Dave begged me to get this recipe from my sister-in-law a few months back because he claimed it was the best stuff ever.  So I got it, but in the midst of some commotion-filled day I filed it away in my recipes to try and kind of forgot about it. …until in desperation this last week to find something to eat that was gluten-free I came across it again and realized I could make this stuff gluten-free, no problem. So I set to work. And you know what?  We are in love with this stuff.  Even my name-not-to-be-mentioned-most-picky-eater-daughter fell in love with it.  She didn’t even turn her nose up at the pumpkin seeds and Craisins mixed in there.  I’m telling you, it is that good.  Here you go: Mix together in a large bowl and set aside: 5 c. oats (I used gluten-free ones from Trader Joe’s) 1 c. malted milk powder or protein powder (I used protein powder with no gluten) 1 c. coconut flakes 1 c. whole roasted almonds 1 c. pecan pieces 1 c. dried cherries and/or Craisins (I just used 1/2 c. because that’s all I had on hand) 1 c. dried apricots, diced 1/2 c. pepita or pumpkin seeds 1/2 c. roasted sunflower seeds (I didn’t have these so I didn’t use them) 1/4 c. flax seeds 2013-01-12 untitled 67831 Then mix in a saucepan: 1/4 c. packed brown sugar 1/2 c. coconut oil 1 c. honey 1 tsp. salt 2 tsp. vanilla 1 tsp. cinnamon (oh man I just now realized I forgot the cinnamon…but we lived…) Heat until sugars are well dissolved but not boiling:2013-01-12 untitled 67833 Pour wet into dry ingredients and stir well.2013-01-12 untitled 67835(and make a note to yourself to not use yellow bowls for food photography any more) Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 12 minutes.2013-01-12 untitled 67836-2 Remove from oven, flip over by sections and bake for 10 more minutes.2013-01-12 untitled 67840 Let it cool completely before removing from pan. Store in air-tight container.  We didn’t refrigerate ours. Serve with berries and yogurt…2013-01-15 untitled 67874 …or just plain (that’s how I like it).  A side note on the gluten free thing:  it is hard and has hit me with a steep learning curve.  But it’s not very, very VERY hard as I had made it out that it would be.  It is most likely not something I will do forever (unless it changes my Hashimotos and auto-immune antibodies a bunch).  I am just experimenting and enjoying how it has been kicking me into gear finding so many more healthy options.  I feel like my whole family is benefitting from that.  I’m perfecting a few different green smoothie recipes (thanks to all the recipes in the comment section back here).  2013-01-08 untitled 67628I am getting up the guts to switch around a bunch with Lucy’s eating as soon as I finish researching and reading a few books about it all (Wheat Belly and The Paleo thingamagigger book).  I realize I have to have a serious action plan to take that on. I am feeling really empowered and good. But here’s my question: people say they feel SO GREAT when they go gluten-free.  Is that because their bodies are really benefitting from such a change, or is it because they are doing something dang HARD which in turn gets their endorphins going and makes them so happily productive?   I kid…I know some people can’t touch a drop of gluten without getting serious negative reactions. But I’m telling you, something about giving up that gluten has got me pumped changing things for good around here. Now if I can just start getting more sleep… 

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  1. Just something to think about, which I'm sure you probably know but it helped me in my thinking: going gluten-free does not mean you need to replace all the wheat things you used to eat with non-wheat grain substitutes.

    People can live perfectly fine without consuming any grains at all. If you think more about what you can have, there is less pressure to feel like every single item needs replacement. I mean, if you feel like you need bread, granola bars or cake, there is a lot more pressure to find replacements for these items–but if you concentrate on say, the fruit and yogurt and almonds and honey etc. you can have, it just makes it easier, at least in my mind.

    Our world is so focused on grain products and the aisles are full of gluten-free foods to replace our normal wheat and corn-based snacks; most people don't know it's okay to just eliminate them all together and enjoy everything else that is good! Fruits, veggies, meats, nuts, good fats, dairy, eggs, seeds… there is so much out there that grains can just be left behind.

