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 avid 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 advantages 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 A’s food along (that is safe) or I make it.
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. But be forewarned, some contain barley malt syrup, so read!
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!