21 Feb 2012
One of the big problems people encounter on a gluten-free diet is getting enough grains and fiber. Many store-bought products are starch-heavy and don’t include whole grains. Another problem is the increased amount of fat and calories in processed gluten-free snacks when compared to their wheat based counterparts. Though this helps improve the flavor and texture, it isn’t always good for the waistline.
I’m a big believer in moderation. Don’t get the wrong idea – my life isn’t usually balanced. Instead, balance is something I practice on a daily basis. It’s a long way from the perfection I used to think was so important.
Moderation plays into my daily diet as well. Instead of striving to be perfectly healthy, which I did for years and failed, I strive for progress. If you’re not an avid green smoothie drinker, a lover of raw veggies, and happier with fruit than you are with ice cream, you might think I’m extreme. It didn’t happen overnight. I’ve been at this almost a decade and I still have a long way to go.
I take a moderate approach in my baking, too. I love to take recipes and make them a little healthier. Again, I’m not striving for perfectly healthy.
When I was a kid, I loved eating cereal with my dad in the morning. He would slice a banana over my bowl and I’d smile. There was something about the crispy cereal, the sweet banana, and the cold milk that I loved.
So why not take my favorite childhood bowl of cereal and make it into a healthier snack bar?
That’s exactly what I did.
I took Erewhon’s whole-grain Gluten-Free Crispy Brown Rice Cereal and their Gluten-Free Cornflakes, threw them in the food processor, added some potassium-loaded bananas, creamy almond butter, fiber-rich coconut flour, and made a snack bar that could pass as dessert.
Add a glass of milk and it’s almost like eating my favorite childhood breakfast all over again.
These little bars are great right from the freezer, too. I wrapped them in individual servings and popped them in the freezer.
Moms can use these bars to their kids for an after school snack. They’re the perfect middle ground – kids get a snack they love and moms can feel good knowing that it includes whole grains and fiber.
This recipe is gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and contains dairy only in the form of the carob chips. I use unsweetened carob chips because they’re naturally sweet and don’t use any refined sugars. Feel free to substitute your favorite dairy-free chocolate chips if you prefer.
What does moderation look like in your diet?
Banana Carob Chip Snack Bars
makes 16 bars
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 large organic eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened carob chips
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare an 8 x 8-inch square baking pan by lightly coating with oil.
Put the Erewhon Gluten-Free Cornflakes and Crispy Brown Rice Cereal in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Cover and process until finely ground. Add the coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Pulse until combined.
Add the almond butter, mashed banana, honey, melted coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla extract to the flour mixture in the food processor. Pulse several times then puree until combined. Add carob chips and pulse several times to incorporate, taking care not to chop them to pieces.
Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake for 18 – 22 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through. Let cool in the pan before serving.
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