Other · Trail Cooking · Vegetarian

Allergy Friendly Chocolate Covered Cherry Granola Bars

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



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!

3 thoughts on “Allergy Friendly Chocolate Covered Cherry Granola Bars

  1. I have a question. I have spent the last day looking through your ideas and am definitely going to use some (I couldn’t get the link to dehydrating indian food to work – and I have had issues with that in the past with a rancid curry)! I am a gluten free vegan (celiac, allergic to dairy, and the no meat by a lifelong choice) and was hoping you might have some ideas of how to preserve granola bars?

    I have made my bars for short hikes before following the freeze until needed method. However, I am hoping to do the JMT trail this summer – which involves sending food weeks in advance. While there are companies that do make gluten free vegan bars – there is nothing more satisfying than eating a homemade bar (even though it takes time).

    In the past I have taken a hearty quinoa type meal bar (with almonds and cranberry or goji berries) that I have cooked, baked, and then dehydrated (a little) to get them to last for 4 day hikes. We didn’t individually wrap them though – instead had a big bag of bars per day for both my husband and I. However, we noticed that they didn’t last much longer than the 4 days (i.e. they weren’t edible on the overnight trip home).

    I am really looking for 2 things as you seem to have many wonderful ideas and be much more experienced that I am. 1) A savory meal bar that is dehydrated and thus has a long shelf life. 2) A sweet (GF oats or rice cereal) type bar with a long shelf life. Anything that you might be able to offer would be fantastic.

    Thank you.

  2. Partly the problem is whole food bars, handmade, can spoil in the heat in summer. The individual wrapping really makes a difference though – because it would keep dirty hands out of the bag, if that makes sense 🙂 Cheese stays fresher for example in single servings versus a big block you handle often – and same with trail mix. Hands are notorious for spoiling food.
    Having said that, there are a couple of brands out there of bars, one is Epic, which is GF and is made with meat.

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