Monday, August 06, 2012

What's Eating You?

I don't think I've blogged about our GF and veggie lifestyle, but I'll get there eventually.  Long story short, Eldest has a gluten sensitivity, and my mom was recently diagnosed with Sjögren's Disease.  Eldest can't have wheat at all, and with our genetic makeup, it's just easier/wiser for the rest of us to go off, too, rather than risk the things that might be brought on by repeated exposure.  (See how I totally avoided going off on a GMO rant there?  **pats self on back**)  MuNKi is the only one still doing wheat.  And sometime in Jan the girls decided to go veggie.  Since I was raised veggie, it was super easy for me to go back.  There are just so many foods to love!  GF-ically speaking, I mostly like to find things to bake that don't need substitutions, but I'm OK with tweaking things here and there.  The other day we *did* use a substitution (GF graham crackers) to make these amazing peanut butter bars.  Superb!  I love how the graham crackers give a little crunch to the final product!  I'll let you go to that wonderful blog to see the pics, since our bars disappeared before I could take any.

Today I was inspired by the amazingly cool morning to bake again.  I have a great cookie recipe from my mom, but I was in the mood for experimentation, too.  It's very, very hard for me to just make a recipe as it stands.  Usually I have to add my own touch somewhere.  Today, I turned her cookie recipe into a bar recipe and we got this:

Again, this is a treat that I would make purely for the yum factor.  It just happens to be GF.  Yay!  That's the way GF should be - good on its own merits, not just "good for GF."

Here's the recipe:

2/3 c shredded coconut
3 c rolled oats (quick oats are fine)
1 c oat flour + 4 T coconut flour (yes, you could probably use all oat flour, but this is yummy)
1 c dark choc chips
1 t baking soda
1 scant t salt

1 c canola oil  (I use a scant cup)
3/4 c peanut butter
2 t vanilla (sometimes I add more)
1 1/2 c brown sugar
2 lg eggs

Spray a 9x 13 pan with oil and preheat your oven to 350 F.  Measure out the dry stuff first, so you can use your measuring devices again for the wet stuff without having to wash them.  Measure out the wet stuff into your mixer's bowl and whizz it all up.  Add the dry stuff and whizz it some more.  Decant the glop into your pan, press it into place, and whap it in the oven (providing it's already reached 350.)  Set a timer for 25 mins and go do the laundry.  Get distracted and start looking through all those great library books, or else remember that you wanted to practice juggling soccer balls with your youngest for 15 mins.  Try to listen for the timer, whatever you end up doing.  When the timer goes off, rejoice in the glorious brown-toppedness of your bars, and then decide to throw on some more chocolate chips while the bars are still hot, just to see what happens.  (It's OK to be liberal.  It's chocolate.*)  Squeal with delight when the chips melt, smear them all over the bars, and dive in.  You'll probably need a fork since they're still hot, but once you've gone for a bike ride, done a little knitting, and taken some of the kids to the library, they'll be well cool enough to cut into respectable bars so that you can take pictures with which to wow your friends.  (Only a very, VERY good friend deserves the real thing.  The rest will have to make do with pictures.)

Eat them for the rest of the day.  Proper meals are for wusses.

Every time you carve off another little bar, smile smugly, because one of the sweetest pleasures in life is an excellent snack. :)

* Josh Groban. Except he said "sugar."


SM said...

I'm always interested in hearing people with GF lifestyles and how they decide to talk about it. As a professional baker, GF is a HUGE request. Unfortunately, most of the people requesting it are annoying and high-horse-y. And a tad unrealistic (asking if I could guarantee something to be 100% GF even though my bakery is not a GF bakery. Even though all of my GF cupcakes are prepared separately from my glutenous ones, I would never promise it to be 100% since there is still, most likely, wheat particle floating around the bakery. Also, a lot act like it's a bigger deal than a peanut allergy. Which, I have a hard time with since I haven't heard of someone going into anaphylactic shock if they get a bit of wheat. Lots of time on the toilet, sure, but no epi-pen required.

I could be wrong, though, maybe some strains of the sensitivity have mutated & some Celiacs can die.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I like how you all have chosen to do this. And it sounds like wheat isn't completely banned. Also, I agree that something needs to taste good because it's GOOD. Not just because it's GF. I finally found a GF chocolate cake that is just as good (if not better) than my regular one. And my vegan cake is my all-time favorite (family recipe from the depression era, so it has no egg or milk in it!).

Candace said...

Hi SM! I tried to comment days ago and for some reason it wouldn't let me. Grrr!

We're lucky that for us it's just a sensitivity, not Celiac disease. I don't know how immediate/severe the reactions are, but I know that the complications can be fatal.

I made some yummy pumpkin bars yesterday. Even MuNKi liked them!

Your depression-era recipe sounds right up our alley! :)