An almost healthy Gluten-free Dairy-free Soy-free Butterfinger

October 29th, 2011 yum Posted in Chocolate, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Holiday, JM friendly, Nuts, Peanut, Raw Food 11 Comments »

Halloween. I’ve always loved the holiday. As a kid I have happy memories of making my own costumes with my mother, and so it has been important to me to continue this tradition with baby Yum. I made her a ladybug costume last year, and this year I’m making her a girl robot costume. This two year old girl loves twirly skirts, robots, and space shuttles too, and I love that she loves these things. Who says you can’t have tonka trucks and tulle skirts too? Nobody in our house! But the other big thing about halloween is the candy, right? I was never allowed to have candy as a child, partly due to gluten and partly because of the sugar. I would go trick-or-treating, but would give back the candy or give it to my mother, and it wasn’t a big deal. Now that I have my own child and she is becoming more aware of the various traditions associated with holidays, I’ve realized I’m going to have to find my own way with the candy issue. Toddler Yum sometimes has small amounts of sugar- usually combined with healthy things, so it isn’t barred from our house, but have you read the labels on those candy labels? I’ve always been a fan of peanut chocolates like Reese’s or Butterfinger. Since I had a box of Erewhon Unsweetened Corn Flakes Cereal on my kitchen island waiting to be used that I received courtesy of Erewhon representative Alisa Fleming of Go Dairy Free, and I had made an allergen-friendly Reese’s cup in a previous post, I was most interested in the Butterfinger.

Here are the ingredients for your average Butterfinger:
SUGAR, GLUCOSE, PEANUTS, HYDROGENATED PALM KERNEL OIL, COCOA POWDER, MODIFIED MILK INGREDIENTS, MOLASSES, CORN FLAKES, SALT, SOYA LECITHIN, CORN STARCH, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOUR, TBHQ, CITRIC ACID, COLOUR.

Actually, I’ve read worse, but it just doesn’t sound very good or good for you. And how about that TBHQ? Yum!
So I decided it was time to re-think the Butterfinger. At its most basic, this bar is all about the sweet, sweet peanut filling, crispy corn flakes and chocolate shell. One peanut treat that we love and often eat in our house is the peanut butter lara bar, which is simply peanuts, dates, and a little salt. So I thought, why not make a homemade Lara Bar, give it a corn flake center for crunch, and dip or drizzle it in chocolate?

So that is exactly what I did.

How to make Gluten-free Dairy-free and Soy-free Homemade Butterfingers:

You’ve seen the toddler-friendly version at the top of the post, pictured with Toddler Yum’s Jack O’Lantern. Here is the sexy adult version, which I took to a pumpkin carving party.

It might be me, but I think it looks (and tastes) better than the packaged version! The Erewhon Corn Flakeswere perfect for this because the only ingredients were corn and a little salt. They were a tad plain all by themselves, but in a recipe like this where they are surrounded by healthy sweet ingredients, they are perfect! I’d buy them again, just for this recipe or to use in a savory breading recipe. This recipe was awesome, though, and I love how easy it is to adapt to various food sensitivities. If you need dairy-free but Soy Lecithin is ok and trace amounts of milk are ok, try the Trader Joe chocolate chips, which I used this time. If you need completely dairy-free and soy-free, use the Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips for your coating. If you prefer a really dark (70% cacao) type chocolate, use that. Want it strictly vegan with vegan sugar? Use a vegan chocolate bar. I think it will be delicious every way! Do store it in the refrigerator before eating, though, as the chocolates without soy lecithin are delicate and the bar will stay solid and easy to eat that way.

Here’s some fun pics from the Halloween party…

It was Toddler yum’s first experience carving a pumpkin, or rather, scooping out the pumpkin. Daddy helped, and gave the pumpkin little vampire teeth. Toddler Yum loved it, and even said “Vampire! vampire!” Oh dear, the things they pick up. And yes, there were other people at this party, including a wonderful gluten-free hostess that you might know from her blog that made wonderful sweet potato corn chowder and homemade mounds bars (yum!) I’m so lucky to know many of the gluten-free chefs around, and to be able to welcome this new gluten-free friend to our neighborhood.

Happy Halloween! I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family, with plenty of treats that work for everybody’s tummy.

