Fudgesicles {Homemade}

(My monster fudgesicle – gluten and dairy free! Happy Summer)

I’m always up for making things at home (beef jerky, granola bars, ice tea, etc.). I know there is convenience in buying many of these things, but I rather enjoy making things at home. One it’s a challenge for me, two I know exactly what is going into my food. I love making gallons of ice tea at home because I can control the amount of sugar (or honey, or agave) that goes into my tea. It is truly amazing how much can be found in a gallon of store-bought ice tea.

We don’t buy much ice cream at the store and I don’t ever make it only because I do not have an ice cream maker. Oh, how I wish I had one. Instead I make pops. We bought two packages of Monster Popsicle Molds (I found mine at Marshall’s/T.J. Maxx) which can be purchased from Amazon.com. We love these little things, maybe it brings out the inner kid in both of us, but they just make me laugh. I’ve taken regular juice and frozen it in these to make juice pops in the past and this works out rather well. You can even throw in some chunks of frozen fruit that you might have (I’m a fan of pineapple juice pops with chunks of pineapple and mango in them!).

Last night I was searching online for new recipes and came across one for homemade fudcesicles from one of my favorite blogs Baked By Rachel. Rachel’s recipe was an adaptation from Comfy Belly. I read through the simple ingredients and instructions and was a bit sad when I realized I didn’t have any milk in the house. I don’t normally have regular milk in the house because after so many years of thinking I was lactose intolerant (and Bryan really is lactose intolerant) the taste and smell of regular milk just make my stomach turn. I always have either soy, hemp, nut, or rice milk on hand though. I wasn’t sure if this would work out the same but I was pleasantly surprised today when I tried one! Woo Hoo – homemade fudgesicles made with chocolate hazelnut milk and agave nectar were a success!

The chocolate hazelnut milk I used in this recipe is both gluten-free and dairy-free. I also used this in my Samoa Rice Pudding recipe. These little pops are great during these warm days. The recipe below filled seven of the monster popsicle molds with a little extra left over that I just threw in a small ramekin and froze – if you do not have pops you can pour the mixture into ramekins and freeze for at least four hours (comes out like chocolate Italian ice!!! so good). The pops should be frozen for at least 12-12 hours before removing from the molds.

(In the freezer – don’t these molds just make you smile? The purple ones remind me of Leela from Futurama- see image below)

Fudgesicles (Gluten Free and Dairy Free)

Ingredients (serves 7)

1C milk – of your choice. I used chocolate hazelnut milk however you could use regular milk, soy, nut, etc.
1C water
1/2C agave nectar or honey (you could even do half and half)
1/4C cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat combine all ingredients. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes just until all ingredients are combined and well blended. Remove from heat, and set aside for at least 15 minutes or until the mixture has reached room temperature.
  2. In the meantime you can prep your molds. If you do not have popsicle molds you can pour the mixture into ramekins and freeze for at least four hours (comes out like chocolate Italian ice!!! so good)
  3. For easier pouring I followed Rachel’s note and I transferred my liquid to a large glass measuring cup and filled my molds that way.
  4. If using molds, put the tops on them (with the stick end) and place in the freezer freeze for at least 4 hours but freezing over night is much better.
  5. If using ramekins freeze for at least 4 hours but again freezing over night is much better.
  6. To release the pops from the molds dip them in a glass filled with warm water for 5-7 seconds to help release them. Pull straight up.
  7. Enjoy!

(Leela – Futurama, one of our favorite shows)

Pacific Natural Foods – Review & Giveaway

UPDATE: The five lucky winners have been picked and e-mailed.  They have until Tuesday May 24th to respond.  If a winner does not respond in that time frame another winner will be chosen.  I went through all of the comments and we had 57 total!  (Some comments were all together on one so I wanted to make sure that everyone received the correct number of entries).  The winners were picked using Random.org (I love this site!) and our five winners are: Venessa, Sofia, Kristina, Rebecca and Kristen – Congratulations to you all.  I know you are going to love these products and can’t wait to hear your thoughts once you’ve tried them. 

