Peanut Butter Rice Krispies

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This recipe won’t be so good if you happen to be allergic to peanuts. But if you aren’t it’s so yummy! It has only 5 ingredients and there’s no baking involved. Just mix, refrigerate and enjoy! Ok so there’s a bit more to it than that, but still really easy.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispies

6½ c Rice Krispies
½ c raisins
1 c peanut butter
2 Tbsp butter
¼ c honey

rice krispies_001In a very large bowl mix together the Rice Krispies and raisins. In a separate smaller bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and microwave until melted. I do 1-2 minutes on power 6-7 sometimes 8 to make sure I don’t burn the peanut butter. This is something you’ll have to play with a little with your microwave and what setting work best.

Pour the microwaved mixture onto the Rice Krispie mixture, mix well with your hands until rice krispies_002everything is nicely blended. Then transfer this into either a 9″ x 9″ or 9″ x 13″ pan, depends on how thick you want the bars when you are done. Once you transfer the mixture press down to make it all stick together. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Then cut into bars and enjoy!

Note: When using natural ingredients it takes longer to melt and can be beneficial to start with the butter, then add honey (if it’s raw), and finally the peanut butter.

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Anytime Bars

anytime bars_0613_03This recipe is from The Cancer Fighting Kitchen. I picked it up when I found out my cousin’s then-fiance had leukemia. You can read her story and journey here. These bars are suggested for when someone is receiving chemo to help give them more energy. My husband and I make them when we are on the go, traveling or just want a tasty (healthy) snack.

These bars take a little time to make, but they are worth it!

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1 c raw pecan halves
1 c whole raw almonds
2 Tbsp spelt flour
2 Tbsp unbleached all purpose flour
2 Tbsp finely ground flaxseeds
¼ tsp sea salt
⅛ tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp baking soda
¼ c old-fashioned rolled oats
1 c pitted dates, quartered (preferably Medjool)
1 c unsulfured dried apricots, cut in half
1 organic egg
5 Tbsp maple syrup (I use grade A)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly oil a 9-inch square pan.

Spread the pecans in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and toast for 7 to 10 minutes, until aromatic and slightly browned. Watch them carefully, as they can burn easily. Repeat this process for the almonds. Turn down the oven to 325°.

Combine the spelt flour, all-purpose flour, flaxseeds, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a food processor and process for 5 seconds to combine. Add the pecans and almonds and pulse 5 times to coarsely chop the nuts. Add the oats, dates and apricots and pulse 10 to 15 times, until the mixture is well chopped but still coarse.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg, maple syrup and vanilla together until thoroughly combined. Add the fruit and nut mixture and use your hands to mix thoroughly, being sure to separate any clumps of fruit. Spread the mixture in the oiled baking pan in an even layer and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until set and golden brown; don’t over bake, or the bars will be too dry. Let cool 5 minutes and cut into 25 squares. Leave bar in pan to cool all the way so they’ll hold together when you remove them.

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Variations

Use walnuts instead of pecans.
Add ¼ cup dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries, raisins or currants when mixing together at the end.
Add 1 tablespoon of grated orange zest when mixing together at the end.
Add 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds when mixing together at the end.
Add ¼ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut when mixing together at the end.
For gluten-free substitute gluten free muffin mix for the flours. Make sure oats were not processed alongside wheat.

Nut Free Bars

This recipe is a slight modification of one I found on Baking Obsession. I was searching for a snack that my co-worker could have that was nut free or at least tree nut free. This one happens to be both. It took some time to make and some of the ingredients are on the slightly pricier side, but if you have an allergy or just like making good snack bars this is a great recipe to try.

When I finished making this I kept it in the freezer, the bars still seemed a little sticky overall. My husband likes them more than I do since he’s more of a fruit guy and he doesn’t complain about them being sticky. Another note is that I use mostly organic foods, especially the fruits.

Nut Free Bars

1 c rice Krispies
¾ c puffed millet cereal
1/3
c steel cut oats
1/8 c sunflower seeds
1/8 c pepitas
1 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
¼ c raisins
2 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp red raspberry preserves
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ c cranberries
5 prunes

Preheat oven to 325°. Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper and baking oil.

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients. In a small heavy saucepan combine the honey, oil, syrup,  preserves and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat stirring constantly. Take off heat, whisk in vanilla. Pour mixture over dry ingredients. I finish mixing with my hands (I personally wear gloves). Press into the prepared pan. Bake for about 10 minutes until light golden.

