NOTICE

At the time of publication, all recipes were free of the allergens listed as being free of in the title (i.e. soy-free, milk-free, etc.), and all other information shared was accurate to the best of my knowledge.
Though I strive to update outdated information quickly and work diligently to make sure you have the most accurate information possible at all times, it is your duty to double check labels EVERY TIME to ensure that the ingredients you use are SAFE FOR YOU.
DO NOT RELY SOLELY ON THIS INFORMATION AS INGREDIENTS AND INFORMATION DO CHANGE.
Your doctor or allergist should also be your first go-to for information on how to handle your medical needs. That being said, if you DO notice an error, please send me an email letting me know (tell me what page or recipe the error is on, what the error is, etc.), and I will correct the error ASAP.
Thank you so much!

Please Be Advised:
I make sure all of my recipes use foods that are free of the allergens they say they are free of. You will need to do the same. For help with this, please see the appropriate "Alternative Names" page for the allergen(s) you need the recipe free of.

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Weekly Weigh In 2020: Week 7, February 17, 2020

Weekly Weigh In will go live every Monday, and it will share how I'm doing health-wise, and it will give me more accountability with my health.


Here is my seventh weigh in of 2020:

1. The Selfie: The selfie is me as of today, February 17, 2020.  

2. Weight: My weight stayed the same.  Here's hoping I will have a weight loss to report next week!

3. Health News: I averaged just over 6,300 steps per day last week.  I am hoping to get at least my 6,000 steps per day average this week, but we'll see.  The weather is supposed to cooperate (other than tomorrow), so I'm hopeful!  I'll at least do the best I can.

I'm trying to decide what to do with the toning and strengthening exercises.  I have not been able to find a way to fit them in just yet that works for me.  I am going to keep trying to add them in, but I am not going to worry too much about it as long as I'm able to get some form of daily exercise.  We'll see how it goes.

Migraines, insomnia, restless legs - all are still hanging around.  I also am dealing with some sort of stomach issue which I suspect is somewhat linked to the migraines.  I'm being very cautious about dietary choices, and that seems to help a little, so we'll see how it goes.  Hopefully it will pass and I'll be right as rain next week! :)

4. Diet News:  Due to the stomach issues, I've had to be very cautious about what I eat, as I explained before.  I've had to eat more carb based than I like, but I am trying to eat the carbs that are better for me.  I think that's why I haven't gained any weight.  I'm slowly working more protein back into my diet, and so far so good.  Hopefully I'll be able to eat the best way for me by the weekend. 

5. Other News: Please continue to pray for my middle kid.  For about 4 1/2 months now, he has been dealing with an unknown health issue.  He has basically made no real changes, and he has good (and I don't mean symptom-free, just more mild symptoms) days and bad days.  If you'd like a current update/rundown on his condition, you can click here.

As to our week, it is going to be crazy busy, but a good busy.  I'm pretty sure I won't have much time do anything online before the end of the week, so the updates I've been planning will have to be on hold again.  I'm still working on things here and there, just not as much as I'd wanted to.  I have a feeling those things will end up being a summer thing.

How are you doing?  Do you have anything you want to weigh in with?  Any health progress or goals you want to share?  If so, please leave a comment below (with a link to your post, if you have one and wish to leave it), and I'll respond ASAP.

Have a great week!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Recent Reflections - February 2020: God's Valentine



This is the second Recent Reflections post of 2020.  Recent Reflections goes live the third Friday or Saturday of each month.  Each Recent Reflections post covers something that I'm reflecting on.  If you'd like to share a post with a similar theme, feel free to leave a comment with a link to your post, and I'll hop on over and leave a comment (and maybe some other readers will, too).

This month, I will be reflecting on God's Valentine to us.



When I think about Valentine's Day, I think about those I love and those who love me (including those who have passed away).  I also take time to think about the One Who loved me so much He gave His life for me - Christ.  I don't think I'll ever get over that Someone loved me that much, nor should I.

Years ago, I heard the song "Written in Red" by Janet Paschal for the first time, and I heard it accompanied by a deaf choir.  It was the most moving thing I've ever seen, and it made me really reflect on what Christ did and has done for me.  This Valentine's Day weekend, I wanted to share a video of a children's choir signing as a man sings that song so that you could hear and see it in a similar way to which I first did.  I trust it will touch your heart like it did mine, and that you will truly take a moment to stop and think about how much God loves you.




