Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Raising the bar for gluten-free granola

By Casey Knoll

The end result!

Finally, I took the plunge and tried a gluten-free granola bar recipe. I had been eyeing online recipes for some time, but was scared away by often lengthy ingredient lists.

The recipe I snagged was from the University of Calgary’s student newspaper, The Gauntlet. For my first crack at gluten-free granola bars, they turned out pretty well – they were easy to make, with a great taste.

However, I found the liquid settled to the bottom after the granola bars cooled in the fridge, and they were a bit crumbly and overly sweet (all noted in The Gauntlet article). The “sweetness” was probably my fault since I added a bit over a ¼ cup of honey, along with ¼ cup of maple syrup (which isn’t in the recipe...I just like maple syrup).

To keep the bars sticking together, I’d recommend letting them set in the fridge for at least two hours. The recipe called for half an hour, but I found more time to set worked better.

Here’s the original recipe:
1 cup gluten-free oats
1 cup brown rice cereal
½ cup dried fruits (i.e. banana chips)
½ cup nuts (i.e. almonds or walnuts)
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup honey
¼ cup butter
¼ cup white sugar
2 tbsp flax seeds
½ tsp vanilla extract (be sure to read the label – some can contain gluten)

Here’s what I did (along with adjustments to the maple syrup and brown sugar):
1 cup gluten-free oats
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup chopped almonds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp flax seeds
¼ cup honey
¼ cup butter
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup pure maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract

  1. Mix the oats, brown rice cereal, fruits, nuts, and flax seeds in a bowl. Set aside.
  2.  In a sauce pan, combine the butter, maple syrup, honey, sugar, and vanilla. Continuously stir, and bring to a boil. 
  3. Once at a boil, put the dry ingredients into the sauce pan mixture. Stir to coat.
  4.  Transfer into an 8’x6’ baking dish covered in parchment or wax paper. Make sure you firmly press down the mixture in the pan.
  5. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes before putting it in the fridge for at least two hours.

The great thing about these granola bars is they’re easily customized – add whatever dried fruit or cereal you like. Let us know if you give them a try, or if you know of other gluten-free granola bar recipes!

Happy snacking.