Cool completely. Before cutting put in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour, or overnight. Then cut the bars into squares. Enjoy!

Graham Crackers aka Cheesecake Crust

 
5/24/12: Let me preface this with, I am terrible with dough. Especially when it’s for something that should be a dessert. I have improved with pizza dough (see earlier post) but I have not even attempted pie crust. Anyway this is a recipe from Dining on a Dime again. This time for graham cracker crust. The purpose of making this is so that I can have a super made from scratch cheesecake. Not sure how it will work, since they seem to be a little less than crunchy (I’m thinking not rolled thin enough as some parts are crunchier).
 
So we will find out in the next couple of days how it works as a crust. I will most likely be blending them up instead of the standard meat pounder to break them up. If I remember I will post the cheesecake recipe as well. It’s a hybrid of 2 that I will be trying out for this weekend.
 
5/26/12: Sorry this post has been taking me a few days.. The graham crackers after sitting overnight became crunchier. I would still make them thinner the next time I attempt them. The cheesecakes are made (2 of the same hybrid) will be coming soon. So we’ll find out then how the graham crackers turned out, when I sampled some they were pretty tasty.
 

Graham Crackers from scratch

2.5-3 c flour (recipe calls for whole wheat, I use a blend of whole wheat, spelt and unbleached all purpose)
¼ c brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp baking soda
¼
tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c applesauce (home made, or oil (which is what the recipe called for))
1/3 c honey
1 Tbsp molasses (or dark corn syrup)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c milk (I used skim)

Combine the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Then combine the wet ingredients into a smaller bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix well. By the end you will need to mix with your hands. If the dough is too sticky add flour, too wet add milk. Preheat your oven to 300°. Divide the dough in half and roll onto 2 large cookie sheets. (My 9*13 was a bit small (not sure what my second tray size was) since rolling thin is good, they do puff up).

You want to cut lines making squares however large you would like. Then prick with a fork, or if you’re using the fancy Pampered Chef double sided roller it has a thing for pricking dough attached. Anyway, bake for 15-25 minutes, mine took more like 30, again roll THIN! Remove from oven once brown on edges (more brown than what it started). Let cool and store in an airtight container, or like me ground up for cheesecake crust. Makes 4-4 ½ cups of crumbs.

Healthy Snack Mix

Healthy Snack Mix aka Chex Mix

Starting on goal one of the weekend. Making Chex Mix® for the week. My husband and I a while back started reading labels especially the ingredients. We came to find out Chex Mix® prepackaged not the best for you. I know that most of those ingredients are still in the cereal, but makes us feel better by making it.  So while reading through Taste of Home: Healthy Cooking I found a recipe for a new type of snack mix. Below you will find my version of the mix.

I don’t always have the right things on hand, so I improvise with what I normally do have. I know the original recipe called for peanuts, but I make a trail mix with peanuts and apparently the hubby was getting a little peanutted out during the day with 2 of his snacks containing peanuts. I have taken these out so now I believe this recipe is just fine for people with nut allergies to eat. Another thing with this recipe, I’m not always brand loyal, so this time around I have Crispix and Chex (wheat and corn). And now without further ado…

For my latest take on Taste of Home’s Healthy Snack Mix you will need:

2 c Crispix
1 c wheat Chex
1 c corn Chex
1 c (roughly) pretzels, I use regular twists and break them up after measuring.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Worcestershire (this time original)
¼ tsp coarse sea salt
OPTIONAL for extra kick (these can be any amount, I would suggest 1/4 tsp or less)
couple of turns of the pepper grinder
crushed red pepper flakes
Jamaican jerk seasoning
chipotle seasoning
I would also recommend gloves for stirring, the whole toss to coat thing is just a joke to me.

Preheat the oven to 350°. You will need 2 bowls, one really big and one not so big. In the bowl gently stir (with your hands so you won’t break everything) the cereal and pretzels. In the small bowl, mix everything else. For these I would use a spoon. Once mixed pour over the cereal mixture, try to cover most of it. Then put on gloves, if you want, then mix everything until it’s all covered.

Now get out a large baking sheet, the smallest should be 9×13 if that’s all you have. I cover mine with some parchment paper to help with cleanup, but that’s optional. Spread out the mixture as close to a single layer as you can and put in the oven for about 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on it as the cereal can burn easily. Once done to your desired crispness remove from oven, and turn it off. Let the pan cool on a hot pad or wire rack, then store in an airtight container. 1/2 cup servings are just under 100 calories. Enjoy!