Gluten Free Granola Bars

Gluten Free Granola Bars

Gluten Free Granola Bars, loaded with oats, dried fruit, and walnuts with a touch of natural sweetness! Hi, Friends! Today’s recipe for granola bars is quick, delicious, and back-to-school friendly! Who doesn’t love a granola bar? This version is gluten free, loaded with dried cranberries and apricots. A touch of sweetness from honey or maple syrup, your choice! And, a slight crunch from chopped walnuts. These are sure to be your kids go-to after school snack! This recipe for apricot bars calls for oat flour. To make it, all you need to do is place your oats in a food processor and process until extremely fine, it will look just like flour! Print Gluten Free Granola Bars Prep Time 10 minutes Servings 12 bars Ingredients 2 3/4 cup rolled oats divided ½ cup dried cranberries 1/2 cup dried apricots small chop ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut ½ cup chopped walnuts 1 tsp cinnamon 1 pinch salt 1 banana mashed 2 tablespoons coconut oil melted ¼ cup almond butter 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Instructions Line a 9x9 baking sheet or baking dish with parchment paper or wax paper. Set aside. Place 1 1/4 cup of the rolled oats into a food processor. Process until fine and resembles flour. Place into a large bowl. Mix the rolled oats, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, dried fruit, and walnuts in the bowl with the oat flour. In another bowl, mix the mashed banana, coconut oil, almond butter, honey (or maple syrup), and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until combined. Press this mixture into the bottom...
Grilled Peaches Balsamic

Grilled Peaches Balsamic

This recipe for grilled peaches makes for a quick, yet rather impressive breakfast meal. And I say breakfast, but I could eat these all day.     The good thing about this is that you don’t always need the juiciest and sweetest peaches. I actually prefer the firmer ones because they soften up as you cook them. Start by grilling some yellow peaches. If you don’t have a grill, you can always use a skillet over medium-low heat and cook the peaches for 10 minutes or so.     While the peaches cook, make the sauce. This maple balsamic reduction may sound fancy-schmancy but it’s the easiest thing you’ll ever cook. And a great recipe to have under your sleeve.     Throw some balsamic and maple syrup in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes until it’s thickened.     You can put this on everything, not just on  grilled balsamic peaches. For a savory dish option, reduce the amount of maple syrup and up the amount of balsamic and drizzle over crusty bread topped with roasted vegetables. Throw a dollop of ricotta on top of the grilled peaches and drizzle with a maple balsamic vinegar reduction and you will wow your guests and most likely yourself as well!       For an even bigger wow factor, make the ricotta from scratch. You can make it a couple days ahead. There’s nothing quite like homemade ricotta. The flavor is unlike anything you will find packaged at a store and the best part is, you can...
Homemade Ricotta

Homemade Ricotta

Stop what you’re doing. Drop everything right now and go make this homemade ricotta cheese! Your life will never be the same after you’ve done this once! I always want to make everything homemade. There are several reasons why. Number one: making food fascinates me. Grabbing a couple simple ingredients and turning into something stunning is an art form. It soothes me. Number two: I know exactly what is going into my food. I know that when I make bread at home, I use flour, yeast, salt and water, sometimes milk or olive oil. It’s a few simple ingredients, not fifteen which include 5 ingredients I have no idea what they even are. Number three: I like to impress my guests. Let’s face it. When you say you’ve made stuffed manicotti with homemade ricotta, your guests will stopping eating and oooh and ahhh even more over the food they’re eating. And my final reason: It. Just. Tastes. Better! SO much better! I dare you to make this homemade ricotta cheese recipe just once and compare it to the store bought one and then let’s talk. Now about making ricotta… I have two different versions I make.  One takes whole milk and heavy cream which is much richer and thicker because of the fat content. The other takes 2% milk which has less fat and less calories. Even though it’s a little thinner consistency, the taste is still incomparable to store-bought ricotta. You bring milk almost to a boil. Add vinegar to curdle. Let it sit, strain and then enjoy. That’s it! It doesn’t get any easier than this. Both...
Aloha Pineapple

