Chocolate Peanut Butter Almond Bon Bons with Coconut and Oats

We love these bon bons! Since we’ve cut sugar out of our diet, we call these our candy bars! They taste a lot like Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, but even better! We came up with this recipe ourselves and you’ll see that you can use your imagination and add whatever ingredients that you enjoy!  Please beware, these bon bons are not a low calorie food. We try and limit ourselves to one or two a day which is sometimes impossible because they are so delicious! They also need to be refrigerated at all times because the coconut oil softens at room temperature. 

Makes about 3 dozen walnut size

Filling:

1 1/2 cups Natural Almonds

1/2 cup Oat bran

1 cup Quick or Rolled (Old Fashioned) Oats

3/4 cup Powdered Peanut butter

3/4 cup sugar free Chocolate Chips 

1/2 cup Organic Sugar free Coconut

3 heaping Tablespoons Pyure or Truvia powdered sweetener

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup organic refined Coconut oil (you can of course use unrefined if you prefer a stronger coconut flavor)

  1. Place Almonds in blender and coarsely chop. I have used Almond Flour , but the flavor is not near as good as chopping your own. 
  2. Place all ingredients in a large 4 quart bowl. I will measure the coconut oil in a 1 cup glass measuring cup and put in microwave for a few seconds to soften, especially in the winter. In the summer the oil can alost be liquid so softening isn’t necessary. It needs to be the consistency of softened butter. 
  3. Shape mixture into small balls and place on a plate coated with wax paper. You will need 2 or more plates for the number of balls you will be making. Place each plate in freezer as soon as you fill them. When you get down to the last of the mixture, you may need to add more coconut oil if the mixture won’t stick together. Also, if the mixture is warm at all it will not stick together well, so I will cool in refrigerator for a few minutes. Knowing how to work with the coconut oil is a skill you will develop over making this recipe several times. 

Chocolate Coating:

  1. In a small mixing bowl add 1 cup Coconut Oil and microwave for a few seconds until semi liquid. Try not to get the mixture warm, it will melt more as you stir in other ingredients. You don’t want it thick, but if it’s too thin, it will be very runny and won’t coat the bon bons properly; not as thick as pudding, about like cream. 
  2. Add 4 rounded Tablespoons Cocoa (I sometimes use 8 Tablespoons powdered peanut butter instead. It works great!) 
  3. Add 1 teaspoon liquid Now Better Stevia and dash of salt. Now Better Stevia really does taste the best. I also tried using the powdered Pyure sweetener, but it didn’t dissolve at all in the coconut oil. 

After letting the bob bons cool in freezer for at least 15 minutes, roll in chocolate coating one at a time and place back onto the waxed paper. When each plate is filled place in refrigerator. Then transfer to a container and store in refrigerator. 

Advertisements

My Gluten-Free Black Bean Crackers/Chips

wp-1476387671087.jpeg

With Beanitos Bean Chips costing over $3.50 a bag,  I have been searching for a black bean chip or cracker recipe for the last two weeks. I had found one and posted it on Facebook and tried it out as well. Unfortunately it called for dry (raw)  black beans. Something kept telling me not to use the uncooked dry beans, but I used them anyway. I had stomach cramps most of the next day.  So, since I had  bought a big bag of beans, I cooked them up after soaking overnight of course. I then proceeded to come up with the following recipe which turned out well! It makes about as much as a bag of Beanitos, about 3-4 cups depending on how thin you make them.

1 3/4 cup cooked drained black beans (or 1 can drained)

1 Tablespoons Olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Pyure or Truvia natural sweetener

1/2 cup Bob’s Gluten-Free 1-1 Flour Mix, and some extra for rolling out dough

Preheat oven to 375F degrees. I  mashed the beans in a medium-sized bowl with a potato masher. I then added the rest of the ingredients. Divide the dough in half. In 2 large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, I rolled out the dough with a pastry roller. I don’t recommend air-bake pans because the crackers won’t get crispy.   I also sprinkled the dough with flour as I rolled it out.  Roll out as thin as possible. Then sprinkle with more salt and roll lightly with pastry roller. Now use a pizza cutter and cut into desired size of crackers. Bake for about 5 minutes, move crackers around and turn them over, then check every couple of minutes. Keep moving crackers around from middle to edges to cook evenly. After 10 minutes,  the crackers will start browning quickly.  Remove the ones that are slightly browned and crisp (crakers will not bend when fully baked) and put in bowl. Repeat until all crackers are baked.

Activated Almonds

Activated Almonds, ready to eat.

Activated Almonds, ready to eat!

Activated Almonds are almonds that are soaked in salt water for several hours in order to remove the outer coating that is hard to digest, therefore activating the nutrients in the almonds so that the body can utilize them. The almonds are then dried overnight in the oven. They turn out wonderfully crunchy and hard to resist! They are my “go to” snack when we’re on the run! Here’s how to do it:

Pour 1 pound raw almonds in a large bowl. 

Add a lot of water (about half full) and a lot of sea salt (about 2 Tbsps.)

Let soak for about a day and a half, about 30 hours,stirring occasionally.

Rinse and drain in collender. Place almonds on baking sheet. Bake on 150°F for 10-12 hours or until crunchy. I bake them overnight.

Activated Almonds right out of the oven

Activated Almonds right out of the oven!

  • One variation is to sprinkle the almonds with powdered stevia and cinnamon before baking.

