Tasty and mostly simple food for the whole family.

Tasty, healthy, simple, verstile, practical, seasonal, fun food for all to enjoy. I will endeavour to make things gluten-free, dairy-free (cow's milk only here, I'm not super-human), and low sugar as able. I hope others feel motivated to add their recipes to this collection so we can all try them. Thank you!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Chewy Granola Bars - Gluten-free (naturally)/Dairy-free

This is very fast, easy to make and couldn't possibly be more versatile or flexible.  Every time I make this, I tell my good friend, Bert "I made bars again, I think these are my best yet".  They are always different based on what I have on  hand and I benefit from the difference each time.  The inspiration for these came even before going the gluten/dairy free route for me.  As a new mom, I found that it was hard for me to find good, healthy and fulfilling snacks to keep me going during the day without eating just junk or not eating at all.  If you aren't in need of dairy-free, the other version is ridiculously amazing and I will post it next.  This version is super tasty, but more healthy tasting, too. Truly, there is no need to be precise with the ingredients or amounts, as long as it is gooey as a batter and sticks together.  What I put down here is what I currently have been enjoying, but it will change next time.... These last for ages, too.  Also, one time I made them and decided the next day that they were too gooey so I cooked them again and it worked great!  Really, these can't messed up.

  • 2c Rolled oats, gluten-free if needed (I prefer the chewiness of regular, quick are also delicious)
  • 1c Toasted brown rice cereal (totally optional, but good for texture variation and lightens it up)
  • 1-2c mixed dried fruit (I just use currants and keep it to 1c since I don't like things too sweet)
  • 2c mixed chopped nuts (I like a mix of blanched almonds, pine nuts, pecans, cashews & soy nuts)
  • 1/2-1tsp salt (again, totally optional, but I like a more savory flavor.  You could use some salty nuts as well- yum!
  • 1/2c natural peanut butter
  • 1/2c unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/3c low-sugar jam or preserves

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper and grease or spray with non-stick spray.  If you are adding lots of nuts and rice cereal, maybe you will need a 9x13 pan.

In large bowl, mix the dry ingredients. In smaller bowl or in a large measuring cup, mix the wet ingredients well.  Pour the wet into the dry and mix together.

Pour the mix into your prepared pan and pat down- they should be maybe 1-2 inches thick.  Cook for ~30 minutes, 'til browned around sides and top.  It may still seem a bit gooey.

Let cool in pan ~10  minutes before transfering to cooling rack and cooling completely.  Cut them into 12-16 squares as you like.

gooey into the pan!
Just done

The corner is the best part!

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