Healthy Lunch Box Treats 1

School’s back! Those long, laborious days behind a desk can be eased with these easy, gluten-free treats. What kid doesn’t love peanut butter? Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies satisfy peanut cravings, with a healthy dose of protein to keep hungry children full and focused. Our decadent Easy Organic Brownies have a smooth rich texture, sure to please even the fussiest kids!

Easy Organic Brownies

A delectable blend of organic cocoa, bittersweet chocolate and almond meal create a rich, moist brownie with a decadently dense, soft texture. Personalize by adding your favorite chips, nuts or coconut.

Ingredients

2/3 cup gluten-free organic oat flour (or organic all-purpose flour) 2½ tablespoons organic cocoa powder
2 tablespoons organic almond meal
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon organic baking soda
6 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
6 ounces organic bittersweet chocolate (about 1 cup chocolate chips)
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
2  large organic eggs
3 teaspoons organic vanilla
Optional additions: chopped pecans, walnuts, shredded coconut

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F; spray 8×8 glass pan with cooking spray.
2. In medium bowl, whisk together oat flour, cocoa powder, almond meal, sea salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
3. To melt butter and chocolate, place in medium heat-safe bowl over simmering water (water should not touch bowl); stir frequently until smooth.
4. Remove chocolate mixture from heat; stir in sugar, using wooden spoon, for about 30 seconds. Add eggs; stir until fully mixed (about 20 seconds). Stir in vanilla extract.
5. Pour dry ingredients into the wet ingredients; stir until smooth and fully combined (about 20 seconds). If adding any additions, gently stir in now. Pour batter into pan, and spread with spatula to level.
6. Bake on middle rack for 33-38 minutes; use toothpick to determine doneness. Edges will rise slightly higher than center.
7. Place pan on a cooling rack, and allow to fully cool before cutting. Brownies will be firm and cut easily once fully cooled.
Yield: 9-12 servings. Per serving: Calories: 89; Fat 3g; Carbs: 9.2g; Protein 0.9g. Cost Per Serving: $.65.

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

These moist, chewy cookies are always a hit! Best of all, they don’t contain flour, so even kids with gluten allergies can enjoy.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla

1 cup gluten-free flour or flour blend

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, peanut butter and butter. Beat at medium speed until well-combined. Add egg and vanilla; continue beating until smooth. Add gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; beat at low speed until thoroughly combined.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls (if dough is too soft, refrigerate 15-20 minutes until chilled); roll balls in sugar. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets; using fork, flatten balls in criss-cross pattern. Bake 8-10 minutes, until light brown.
Yield: 18 cookies; Per serving: Calories: 77; Fat 3.3g; Carbs: 10g; Protein 0.9g. Cost Per Serving: $.33.

Suzette Zara is a certified nutritionist, a frequent speaker on low-fat healthy cooking and creator of Devil’s Salsa (DevilsSalsa.com). Suzette@SuzetteZara.com