Gluten Free Party Mix

Image This is just one of those crunchy, salty, savory treats that I crave; and listen, we all have to treat ourselves now and again, right?  As easy as it  can be to purchase a bag at the store there are a few reason I try to avoid doing so: 1) there is so much gluten and so many preservatives in the store bought variation it is INSANE 2) nothing tastes quite as good as a homemade version of this party snack…especially warm out of the oven 3) when I make it at home I have complete control over what goes into it 4)  it’s a really fun way to get the kids in the kitchen…measuring, pouring, stirring; all just perfect for those sweet little hands This is about the most simple recipe there is out there.  I love to make a batch and store it in the freezer in plastic freezer bags (thanks, Mom 😉 )…it’s so simple to pull out and serve when unexpected company stops over.  And let me just tell you….pair this with a Saturday football game and a cozy couch with blankies; holy cow now thats my idea of a party! Image Gluten Free Party Mix

Ingredients

1 Box (9 cups) Corn Chex Cereal

5 Cups Rice Chex Cereal

4 Cups Unsalted Peanuts

3 Cups Gluten Free Pretzels (available in the health/GF aisle of every market I’ve been to)

8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

5 Tablespoons Low-Sodium Tamari (available in Asian section)

3 Teaspoons Seasoning Salt

1 3/4 Teaspoons Garlic Powder

1 1/2 Teaspoons Onion Powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 250 and place both cereals, peanuts and pretzels in a large roasting pan.  Melt butter on the stove or in the microwave and then stir in Tamari, seasoning salt, garlic powder and onion powder.  Drizzle the mixture over the dry ingredients and gently stir until the dry ingredients are well coated.  Bake, uncovered, for one hour, stirring every fifteen minutes.  Store in airtight container.

Whole Wheat Cheddar Crackers

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I am all about getting our kids in the kitchen.  I believe we have a responsibility, as parents, to show our kids where our food comes from; that it is something to respect.  I also feel that getting our littles involved in cooking ensures them to be more engaged in trying new foods and being open to different tastes.  If they are a part of the process, they are more likely to take interest in the final product.  No matter their age, we can make them a part of it.

These crackers were our project for the morning.  It took a whopping 40 minutes from start to finish…and was definitely time well spent for my toddler and I.  I find it safe to say that most kids love those little goldfish crackers, mine included.  This is a great take on that concept…for a fraction of the price.  Have you ever peeked at the ingredient list on those little fishies?  I am guilty of treating my child to them on occasion but I always cringe at the thought of what is in them.  It’s so gratifying to know that you can accomplish the same result in your own kitchen, with nothing but whole grains and real ingredients; no additives, MSG, dyes…and a list of other things I cant pronounce;)  I would encourage you to gather your kiddos and make this your own project on the next rainy or snowy day…you’ll have a blast and your kids will feel so proud of their accomplishment!

Whole Wheat Cheddar Crackers

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cup Fresh Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

4 Tablespoons Butter, cut into 16 cubes

1/2 Cup Whole Grain Whole Wheat Flour + more for rolling dough

1/4 Cup Almond Meal or Flour

1/4 Teaspoon Onion Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Directions:

First, gather your ingredients.  I had a lovely assistant to do that job for me

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Preheat oven to 350.  Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and process for 4 minutes.  Turn off the motor, stir the loose dough to combine and firmly press it together with your hands, forming a ball.  Place dough ball in plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.  My sous chef gets a kick out of the food processor

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Remove from refrigerator and allow to stand at room temperature for five minutes.  Sprinkle surface with a liberal amount of flour and place dough on top.  Firmly pat the dough out with your hands, just like this

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Sprinkle top of dough with flour and roll out until it is 1/8 inch thick.  Next, use your favorite mini cookie cutters and make as many imprints as you are able to fit into the dough, like this

ImageNext, take a small spatula and scoop up as much dough as you are able to fit onto the spatula.  Remove the excess dough around the shapes so that all you are left with is the shapes you’ve cut out, like this

ImagePlace cracker shapes onto a non greased baking sheet, 1/2 inch apart.  Gather the scraps and form into a ball and repeat the patting, rolling and cutting out process.

Bake crackers for 10 minutes, or until they are firm to the touch on the outsides and a tiny bit soft in the middle.  Cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.