Berry Breakfast Oat Bars
I have shared on my Instagram page that my daughter has a soy and dairy allergy. We learned this after a trip to the ER with her at 3 months old. The options for this type of allergy at this young of an age are to start her on a hydrolyzed formula (which smells and tastes pretty nasty) or for mom to cut out soy and dairy from her diet to keep breastfeeding. I decided I was up to the challenge of cutting out dairy and soy from my diet as my daughter was an awesome feeder, and I really did not want to spend the money on formula. Although I may be the ‘ideal’ person to have to deal with such a major change to my diet as a dietitian, I found it very difficult in the beginning. I was having to read every single food label extremely closely, while keeping the list of hidden words for soy and dairy open on my phone. It was time consuming to say the least. I also could not just eat out anywhere or trust that others would know how to cook for me. I have learned first hand just how challenging and isolating allergies can be!
Now that I have been soy and dairy free for 5 months, I have come up with a few tricks on how to manage an allergy. My top 3 tricks for eliminating an allergen are:
– Play around with oils- whether or not you have a nut allergy, dairy allergy or soy allergy, there will always be an oil you can use in cooking and baking. Nothing really will taste quite like butter but when you get a good quality oil, you get a lot of flavor! You also get the added benefit of the polyunsaturated fats and omega’s- talk about a great bonus! My favorite oils include a good quality canola oil (made in SK!), camelina oil (also made in SK!) and of course olive oil for salad dressings.
o Quick salad dressing tip- mix oil, vinegar and a couple herbs and boom, you have a homemade dressing!
– Get down to the basics- I spent many hours in the grocery store reading labels. What I learned from all this reading is it is often simpler and less effort to make my own at home with the basic, raw ingredients. Having a few simple recipes that you can modify and play around with are lifesavers. I found these recipes by combining multiple recipes to make my own with the ingredients I had on hand. Using simple recipes with pantry staples saved me the stress of worrying if there was a hidden soy or dairy ingredient that I missed on the label.
– Find your go-to’s- Find a few good brands, products and restaurants that will guarantee you an allergy free food and work with you to make your life a little easier when you need it. Call around- this takes time but if you are unsure about a label or ingredient list, you will feel much better talking to someone. After about a month of eliminating soy, I had my list of go-to brands and safe restaurants that I knew I trusted, stress free!
What are your tips or tricks when it comes to dealing with allergies? Tell me in the comments!
Now, for what you all came for… my go-to breakfast bar recipe! I came across this recipe, after another mom shared them at a morning out. I knew I had to get the recipe and play around with it! These bars make a great breakfast on the go and a quick pre-workout snack.
Berry Breakfast Oat Bars
– 2 cups mixed frozen berries
– 2 tbsp ground flax seed
– 1 banana
– 2 eggs
– 1 cup whole wheat flour
– 1 cup rolled oats
– 2 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 2 tbsp maple syrup
– 2 tbsp canola oil
1. Combine berries and flax seed in a bowl, set aside
2. Mash banana with a fork. Add the 2 eggs and mix.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until a wet dough forms. Take out 1 cup to use for toping
4. Grease an 8 X 8 pan and spread the dough evenly. Pour berry mixture on top. Drop and spread spoonful’s of set aside dough on the top.
5. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.