May 17-23 marks National Eosinophil Awareness week, and to mark the occasion Kids With Food Allergies introduces guest blogger Elizabeth DiBurro of EBL Food Allergies. She shares recipes and tips on parenting with multiple food allergies and EoE. Her son was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) in 2012 after symptoms of difficulty swallowing, which later progressed to a temporary inability to swallow solid foods. She cooks all of his meals at home (with the help of her husband) and chooses not to eat out at restaurants with her son due to the amount and severity of his allergies. Today, she will share one of her family’s favorite snack recipes, Super Awesome Granola Bars, which are packed with protein and free of the top 8 allergens and gluten.
One of my goals when my son was first diagnosed with EoE was to add protein to his diet. I needed to find a food that he wanted to eat that was free of the top 8 allergens, which is how I came up with this super yummy granola bar recipe. Seriously, you won’t be disappointed with this one.
I frequently change up the ingredients. I’ve tried dried apricot and coconut, dried apple and raisins, and dried cherries and chocolate.
Here is my favorite: raisin (golden and regular), dried cranberry, and chocolate. I’ve also used the molasses mixture to drizzle on top of salted freshly popped popcorn and chocolate for an amazing salty sweet snack!
Super Awesome Granola Bars
6 cups gluten-free oats
¼ cup chia seeds
½ cup cooking oil
1 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup honey
½ cup apple juice
¼ cup molasses
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cup gluten-free crispy rice cereal or puffed brown rice
1 scoop of brown rice protein powder
1 cup raisins
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup allergy-friendly chocolate chips
1. In a large bowl mix oats, chia seeds, oil and salt. Pour mixture onto two foil covered sheet pans and bake on 350 for 20 minutes, stirring twice. Remove from heat, put aside and lower oven temp to 325.
2. In a medium size saucepan add brown sugar, honey, apple juice, and molasses over medium heat until bubbles start to form. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
3. In the large mixing bowl stir together oat mixture, molasses mixture and the remaining ingredients (except the chocolate chips) until well blended.
4. Pour mixture into a large parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Using another sheet of parchment paper, press the mixture into pan.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes and remove from oven. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the granola bars and using parchment paper carefully press the chips into the bars (I sometimes use the bottom of a measuring cup because the granola bars will be hot).
6. Allow to cool completely (and keep the parchment paper on for easy moving) before attempting to remove from the pan. Slice into individual size servings and enjoy.
The hardest part of this entire recipe is not eating too many granola bars in one sitting. Everyone who tries them loves them and they don’t even realize they’re free of the top 8 allergens! They’re perfect for a grab-n-go snack, to pack in a lunchbox, or even a last-minute breakfast item.
Elizabeth DiBurro has been blogging about food allergies and EoE for over four years. Her son is allergic to peanut, tree nut, dairy, egg, garlic, and recently outgrew a soy allergy. After her son experienced two anaphylactic reactions to dairy and was diagnosed with EoE, cooking delicious, safe food and raising anaphylaxis and EoE awareness became very important to her. She shares recipes, product information, helpful tips, and personal stories at EBL Food Allergies, Facebook, and Instagram.