Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nut Free Granola

Food allergies can make it hard to buy normal every day items.  When my kids had a lot of food allergies I would spend hours at the grocery store reading every label to make sure my kids could eat something.  I finally gave up and began to make everything from scratch.  Now that my kids are older and have outgrown the egg and dairy allergies it is a bit easier to make dinner.  My kids still have peanut and tree nut allergies though.  So a lot of snacks I still need to make from scratch.  It seems like they put nuts and peanuts in everything.  Not that nuts are bad, I love peanuts and tree nuts.  My kids just can't touch them.  Granola bars and granola are two things that are hard to find without nuts.  So I make my own.  Now my kids can sprinkle granola on yogurt, eat a bowl as cereal or munch on a granola bar as a healthy snack.  Here are the recipes for a nut free granola and granola bar.  Enjoy!!!

You can add chocolate chips to the granola while still warm.  They melt into it and the results taste like a healthy cocoa crispies!!!  When I do this I don't add any dried fruit.

Nut Free Granola
5 cups oatmeal (not instant or quick)
    or 4 cups oatmeal and 1 cup wheat germ
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut (optional)
1 stick melted margarine
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp maple extract
1 cup raisins, craisins, or any dried fruit

Combine all of the ingredients and mix well.  Spread in a shallow baking dish.  A 9x13 in pan will work well.  Bake at 275 *F  for 20-30 minutes, stirring once during that time.  Let completely cool.  Store in an airtight container. 

This granola has raisins, golden raisins, and dried cranberries.

I store my granola in this container.  The top has a spout that flips up to pour easily

Feel free to add any type of seeds or dried fruit that you like to the granola or granola bars.  The key to making them yourself is to monitor the process and to tailor the recipe to your needs and allergies!
Granola Bars
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/4 cup crisp rice cereal
1 cup raisins
1 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the honey, vanilla and egg; mix well.  Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.  Stir in oats, cereal, raisins and chocolate chips.  Press into a greased 13x9 in baking pan.  Bake at 350* F for 25-30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack and cut into bars.  Yield 2 dozen.  Store in an airtight container or individually wrap in plastic wrap for travel. 

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