The Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Mission

I apologize for not posting in a while, but I just now realized I never published this post ; )
I know that for a lot of people, enjoying food is a big deal. And going on a restrictive diet doesn’t sound like much fun then! Lol, I didn’t think so either. But I would like to tell everyone out there that you gain SO much more by eating well and limiting the gluten and dairy in your diet. You don’t have to eat stewed kale and grainy drinks- you can actually love what you eat! And the very best part is that you feel better after eating. My younger sister has been going through some real digestive issues and has decided that going gluten-free and dairy-free for a while is a good idea. So she’s started making some really good meals for our family that don’t have these two components. I was sick for a while with some digestive stomach flu (something different than my sister) and so once I got better it felt great to eat good nourishing food. Although pretty much anything tastes good after not eating for two days, haha. So anyways, I am going to share the recipe for protein bars that my sister found and made for us today. They were extremely good! Here is her blog address where she is posting more recipes: http://emmegblog.blogspot.com/ As Christmas approaches, I know it may not seem like a great idea to start a diet now- but really, it’s the best time. Christmas is when you eat all the junk food, you gain pounds, feel depressed, and spend weeks afterward working it off and regretting what you ate. So why not just control everything in reach? We’re making some very nutritious cookies for Christmas- full of fiber, protein, and very little sugar (we usually substitute honey).

My final note: Challenge yourself and let this be the Christmas you feel good about all the way through and even afterwards.

Do It Yourself – Homemade Protein Bars

Makes approx. 16 bars (or 1 big bar :).  Depends how big you make ‘em!)
Ingredients:
Base:
2 cups nuts or seeds (almonds, sunflowerpumpkin, or macadamia.  Mixing several kinds is fine too.  Soak and dry these if at all possible.)
½ cup flax meal (flax seeds ground in a blender or spice grinder) (alternatively, use rice bran or protein powder)
½ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened and organic if possible)
½ cup seed or nut butter (again, made from soaked and dried nuts is preferable)
3/8 teaspoon salt (I use RealSalt)
½ cup coconut oil (or alternative solid fat.  Use cocoa butter or butter for a more warm weather-stable bar)
2 Tbsp liquid sweetener –  use 1/32 tsp of stevia extract (read my post on stevia here.)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Topping:
Top with either my Homemade Chocolate / Carob Bar or melted Homemade Chocolate / Carob Chips (1 cup of chips per bar recipe)
Method
1.  Place nuts or seeds, flax meal, coconut, seed or nut butter and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
2.  Process until the nuts or seeds are ground into a coarse meal
3.  Melt coconut oil over low heat.  If the temperature of your home is around 76 degrees, you can skip this step and add the oil directly to the food processor as it will be soft enough to process easily.
4.  Add coconut oil, sweeteners and vanilla to processor bowl and process until well combined to form a thick, yet crunchy paste.
5.  Press the mixture into an 8×8 square pan (you can be quite flexible here.  A 9×9 will work just fine.  A larger pan will produce thin bars, while a smaller pan will yield thicker ones.)
6.  Place in refrigerator to chill.
7.  While bars are chilling, prepare Homemade Chocolate / Carob Bar, but don’t harden it.
8.  Top bars with the Homemade Bar.  Alternatively, use your own or my Homemade Chocolate / Carob Chips before melting, or melt and top with those.
9.  Place back in refrigerator to chill (if you can wait that long :-)!)
10.  Cut into squares and serve.
11.  Store in refrigerator.
*I also have used xylitol and erythritol.  Here’s where to buy xylitol and erythritol.
Variations and Notes:
  • Use vegetable glycerine for a low carb version.  If you don’t need low carb, use Sucanat or honey for more natural options.  If  you don’t use glycerine, then 1 scoop stevia extract is a good choice.*)
  • Substitute up to the total amount of the flax meal with the same amount of rice protein for an extra punch of protein.  Nutribiotic makes a great brand from non-GMO brown rice.  You could also use some of this great grass-fed gelatin to firm up the bars and give more protein.
  • Rice bran is a great nutrient-boosting alternative to the flax meal as well.
  • Want to use stevia?  Try my DIY Liquid Stevia Drops recipe.
And enjoy! : )

 

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