Loving the BITE: Nut-Free Training Fuel (updated)

Raise your hand if you, or someone you love, is affected by food allergies.  Both my hands and one foot is up.  Like many, I’m the mom to three kids with food allergies.  And, of course, I work with many clients with food allergies.  So, when a request comes to provide dairy free, or nut-free, or gluten-free, I’ve got to give it my best shot.  It’s tough to find the right foods, I know.  And worse to spend tons of money on expensive ingredients only to be left with an inedible cardboard, terrible excuse for a cookie.  I’ve been there.

This week, we’re going nut-free for training fuel.  I think it could be of benefit even for those of us not allergic to nuts, as different foods provide a good variety of nutritients, and a good variety of nutrients never hurt anyone.

Recipe of the Week:  Nut Free Granola Cookie Balls

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup of raw sunflower seeds
  • 6 TB chia seeds
  • 1 cup organic honey
  • 1 ts. of sea salt
  • 1 ts. of ground cinnamon
  • other optional spices: ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamon (1/2 ts. of each would do).
  • 1 cup of raisins or craisins (optional)
  • 3/4 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 5 TB coconut milk or rice milk

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
  2. Place all dry ingredients, except 1 cup oats, in a food processor.  Process until well mixed.
  3. Add in wet ingredients.  Process until mixed well and only small “pieces” remain.
  4. Add in last cup of oats and mix well, leaving this pieces larger.
  5. Then, scoop out either 1) onto a cookie sheet for cookies, or 2) into a 9×9 Pyrex for cookie balls.
  6. If cooking cookies, cook approximately 12-15 minutes until medium brown underneath.  Remove from oven and all to cool.
  7. If cooking cookie balls, cook 10-12 minutes until firm on top but still slighly gooey inside.  Allow to cool slightly, until they are comfortable to touch.  With clean hands, scoop 1 Tbsp of mix out and roll into balls.  Allow to cool completely. (Any leftover crumbs can be left out to dry into granola).
  8. Store in air-tight container.  Also freeze well.

Makes ~24 cookies/balls

Comments:

More and more, people are affected by  food allergies.  I don’t have the answers as to why.  I know in my own children’s case, we have a strong family history on my husband’s side.  Also, I believe they are diagnosed more – in generations passed, chronic ear infections were just chronic ear infections…now we know it’s a symptom of a dairy allergy.  And possibly, our processed foods, our overuse of antibiotics, and our lifestyles have taken a toll on our digestive systems, allowing too large of protein molecules through and into the bloodstream, where they cause an allergic reaction.

Fortunately, for most allergy sufferers, there are options that will still work well for training nutrition.  In addition to our recipe of the week, here are some nut-free options:

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