Tuesday, July 16, 2013


We recently enjoyed a few days with our son, Jeffrey, and his family in CO. Most of our time there was spent in Estes Park at the YMCA in the Rockies.  I am working on a post of our stay there and hope to get it published soon.

After we got back to their home, I was in the girls' bedroom and Hallie was most excited to show me a pack of task cards from Usborne called "30 Easy Things to Cook and Eat".  She had gotten them at a garage sale.  On the front of the card was the recipe and then on the back was pictures with descriptions of making the recipe.  She told me she had made the shortbread and wanted to make the oatmeal squares but hadn't yet.  I asked her to get me a piece of paper so I could write the recipe down (along with another one for cherry loaf) and after I got home I would make them and let her know how they turned out.

Yesterday I decided to make the squares.  The recipe is very simple with only 4 ingredients.  As I was making them, I started thinking about Tyler, my grandson and Hallie's cousin.  His parents just found out that he has a gluten, dairy, and egg allergy.  They have been trying to change his diet to accommodate these allergies.

I realized that this recipe could easily be adapted to accommodate these allergies.  I considered substituting unsweetened applesauce for the margarine, (and I still plan to try the recipe doing this--will let you know how they turn out) but I remembered hearing my son Patrick, Patrick's dad, say that the Smart Balance Light was actually dairy free. Smart Balance isn't, but the "light" is. (Btw, I am not being reimbursed by Smart Balance.)

So with that substitute for regular margarine, you can make these oatmeal squares "gluten - free and dairy - free".  It doesn't contain eggs so that isn't an issue when I make them for Tyler.

Check the package to make sure the oats that you use are gluten - free.  

After I made the squares and ate one, I saw they taste just like the granola bars that you can buy.  My husband and I really like them. I reduced the calories by using brown sugar blend, but you wouldn't have to.  I also used Country Crock sticks this time.  It has no cholesterol which I have to watch.  Since they taste like granola bars, I decided to change the name to better describe the result.(Forgive me Usborne.)


3/4     cup non-dairy buttery spread (read above) or margarine
3/4     cup brown sugar (I used 6 tablespoons brown sugar blend)
2        tablespoons light corn syrup
2-1/2 cup quick oats or old fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  7 x 11 - inch shallow pan.

Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan.  

Dip a paper towel in some margarine or shortening and rub over the paper and sides of the pans.

Melt the buttery spread and brown sugar in a large saucepan over low heat.

Dip a tablespoon (measuring spoon) in hot water to use it to add the corn syrup.  

(The syrup will come out of the spoon better.)

Heat over low heat until buttery spread has melted. Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture and don't let it boil.

Take the pan off the stove and add the oats.

Stir well, making sure you totally cover the oats.

Spoon the mixture into the pan and spread evenly to cover the bottom of the pan.

Bake 25 minutes.

Leave in the pan for 10 minutes then cut into pieces.  Do not remove from pan until they have cooled completely.

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