Gluten/Dairy Free Chex Mix

Since my college finals days, I’ve been a holiday baker. One of my signature dishes is Chex Mix. This year, I set out to make a dairy free/gluten free version so that Jeremiah’s oldest nephew could enjoy it.

The gluten free cereal part was easy since Rice Chex and Corn Chex are both Gluten Free. We also knew we could get a fake butter – Smart Balance is the brand his family uses. It’s pretty much just a mix of different oils.

The gluten free pretzels was the hardest ingredient to find. We ended up going to Sprouts to get a bag of Glutino – gluten free pretzels. I love Sprouts – they make buying foods for people with specific dietary needs easy. It’s where we picked up the fake butter. Plus, we were able to buy about 1 1/2 cups of peanuts from the bulk area for about $.70. This is way cheaper than the grocery store packaged bags. We couldn’t use mixed nut because Jeremiah has a pretty serious allergy to cashews.

Here’s hoping you and your Gluten Free/Dairy Free family & friends enjoy this recipe.

Gluten Free ChexGluten & Dairy Free Chex Mix by Amber Bourek
3 c. Rice Chex
3 c. Corn Chex
3 T. Smart Balance Non-dairy Butter
2 c. Glutino (Gluten Free) Pretzels
1 c. Peanuts
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder

Melt fake butter and stir in seasoning. Mix with dry ingredients. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour – stirring every 15 minutes.

Notes:

  • I used a the Chex seasoning packet. It is the same ingredients as the seasoning listed above.
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Healthy Haystacks

It feels like it has been forever since I have written a blog post. That’s probably has been. In addition to working two jobs, Jeremiah and I have spent the better part of the last three months planning, packing, moving, and (still) unpacking. It’s super exciting because we finally have a place together with all of our stuff. Well, almost all of stuff. We did have to get rid of a few things to move into together.

In addition to keeping busy with all of this stuff, I took on another task. Yesterday and today, I made 120 cookies for Family Volunteer Night at work. I know, am I completely insane? Well, it had to be done. My boss promised we would have a healthy cookie as the volunteers left. Needing all hands on deck for tonight, we just didn’t have enough people at work to make them. Here is the quick and easy recipe I prepared in my beautiful new kitchen. Please note though, this is one of those recipes you’ll want to put on an apron to make. Peanut butter is super messy.

HaystackHealthy Haystacks by Harvesters’ Nutrition Department
1 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. butterscotch chips
2 c. Fiber One bran cereal
1/2 c. dry roasted peanuts
1/2 c. dried cranberries (craisins) 

Cover two cookie sheets with wax paper. In a large bowl, mix peanut butter and butterscotch chips. Microwave for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes stirring every 30 seconds. (Use a potholder while stirring and removing from oven as it will be hot.) Then, add cereal, nuts, and cranberries. Once completely coated, spoon onto wax paper. Refrigerate until firm and serve. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Nutrition Information: Makes 32 servings. 101 Calories, 7 g. fat, 10 g. carbs, 3 g. fiber, 3 g. protein, and 80 mg. sodium.

Notes:

  • I omitted the nuts and doubled the cranberries.
  • You can substitute other dried fruit such as raisins or cherries.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

I first saw this recipe on Facebook. It got buried in my Facebook timeline and I had to go search the internet to find it. As a single person, it make way more than I can eat to decided to share it with my co-workers. They loved it and I hope you will too. It’s a good balance of chocolate and peanut butter.

Chocolate Peanut Butter BarsChocolate Peanut Butter Bars
2 c. instant oatmeal
1 1/2 c. flour
1 3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. of butter (2 sticks)
1/2 c. chopped peanuts
1 c. chocolate chips
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 can sweet and condensed milk (14 oz.)
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter

Mix together oats, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Cut in butter. Save 1 1/2 cups. Stir in egg to bowl and press in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. In a separate bowl, stir together sweet and condensed milk and peanut butter. Pour over crust. Sprinkle crumble, chocolate chips, and nuts. Bake 15 minutes more.

Notes:

  • I omitted the peanuts.
  • I used Fat Free sweet and condensed milk and reduced fat peanut butter.

Pots of Gold

My original hometown of Wisner, NE is a Irish community. That meant you had to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day or someone would pinch you. As a kid, I remember school letting out early on St. Patrick’s Day so you could go participate in the festivities. If it wasn’t raining, the city would paint a big Shamrock on Main Street. I believe the parade started at the City Auditorium and featured the high school marching band. We usually watched it from the curb at my dad’s service station. But my sister’s senior year, she was on the float as a candidate for Shamrock Princess. For dinner, we would sometimes get pizza with a green crust or a green twist ice cream cone. I’m pretty sure lots of people drank green beer but I wasn’t old enough to hang out at the bars to find that out for sure.

I was surprised at just how many recipes I have seen lately for St. Patrick’s Day. Sure, you expect to see recipes for Irish Soda Bread, Sheppard’s Pie, and Corned Beef and Cabbage. Today’s recipe is fun snack from the Betty Crocker website. But I think you could enjoy it anytime of year.

Pot o’ Gold Chex Mix

4 c. Lucky Charms cereal
2 c. Corn Chex cereal
1 & 1/2 c. pretzel rods
1 c. dry-roasted peanuts
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter
2 T. corn syrup
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. green M&Ms

In a large microwavable bowl, mix cereals, pretzels, and peanuts. In a glass bowl, mix brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Microwave for 2 minutes, stirring after each minute. Stir in baking soda until it is dissolved. Pour over cereal mixture and stir until evenly coated. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Spread out on wax paper to cool. After 5 minutes, sprinkle with M&Ms. Break into bite-sized servings and place in gold foil muffin baking cups. Store leftovers  in an airtight container. Makes 20 servings (1/2 c. each).