This week I share Gluten and Dairy Free Granola Bars at Once a Month Mom. Stop by and say “Hi!”
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According to the American Dietetic Association, more than half of male teens and more than two-thirds of female teens do not eat breakfast on a regular basis. I can understand it. It can be hard enough for your teen to get up, then get ready for school in time to hop on the bus, all usually before the sun is even peeking over the horizon. But having breakfast, even a quick one, is an important habit to help your kids establish. And it’s not just for the kids! You know what I am talking about, moms… How many of us make sure our kids have a good breakfast, but skip breakfast ourselves as we prepare for the day? Fortunately, these granola bars are easy for my teen to tuck into his pocket to eat at the bus stop when he is running behind schedule, or for me to grab and nibble on while getting the rest of the family ready and on their way. The granola bars also make a healthy gluten free take-along snack when I know we will be out running errands.
This is a very flexible recipe which I can easily change to suit my family’s tastes and what is in my cupboard. When it comes to granola, what you are looking for is a basic proportion of chunky bits (such as the gluten free oats, nuts and dried fruit) to sticky (such as honey or maple syrup). From that starting point you can really experiment. Don’t like vanilla or cinnamon? Switch them out for flavors you prefer. Want to toss in some gluten free crispy rice cereal or flax seeds? Replace some of the oats and slivered almonds with the amount you are adding. Like a different dried fruit? Replace with the same amount in the recipe. Go ahead, make this granola bar your own creation!
A note about oats: The general consensus at this point seems to be that pure uncontaminated oats are safe for most people with celiac. Since oats can easily be contaminated with wheat and other gluten containing grains during harvest, storage or other stages of processing, it has been stressed that the oats be certified as pure. So please, only get certified gluten free oats for this recipe. If you are part of the sub-set of people who cannot tolerate pure oats, or they are unavailable in your area, replace the oats in the recipe with half quinoa flakes and half rice flakes.
- 2 cups gluten free rolled oats
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, loosely packed
- ½ cup flaxseed meal (I used golden flax)
- ⅔ cup honey
- 1½ teaspoons gluten free vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- ½ cup chopped dried apricots
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup raisins
- Enough oil to line baking dish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8 by 12″ baking dish with oil and line it with parchment paper. Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the flaxseed meal. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
- Add honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt to the mixture while it is still warm. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries to the coated mixture and stir. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and press the mixture evenly into the pan. I used slightly moistened hands to help press the mixture and literally put my weight into it. Think about how tightly packed commercial granola bars are when they’re baked. Everything is packed in so tightly!
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.
- A little tip that I learned – LET THEM COOL! If you don’t let them cool long enough, they with crumble a bit at the cut edge. Also, when you cut them, be sure to use a serrated knife. It helps so much to get a smooth clean cut.
- Freezing Directions: After cutting into bars, wrap with plastic wrap. Put wrapped bars into gallon sized freezer bag, seal and freeze.
What was I cooking…?
Last year: Menu Plan Monday – April 12, 2010
Two years ago: Menu Plan Monday – April 13, 2009
Three years ago: Freezer Food Friday – April 11, 2008
Four years ago: Cashew Chicken with Bok Choy