A Great Traveling, GF Recipe

GF=gluten free.  Last November my dad died of cancers that everyone is pretty sure stemmed directly from unchecked celiac disease.  In January, we were all having some stomach issues, but especially me.  In April we decided to cut out gluten to see if it could help.  It did.  Infinitely.  We've found that 3 of the 5 of us are at the very least sensitive to gluten, if we're not celiac.  So we stay away and we also treasure recipes that are easy, healthy and delicious.  (note: people new to GF, not all GF foods are healthy.  In fact, they are usually MORE processed and cruddy than the items you're trying to replace.  Be careful.)

In April, I took a GF cooking class at Whole Foods in Kansas.  I had a great time and found our favorite ever granola bar recipe.  I do mean EVER.  That it's GF is just a bonus.

Granola "Traveling" Bars
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
2/3 cup maple syrup, honey, sorghum syrup or barley malt combo.  (I always use honey & maple syrup)
2 Tbsp black strap molasses
1 cup GF oats, ground to a fine powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup more GF oats
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 cup puffed millet
1/3 cup hemp or flax seeds, or a combo, whole and ground
2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2/3 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup dried tart cherries, raisins or cranberries
(or about 2.5 cups any combo of nut, seeds and dried fruit)

Tara's Note: Allan and I love this recipe as is, but we found the littles were put off by the pumpkin seeds and cherries, so I upped the other grains/seeds and added rainbow, chocolate covered sunflower seeds.  They are stoked.  It adds a bit more sugar, but not much and it gets the other good stuff in their bodies without fuss. MOM WIN!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Warm oil, syrup & molasses in a stainless bowl over very low heat.

In a food processor or blender, grind first cup of oats to a flour.  Add salt and soda and grind again to combine.  Add ingredients one at a time and pulse to chop and combine.  You want nuts and fruits chopped, but still have some shape.

Add the dry ingredients to warmed wet ingredients.  Mix with a strong spatula, the mixture will be stiff and dry.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Press the mixture firmly onto the paper.  It should be very dense and compact.  (wetting your fingers helps)

Bake 13-18 minutes or until lightly browned and puffy.  Immediately remove bars by pulling parchment with bars onto cutting board.  Cool 5 minutes.

Cut into rectangles while still warm.  Allow to cool completely on parchment.  Remove and store in ziploc bag.

We were told these would last a couple weeks in the fridge.  We haven't had them last so long, so we don't know.  They travel great.  Some of ours on the last trip got a bit crumbly...seems to me they were begging to be crumbled over some yogurt or into a bowl of milk for breakfast.  YUM! 

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