Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Streusel Bars

Alyson Approved Tip: If you’re having guests over for the holidays, be sure to ask in advance about food allergies and intolerances. That way you can prepare and won’t be surprised at the dinner table.

Cooking for guests with food allergies and intolerances can be challenging, especially during the holiday season. Everyone wants to enjoy holiday favorites so try not to go out of your way to come up with new foods to prepare. Most recipes can be altered for your guest with a few simple swaps. These gluten-free bars replace regular white flour (which contains gluten) with oat flour. It takes on all the flavor of pumpkin pie but without hurting any of our guests.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Streusel Bars

Yield: 16 BARS

Prep time: 20 MINUTES

Cook time: 64 MINUTES

Ingredients:

For the crust and topping:

• 1 1/4 cups certified gluten-free oat flour (learn how to make you own here)Pumpkin-Strusel-Ingredients

• 2 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats

• 1 tablespoon cinnamon

• 1 cup brown sugar

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 3/4 cup canola oil

For the filling:

• 1 15-ounce can pumpkin pureePumpkin-Streusel-Bar-Ingredients2

• 2 large eggs

• 1/3 cup granulated sugar

• 1/3 cup brown sugar

• 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 cup evaporated milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350?F. Line an 8″ x 8″ pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Prepare the crust and topping. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oat flour, oats, cinnamon, sugar and salt. Stir in the butter until well combined.
  3. Pat half of the mixture firmly onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until lightly golden brown. The crust will bubble a little during baking.
  5. Let the crust cool for 5-10 minutes while preparing the filling.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the filling ingredients. Pour evenly over the crust and bake for 12 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and add walnut-sized pieces of the remaining oat mixture over the filling. It will be a very thick layer and some of it will sink a little into the filling. Bake for another 30 minutes or until the filling is golden brown and firm and the middle is set.
  8. Let cool for 1 hour and serve with whipped cream or maple caramel sauce.

Cool completely before covering. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Baked Pears with Honey, Cranberries and Pecans

Will your holiday season be full of parties and outings with family and friends? This non-traditional bruschetta combines bright red cranberries and pomegranates with creamy goat cheese for a festive sweet and tangy appetizer that both you and your guests will love.

Think Pomegranates are intimidating? Think again!!! These little jewels pack a power punch! An average pomegranate contains about 600 juicy seeds, also known as arils, which are encapsulated in white pith. The pomegranate fruit is low in calories, high in fiber, high in vitamins and high in phytochemicals that may promote heart health and help to prevent cancer.

To cut a pomegranate follow these simple steps:

  1. Wash the pomegranate well before starting. Any time you’re cutting into a fruit or vegetable with a skin or rind, you take the chance of introducing bacteria from the outer surface into the edible portion. After washing, slice the pomegranate in half horizontally.
  2. Take one of the halves and hold the cut side down in the palm of your non-dominant hand over a medium size bowl. Spread your fingers a bit and position the pomegranate on top them.
  3. Take a sturdy spatula or a wooden spoon and begin to hit firmly on the top surface of the pom. This is where some people go wrong. They try this technique and it doesn’t seem to work –they’re tapping, not whacking! If you tap too gently, the seeds will NOT be released. Don’t be afraid to give it some good, hard whacks – go ahead, get all your frustration and anxiety out. You’ll feel much better and you’ll have something beautiful to show for it!
  4. Continue to firmly tap (oops! sorry, I meant to say – WHACK) until all seeds have fallen out. Repeat with other half. You’ll have a bit of white membrane mixed in with the seeds. Just pick this out and discard.
  5. Store pomegranate arils (seeds) in the refrigerator in an airtight container or zippered bag. Arils will keep this way for 4-5 days. They can also be frozen and stored for several months. To freeze, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or waxed paper. Spread arils in a single layer, uncovered, until frozen, 1-2 hours. Once frozen, transfer to airtight storage container or freezer-zippered bags.
  6. That’s it – The Easy Way to Remove Pomegranate Seeds. Super easy. Try it, I think you won’t even believe how simple it is!

Cranberry and Pomegranate Bruschetta

Bruscheta-Ingredients

For the Relish:

• 1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries, washed

• 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

• 1 cup sugar

• ¼ cup honey

• 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce

• ½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

• Zest of 1 orange, reserve some for garnish

• ¾-1 cup pomegranate arils or seeds

• Finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish

For the Crostini:

• 1 thin baguette sliced about ¼ inch thick

• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

• Kosher salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 8 ounces goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Place cranberries, ginger, sugar, honey, and sriracha in the bowl of food processor. Pulse on and off several times until cranberries are coarsely chopped. Don’t process too much. Bruscheta-Chopped
  2. Add cilantro and pulse a few more times. Not too much, you want cilantro bits to be visible and mixture to be a bit chunky.
  3. Transfer to a storage container and add pomegranate arils and orange zest. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until ready to use.
  4. For the crostini, preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 sheet pans with foil or parchment paper, if desired for easy clean up.
  5. Place baguette slices on prepared pans. Brush lightly with oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and a grind of pepper
  6. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until golden, rotating pans halfway through baking time.
  7. To assemble bruschetta, whisk cream cheese until creamy. Spread about ½-1 tablespoons of cheese on each crostini. Top with a scoop of the relish. Garnish with a bit of orange zest, if desired.

Want to see how to make this fun, Holiday recipe? Watch the video below to learn how!

Cranberry and Pomegranate Bruschetta

Will your holiday season be full of parties and outings with family and friends? This non-traditional bruschetta combines bright red cranberries and pomegranates with creamy goat cheese for a festive sweet and tangy appetizer that both you and your guests will love.