Looking for more gluten-free homemade treats?
Sunflower-seed Un-peanut Butter Cups
Elana’s Pantry Healthy Halloween Candy Recipes
Homemade Gluten-free Twix Bar Recipe
Nutty Vegan Butter Easter Candy
Ali’s homemade maple-sunbutter candor (like tootsie rolls)
Ali’s Chocolate Macadamia Nut Clusters
Nourishing Gourmet’s Healthier Candy Recipes
Kelly’s Raw Chocolate Raspberry Candy- refined sugar and other allergens free
Elana’s Peppermint Patties sweetened with Agave

Share your favorite gluten-free candy recipes in the links and I’ll add them to the list!

PS I was so excited about this candy recipe I decided to postpone the conclusion to pumpkin week until at least Monday… Sorry guys, but I wanted to make sure people had this recipe in time for the holidays!

Shared with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Made from Scratch Tuesday

Healthy Dairy-free Soy-free Butterfinger Recipe
Ingredients
Layer 1:
1 scant cup pitted Medjool dates (or regular)
1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
2 tbsp. smooth natural peanut butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
Layer 2:
1 scant cup pitted Medjool dates (or regular)
1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts (can substitute almonds)
2 tbsp. smooth natural peanut butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg (optional)

enough Erewhon plain corn flakes to cover surface area of a quart bag

Additional smooth natural peanut butter (optional)
1/2 to 3/4 lb of soy-free semi-sweet or dark chocolate for melting
1-2 tsp. coconut oil as needed

Directions
Get out two freezer-safe quart bags and reserve.
Layer One:
Put your scant cup of PITTED dates in your food processor and process until you have a smooth paste. Add your peanuts and process until mixture comes together when you press it but there are still chunks of peanut left. Add peanut butter, salt and optional nutmeg and pulse them in until mixed throughout. Remove from food processor with a spatula and put in one quart bag, pressing the air out and sealing it. Then flatten the mixture in your bag until you have a flat sheet of peanut dough. Place in refrigerator on an even, flat surface and chill.
Layer Two:
Repeat with the second batch of PITTED dates and peanuts. You will fill your second quart sized freezer bag. Chill along with the other layer for 30 minutes or so.

Just before you are ready to take the peanut dough out of the refrigerator, put your semi-sweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat on half power in 30 second intervals, checking after each interval and stirring as needed. When chocolate is almost completely melted, stir until chocolate is smooth and reserve. I found I needed to add coconut oil to have a thin enough chocolate for dipping. Just add your oil and stir in gently.

To prepare peanut bar for dipping, cut sides of freezer bags and peel off the top of the bag on layer one. sprinkle layer one with plain corn flakes. Peel the top of the bag from layer two and careful invert it on top of the corn flakes so you have a peanut bar “sandwich” with corn flakes as the filling. Gently press the layers together, remove the final layer of plastic on top and then cut the peanut bar “sandwich” in 7 logs horizontally and then cut half down the center vertically. If you are preparing this for a toddler, you can make two more vertical cuts for mini butterfinger bites.

Prepare a large cookie baking sheet with a layer of wax paper and place a cooling rack on top. Place each bar on the cooling rack with space around each bar so that you can drizzle chocolate down the sides.

Prepare each bar by putting a generous dab of peanut butter between the layers to stick them together OR a dab of melted chocolate and pressing then firmly together on the top. Don’t worry if they don’t seem very firmly attached. Once they cool they will firm up and stick together.

For adults who like a fair amount of chocolate, you can drizzle chocolate over the top and sides of the bar, using a knife to evenly distribute it. For toddlers, kids, or healthy-minded adults you can drizzle strands of chocolate on the top for a little taste of chocolate.

Place the tray in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes to an hour, or until chocolate has set. Remove bars from tray with a metal spatula and put in a tupperware. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Notes
Got rave reviews from adults who couldn’t believe how such natural ingredients could taste like the real thing and have the real mouth feel. :D I raved, too.
Additional Pictures
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Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Vegetarian Pizza Toppings: Japanese Mayo Corn Pizza Recipe and Thai Un-chicken Tofu Veggie Pizza Recipe

March 11th, 2009 yum Posted in Chebe, Corn, Dairy Free, Japanese, Peanut, Pizza, Thai, Vegan, Vegetarian, tofu 7 Comments »


This week I decided to make vegetarian dairy-free pizza toppings different than any I’d made before. First, I took inspiration from California Thai-inspired pizza to make a pizza with a peanut sauce base, topped with grilled broccoli, roasted chard, and fried tofu strips. The DH gobbled it up and didn’t miss the cheese at all, which is quite an accomplishment since he usually favors simple marinara and lots of cheese.

