Kitchen Experiment – Brown Rice Crispy Treats

When I went to school for my masters in nutrition at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, I had a great teacher for the class “Cooking with Whole Foods.” It was probably my favorite class out of all the classes that I took because we actually cooked in the class.  It was in this class that I finally learned how to hold a knife to chop vegetables.  It is also where I first had the inspiration to try new recipes and to makeup new ones based on the food I found in the kitchen.  Cynthia Lair was the teacher and when we graduated she published her first cookbook called “Feeding the Whole Family.”  This was and still is one of my most used cookbooks on the shelf.  What I love about this cookbook is that all of the recipes are simple but delicious.

One of these recipes is just what I was looking for when I had a hankering for something sweet. It is not always easy to use an existing recipe because of the limitations of our current rotation diet which is based upon the ALCAT results from our food intolerance testing.  Luckily, I remembered this recipe from Cynthia Lair’s cookbook and couldn’t wait to adapt it to my needs.

rice crispy treats

Brown Rice Crispy Treats.  This is the healthy version of rice crispy treats made without the marshmallows and refined sugar and instead uses brown rice syrup, nut butter and a little oil.  You can add what you like to the recipe to suit your needs and taste.  For my recipe, I substituted sunflower oil for the sesame oil, I used hazelnut and sunflower seed butter that I made in my Vitamix and added sunflower seeds, raisins and cranberries.  These treats are just sweet enough and really hit the spot.

Check out the recipe at the link above and if you are looking for a great cookbook, check out “Feeding the Whole Family” by Cynthia Lair!

Kitchen Experiments – Easter Bread

Well, it was a busy weekend of cooking and preparing some of the Italian traditional foods that we eat every Easter. It has been my “job” the last several years to make Easter Bread. The traditional recipe uses lots of eggs and candied fruit but most of the family does not like the candied versions so this year I made it using white raisins and dried cranberries. It took forever to rise! You make the bread first and let it rise without fruit. That took about 3 hours. Then you punch it down and knead in the fruit and let it rise again. That took about another 3 hours! Then I punched it down again and placed it in the well-greased pans to rise the third and final time. Maybe the 3 times has something to do with Jesus rising on the 3rd day? Interesting thought.

After the final rise – about another hour, into the hot oven it went! Well, this year was a good one. Check this out!

easter bread

Aren’t they beautiful!  I was so happy they turned out so well.  I was only able to eat a small piece because of the intolerance to wheat, but it was delicious.  I made a gluten-free variety as well, but forgot to take a photo of that bread.  It was pretty tasty as well! Hope you had a good Easter with some delicious food of your own!

Sesame Squares

Someone reminded me of this “candy” that I made years ago.  A delicious treat if you are wanting something sweet at the end of your day! I have made them substituting soy milk powder for nonfat dry milk and they work just as well.  Enjoy!

Sesame Squares

1/3 c. honey

1/3 c. peanut butter

¾ c. nonfat dry milk

¾ c. sesame seeds

¼ c. raisins

¼ c. unsweetened shredded coconut

Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl.  Spread in an 8-inch-square baking pan and refrigerate for 4 hours.  Cut into 1-inch squares.

Makes about 5 dozen