Tag Archives: health food stores

Homemade Caramelized Honey Oat Bran Bars

oat bar with creamy seed butterIt’s almost like I just want to slide down the middle of this bar.  You know… imagine it.

Food can inspire strange behavior.  No food inspires even stranger, so let’s carry on now.

I find caramel made from honey to be a delightful little composition.  Especially if there is some form of sea salt added to it.  Perhaps a little oil.  Oh, lookey here, there’s both!  This recipe for a healthy and gluten-free granola bar has no refined sugar at all and is high in fiber (good for your arteries, yeah!).  A really nice natural energy boost by itself if you’re pragmatic, a healthy way to get that sweet fix after a meal if you’re a touch more hedonistic.  Like, a touch.

wrapped oat bars

Caramelized Honey Oat Bran Bar

-gluten, nut, soy, corn, egg-free.  Vegan with substitutions-

1/4 cup neutral oil

1/2 cup honey (or 1/3 cup agave nectar for vegan)

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla (optional but good)

1 1/8 cup gluten-free oat bran (available at health food stores or online here, also known as “son d’avoine”)

Preparation time: 2 minutes

Cook time: about 4-5 minutes

Serves about 10-12 easily (makes a plaque of bars)

honey caramel1. Heat oil, honey, salt and optional vanilla in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  If you have a thermometer, insert it and bring mixture to 135 degrees F (270 degrees C) or until it bubbles like shown at left and starts to turn a little darker in color.  Immediately remove from heat.

oat bars2. Add oats to pot and stir with spatula until coated.  Let sit, stirring every 2 minutes, for 10 minutes to cook the oats to make them more digestible.

silpat granola3. Spread on a silicon baking sheet (or an oiled baking sheet or parchment paper) to desired thickness.  With spatula, or a dull knife, outline the shape you want to cut.  Let cool then cut and wrap individually to be all precious.

Since you cooked your sugar to a “soft-crack” phase, meaning it will be a harder caramel, let it cool to solidify a bit so it’s not just a gooey mess.  I’ve been storing my bars in the fridge, as it’s warmer out now, but you can store them room temperature if you want to keep them more taffy-like with the heat.  Ah, that sounds nice, too.

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Filed under buy me, gluten bubble, nut bubble, recipes, vegan

New food crush: TEECHIA

IMG_5387I have to admit, I have a new food crush, and its name is TeeChia.

If I were to be an animal when it came to breakfast, I would have to say I’d be something like a gerbil or maybe a goat or giraffe or something, because I love my whole grains.  Growing up, before I realized what was making me bloat all the time, I had grains for breakfast every morning.  I miss that.  They taste so good, and I imagine they would make you feel great, too, if they didn’t send your stomach into a full space orbit every time they hit the small intestine.

IMG_5381TeeChia was like a little premature Easter Bunny gift sitting on my front porch last night when I arrived home late from work.  The kind people of Santa Barbara had mailed two Bubble Child-safe samples to Bubble Child headquarters (aka my apartment) in Portland, Oregon, for some taste reviews.  Well, TeeChia, your review gets a figurative stamp of approval and an A+.

Composed of tasty nuggets of dried fruit, chia, quinoa, amaranth, pumpkin, and flax, this cereal satisfies both your morning crunch and cream.  Pour a little warm water on this blissfully just-sweet-enough cereal, let it expand, and top with your favorite milk (or not), and it is a powerful start to your day!  Like the taste, the cereal is loaded with good energy: 6g of fiber, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, 26g of whole grains (which is my lucky number, so I am pleased!), and 6g of protein per serving.  It’s the good energy that stays throughout the day, not food that stays in the belly.

IMG_5384<–Ready for H2O.

IMG_5389<–Rose and shined.

TeeChia is available in various health food stores and online at TeeChia.com.  Cool thing: if you have a coffee allergy, they are the ones who make Teeccino, an excellent caffeine-free coffee alternative.

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Filed under buy me, dairy bubble, gluten bubble, nut bubble, smarty pants, vegan

Bubble Child on the go.

After several weeks of exciting travel, I am surprised at how good it feels to be home.

IMG_4977<–and, of course, the first thing I do when I get home?  Puree some pumpkin seeds (Homemade Pumpkin Seed Butter) and spread it on gluten-free toast.

The relentless cooking aside, traveling as a Bubble Child can be interesting– interestingly complicated to get basic nourishment when you are not the one making the goodies for yourself.  After a day a re-coup from two weeks in France at home, I packed up my bags, again, and IMG_4968this time filled my car instead of the overhead compartment.

The long drive was about as enjoyable as accidentally matching sweaters with my little brother.–>

The snow-filled drive from Portland to San Francisco in my 1999 stick-shift Honda Civic with no chains or traction tires was challenging (and rather stupid) to say the least.  I worked up quite an appetite, and found some solace through food… of course.

Here are some tips for traveling as a Bubble Child, and three gems I found along the way:

1. Health Food Stores are your friends.  If you need breakfast, or even a snack, type into your smart phone “health food” or “natural foods” or “co-op”, or simply ask a neighbor.  These stores tend to carry things like cow’s-milk free yogurt, as pictured below, and other allergy-friendly goodies.  If you cannot find a health food store, goat’s milk yogurt and other dairy-free yogurts are more readily available at “normal” supermarkets, and rice cakes have been around since before WordPress, and myself, I think, even existed.  Try it out, and you won’t go hungry!

IMG_4958<–gourmet hotel room eating for breakfast.  

IMG_4961<–gluten-free cereal with sheep’s milk yogurt on top makes even the chintziest plastic cup look desirable.

IMG_4960<–Thanks, Bellwether Farms!

2. Grilla Bites.  This delightful small chain features an array of cafe’ food that is all natural, primarily organic, and with a plethora of gluten-free options (breads to desserts) and modifications.  The staff of the one I stopped by at in Redding was incredibly friendly, and not in an invasive manner.  Good food, good service, locations in both Northern California and Southern Oregon that are conveniently located along the travel route.  Keep ’em comin’!

IMG_4975<–A girl’s gotta have fuel to sit behind the wheel.

3. Landmark Local Ice Cream with a Gluten-Free Cone.  If you can tolerate a bit of dairy, and are in the mood for something sweet on your trip out, try a “homemade” ice cream shop.  They tend to make their own ice cream from scratch, eliminating those unwanted high fructose corn syrups and other whatchamacalits that irritate the stomach and the taste buds.  Try asking if they have gluten-free cones– since they’re inexpensive and non-perishable, most do!

IMG_4964<–Magic moments with the fathership and brother at Tucker’s Ice Cream in Alameda, CA.  (Gluten-free cones!!)

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Filed under dairy bubble, explore PORTLAND, gluten bubble, nut bubble, smarty pants, social butterfly