Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Allergy Safe S'Mores Crispy Treats

Feeding a kid with food allergies can sometimes be a challenge. Finding safe desserts is a search more difficult than the quest for the Holy Grail! There are plenty of delicious gluten-free options available, but almost all of the ones I have found so far have either soy, nuts, egg, or dairy... or all of the above. So for Beaker to have a sweet treat it pretty much has to be homemade.

A few weeks back, G-man had some friends over. For dinner, we put up a fire in the backyard fire pit and let them roast hot dogs. And what follows roasted hot dogs better than S'Mores? Not much! So I picked up graham crackers and chocolate and marshmallows and let the boys roast them up. Delicious!

Except Beaker could only eat the marshmallows. Which is fine, he loves them... but he was clearly sad to miss out on the crunchy chocolatey gooey goodness that is S'Mores. I haven't been able to find a single brand of graham cracker that is free of all of his allergens, and no chocolate bars either. Mini chocolate chips are excellent, but they don't work so well for smushing on a cracker with a hot mallow. I knew there had to be a way to make a Beaker-safe version of this delicious camp classic, but how? I turned it over in my head for a little while, then hit the kitchen. And this is what I came up with!

Allergy Safe S'Mores Crispy Treats Recipe

2 cups rice cereal squares
2 cups corn cereal squares
4 cups crisp rice cereal
40 regular marshmallows
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 - 1 1/2 cups allergy safe chocolate chips

Pre-coat a large baking dish or muffin tins lightly with coconut oil or cooking spray. Warm coconut oil in a large pan over low heat. Add marshmallows and heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and add cereal, tossing thoroughly to coat. Allow to cool for a few minutes (but not too long) and then add the chocolate chips. Mix in well.

Spread mixture over baking pan or scoop small spoonfuls into muffin tin. Allow to cool until set. Store in tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

Notes: The ingredients I used are safe for my son's allergies. They are free of gluten, soy, nuts, eggs, and dairy. When making food for someone with allergies be sure to take their specific allergies in to consideration. If you don't have to worry about allergies at all, you can substitute regular chocolate chips. This recipe could also be made vegan very easily just by using vegan marshmallows, but some alterations to the amount of marshmallow used might be necessary. For the pan, I like to use a mini muffin tin to make bite sized treats, just the right size for little hands.

Beaker was my little taste tester for this recipe.

He heartily approves!

To get a wider range of opinions, I took a big platter of them to a get together with friends. They were a big hit! I came home with a completely empty platter that had been nearly licked clean. The Dude said that if he hadn't seen them being made he never would have guessed they were made with allergy safe chocolate. A high compliment from him!

They also work great as a small sweet treat packed in lunches. 

For this lunch I packed Beaker some mini sausages with ketchup, GF pasta caprese salad, a peeled and segmented Cutie orange, and a bite-sized S'Mores Crispy Treat.

The caprese salad is made with gluten-free brown rice pasta, a bit of diced sweet onion, halved cherry tomatoes and shredded basil from the garden, and bits of mozzarella cheese. It also has a dash of pepper, and some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It's a nice, light summery salad, and Beaker loves it.

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  1. These look fabulous! I keep trying to think of a way to make s'mores, too & am always hung up on the graham crackers. I have a recipe for them, but I never seem to find time to make them.

    Have you seen the Enjoy Life chocolate bars? They have dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and milk chocolate with rice krispies.

    Do you have any recommendations for a sub for the coconut oil? My boys can't do coconut. :(

    Does your little boy eat the pasta salad cold? I've been wondering about sending a pasta with my 4yo for lunch. We use Tinkyada and Jovial brown rice pastas and they seem to get stiff and crumbly when cold.

    Sorry to bombard you with all the questions! It isn't very often that I find someone avoids (almost) everything we do!

    1. The caprese salad is meant to eat cold, and tastes way better that way. Beaker isn't terribly picky though. He prefers to eat pasta by picking it up with his fingers, so he is used to eating it a little cold anyway. He just likes it better that way, which works out great for me! The brown rice pasta we use we buy at Trader Joe's. Only $2 a bag and it tastes WAY better than any other brand we use! It holds shape and doesn't get gross, unless it's very over-cooked.

      If you can do dairy, butter works instead of coconut oil. If no dairy, then a soy-free canola or vegetable oil works well, too. Olive oil can work in theory, but I think it's a little heavy tasting. Maybe a super light salad olive oil would work though. I would use a smidge less if using veggie oil, maybe just 2 tablespoons instead of 3.

      We haven't yet tried the EnjoyLife bars, but they look delicious. I need to order some online - I haven't been able to find them locally yet. They will make excellent snacks to keep on hand at Beaker's preschool for days when they have special treats for the other kids.

      No worries about the questions! It IS unusual to find someone with the same (or even close to the same) restrictions, so I am happy to trade ideas in any way to help out! Beaker's diet seems SO foreign to so many people, but for us it's pretty much normal life now.


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