Sunday, December 29, 2013

Muddy Buddies / Puppy Chow Recipe!

The holidays are the best time of the year.  Being gluten-free, it's hard to not want to naturally indulge in those wonderful (gluten-filled) holiday treats.  Well today I have for you a great Muddy Buddy recipe that you can make and bring with you to any gathering - whether it be for the holidays or any occasion.  The recipe is naturally gluten-free.

What to gather:

  • 9 cups Corn Chex Cereal
  • 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (Toll House work great!)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 - 1 gallon Ziplock / Hefty bags
  • Glass measuring cup or microwavable bowl
  • Large mixing bowl

What to do:

  • Measure out 5 cups Corn Chex Cereal, place in large mixing bowl
  • Microwave chocolate chips, butter, and peanut butter for 1 minute, stir, add in vanilla, then microwave for another 30 seconds until mixture is smooth
  • Pour half of chocolate/peanut butter mixture over cereal, mix, then add 4 cups cereal and the rest of the chocolate/peanut butter mixture, mix all together until cereal is coated entirely
  • Take 3/4 cup powered sugar and place into first 1 gallon bag, and then do the same to the other bag
  • Divide the cereal/chocolate mixture in half, and place half into each bag
  • Add 3/4 cup powered sugar to each bag, seal, and shake!
  • Add 1/4 cup powered sugar (if needed) to each bag to fully coat each piece, shake!
  • Place storage bags in the refrigerator to cool and serve!
Important Note to my Gluten-free Friends:  If you are gluten-free and sharing with others who are eating food containing gluten, make sure you take your share first or have a separate container for your portion.  You can get cross contamination as everyone eats cookies and then reaches their hands into the Muddy Buddy mix as you eat along with them.  Avoid getting sick later and have your own little cup of Muddy Buddies. :)

Homemade Larabars

 I love Larabars.  I usually eat them for breakfast everyday and they are a great quick grab for that late afternoon snack before the work day ends.  If you've never had a Larabar, it is a bar made of just fruit and nuts.  They only usually have a few ingredients: dates, nuts, and sea salt.  They are also promoted as: gluten free, dairy free, soy free, non-gmo, vegan, and kosher (score!).

I eat them so much that I decided to make up my own recipe.  They turned out wonderful and are very filling!

In comparison, each 1.7 oz Larabar cost's $1.25 per bar.  Mine cost ~$.30 per each 1.7 oz bar.  That saves you $.95 (almost $1.00) per bar!  Calorie wise, mine come out to about 205 calories vs. Larabar's 220.

I chose to use Target Market Pantry Dry Roasted Peanuts (lightly salted) and a local grocery store's California Raisins.  Note, if you pick up organic or different ingredients, the cost of the bar will vary.

How to make your homemade Larabars:
  • Gather these items:
    • Food Processor
    • Parchment Paper
    • 8 in x 8 in Pan
    • 12 oz Raisins
    • 8 oz Dry Roasted Peanuts - lightly salted* - note: for your bars to be gluten-free you must make sure they aren't processed in a factory that also processes wheat 
    • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
    • 1 tsp (or more to taste) Cinnamon
    • 1 - 2 TBSP Honey - note: local to your area is preferred
  • What to do:
    • Measure out 1 cup of raisins (6 oz) and blend in food processor for approx. 20 seconds
    • Once blended, pour in the remaining 1 cup raisins (6 oz), 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.  Process until all blended together.
    • Add in 8 oz Dry Roasted Peanuts and the honey.  Blend until all blended together - this takes approx. 1 minute depending on how big/fast your food processor is.  You may have to take out some mixture and blend separately depending on your machine.  Feel free to add as much honey to your liking - I'd say between 1 - 2 TBSP would be fine.
    • Place parchment paper in the bottom of the 8 in x 8 in pan.  
    • Remove the mixture from the food processor and place in the pan.  Flatten to the pan and place in refrigerator.  (I left mine in overnight)
    • Cut into pieces to your desire and enjoy!

Let me know what you think! :)