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    Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP is a Manhattan based Personal Chef, Culinary Nutritionist, Professional Recipe Developer and Food Writer specializing in easy Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free recipes. Amie is the Editor-in-Chief of the gluten-free blog, The Healthy Apple. Amie shares her passion for and approach to "Clean Eating" by focusing on natural, whole foods and ingredients that are good for you and your body. Amie works with Whole Foods Market as their Gluten-Free Manhattan Cooking Instructor and is a Gluten-Free Industry Innovator when it comes to helping clients, the community, companies and client live a healthy and happy life. Visit her site at: thehealthyapple.com.

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    Destiny Stone
    So often I hear people asking how to make their own  healthy, gluten-free snacks. The following nut cracker recipe is easy, inexpensive, and yes it's also healthy. Feel free to substitute the nuts and seeds listed below for other nuts or seeds of your preference. I always like to soak my nuts before using them; soaked nuts are much easier to digest.
    Crunchy Nut Crackers
    Serving Size: Makes around 30-40 (depending on how the size of cracker you make.)
    Ingredients:

    2 cups mixed nuts of your choice: (cashew, almonds, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds work well) 1 egg 2 tbsp filtered water 1 1/8 tsp Himalayan salt Options: Top with sea salt, anise seeds, nigella seeds or some other seeds of your choice.To make:

    Preheat the oven at 360°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment papers. Grind nuts into a flour consistency in a blender or food processor (food processor usually works best).
    Add egg, water and sea salt and stir around with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together in a quite stiff dough. Divide the dough into two and place them directly on the parchment papers. Roll them out to two rectangles, about 0-1 inches thick. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin you could roll it with parchment paper covering the dough. Use a knife to cut them in slices or squares.  Spray some water on them and top with the seeds.
    Bake for about 10 minutes. Tip: Stay close and keep an eye on the oven, these crackers burn easily. Store them in jars or out in the open if you eat them within the first couple of days.

    Amie  Valpone
    This gluten-free recipe can be served with your favorite dip, or just eaten by itself!

    Gluten-Free and Vegan
    Serves 4
    Ingredients:
    4 bulbs fresh fennel 1/4 tsp. sea salt 1 clove garlic, minced 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar 1/4 tsp. orange zest
    1/3 cup sunflower seeds, finely ground Directions:
    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice fennel bulb lengthwise to create disk-like slices. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Sprinkle with sea salt and minced garlic, then drizzle with fresh  juice and vinegar.  Top with orange zest and ground sunflower seeds.
    Bake for 30 minutes or until crispy.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 08/12/2014 - Here’s another easy summertime drink that will turn a few heads. It blends watermelon with sweetened lime juice and crushed ice to deliver a refreshing burst of summer!
    Ingredients:
    8-10 cups seedless watermelon chunks (about 2 pounds) 2-3 tablespoons Rose’s Lime Juice, to taste 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 cups crushed ice lime slices for garnish vodka, rum, or tequila, as desired (select gluten-free varieties if you have concerns) Directions:
    Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth (add a few tablespoons of water, if necessary).
    Add lime juice to get desired sweetness.
    Transfer to a pitcher filled with ice and serve in tall glasses.
    Garnish with lime slices.
    For a grown-up version, add vodka to taste, as desired.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/07/2015 - This dip is full of zesty bacon and cheese flavor that is sure to put smiles on the faces of your hungriest snackers.
    Ingredients:
    12 slices quality smoked bacon, cooked, chopped 1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese ¾ cup shredded Cheddar cheese ¾ cup shredded Swiss cheese ½ cup mayonnaise 1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon horseradish, prepared 4 scallions, chopped Directions:
    In a mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese with an electric mixer.
    Fold in and lightly mix the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, horseradish, cheddar cheese, bacon and scallions.
    Serve hot or cold.
    To heat, place in an oven proof container and bake at 400°F for 10 minutes or until bubbly and warm.

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