There are many days that I want to give up on the whole Dairy Free/Gluten Free (GAPS “light”) food that we feed our kids. There are too many fights, too many dinners thrown in the trash, and thoughts that it would be easier just to feed them whatever. Then, after giving them some of the 20% foods I remember why I choose to feed them (and more so NOT feed them) certain foods. Pizza at a birthday party makes Logan’s face break out in splotches, cheese and cracker samples at the grocery store give Ava GI troubles, and a cupcake with red dye frosting is followed by Jackson running around yelling and hitting his siblings.
I do the 20% because it’s about balance. If something makes them sick or truly off the walls (like food dye for Logan and raw eggs for Jackson), then I don’t let them have it. But if it isn’t as serious, I think the 20% is ok.
So, when I find a great recipe that actually is GF and DF but seems like a real treat, I do a little dance. Then I share it. I make it for my friends and their kids. I email it to my sister and mother. And now, I post it.
I brought these Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip bars to our playgroup on Friday. They were a BIG hit. This recipe comes from Monique at Ambitious Kitchen (http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com). This is one of my favorite food blogs. Not only is the blog really pretty, but many of Monique’s recipes are gluten free and vegan! Score! So check out her site, too. I made very few changes to her recipe, noted below.
- 3 cups gluten free oats
- 2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg **(see below)
- 1 pinch cloves **(I use ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice instead of cloves and nutmeg)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup dark brown sugar** (I used ⅓ cup coconut sugar)
- 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil (I used coconut oil-measure AFTER you melt it)
- ⅓ cup vegan chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8x11 or 9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Make oat flour: Place oatmeal into blender or food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes until oatmeal resembles flour.
- Measure out just 2½ cups of the oat flour and place in a medium bowl. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices; set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla extract, oil, and applesauce for 1-2 minutes until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Slowly add in oat flour mixture and mix until just combined.*
- Gently fold in ⅓ cup of chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on top. Bake for 15-25 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Timing will depend on what size pan you use, but definitely check around 15 minutes. Once finished baking, cool 10 minutes on wire rack. Cut into 16 slices.
I like recipes like this one that are kid friendly, have healthy ingredients (pumpkin is a great source of Beta carotene), and that my kids gobble up. I serve it after school with some apple slices, or even stick it in Jackson’s lunch sometimes (nut free=school approved!). Give it a try. I think you’ll agree that this recipe, and Monique’s website, are great.