"Written in Red" by Janet Paschal




In letters of crimson, God wrote His love

On the hillside so long, long ago;
For you and for me Jesus died,
And love's greatest story was told.

I love you, I love you
That's what Calvary said;
I love you, I love you,
I love you, Written in Red



Down through the ages, God wrote His love

With the same hands that suffered and bled;
Giving all that He had to give,
A message so easily read.

I love you, I love you,
That's what Calvary said;
I love you, I love you,
I love you...

Oh, precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know, nothing but the blood,
The blood of Jesus.

I love you, I love you
That's what Calvary said;
I love you, I love you,
I love you, Written... In Red




Christ is God's Valentine to us.
What will you do with His expression of love?


{If you'd like to know more about what Christ has done for you, click here.}

I truly hope this post has been a blessing to your heart, or at the least made you stop and think a little.  What has God done in your life lately to bless you?  What are you reflecting on?


Have a wonderful weekend!



Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Granola (Fish, Egg, Wheat, Milk and Soy-Free, Can Be Nut-Free)


I don't know about you, but I am a huge fan of granola.  I like it on yogurt, as a cereal, as a snack by itself - I just find it quite satisfying.  Not only is it tasty, but it is quite easy to make.  And, let me tell you, homemade is a million times better than store bought.  Trust me - once you make your own, there's no going back!

For this recipe, I decided to combine my love of granola with my love of peanut butter.  Though I have tried other recipes out there, this one (which involved me taking what I liked from a few different recipes and tweaking the resulting recipe until I got something I was really happy with) is my favorite.  It is truly a winner for all you peanut butter and granola fans out there, I promise!

This granola is fish, egg, wheat, milk and soy-free (if all your ingredients are), and can also be nut-free (see variations).  It is also very customizable (see variations).  Winner-winner, chicken dinner!


Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Granola

2-4 Cups gluten-free old-fashioned or quick cooking oats, NOT instant oatmeal
(We always use quick cooking oats.)

½ Cup of soy-free, creamy peanut butter
(We normally use Jif Natural Creamy, but you can use your favorite brand that fits your dietary needs.)

¼ Cup honey
(We always use clover honey, and we get local honey whenever possible.)

dash to 1/2 teaspoon of salt
(We always use the 1/2 teaspoon of salt.)

1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
(We always add this, and always use the 1 teaspoon.)

1 ½ teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract (optional)
(We prefer to leave the vanilla out unless we want a really dessert-type taste to the granola which isn't often.)

  1. Preheat oven to 350oF.
       
  2. Measure out your oats into a large bowl and set aside. (Note: For those will Celiac's or gluten-sensitivity/allergy, please make sure that your oats and other ingredients are certified gluten-free.  If you cannot have oats at all, see my variations below for grain-free options.  Also, the amount of oats you use is up to you.  If you want a more chunky-style with large pieces of granola when it is finished, use the lesser amount of oats.  If you want it more cereal/topping-like with smaller pieces of granola when it is finished, use the larger amount of oats.)
      
  3. In a saucepan, combine peanut butter, honey, salt, and cinnamon (if using); heat until the peanut butter is melted.  (Note: You don't have to boil this mixture, just get the peanut butter melted to a liquid stage.  The amount of salt you use is up to you, but I much prefer it with the 1/2 teaspoon salt, personally.  Also, I always use the cinnamon, and prefer to use the 1 teaspoon amount, but you can leave it out if you don't like cinnamon or use the 1/2 teaspoon if you want less cinnamon flavor.) 

  4. Remove sugar mixture from the heat and stir in vanilla, if using.  (Note: Again, make sure your vanilla is certified gluten-free if you need it to be!  The vanilla will give the granola a more peanut butter fudge taste, so if you don't want that flavor, leave it out.  Without the vanilla, it tastes more like your regular peanut butter granola bars or these peanut butter cookies.  Personally, we prefer it without the vanilla, but I listed it in the recipe for all of those that like that flavor in their granola.)
        
  5. Pour peanut butter mixture over oats; stir to coat.
       
  6. Spread in a large, shallow, un-greased baking pan (think half to full-size sheet pan).  (Note: If you want to put the granola on parchment paper, you can, but it is not necessary.)
      
  7. Bake for around 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until lightly toasted. DO NOT OVERBAKE.  Slightly underbaking is better than overbaking.  (Note: Yes, you need to  stir it every 5 minutes or it will burn!  You can stir it as often as every 3 minutes if you are worried you will burn it.)
       
