now. Mini marshmallows can be placed in holes to help them melt slightly and stick in the texture.

For bars you need to chill for about 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator. Or you can consume warm by scooping with a spoon.


Cheerio!

Gluten Free Trader Joes

The staple gluten free items available at Trader Joe’s are endless and cost effective. If you are lucky enough to have access to one near your home or while traveling, you will find consistency in their offerings. 

While on our current trip to Chicago, I was able to score a room at the Homewood suites. We like staying here because one room has a living area with a fold out sofa for the kids as well as a refrigerator, stove and microwave. 

This allows us to pop into Trader Joe’s, pick up some favorites and be prepared for back up meals.

My typical buy list (at home) consists of:

Gluten free rolled oats

Gluten free pretzels

Joe Joe’s Gluten free cookies

BBQ sauce

Gluten free chicken breast nuggets (frozen)

Gluten free multi grain bread

Gluten free cornbread mix

Gluten free mini chicken tacos (frozen)

Broccoli and kale slaw (bag mix)

Organic creamy tomato soup

Taco seasoning mix!!! (I use it for chili too)

Fruit bars (variety)

Individual bags kettle corn

On the road, these help us out:


Add to it their gorgeous and affordable flowers, fresh fruit a plenty and variety of vegetables (chopped, frozen and in fresh picked form) and you have more than enough variety for a cost effective, allergy friendly diet. 

In the frozen veggie section you can also find chopped cauliflower, shelled edamame, shredded carrots, organic corn and more!

Stop in. Grab a list of gluten free options from the desk and shop a plenty!

Gluten free meals, fast

I’m convinced that if my life were in TV it would be a timed cooking show. You know… here’s eight random ingredients, two hungry kids and thirty minutes until bedtime… now go!

That’s why it’s always a good idea for me to have gluten free corn dogs, chicken nuggets and frozen burgers on hand.

I’d love to say that I could think of something palatable to make out of avocado, apples, frozen hamburger meat, eggs and almond milk. Chances are pretty good, even if I were to whip it up, I would receive a big, fat “eww gross” from my mini audience.

I’ve vowed to try and take some of my kids favorite restaurant meals and replicate them in house. This will save time, money and the entertainment factor of our traveling road show, at bedtime.

Considering my narrow window for meal consumption, the prep time needs to be virtually non-existent. That’s why most of my meals can be completed in thirty minutes.

A couple of things I avoid when cooking are large prep times and mixing blends of flours. No thank you. I will be utilizing mixes whenever possible.

Check out some of my easy recipes for families on the go!

A hint… my favorite appliance is the
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Kale chips

Kale is one of the more polarizing things in life. Like cold weather, lipstick and exercise, you either love it or hate it.

Being in the healthier phase of my life, sans kool aid and little Debbie cakes, I have turned to all things green. Matcha, green juice, celery, zucchini, avocados and kale seem to be among the foods that I actually prefer to munch on.

I haven’t found a prepackaged kale chip that suits me. They seem to be coated or soggy. In search of something enjoyable, I started experimenting.

The recipe below can vary based upon what you sprinkle on top but I found to be enjoyable.

2 bunches fresh organic kale, washed, destemmed and torn into bite size pieces.

Dry with a paper towel

Place kale on top of wax paper (or parchment) coated with spray oil, then spray kale, with preferred oil. I like avocado or coconut spray. 

Sprinkle seasoning of choice on top. My favorites are either Wild Tree rancher steak rub, garlic blend or onion blend. 

Sprinkle what makes you enjoy it most. Dry seasonings work best so the cook time remains consistent.

Bake at 350 for ten minutes. The kale will shrink and harden but not burn. You can cool on the cookie sheet when done. 

Best when consumed immediately. Otherwise, poke a whole in a ziplock so it can breath. If housed in a sealed storage bag it starts to lose crispness. 

Kale on.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Drops

Getting my kids to eat something nutritious in the morning is more of a challenge every day. Most breakfast foods are not naturally allergy friendly. We have four of the top eight allergens in our family (and three more that are less common, although just as difficult to work around).

This recipe is super simple and I managed to make it in 25 minutes on a school morning.

