Gluten-Free Pot Lucks and Picnics

I am not sure if all of our friends and family dread having us over for a potluck, but I am sure some do. People who do not eat gluten-free foods on a regular basis are pretty afraid of what it might taste like, most guessing it will resemble a taste and consistency similar to cardboard! Well, it does not have to! There are so many wonderful and delicious gluten-free foods available to us now, we just have to open our eyes, follow directions carefully, open wide and indulge!

I decided to make a list of my Top Ten Favorite Things to Take to a Pot Luck or a Picnic that are gluten-free and sure to appease even the pickiest of taste buds. Some of these recipes I have included in previous articles, with maybe one or two that will keep you reading in the future.

  1. Watermelon- mouth watering, sweet, easy and naturally gluten-free
  2. Chicken Taquitos (see recipe on March 16th, 2010)
  3. Peanut Butter cookies (see recipe on December 19th, 2009)
  4. Cheesecake (see recipe on May 11th, 2010)
  5. My Granola with yogurt…a hit on Maj nights! (see recipe on December 30th, 2009)
  6. Carob Brownies (see below)
  7. Peanut Butter Fudge (see May 2010 Newsletter)
  8. Chicken Chili (see Fall recipes)
  9. Pumpkin Bread (see Fall recipes)
  10. Honey Cake (see recipe during Rosh Hashanah)

When we tell people, especially women, that we do not eat chocolate in our house they literally cringe, “What do you mean…No Chocolate…oh, I would just die!” Well, believe it or not you will not die without chocolate. I was a serious choco-holic for 37 years! Then I realized the power it had over me, because basically it is a drug. It is made of the cacao bean, which has caffeine in it and thus, is addictive to our bodies. Caffeine is a stimulant. It raises you to a high and then you crash, and then you want more. And I apologize to you out there, who have more will power than I did when it came to chocolate, but I am a new person from the experience of giving up chocolate and even took some time to try carob for fear of the same affect chocolate had on me.

Chocolate and cocoa do contain a high level of flavonoids, specifically epicatechin, which may have beneficial cardiovascular effects on health. But eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner was just not doing it for me! I am happy to say that carob is a different animal. Carob is a tree, an evergreen shrub. The fruit is a pod, which takes a full year to ripen and then it is dried and consumed. And I can honestly say that it is NOT addictive!

Lisa’s “to die for” Carob Brownies:

Ingredients:
2 cups Gluten-Free Flour
1 cups organic sugar
¼ cup agave
½ cup carob powder
1 t salt
1 cup hot water
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup applesauce
1 t vanilla
1 cup peanut butter chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together dry ingredients. Mix in the wet ingredients.
Add in peanut butter chips.
Pour into a 9 X 13 glass baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Cool and cut into squares.

About Lisa Velick

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