  8. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the granola to waxed paper or parchment paper, spread the granola out flat, and then cool the granola completely before enjoying.  (Note: You don't want to stir the granola after this point until it's completely cooled unless you don't want larger clusters of granola.  If you want it to have a fine texture, you will have to stir it/break it up as it cools.  If you like it with more clusters (like I do), let it set until it is completely cool before stirring.)
       
  9. Enjoy as a topping, a cereal or a snack as is, and store any left-overs in an airtight container. (Note: I store mine in the fridge so that it lasts longer, but you can store it in the cupboard, as well.)

Variations (Please keep your individual dietary needs in mind when using substitutions.  Thank you!):
  • Peanut-Free and/or Nut-Free: You can make this recipe peanut-free by using a tree nut butter of choice for the peanut butter, or you can make it completely peanut-free and nut-free by substituting a seed butter for the peanut butter.
      
  • Grain-Free: You can leave out the oats and use quinoa flakes if you need this recipe to be grain-free.
      
  • Different Flavors/Add-Ins: As I've mentioned, you can completely customize this granola!  You can add in peanuts, tree nuts, dried fruits, seeds, flavored nuts and seeds (i.e. chocolate or yogurt covered, cinnamon and sugar covered, honey roasted), M&Ms, pretzel bits (gluten-free, if needed), mini cookie bits (gluten-free, if needed), chocolate chips (allergy-friendly like Enjoy Life, if needed), butterscotch chips, vanilla chips, mini marshmallows, etc. to the cooled granola mixture, if you desire and can have them.  You can even use a flavored peanut butter, Nutella, etc. for the peanut butter, too.  Whatever you think sounds good that fits in your dietary needs is allowed! :)

Here's some flavor options for you to try:

Nutty: Original Recipe with Cocktail Peanuts

Peanut Butter and Jelly: Original Recipe with Cocktail Peanuts and Dried Cranberries (You could use any dried fruit for the "jelly" part.)
Peanut Butter Cup: Original Recipe with Cocktail Peanuts and Mini Chocolate Chips
Fluffer Nutter: Original Recipe with Cocktail Peanuts and Mini Marshmallows

Chocolate Fluffer Nutter: Original Recipe with Cocktail Peanuts, Mini Marshmallows, and Mini Chocolate Chips

Chocolate PB&J: Original Recipe with Cocktail Peanuts, Dried Cranberries (or dried fruit of choice), and Mini Chocolate Chips
Fully Loaded: Original Recipe with Cocktail Peanuts, Dried Cranberries (or dried fruit of choice), Mini Marshmallows, and Mini Chocolate Chips
 Looks great, right?  So many options!

Enjoy, and have a great rest of your week!





Monday, February 10, 2020

Weekly Weigh In 2020: Week 6, February 10, 2020

Weekly Weigh In will go live every Monday, and it will share how I'm doing health-wise, and it will give me more accountability with my health.


Here is my sixth weigh in of 2020:

1. The Selfie: The selfie is me as of today, February 10, 2020.  

2. Weight: My weight went up by a pound.  I seem to be on a crazy roller coaster ride with my weight this year so far.  I am sure it has a lot to do with not being as consistent as I should be with both exercise and eating.  I will work on that more in the coming weeks, and we'll see if we see a change.  Here's hoping!

3. Health News: I averaged just over 7,000 steps per day last week.  I am hoping to get at least my 6,000 steps per day average this week, but we'll see.  I'll at least do the best I can.

I was not able to do any of the toning/strength exercises again last week, though I did get out and walk when I could, hence the reason I was able to exceed my walking goal.  I am not sure what I'm going to end up doing with the toning/strength exercises.  I want to do them, but am finding it hard to work them in.  I'll have to try to get a time of day set for them.  That should help a lot.  We'll see. 

Migraines, insomnia, restless legs - all have made an appearance at times in the last week.  I am sure that it has a lot do to with inconsistencies in regards to diet and exercise.  I will be more diligent this week and see how it goes.  Wish me luck!

4. Diet News:  Mixed bag here.  Some days I would do excellent, and other days were horrible.  I am going to work on this more.  I find that I like to make excuses about portion sizes, too, and that has to stop.  Wish me luck - I'm going to need it!

