MONSTER BARS

Each time I head home to Minnesota, my mamasita goes out of her way to have gluten-free treats waiting.

This time was no exception — and she outdid herself by taking a family favorite cookie recipe (Grandma G’s Monster Cookies) and made them into bars.

Easier. Less work. More time to sip coffee together. (or White Russians with coffee cubes)

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Make them with your mama. Surprise your honey with them. Take some to a neighbor as a random act of kindness.

And speaking of kindness… can we cut the food judging already? Whether you live free from gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, corn, or any other intolerance or preference (vegan, paleo, no food dyes, etc) can we just let that be? Can we pretty please lay off the negative comments on bloggers’ pages and sites judging their (FREE!) recipes and photos? Eat how you eat for you and your family right now at this moment in time and let that be enough. Let others do the same. Fight the urge to start typing a comment before you stop to think, “this isn’t how I choose to eat, but how would I feel if MY mama made me a special treat and random strangers felt the need to criticize it?” If you still feel like typing that comment? Just don’t. Be kind.

And make these bars for breakfast, dessert, or any time that makes you happy. Add less sugar or more chocolate — I won’t judge. 😉

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MONSTER BARS

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar (coconut sugar will work too)
1/2 cup brown sugar (experiment with less sugar if you’d like)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup M&M’s (mini, regular, peanut, peanut butter, any!)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 1/2 cups certified gluten free oats

Preheat oven to 325°.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl to combine. Spread into jelly roll pan or large baking sheet with edges.

Bake at 325° for 15-20 mins. (you can use other pans as well, just adjust baking time and don’t let them get too crispy!)

Cool.

Cut.

Eat.

EnJOY!

 

*These goodies are linked up to Gluten Free Wednesdays — check out ALL of the awesome recipes each week!

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Banana Nut Oatmeal Bites

In times like these, there aren’t always words.

I struggle to find a way to express the feelings of grief, frustration, anger, sadness, and helplessness from this week — from Boston to Texas, offering up prayers everyday.

But sometimes, when the world doesn’t make sense, baking does.

gluten free banana nut oatmeal bites

BANANA NUT OATMEAL BITES

2 very ripe bananas (like the stash I keep in the freezer)
⅓ cup nut butter of your choice: almond, peanut, sunflower seed for the nut-free crowd
⅔ cup applesauce
1 ½ cups certified gluten-free oats
2 tablespoons coconut flour
⅓ cup walnuts or other nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda

Pre-heat oven to 350° and either use a Silpat to line baking sheets or parchment paper.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Let the dough sit for a few minutes (the coconut flour really soaks up moisture) then stir again before dropping by spoonful onto prepared baking sheets. A 1 ½ tablespoon baking scoop works well and gives you a rounded little bite, but they don’t have to be perfect, a regular spoon works too.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until set and golden brown on the bottoms. (this may vary depending on what size you make yours) Remove from oven and allow to cool for several minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

Have these “cookies” for breakfast — and feel good about it! (they taste just like mini banana breads!)

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Sarah’s Notes:

  • This recipe doubles easily — if you have extras, toss them in the freezer and take out for an on-the-go breakfast. 
  • You can also use oat flour. The first time I made them, I used oats only and liked the texture, but then doubled the recipe this time, using oats and oat flour and am still loving them. My celiac sista was thinking these would be great finger foods for her twins (about to turn ONE, whaaaaaat?!?!) but wanting a version sans whole oats. You could use just oat flour instead of the oats as well.
  • Ground flax is an optional add-in. For a double batch, I added 1 tablespoon.
  • Chocolate chips will be going into the next batch. 🙂
  • These aren’t super sweet, which I prefer for my breakfast, but if you’d like, you could add a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup to sweeten things up.
  • If you are grain-free and not doing oats, you could use almond flour and additional coconut flour — play with the recipe and make it what works for YOU.

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Sending light and love out into the Universe — there’s enough to go around for everyone.