Strawberry Cheerios…Cheers!

I happen to enjoy the new gluten free Cheerios….haven’t been made ill by them at all, despite all the complaints about them.  My favorite is the honey nut but I also enjoy the apple cinnamon as well.  The other week I tried something new, strawberry Cheerios! I heard they were out, could only find the huge family size so that’s what I came home with. Giant box…bigstrawberrycheeriosI tried them and was not that impressed, seemed a tad weirdly flavored.  But it is a big box and I am a frugal person so I kept eating them for my bedtime snack.  Strangely, I have grown very fond of them.  They are made with strawberry puree and no artificial color or flavor.   A serving has only like 8 grams of sugar which is fairly low in the cereal world these days.

strawberry cheerios

The flavor is subtle, not artificially strawberryish, just faintly fruity.  A nice change of pace from other breakfast cereals traditionally eaten with milk poured over.  I was betting I could enjoy them with yogurt and yes…quite delicious with some plain organic yogurt.

If you see them and enjoy Cheerios I recommend this flavor, did see it last week in a smaller box, LOL.  Well; I am steadily working my way through my family size.  It is now in a Tupperware cereal box to keep it fresh; a good idea with any cereal. Enjoy!

GF Breakfast Is Doable and Delish!

Breakfast, well…that can be sometimes kinda problematic for us celiacs. No more raisin bran, no more cheerios, no more Great Grains cereal.  What to do??  Well, there are a number of options, the Chex Family comes to mind for me: Rice Chex, Cinnamon Chex (my personal fav) and Chocolate Chex which is surprisingly good.   Not many other mainstream GF cold cereals.  I do hear that Special K is coming out in a GF version in a few months; can barely stand the wait; loved that cereal.  Maybe they will even make a version with freeze-dried strawberry slices.  I would be in GF cereal heaven!

cinnamon chex

Anyway, back to reality; there is one gf flaked cereal I have found that floats my boat, Nature’s Path Organic Mesa Sunrise.  It contains corn, flax, buckwheat, quinoa and amaranth.  The flakes are crunchy and hold their own in milk for a few minutes, less sog than any other flakes I have tested. I buy them at Frey’s Better Foods, $9 for a big 26.4 oz bag, yes, that is a lot of moola but it is basically a double sized box making it $4.50 a box which is about what most gf organic cereals cost.  I like it with hemp hearts sprinkled on top and some one percent milk poured in.  The hemp hearts are nutty and crunchy, kinda like a less hard sesame seed.  I keep them in the freezer so they stay fresh.

natures pathhemp hearts

I also prefer my homemade granola with pecans to any I have purchased since going gluten free.  I love it sprinkled over applesauce and over organic yogurt.  It is much more flavorful and it is not hard like pebbles as most GF granola seems to be.  Not sure why they can’t make a decent gf granola to sell but I just make my own every few months and freeze most of it to eat later, stays fresh in my freezer.  I made some today actually, do try it; you will not be disappointed.  The recipe is in my archives.

Hot choices: a few weeks ago I posted my new recipe for quick oats made out of GF rolled oats.  I like it even better than the commercial Ancient Grains Oatmeal by purely elizabeth.  Don’t get me wrong, I like their cereal but I think my own oats are toastier and fresher and I like the pure oat flavor as opposed to their blend of oats, quinoa, amaranth and chia.  I also make old fashioned oatmeal the same way I have for years: boiled in lots of salted water which is drained off before topping with walnuts, dried cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup: a superb combination of flavors.

Last weekend I made some buckwheat pancakes.  GF, yes; buckwheat is not wheat.  It is not related at all.  Actually in the same family as rhubarb, but you don’t eat the stems like rhubarb, the seeds are what manufacturers grind into buckwheat flour. The cakes were hearty and flavorful with maple syrup and a glass of milk. I also have a great recipe for cinnamon GF waffles which I often make for company, pretty much as good as wheat ones.

