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Gluten Free/Casein Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars and Banana Bread

by Jeanette on March 8, 2011 · 20 Comments
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Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

When I recently discovered my youngest son was allergic to wheat (among many other foods), I was at a total loss.
He could no longer have pancakes, muffins, bagels, banana bread or any bread for that matter. Not only was wheat flour out of the question, but so were dairy and eggs. Anyone who bakes knows that most recipes call for flour, butter and eggs. Although we know my son is allergic to wheat, and have not confirmed that he is allergic to gluten, I’ve found it easier just to put him on a gluten-free diet. As I searched for gluten free products at the local stores, including Whole Foods, I found that most gluten free baked goods include either eggs or dairy. Also, many use rice flour and starches rather than more nutritious whole grain or bean flours. This is when I decided I needed to familiarize myself with baking gluten-free.

One of the first people I met on this gluten-free journey was Lexie of Lexie’s Kitchen. Lexie’s recipes are all free of gluten and casein, created to heal her toddler’s health through nutrition. Lexie has been so kind and generous with her advice, and she has steered me to a whole new world for me — an entire community of gluten free bloggers! I am amazed and have been inspired by how creative these gluten free bloggers are. Most of them have had to alter their cooking due to celiac or gluten allergies.

This month, Lexie is hosting the monthly Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger Event, and I decided to give it a whirl. One of the gluten-free bloggers I have admired from afar is Heidi of Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom. Not only does Heidi have celiac, but so does one of her children, and she has another child who is non-celiac gluten-sensitive, along with a casein and egg allergy. Heidi has a terrific collection of gluten-free/dairy(and casein)/egg free recipes, most of which are “normal” recipes adapted to be gluten-free/dairy/egg free. I’ve been wanting to try some of Heidi’s recipes so this was the perfect excuse.

For this event, I chose two sweet recipes. I’ve found it much easier to cook savory foods gluten/dairy/egg free, but baking has been a real challenge for me. Heidi’s Banana Bread and Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars caught my eye since these are both kid-friendly.

Heidi’s Gluten-Free Banana Bread was as easy to make as regular banana bread. I used a mixture of ground flax seeds and water to substitute for eggs, and because I used a gluten-free all-purpose flour that did not contain xanthan gum (Bob’s Red Mill), I added 1 teaspoon of xanthun gum to help bind the batter.

Gluten-Free Banana Bread is easy to make.
This Gluten-Free Banana Bread has a wonderful texture, you’ll never know it’s gluten-free.

Heidi’s Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars were just as easy to make. I simply put all the ingredients in one bowl, mixed it all up, spread it in a pan and baked it. 

All the ingredients for these Gluten-Free Granola Bars are mixed in one bowl, it’s so simple.
It’s really not that hard to make gluten-free treats after some practice.
These Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Granola Bars are so good even if you’re not on a gluten-free diet!

Wow, I am so happy I joined this fun event! I whipped up Heidi’s Banana Bread and Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars and they were absolutely out of this world! The texture of the banana bread is indistinguishable from the banana bread I used to make with wheat flour, and the granola bars are so tasty, I ate two right out of the pan! Both of these recipes got a thumbs up from my boys.

Although my other three children are not allergic to wheat, dairy or eggs, they have been enjoying gluten-free treats just as much as my little guy (they don’t even realize they’re eating gluten-free!). In fact, I’ve found my little guy guarding his special treats lately from his older brothers, who are a bit envious of how tasty his gluten-free foods are.

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  1. I love these recipes you're sharing because not only do they look tasty you present them in a way that inspires me to try them as well! Those granola bars look SO good!

  2. Jeanette says:

    Thanks Marly, these are definitely worth trying. They make great snacks for school too!

  3. That's great that you've found food for your little one that's good for him and he really enjoys. I'm constantly trying to find healthy and enjoyable snacks for my two terrors.

  4. jeanetteshealthyliving says:

    Thanks Ryan, I'm so glad I found these two recipes, both so easy to make healthy treats and tasty! My son asked to bring the banana bread to school again today!

  5. Pretend Chef says:

    I have been so happy for you at hearing all of the yummies you are making for your son. I remember your first post upon learning his diagnosis and how at a loss you were at. Hopefully it just keeps getting easier and easier for you all. Itty bitty would love both of these treats. I need to whip up a batch of them now!

  6. Jeanette says:

    Thanks Rochelle, figuring out gluten-free baking has gotten easier with more practice. It's actually not hard at all, the trickier thing is making any raised breads I think (especially since my son is also allergic to eggs). That is my next challenge.

  7. Feast on the Cheap says:

    Those chewy granola bars looks REALLY good. Better than the store-bought variety for sure.

  8. Jeanette says:

    These granola bars are really outstanding, plus they have no nuts so they're perfect for school snacks (our school does not permit snacks with nuts in the classroom).

  9. Heidi @ Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom says:

    Oh WOW Jeanette, your pictures are AMAZING!! Thank you so much for 'adopting' me, I've been pouring over your delectable recipes for the past couple of days and I can't wait to try some!


  10. Heidi, this event was so much fun and I really enjoyed looking through all your gluten-free recipes – what an wonderful resource and inspiration for anyone new to gluten-free cooking/baking!

  11. Lovely post, Jeanette! You have no idea how timely this is. I've been collecting ideas for homemade granola bars. Your post is so helpful! Glad to have met your through the Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger event!

  12. Thanks Heather. This was such a fun event, a great way to try recipes I've been looking at, as well as a terrific opportunity to meet other gluten-free bloggers.

  13. These granola bars and banana bread sound wonderful. I would never miss the gluten or dairy with treats this good 😉

  14. Jeanette says:

    Thanks Marla, you're absolutely right. My non-allergic kids loved these treats and didn't even ask if they were gluten/dairy free! In fact, they're a little envious of all the "special" treats my little guys been getting, and have been munching away at them!

  15. gfe--gluten free easily says:

    Jeanette–You're talking about two of my favorite folks in Lexie and Heidi. I'm so happy they are my friends in real life, too. :-) Lexie did a terrific job hosting the adoption event and is always helping folks go down new paths with ease. Great adoption of Heidi, too! All your photos are wonderful.


  16. Jeanette says:

    Shirley, you're so lucky that you have Lexie and Heidi as friends. I've found the gluten-free community to be so generous in sharing their knowledge. I'm hoping to do the same.

  17. Tasty Eats At Home says:

    Great post! I love Heidi's blog, and love how she recreates allergy-friendly treats that seem like "normal" for herself and her children. These look delicious!

  18. Jeanette says:

    It's always so encouraging when I can recreate a treat that makes my son feel "normal." Fortunately there is a large and generous community of gluten-free bloggers from whom to learn.

  19. autism supplement says:

    Those receipes look delicious. I also like your pictures. Once you eliminate all the regular flour and dairy in your house, and you practice with a few recipes, then it becomes a little easier to follow a gluten and casein-free diet.

    Thank you for sharing!

  20. Jeanette says:

    Both of these recipes turned out great! I couldn't agree more,that it's a big step to eliminate wheat flour and dairy, but once you take the leap, it becomes easier and easier to bake gluten/casein free.

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