Then I decided to follow the Japanese model and make a creative dairy-free topping using some popular ingredients usually only seen in Japan- sweet corn and mayonnaise. I guess I should have put potatoes on it as well- but I didn’t think of it, so I’ll leave that for next time. This time I used a base NOT usually seen in Japanese restaurants- a dairy-free, pine nut based basil pesto. Corn added interest and mayonnaise added the rich, creamy dimension usually added by cheese. I wasn’t sure how the DH would like mayonnaise on pizza, but happily, he seemed to really enjoy it. To my surprise, I really liked it too.

Peanut sauce is one of my favorite things, and I really loved it on pizza with grilled veggies and tofu, but the Japanese-inspired mayo pizza was yummy too. I can safely say that we’ll make both again… and I can’t wait! If you have a peanut allergy but can tolerate almonds, try substituting almond butter for the peanut butter and using your favorite oil to saute the tofu. It should be delicious!

I did not use a strictly vegan crust because I wanted to use a mild onion-garlic chebe base and the Chebe crust turns out best with eggs. I basted the Crust with paprika seasoned chili oil for the Thai-inspired pizza, and basil infused oil for the Japanese-inspired pizza. However, you could easily use a Gluten-Free vegan crust like this one and it would be wonderful. The thai style topping is already naturally vegan, but if you want to try a vegan Japanese-mayo topping, just use a vegan GF mayonnaise like Miso Mayo or Vegannaise.

For fun, check out these
Japanese Pizza Topping Flyers (non-veg)
Japanese Pizza Web Page

And only in japan would you get to see your pizza toppings dancing and talking as cute little animated figures before you crunch them up on your pizza:

Enjoy!

Dairy Free Pesto Mayo Japanese-style Pizza topping Recipe
Ingredients
1 GF Pizza Crust Recipe, baked for 5-10 minutes (5 for thin crust, 10 for thick crust)

1 GF, dairy free homemade basil pesto recipe:
1 cup fresh basil leaves, destemmed, and packed tightly
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tsp. rice wine or cider vinegar
1 tbsp. cup nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. water or more
salt and pepper

1/2 of a small can corn
dairy-free mayonnaise (your favorite- I used Smart Balance but recipe is easily vegan if you use GF vegan mayo like miso mayo or veganaise)

Directions
Preheat oven to 425.

Combine ingredients for your basil pesto in a small food processor bowl or blender.

Top GF Pizza Crust with basil pesto. Sprinkle with drained corn and dollop with small dabs of mayonnaise to taste.

Bake GF pizza for crust’s suggested time or until mayonnaise is browned and golden. (10-20 minutes)

Enjoy!

Notes
Small dabs of mayonnaise are probably better for this recipe, unless you really like mayonnaise…
Vegan Thai Peanut Tofu no-chicken Pizza Topping Recipe
Ingredients
1 recipe GF Pizza Crust

Peanut Sauce:
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 tbsp or more fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp. gf low sodium wheat-free tamari
1/2 cup to 1 cup water
salt to taste
smoked paprika (optional)

7 ounces tofu, pressed in towels for 30 minutes
peanut oil
salt

1/3 bunch broccoli, cleaned, florets cut in long spears
sprinkle of sesame oil
smoked paprika
salt
sprinkling of brown sugar

several large leaves of chard
a few drops of sesame oil
salt

Directions
Combine peanut sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor, and reserve.

Slice tofu into thin strips and saute in oil, salting lightly. When golden brown on both sides, remove from pan and slice tofu strip in half horizontally. Reserve.

Sprinkle broccoli with sesame oil and rub so evenly distributed through florets. Season with smoked paprika, salt, and brown sugar. Grill (or roast in oven on high heat) until you have lovely grill marks on both sides. Reserve.

Preheat oven to 425. Rinse and dry chard leaves, dribble a few drops of sesame oil and evenly distribute. Sprinkle a tiny amount of salt on them and place on a large cookie sheet. Roast chard leaves until done to your taste (can be dry and leaf-like or moist- depends on how you prefer!) Watch the oven carefully. When chard is done, remove and reserve.

Heat peanut sauce on stove until it thickens lightly.

Prepare pizza by spreading a layer of peanut sauce and topping with thinly sliced grilled broccoli, roasted chard, and fried tofu strips.
Bake on 425 for 10-20 minutes, depending on your pizza crust and how crunchy you like the crust. Sauce should thicken more on the pizza. Enjoy!

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