Not-A-Grain Bars (GlutenFree ‘Cereal’ Breakfast Bars)
Did you know the Nutri-Grain Bar slogan is “Take Care of You”? I guess Kellogs didn’t get the memo that soy, corn syrup, corn starch, and “enriched” flours are really hindering your well-being rather than “taking care of you.”
I’m not usually one to bash commercial food items sold in mass amounts at grocery stores, but after making a Paleo and SCD remake of these ever popular bars, I can’t help it! I haven’t eaten one myself in over 10 years, but these bars were frequently a component of our school lunches. My mom didn’t know any better at the time, and bought into the “Nutri” part of the name thinking she was feeding us nutritious food. No wonder I have a digestive disease! Just kidding Mom, it’s not your fault. Love you.
As a new mom, I too briefly fell into the trap. I bought my son the Trader Joes version of these bars for about a month and then finally read the ingredients and tossed them out. He now enjoys making (and consuming!) these ‘cereal’ bars with me. Every time he hears the mixer come on, he runs into the kitchen asking to cook with me. How could I deny him the chance to partake in making a treat that will make him happy and also nourish his body? The best part – they’re full of heart healthy fats and fiber. Swap the blueberry preserves for any pectin-free/refined sugar-free jam of your choice!
- ¾ cup blanched almond flour
- ½ cup coconut flour
- 2 tsp finely ground flaxseed + 1 tbs for dusting*
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup coconut oil, room temperature
- ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups blueberry preserves
- 3 tbs water
- *flax gives these bars the texture of wheat or bran flakes – Omit for SCD and add ½ tsp extra coconut flour
- Warm the fruit preserves and water in a saucepan over medium-low heat while you prepare the dough.
- Combine the flours, 2 tsp flaxseed, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
- Combine the coconut oil, honey, eggs and vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat for 30 seconds on medium-high until creamy.
- Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients beating until well combined, about 1 minute.
- Divide the dough into two parts and shape into balls. Place each ball on a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disc. Wrap tightly and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Remove the fruit preserves from the stove and cool to room temperature.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove one disc from the fridge and place it on a piece of parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment over the disc, then roll it with a rolling pin in both directions until you’ve reached a ¼ inch thickness.
- Using a pizza cutter, cut the circle into a large square, then into smaller rectangles about 4in x 2in.
- Spread 2 tablespoons of the fruit preserves on each rectangle, leaving a ½ inch border.
- Remove the other disc from the fridge and repeat steps 8&9.
- Use a spatula to carefully lift each rectangle of dough and place it on top of the rectangles with the fruit on them.
- Dip your fingers in a little water and gently seal the bars on all sides by pressing the two rectangles together on the edges.
- Transfer the parchment paper with the bars onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes.
*For a quicker process, leave both of the dough pieces as large squares and spread all of the fruit preserves on the bottom square leaving a ½ inch border. Lift the parchment paper with the top square and carefully flip it on top of the bottom square. Seal the edges as described above, and bake it for 12 minutes. Cut into rectangles after it has cooled. You will be left with exposed sides where the jam will show with this method, but they will taste just the same.