This is really not so much a recipe as it is an idea for a treat for the kiddos. My kids love this. I guess it’s kind of a simple, stupid idea, but it just goes to show that you can find some pretty tasty things if you just play with your food. I came up with this idea because one of my family’s favorite desserts is called pretzel salad. It’s a dessert made with crushed pretzels and butter for the crust and then it’s topped with jello mixed with frozen fruit and a whipped topping sort of topping. This one is a lot healthier. We love the Glutino gluten free pretzels in our house. I don’t usually let the kids have them though, because there’s not much that I can eat, so I tend to covet what I can. I haven’t been eating bread items too much lately, so I’ve been coveting things like pretzels a lot less. So, here’s my recipe for pretzel parfait:
4 Ounces Gluten Free Pretzel Twists (can use regular pretzel twists for the family members that aren’t gluten free)
½ Cup Chopped Strawberries
(4) 6 Ounce Cups Low-fat Greek Yogurt (can use coconut milk yogurt or soy yogurt for a dairy free option)
Turn the yogurt upside down into a bowl. Top with the chopped strawberries. Crush the pretzels and sprinkle over the top of the parfait.
Makes 4 Servings: 295 calories, 3g fat, 5mg cholesterol, 316mg sodium, 52g carbohydrates, 3g dietary fiber, 17g protein
Some of you out there are saying, “You took out the gluten and you took out animal products – what’s left?” Trust me; these are really good. They don’t quite have that chewy texture of brownies, but the taste is awesome. I’m writing a health book for homeschoolers. It’s a book for 4th through 9th graders, with age appropriate activities in each chapter. It’s meant to be used as a cross-age lesson book. I’m writing it out of necessity, because I love to teach my kids together as much as possible. Okay, yes it saves time, but really I just enjoy having the kids working together as much as they can. They are competitive, so they work better when they’re all together. Anyway, at the end of each chapter, I have one or two recipes that go with the lesson for the week. They’re not all gluten free recipes, but I do add ways to make them gluten free. This is a recipe I came up with for the Fruits and Vegetables chapter. I really love these brownies. They’re fairly low in fat, very tasty and they have a pretty nice texture as well. It’s more of a cake-like texture, but they’re so flavorful, you can forgive the fact that they aren’t like ‘regular’ brownies. AND, I snuck in some veggies into the recipe. My kids made them today and reluctantly tried them and now half of the pan is gone. I hope your family loves them this much.
Gluten Free Zucchini Brownies
1 Cup Brown Rice Flour
½ Cup Sorghum Flour
½ Cup White Rice Flour
1 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Cup Cocoa
1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
¼ Cup Canola Oil
¼ Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1 ¼ Cup Maple Syrup
2 Cups Grated Zucchini
Preheat oven to 350º. Prepare a 8×8 baking pan by spraying it with cooking spray. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add vanilla, oil, and maple syrup and mix well. Stir in the zucchini. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool before cutting. Makes 24 brownies
I’ve heard somewhere that these were the figure skater Sonja Henie’s favorite cookies and that’s why they’re called ‘sonja henies,’ but I don’t know that for sure. I do know that they’re my family’s favorite cookies. These gluten free versions are just as good as the original version, but I like them even more than the original. They have that nutty flavor from the coconut flour and it contrasts nicely with the jelly filling. Enjoy!
2 Sticks Butter, softened (can use half dairy free butter substitute and half butter flavored shortening instead)
½ C. Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed
2 Large Egg Yolks
1 t. Vanilla Extract
½ C. Sorghum Flour
½ C. Oat Flour
½ C. Brown Rice Flour
¼ C. Millet Flour
¼ C. Coconut Flour
¾ t. Xanthan Gum
2 Large Egg Whites
1 C. Finely Ground Toasted Pecans
½ C. Strawberry Jelly
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla and continue beating until smooth. Beat in flour. Scrape dough into a large ziplock bag and flatten into ½ inch thick. Seal and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350º. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
When chilled, scoop dough with a small scoop. Roll into a ball. Beat the egg whites with a little water. In a separate bowl, place the ground pecans. Dip each cookie into the egg white and roll in pecans. Place on cookie sheet about 1” apart. Using the end of a wooden spoon, make a little well in each cookie (about ½ of the depth of the cookie). Fill each dimple with jelly.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until cookies are firm and slightly firm. Cool on racks. If jelly has boiled out of any cookies, heat up some jelly and refill the cookies.
