Thursday, July 29

From Traveling to Baking...

Standing once again in my sunny California kitchen I breathe in the fresh summer air and pop a juicy Wisconsin cherry in my mouth.  A tart treat from my three weeks of travel, the cherry reminds me of the quaint Door County I had the pleasure of touring.   Delightful either fresh or dry, these cherries are the largest I have ever eaten.  I brought a portion home eager to add an extra flavor with my new found ingredient.  I conveniently found an older recipe of mine this morning and quickly decided it would be perfect with the addition of Wisconsin cherries.  With recipe out, apron on and cherries awaiting their debut I joyfully began creating.

A wonderful morning bite or mid-afternoon snack, these high fiber oat balls will satisfy your taste buds instantly.  It is a simple recipe with basic ingredients.  Though, unless you live in Wisconsin, you will be using ordinary dried cherries, delicious perhaps, but not extraordinary.  Forgive my bias.  I truly hope you can enjoy them some day.  Put it on your list of foods to experience when traveling through the MidWest.

Cherry Oat Toasties
~Makes 15

2 cups Gluten-Free Oats                      
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
1/3 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 ripe Bananas (mashed)
1/3 cup Chopped Walnuts
1/3 cup Wisconsin Dried Tart Cherries

Mix Oats, Cinnamon and Ginger in a bowl.  Mash the Bananas with a fork in another bowl and mix in the Vanilla and Applesauce.  Combine the two bowls, mix well, then fold in the chopped Walnuts and dried Cherries.  Scoop dough into palm, press it together with both palms into little 1-2 inch balls. The dough will seem too wet, this is okay just makes sure you really press when shaping and the toasties will stay together.   Grease a cookie sheet and place the toasties about two inches apart.  Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly browned.  Serve warm or freeze and reheat for later enjoyment.

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