Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Precious Pretzels

Eating 'gluten free' foods can be very intimidating. There's always the chance that the food in question isn't safe and illness will insue, or the more likely chance that it is completely gluten free and your taste buds will shrivel in despair.

Despite aforementioned anxiety, I was fortunate to have a great first experience with pre-packaged gluten free food, which fostered high expectations and led to several disappointments over the course of my gluten free years.

The first designated gluten free product I bought was Glutino's pretzels, which surprisingly, are better tasting than 'real' pretzels. Unfortunately, as with most processed gluten free foods, they are expensive and poorly packaged causing quick, and disheartening spoiling if not consumed quickly.

Because we so enjoy Glutino's pretzels, but must maintain a tight grocery budget, my children and I began looking for creative ways to use up stale and/or broken pretzel leftovers.

Recently, we used our pretzel crumbs in a dish my 9 year old was concocting, called Gooey Greatness, where she mixed crushed cashews with almond butter and honey. The pretzels made a nice addition, but we were still looking for more ideas.

Much to my delight, I found this little blip about pretzels in Family Circle magazine and I can't wait to convert these recipes into delectable gluten free dishes.

1. Brush each side of 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts with 1 tsp spicy brown mustard. Roll in finely crushed pretzels; bake at 400* for about 15 minutes.
2. For pie crust, mix 2 cups finely crushed pretzels, 6 tbsp melted butter and 3 tbsp sugar. Press into a pie plate and bake at 350* for 10 minutes.
3.  Make a simple sweet dessert by melting 12 ounces semisweet chocolate baking chips, then stir in 1 cup coarsely crushed pretzels and 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Spread out onto a waked paper lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 1 hour and break into pieces.

Have an idea for pretzel leftovers? Share them on Food Prude's facebook fan page.

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