 

Gluten Free Thins

Gluten Free Thins 002

These crackers taste a lot like Wheat Thins, without the gluten!

Makes 4 cups

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill 50/50 Gluten Free Flour Mix

¾ cup oat bran

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 Tablespoon ground flax seed

Mix and combine liquid ingredients in separate bowl, then add to dry mixture:

1/3 cup water

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon melted butter

2 Tablespoons agave (for less sugar use 1 T. agave & 20 drops of liquid stevia)

1 egg (I have made these without the egg. The crackers turned out harder.)

Mix together in bowl. You may need to add more flour, but leave the dough moist. If it’s too dry it is more difficult to roll out. Divide into 2 portions. Heat oven to 350F.

Butter a large baking sheet. Roll out one of the portions with a small roller as thin as you can get it. Sprinkle with salt. Use pizza cutter and cut into about 1” squares. Bake and be sure to watch the crackers. After about 5 minutes when the edges start browning take out the pan and remove the browned crackers and start separating them. Keep going through this process and be sure to watch closely because they brown very quickly toward the end.

Gonzos

We love this snack and it’s very healthy for you and full of fiber and protein because it is garbanzo beans!  Thanks to the website Cinnamon Eats who did a post on roasting garbanzos,  I started making these.  They are crunchy and delicious!  They are a great afternoon snack!   We digest these better than most nuts.  Gonzos remind me of the popular snack food called Corn Nuts.

gonzoGonzos

Soak 1 lb. Organic Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) for 12 hours at room temperature.  Drain and cook beans in salted water for 45 minutes.  Drain.  Place beans on large 12 “x 17” baking sheet.  Toss with 2 – 3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Image

Salt generously. Bake on middle shelf at 425 F / 218 C for 35 minutes, then turn oven down to 375 F / 190 C for 15 minutes.  Salt again.

Makes about 4 cups.  Stays fresh and crunchy in cupboard for 2 – 3 weeks!

Homemade Potato Chips

My husband and I get so hungry for potato chips at times.  We haven’t found any chips on the market that we don’t get reactions from.  The oils that manufacturers use commonly contain citric acid (can contain MSG)  as a preservative, not on the label of course. Or the oils are chemically pressed instead of mechanically pressed.  Or they can contain corn oil which when processed contains FGA which is MSG.  Or the non-organic potatoes can be fertilized with Auxi-Gro that contains FGA (MSG).  At any rate, every now and then we will try a bag from the health food store, get reactions after eating several, and hope some day to find a bag of chips we can eat, pain free!

So when we do get really hungry for potato chips we make our own.  We either use the microwave or the oven, depending on if the oven is already in use or not.  They both produce good chips, the oven method takes a little less time because you can make more at a time.

Oven Method:

Preheat oven to 400 F/ 205 C

The secret to making crispy potato chips is cutting the slices thin enough.  I use a mandolin slicer on level 1 which slices the potato in 1mm slices.  I scrub the potatoes (I use one large or 2 medium organic potatoes) and leave the peelings on.  Slice the potatoes; while slicing put in bowl of water. Drain in colander well, blot with paper towels slightly, dip each slice front and back in EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) then place on large baking sheet.  Salt lightly with sea salt.

Bake on a lower rack, watching as they bake because in about 5 minutes the slices on the outside edges will start browning and will need to be turned over.  Keep checking, turning, and removing the chips that are done and adding raw slices when there is room.  This whole baking process usually takes about 20 – 30 minutes.

Microwave Method:

Prepare potato slices as above, except keep slices in water so they don’t turn brown. Dry slices off with paper towels before placing on plate.  On a microwave safe plate, I use Corelle, pour about 1 tablespoon of EVOO in middle of plate.  Then dredge each potato slice, front and back in the oil.  You may need more oil because the slices will stick to plate if not enough oil is used.  It’s important to not put the slices too close to each other so leave about and inch between each slice.

Put in microwave on high.  Keep watch, they will start browning after about 3 minutes.  Meanwhile get another plate of slices ready to go. The outer slices will brown first.  Let them cook as long as you can without burning them.  You may have to take some out and cook the rest a little longer.  I use a butter knife to loosen slices off of plate.  Each plate takes about 5-6 minutes if the slices are not close together.

     Just add  sea salt and enjoy!

Roasted Nuts And Seeds

It’s fall, the weather is getting cooler, time to turn on the oven and roast some almonds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), and brazil nuts (or any nuts and seeds you prefer)!

I just put about 1 teaspoon of organic olive oil in center of pan, add the nuts and seeds and mix with my hands to coat the nuts.  I add sea salt, then bake at 350 degrees for about 8 – 10 minutes.  It’s important to be right there and stir about every minute.  They will brown fast.  I don’t set a timer, it’s different every time.

I just love the flavor of the roasted nuts and seeds.  In the photo, I don’t have the brazil nuts, but I do love those also.  They are my husband’s favorite and he seems to be able to digest them easier than other nuts and seeds.

The only downfall to roasting nuts and seeds is that I can’t stay away from them!  Also, the nutritional level may be affected, also.  But, in any case they are a nice change to eating the raw nuts and seeds and they are great on salads!

Just one more side note on salad “toppings”.  We love sprinkling Perky’s Crunchy Flax Cereal on our salads!  It adds the crunch and some sweetness which mixes well with our homemade salad dressings!

It’s also a great cereal just to eat for breakfast or a snack!  They are soy, nut, gluten, & lactose free.   I love putting organic strawberries and blueberries on top!