6 ripe bananas – peeled and mashed
1T Cinnamon
3C Freedom Foods Gluten Free instant Oatmeal with berries (market district)
1C Raisins

I mashed it all together with my mix and chop for a chunky texture and scooped into my mini muffin tin with a small scoop. Fast, easy and contains the mess.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes and let cool.
The bananas are very hot inside, so don’t do what I did and eat within the first 5 minutes.

The oatmeal in this mix is super refined and cooks quickly. These have a fantastic hearty texture and are secretly healthy for them. I won’t tell if you don’t.

Gluten Free Banana Bread

I’m detoxing from sweets after a long winter break but I still needed a little treat with a healthy edge. Besides I had four over ripe bananas that were going to be round filed, so why not bake them up?.

I ordered one of Brooke’s Naturals Banana Bread mixes in my recent Green Bean Indiana bin and altered the directions to accommodate for my sons dairy and egg yolk allergy.

What you need:

4 ripe bananas (black but no mold)
3T Earth Balance Vegan Butter (melted)
3T Coconut oil (melted)
2 egg whites
1t Vanilla
1C walnuts (I used fishers whole)

This is the easy part… peel the bananas, add to melted butter and coconut oil. Add in the egg whites and vanilla and beat with a pampered chef mix n chop. I like chunky bananas so this works perfect and you don’t have to dirty a mixer.

Spray a pampered chef stone wear loaf pan with coconut oil and pour in mix. Bake for 1 hour at 350 for a perfect texture banana nut bread that is gluten, dairy, rice and egg yolk free.

Grandmas Cherry Torte, Gluten free

Through the years, grandmas cherry torte was a constant at holiday meals. For years we have tried to immolate it and somehow it just doesn’t taste the same. Maybe it’s just the love she put into making them for the enjoyment of the family that made them better. That was a lot of love.

This Christmas we made some adjustments to the recipe to avoid gluten and ended up with a delightful replacement that is allergy friendly. I believe grandmas would have been proud.

Crust:

1 stick of butter
1 package Schar GF graham crackers
1C pecans

Grind them together in food processor or magic bullet and pat into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes (this should make it lightly browned) and set aside to cool completely before adding filling.

Filling:

8oz package Cream cheese (room temperature)
1C Sugar
1box dream whip (large box has two packets-this is what you need)

Mix both packages of dream whip according to directions in large mixer (I used Kitchen Aid). In another bowl, blend cream cheese and sugar. Then add this mix to the dream whip mix in the large mixer. Pour the combined mixture over the cooled crust.

Let mixture chill for one hour and spoon 2 cans of cherry pie filling on top. We used Duncan Hines Wilderness Simply Cherry. It is made with no artificial ingredients, food color or HFCS.

Let chill and it serves about 12 per pan. We usually make at least 2 pans. The longer it refrigerates, the better it tastes. At least let chill overnight before serving.

Enjoy!

 

FREE Donut holes: from gluten, dairy, rice and yeast that is.

This has been a tricky one for me. My kids are really picky when it comes to donuts. Honestly, I don’t know if I can ever win them over with a yeast free donut. I can’t blame them. I’m a light and fluffy kinda donut girl myself.

After three batches, I added and removed a couple things and ended up with something that reminds me more of a pancake but tastes really good. The key to donut holes is 1) have deep enough grease that you can drop balls and they won’t splat before they cook 2) don’t get the oil too hot or they will burn before you can get them all in the grease and 3) have your coating ready to go as soon as you pull them from the grease.

You will need a deep pan, pot or fry baby.

Coconut oil for frying (enough to have 2-3″ of oil in the bottom)

Combine:
1 1/4C Bobs Red Mill GF baking mix
1/4C Brown Sugar
1/4t Nutmeg
1/4t Cinnamon
2T melted Earth Balance
1/3C Coconut milk
1/4C egg whites, whipped
1t Almond extract
1/4t baking powder

Use a small scoop with release for dropping into the oil for approximately one minute. Don’t drop too many at once or you won’t be able to retrieve them before they burn.

Pre-mix coating, option 1:
1/4C sugar
1/2t cinnamon

Pre-mix coating, option 2:
1C powdered sugar
3T Coconut milk
Retrieve from oil and drop in coating. Let cool and enjoy!

baking-supplies

Some of my favorite ingredients…