Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gluten Free Chewy Bars

Eating on the run has been my biggest issue since going gluten free.  I inevitably find myself out running errands or between meetings when I realize that I’m starving and there is nowhere to buy anything “safe”. 

For a while, I thought I could get away with eating Clif Bars because they didn’t list any wheat products on the label.  When they started to irritate me I did a little research and figured out that the malt ingredients were probably the culprit.  Disappointed that such a convenient, delicious and purse-friendly food was now off limits, I set out to make my own and I think I’ve done pretty well.  They are moist, chewy and dense like the Clif Bar and don’t crumble or fall apart after rattling around in my purse for a few days.  They are also butter and oil free and sweetened with agave which is super low on the glycemic index. 
This is my new baby... other than my Kitchenaid stand mixer, this is my absolute favorite kitchen appliance!



Ingredients:


1 cup Gluten Free corn flakes (I love this brand, regular corn flakes contain malt so they are NOT gluten free)
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup dried apples
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup agave nectar

2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoo
ns peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)



Preheat oven to 350F.


Place dates in a small bowl, add 1/4 cup hot water and allow to soak for 10 minutes, then drain.  I did some apricots in this batch because I was a little short on dates


In a food processor, combine all ingredients, pulsing until you have a consistent texture but with some pieces of date, apple and pecan still visible.





Press mixture into an 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper.  If you don’t have an 8x8 pan you can use a larger pan but simply not fill the whole thing.  The bars will not spread in the oven so it’s alright to leave some space.


Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Lift from the pan using parchment paper and allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting.  I usually cut into 8-10 bars depending on thickness.


I put a few in a Ziploc bag in the cupboard for enjoying at home and wrap the rest tightly in plastic wrap so that I can throw one in my purse before I head out somewhere. 


These haven’t lasted past 6 days with me because they are so delicious but at that point they still tasted fresh. I would assume you have a good week or so to keep them, as long as they are sealed in plastic wrap or an air tight container.  These can also be tightly wrapped and frozen for longer storage.  Allow to thaw at room temperature.






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