    Our kids are starting to get it, but it's a battle. At the ages they are at I'm just trying to help them be positive about whole foods…and educate them. There are some very convincing studies out now that say grains are really not as good for us once thought.

    Good luck with the gluten-free trial–it's not as easy for kids as it is for adults! I didn't mean to sound preachy, and I'm sure you know a lot about it with all the reading you are doing.

  2. wheat grinder + rice= rice flour which has many a time saved me
    although I am a big fan of Sonja's comment as well.

    Finally, if you feel like this is really difficult and want to quit I suggest looking up a candida free diet. It is pretty difficult to follow but once I got over the initial shock I was just fine. Looking at it can remind you there are more difficult lifestyle changes than gluten-free. Growing pains indeed.

  3. Shawni, I can't wait to hear your thoughts after this trial and reading the books you mentioned. I have considered trying the paleo thing for a while too to help with digestive issues in our family, but it does seem so overwhelming to start! Good for you for taking it on! Maybe I can get up the motivation to make the switch too.

  4. Your recipe sounds delicious. A couple of years ago, I stayed at a B&B in Maine. For breakfast the owners served homemade granola. My husband keeps talking about it ever since, it was that good. I am thinking that I will make a batch of your granola when we will have guests over.

    On a slightly different note – I have been reading your blog for a couple of months and I simply love it. (I am sure you read that a lot… :).

    In case you ever find yourself with a few moments to spare, I would like to make a suggestion for a future blogpost. I am a big fan of Salt Lake City and the Northern Utah/Southern Idaho/Western Wyoming area. Despite living in Europe, I have visited the area multiple times. I plan to travel to Salt Lake again this summer as part of a cross-country road trip. Now here's my question: What are your favourite 10 things to do in Salt Lake/Northern Utah? Are there any hidden treasures you would recommend to visitors? Any insights would be greatly appreciated.
    Greetings from snow-covered central Europe.

  5. I recently found out I have a gluten allergy. I had severe internal bleeding, I felt and looked about 6 months pregnant with my bloated belly. I was surprised gluten could cause so much trouble!
    For me, I know immediately if I accidentally eat something with gluten- because I will pay the price for 3 days following.
    I appreciate these new recipes. Thank you for sharing.
    If I didn't have to be gluten free, there's no way I would. I do believe grains are an important part of diet.
    I am grateful I was able to figure out the gluten allergy because now I am able to exercise the way I used to. Although, I have actually gained weight on my gluten-free diet.

    I love reading your blog.

  6. I just wanted to comment on all this diet information. My youngest daughter was diagnosed with a chronic illness 2 years ago, which began a quest for me to find thing that I could incorporate into our families life that would help her stay in the very best health that she could achieve. I read every book and talked with so many people, BUT it wasn't until I actually began taking classes at the University on Nutrition taught by DOCTORS OF NUTRITION that I felt like I was on the right track. It is not amazing to me the amount of misinformation in the field of nutrition because people are so willing to spend big money for something (anything) that will restore/maintain health (or thinness). My daughter is currently in "remission" (not cured-and never will be)and we did NOT go gluten free (no medical condition that would warrant that), we did not go Paleo and consume large amounts of meat, cheese, dairy etc,nor did we go vegan or even vegetarian, or any other marketed diet. The changes we made will continue throughout our life and are now just a part of who we are and how we eat. I feel that you are buying into a load of marketed crap (evidenced by so so so much research if you can get to the right peer-reviewed research and the right DOCTORS of NUTRITION.) A good piece of advice that I give to LDS people that ask me diet/food questions is begin with the Word of Wisdom. All whole Grains! (not just wheat or excluding wheat),fruits in season, anything that grows from the earth…meat sparingly….etc. I am JUST a stay at home mom but I have a degree in Clinical Science (from when I was pre-children) and am pursuing a degree in Health Promotion with a minor in Nutrition, with the goal of receiving a masters in Public Health. (I have 4 kids– the youngest is 10 and the oldest is 16) so I am just moving slowly into my "second chapter of education". Read the right books and do the right research. Good Health is a gift from our Heavenly Father but there is so much that we can do to help ourselves along–Just as we can ruin that gift too. I defy anyone to show me the research on all these crazy diets—that in the long term are healthy (and I don't mean someone with a specific allergy-avoiding their allergen. I am allergic to fish/shellfish–don't eat it, but that doesn't mean it isn't healthy and good for others If you are allergic to gluten–avoid it–but there is no reason for people to avoid grains short of a specific diagnosed medical condition). Just my long winded thoughts!! Kristi D.

