Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gluten Free Granola Bars

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (optional)
1 tsp GF vanilla extract
1 cup of GF oatmeal
1/2 cup of GF rice cereal
1/2 cup of coconut
1 1/ cup of nuts and seeds (  my favorite mix is 1 1/2 cup walnuts, 2 Tbsp sesame seeds, 2 Tbsp flax seeds)
1 cup of dried fruit ( I opt for chocolate chips here)

Oil an 8X10 dish ( I line mine with parchment).   Make granola glue by pouring honey and brown sugar into a small pot and heat until the brown sugar dissolves.  Stir often.  Turn the mixture on low for about three minutes or until it begins to bubble.  Remove it from the heat and stir in your peanut butter and vanilla extract.  Let it sit while you mix your granola.  Mix your oatmeal, rice cereal, coconut, nuts, seeds and dried fruit.  Toss together so it is evenly distributed.  Pour your glue onto your granola mix until it is well coated.  Press into your dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Let it cool completely before cutting into bars.

Notes:


*When I use chocolate chips I wait for the glue to cool quite a bit before I add it to the granola mixture.  That allows the chocolate chips to remain whole.   If you pour it in while it is still hot, then the whole bar will take on a darker color because the chocolate will melt as you mix it.  It is still very delicious, but the appearance is darker.

*You can toast your nuts and seed in the oven before you add them to your mixture if you like.

* One of the great things about granola is that you can make your own combinations.  The above recipe happens to be our family favorite.  So below are some suggestions for your to make your own families favorite:

          GRANOLA BASE :  You can use all oats, or alter the ratio of rice cereal to oats;  Use your favorite gluten free cereal.
    
          NUTS AND/OR SEEDS:  Based on your allergies you can use a variation or none of these.   Almonds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, pecans, walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios.

          DRIED FRUIT:  If you are on the Feingold diet don't use berries, but dried pineapple is an option.    Otherwise you could use cherries, blueberries, cranberries or Craisins, apricots, prunes , raisins, figs, dates, chocolate chips ( you can use Enjoy Life if you are casein free).

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