Monday, November 14, 2011

Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Granola and Mega Chunks Taste-Testing

I would first like to say that I am honored to have received this opportunity from Enjoy Life Foods. We have used many of their items in the past years and I recommend them to anyone who has a restricted diet due to food allergies. Their products are gluten free, are free of many of the main food allergens and they strive to come up with many new tasty items to make our food allergic lives a little easier.

I received a package of the Double Chocolate Crunch Granola and a bag of the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks and I when I opened the box, I probably just looked like a kid in a candy store. I put them down and just stared at them. I know this sounds silly but I didn't know what to do with them. I wanted to relish them and figure out how to use them instead of just the plain and ordinary cookie. When my son came home, he immediately wanted to eat the entire bag of both just plain. So, we sat down and made up a plan (my son is very big on plans).

We decided to first take a small amount of each and do a simple taste-test. The granola is yummy by itself. The texture is good, the chunks are not too big not too small and there was no funky aftertaste that you sometimes get from certain foods. I had to stop my son from scooping a huge amount out of the bag which, for him being a picky eater, is a huge deal.

The mega chunks were like little, miniature candy bars. It took me awhile to think of what else they reminded me of but finally it came to me- the deep, dark, delicious chocolate taste is similar to Snowcaps. I normally buy the Enjoy Life chocolate chips but the mega chunks are just addictive. I stored them away for cooking but every night, I secretly snuck some.

I was able to make three pretty easy, pretty awesome allergy-friendly recipes with these but my fourth was a flop (boo! What a terrible waste of the yummy goodness!!) What I have learned over the past ten years of trying out new recipes for my son is to try and keep recipes simple. Try not to over think them or you will drive yourself crazy and the recipe will not be made again. My first recipe was:




Chocolate Granola Apple Crisp
Ingredients:
2-3 Small apples of your choice, peeled and cut into small pieces
1/2 Package of Josef's Gluten-Free Cinnamon Graham Crackers
2/4 Cup of Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Crunch Granola
1/2 Cup brown sugar
Pinch of salt
2 Teaspoons of cinnamon
Drizzle of honey
3 Tablespoons butter or butter alternative

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a small, individual serving casserole dish (like a Pyrex dish) with baking spray. Set aside. Spoon the apples into the dish and set aside.

Using a food processor, grind the Gluten-Free Cinnamon Graham Crackers and the Double Chocolate Crunch Granola until they are a slightly chunky mixture. In a medium bowl, combine the ground up items with the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Spoon this onto the apples and mix slightly, coating the apples but leaving the bulk of the mixture on top. Sprinkle with a drizzle of honey and the melted butter.

Bake until bubbly. Serve warm alone or with a side of allergy-friendly ice cream, such as Rice Dream.

The next recipe I made was:



Chocolate Granola Smores Apples:
Ingredients:
2 Small apples of your choice, washed and dried
Cinnamon
1- 1 1/2 Cups Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks
1 Cup mini marshmellows
1 Tablespoon of butter, butter substitute or oil
1 Cup (+ -) Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Crunch Granola for dipping
2 Popsicle sticks or candy sticks

Insert one stick into each apple at the center. Place the apples on a piece of waxed paper on top of a cutting board. Set aside.

Place the Double Chocolate Crunch Granola  in a shallow bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan on medium-low heat, melt the mega chunks with a dash of cinnamon using a plastic spatula, stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate. Once it has melted, take an apple and cover it with the melted chocolate right in the saucepan, using the spatula to "paint" the chocolate on. Then place the apple into the shallow bowl of granola and turn until the apple is coated with the granola. This is tricky- the granola will not stick very well. If you keep rolling it and reapplying, the chocolate will start to cool and it will stick better. Place the apple onto the piece of waxed paper.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the mini marshmellows. Again, using a plastic spatula, stir the marshmellows constantly so they do not burn. When they have melted, use the spatula and drizzle lines of marshmellow onto the coated apples.

Let them cool for 2 hours or overnight.


Recipe #3 was something from using leftovers from recipe #2. I had some leftover melted chocolate and leftover chocolate granola. And, as a food allergy mom, the budget can be challenging and you learn to use everything. I made the leftovers into:


Chocolate Granola Bark
Ingredients:
(Literally) leftover melted Enjoy Life melted chocolate
Leftover Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Crunch Granola
Waxed Paper

Using a shallow casserole dish, cake pan, or whatever baking item will suit your needs for that particular portion of leftover chocolate, line it with enough waxed paper so there is more paper hanging over the edges. Press the paper down into the bottom.



Then, disaster struck! I had one last recipe that I wanted to try and I failed! I tried to make chocolate mini pies (like a chocolate empanada). My downfall was the usage of the pie dough. Had I put them into single serve dishes, I believe it would have worked. The worst part of it- I wasted the rest of my precious stash of Mega Chunks! Gone, never to be eaten again. I cannot even post the horrific picture of what they looked like, it would give you nightmares. The upside? The parts that I managed to save will probably taste really good mixed into or over some Rice Dream. Always remember- save your crumbs and your ugly creations because they make a surprisingly delicious topping for ice creams, yogurts, oatmeal or wherever else you can use them.

I hope this was helpful and I hope you have fun trying out these easy and allergy-friendly creations.

2 comments:

  1. Oh, I hope that you link this up at Gluten Free Fridays! YUMMO!

    ReplyDelete