  7. I love, love, love your blog! Yours and cloverlane.com are my favorite "mommy blogs". Thank you for all of your insight into motherhood and family issues. It is always appreciated!

    I normally don't comment, but felt compelled to do so. Over the last year, we have slowly been changing our diet and being more mindful of the food that we consume as a family. I totally agree with Sonja in that we do not need any grains at all in our diet. In fact, once you understand the biology of what happens to our bodies when we consume certain foods, I truly believe that you will be more motivated to stay away from certain foods.

    I highly recommend that you check out this blog: http://www.marksdailyapple.com
    Mark endorses a primal lifestyle and recommends that you stay away from any grains, sugars, etc. I started feeling so much better once I switched my eating habits. Less tired and more energetic, no more foggy brain and I sleep so much better. This is something that can benefit the whole family and is really not that difficult to implement.

    God Bless and wishing you the best of luck!

  8. I think a lot of people who don't have a wheat allergy or celiac feel much better when cutting out grains because what they've really done is cut out a lot of processed foods from their diet. I hope what you're doing helps you and your family feel better!

  9. I am a granola fiend and love finding a new one to try – thank you! Also, my sister is gluten-free and will never go back b/c of how good she feels. BTW, she discovered that she had to buy "special" oatmeal b/c most is made in gluten factories and gets contaminated. Hope that doesn't burst any bubbles! Good luck – I admire your commitment.

  10. Shawni, after doing the GF thing for just 6 months my antibody count went from the 600's to just over 100. I really really think it helped. And I have had "Wheat Belly" on my to read list for a while, let us know how it is. And it is hard, I may or maynot have cried in the drive through at Taco Bell once, and at TGI Fridays…

  11. This looks amazing. I'm salivating. I don't think I would have said that last month when I was eating/baking sweets up a storm, but I went off sugar this month and feel so much better. Not because I think sugar is evil but I'm not so great at moderation 🙂 So abstaining for a little while is a good detox for me. And I appreciate any yummy, nutritious alternatives for snacking! Best of luck with your health!!

  12. For the last year and a half, we have been focusing on meat, eggs, fruit, veggies and the occasional potato and trying to cut way down on sugars and other carbs (bread, rice, etc), and we are loving the way we feel! My husband has an autoimmune disorder and he feels so much better, too. I do love baking so I'm going to do some experimenting with finely ground almond flour. One blog I recently found and love so far is: Against All Grain.

    Also, my nightstand looks just like yours but dustier! A couple novels, a couple nutrition-related books (a good one: What's Eating Your Child?), a parenting book or two and my Happiness Project one-line journal!

