Friday, September 20, 2013

Still "Enjoying Life"

Our family has been using Enjoy Life Food products for several years. As a Food Allergy Consultant and blogger, I have the occasional treat of being offered another product review opportunity by this great company. I cannot complain- their foods are all tasty and I will never say no to something that my entire family can also try out with me safely. The most recent items that I was asked to try were the new and improved baked chewy bars. In case some of you were not aware, Enjoy Life Foods recently replaced some of their ingredients to include ancient grains such as quinoa and buckwheat (see info here). They may be different ingredients but the taste is still just as good.

As you can see, I was sent one box each of their Baked Chewy Bars- Cocoa Loco, Caramel Apple, Mixed Berry and SunButter Crunch.


Now, I have noticed something in the past few years from doing their product reviews and I wonder, do they put something into the ingredients to make me feel the need to come up with different ways to use their products? I mean, first I started out with Mega Chunks and granola items (read here), then it moved onto the awesome and addictive Crunchy Cookies (here), followed by No Nuts Seed & Fruit mixes (here too), the original Chewy Bars (and, here), moving onto Plentils (yup, here) and the ever so yummy Decadent Bars (here, here). I am seeing a pattern here, aren't you? But it's a wonderful pattern because this is why I do what I do- we need to learn to think outside of the box and utilize the items that we have available. I am just happy that Enjoy Life Foods items inspire me to keep on thinking!

So then what did I do this time around? Well, I pulled my apron over my head and got to work. For the Cocoa Loco bars, I decided to make an "ice cream" cake. You have to remember all of those Fudgy The Whale commercials with the chocolate crumbles in them? My son always wanted one so I made him one (sort of).

Red, White & Blue Frozen Cake
You will need a 9-inch spring form pan for this recipe.
4 pints strawberry non-dairy frozen dessert of your
   choice (
or) Vanilla with 10-12 pureed strawberries
   mixed in
I box Enjoy Life Foods Cocoa Loco Baked Chewy Bars
+4 pints of vanilla non-dairy frozen dessert of your choice
white frosting of your choice
strawberries or red berries for decoration
Take the pints of non-dairy frozen dessert out and let them warm up for about 5-10 minutes on the counter.
In a large bowl, empty (either) 2 pints of the strawberry frozen dessert of your choice or vanilla with 10-12 pureed strawberries mixed in. Mix the frozen dessert well in a bowl- doing this prior to adding it to the spring form pan will make it easier to spread smoothly in the pan. Spread in the bottom of the pan, making a level surface. Place the spring form pan into the freezer with some waxed paper underneath in case it starts to drip.
Using a food processor, add the entire box of Cocoa Loco bars and chop until only slightly bumpy. (This will be your chocolate middle.) Remove the spring form pan from the freezer. Gently add the chopped cocoa loco bars, starting with the edges of the pan first, and then filling in the center. Place back into the freezer.
In the large bowl, mix the next 2 pints of plain vanilla non-dairy frozen dessert. Once it is soft enough to spread, remove the pan from the freezer and gently spread the vanilla on top of the chocolate, starting around the edges. You will have to be gentle and slow so as not to mix the chocolate too much. Place the pan back into the freezer.
Prepare a small icing bag with your choice of white frosting. Remove the spring form pan from freezer. Using the frosting bag, decorate the top of the cake but try not to push along the edges of the pan.  (This will make it easier to remove when it's frozen). Cover with plastic wrap, freeze for 2-3 hours.
When completely frozen, gently open the side of the spring form pan to release the cake. If the frosting is sticking, gently use a thin knife to separate the frosting, going around the top of the cake. Decorate with strawberries or other red berries of your choice.

And the Caramel Apple bars? Glad you asked. I decided to try out a main dish using them as a stuffing.

Caramel Apple & Quinoa Stuffed Pork Chops
sunflower baking spray
1 stalk of celery (cleaned, peeled and finely chopped )
2 Enjoy Life Foods Caramel Apple Baked Chewy Bars (crumbled into small pieces)
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon EACH rosemary, parsley and minced onion
3 teaspoons olive oil
2 pork chops

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a medium sized casserole dish by spraying it with baking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the all of the ingredients except for the olive oil and pork chops. Preheat a medium frying pan on medium heat, add the olive oil and heat all of the ingredients from the bowl. Stir often to ensure even cooking and no burning of ingredients. 
Place the pork chops into the casserole dish and slice open the middle area to stuff with the mixture. Gently fill the pork chops and spoon remaining stuffing on top of the chops. Cook until no pink remains. 
Next was a snacking recipe...hmmm, what to make. How about something using the Mixed Berry bars? Something bite-sized, something for on-the-go, something like a granola bite with a twist.
Mixed Berry & Bacon Bites
1/2 cup SunButter
5 Enjoy Life Foods Mixed Berry Baked Chewy Bars
1 tablespoon raw honey
5 pieces of bacon (cooked and crumbled)
2/3 cup of gluten free cereal of your choice

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix well. Scoop out ball shapes using a melon baller and drop onto the prepared sheet. Place in the fridge to form. Refrigerate and keep in an airtight container. 

Makes approximately 24 1-inch bites

The last item were the SunButter Crunch bars. Yes, these are good as they are but why should I leave them out of the game? Can't leave them high and dry....I will make two recipes with them! I mean, can you feel the love? 

SunButter Crunch Chocolate Pops
Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Chips
Enjoy Life Foods Sunbutter Crunch Chew Bar (crumbled)
Gluten Free Pretzel Sticks

In a small pot on low heat, melt the chocolate chips. 

Using a heart-shaped lollipop mold, fill them with the melted chocolate and place a pretzel stick in place as a handle. Top with Sunbutter Crunch crumbles and let cool completely.

Sizes may vary 

And these....my son thought they were ice cream bon bons. Mwa-ha-ha! (that was my evil laugh)

Chocolate SunButter Crunch Bon Bons
Banana slices (1/2 inch thick)
Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Chips
Enjoy Life Foods SunButter Crunch Baked Chewy Bars (crumbled)

Taking the slices of banana, cut them again into quarter bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and set aside.

Melt the chocolate chips. Gently place the banana pieces into the chocolate and place onto the lined baking sheet. Top with SunButter Crunch crumbles. Place into the freezer to harden. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Sizes may vary.

As always, I want to thank Enjoy Life Foods for including me in their product taste-testing. I love doing it and I am happy to help spread the word about such a great company. After all, aren't we all supposed to enjoy life?

4 comments:

  1. love the idea of using pretzel sticks a a handle for the chocolate lollipop. I am an ambassador for Glutino and will have to share that idea with them!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Margaret- that is exactly what I used. I will also be featuring another recipe inmy October newsletter with a fast and easy recipe using them as well so stay tuned.

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