I made it through another week. This week was hard, I'm not going to lie. Chocolate is my best friend and I've been thinking about it constantly. It's a weakness. It's hard too that everywhere I look there is delicious Easter candy on sale. Of all the holidays (and yes, I do rate them based on candy selection), Easter candy is my favorite. Delicious chocolate bunnies and tiny chocolate eggs and, even better, chocolate eggs stuffed with all kinds of yummies...I love it all and I'm lusting over it in the aisles of the grocery stores. Ben was also having a bit of a rough week (I'm blaming a growth spurt) so I was feeling a bit defeated. But I stuck it out and I have decided to divert my attention to making homemade strawberry sorbet. Hooray!
While I'm talking about my adjustment to being dairy free, I have to share a funny story. Last Saturday, Brandon and I were celebrating our anniversary 2 days early and went to dinner at the same fancy restaurant we go to every year. I was concerned about navigating the menu now that I had extra precautions to take. I made sure to tell the waiter to omit the butter on my steak, and we had him hunt down a GF/DF dessert option (hence my new obsession with strawberry sorbet) and I thought, Yay! I aced my first restaurant trip! So here's the funny part -- I was really worried about my salad course. They had a wedge salad but I knew I couldn't have ranch dressing on it. I'm not much of a fan of other dressings so I chose something else...something that only had oil and vinegar on it! What was it?? Fresh Mozzarella and Sweet Tomato salad. Caprese, essentially. I ate it, enjoyed it, didn't think anything of it and neither did Brandon! HAHAHA. I was sooo concerned about avoiding the dairy in ranch dressing that I ate three slices of mozzarella cheese without so much of a second thought. But what makes this story even funnier? I didn't realize that I did this until a WEEK later. For some reason, that salad popped in my head and I stopped and thought--Waaaaiiiitttt a second...mozzarella is cheese! I told Brandon later and he had the same reaction as me! I can't believe we missed that!! Hahaha--duuuhhhhh. I've been so used to just looking for hidden gluten that it's kinda hard to switch gears and analyze all ingredients for dairy too. Oy. Well, there's always a learning curve!!
In other news, I have to say that I love love love Amazon. I buy a rediculous amount of stuff from there already, but I've just recently discovered the joys of ordering gluten free products from there as well. For example, my 6-pack of Kinnikinnick Animal Cookies just arrived today and I'm already plowing through my first box. But what's even better is that you can get a 3-pack of Udi's gluten free granola or if you don't want to commit to one flavor, you can get their sampler pack! How convenient is that?!?! I love it! What I especially love is that a 3-pack is only $14.00 which equals out to about $4.67 a pouch. I think at Sprouts I pay $5-6 each! Ouch! I love their granola so this is a major SCORE for me!! (By the way, I'm not getting paid or anything to say this, I'm just genuinely excited to find this as I can't always get to Sprouts when I'm out of these things because of the little one.)
Finding Udi's gluten free granola sold in bulk on Amazon is perfect timing because I just made the most addicting gluten free granola bars!! I use to love putting their granola in yogurt but since I can't do that anymore, I had to find a different way to get my fix. Granola bars are perfect because I can grab it quick and eat it on the go and one-handed! That is a must these days! The batch I just made last Friday barely lasted through the weekend; it was sooo addicting.
Here's the recipe in case you want to give it a try. I'm going to type it up exactly as I did it. I had to wing it a bit because I discovered that my light brown sugar was as hard as a rock. So I improvised and used granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of molasses. My next time making it I will probably half the molasses because that flavor was very prominent to me when I first bit into it. These are also pretty sweet so make adjustments according to your preference.
Chewy Gluten Free Granola Bars
1/4 cup butter (I used dairy free Earth Balance)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 package Udi's gluten free Au Naturel granola
1 cup Enjoy Life Perky's Flax cereal
1 tablespoon flax seed meal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium size bowl, combine the granola, flax cereal, flax seed meal, cinnamon, xantham gum, salt, and vanilla extract. Set aside. Combine butter, honey, sugar, and molasses in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until sugar is melted. Remove from heat and add to the bowl of dry ingredients. Toss the mixture to completely combine and coat. Spread and pack firmly into a greased 13 x 9 inch pan. I let it sit for a couple of hours at room temp to harden up. You can also speed up the process by putting in the refridgerator for an hour or so.
These were so delicious I'm making a second batch today. :)