When I stumbled into the food blogging world over four years ago, I knew I’d found a place to share my own creative side but I never imagined I’d gain so much in return. Exposure to a vast variety of diets, lifestyles, opinions on healthy eating – and creative, delicious recipes to satisfy them all – is something I don’t think I would have become so aware of if I weren’t part of the food blogging community. Amy, who blogs at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, has been a great teacher and influencer to me. Amy doesn’t allow her health concerns to be an obstacle; instead she embraces them and succeeds at living deliciously nonetheless. It’s all about what she can have, not what she can’t. She generously invites us all to get in on the action with her Slightly Indulgent Tuesday series, something I look forward to participating in weekly. Amy’s positive attitude has driven her to great success, as evidenced by her recently published book, Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free: 180 Easy and Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less. On top of all that, Amy is a compassionate and warm friend. I’m so happy to share her with you today!
I’m so excited to have the opportunity to share with you today on Cara’s Carvings. Cara is one of the truly inspirational women in today’s blogosphere, so I was delighted when she asked me to guest post.
While Cara is out traveling the world, she wanted to share with you foods that her foodie friends have been inspired to make after traveling. I decided to take a slightly different spin on this topic and share healthier food that travels.
I’ve been gluten-free and refined sugar-free for over 7 years. Because there are certain foods I can’t eat travel gets a little tricky so I’ve learned to plan. Or else I’m just hungry, tired, and grumpy which makes my husband edgy and neither of us enjoy the trip.
For those of you who can eat anything you want (and there’s less and less of you out there) but just want a to eat healthier when you’re on the go, thinking ahead is key. If you haven’t yet been stuck in a tiny airport for four hours that only serves sandwiches, chips, sugar-laden yogurt, and french fries the experience will change your mind. It did for me.
So, before I pack my bag to hop on a flight or even if I’ve got a long road trip coming up, I put together some healthier food that travels. Fresh fruit and almonds are always on the list. Sometimes I make a batch of granola or pack our cooler with little cups of Greek yogurt.
When I’m flying, these vegan Health Bar Cookies are perfect for keeping hunger at bay during a long flight or when we’re out sight seeing. They’re easy to pack, can be stored at room temperature, are filled with healthier ingredients, and are just sweet enough to satisfy my sweet tooth without putting me on sugar overload.
If you’re not gluten-free, try these with whole wheat flour or a whole wheat flour blend and omit the xanthan gum. Your body will thank you for taking care of it while you’re on the go. Mine does.
Health Bar Cookies
makes 8 big cookies
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 1/4 cup Amy’s Basic Flour Blend
1 1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup thawed frozen apple juice concentrate
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
Cover the raisins with the water in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes and set aside to soak for at least 10 minutes. Drain the raisins and reserve the soaking water. Chop the raisins coarsely.
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the sesame seeds. Toast by stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until they begin to turn golden brown and are fragrant, about 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Whisk together the flour blend, oats, cinnamon, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and toasted sesame seeds. Put the thawed apple juice concentrate in a 2-cup wet measure. Add the reserved raisin water and 2 tablespoons oil. If necessary, add water to equal a total of 1 1/8 cups liquid. Add the raisins to the dry ingredients and then stir in the wet ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 20 – 30 minutes.
Use a spring-release ice cream scoop (yes, a big one) to evenly portion the batter onto the cookie sheet. Use moist fingertips to flatten the cookies to about 1/2 inch thick. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cookies are lightly golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, then individually wrap and freeze the leftovers.
adapted from Fruit-Sweet and Sugar-Free by Chef Janice Feuer
Amy Green, M.Ed., authors Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, a popular food blog about eating well, eliminating refined sugars and wheat, and maintaining a healthy weight. She has been living free from white sugar and wheat since 2004 and, as a result, is maintaining a 60+ pound weight loss. Over the years she’s learned that eating healthier doesn’t equal deprivation.
Amy’s cookbook, Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free: 180 Easy and Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less, was released in February 2011 and can be found on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and your local Barnes & Noble bookstore.