Category Archives: snack

Apricot Hamentashen

Hamentashen via Chosen Bites

It’s that time of year! I love Jewish traditions that revolve around food, and Purim has some of the most fun food traditions. Hamentashen are tri-cornered cookies filled with a sweet poppy seed or prune filling (the most traditional fillings), or jam, chocolate, or even Nutella if you are adventurous. I’ve even seen some recipes floating around this year for cheesecake and salted caramel fillings!

While I do like to be adventurous sometimes, my absolute favorite way to fill hamentashen is with apricot jam (try this homemade cinnamon apricot jam!). The recipe below provides a soft and pliable dough, and I find that I get the best results (i.e. the least stick-age) by rolling out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper.

Allergy notes:

  • If you have a soy allergy, you can use a soy-free margarine, or 3/4 cup of coconut oil in place of the margarine. If you use coconut oil, the dough will be a bit oily but resist adding more flour or the dough will be too dry and crumbly to roll or shape.
  • If you can’t have rice, you can substitute millet flour, sorghum flour, or potato starch for the rice flour in this recipe but add an extra 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum.
  • You could use a very finely ground almond flour if you want grain-free hamentashen, but they will be a bit challenging to shape. I recommend cutting, filling, and shaping the hamentashen, then moving the parchment paper to a baking sheet rather than trying to move the individual hamentashen. If the dough is too crumbly to shape, try adding an extra egg.

Apricot Hamentashen

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) of margarine
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 1/2 cups tapioca starch/flour
1 1/4 cups sweet rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
apricot jam

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (if you have convection, use it!) and place parchment paper on three baking sheets (I find this works better than greased baking sheets).
  2. Cream margarine and sugar on high for 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, allowing to combine before adding the next. Add vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together brown rice flour, tapioca starch/flour, sweet rice flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt. Turn mixer to the lowest speed and add flour mixture to the wet mixture 1 cup at a time, allowing the dry ingredients to be incorporated before adding more. The dough should be soft but not sticky (you should be able to roll the dough between your palms without anything sticking to you--if it's too sticky, add 1/4 cup more sweet rice flour).
  4. Place about 1/4 of the dough on a piece of parchment paper on the counter (keep the rest of the dough covered with a damp towel). Cover with a second piece of parchment paper and roll with a rolling pin until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Using a small dinner glass, a wide-mouth pint mason jar, or any glass about 3 inches in diameter, cut the dough into circles (if the dough is sticking to the glass, try oiling and/or flouring the rim). Fill circles with 1/2 tsp of apricot jam, pinch the corners into a triangle, and carefully move to the prepared baking sheets. These won't rise or spread much so you can put up to 12 on each baking sheet.
  6. Gather up leftover dough, add more dough as necessary, and repeat rolling, filling, and pinching until you have used all of the dough.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely. Store in an air-tight container on the counter for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
http://chosenbites.com/2014/03/apricot-hamentashen/

Smoky Roasted Chickpeas {Healthy Snacking}

Savory Roasted Chickpeas

Last year, I experienced a scary anaphylactic reaction to what we think was walnuts. In the aftermath, I saw an allergist who told me in no uncertain terms that I have to carry an epi-pen, and that I should never eat anything that makes my mouth itch or tingle. Of course thinking back on it, walnuts always made my mouth feel a little prickly, I just never thought much of it.

For me, a food allergy is much more terrifying than food intolerance because while my stomach might be really unhappy after eating gluten, I could die after eating a walnut if I don’t have my epi-pen. I was already vigilant about what I eat, but now I have to be even more careful. And as I paid more attention to what made my mouth tingle, I’ve had to completely cut out pecans and hazelnuts (I know!), and I’ve reduced my consumption of other nuts (except almonds) as well.

This is a roundabout way of telling you that I’ve had to get more creative with my snack options, since nuts have played a huge part in my snacking to date. Thankfully recipes for crunchy roasted chickpeas have been popping up all over the interwebs. Not only are chickpeas high in fiber and protein, they also have a good amount of iron (I have trouble with anemia) and are significantly lower in fat than nuts.  If you are nut-free, these roasted chickpeas are a great addition to trail mixes or tossed on salads.

This recipe is perfect for soothing my afternoon snack cravings.

