Since Eli had a really restrictive diet for the first 15 months of life, I got pretty creative in coming up with things for him to eat. He couldn’t eat gluten, rice, or potatoes, to name a few. Which means he couldn’t have any store bought crackers or cookies and most cereals were out of the question too. I perused allergy blogs and pinterest in search of recipes that would suit his diet, and inevitably had to adjust any recipe to fit his needs anyway. He really likes the buckwheat flour graham crackers I make. Now, most of his restrictions have been lifted. We only have to avoid dairy, eggs, and peanuts….piece of cake (that he can actually eat!) While I enjoy being able to hand my child an occasional Oreo or store bought saltine cracker, I can’t get over how many ingredients are in those products. Many of them I can’t even pronounce. I know that I can make a decent version of a graham cracker with 4 ingredients. Why do the ones at the store have more than a dozen?
This week I decided to try a few recipes of things I would normally purchase. The first is Tortillas. While at my husband’s grandparents house a few weeks ago, I was reading a magazine from 2010. I’m not even sure what magazine it was, but it had a recipe for tortillas. I had been thinking about trying to make my own so, I snapped a picture of the recipe with my phone. (sometimes I love technology!) Turns out, if you have flour, water, oil, and salt, you can make a tortilla! It was super easy. They turned out very soft and were sturdy enough to hold the chicken taco mixture I paired with them. We ate all of them in one sitting, so I have yet to try to make extra and save them, but they were so simple that I will probably just make the appropriate amount whenever we need them.
Next, I tried to make granola bars. I found quite a few recipes on Pinterest, and just decided to make one up based on what I had seen. There are a few more ingredients in the granola bar, but still not nearly as many as on the package of the store bought ones. My granola bar ingredients are oats, rice crispies, ground flax seed, honey, and brown sugar. The verdict? Yum! Hubby and Eli approved. In the future I will add dried fruit, chocolate chips, almonds, or vanilla to mix it up a bit.
Rachel’s Granola Bars:
1/2 c honey
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c soy butter
1/4 c (ish) ground flax seed
2 c oats
2 c puffed rice cereal
Heat the honey and brown sugar on the stove until brown sugar is fully dissolved. Mix dry ingredients together then pour the honey/brown sugar mixture over the dry ingredients. Mix until evenly coated. Press into a 9X13 pan or baking dish. Allow mixture to set. Cut into bars and store in container or zip lock bag.
If Eli hadn’t had his food issues, I don’t know that I would have landed in this place. The place where I know I can make food with WAY less ingredients than the store bought versions. I am not a food scientist, but the homemade version HAS to be better for us than the ones on the shelf. I would love to try bread next. There’s also an Oreo recipe that I would like to try. It might be easier to purchase items off the shelf, but I feel much better about knowing exactly what goes into my families food. This is just the beginning of my journey into homemade food staples!