Tests and Trials

I have tried a few more new foods and recipes the last few days.  Breakfast wise, I’ve kind of just been sticking to the smoothie and meat option, even though I know I should be mixing things up a bit more but I am a creature of habit, especially in the morning!  I have varied the fruit a bit, bananas and blueberries a few days (oh adn I’ve been adding a handful of fresh spinach too) and then this morning I added some frozen mango since I had that on hand.

I did finally get around to making my waffles, though they did not turn out as good as the last time I made them!!  I am not sure if it was because I used a different kind of milk- I did half rice, half coconut milk, but whatever it was, those suckers stuck to the waffle iron like nobody’s business!  I ended up just peeling them off in pieces; at least they are nice and bite sized now hah!

While those were going, I also made up Nutty Oatmeal Raisin No-Bake Bites (see recipe at end) to use up some of that hemp protein I have.  I had one tonight and it was pretty good and really quite satisfying for an after dinner dessert.  Mine came out to be more like 10 balls, but I thought one was plenty.  The walnuts were a bit bitter, but not overwhelmingly so.

I did end up having a craving for some hot chocolate later, so I made that up and for anyone interested in how to made milk free hot chocolate, here you go: take 2 heaping spoonfuls of Hershey’s Cocoa and 1ish spoonful of sugar (up to you how sweet you like it) and mix them together in your mug.  Warm up in the microwave about a cup of whatever kind of milk you can use (rice, almond, coconut, etc), then pour it into your cocoa mug and mix.  It’s basically as simple as that!  I like to add some extra “flavorings” in the form of peppermint schnapps 😀 and as many marshmallows as I can cram in.  Recently at Hy-Vee they’ve had chocolate mint flavored marshmallows and they are AWESOME!  Hey gotta get your sweet kicks where you can 🙂

For dinner tonight, I made up the rice pasta I bought at Trader Joe’s.  It was pretty good, maybe a little on the gummy side, but I’m really not that picky about that sort of thing so it was fine for me!  Couldn’t have any of my husband’s meat balls, though, since those had bread crumbs, eggs, and parmesan cheese in them.

Since Wednesday is 10% off health food at Hy-Vee, I swung by there to pick up some flour because I had used all of my oat flour.  I settled on a 2 lb back of brown rice flour that was regularly $3.39, so compared to all the other flours, this seemed to be the best deal.  I also perused some other items that had caught my eye last week since now I could get them an extra 10% off woot!  I ended up getting Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks, which for 10 oz was regularly $4.49 and they are fabulous!  I really bought them for munching not for baking… 🙂  It’s amazing that there are only three ingredients in them: Evaporated Cane Juice, Natural Chocolate Liquor (non-Alcoholic), Non-dairy Cocoa Butter.  I also wanted to get some sort of bread, preferably something to use with hot dogs since we still have like 5 packages of them from our party in May!  I looked at Ener-G’s selection of breads and they just seemed so expensive and this particular Hy-Vee didn’t have their hot dog buns, so I moved on to the freezers to see what they had.  I happened upon these very basic looking breads that said they were made out of millet flour: Deland Bakery’s- Millet Hot Dogs.  It was weird though because the label said that it contained wheat, gluten or yeast, but in the ingredients list, none of those things appeared!  So just to make sure, I went back to look at the flours and the millet flour said it was gluten free and not a derivative of wheat, so, triple checking the short ingredient list on the buns, I decided to go for it!  For 6 buns, it was $4.99, so kind of pricey, but cheaper than anything else I had seen that I could eat.  My final health food purchase was Tinkyada’s Rice Spaghetti- 16 oz for $3.45.  My mom had spotted some GF Bisquick and sent that home with my husband, so that will be a handy item to have as well.  I also got the pea protein from my aunt, but am going to try to finish up some more hemp protein before starting on that.

I had a chat with a friend of mine who is allergic to gluten and she said her favorite grain has been quinoa.  I have enjoyed this grain before as well, but only in savory fashions with dinner, but she said it also made a great breakfast option.  So I need to find some time to make up some of that and give it a try for breakfast; maybe it will be more palatable than the steel cut oats!  Really not sure what my deal is with those, I love oats usually!  I did recently discover, when looking at my husband’s instant oatmeals that not all instant oatmeals have “bad” ingredients!  His (just regular Quaker Oats Apple & Cinnamon) didn’t have any soy, milk, or wheat, so it is good to know that if I’m in a jam, I can grab a pack of instant oatmeal and eat it at work.

Nutty Oatmeal Raisin No-Bake Bites

  •  4 Ounces Nuts (see below)
  • 2 Teaspoons Living Harvest Organic Hemp Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey or Agave Nectar (optional)
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract (optional)
  • 1/4 Cup Living Harvest High Protein Hemp Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 Cup to 3/4 Cup Quick or Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Raisins

Grind the nuts in a food processor or spice grinder until they begin to turn into a paste or “butter.” Place the nut butter in a bowl, and stir in the oil, maple, honey or agave (if using), and vanilla (is using). Stir in the protein powder, cinnamon, and salt until smooth. Stir in the oats and raisins. Start with ½ cup of the oats, but feel free to add more if desired. Some nut butters may be a bit oilier or softer than others, so more oats may work better.

Roll the dough into 12 little balls, and flatten a bit like cookies if desired, or leave as balls. Store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready for a snack.

Nuts: I used all walnuts, which are tasty but slightly bitter. For the sweetest and smoothest results, I recommend using cashews, though almonds and even sunflower seeds should work well too. When using walnuts, 4 ounces was a generous cup, or a scant 1-1/4 cups. For cashews,  you will be looking at a little less than 1 cup since it is a denser nut.

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