This week’s guest post comes from Alisa Fleming, the founder of GoDairyFree.org and the author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance and Casein-Free Living. Aside from dairy-free diets, Alisa also caters information and recipes for gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, vegan and multiple food allergy diets.
Not surprisingly, I frequently receive questions from viewers about dairy substitutes, obtaining nutrients, and finding milk-free products. But in terms of recipes, I am always amazed by the number of requests I receive for snacks and “treats,” particularly from those dealing with multiple food allergies or sensitivities.
Though I used to be quite the baking fiend, I have transitioned into the world of “no bake” snacks and afternoon treats over the years for a few reasons: they are generally quicker and easier to prepare, customization and small batches for experimenting are a cinch and it is much easier to accommodate multiple food allergies. No gluten to bind or eggs to help rise? Not a problem, just enjoy it as is!
One of my favorite homemade snacks is still the Chewy No Bake Granola Bars from my book. Milk and other allergens hide in all types of premade foods, and granola bars are certainly one of them. Very few granola bars on the market (particularly those scrumptious chewy ones) are made without dairy but with all natural ingredients, thus I began making my own at home several years ago.
So … since I am a guest on the Enjoy Life Blog, I thought I would customize my granola bar recipe into a new crunchy snack using some food allergy-friendly ingredients from Enjoy Life Food’s product line-up. With the family gatherings this weekend, hop to it and make some tasty treats everyone can enjoy!
Since I often make mini-batches of no bake snacks, but don’t have an assortment of mini-pans, I typically make “rounds” instead of bars using silicon muffin pans. No cutting or greasing required, and anytime we need a snack, we just pop one out! This recipe is dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, and optionally gluten-free, nut-free, and/or vegan.
- 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup, Honey, Corn Syrup, or Agave Nectar (your choice)
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar or Evaporated Cane Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut or Palm Oil (not shortening)
- 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter, SunButter, or Your Favorite Nut or Seed Butter
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Generous Pinch or Two of Salt (omit if using salted nut or seed butter)
- 2 Tablespoons Ground Flaxseed
- 1 Cup Quick or Rolled Oats (use certified gluten-free oats or give quinoa flakes a go for gluten-free)
- 1 Cup Perky’s Crunchy Flax Cereal (can sub the rice cereal)
- 1/2 Cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips
- In a medium-sized saucepan or skillet, combine the two sweeteners and the oil, and gently warm over low heat while stirring until the sugar crystals have dissolved. This should just take a couple of minutes.
- Stir in the nut or seed butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Remove from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool for a couple of minutes.
- Stir in the flaxseed, followed by the oats and cereal.
- Now you have two choices here. If you want the chocolate chips to stay intact, let the mixture cool for few more minutes, and then stir in the chocolate chips. Or, if you are antsy like me, stir in the chocolate chips right away. They may melt a little against the warm pan, but I like them that way.
- The mixture will be crumbly, but that is okay. Press it firmly into an 8 x 8 pan (use saran wrap or wax paper over your hand if it threatens to stick while pressing) or into 10 to 12 muffin tins. Make sure it is packed in there nicely, and then place the bars into the freezer to chill for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Cut into bars or pop them out and eat. Store them in the refrigerator to keep fresh and from getting too soft.
Yields 10 to 12 snack bars