Aloha Pineapple

I cannot believe summer is over?!?! Well, it feels like the end since I’m preparing to send my first child to Kindergarten on Wednesday.  How can my sweet little 7 lbs 9 oz baby girl born the-quickest-five-years-of-my-life ago be going to Kindergarten? Please tell me I’m not the only mama out there struggling with the mixed emotions related to sending their first to Kindergarten. Yes, she is SO ready and SO excited BUT all-day Kindergarten?  She’ll be at school and away from her family most of the day AND who knows what she’ll be exposed to.  Oh, my mommy-heart is going to break a little when I drop her off on the first day. I’m walking into a whole new world.  School schedules, teacher conferences, packed school lunches, homework (do they give homework in Kindergarten?), and I’m sure lots of grumpy days ahead of adjusting to an earlier wake-up time (probably more from me than my daughter).  This is where I need to up my organization game. I’m already excited about adding some of my fun, healthy lunch options like my Apple Fruit Sandwiches to her lunchbox. Oh, quick sidebar… I found this awesome insulated lunchbox along with these slim lunch ice packs if you’re searching for some great lunch boxes for your kids. Outside of packing her delicious lunches, I want to make sure my breakfasts for her are on point.  I need my daughter confidently walking into her Kindergarten day with a belly full of nutrients.  I strongly believe none of us can BE our best selves or DO our best work if we’re not treating our bodies...
Fresh Fruit Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad

If you want something that will be consistently devoured by your family, you’ve come to the right place.  I make a large batch of this fresh fruit salad for every family gathering and it’s a hit each time.  Who would love juicy pineapple, crisp apples, and crunchy sweet grapes? Although a 3 ingredient fresh fruit salad is quick and easy, you don’t want to skip out on my tips. First, wash your grapes and apples!  And by washing, I don’t mean rinsing with water. Scrub those babies! Here’s a post on washing vegetables where you can see the difference between washed and rinsed grapes. I’ve used a few vegetable washes in my day.  I keep coming back to Fit Fruit & Vegetable Wash.  Big BIG fan! For grapes, I pluck them and place them in a large bowl.  I pour a cap full of Fit Fruit & Vegetable Wash over the grapes and fill the bowl with cool water until all the grapes are covered.  Let them sit for about 3 to 5 minutes and use your hands to gently scrub the grapes while still in the water in a circular motion.  Drain and rinse with water. For apples, spray each apple 2 to 3 times with wash.  Scrub the apples with your hands for about 15 to 20 seconds.  While rinsing under cool water, scrub the apple with your hands until you feel the residue wash off.  You’ll oooh and aaah over how great they feel!   After you finish cutting your fresh pineapple into chunks, don’t throw away the rind just yet!  Those crisp delicious apples need the juice from the rind in order to prevent them from...
Gluten-Free Pancakes

Gluten-Free Pancakes

Happy 4th of July!  I’m gearing up for a full day of family fun tomorrow and hope you’re ready to do the same.  Am I the only one feeling like this year is flying by?  I can’t believe it’s already July! Well, the brutal heat makes it difficult to forget we’re mid-summer. Since the last thing I want to do is hang out by a hot oven instead of the refreshing pool, I figured out a quick breakfast solution for my gluten-free friends.  Actually, even if you’re not gluten-free, you must MuSt MUST try these gluten-free pancakes!  We have made them for breakfast 5 days in a row and still want them again tomorrow. My husband usually doesn’t like gluten-free recipes unless it’s my Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies or my Ooey Gooey Brownies.   When I made these gluten-free pancakes for him, he looked shocked.  I believe his exact comment was “these are actually really good!” Gluten-free baked goods can sometimes be… well, rubbery.  These pancakes are anything but.  You’ll only taste light, fluffy, and scrumptious pancakes. The main reason these pancakes are amazing is the Namaste all-purpose flour I discovered.  Oh. My. Goodness!  I have already used my entire bag.  I just went to Costco and bought two more bags since I can’t stop making these pancakes for breakfast.  Confession… we even had them for dinner one night.  This flour has a blend of gluten-free flours and xanthum gum.  We’re shouting for joy over here since finding this tasty flour.  Anyway, I think you get my point.  We’re fans.   You can quickly negate any and all health benefits by which toppings you use....

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