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Gluten is a source of protein contained in foods that are processed from wheat, barley and rye, and it is also used as an additive to many food products. We have recently become more aware of the negative role this protein may play in our diets. Doctors are increasingly diagnosing patients with allergies or celiac disease, and prescribing a gluten free diet to keep their patients healthy. Symptoms can range from bloating and diarrhea to joint pain and small intestine damage. Fortunately, with careful planning and preparation, you can easily avoid these symptoms by making changes to what you eat. Many of your favorite recipes can be adapted with simple substitutions, such as cornmeal, rice flour, or potato flakes. Take granola bars, for instance. The next time you are wondering "how do I make gluten free granola bars?" try one of the following simple recipes for a healthy and nutritious snack.
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Chewy Granola Bars
- 2 1/4 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats
- 3/4 cup ground flax seed or puffed rice
- 3/4 cup sunflower or sesame seeds
- 1 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews, macadamias, almonds)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup honey
- 5 teaspoons coconut or olive oil
- 1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, apricots, cherries, pineapple)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
2. Combine the first five dry ingredients in a large bowl and then spread out onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Place in the oven and toast the dry ingredients for 12 to 15 minutes until light, golden brown. Stir every 4 to 5 minutes to prevent burning.
3. Put your dry, toasted ingredients back into the large bowl
4. Place a small pan over medium heat and add the honey and oil. Heat slowly and stir constantly until small bubbles just begin to form. Do not allow to boil.
5. Add in the dried fruit and stir until the fruit is soft.
6. Turn the heat off your fruit sauce and stir in the cinnamon and vanilla.
7. Pour your sauce over the dry toasted ingredients in the bowl. Mix well until all the ingredients are moistened.
8. Press your mixture into 9x13-inch pan lined with waxed paper or foil.
9. Allow to cool and cut into bars.
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Crunchy Granola Bars
- 2 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews, macadamias, almonds)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 medium eggs
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, apricots, cherries, pineapple)
1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
2. In a large bowl mix the oats, nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon.
3. In a small bowl mix the butter, milk, vanilla and eggs.
4. Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until all the oats are moistened.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips or dried fruit.
6. Spread evenly into a greased 9x13-inch pan lined with foil.
7. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes until light, golden brown.
8. Allow to cool and cut into bars.
Once your friends and family try these tasty granola bars, they will be the next ones asking "how do I make gluten free granola bars?"
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Celiac Sprue Association: Gluten-Free Recipes - http://www.csaceliacs.org/recipes.php
Mayo Clinic: Gluten-Free Diet - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gluten-free-diet/MY01140
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