Gluten-Free Oat-Free Vegan Cereal Bars

I came up with this recipe after looking over TONS of other people’s yummy recipes…

I sometimes get so annoyed about not being able to eat certain things, I’m almost willing to just pretend like it doesn’t hurt me, lol…. but oats…. really do pose a problem for me. I guess it’s normal in a small percentage of people with celiac. My Dr. just answers with “Huh… I don’t know…. did you try gluten-free oats?” YES, of course I did!! But oats cause an almost instant reaction that is similar, but not as intense as gluten. So…. all those wonderful gluten-free recipes that use oats for it’s “wonderful chewiness” or oat flour or oat anything….. make me almost want to cry. (especially when I am trying to figure out a way to make gluten-free seitan and the nearest recipe I could find includes oats and the author sites, “Oats really make this, so I don’t think it can be done without.” Grrrrrrr

BUT, this is one thing that I HAVE been able to do without oats…. the kids love them, the husband loves them…. I love them…. they are super easy…. and on mornings when I have these available, I wake up with a smile…. because I don’t have to bake anything!! 😉 I’ve made these lots lots lots…..

DSC_0917 (2)Gluten-free Oat-free Vegan Cereal Bars:
2 cups dates (all blended up in a food processor to make a nice big “mash”)
3-5 cups of gluten-free rice crispies or gluten-free corn or rice chex (I kind of think I like rice crispies better because I don’t have to crunch them up…. but both work wonderfully!)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 cups cashews (not soaked)

Start by mashing up those dates. Move those to a bowl. Melt the peanut butter and mix well with the syrup (either on a stove or in a microwave, take your pick.) Mix in the rice crispies or corn or rice chex to the date mash…. really squish and squash to mixed it up well (clean hands are pretty important at the start of this.) Start with less and add more in if the mixture seems to gooey. If you feel like the mixture is too dry…. add in more pb or more mashed dates. A lot seems dependant on the dates, some packages are just more dry than others and I don’t know why. Toss in those cashews to your date dirtied food processor and chop them up to bits. Add in the melted peanut butter/ syrup goop and the cashews and just do more squishing and squashing until it’s all nicely mixed up.

Using a 9″X13″ baking dish, line it with wax or parchment paper up over the sides so you can pull it out later. Then squish all of the mixture into the pan…. press FIRMLY and even everything out. It’s kind of like making rice crispie treats…. only much, much less sticky.

When everything is packed in all nice and tight, put it in the freezer for about 30 mins.- 1 hour. (If you go to pull it out and it seems a little flimsy, put it back in the freezer til it pulls out like a firm brick.) Just pull up on the parchment paper to pull it out and lay on a surface. I like to cut the lengthwise center first, then cut the “bars” about 1-1.5″ wide….. usually I get 18 or so.

IF you get a few that fall apart on you, squish them together into a shape of sorts…. they’ll still taste good. Then, I just place these in a freezer bag, and keep in the freezer! You can eat them straight out of the freezer…. no thaw time needed. They are perfect… and on busy mornings, or running late…. you can’t go wrong. I believe I typed in all the ingredients to a “nutrition” calculator and got about 4-6g protein per bar. Not so bad!!

Enjoy!!

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