|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.