You know what I love?
When you have half a blog post written and the internet cuts out on you and you have to start over again. Good times. 🙂
But you know what I love even more than that? These granola bars.
Ever since I found out that I’m riddled with food allergies, I’ve been on the quest to replace my usual snacks (fruit + nut butter, yogurt, etc.) with things I can easily digest that are free of allergens.
I discussed a few options with my friend Lindsay (who is a whiz at this sort of thing if you’re interested!), and I sat on it for a week or two before I came up with any good ideas. In the meantime, I hesitantly swapped my trusty homemade nut butter for some store-bought tahini, which is made from sesame seeds. I’m allergic to almonds, so I’m likely allergic to other tree nuts, and I’m staying away from peanuts because they’re a common allergen and are hard on the stomach to digest. I also have cross-reactivity going on with sunflower seeds (they’re related to ragweed), so I’m stuck with sesame seeds. But they’re delicious. Tahini is a bit bitter, so it’s an interesting twist on the usual.
Anywho. Granola bars!
Because that’s what you came for.
I decided to try my hand at making granola bars after trying some Awesome Bars this weekend. They reminded me of these granola bars my dad used to make in the microwave (my dad used to make everything in the microwave, in case you’re curious), and I decided to see what I could do to make something similar. I did some internet research and came across a few recipes.
I realized that the basic fool-proof formula for granola bars boils down to this:
- 1/3 part nut butter of choice
- 1/3 part fat of choice
- 1/3 part sugar* of choice
- 1 part dry ingredients of choice
*Note that this says “sugar” not “sweetener”. Needs to be a sugar (honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, agave, etc.) and not a sweetener (stevia or artificial chemical bomb sweeteners) because it needs to crystallize to hold the bars together. I’m going to try it with less sugar, but I’m guessing that the basrs will not hold together.
So, naturally, I decided to test my theory. Here’s what I came up with:
Calee's Allergy-free granola bars
- 2/3 c tahini
- 2/3 c virgin coconut oil
- 1/3 c honey
- 1/3 c brown sugar
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 c gluten-free brown rice cereal
- 1 c muesli (dried fruit + flax seed + pumpkin seeds + gluten-free oats)
- Note that these are allergy-free specific to my needs. You may need to adjust for yours.
- Mix the tahini, coconut oil, and sugar in a large bowl.
- Microwave for 2-3 minutes until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Stir in the dry ingredients, muesli first so the rice cereal doesn’t get soggy.
- Press into a 9×12 (or 2 8×8) pan(s).
- Refrigerate for a few hours, then cut and enjoy.