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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Recipe: Vegan Soft Pretzel Bites with Creamy Peanut Butter Dip (GF!)

Healthy Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe with Creamy Peanut Butter Dip - low fat, gluten free, clean eating recipe, vegan, egg free, dairy free

These pretzel bites aren't perfect, they aren't pretty and I almost wasn't going to share them..... until I realised they actually embody exactly why I have this blog! 

You see, a few weeks ago I received an email from Sofi, a Southern In Law reader who, very much like me, recently found out she had coeliac disease and a number of food allergies and intolerances. 

Sofi had discovered my recipes on Pinterest and emailed me asking if I might be able to make a recipe for her or possibly recommend one that would suit. 

Healthy Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe with Creamy Peanut Butter Dip - low fat, gluten free, clean eating recipe, vegan, egg free, dairy free

Sofi told me how she had been a great baker who loved nothing more than sharing food with others - but now found herself depressed, struggling to find recipes that not only tasted good but suited her food needs and food had become something that frustrated her rather than brought her joy. 

I've been there.  I've been in Sofi's shoes. 

I was a baker who went from creating ridiculously overcomplicated desserts to crying over muffins that felt like rocks and bread that didn't rise. I discovered my favourite foods were the ones causing all of my pain and problems and I was pretty much stuck in a woe is me bubble... 

But I'm also stubborn as a mule so I kept on going.... and going.... and going.... 

Vegan Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe with Creamy Peanut Butter Dip - low fat, gluten free, clean eating recipe, vegan, egg free, dairy free

I created Southern In Law to, first and foremost, update our family on what was happening in our world as Jesse moved to Australia - but I also wanted to share my recipes. Somehow people just like you reading this, discovered those recipes too - and that became the focus of the blog. 

Why? Not because I think I'm some recipe creating queen. Not because I take award winning photographs. Not because I want to make millions of dollars.

I share and create recipes because I know how it feels to miss out and I don't want you to have to miss out. 

I create recipes because I love nothing more than getting emails from you letting me know that you created them and loved them - or that you made them for a friend with special food needs so they didn't have to miss out. 

Like I said, these pretzel bites aren't perfect.... but they're perfect for Sofi. Just like Sofi asked, these pretzel bites are made without any weird flour combinations, they're egg free, they're gluten free, they're made without any butter or oil and they make a small batch. They're even dairy free and vegan if that's what you need too!

So let me share the recipe with you! >> 

Vegan Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe with Creamy Peanut Butter Dip - low fat, gluten free, clean eating recipe, vegan, egg free, dairy free

Vegan Soft Pretzel Bites with Creamy Peanut Butter Dip
makes about 2 dozen small bites 
low fat, gluten free, vegan, egg free, dairy free

For the pretzels:
1 sachet (7g or ~2 tsp) dried yeast
2 tbsp warm water 
2 tbsp (15g) ground flaxseed 
1 tbsp (10g) psyllium husk powder*
1/4 cup warm water 
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce or sweet potato/pumpkin puree**
1 cup (120g) gluten free plain flour mix 
3/4 tsp baking powder
For the boiling water: 3 cups boiling water + 1 tbsp baking soda 

For the peanut butter dip: 
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup cream cheese or vegan cream cheese or yogurt
Sweetener to taste (we usually add a dash of vanilla and maple syrup)
  • Mix together your yeast and warm water and leave to sit for 5 or so minutes. 
  • Whilst your yeast is proving, mix together your flax, psyllium and warm water. It will be quite thick so stir through your applesauce until smooth. 
  • Preheat your oven to 200C/390F and line a baking sheet with baking paper. 
  • Once your yeast starts to bubble, mix together your yeast and flax mixture until smooth. 
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add your flour and baking powder and mix in your wet ingredients. 
  • Mix your pretzel dough with a spoon or spatula until crumbly and then knead it all together with your hands.
  • Knead your dough for ~3-5 minutes or until smooth and kind of stretchy. 
  • Break off pieces of the dough to make your bites and place onto your bites onto your prepared tray. 
  • Boil your water and baking soda mixture in a medium saucepan over a high heat. 
  • Once your water is boiling, add all of your pretzel bites (or do them in two batches if your pot isn't big enough) and cook them for ~1 minute, flipping them halfway to cook on both sides. 
  • Take your pretzel bites out of your pot with a slotted spoon to drain them and place them back onto your baking sheet (don't worry if there's a little bit of water on the baking sheet). 
  • Bake your pretzel bites for 15-20 minutes or until golden and crusty on the outside (15 minutes will give you soft pretzel bites without a hard crust whilst baking them for longer will make them crispier - keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn). 
  • Serve your pretzel bites immediately with your peanut butter dip (simply mix all the dip ingredients together until smooth) or with whatever you prefer! 
  • The bites are best eaten fresh, however, they will keep in an airtight container for 2 or so days. 
*If you don't have psyllium, feel free to use an extra tbsp of flax. We find the psyllium gives a softer fluffier more bread-like texture so highly recommend buying some!
**You can taste the applesauce a little bit which is fine for pretzels with a sweet dip, however, if you'd prefer a more savoury taste, try using either sweet potato or pumpkin puree instead. They'll just be more orange ;) 

But tell me, if you're a blogger, what's one of the reasons behind your blog?
And what's one food or recipe you really wish you could enjoy but can't?
For whatever reason! It could be that you live on the opposite side of the world - or because you have food allergies/intolerances etc.


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