Saturday, January 7, 2012

Enjoying Life with Enjoy Life Foods

Well, Enjoy Life Foods has done it again. They have sent me more samples and, darn it, we were just more than happy to oblige! This time, we were sent samples of their chewy bars - Sunbutter Crunch, Cocoa Loco, Very Berry and Caramel Apple. As always, simple taste-testing was first. My son (the picky eater) was the first to mention that they seemed to be softer and have a better texture. We honestly had not purchased them for awhile because they were a little too firm for my son's taste. These seem to be new and improved and our family whole-heartily agrees that the chewy bars are definitely back on our kitchen staples list.

Now, you may have noticed that my samplings always include recipes that I come up with. There are a few reasons I do this- a) to see how creative I can be with a product, b) to see how versatile a product can be for our family, thus helping us in the budget area, c) to help improve my content of the blog so that reader's might begin to get new ideas themselves and d) to secretly hope that Enjoy Life will decide to send me more sample because we love samples!

I started what I do to help people in many ways but the main thing I try to teach people is how to rethink their cooking strategies. Many people who are diagnosed with food allergies over think what they have to do as far as recipes, cooking and preparing. Part of my job is to get people to take a step back, stop targeting the foods you cannot eat and to utilize what foods you CAN eat. It's the same with cooking with food allergies- you learn to use what items are available in your kitchen in different ways.

My first chewy bar was the  Caramel Apple bar. My children liked it and it was a good snacky thing but I wanted to use it somehow. I used my recipe for Gluten Free Donuts and I made

Frosted Gluten Free Donuts with Caramel Apple Crumbs

The donuts I make are not light and fluffy, they are more like a cake donut. They can be stored in an airtight container for 1 day or two but they are best when eaten just a few minutes out of the oven. I have made this recipe for doughnuts and I have rolled them in powdered sugar, cinnamon & sugar and frosted them with chocolate. For someone with food allergies that is craving a doughnut, this will do the job.
Baking Spray
1 Cup Rice Flour
½ Cup Tapioca Flour
1 ½ Teaspoons Gluten Free baking powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon nutmeg, divided (if allergic, can use allspice)
1/3 Cup shortening, butter, ghee or oil
Egg Substitute for 1 egg (we use Ener-G powdered)
4 oz. Applesauce
½ Teaspoon vanilla
½ Cup Milk of your choice
2 Squirts of honey
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Vanilla Frosting of your choice (we use Pillsbury)
1 Enjoy Life Foods Caramel Apple Chewy Bar, crumbled

 You will need to use an Ebelskiver pan for this recipe. Spray lightly with baking spray and heat on low-medium heat on your stove top.
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the frosting and the chewy bar. The mixture should be thicker. If it’s too watery, it will drip when you turn them over. Spoon the mixture into each muffin cup, filling half way.

 The first batch will take a little longer to cook because the pan is warming up. To check to see if it's time to flip them, use a toothpick

When they are just lightly browned, use a small spoon and flip them over, keeping them in the indent of the pan. You will check for doneness the same way you checked for flipping.

Set aside and allow to cool on a plate- do not seal them in a container until they are completely cool because this will make them soggy. Cover with frosting and crumble Caramel Apple bar bits on top.
Makes approximately 12- 15 mini doughnuts.

The next item that I decided to use was the Very Berry bar. It took me a few days but as I was preparing my lunch one day, I thought that Very Berry crumbles on a salad would be a nice treat. And, to my surprise, they were awesome! It was like having a combination of apple bits and gluten free croutons combined into one. Obviously, there is no recipe- you simply prepare a salad of your choice and crumble these bad boys on top. Simple, easy, healthy, done.

Very Berry Salad Topping

Now, for those of you that have read my previous recipes, our family likes to try some kind of sweet treat too. I am mainly a taster and not really a muncher but my children and husband are always happy to finish up whatever I have made. I have been forever asking Enjoy Life Foods to consider making a chocolate Sunbutter Crunch bar.....tap, tap, tap.

Chocolate Covered Sunbutter Crunch Bites

Anyway, I made bite-sized chocolate Sunbutter Crunch bits. I did two types- some with a mini marshmellow on top and some with just plain chocolate.
1 Enjoy Life Foods Sunbutter Crunch bar
1/4 - 1/2 Cup Enjoy Life Food chocolate chips
Mini marshmellows (optional)

Cut a Sunbutter Crunch bar into bite-sized pieces. Place a piece of waxed paper on a sturdy surface and place the pieces onto the waxed paper. Set aside.

In a small pot, melt the chocolate chips on low heat, using a plastic spatula. When the chocolate is completely melted, cover the Sunbuttermarshmellows, simply top each piece with a single marshmellow and drizzle with chocolate.

Let cool completely before eating. Store extras in an airtight container.

Makes approximately 12 pieces.

The last chewy bar left to try was the Cocoa Loco bar. I had tried a bite of my son's when we first got the boxes and they are a great, fast, chocolaty treat by themselves. They would also be great to use for a chocolate pie crust, as chocolate crumbs in a Rice Dream ice cream cake. Sadly, my sampling time had run out...I had waited just a few days too long. I left the boxes within arms reach and this was what I found :

Here lies what is left of our dear, beloved Cocoa Loco
So adored when you were here, such a short-lived stay in this world

This concludes my sampling this time around. As always, I highly recommend Enjoy Life Foods products to anyone, not just those of you with food allergies. Yes, they are allergy-friendly but this does not mean their products are off-limits to anyone else. Keep in mind that their products have healthier ingredients and this is the key to optimal health. Choose your foods wisely and you will feel better and be healthier. As I have noticed in myself, you will find that when you are happy, others are happy around you (even if it means that they ate the last Cocoa Loco bar and did not leave you any!). 

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