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The 2013 holidays are over, and we’re into a new year with plenty of new possibilities and memories to be made.
First up in January 2014 is a slate of NFL playoff games culminating in Super Bowl XLVIII (or 48 for all of you who are Roman numeral challenged) and then on to Valentine’s Day and March Madness. Then, before long, we’ll be once again sitting on the patio or deck enjoying the warm weather.
Or at least that’s the plan.
One common thing about all of these events and occasions is that we enjoy celebrating and relaxing with friends and or neighbors, and inevitably, we enjoy eating (America’s 2nd favorite sport).
But if you’re one of the growing numbers of people on a gluten-free or restricted diet, perusing a menu, or evaluating your choices at a buffet table can be more an investigative experience than a matter of choice, as I’ve Blogged about recently .
At home, it’s a different story, and there’s no reason you can’t enjoy each and every event and holiday this year with simple gluten-free treats you can make right in your own kitchen. And once you do, you’ll know right away what’s on the okay list when you’re away from home.
Chips & Dips
The GOOD news is that it just so happens that rice and corn, chick peas, tomatoes and most all vegetables are gluten free (unless they have been processed, e.g., canned or seasoned), so you can pretty much feel confident in enjoying fresh-made salsa and hummus with corn tortilla chips, falafel chips or rice crackers. Yum.
Aside from salsa, look for other vegetable-based toppings to put on your chips, such as eggplant caponata or tapenades. You can also try slices of meat and cheeses (all Boar’s Head products are gluten free) or some grilled chicken topped with fresh basil pesto, roasted red bell pepper and shaved Parmesan cheese.
The granddaddy of chips and dip is nachos, and they can be on the safe list as long as the beef is seasoned with natural herbs and spices (and not a packaged mix that may have gluten in it) and the cheese is also natural and not processed with some additive that might contain gluten.
Keep in mind that to melt your natural cheese, you’ll put this whole dish in the oven and heat it all up together like a casserole, so you’ll want to top it with sour cream and cilantro after it comes out not before it goes into the oven.
Other Easy Peasy Snacks:
Natural peanut butter on celery (Go for it!)
KIND® Bars (yep)
Popcorn (Now we’re talkin’!)
Corn Chex® Mix (And here’s where you can find all sorts of GREAT Corn Chex Recipes for entertaining. They’re all quick and delicious!)
And if you enjoy baking, here’s a recipe you can enjoy for a late-night snack, for the kids’ lunch boxes or when you’re in the mood for a quick pick-me-up on the road.
Mini- Apple Oatmeal Chew Snacks
Make about 2-dozen small chews
2 Cups Rolled Oats, Gluten-Free
¼ Cup Light-Brown Sugar, Packed
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
¼ tsp Salt
1 ½ Cup Milk
¼ Cup Applesauce
3 Egg Whites (about ½ Cup)
1 Honey Crisp Apple, Cored, Peeled and Cut into Small ½” Pieces
1/3 Cup Raisins or Currants
¼ Cup Toasted Almonds, Chopped
¼ Cup Toasted Coconut, Shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and then spray a mini cupcake pan (about 1 ½” size) with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, applesauce, and egg whites.
- Stir the milk mixture into the oat mixture until just combined, and then fold in the apples, raisins, almonds and coconut.
- Fill each cupcake impression about 3/4 full. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the tops are browned.
I hope these tips, ideas and recipes have given you NEW possibilities for enjoying your 2014 gluten free.
What are your favorite gluten free snacks? Share with me in the comments below!