  13. I've read your blog for a while now. My cousin introduced me to it. I think you have great parenting ideas. There are so many of your ideas that I want to do with my kids as they get older. You seem like a wonderful, smart person. I've never commented before, but I had to on this post. I realize you have a purpose for doing a gluten free diet. I get that. I realize people with Celiac's disease absolutely have to do a gluten free diet for life. I have my master's degree in nutrition and I have been a registered dietitian for 8 years. I also worked at Phoenix Children's Hospital for 6 1/2 years before having my kids. I used to teach gluten free to our kids with Celiac's. The problem is when people start thinking gluten free is a "healthier" way of life. I'm not sure who decided that and how the world got onto this gluten-free craze, but gluten free is not healthier. You can have a perfectly healthy diet and still eat gluten. I consider myself very healthy and I eat gluten. I have competed in some big races, like the Boston marathon, ironmans, etc. I can tell you that there is no way I could go compete in something like that if my diet only consisted of fruits, vegetables, and a handful of nuts. There are many ways you can incorporate gluten into a healthy lifestyle. So many people get all crazy about these fad diets. It kind of surprises me in the LDS community that people get caught up in fad diets, because we have the Word of Wisdom. It says, "all grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts to be the staff of life." To me the secret to a healthy diet/life is moderation in all things. In all my six years of college I never learned that there was one food that we need/should avoid. One of the greatest things I learned from a professor at BYU was there is no such thing as a bad food. Also not to burst your bubble, but at Phoenix children's the way we teach the gluten free diet, is no, wheat, rye, barley or oats. Even if the oats say 'gluten-free' we would teach that they couldn't be eaten. Oats have stirred a lot of controversy and the protein in oats hasn't been proven to be safe. If you check out this site: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/. All of her food is gluten-free from what I've seen.

  14. Last year I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and as a result I can't eat gluten anymore. While its hard in terms of wanting to eat something but knowing I can't, after the first few days/weeks, it really does get easier to identify foods you can eat and to feel like you are eating well, rather than just eating what you can.

    I would suggest looking at gluten free blogs (a favorite of mine is http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com) as you start off on the gluten-free eating 'adventure'…

  15. Turns out that "food" is the new "religon" and "politics" eh? It seems to really draw a debate.

    1. You are wonderful and your blog is very uplifting. I pretend you are my friend giving me advice….because I really need friends who LOVE being a mom.

    2. Knowing how divisive (Aparently) food came be, I hesistate to share this….but….:) I love it so I will. My family has seen a lot of sucess from drinking Kefir. It puts the right bacteria back in your gut, and for me, has soothed what we shall call "the cranky gut"

    I might have missed where you shared your symptoms, and this may not help at all, but here is some great reading about it: http://nourishedkitchen.com/milk-kefir/

    It might just be a fun thing to try.

  16. I'll be curious to know what you think of the Wheat Belly book. I just read it and thought he had a lot of really interesting things to say.

    That granola looks amazing, by the way!

  17. Sorry, I deleted my above comment cause I forgot something.

    Wow–lots to read since I posted earlier today. Healthy eating is such a touchy subject, eh?

    Just three things I want to add: One is that Wheat Belly book convinced me that the wheat we eat today is not the wheat of the Bible times. My prediction is that the "nutrition" tables are going to be turned and people will begin to realize in the next 10 years how whole grains are not an ideal food for us anymore.

    And two, when my husband and I went about 85-90% Paleo for two months, we both felt fantastic. Our sore joints stopped hurting, we slept way better, my sinuses cleared up and we lost 10 lbs. Then Christmas came and we got lazy and slowly stopped putting in the effort and guess what, we're both
    feeling crappy, have sore joints again and gained belly weight back.

    Lastly, though I believe that we, as a society, eat too many grain carbs (and don't get me started on GMOs), I still do believe in everything in moderation. We are not completely eating one way or another in our family. I am studying and learning; my eyes are being opened to some very big issues in foods we eat today. Some of it is very alarming.

  18. I have sub clinical hypothyroidism which is lower on the scale than Hashimotos … keen to find out more on how diet can improve our energy levels. Any recommendations? Very fussy dd too …

  19. My daughter has had chronic migraine headaches now for 2 years that come and go. She is a sophomore in highschool. This year our napaprath recommended a gluten free diet for her and it has made her feel better and reduced her pain level.

    Her favorite smoothis is:

    1/2 c vanilla yogurt
    1/4 to 1/2 c orange juice
    5 frozen strawberries
    1/3 apple diced
    1/2 lg banana
    1 lg handful of baby spinach

    mix on medium then high in blender


  20. If you are looking for more gluten free recipes, you should check out this lady's blog.

    She has Celiac's desease and has to eat gluten free. Also, if you can find a grocery store that sells the brand Bob's Red Mill, they have a really nice gluten free flour mix. I've used it to bake goodies for my Sister in law who is also gluten free. Good luck!

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