Brown Rice Krispie Treats: Why Didn't I Think of This?!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

By now you're probably wondering if I Pray to Gouda has turned into some weird, hippie health blog. You wonder if another, "Dang, that cheesy wonder looks amazing, I can't wait to make that" dish will appear on a blog originally dedicated to my love of God's gift from cows.

Fear not. I will whip up artery-clogging life-shorteners soon enough. I mean, shoot - I ate onion rings and chocolate chip cookies for dinner tonight. (Judge not, my friend.) But - at this venture, I'm busy introducing as many healthy products and wholesome alternatives into my life so that the not-so-wholesome foods will compliment my diet rather than fully comprise it.

Ya get what I'm throwin' down, yo?

Here's my promise, though: I love food. More than a lot of people. So I'm never going to put a recipe on here that I don't find absolutely deeelicious and think you should try, too.

On that note, introduce some wholesomeness into your life via the new and improved rice krispie treat.

Brown Rice Krispie Treats
whipped up by my bud, Jennifer

3 Tb vegan margarine (such as Earth Balance) - if you don't want to go vegan, use regular butta'.

1 package Dandie's Vegan Vanilla Marshmallows (yums. I swear.)

6 cups brown rice crisps cereal (we used Barbara's. Love that lady.)

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in marshmallows. Add in rice crisps and stir until coated. Using wax paper or a greased spatula, press this mixture into a 9x13 baking dish. Cool, cut and nosh.

Super-Charge Me Cookies!

Oh, they live up to their name, too. Even the boyfriend, Mr. I-Only-Love-Butter-Filled-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies agreed that they were "good for a healthy cookie."

Folks, these are just plain good, regardless of whether you're trying to be healthy or not. No butter (replaced with all-natural peanut butter and a bit of canola oil). No white sugar (used 100% maple syrup, instead). If you have kids (or if you're a kid at heart), these are an awesome alternative to a sugar and artificial ingredient-laden cookie.

The Super-Charge Me cookie is filled with nutrition: spelt flour* (the "grandfather" grain to wheat; huge source of protein, B2, manganese and a crapload of other good stuff); dried cherries, unsweetened coconut and flax. I used dark chocolate chips, but you can use carob chips or milk chocolate and then add whatever dried fruit your cute little heart desires.

Warning: you're gonna eat a whole lot o'these.

Super-Charge Me Cookies
modifed from the original at Eat, Drink and Be Vegan
Makes 11-15 cookies

1 cup quick oats
2/3 cup spelt flour
1/4 tsp (rounded) sea salt
1/8tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 dried cherries
5 Tb carob or chocolate chips (optional; or use more dried fruit, nuts, or seeds)
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup flax meal (not flax seed)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp peanut butter (no sugar added!)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp organic canola oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, coconut, cherries, and carob or chocolate chips, sift in baking powder, and stir until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine flax meal, syrup, peanut butter butter, and vanilla and stir until well combined. Stir in oil. Add wet mixture to dry, and stir until just well combined (do not overmix). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon batter onto baking sheet evenly space apart, and lightly flatten. Bake for 13 minutes (no longer, or they will dry out). Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 1 minute (no longer), then transfer to a cooling rack.

*Spelt flour can be found at Whole Foods and Nugget Stores. Or any health food store.

Must Try It: Two Leaves and a Bud Green Tea

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm not green tea's biggest fan. I find it bitter and akin to the taste of dirt. I'll admit right here, right now that I used to eat ants when I was child, but that was mere practice for future, adventurous culinary endeavors. By the way, those little bastards will bite (who wouldn't if they knew they were about to take a wee journey to the Land of Stomach Acid?).

Back to my original point, drinking this Japanese brew has always been a chore, but the various benefits associated with it (potential cancer-fighter, antioxidant-rich) kept drawing me back. Shoot, it claims to stave off dementia. I feel like I'm headed down that road five out of the seven days of the week - why not keep my sanity a bit longer?
Two Leaves and a Bud's Orange Sencha Green Tea is much less bitter and has a touch of citrus. Plus, their web site is cool. And really, that stuff matters.

Letting Oats Have Their Privacy

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You know what I need? This. I'm over my point and shoot camera when it comes to taking food pictures. And as my thirtieth birthday is fast approaching (WOOT!), I think I can finagle one - or at least donations via loving family members (hi, Mom!). Until then, we're all just gonna have to deal.

Do you love oatmeal? I bet it loves you back. But what I really bet is that it would sometimes just love to have a little, eh hem...alone time...with all of the other goodies you add to it. I mean, if they're going to have to mix and mingle into your morning meal, why not let them get acquainted first?

Creamy Overnight Oats

1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup greek yogurt
1/2 banana, microwaved for 20 seconds to get gooey and caramelized
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 packet Stevia

Put these ingredients into a bowl. Stir. Stick in your refrigerator. Wake up. Heat 45 seconds. Eat. I like to add fresh berries in the morning to get some extra antioxidants in.