Think Pomegranates are intimidating? Think again!!! These little jewels pack a power punch! An average pomegranate contains about 600 juicy seeds, also known as arils, which are encapsulated in white pith. The pomegranate fruit is low in calories, high in fiber, high in vitamins and high in phytochemicals that may promote heart health and help to prevent cancer.

To cut a pomegranate follow these simple steps:

  1. Wash the pomegranate well before starting. Any time you’re cutting into a fruit or vegetable with a skin or rind, you take the chance of introducing bacteria from the outer surface into the edible portion. After washing, slice the pomegranate in half horizontally.
  2. Take one of the halves and hold the cut side down in the palm of your non-dominant hand over a medium size bowl. Spread your fingers a bit and position the pomegranate on top them.
  3. Take a sturdy spatula or a wooden spoon and begin to hit firmly on the top surface of the pom. This is where some people go wrong. They try this technique and it doesn’t seem to work –they’re tapping, not whacking! If you tap too gently, the seeds will NOT be released. Don’t be afraid to give it some good, hard whacks – go ahead, get all your frustration and anxiety out. You’ll feel much better and you’ll have something beautiful to show for it!
  4. Continue to firmly tap (oops! sorry, I meant to say – WHACK) until all seeds have fallen out. Repeat with other half. You’ll have a bit of white membrane mixed in with the seeds. Just pick this out and discard.
  5. Store pomegranate arils (seeds) in the refrigerator in an airtight container or zippered bag. Arils will keep this way for 4-5 days. They can also be frozen and stored for several months. To freeze, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or waxed paper. Spread arils in a single layer, uncovered, until frozen, 1-2 hours. Once frozen, transfer to airtight storage container or freezer-zippered bags.
  6. That’s it – The Easy Way to Remove Pomegranate Seeds. Super easy. Try it, I think you won’t even believe how simple it is!

Cranberry and Pomegranate Bruschetta

Bruscheta-Ingredients

For the Relish:

• 1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries, washed

• 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

• 1 cup sugar

• ¼ cup honey

• 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce

• ½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

• Zest of 1 orange, reserve some for garnish

• ¾-1 cup pomegranate arils or seeds

• Finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish

For the Crostini:

• 1 thin baguette sliced about ¼ inch thick

• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

• Kosher salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 8 ounces goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Place cranberries, ginger, sugar, honey, and sriracha in the bowl of food processor. Pulse on and off several times until cranberries are coarsely chopped. Don’t process too much. Bruscheta-Chopped
  2. Add cilantro and pulse a few more times. Not too much, you want cilantro bits to be visible and mixture to be a bit chunky.
  3. Transfer to a storage container and add pomegranate arils and orange zest. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until ready to use.
  4. For the crostini, preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 sheet pans with foil or parchment paper, if desired for easy clean up.
  5. Place baguette slices on prepared pans. Brush lightly with oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and a grind of pepper
  6. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until golden, rotating pans halfway through baking time.
  7. To assemble bruschetta, whisk cream cheese until creamy. Spread about ½-1 tablespoons of cheese on each crostini. Top with a scoop of the relish. Garnish with a bit of orange zest, if desired.

Want to see how to make this fun, Holiday recipe? Watch the video below to learn how!

Apple Pie Wontons

The official start of the holidays is just around the corner with Thanksgiving only two weeks away! This makes me think of spending quality time around the dinner table, catching up with friends and family and eating lots of yummy food. The thought of juicy roast turkey and mashed potatoes smothered in gravy and warm spiced apple pie with a heaping scoop of ice cream slowly melting to form a delicious pool of appley vanilla goodness is making my mouth water just thinking of it. But, with all these wonderful thoughts of eating a full Thanksgiving dinner comes the not so wonderful thoughts of how much tighter my pants are going to fit afterwards.

So, with that in mind, here are a few hints to keeping your Thanksgiving eating in check. First off, you don’t HAVE to taste everything in one sitting. Let’s face it, it all looks so good and sure, you don’t want to miss out on anything, but there will be leftovers. So, just have a normal sized meal for your Thanksgiving dinner. Take a small serving of your favorites, and then come back for a small helping of things you missed a couple of hours later when you are hungry again.

Don’t “save room” for the meal by not eating normally throughout the day. Have your usual breakfast and lunch (depending on dinner time) to prevent overeating. DO save room for dessert. Ask yourself, “do I really need a second helping of stuffing or sweet potatoes, or should I wait and have dessert instead?” Choose the dessert! And, here’s an easy swap for apple pie and ice cream that is not only healthier than traditional apple pie, but portion controlled too! Also, did I mention that these little wontons are delicious!

Apple-Pie-Wonton-Ingredients

Ingredients

• 2 whole granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and small diced

• 1 lemon, juiced

• 1/3 cup sugar

• 4 tablespoons flour

• 2 teaspoons cinnamon

• ¼ teaspoon allspice

• 1/8 teaspoon salt

• 1 egg, beaten

• 30-36 wonton wrappers

• 2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar

• Cooking spray

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray the parchment with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the apples, lemon, and sugar. Add the flour, spices and salt.
  3. Beat the egg in a small bowl.
  4. Beginning with one wonton wrapper, lay it out on a work surface and bush with egg wash around each edge. Place a heaping teaspoon of apple filling in the center of the wrapper and fold the edges together and press firmly to seal the edges. Place on the lined baking sheet and repeat until the filling is gone. (You may want to lay a damp paper towel over the finished wontons to prevent them from drying out.)
  5. Bake wontons for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and spray the wontons with cooking spray and sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar over each wonton. Return the wontons to the oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Watch this video to learn how to make these sweet treats!