I make a bunch of different muffins, apple walnut, banana nut, carrot and raspberry coconut. They are all great for breakfast and can be frozen for a few weeks; just heat them in the microwave: instant breakfast.

2024-11-05 apple muffins 008

Of course, you can go for eggs. I like them soft boiled, scrambled, over easy and in an omelet.  Last Sunday I made an omelet and stuffed it with two jumbo shrimp leftover from the night before, chopped them in chunks, draped them with a slice of provolone cheese which melted over it all.  Wicked yummy that was!  No toast needed either.

Sometimes I make grits and stir in a handful of cheddar cheese when they are cooked and top it with a couple of over easy eggs sprinkled with green hot sauce.  To kick it up even further; top it all with some sauteed peppers slices and a couple of slices of crisp bacon. Now that is some tasty meal, even grit haters might go for that combination!

grits and bacon 2

So don’t skip breakfast; there are some great gluten free options out there.

Gluten Free Granola to Grin Over!

I recently purchased some gluten free granola that Aldi’s sells; their own brand.  It had freeze dried bits of strawberries and raspberries in it.  I ate some last night as a snack, covered with milk.  It was okay but really kinda pale and bland.  I had not planned to re-post my granola recipe so soon but I really think you can make your own gf granola so easily that it is almost criminal to buy the blah, teeth breaking stuff that stores carry for a premium price.  So I am reposting my recipe.  I myself seldom add much fruit to it; it has so much flavor and crunch just as it is that it rarely occurs to me to throw in the dried fruit.  If you are a dried fruit lover; by all means, add it in!  Image

Finding decently tasty and safe-for-me granola seemed impossible once I went gluten free. I have tried a few gf kinds and they were all less than impressive: tough, lacking in flavor and devoid of any fruit. So, in desperation, I took the recipe that my sister makes all the time and modified it slightly. You can change it to suit your pantry and your tastes. It is lovely with milk and frankly divine sprinkled on Greek yogurt or over unsweetened applesauce!

Homemade GF Granola

4 cups old fashioned GF rolled oats

2 cups shredded coconut, (the sweetened kind that comes in a bag)

1 cup sliced almonds or broken pecans/walnuts

1 cup raw sunflower seeds

¾ cup canola oil

½ cup good quality honey

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the oil and honey in a small bowl. Mix the four other ingredients in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Pour over the oil/honey and mix well. Pour onto a full size sheet cookie tray (one that has sides). Spread out to fill the sheet. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, stirring it up a few times, until it is an even golden brown. Remove tray from oven and cool, stirring it occasionally. Store in an airtight container. Note: if you don’t care for sunflower seeds use 2 cups of nuts in any proportion you like.  Be sure to get decent quality honey, I like to get mine at Bechdolt’s Orchard just south of Hellertown on Route 412.  Great flavor and it is the real deal, not watered down or adulterated.

Fruit Additives:

Any combination of the following in these or your own proportions:

1 cup each, diced dried apricots, raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries, roasted unsalted cashews or any other dried fruit (figs and dates come to mind) totaling about 4 cups. I like to store it without fruit and add them when I am eating it. This way it stays crunchy. I had some this morning with sliced bananas and milk, just a bit of dried cherries added: fabulous flavor.  This batch was made with pecans but any nuts would work well.

I made a batch early this week and put some in a sturdy Tupperware container and froze it. I am not sure how many weeks it will keep on the counter without preservatives but honestly, if real deal granola is sitting around I will be compelled to munch it so I felt it best to store half safely in the freezer out of easy reach! It is rather addictive even all by itself.

Of course, you who can eat gluten just use any old fashioned oatmeal and you will have a fantastic granola for your family to crunch on. Far better than any you can buy and not that expensive compared to store granola especially if you leave off some of the added fruits and nuts. So whip up some granola, it is easy and wickedly tasty.

I found that it kept well in a sealed jar and the rest of it froze fantastically. After my original posting I read somewhere that freezing half your batch is a good idea as it will go stale even stored in a lidded jar.

Originally posted January 2014 on Patch.