Tag Archives: Gluten free

No- granola bars

After playing around with different ingredients, I finally have  a kid friendly, nutrient dense,  snack bar! There were quite a few requirements that needed to be met.  Firstly  it had to be gluten free , dairy free, peanut free, sesame free and refined sugar free; and then it had to be nutritious and delicious.  Quite a tall order, considering some of my kids wanted something like a rice-crispy-treat, chocolate chip cookie, sunflower seed, almond something…


So, I let the kids, at least the more picky ones ( I am not saying that any of my kids are picky), help choose some of the ingredients. At the end of the day, this is a snack for them and if they don’t eat it, well, then I haven’t accomplished anything except a very full belly since I will be left to eat what I made.  The kids  will still be asking for store bought gluten free granola bars or rice-crispy-treats which are so sweet,  they may as well have a real cookie instead and they also  don’t really have much in  there that I would call super nutritious.  In addition it would be pretty costly, since I would need 2 boxes for everyone to have one – and as all mothers know, one is never enough. So, if they want a cookie,  I say give them a cookie, but if they want a snack bar – lets pack in the nutrition, with just  a few compromises.

Since this is not rocket science you can substitute some of the ingredients or even omit some.


  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed
  • 1/3 cup almond butter ( you could use another nut butter)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds ( you could use sesame seeds)
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds or pecans
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax meal
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup toasted rice cereal (crushed)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips or raisins
  • optional  5 drops stevia for a sweeter snack
  • optional 1/3 cup of shredded coconut
  1. preheat oven to 325 F grease 8 x 8  inch baking pan with oil of your choice.
  2. In a food processor pulse pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and slivered almonds or pecans, just to break them up, but not  turn them into mush.
  3. Add almond butter, coconut oil, syrup, and vanilla.
  4. Add almond flour, flax meal and baking soda.
  5. Gently  stir in chia or sesame seeds, chocolate chips or raisins and toasted rice cereal.
  6. Press the batter into the baking pan, wet your hands or use a spatula to to pat down.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Let cool and then cut into squares.  They can be stored in plastic wrap in the fridge for snacks for school, camp or travel.


How we survived Chanukah – gluten free

imageI had meant to post this around Chanukah time and I know it was over a month ago. I was just  going to file this post  away and move on to the next topic, when I realized something.  Yes, Chanukah is way behind us, the menorahs have been cleaned, dreidels put away and recipes are back in their place.  But, if you are anything like me, you know that life happens, kids need to be cared for and that  reality often  does not reflect the image portrayed by a blog or a photo.  I  realized that  this information is going to be useful for anyone dealing with family  members who are gluten free; the recipes could be used for other holidays or family gatherings; the cookies could even be made for pesach, since they are grain free!   Also, if you are anything like me, with a busy bustling family, you  just might find yourself scrambling the day before chanukah next year, looking for last minute recipes and ideas and then you will remember that I did do a chanukah post!

In all honesty,  we didn’t  just survive chanukah but actually ate very well. Yes,  we did eat latkes, homemade, gluten free and über yum.  I  used  my mother in law’s original recipe; grated potatoes, grated onions, eggs, salt , pepper and fried in coconut oil ( OK , she didn’t use coconut oil).  No added flour or starch and they were crispy too. We also made latkes from purple potatoes for those who are trying to avoid white potatoes, but still love the taste, or just for a burst of color. Another hit with some of the family, were latkes made from  combinations of potato, sweet potato, apples and ginger.  For those that love the savory and spicy, you can always add some garlic or a little sriracha.

Latkes, are easy enough to make gluten free, but what about doughnuts? Well, yes, we did eat gluten free doughnuts too. Scrumptious, delicious “babycakes” doughnuts.  If you didn’t already know, babycakes are gluten free, vegan and refined sugar free, best of all they really do taste good. We have made our own from scratch, doughnuts before, but this was well worth the expense for a special occasion.  Even I had one, ok maybe two.  Thankfully, we don’t get babycakes that often, although I am sure my kids would be saying “unfortuantely” we don’t get them  often enough! They also freeze well in case you have leftovers or in case you want  a few leftovers – no-one needs to know. To top it off, since you know, latkes and doughnuts were just not enough for us my daughter baked these awesome grain free and refined sugar free, chanukah shaped linzer cookies. What a treat! She got the recipe  from the blog http://www.healthfulpursuit.com/2012/06/raspberry-linzer-cookies-vegan-grain-free/
imageSo, in the end we ate all the traditional food and then some. The kids loved chanukah, of course they lit their own  menorahs, sang songs (well some did) and played dreidel. But mostly they didn’t feel like they missed out on anything due to being gluten free . They have great memories of family fun and food – mission accomplished!

The truth is, it did take some effort and planning, but frying latkes or even just feeding a family our size takes effort, whether we are gluten free or not.  Holidays can be very stressful times for families with food allergies.  Even though we adults want to impress upon our kids the spiritual side of our traditions, we want them to have warm, happy, meaningful memories to draw on as they grow up.  Somehow, food always plays a major role, no matter what we are celebrating.  For a child who has food allergies and has the everyday experience of not being able to eat this and that and only these etc;  putting in the effort to make their holiday special has a huge impact.  A positive one at that.  Iam still hearing from the kids  about those amazing doughnuts and cookies and I should probably be planning for Purim already, but as you already guessed, I will probably be scrambling the week before too!!!! What special foods have you made for family members with food allergies? I only addressed gluten free here but would love to hear about other allergy free foods your kids love.

Almond butter banana chocolate chip muffins

imageThese muffins are so yummy. When I bake them, they are usually gone before they have had the chance to cool down!  If your kids are in any way like mine, you might want to double the recipe. One of my sons always says ” best muffins ever, make some more please, please, please”

Gluten free and Grain free

Look Ma….no flour!   But you will need your hands to whip up these muffins. No flour, no starches, no grains: nada.  Good ole Almond butter or Cashew butter or even Sunflower seed butter, though I haven’t tried that one yet.  At this point , you are probably thinking, o.k. she said yummy, her kids said yummy, but they are probably really dense. Surprise – they are super light and moist.

Nutritious and delicious

While these muffins have passed the taste test, they also have a high nutrient score. Packed with protein in every bite and just lightly sweetened.  Almond butter contains several essential water soluble and fat soluble vitamins,  is a good source of magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and even vitamin E.  In addition, Almond butter contains calcium, iron,  zinc and trace amounts of B vitamins. It is also a source of omega 3 fatty acids. Even though these are sweet,  they are a great snack and combined with the eggs and banana they are filling too.


  • 1 cup Almond butter ( or other nut butter)
  • 2 medium size bananas
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup ( 1 is sweet enough for us)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips ( I use these)
  • Optional topping of cinnamon and coconut sugar, or just cinnamon to sprinkle on top.


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Mix all ingredients together except for the chocolate chips and optional topping.  You can use a blender or a food processor.
  • Mix well.
  • Pour into a greased muffin tin or muffin/cupcake cups. Makes 12 regular muffins or 24 mini muffins.
  • Add optional topping.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or 10 minutes for mini muffins.
  • Cool on  wire rack if possible. Bon appetit!