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Strawberry Breakfast Bars (Gluten-Free)


Image: CC--Diana House

Celiac.com 11/30/2016 - A recent trip to the supermarket revealed how often "fake" strawberries are used in breakfast and snack bars. Cereals have even added "strawberries" to many favorite choices. These products are NOT made from dried strawberries. The ingredient label reads: "strawberry flavored fruit pieces (sugar, cranberries, citric acid, natural and other flavors...". The fruit pieces are sugar flavored cranberry skins that previously sold as pig food and offer no nutritional benefit except calories. This fruit fraud is not unique to strawberries. Blueberries in a national brand bar are described as "blueberry flavored fruit pieces (sugar, cranberries, blueberry juice from concentrate, grape juice for color...". The same brand of cereal lists blueberry flavored bits (sugar, corn syrup, corn cereal, modified wheat starch, modified corn starch...cellulose gum, red #40,blue #2, green #3, blue #1). No blueberries are listed as an ingredient!

Snack and breakfast bars are convenient and can be made with healthy gluten-free ingredients like brown rice, hemp and coconut flours. A quick visit to the health food section of the supermarket or local health food store can yield the ingredients in this quick and easy snack bar recipe. For those wanting enough bars to last the week, double the recipe and store them in the refrigerator.

Strawberries are a popular fruit to include in bars and cereal because calorie for calorie they have 2 times more potassium than a 7-inch banana and twice as much iron as raisins. When it comes to selecting strawberries, raw ones have twice as much vitamin C and folate as frozen ones. So when they are abundant during strawberry season, enjoy them raw or in this bar recipe.

Gluten-Free Strawberry Breakfast Bars

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour or
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts or powdered hemp
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon date sugar or sugar substitute
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons orange or apple juice

Directions:
Melt butter in a 9-inch square baking pan while preheating the oven to 375F. Combine strawberries, honey, and 2 tablespoons of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook until strawberries are soft and can be mashed with a fork. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of water. Add to strawberries and stir until thickened. Cool. Make crust by combining the rest of the ingredients, including the butter. Stir to form the dough. Press 2/3 of the dough onto an oiled baking pan. Spoon strawberry filling over the top. Crumble remaining dough over the filling, pressing gently into the filling. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool. Cut into 12 bars.

Calories per bar 122; Protein 3g; Carbohydrates 18g; Fat 5g

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