5. Other News: Please continue to pray for my middle kid.  For just over 4 months now, he has been dealing with an unknown health issue.  He has basically made no changes, and he has good (and I don't mean symptom-free, just more mild symptoms) days and bad days.  If you'd like a current update/rundown on his condition, you can click here.

As to our week, we are planning a very short week of school, so we'll have sort of a winter break.  We could all use it!  It's going to get a bit crazy around here in a month or so when we have to start nailing down graduation plans for our oldest, so any breaks we can squeeze in right now, the better! :)

I am still planning on doing some blog updates as I can, but who knows how long those will take as I am squeezing those in as I have time (which isn't a lot recently).  Maybe I'll get to some of those over our break?  We shall see!

How are you doing?  Do you have anything you want to weigh in with?  Any health progress or goals you want to share?  If so, please leave a comment below (with a link to your post, if you have one and wish to leave it), and I'll respond ASAP.

Have a great week!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Weekly Weigh In 2020: Week 5, February 3, 2020

Weekly Weigh In will go live every Monday, and it will share how I'm doing health-wise, and it will give me more accountability with my health.


Here is my fifth weigh in of 2020:

1. The Selfie: The selfie is me as of today, February 3, 2020.  

2. Weight: My weight went down 2 lbs.  I am so glad!  I hope this weigh loss trend continues.  Wish me luck!

3. Health News: I averaged just over 5,300 steps per day last week, so I didn't reach my goal.  I am hoping to get my 6,000 steps per day average this week, but we'll see.  I'll at least do the best I can.

I was not able to do any of the toning/strength exercises last week, though I did get out and walk when I could.  Not my best week with regards to exercise, but that should change this week as we are to have nicer weather as far as precipitation goes, though it is supposed to be colder.  We'll see what happens! 

My insomnia was in full force this last week and were still bothering me last night.  I am grateful that my migraines have mainly stayed at bay, though!  I have made better dietary choices overall, but still not 100% the best, so that may have a little to do with it.  I am thinking not getting enough exercise also played into things.  Here's hoping I can turn it around this week!

4. Diet News:  I definitely made some better choices (for me) this week.  I still have a ways to go, but definitely on the right track overall. :)  I am still working on eating foods that are more natural/less processed.  I definitely feel better when I follow this line of thinking!

5. Other News: Please continue to pray for my middle kid.  For 4 months now, he has been dealing with an unknown health issue.  He has basically made no changes, and he has good (and I don't mean symptom-free, just more mild symptoms) days and bad days.  If you'd like a current update/rundown on his condition, you can click here.

As to our week, just a normal school week for now with a very busy weekend planned.  February in general will be a bit busier, so we should not be bored!  I am also working on finalizing graduation/open house plans for my oldest, so that's another element of crazy added to the to-do list.  I can definitely say that I am grateful for busy, but it does wear on the body and soul at times.  I guess we will all appreciate the summer break that much more when it gets here. :)

I am still planning on doing some blog updates as I can, but who knows how long those will take as I am squeezing those in as I have time (which isn't a lot recently).

How are you doing?  Do you have anything you want to weigh in with?  Any health progress or goals you want to share?  If so, please leave a comment below (with a link to your post, if you have one and wish to leave it), and I'll respond ASAP.

Have a great week!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Weekly Weigh In 2020: Week 4, January 27, 2020

Weekly Weigh In will go live every Monday, and it will share how I'm doing health-wise, and it will give me more accountability with my health.


Here is my fourth weigh in of 2020:

1. The Selfie: The selfie is me as of today, January 27, 2020.  

2. Weight: My weight went up 2 lbs.  There's a lot of reasons for that, and I am dealing with bloating, but it is what it is.  I will keep working on it, and hopefully be back on track by next week.

3. Health News: I averaged just below 6,000 steps per day again last week, so I didn't quite reach my goal.  I am hoping to get my 6,000 steps per day average this week, but we'll see.  I'll at least do the best I can.

I was not able to do any of the toning/strength exercises last week, though I did get out and walk when I could, and I did shovel snow at times, too.  Not my best week in regards to exercise.  Hopefully this week will go better.

My insomnia and migraines showed up at times this last week and were still bothering me last night.  My dietary choices weren't the best at times, and I'm sure that played into it.  We've had a lot of crazy weather systems, too, so that didn't help.  I've also had some sort of stomach issue (only partially linked to the dietary choices) going on, so I'm sure that didn't help.

My plantar fasciitis is definitely better.  It bothers me very rarely now, so I'm glad.  At least I can walk without pain. :)  Thanks for the prayers in this regard!