Smoky Roasted Chickpeas {Healthy Snacking}

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

1 15 oz. can chickpeas
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (if you have convection, use it!) and grease a large baking sheet.
  2. Drain the chickpeas and dry them thoroughly. If you like, remove the outer skin of the chickpeas (optional). In a large bowl, drizzle the chickpeas with olive oil, tossing to coat. Mix together spices, sprinkle over chickpeas and toss again so everything is evenly distributed.
  3. Spread evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes until the chickpeas are crispy on the outside and some have cracked open down the center. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
http://chosenbites.com/2014/02/smoky-roasted-chickpeas/

Spicy Gingersnap Cookies

Gingersnap cookies via Chosen Bites

There is just something about baking with spices in colder weather, and one of my all-time spiced favorites is the gingersnap. The pungent ginger and warm cinnamon can comfort you on even the coldest winter evening. Or any other time you feel like a cookie. Ginger is also said to improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation, promote gut health, and boost your immune system, an added bonus during the cold and flu season.

gingersnap cookies via Chosen Bites

The key to these cookies is using really good quality ground ginger, because that’s where the spicy kick that *makes* these cookies comes from. I buy my spices from Penzey’s because they turn over their inventory very regularly, but could use a store-bought ground ginger as long as it’s pretty fresh. Ground ginger loses its pungency the longer it’s open, so if yours has been sitting in the cabinet for longer than a year it may not yield the same flavor.

These cookies are the soft and chewy with a slight crisp around the edges, if you prefer a fully crispy gingersnap I recommend you use 2ish teaspoons of dough rather than 3 and bake for the same amount of time (although watch them carefully because you don’t want them to burn). These cookies will store very well in the freezer, just place them in a freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as possible. As always, you could use a gluten-free flour mix rather than the individual flours listed in the recipe below, but the texture and taste will be different.

Gingersnap cookies via Chosen Bites

Gingersnap Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 32 cookies

Ingredients

2/3 cup sorghum flour
2/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup sweet rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup raw sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (if you have convection, use it!) and prepare four baking sheets with parchment paper (or grease the baking sheets).
  2. In a bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (sweet rice flour through salt).
  3. Beat coconut oil and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add egg and molasses and mix until incorporated. Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients and mix until mixture is uniform. The dough should be soft but not be sticky.
  4. Using a cookie scoop (I use this 1/2 oz scoop which is equivalent to 1 Tbsp of dough), scoop dough, roll into balls, roll in raw sugar, then place on the prepared baking sheets, no more than 8 to a baking sheet (these cookies spread!).
  5. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes until the tops are crackled and the edges are browning.
  6. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then slide onto a cooling rack and cool completely. The cookies will flatten and firm up as they cool.
http://chosenbites.com/2014/02/gingersnap-cookies/

Coconut Blueberry Granola

coconut blueberry granola via Chosen Bites

I eat yogurt for breakfast almost every morning, and my favorite topping is granola. Don’t get me wrong, some days I like to mix in a big spoonful of homemade cinnamon plum jam, or some chocolate chips and honey, but hands down nothing makes me happier or more satisfied than crunchy, toasty granola.

coconut blueberry granola via Chosen Bites

The thing about gluten-free granola is it’s really expensive, and it’s hard to find it without walnuts or pecans (which I can’t eat anymore after a partial anaphylactic reaction). But no worries, I just make my own and you can do, it’s really easy.

First, pick a set of whole grains you like. My favorite combination is oats (certified gluten-free), buckwheat, millet, and quinoa flakes, but you could also use sorghum, whole quinoa, or even glutinous grains like wheat berries if you are able to eat them. Next, pick some mix-ins: This recipes uses unsweetened coconut, dried blueberries, and sliced almonds but any small dried fruit and nut you prefer will work great. Lastly, pick a spice: Cinnamon, cardamom, or even curry if you want a more savory granola.

This granola is great sprinkled onto yogurt, ice cream, cold or hot cereal, or just eaten out of hand.

coconut blueberry granola via Chosen Bites

Coconut Blueberry Granola

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6-7 cups of granola

Adapted from EatYourGreens

Ingredients

2 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup quinoa flakes
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup whole millet
1/2 cup buckwheat groats
1/2 cup brown flax seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 12x16 rimmed baking sheet
  2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients: oats, quinoa flakes, coconut, almonds, blueberries, millet, buckwheat, flax seed, salt, and cinnamon. Stir until ingredients are evenly distributed.
  3. In a small bowl, stir maple syrup and vanilla into melted coconut oil, then stir in brown sugar until dissolved.
  4. Pour coconut oil mixture over dry ingredients and toss to coat with a rubber spatula. You want everything to be evenly coated.
  5. Spread evenly onto the baking sheet and bake for 40-50 minutes, stirring 2-3 times, until everything is toasty and golden.
  6. Cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.
http://chosenbites.com/2014/02/coconut-blueberry-granola/