FRUIT SWEETENING PASTE (PURE FRUIT SWEETENER)
Photo + Recipe Courtesy of Primally Inspired
I have to talk about this one first because it is the one that I am most excited about. When you are sugar intolerant it is easy to feel that your options are very limited - because they are. When I saw this all natural fruit sweetening paste on Primally Inspired I knew that I wanted to try it out!
Our local Winco Foods has a large section of bulk bins and I was able to get all of the ingredients for this paste from there. The recipe says that you can use any amounts of any combination of dried fruits so, really, the sky is the limit. I got the recommended fruits and made sure none of them were listed with added sugar. (Another great benefit to Winco Foods bulk section - they list the ingredients and nutritional information on all of their bins). I got 0.47 lbs Deluxe Raisins for $0.36, 0.36 lbs Dried Apricots for $1.23, 0.57 lbs Dried Adriatic Figs for $1.18, and 2.94 lbs Dried Whole Pitted Dates for $1.46. Total weight = 4.34 lbs for $4.23. Pretty awesome, right?
What is even more awesome is that it tastes DELICIOUS! My husband had some spread on a piece of toast and I had some spread on my Tone It Up Protein Pancake at breakfast IMMEDIATELY after I finished making it.
And if that weren't awesome enough... We ended up with about 40 ounces of the finished product ~ 40 ounces for $4.23. If you buy honey at Sam's Club it costs $12.80 for 80 ounces. And pure maple syrup (grade A) at Costco is over $13 for 33.8 ounces. This is a delicious and very cost effective alternative!
You can see that we have already dug into the smaller jar
I am so happy to have this all natural product to sweeten my eats with and to finally have something that resembles jam again!
SUPER THICK SHAMROCK SMOOTHIE
Photo + Recipe Courtesy of Lauren at Oatmeal After Spinning
There have been a lot of St. Patrick's Day eats going around right now. Since today is St. Patrick's day it seems to make sense, right? Well it is no fun to be left out of favorite traditions when you are trying to eat healthy so there have been a lot of copycat shamrock shakes going around as well. I even blogged about one last week that we enjoyed.
However, this one takes the cake for me. I loved this recipe and made it twice this week. One time I hoarded it for myself as my lunch and hid away from the kids so I wouldn't have to share. The second time I was feeling more generous so I made the same amount but distributed the goods throughout my little family so everyone could enjoy it. Cute hubster is not a fan of peppermint but even he enjoyed it!
I made a couple of changes to this recipe. The first time that I made it I didn't have a frozen banana or peppermint extract.... so instead I used 1 whole small banana and pure mint extract. I used 1/2 tsp mint extract (*DISCLAIMER! Only use this much if you like STRONG mint flavor!) and I used frozen kale instead of the spinach. It got incredibly thick and I ate it in a bowl just like mint ice cream - DIVINE!
When I made it for the family I actually had peppermint extract. I kept my other changes the same but used 1/2 tsp peppermint extract. It was pretty good still but I liked the strength of the mint extract and will probably continue to use it for my own hoarding smoothie purposes.
Overall this is, by far, my favorite copycat Shamrock Smoothie!
Photo + Recipe Courtesy of With Just a Bit of Magic
This is a recipe that my wonderful sister-in-law posted about and I knew that I wanted to try it. I love Jambalaya but usually can't eat the ones that you get at restaurants around here because they are made with noodles. (No gluten for me!)
I had a bit of a hectic day and didn't get the ingredients for this one in the crockpot until there were only about 4 hours left to dinner time. I placed the ingredients in my "depths of Mordor" crockpot and set it to high hoping that it would be ready in time.
Well, it was and it wasn't. The brown rice is extremely finicky about when it will cook right and it was still a little crunchy by the time it was time to eat dinner. We didn't mind it and we ate the jambalaya anyway. Cute hubster took the leftovers to work and didn't mention any bad crunchiness so I assume it was fine.
What we particularly enjoyed about this recipe was the delicious flavor. I used all natural Sweet Apple Chicken sausage and the contrast of the sweetness with the hot sauce we added to our bowls was divine.
I didn't want to buy fresh thyme so I used 2 tsp dried thyme instead of the 2 tbsp fresh that it calls for. I also didn't want to spend the money for the shrimp so we just left it out completely. If you have a food processor the chopping of the veggies for this dish is a cinch, otherwise it would be a bit time consuming.
*Side Note: I have found the PERFECT method for cooking even the most finnicky and stubborn of brown rice:
COOK THE PERFECT BROWN RICE
Photo + recipe courtesy of Pinch My Salt
Seriously. This technique has NEVER failed us. We love it!
Overall, this jambalaya recipe was very good and if I am in the mood for jambalaya again I will probably pull this recipe out of the archives; however, there are so many other recipes out there that I want to try that unless I am specifically craving jambalaya I will probably not revisit this recipe.
PIN IT! (Jambalaya)
PIN IT! (Brown Rice)
CARROT CAKE OATMEAL
Recipe courtesy of Life After Bagels
I love my morning oatmeal greatly and I am always interested in finding new ways to switch things up. I used to love carrot cake greatly when I was still eating sugar and gluten and so this recipe particularly caught my eye. Especially since this is a great way to add some veggies to the most important meal of the day!
And it was delicious! Very hearty, flavorful and filling. However.... I did change several things about the recipe.
I didn't want to bother cooking steel cut oats so I just used my normal 1/2 cup of gluten free old fashioned oats. To that I added all of the gratings of 1 medium carrot, 1 small banana (sliced), 1 tbsp ground flaxseed (optional), and a large sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice. I cooked it on high in the microwave for 3 minutes and then added 2 tbsp of unsalted almonds to the finished product. Like I said, it was delicious and it was quite sweet enough for me with the carrot and the banana to not need the additional maple syrup.
I am sure the original recipe is just as delicious - this is just what worked for me!
*Note: If you would like to see a picture of this recipe, the recipe itself, or pin this recipe please click on the "Life After Bagels" link under the title above. This link will take you directly to this particular recipe on Life After Bagels site.
QUESTIONS FOR MY DEAR READERS: What was the best thing you ate this week? Are you doing anything special with your food for St. Patrick's Day?