4. Diet News:  I definitely made some poor choices (for me) this week.  Part of it was not feeling the best, so that meant more simple carbs vs. complex ones/proteins, and that ends up being a double-edged sword.  It may make my stomach feel better, but I also gain weight and have bloating due to it.  It's kinda awful, but it is what it is.

My stomach is starting to feel better today, so I'm slowly going back to my more normal way of eating.  Hopefully that means I'll go back to weight loss next week.  

I am also going to be a bit more cautious about eating foods too closely together that don't always agree with me (i.e. don't eat tacos within 24 hours of eating chili).  I think that will help me a lot.  

Also, I am going to be more diligent about avoiding sugar after noon.  I'd let that slip a little, and I think that played into my insomnia a bit.  Not worth it!

5. Other News: Please continue to pray for my middle kid.  For nearly 4 months now, he has been dealing with an unknown health issue.  He has basically made no changes, and he has good (and I don't mean symptom-free, just more mild symptoms) days and bad days.  If you'd like a current update/rundown on his condition, you can click here.

As to our week, just a normal school week for now, but that could change (for example, my hubby is ill today - prayers appreciated - so we have an unplanned appointment for him this afternoon that's made our school day interesting).  

I have my blog schedule basically finalized for this year, so that's good.  I am going to start slowly working on some blog updates as I can, but who knows how long those will take as I am squeezing those in as I have time (which isn't a lot recently).

How are you doing?  Do you have anything you want to weigh in with?  Any health progress or goals you want to share?  If so, please leave a comment below (with a link to your post, if you have one and wish to leave it), and I'll respond ASAP.

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Family Favorites - January 2020: Gluten-Free Andes Mint Brownies (Wheat, Fish and Nut-Free, Can Be Soy, Egg and Milk-Free)


I decided to keep posting a family favorite recipe from the blog (with any adaptions that we use regularly, if applicable) on the fourth Friday or Saturday of every month this year.  This recipe will be one that we make quite often and that we all enjoy greatly.  This post is the first Family Favorites recipe of 2020.

If you have a recipe on your blog that you consider a family favorite that you'd like to share, please comment below with a link to the recipe, and I'll make sure to pop on over and visit your site to check it out (and leave a comment), and hopefully some of my other readers will, too.

This month's Family Favorite recipe is Gluten-Free Andes Mint Brownies.  This is essentially a re-posting of my original recipe with a few tips added in.

These brownies are a family favorite because they combine 2 of our favorite flavors: mint and chocolate.  Not only that, they are rich and gooey - just like a brownie should be.  They also whip up in a flash, which I'm all about!  If you are a fan of any of those things, you'll want to give this recipe a try.  So good!  You won't be disappointed!


These brownies are wheat, fish and nut-free (if all your ingredients are), and can be soy, egg and milk-free (see variations).


Note: The gluten-free flours I recommend do not technically contain soy, but they do contain guar gum and xanthan gum (see "Soy-Free" under variations for more details) which can cause issues for people with soy sensitivities or allergies, and the Andes Mint baking chips contain soy lecithin.  For these reasons, I will not claim that this recipe is soy-free.  I will share a soy-free alternative in variations, though.



Gluten-Free Andes Mint Brownies

3/4 Cup salted, full-fat butter
(We always use full-fat, salted butter.  If you don't want to use salted butter, you can use unsalted, but you will need to up the salt added to at least 1/2 teaspoon.)

1 1/2 Cups sugar
(We always use cane sugar.)

3 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
(We normally use McCormick brand.)

1 Cup gluten-free flour blend 
(We normally use Pamela's Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour or Namaste Gluten-Free Perfect Flour Blend.)

3/4 Cup gluten-free cocoa powder
(We don't really have a go-to brand for this, so use your favorite, unsweetened cocoa powder for this recipe.)

3/4 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
(We use Hain's brand whenever possible.)

1/4 teaspoon salt
(We normally use Pink Himalayan Sea Salt.)

1 bag (10 oz.) Andes Creme De Menthe Baking Chips


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla together, until blended.
  
3. Add to mixture, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, until well blended.
  

4. Stir in 1/2 of the Andes baking chips into the batter.

5. Pour into a greased pan (9"x13"), and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until desired doneness.  (Note: For more fudge-like brownies, bake closer to 20 minutes.  For more cake-like brownies, back closer to 30 minutes.  I like to bake these to about 25 minutes because of the added Andes baking chips which make them more gooey by default.)

