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Entries in gluten-free (5)

Sunday
Apr132014

Honey Almond Quinoa Granola

Honey Almond Quinoa Granola

The sun is peeking over the horizon when my alarm buzzes in the morning, my bedroom a hazy gray. The dim light makes it feel like a new day instead of a tired continuum of night. This has made all the difference, it seems, in mood and spirit. The long winter is over, the sun is warm once more, and it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

I am beginning to feel human again. It is the most glorious feeling.

Honey Almond Quinoa Granola Honey Almond Quinoa Granola

I've been having a hard time finding my voice these last few months. I can hold words in my mind as well as water cupped between my hands. Eventually the water slips through my fingers, as do any thoughts I may have wished to share. For the first time in years, the recipes have slowed. I want to write when I have something to say, not to just fill this space with empty thoughts.

I am certain the recipes will come more often in the future, but for now I need more time to myself: to think, to breathe, to find the words to say. Thank you for being patient and supportive—it means so much.

Honey Almond Quinoa Granola

A few times a year, I make a large batch of granola to last me through a busy week. When creating this granola, I sifted through the cupboards to gather together a few ingredients, missing so many of the common ingredients such as dried fruits or chocolate chips. In the end, it didn't matter. Whole grains, nuts, and a natural sweetener brought this granola together, making it something quite unique.

This may be both the healthiest and most enjoyable granola I have ever made. I hope you feel the same.

Honey Almond Quinoa Granola Honey Almond Quinoa Granola

Honey Almond Quinoa Granola is a whole grain breakfast both filling and wholesome (and gluten-free). The quinoa provides a lovely crunch, with honey for sweetness, and toasted almonds for nuttiness. Over the course of a week, I enjoyed this granola drowned in milk, sprinkled over yogurt, and eaten by the handful for a midnight snack. Healthy and delightful, this is a breakfast you can feel good about.

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Sunday
Apr072013

Almond Joy Candy Bars

Almond Joy Candy Bars

Coconut never used to be a familiar word in my vocabulary nor did the fruit itself often find its way into my stomach. As landlocked as one could be, coconuts were as foreign of an idea as palm trees and tropical seas—the subject of many a daydream, but not of an everyday reality. I remember looking over the brown coconut shells in the supermarket, hard beneath my hands, and I was curious how long the coconuts had been sitting on the shelf (I had never witnessed a person purchase one before). A sign overhead asserted that the coconut could be opened best with an ice pick, pointed proof showing how far this little coconut was from home.

As I placed the coconut back on the shelf, I wondered if people in tropical climates carried around ice picks for this specific purpose. The thought struck me as silly, but I could not think of a tool better suited than the one for winter weather.

Almond Joy Candy Bars

Eventually, my curiosity got the best of me and I bought a supermarket coconut of my own. I was skeptical of the coconut, as perhaps I should have been, but willing to keep an open mind. In the hot summer sun, I brought it back to my dorm room where my friends and I stared at it, wondering if we would be able to find an ice pick during this time of year. As we passed it between each other, pondering the usage of butcher knives and sharp rocks, my friend accidentally dropped it on the tile floor. Neatly splitting in two, the coconut water began to puddle around it.

A coconut, it seemed, hardly needed any motivation to open at all.

Almond Joy Candy Bars Almond Joy Candy Bars

We stared at the coconut shell on the floor for a moment or two, in disbelief that the coconut was so fragile. My friend, who had lived in Hawaii the year before, took this as a bad omen. We scooped the supermarket coconut off the tile, trying to salvage as much as possible. The smell was musky and unpleasant. The taste, even worse. A bad coconut, my friend declared, as she cleanly tossed it in a nearby trash can.

Though my introduction to fresh coconut was less than ideal, it was the start of a coconut affair that would only grow and flourish. While fresh coconut may be out of the picture, dried coconut has become a pantry staple.

Almond Joy Candy Bars

Homemade Almond Joy Candy Bars are much healthier and taste just as wonderful as the store-bought version. The coconut center is made with unsweetened shredded coconut, honey, and coconut oil to bind it together. With an almond on top and a chocolate coating, the candy bar is complete. While I placed almonds both inside and on top of the chocolate coating, I would suggest placing the almonds inside the chocolate coating. The almonds placed on top of the chocolate coating have a tendency to fall off during preparation. A no-bake treat, these candy bars can be ready in thirty minutes time.

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Wednesday
May022012

Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies

Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies

Lethargic, listless, lackadaisical. I've been utterly lazy the last week and half. At first, it was because I was jet-lagged, blaming time differences and long flights on my reason for not getting up from the couch. However, after the fatigue wore off, so did my excuses. I began setting my alarm to get up for the gym—an honest attempt to drag myself back into a normal schedule. Waking up to the loud beeping with cloudy skies overhead, I found myself hitting the snooze button and turning over for another hour's rest.

Not today, I'd tell myself. Maybe tomorrow...

Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies

One day turned into two. Then three, then four. After rolling out of bed, I'd eat breakfast before situating myself in front of the television to watch hours of sitcoms and Lifetime movies. I made up excuses to convince myself I didn't need to leave the house. Overdue library books sat by the front door, accumulating small, but bothersome ten cent charges each day that passed. I wasn't sad or depressed, sick or under the weather. I was simply and inexcusably lazy.

I don't really need to go to the gym, I'd tell myself while eating through a bag of potato chips. I'll bake something tomorrow, I'd assure myself, scrolling through more recipes on Pinterest. Laziness was a luxury, wasn't it?

But, as the days turned into a week, I wasn't so sure of that anymore.

Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies

Abraham Miller once said that he who knows how to loaf is wiser than three sages. I have the feeling, however, he wasn't talking about me. With all the reality television I was watching, I couldn't hope to be as wise as one sage, much less three. Laziness was no longer a luxury. It was becoming a chore (and no one likes chores).

Exactly 10 days after my lazy streak started, it abruptly ended. I pulled myself together. I went to the gym. I cuddled back up to my Kitchenaid mixer and made sweet, sweet desserts. I returned the library books back to their rightful home. Though laziness does have a time and place (and I will look back upon mine fondly), sometimes enough is enough.

The real world comes calling and we all must get up off the couch.

Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies

These Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies are the product of curious thinking and experimentation. Gluten and dairy free, the cookies are made with crunchy peanut butter and rolled in sugar for sweetness. The cornmeal adds a little extra texture to these cookies, without a distinguishable taste. Though the cornmeal can give the cookies a drier texture, it isn't anything a glass of milk can't cure.

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