Some people like chocolate chip cookies, some sugar cookies. In my house, ginger snaps are the go-to cookie. It’s our traditional cookie that I make on Christmas tree decorating day. It’s the cookie that gets the most requests through the year. We like them soft, though, not crispy like the store-bought kind. If you like soft ginger cookies, these cookies are for you: just the right amount of spice, just the right amount of slight crispness on the outside. They’re just right. I use a vegan butter substitute instead of the butter, but don’t skip the shortening. The shortening gives them that nice chewy sort of texture without being dry and brittle. Enjoy!
½ C. Butter
¼ C. Butter Flavored Shortening
1 C. Brown Sugar
¼ C. Molasses
1 Large Egg
½ C. Brown Rice Flour
½ C. Coconut Flour
½ C. Almond Flour
½ C. Sorghum Flour
2 T. Tapioca Starch
2 T. Potato Starch
1 ½ t. Xanthan Gum
1 t. Baking Soda
1 t. Ginger Powder
1 t. Cinnamon
½ t. Ground Cloves
¼ C. Sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 375º. Add butter and shortening to a mixing bowl and blend. Cream with brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Blend in molasses and egg until thoroughly mixed. Add remaining ingredients and mix well, until there are no lumps. Scoop with a 1” scoop and roll lightly into a ball. Dip in the sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Gently slightly flatten the cookies. Bake in preheated oven, about 9 minutes, until golden brown and done (that’s when baking 2 trays of cookies at the same time – 8 minutes should be fine for baking just one tray). Cool 2 minutes and put on cooling rack to finish cooling.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Last weekend my daughter and I went to my sister’s house for a girls’ night sleep-over. Love girls’ night sleep-overs! The best thing about them (besides no boys allowed) is that we have dessert all to ourselves. Enjoy!
Crust: (make this twice to make a top and a bottom crust)
1 ¼ C. Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (can probably use regular AP flour, but I haven’t tried it)
½ t. Xanthan Gum (omit if using regular AP flour)
½ t. Salt
3 T. Cold Butter
3 T. Butter Flavored Shortening
2 Large Egg Whites
1 t. Vinegar
3 (16 oz.) Cans Red Pitted Cherries, reserve 1 cup of the juice and drain the rest
1 C. Turbinado Sugar
¼ C. Potato Starch
½ Tsp. Almond Extract
1 Tbsp. Butter, cut into small pieces
For the Crust: Add all dry ingredients to food processor and mix thoroughly. Add butter or shortening and blend until mixture looks like crumbs. Add the egg whites and vinegar and mix thoroughly. Add mixture to a large zip top bag that has been sprayed with cooking spray on the inside. Flatten out and put in the refrigerator for one hour. Repeat Recipe to make the top crust of the pie. Remove from refrigerator and roll out to fit a 9” pie pan. Cut open the bag and invert the crust over the pie pan. Press into pan and form edges.
For the filling:
In a medium sized saucepan, cook 1 cup of the reserved cherry liquid with sugar, potato starch and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium low heat until thick. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add cherry liquid to the cherries and almond extract. Combine thoroughly and add mixture to prepared pie crust.
Preheat oven to 375º. Top pie with second crust and crimp edges. Bake for 40-50 minutes on bottom shelf of oven until top is browned. Take the pie out of the oven and let rest at least 15-30 minutes before serving.