6.  Immediately after removing the brownies from the oven, cover the brownies evenly with the remaining Andes baking chips.

7. Once the baking chips have melted (this normally takes less than a minute), spread the melted chips evenly and carefully over the surface of the brownies.  (Note: A metal spoon is best used here vs. a spatula.  You're least likely to tear the surface of the brownies with a metal spoon.)

8.  Enjoy the brownies hot, warm or cold - whatever your preference!

Makes 12 large to 24 average-sized portions.





Variations (Please keep your individual dietary needs in mind when using variations):

  • Milk-Free: Use non-dairy butter of your choice, coconut oil or lard in place of the butter in this recipe. I am not sure how these would turn out if you used oil, but you are welcome to try it if you've used oil in homemade brownies in the past and like them made with oil.  My guess is that they'd be a lot more dense/fudge-y with the oil.  Also, you will have to substitute a dairy-free chocolate (I highly recommend Enjoy Life) for the Andes Mint baking chips and use a dairy-free mint-extract to get the mint flavor  (I'd use 1 teaspoon, but you could use up to 2 teaspoons if you really want them minty).  You could either choose to keep the vanilla in the batter or remove it, as well.
      
  • Egg-Free: Use an egg replacer in place of the eggs.  For ideas on what to use in place of the eggs, check out my ingredient substitutions page.  The flax seed "egg" replacement would be a good fit with this recipe.
     
  • Soy-Free: Neither the Pamela's Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour or the Namaste Gluten-Free Perfect Flour Blend that we use claim to contain soy, but Pamela's contains guar gum and Namaste contains xanthan gum, both of which can cause issues with people who have soy sensitivities and allergies.  The Andes Mint baking chips also contain soy lecithin.  For these reasons, I will not claim that this recipe is soy-free.  You can use regular flour (if you can have it) or a soy-free, gluten-free flour of your choice.  Keep in mind that if your blend doesn't contain guar gum or xanthan gum, you may need to add between 1/4 to 1 teaspoons of ground flax seed, guar gum or xanthan gum to help with textural issues, too.  Also, you will have to substitute a soy-free chocolate (I highly recommend Enjoy Life) for the Andes Mint baking chips and use a soy-free mint-extract to get the mint flavor  (I'd use 1 teaspoon, but you could use up to 2 teaspoons if you really want them minty).  You could either choose to keep the vanilla in the batter or remove it, as well.  You'll have to make sure all of your ingredients are soy-free, too.
      
  • No "Frosting" or All "Frosting" and Other Alternatives:  If you don't like the idea of a chocolate coating on top, just stir all the baking chips into the batter and bake as directed.  If you want all the mint chips on top vs. in the batter, you can do that, too.  You can also use more than 1 bag of Andes baking chips if you desire, and use one full bag in the brownies and part to all of a bag on top.  You could also make your own frosting to put on top of these brownies, too, or even use a mix of regular chocolate chips and Andes baking chips.  The choice is yours!
      
  • Other Flavors: If you want to make a flavor other than mint, you can use another type of baking chips/items or a combination of baking chips/items that fits your allergen needs in place of the Andes Mint baking chips - butterscotch, peanut butter, white chocolate, dark chocolate, flavored chips of choice, candy-coated chocolate pieces, chopped up candy bars, etc.  You can use another (or a few) gluten-free flavor extract(s) (almond, vanilla, coconut, maple, lemon, strawberry, etc.) or not (I would use vanilla extract, though, if nothing else to enhance the flavor of the chocolate, though) with any of these baking chip options, too (I would use a teaspoon of extract(s) total, but you could add up to 2 teaspoons total).  You could even cut out the mint, use vanilla extract, and add a nut of choice (tree nut - like almond, pecan or walnut - or peanut) or fresh or dried fruit of choice if you choose (I would use about a Cup or so total of those, but definitely not more than 2 Cups of add-ins).  For example, you could use butterscotch chips or caramel bits with vanilla extract and chopped pecans for a turtle brownie feel (you could even put some chocolate chips on top for more decadence).  You could use a strawberry extract and chocolate chips for a chocolate-covered strawberry flavor (you could even bake in some chopped strawberries or freeze-dried strawberries).  Enjoy experimenting!





I hope you will give this recipe a try soon and that it becomes a family favorite for you, too!