SEE BARS – Super Easy Energy Bars: This is my new fruit and nut bars with a bit of chocolate. Cut them in bars for a trail snack to keep your energy up, or cut bite size pieces for a small snack. However you roll, these bars are a perfect punch! SEE the difference in taste by using the best ingredients and making the bar yourself; SEE the savings in not buying prepackaged goods!
*Use natural cocoa, as it is higher in fat, tastes better, and will provide more energy. *Use a high quality 85% chocolate and no less than 70% *Look for juice sweetened dried fruit. Not absolutely necessary, but I think they taste better and you avoid processed sugar.
Winter squash of all kinds abound this time of year, but Acorn is one of my favs! It’s small, so it cooks a little faster, and half is the perfect serving size, especially when stuffed with something yummy! First things first though, start by preparing the rice and while the rice is cooking prepare and bake the squash. The rice makes enough to stuff at least four halves.
To make the rice stuffing, prepare a 12 ounce package of wild rice of your choice. I did mine with 1/2 cup of plain wild rice and 1 cup of brown basmati rice. I added 1/2 tsp of dried sage, a minced clove of garlic, and a diced shallot to the mix and prepared the rice in my rice cooker using vegetable broth instead of water. This takes 45 mins to an hour in my rice cooker, but I don’t mind the extra time as the rice is so nicely steamed and absorbs all the flavors. When the rice was finished, and the cooker went into warm mode, I added 1/2 cup of chopped cherries.
Right before stuffing the squash, stir in the chopped pecans. While the rice is cooking follow the steps below for preparing the squash.
Cut squash in half using a sturdy knife. I use my Global for all the tough jobs. Scoop the seeds and strings out and discard.
Place halves, cut side down on prepared baking sheet. I cover mine with foil and spread on a thin layer of coconut oil. This adds a nice taste to the squash, but any oil will do. Bake in 450 degree oven for about 40 mins. or until skin is easily pierced with the tip of a knife.
The coconut oil crisps up the tops just how I like them.
Stuff with rice mixture. And voila! Enjoy this incredible mix of deliciousness!
I decided to experiment and see if I could come up with a chocolate muffin that is vegan and low in gluten. (Barley cannot be considered gluten free, but it is very low in gluten and a good choice for those who are gluten sensitive, but not for those with Celiac disease.) I think I have found the perfect combo of ingredients to do just that. These are moist and delicious, and though not a low cal food, they offer you a chocolate fix as delicious as any gluten, dairy packed muffin.
Cream together the banana and almond butter.
Add the agave and flax mixture. This takes the place of eggs.
Mix together the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients.
Before the dry ingredients are completely mixed in, add the chips and cherries. This prevents the batter from being over mixed, which results in tough muffins.
Divide into a 12 cup muffin tin. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 mins.
Enjoy for dessert or a breakfast treat!
Friday Foodie: Chocolate banana muffins with cherries (vegan and low in gluten)
Author: Jane Ann Thompson
Recipe type: Muffins, Breakfast
A chocolate muffin that is vegan and low in gluten.
Chocolate Banana Muffins with Cherries
¾ c coconut milk or almond milk
½ c almond butter
1 c mashed ripe banana
¼ c agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbs flax meal
1 c oat flour*
1 c barley flour
½ c natural cocoa powder
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ c tart dried cherries
½ - ¾ c dark chocolate chips
optional: ¼ of date sugar may be added to the dry ingredients for a sweeter muffin though I don’t think it makes a big difference.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12 muffin tin with a nonstick cooking spray, preferably Canola oil.
In a small bowl, combine vanilla, agave syrup and flax meal.
Whisk together banana, almond butter and milk in large bowl.
In another bowl mix all dry ingredients.
Mix flax meal, syrup and vanilla into banana mixture.
Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and before completely folded in, add chocolate chips and cherries. If you over work a muffin batter, the muffins will be tough.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean.
*You can make your own oat flour by placing about 1½ cups rolled oats in blender and chopping till powdery. It will not be as smooth as regular flour, but that’s okay. This adds some texture to the muffin. Do not use instant oats.