Before we go grocery shopping I start by getting out that weeks ads to see what is on sale, and then try to plan meals around that. I also look at the coupons we have, new ones that have come in and also search online for them (at first Bryan made fun of me and my coupon clipping but once he saw how much I save each time he’s pretty thankful) I then make a list of all the items we need and next to it I write what the sale is and at which store, I also write if we have a coupon for it. For the most part we try out best to stick to the list as best we can, but every now and then we find a thing or two that we really want and that is usually a snack or two. Well actually it is mostly Bryan that finds these things because for me it is a bit harder to find gluten-free snacks.
He will usually grab some cinnamon buns, beef jerky or corn muffins, all of which I love but sadly can’t find gluten-free options in the stores so I decided that I could learn to make a few snack items at home. I’ve made cinnamon buns and corn muffins/bread before and they came out great. I hadn’t attempted to make beef jerky or granola bars and those are two things I have been wanting to attempt for a while, so I finally did.
Making snacks at home is easy, a great way to control what you and your family are consuming but also it is a great way to save money!
Bryan and I both love beef jerky and we usually buy him a bag of it but its gone in one sitting! Before moving back east I bought a great cookbook “Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It And Other Cooking Projects” by Karen Solomon. Including in the cookbook are recipes to make your own bacon, cheese, marshmallows, limoncello and so much more. The recipe calls for very lean top sirloin or flank steak, I choose the flank steak because at BJ’s you can get two pounds for the same price, if not less than one pound of flank steak at our local grocery store!
I used the recipe listed in the cookbook just as a guideline and made it gluten-free and adjusted the ingredients to our spice level. My recipe is below – I checked their website and they don’t have the beef jerky recipe listed so I can’t link to it, however you should really buy this book, you will love it!
Gluten Free Beef Jerky
2 pounds lean flank steak (remove every bit of fat from the meat! this is very important-if you leave the fat on it will like go rancid!)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
4 teaspoons dark brown sugar
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 teaspoons red pepper flakes (you can adjust this to your taste level, we really like heat)
Advanced Prep: Freeze steak for 30 minutes – this will help with the slicing. Line two sheet pans with foil and oil (canola or gluten-free cooking spray) two racks. Place one rack in each of the pans, set aside. Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees – if your oven doesn’t go that low, set it to the lowest temp that it will and leave the oven door cracked open an inch or two, or use a wooden spoon to keep it ajar.
Remove steak from freezer, and make sure that all the fat has been removed (see note above). Thinly slice steak 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick pieces.
In a large bowl mix together salt, gluten-free soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and red pepper flakes. Add meat and let marinade in the refrigerator for two hours (or over night).
Lay the meat on the racks in a single layer, but don’t let them touch or over lap.
Dry the meat in an oven for 5-7 hours. Check for doneness for the first time around 5 hours. The jerky shouldn’t be brittle but should be able to be torn into strings and not look raw in the inside.
Allow jerky to cool completely and enjoy!
Store in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator for up to six weeks.
I love granola bars, but since going gluten-free I haven’t had one, and I’ve really missed them. They are the perfect take along snack. I’ll be making more of these when it comes time for school. They are super easy to make and you can add in pretty much anything you like. I think next time I might add in some peanut butter chips.
The recipe listed below is from Martha Stewart’s website. I did a few little tweaks to the recipe and they are noted in red below.
Makes about 16 bars
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 3/4 cups gluten-free quick-cooking oatmeal (I used 3 cups of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats)
- 1 1/4 cups gluten-free crisp-rice cereal (I didn’t have any so I omitted them)
- 1/2 cup mini gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup lightly packed light-brown sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; line baking sheet with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on all sides. Set aside.
- Place oatmeal and rice cereal in a large bowl; stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, mix together brown sugar, oil, and honey. Place over medium-high heat; bring to a gentle boil. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add to oatmeal mixture; stir until oatmeal mixture is fully coated and well combined.
- Evenly pour oatmeal mixture into prepared baking dish; sprinkle with chocolate chips. When mixture is cool enough to touch, press down into pan. Let cool to room temperature. Cut into 16 (1-by-4-inch) bars. Granola bars can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week, and frozen up to six months.
*I would recommend following the directions – I got distracted when making these and ended up adding some of the chocolate chips in with the oats and when I poured the liquid over it they all melted so it became chocolate granola bars. Woops – I mean they still came out pretty good. I would also suggest that if you have the gluten-free crisp rice cereal, use it. Also Martha’s photo is WAY better than mine!
Hope you enjoy these two homemade snacks!