My 8-year-old daughter loves to cook. Like… LOVES to cook. There are days I open my fridge and it looks like a science experiment exploded. It’s full of glass containers of “salad dressing,” “spice dip,” “flavored water,” and “soup.”
That face represents the pride that comes when you design and make your own oatmeal.
Yesterday, I couldn’t find my cocao powder in the pantry and rather than think I was going insane and skipping over it with my eyes (which I do regularly), I knew better. I asked my daughter, “Do you have my cocao powder?” She immediately ran up to her room and brought down a reusable grocery bag full of spices, crackers, marshmallows and… my cocao powder. Just an average day in our house.
She even delivers!!
We watch “The Pioneer Woman” together, read cookbooks before bed, and she’s a big fan of helping me meal plan. She claims she’s going to be a chef… right before she’s a teacher, but after she’s a waitress and an author. Astronaut and veterinarian are in there somewhere as well, but I can’t remember the exact order. Ambition, right?
So last week she brought me a picture of some oat bars and proclaimed she was going to make them for dessert. We tried to find a promising recipe, but in our house, to make food we can all eat it has to be gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and refined-sugar free.
Together, we came up with this recipe and it’s a hit! It’s easy enough my 8-year-old could “make it” (I helped a bit), it comes together fast, and is customizable and really yummy.
We used almond butter because that’s what my daughter chose, but you can easlily change the flavor by changing the nut butter. I wanted peanut butter because the combination of peanut butter and chocolate yields a result even more beautiful than if Henry Cavill and Scarlett Johansson had a baby. Am I right!? But this was her thing, so I let it go. Next time!
The flavor is also influenced by the type of sweetener you use. Using coconut sugar will give it a more carmely flavor, maple sugar more of a maple flavor and raw sugar just a sweet flavor. We actually used Lakanto Monk Fruit sweetener because I have to keep my sugars (even natural ones) really low right now.
Because she’s all about the bling, we had to add something on top. She wanted 3 different kinds of chocolate, edible glutter and several types of candies. We settled for one type of chocolate, and one type of candy that happened to come in three different colors. I think she was satisfied.
So when my daughter is a famous TV chef, we’ll look back on this post and laugh. Or at the least, when my daughter has a daughter 0f her own who steals all her ingredients, hides food in her room until it’s moldy, and uses half a bottle of safron to make her mac-and-cheese look pretty, we’ll laugh. Or I’ll laugh… a lot… maniacally.
Happy baking (with your kiddos)!
- 2 Tbsp Ground Flax
- 5 Tbsp Water
- 2 1/2 Cups Gluten Free Whole Oats
- 3 Tbsp Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour
- 1/2 Cup Granulated Sweetener (Coconut sugar, raw sugar, maple sugar or Lakanto Sugar Substitute)
- 3/4 Cup Palm Shortening (Can use butter, ghee, or coconut oil as well)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Almond Extract
- 1/4 Cup Almond Butter (Can use any nut or seed butter)
- 3/4 Cups Diary-Free Chocolate Chips (We like Enjoy Life or Lily's Dark Chocolate Chips)
- 1/3 Cup Unreal Chocolate Peanut Candies (or chopped nuts or coconut... or all of the above!)
- Prepare a "flax eggs" by combining the ground flax and water in a small bowl. Let this sit for 10-15 minutes or until it becomes "egg-like" in texture
- In a medium sauce pan, combine the palm shortening and granulated sweetener.
- Once this is melted and combined, add the vanilla and almond extracts, and the almond butter.
- Stir in the oats and gluten free flour. This takes a bit of work.
- Press the mixture into a 9" square pan (or an 8x8, or 7x11 - Just check the cooking time ) and cook at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes.
- Let this cool.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocoalte chips by heating in 30 second incraments in the microwave (stirring each time) until all the chocolate is melted.
- Spread the chocolate over the cooled bars and top the bars with nuts, candy or coconut.
- Let set at room temperature or in the fridge if you're short on time. Cut into 12 bars. These can be stored at room temperature in an air-tight container.
I am having a guest for dinner with gluten sensitivity. I will try this recipe. Thanks.