Venessa said: I would love to try all the flavors. Everything sounds delicious! Thank you for this opportunity.

Sofia said: I would love to try the hazelnut chocolate milk! Looks delish!

Kristina said: oooh I would LOVE to win this – I could really use it right now! I want to try the cream of celery and the cashew carrot ginger looks great too.

thank you to you and Pacific for the opportunity!

Rebecca said: I would love some of that chocolate-hazelnut goodness! :) I’m sure it’s as great as the other Pacific Natural Foods products I’ve had (mostly soups, milk)

Kristen said: Ooooo, I would love to try the soups! The spicy black bean soup sounds particularly yummy to me.

UPDATE: The contest is now closed (5/20/2011)

May is National Celiac Awareness Month! In honor of this there are tons of great things going on to celebrate.  The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness is featuring a Gluten Free Blogger A Day (I will be featured on May 29th), Tons of great cookbook and product reviews and giveaways are also happening on a bunch of blogs – so please be sure to check out all the great posts this month.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the lovely people at Pacific Natural Foods asking if they could stock my pantry with some of their products.  I have used their broths in the past and absolutely loved them, especially the low sodium broths because I like to control how much salt I put into my dishes. Their products are all natural and delicious. The broths were the only products that I had tried because that is what I could find around me.  I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at their website to see the huge selection of gluten-free products they had (listed under special diets).  They have condensed soups (these are the only condensed gluten-free soups on the market!), creamy soups (I’m in love with the Cashew Carrot Ginger soup – sooo good, and I plan to use this by serving it over some rice with chicken, mushrooms, baby corn and bamboo shoots), and some very delicious “milks” made from soy, almonds and even hazelnuts.  So when I received the e-mail asking if they could stock my pantry I of course said yes and little did I know that they would actually stock my pantry.  I feel truly blessed by receiving all of the wonderful products pictured above.

We’ve tried the Creamy Tomato Soup and the Cashew Carrot Ginger Soup (as I mentioned above) and both were extremely flavorful.  Bryan loves tomato soup and he really enjoyed this.  He even ate it with his favorite little oyster crackers (he still has some gluten food items in the house and he can’t eat tomato soup with out them). The Cashew Carrot Ginger soup is amazing.  Thick, creamy, filing and the right balance of flavors.  I did try a few bites of the tomato soup (before the crackers were added) and it was such a nice treat to be able to have tomato soup again.  I have missed it so much and this tomato soup was delicious.  Homemade gluten-free croutons would go great with both of these soups.

I can’t wait to try more of the amazing products from Pacific Natural Foods.  They also have some very delicious sounding recipes online that I am looking forward to trying out along with creating a bunch of my own.  This one here for Grilled Chicken Primavera of course served over some delicious gluten-free pasta instead.  

Have you tried Pacific Natural Food’s products yet?  Would you like to? If so the very generous people at Pacific Natural Foods have kindly offered to give FIVE of my readers a chance to win a similar gluten-free pantry staples kit to the one that I received.  In order to be entered in the giveaway simply follow the instructions below:

1) Leave a comment below telling me which product you would like to try

2) “Like” Pacific Natural Foods on Facebook and leave a comment below saying you did so.  If you already do please leave a comment below saying so.

3) “Follow” Pacific Natural Foods on Twitter and leave a comment below saying you did so. If you already do please leave a comment below saying so.

4) “Like” Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook and leave a comment below saying you did so. If you already do please leave a comment below saying so.

5) “Follow” Creatively_GF on Twitter and leave a comment below saying you did so. If you already do please leave a comment below saying so.

6) Tweet about this giveaway (be sure to mention @Creatively_GF so I can track the tweet) and leave a comment below saying you did so

Open to US Residents Only! This giveaway will end on Friday May 20th at 11:59 p.m. Each person may enter up to six times.  There will be five winners chosen by using random.org.  Winners will be notified by e-mail and will have 72 hours to respond.  If a winner doesn’t respond within that time frame another winner will be chosen. Again, I was sent the products shown above by Pacific Natural Foods and the comments and reviews are completely my own.