Friday, January 30, 2015

Something sweet to eat during an elimination diet

If you fnd yourself in the throes of an elimination diet and pretty much can't eat anything, this is the perfect thing to put a smile back on  your face for a moment or two.  (Until you realize that what you really want is a croissant, of course, but you can't bloody have one of those.)  It is rather unfortunate though that I only discovered this recipe on day 23 of my no gluten, no dairy, no eggs, no soy, no booze diet -- which is technically the last day before I start reintroducing.  But who cares, these things are wonderful, and I intend to keep making them even if I'm not actually allergic to everything under the sun. (Please, God, don't let me be allergic to everything under the sun!)

These are a fabulous alternative to those nasty Lara bars I sometimes buy in a fit of desperation, too.  These have texture, these have ingredients you can actually see and recognize, and these are not just an emulsified sticky mess. Instead they are more like a healthy, protein-packed oatmeal cookie that really fills you up. That being said, they are not the sort of thing to eat as you wander around the house, or maybe while driving.  They are crumbly sons a bitches and you will leave a trail in your wake. So grab a napkin. Or a plate. Or a platter. Depending on the size of the bar that you've just broken off. Or just do as I do, stand in the kitchen and scarf down the lot.

To-Go Breakfast Bars

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup uncooked millet
1 1/4 cups chopped mixed nuts and/or seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries or similar dried fruit
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup peanut or almond butter
1/4 cup refined coconut oil or olive oil (I used unrefined and was quite fine with my decision)
2 tablespoons white or brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 9x13 baking sheet with enough parchment so that you have edges to lift the bars out once they've baked and cooled.

In a large skillet, toast the oats, quinoa, and millet over medium-low heat, stirring around so they toast evenly.  In a large bowl, combine the nuts and cranberies.  (I used a mix of pumpkin seeds, pinenuts, sunflower seeds, and sliced almonds.)  Once the oats et al are toasty, add them to the bowl, along with the salt, and mix.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla. Heat over medium-low, stirring until everything is melted. Pour the liquidy stuff over the dry mix and stir until everything is nicely coated.

Pour the entire mixture onto the baking sheet, and then press the mixture down with the back of a wooden spoon until it is compact and squashed in all nice-like. Bake for 25-30 minutes, keeping an eye so the edges don't burn.  Let it cool completely, then place it in the fridge for a bit.  Once cold, they can be cut into bars, or left whole to br broken off at your leisure. They keep best in the fridge.
(Recipe from the ever-so-marvelous Thug Kitchen.)

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