If you are a mom, like me, you get that your kids are always hungry. In fact, my kids sometimes ask for a snack as they are finishing their last bites of dinner. It drives me crazy and yet I realize that they are growing girls who have had a pretty busy day, going from activity to activity while I have the metabolism of a 40 year old who sits at her computer all day. “Okay,” I say, “What would you like?” Usually for after dinner snacks, and I am talking right after dinner, I make them eat a fruit or vegetable. But for any time of day, I always have many tricks up my sleeve. Many of you read my March 2010 Newsletter, where I talked about the seven things that cannot be in the food in my house. Everything else is fair game. Here are the seven things: No gluten, soy, partially hydrogenated oils, chocolate, caffeine, artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup. Oh boy, you mean it is not just about gluten? No, but these are just my rules. These are the seven things that I believe are wreaking havoc in your body. But this is all just ‘food for thought’. Here are some great snack ideas that you can have on hand in your house. These snacks are great in lunches, after school or on hikes or outings where the munchies strike.
10 Top Favorite Velick Snacks
10. Hummus with tortilla chips and carrots.
9. Apples sliced with peanut butter.
8. Corn tortillas with melted cheese.
7. Fruit smoothies. Throw some carrots in for extra vitamins!
6. Yogurt and granola.
5. Gluten free cereal with milk or yogurt.
4. Rice cakes with peanut butter or cream cheese topped with carob chips.
3. Dried fruits and veggies and nuts and seeds. Easy to grab when you are on the go.
2. Gluten free soft pretzels with ketchup or mustard (see below).
1. Popcorn with parmesan cheese and ketchup- don’t knock it til you try it!
Here is a recipe that is a hit in my house. It does not quite taste like a Jumbo New York pretzel you maybe used to buy on the streets after school when you were growing up, but these are the closest thing I have made to a Jumbo Soft Pretzel. They are thick and chewy and really yummy after being warmed in the toaster oven for a few minutes. I take one and cut it in half. My oldest eats her half with mustard, my youngest eats her half with ketchup. As you can see, we go through a lot of ketchup in our house!
Gluten-Free Soft Pretzels
3⅔ cups Bob’s Red Mill GF Flour
⅓ cup potato flour
2 tablespoons rapid yeast
2½ teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons melted
1½-2 cups warm water, divided
⅔ cups baking soda
10 cups water
1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
Salt, for sprinkling
Mix together flour blend, potato flour, yeast, xanthan gum and salt.
Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, beat ingredients together on medium speed, adding melted butter and 1 ½ cup warm water. Add enough water to make a soft but not wet dough. Beat for 5 minutes. Then cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
Uncover and beat an additional 4 minutes. Oil dough lightly. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Divide dough into 12 pieces. Roll each into a 12-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope. Holding the ends, cross them over each other and press them onto the rope to form a pretzel. Transfer to a parchment-lined pan. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise for 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Set aside.
Bring baking soda and 10 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Lower heat to simmer and cover.
Place pretzels into boiling water, one at a time, and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from water with a slotted spoon.
Return boiled pretzels to the sheet pan. Brush each with egg yolk and water mixture. Sprinkle with salt.
Place in preheated oven and bake until dark golden brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Sprinkle pretzels with coarse sea salt or pretzel salt. Makes 12 pretzels.