I am slowly finding more ways to adapt and make treats for my boys, that work for Alistaire’s allergies and yet have everyone else happy. And this brings me to something. I have to remember every day to not judge others though, which is never easy – no matter your background.
I follow a few allergy support groups for moms online and found myself feeling way out. I think what it is, is that in blogging I am surrounded by others who see the world in a similar view. And being an avoid cook, I am willing to make whatever I can from scratch to avoid potential issues with my family’s diet. Suddenly, I was reading threads on how moms could still buy highly processed foods and what was potential cross contamination or contained peanuts/nuts. And I found myself feeling overly pious/nose in the air “Why can’t you people just BAKE YOUR OWN bread! Arguing if Sarah Lee bread is OK? That Hostess products from certain plants are nut-free?. Make them donuts from scratch!” Oh wait, not everyone cooks, creates or even knows where to start. Before I spout off…I have to back up and think it out. When all you (my readers) ask something, you expect hand-crafted answers. They are just trying to get through the store. And so…I suddenly felt like a natural food freak from the town of Hippyville, Crunchtown, where these ladies are from Anytown, Middle America. I have some advantges in a way – I like cooking/baking, I know how to shop for special needs diet already and have local access to natural food stores. But more…with his having 5 food allergies, it is past the point of finding processed foods he can have. He is in a niche of a niche. There are only a handful of companies that make safe foods – no gluten, eggs, dairy, peanuts or tree nuts. So I guess I don’t have to worry if boy can eat Hostess Ding Dongs safely. He will never have one!
I go buy the theory of “If in doubt, go without” – which means I bring B’s food along (that is safe) or I make it. Which I might add, I read that one in the newest issue of Living Without Magazine.
In the end….I am responsible for him. And I want him to enjoy the foods he can! It encourages me to keep making more, trying new ideas. In this one I adapted a peanut and nut filled recipe and made it for him. Delicious!
Allergy Friendly Chocolate Covered Cherry Granola Bars
- 2½ cups crisp rice cereal (see notes)
- 1½ cups 1 minute quick cooking or old-fashioned oats, gluten-free (see notes)
- ½ cup Dried Cherries
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips (vegan/GF/nut safe)
- ¾ cup SunButter Natural Sunflower Seed Spread
- ¼ cup raw honey
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
Spray or lightly oil a 9×13″ pan. Line with parchment paper cut to fit bottom of pan, and up the end sides. Spray or oil the paper.
Mix the cereal, oats, cherries and chocolate chips together in a large bowl.
Add the Sunbutter, honey, maple syrup and brown sugar to a medium mixing bowl, heat in microwave for 1 minute on high. Remove and stir until smooth.
Add to dry mix, stir till thoroughly combined with a silicone spatula. Pack into prepared pan, pressing down evenly.
Let cool for an hour, cut with a sharp knife into bars. Wrap each bar individually. For best storage, keep in refrigerator or freezer until snack time.
On crisp rice cereal, I have found the store brands to be safer than the name brand – mostly due to the ingredient list. Does one need high fructose corn syrup in it? No. So read the labels, you might find the generic looks better as well.
I don’t often keep quick oats in the house, so I take regular old-fashioned oats and run them through my mini-food chopper to blitz up a bit. This works just fine!