By contributing writer Tessa
Cereal bars are one of those universally appealing kid favorites. I had several brands we were comfortable with before we went gluten free, but take the gluten out and your options dwindle to almost nil. The options that are available leave a lot to be desired for this whole-foods momma (in taste and quality of ingredients).
As with most things, by turning to the kitchen, you can make a far superior product that is not only more wholesome for your children, but also saves you money! That’s the case with these gluten-free cereal bars, which happen to be vegan too.
You have options in the sugar you use here. I choose coconut palm sugar as it is a less refined product that has more nutrients than cane sugar. It is also lower glycemic than cane sugar and costs between $3-5 a pound. It has a lovely molasses-like flavor and is used 1 for 1 to replace sugar in recipes. Most health food stores are carrying it now, often in bulk too. I purchase mine online via amazon Subscribe & Save for the best deal!
These are surprisingly easy to make and people always want the recipe!
Gluten-Free Cereal Bars
- 1 cup gluten free oat flour (you can make your own oat flour by grinding rolled oats in a coffee grinder or blender until a fine powder is achieved)
- 1 cup teff flour (or more oat or brown rice flour) If you can do gluten, spelt and whole wheat pastry flour should work great!
- 1/2 cup palm sugar or brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons chia meal or flax meal (this is simply flax or chia seeds whirred in a coffee grinder)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup any oil (melted coconut oil, light olive oil, grapeseed oil, etc)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2-1 cup favorite jelly (I used my own homemade honey sweetened strawberry jam). If your jelly is very thin like some low sugar jelly’s are, it is okay to add a couple of tablespoons of tapioca flour or arrowroot starch to thicken it up if you like!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients (oat flour through the salt) in a medium bowl.
- In a liquid measuring cup, whisk the wet ingredients.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mix and blend and knead until a soft dough is formed. I use my hands to do this, a mixer would also work. You may add a couple tablespoons milk if it is necessary. Divide the dough in half.
- Grease an 8 x 8 pan or line with parchment paper.
- Place half the dough on a piece of parchment (or plastic wrap/non-stick baking mat/waxed paper), place another piece of parchment over the top, and roll it out into a rough 8 x 8 square.
- Invert the rolled dough into the prepared pan, pressing and smooshing until the bottom crust is dispersed evenly. If you used parchment, you can set the whole piece with the dough right into the pan.
- Gently remove the parchment (if you used it underneath, leave it there!)
- Spread your jelly evenly over the bottom crust.
- Roll out the top crust in the same manner as the bottom and flip over onto the top of the filling. Press and smoosh with the parchment in place and then remove when you are happy! I have also just moved pieces of the dough and overlapped pieces as a top crust…works great too, just doesn't look as pretty!
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the center is set.
- Let cool completely to firm up and slice into desired shapes.
- Store in an airtight container, or wrap each bar individually for storage in the freezer (helps to fill those lunchboxes quickly on harried mornings!)
More Food Allergy Friendly Recipes:
- Homemade LaraBars
- Gluten Free Zucchini Bread
- Apple Whip Dessert (Gluten Free)
- Quick & Healthy Fudge (Dairy Free)
- Meatloaf Cupcakes with Paleo and Egg Free Options
- Cream of Potato Soup (Gluten Free)
- Spaghetti Squash with Chunky Tomato Sauce (Gluten Free)
Find more delicious meal ideas at the The Happy Housewife Recipe Index.