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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:07 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Burlington
I got this nut-free soft granola bar recipe off the internet. It's a very simple recipe. As I am a very culinary challenged person, I need some help. My daughter and I made these last night but for some reason they won't stay together in a 'bar' form. When I cut them they just fall apart into a pile. Anybody have any tips on how to make them stay together or perhaps a different recipe?

3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup honey or corn syrup
1/2 cup chocolate chips or raisins
In a large bowl, combine oats, sugar and wheat germ. Cut in margarine until mixture is crumbly. Stir in honey/cornsyrup. Mix well until combined. Stir in chocolate chips/raisins. Press into greased 9" square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Cut into bars.

I melted the margarine...Perhaps I should not have done that? HELP.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
laurensmom -- yep, melting the margarine was the problem....to "cut in" margarine means that you take the margarine (in its firm state) and literally cut it into your dry ingredients with butter knives. The butter acts like a glue to hold all of the ingredients together.
I found this official definition: Cut-In - To mix a solid fat such as butter or shortening into a dry ingredient such as flour, using a pastry blender, a fork or two knives. http://www.thatsmyhome.com/culinary-dictionary.htm
Thanks for the recipe -- I've been wanting to find a nut free granola bar recipe. I'll definitely give it a try! :D


Last edited by ethansmom on Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:07 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Burlington
ah, thanks for the info, ethansmom...will try it that way tonight.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:20 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Let us know how it turns out... :)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:17 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
laurensmom, thanks for the great recipe! I tried it out last night and the bars were awesome. Even my extremely finicky PA son liked them. :lol: I used chocolate chips, which is the family favourite, but I would like to try dried cranberries or blueberries some time in the future.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:07 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Burlington
ethansmom,

I tried it without melting the margarine and it worked......they're delicious. Thanks for your help.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
laurensmom or yakkie -- I was at the grocery store tonight to pick up some wheat germ for the recipe and the one I saw had a "may contain" for nuts....would you mind telling me what brand of wheat germ you guys are using?
PS -- laurensmom - I'm glad I could help. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 7:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:17 pm
Posts: 246
Location: Niagara region, Ontario
ethansmom,

I'll just let you know what brand of wheat germ I use. It is Kretschmer (say that 5 times fast!), made by Quaker. It comes in a glass jar and the last time I bought it, it was fine. I know this gets frustrating....last time I bought barley, I had to go to a couple of stores before I could find a brand that was safe. Good luck!

Soccermom


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:10 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Thanks Soccermom!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Finally tried the bars and agree -- they are very tasty! I kept the same amount of chocolate chips and just added some dried cranberries in as well.
Thought I'd also share that I found Loblaws PC Blue Menu "Natural Wheat Germ" - at approx. $1.30 for 500 grams (and no problems with peanut/nut cross-contam.).


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I also wanted to say THANKS for this great recipe. It's become a staple for my youngest. I cut up the bars, wrap them individually, then store them in the freezer. It's great to be able to just pull one out for his snack -- or for him to eat frozen right away!

I tried it with DF chocolate chips and small marshmallows (cut in half) to make a sort of "rocky road" granola bar and my youngest loved that.

And I've just recently made them with bits of apple but we haven't eaten them yet so I'm not sure how that will be. I can't find safe dried apple for the moment, so used fresh.

(Update: they're gross and squishy with the apple and my youngest refuses to eat them so I've just chucked them all. Learn from my mistake!! ;) )

I really like them with the corn syrup. With the honey I find them a bit too sweet.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 684
Location: Cobourg, ON
I tried this recipe finally. I thought the granola bars would be great on school lunches. Here is the problem I am having. I have to use dairy free margarine which can sometimes be harder to bake with. The bars were browning quickly around the edges so I turned them down a few degrees. I left them 25 minutes. I let them cool 10 minutes and then cut out bars. I tried to take them out of the pan and the bars around the edges came out quite well but the middle ones are soft and a little crumbly. Should I leave them awhile longer and then they will come out better or did I do something wrong? Would shortening work better than dairy free margarine? Should I bake them longer? The taste is great!!
Looking for advice!!!

_________________
11 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, eggs and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
9 year old son - no allergies


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Kate - I had the same problem (using DF margarine) - the bottom of the bars as they come out of the pan tend to stick to the pan no matter how much PAM-like spray I used. And they were a bit brown around the outside and not so much on the inside.

I've decided to just ignore it all - I take them out of the pan before it's too brown aroudn the outside, pick the stuck bits off the pan, put them back on the bars, and cut the bars. Once they've been wrapped up and frozen, they're fine.

So it might just be the recipe. But if you try it with shortening and it's better - let me know!

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 7:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
There is a basic baking rule... if anything is done on the outside and not on the inside lower the temperature and bake longer. Maybe that would help.

Which dairy free marg. are you using? We use earth balance and it is definitely the best one we have found. They make shortening as well which is free of transfats and is based on heathy oils. We use that instead of typical transfat shortening. I also use that shortening to grease baking pans.

I have not tried these yet. I do want to...I just have not looked into wheat germ that we can have. Karen or Kate...which brand do you guys use?

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 684
Location: Cobourg, ON
Okay - so once the bars had cooled they were not crumbly. I love them, my husband loves them, my non-allergic son loves them - my allergic daughter doesn't!!! She is hesitant to try new foods (not surprising) so I think I will continue to make them available because once she really tries them she will love them too. What's not to love about a recipe with corn syrup, brown sugar and chocolate chips. I think I will try to cook at a lower temp next time - we just got a new stove so I am still getting used to it. I think I will also try the shortening too just to compare. I will let you know what happens. I added marshmallows but they melted. I guess that is another indication that the oven was too hot. Karen, I used shortening to grease the pan and they didn't stick - they just were crumbly.

I still use PC lactose free margarine. I have not found a local place that sells the Earth Balance margarine. I will keep looking though. We haven't had any problems with it - allergy wise. I also used the PC Blue Menu wheat germ. With all of the sugar in the bars I feel better knowing that there are rolled oats and wheat germ in them.
Thanks for the suggestions. This is a great recipe. I want to try adding fruit to another batch also.

_________________
11 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, eggs and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
9 year old son - no allergies


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