Friday, January 24, 2014

Copycat Recipe- Morning Peanut Butter Bars

We were in Seattle for a wedding last fall and ate a lot of great food! Whenever I am traveling I always have an eye out for gluten-free treats and I couldn’t resist buying a “morning peanut butter bar” at a cute little grocery store across the street from our hotel. It was from the Flying Apron Bakery, a much acclaimed gluten-free bakery I have read about online and seen mentioned in the blogosphere. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to recreate the recipe at home and the result was pretty darn close! This dense chewy bar is the perfect combo of salty and sweet and is very filling. Try one for breakfast, or break off a piece for a snack or dessert ☺


1 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter (I used Trader Joes Crunchy Salted, or Planter’s Natural)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup oats (old fashioned, not quick, use a gluten-free oats such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes (chopped fine)
3 tablespoons dried raisins
¼ cup sunflower seeds
Wax or parchment paper


In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Press mixture into an 8 by 8 inch pan. (Lining the pan with a large rectangular piece of parchment paper, placing the mixture on one side and then folding the paper over to press down works nicely. The dough will be a bit crumbly, but will come together nicely as you continue to work with it and pat it down into the pan.) Chill in the fridge for an hour or more (if you can wait that long!) and cut into 8 bars and serve. Wrapping the individual bars in wax paper and storing in baggies is great for convenience. Store in the fridge. These bars also freeze well!

Makes 8 bars

Serving size: 1/8th of recipe Calories 320 Protein 10 g Carb 27 g Fiber 4 g Sugars 14 g Fat 21 g Saturated fat 4.5 g Sodium 20 mg


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Recipe ReDux Post # 19 Portobello Pizzas With Brussels Sprouts, Turkey Bacon and Parmesan

“Pizza Party!” is the January 2014 Recipe ReDux theme and I was thrilled.!! I have been wanting to create another Portobello pizza recipe for awhile now.  I had success with mu Portobello Pizzas with sausage and the Mexican inspired ones as well. This time I thought I’d try adding Brussels and turkey bacon to the mix since I love their combo.  The result was delicious, not to mention gluten free and chock full of veggies! The parmesan tops it off just right and even my daughter loved them!  Give em’ a go and check out the rest of the awesome pizza recipes from the talented Recipe ReDux group.

4 extra large portobello mushrooms (about 4-5 inches in diameter), stems removed
2 cups of washed, stems trimmed and quartered Brussels sprouts, 
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped turkey bacon, preferably nitrate-free (*use a gluten-free brand such as Trader Joes or Jennie-O if you are on a gluten free diet), about 2-3 slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
salt, pepper and garlic powder (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse the mushrooms well, cut out the stems (without creating a hole in the bottom) pat dry and place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, stem side up. And bake for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the Brussels sprouts until almost done- they can be cooked by either boiling them in a pot of water, steaming in a pyrex dish in an half inch of water for about 3-5 minutes. (I actually got some from Trader Joes that I could stem in the bag.) Meanwhile, coat a medium sized pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion and turkey bacon and sauté until lightly brown, about 3-4 minutes. Throw in the cooked Brussels sprout halves and continue to sauté until the Brussels sprouts are lightly browned and tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the oven and drain/blot any excess moisture. Top with the Brussels sprouts mixture, dividing it between the four. Place the filled mushrooms back in the oven and bake for 10 -12 minutes. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons cheese and bake for another 2-3 minutes, until cheese is slightly melted. Add a dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder if you like and serve!

Makes 4 servings

Serving size 1 pizza Calories 150 Protein 11 g Carb 10 g Fiber 3 g Sugars 4 g Fat 9 g Saturated fat 3 g Sodium 350  mg


Sunday, January 5, 2014

In The News: More Evidence That Increased Dietary Fiber Intake May Help Ward Off Cardiovascular Disease!

It's no secret that increasing fiber in the diet has many benefits, one of them being offering protection from cardiovascular disease.  A recent publication in The British Journal of Medicine adds more proof to the current pile of evidence about this very topic!

This report included a systematic review of more than 22 cohort studies with information regarding total dietary fiber intake, fiber subtypes, or fiber from food sources and primary events of cardiovascular disease or coronary heart disease. All studies had a follow-up of at least three years and were published between the dates of January, 1st 1990 and August, 6th 2013. The majority of the studies adjusted for important confounders such as age, sex, education or class, and smoking status in their analyses, (but not all studies adjusted for other potentially important confounders such as physical activity or other dietary factors. )The researchers found that total dietary fiber intake was inversely associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. Insoluble fiber and fiber from cereal and vegetable sources were also inversely associated with the risk of CHD and CVD. Fruit fiber intake was inversely associated with just the risk of CVD. In addition, the findings showed that  every additional 7 g per day of total fiber consumed significantly lowered the risk of of both CVD and CHD by 9%. 

A nice summary of the findings can be found in this article in Nutraceuticals World and click here for the abstract from the BMJ.

So add some fiber to your day with some whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, quinoa, popcorn, fruits, veggies, legumes and nuts.  A food is considered a good source of fiber if it offers at least 3 grams per serving when you are checking out the label.

And the good news for my readers is that most of my recipes meet this high fiber criteria!!


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