Gluten Free Christmas Presents

1. Lip Balm
Lip balm is super easy to make. There are a gazillion websites out there with recipes. I used beeswax, coconut oil, walnut oil, vitamin e oil, and essential oils to make mine. Stick everything in the microwave to melt the wax and the oils. I used a pyrex measuring cup, which also made it easy to pour the concoction into the tubes, which I bought on Amazon. To decorate the tubes, I wrapped them with marbleized paper I had made YEARS ago.

lip balm

2. Caramels
Caramels are super easy. There are tons of recipes online. Most say to add the cream near the end, but I find it is easier to start with the cream and sugars all together. Bring them to a boil–after fifteen minutes or so, the temperature will reach 220+. Take it off the heat and add vanilla and a few tablespoons of good butter. Then put in a pan to cool–make sure to line it with parchment. Wait for it to cool and then cut into squares to be wrapped in wax or parchment paper and twisted on the ends. So cute–and the most delicious things ever!
CaramelsCaramels-001Caramels-002 

3. Dog Treats
Everyone loves giving their dogs special treats–especially if the dog owner is gluten free. Gluten free dog treats can be really expensive. I found a recipe that used garbanzo (chick pea) flour. Watch for another post in the near future to be called “Why Garbanzo Bean Flour Is Horrible.” It smelled weird and was really gummy.
DOG TREAT RECIPE (feel free to play around with it–the dogs aren’t going to think it tastes weird)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
1 banana, mashed
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. cheese powder
1/4 cup flax meal
3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
3/4 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup pureed squash

Mix everything well. Using some bench flour (either garbanzo or rice), press out the dough on parchment paper. Use fun cookie cutters. Bake for about 30 minutes–it is better to overcook them than undercook them.
Dog Treats-001

4. Granola
I LOVE granola on greek yogurt. So good. I just throw some gf oats, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut (unsweetened is best), and sliced almonds in a bowl. Add some honey or maple syrup, walnut oil, and a little bit of water–mix up and then transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. “Toast” at 320 degrees for about 30 minutes, taking them out once to toss around. When done, wait for them to cool, add raisins or other dried fruit, and then transfer to a pretty gift bag or mason/jelly jar. (I have to confess: I made some to give away as presents, and I keep getting into it.)

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