Grain-Free, Vegan PB&J Bars

Happy National Peanut Butter Day!

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In honor of National Peanut Butter Day I modified one of my favorite dessert bar recipes from Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook.  The Raspberry Bar recipe is simply scrumptious as is but today I thought I’d add a little oomph to it…and nothing goes better with jelly (for me, anyways!) than peanut butter!  The original recipe of course calls for Raspberry fruit spread but my favorite is Black Currant so that’s what I used, you can substitute your favorite flavor and any nut butter would work in place of the peanut butter. I replaced the egg in the recipe with a flax egg to make this a vegan-friendly treat as well.  These are great for an on-the-go snack too…I cut them up, wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them, EASY!

PB&J Bars

Crust:

3 cups almond flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Blend the almond flour, salt, coconut oil and vanilla in a food processor or high-speed blender until a smooth dough forms.  Press the dough into a greased 9×13 baking dish.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden.  Prepare the topping and measure out the filling while the crust is baking.

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Filling:

1/2 cup peanut butter, room temperature or slightly warmed

1 cup fruit spread

Spread the peanut butter in a thin layer over the hot crust.  Top the peanut butter layer with your favorite fruit spread flavor, spreading evenly.

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Topping:

1 3/4 cups almond flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 Tbsp. coconut nectar

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp. flax meal mixed with 2 Tbsp. warm water…allow to thicken)

1 cup sliced almonds

Combine the almond flour, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Stir in the coconut oil, coconut nectar and flax egg.  Gently fold in the almond slices.  Distribute the topping evenly over the fruit spread layer, pressing it down slightly with the back of a spoon.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until the topping its lightly golden brown.  Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour and then refrigerate.  Cut into bars and serve.  Makes 18-24 servings.

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This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Fridays, Gluten-Free Fridays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays ,Wheat Free Wednesdays

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French Style Green Beans…Quick and Easy!

Super easy, tasty and elegant.  A nice accompaniment to any meal!

Super easy, tasty and elegant. A nice accompaniment to any meal!

Everyone loves an elegant side dish and this one is sure to impress.  It’s quick, simple and delivers tons of flavor!

French Style Green Beans

1 pound haricots verts (fancy name for french green beans), ends trimmed

2 Tbsp. olive oil (or butter)

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

4 slices bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the haricots verts and cook until just tender, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to an ice bath, to stop the cooking process.  Drain and pat dry on paper towels.  In a large skillet, heat the olive oil (or butter) over medium-high heat. Add the drained haricots verts, slivered almonds, garlic and salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring, for 5-6 minutes, or until just heated through and crisp-tender.  Top with crumbled bacon and serve immediately.  Serves 4-6.

This post is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Fight Back Friday

The BEST Monster Cookie You Will EVER Eat!!!

Everyone knows who Cookie Monster is but what about a Monster Cookie?  Well, let me just tell ya…it’s the best cookie you will ever eat.  It’s chewy, chocolatey, peanut buttery bliss…all wrapped up in a big giant cookie!  Paula Deen has a recipe for a Monster Cookie that is full of store-bought candies, brown and white sugars, oats, eggs and of course tons of BUTTER and The Pioneer Woman’s recipe has white flour, rice crispy cereal AND two and a half sticks of butter for 18 cookies!  I stopped eating that kind of cookie years ago…but I came across a Monster Cookie at Whole Foods Market that I thought might be a better alternative…Ha, I was lucky enough to be able to get a peek at the recipe and decided DEFINITELY not a better option.  I actually calculated out the approximate calorie count for the cookie and it was well over 500 calories…per cookie!  Better ingredients don’t always make a healthier choice.  I have tried and tried to replicate the recipe using different ingredient options here and there and could never quite get it right…until today.  Now, let’s be clear…cookies are a treat and no matter what kind they are and how “healthy” the ingredients may be they still should be enjoyed on special occasions (yeah, yeah, yeah…I know, whatever!).  Anyway, cookies are my treat of choice so this recipe is a complete and total victory for me!

Bliss.

Monster Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup quinoa flour

2/3 cup quinoa flakes

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. celtic sea salt (omit if your peanut butter is salted)

1/4 cup butter, melted (or coconut oil for vegan option)

1/4 cup peanut butter (or roasted almond butter)

6 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp. water, if needed

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine the quinoa flour, quinoa flakes, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.   Stir to blend well. In a large bowl combine the sugar, peanut butter, melted butter (or oil), syrup and vanilla; whisk to blend. Using a flexible rubber spatula, gradually stir the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture, if the mixture is too dry and not holding together add the water by tablespoon until it’s combined. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips.

For each cookie, drop 2 generous tablespoons of batter onto the prepared sheet, spacing the mounds about 2 inches apart. (Or use an ice cream scoop.) Using moistened fingertips, flatten each to a 3-inch-diameter round.

Bake the cookies until brown and a bit firm to the touch, 17 to 20 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack and cool completely.

Makes 8 GIANT Cookies!

Cookies and Ice Cream…Does dessert get any better than a Cookie Sundae? I think not.

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Gluten-Free Friday, Fight Back Friday, Fill Those Jars Friday, Made From Scratch Monday

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