O Henry Squares

 

 By now my children know that I am very tricky.  They are on the lookout for puréed lentils in soups and stews and they have resigned themselves to the fact that there is ground flax in almost everything.  I never waste an opportunity to add healthy foods to our diet and I believe that it can be done without compromising taste!

 
These gluten free, high protein, O Henry Squares are a great way to sneak some extra healthy ingredients and protein into a delicious chocolatey treat!  I took the basic recipe, used gluten free oats then added some ground flax for fibre, and hemp hearts and almond meal for protein.  I reduced the sugar and replaced the corn syrup with healthier real maple syrup and the result is very yummy!
 
Here in Canada it will soon be be back-to-school time and these O Henry Squares are perfect for the lunch box, as long as your school isn't nut free!

O Henry Squares

Gluten Free, High Protein 

  • 4 cups GF oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. GF Vanilla
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
Topping:
  • 2 1/4 cups (1 pkg.) chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter(I use sugar free, salt free) 
In a large mixing bowl combine oatmeal, flax, hemp hearts, almond meal, salt and sugar.  Add vanilla, maple syrup and softened butter and mix with your hands until everything is well blended.  Spread onto a cookie sheet and pack down firmly.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  Cool.  In a medium saucepan combine chocolate chips and peanut butter stir and melt over medium heat.  Spread over cooled oatmeal. Cut into squares when completely cooled.

Gluten Free Maple Granola

I seem  to go on food jags where I will make something quite often for months and then for some reason I will forget about it and not make it again for a couple of years.   Then one day I will think about it all of a sudden or someone will mention it and I have no idea why I stopped making it.  Is it just me who does this??

This granola is one of those things.  And when I made it last week, after about a four year hiatus, we couldn't get enough.  It is so good and full of so many healthy ingredients.  The oatmeal, flax, almonds and sunflower seeds are mixed with maple syrup and baked slowly until they are just slightly golden making it so crunchy with just a touch of sweetness.  Whether it is in milk or on top of yogurt I just love the crunch!

 The only debate now is whether it is breakfast or dessert.  Granola is traditionally a breakfast food but lately we have been enjoying it with yogurt and fruit for dessert.  The granola turns the yogurt and fruit into a crisp, but even better because if you run out of the "crisp" part you can just sprinkle on more.  Can't do that with a regular fruit crisp!

 
 

Gluten Free Maple Granola 

  • 5 cups gluten free oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup flax, ground
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds 
  • 1 1/2 cups slivered almonds 
  • 3/4 cup warm water 
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup 
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil 
  • 1 tsp. GF vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea salt
In a large mixing bowl combine oatmeal, flax, sunflower seeds and almonds.  In a small bowl combine remaining ingredients.  Add the liquid to the dry and mix well.  Divide mixture between two cookie sheets and spread evenly.  Bake in a  200 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours until the granola is a pale golden colour. Stir once or twice during baking.  Turn oven off and allow he granola to cool in the oven with the door ajar.  When completely cool store in an airtight container.  

Sautéed Green Beans and Onions

Vegetables always taste the best fresh out of the garden!  This is one great thing about summer, cooking is easier because it doesn't take much effort to make food that tastes fabulous.  In my opinion there are a few summertime stars; tomatoes, corn on the cob, and of course green beans.  I could eat these everyday for a month and not get tired of them!  
They are great steamed and served with butter, but you have to try them sautéed with onions.  They are amazing!  It's easy too, only one ext step and only one pan gets dirty.  Just make sure not to over cook them, tender crisp is just right!

Sautéed Green Beans and Onions 

  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 - 2 lb. green beans, trimmed and washed
  • Sea salt
In a medium sauce pan melt butter over medium heat.  Add olive oil and diced onion and stir until onions are coated in the butter and oil.  Cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes.  Add freshly washed beans, sprinkle with sea salt and stir until beans and onions are well mixed. Cover and cook for 10 - 15 minutes until beans are just tender.  Serve immediately.