School Lunches—Then and Now—and Double Chocolate Nut Butter Oaties

nut butter, gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, chocolate, cookies, treats, desserts, lunch

This post is linked to Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Friday Foodie Fix–School LunchesWellness Weekend, and Whole Foods Friday.

This post was originally shared as part of Sunny’s (And Love It, Too!) 2012 Healthy Lunchbox Series. Sunny’s fantastic 31-day series has concluded and you’ll definitely want to check out her event summary and roundup, The Ultimate Collection, to get the “take away” on making healthy lunches!

When Sunny first asked me to join in this year’s series, I hesitated. As she well knew, I had participated in her series last year with my post on The Cagey Bachelor Philosophy … A Tapas Approach to School Lunches. I told Sunny that I didn’t know what more I could offer. But then I kept thinking about the lunches that I had packed for Son when he was growing up. (He’s now 24 years old and off living on his own in New York City.) The lunches I packed for him when he was a child were not healthy. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I actually thought that I was doing pretty well back then, but I was ignorant about what constituted a healthy lunch. Very ignorant in fact. I actually packed healthier lunches for myself because mine usually involved leftovers from meals made from real food. Those were often not a good option for Son’s lunch as there was no way for him to heat up his lunches. Sure, some leftovers could be packed in a thermos and kept warm, but for the most part I relied on packaged individual serving items for his lunches. Let’s break them down, shall we?

Yogurt

Then: Son, who is now dairy free in addition to being gluten free, used to love yogurt. But it was the yogurt with the colorful packaging and cute cartoon characters. Yogurt that was pretty colorful itself. It was full of sugar (or the even less desirable aspartame or sucralose), dyes, and preservatives. Not good at all.

Now: If I were packing Son’s lunch today, I’d make my own yogurt, adding fruit. If I needed dairy-free yogurt, I could use one of the many dairy-free milks to make my own yogurt. There are many terrific recipes for making yogurt online. Here are links to just a few.

Katie (Kitchen Stewardship) (In this post, Katie also addresses all the excuses on not making one’s own yogurt.)

Kelly (The Spunky Coconut) (using cashew milk here and both cashew and coconut milk here)

Lexie (Lexie’s Kitchen) (almond and hemp milk yogurt, almond milk yogurt, and coconut milk yogurt)

Stephanie (A Year of Slow Cooking)

Cheese ~

Then: Cheese sticks were just so much fun back then, but after a while even Son noticed that daily cheese sticks were, well, to put it bluntly, clogging him up.

Now: Today, I’d skip the cheese most days, but occasionally would include a very small square of high quality cheese. For dairy free, a small piece of a Daiya non-dairy “cheese” wedge would work.

Fruits ~

Then: I went for single servings of fruits like applesauce (with sugar and cinnamon added), peaches, and fruit cocktail. I’d occasionally cut up an apple or a pear, but they did tend to turn brown by lunch time. I didn’t want to use the commercial product that keeps fruit from turning brown, nor did I want to use orange juice or lemon juice on the fruit slices because although those will work to prevent a color change, they also subtly change the flavor.

Now: I’d add fresh fruit all the time for lunch. Thanks to Pinterest, I know about the “apple puzzle” solution. With your apple standing upright, cut apple into vertical slices and then secure all with a rubber band so the surface of the slices won’t oxidize and turn brown. See Smashed Peas and Carrots’ step-by-step instructions here. 

gluten free, dairy free, lunch, apple puzzle, non-brown apples, Smashed Peas and Carrots

Photo courtesy of Smashed Peas and Carrots

Meats, Main Dish ~

Then: Jerky was a favorite “go to” lunch item. Full of preservatives, the jerky and “meat sticks” I packed for Son were not at all a good choice. Leftovers were used if they didn’t require re-heating or could be added to a thermos. I also relied on canned and microwaveable goods.

Now: Making jerky is a great reason to have a dehydrator. Here’s a recipe for Ginger Tamari Jerky from Paleo Parents. Soup (like Everything Soup; Potato-Zucchini Soup; Black Bean, Corn, and Salsa Soup; or Black-Eyed Pea with Ham, and Chicken Soup)—with a savory muffin, paleo bread, or crackers—makes for an easy-to-make filling meal with the help of a thermos. Similarly, small portions of leftover casseroles (like Easy Pea-sy Cheesy Tuna or Salmon Casserole,Spicy Sausage with Russet Potatoes and Sweet Potato Cream Sauce, and Taco Popover Supper) can easily be taken for lunch in a thermos. Remember to always fill the thermos with hot water, let sit for a few minutes, and then empty and fill to ensure thermos does its job best.

bread, gluten free, dairy free, grain free, sugar free, quick and easy, paleo, primal, good earth sweet and spicy tea

Paleo Bread

Granola Bars/Cereal Bars/Protein Bars ~ 

Then: I bought a lot of pre-packaged cereal bars and granola bars for son’s lunches. For the most part, they provided little nutritional value and, in hindsight, didn’t excel in the flavor department either.

Now: I would make some pretty healthy bars (focusing on ingredients like nuts, oats, quinoa flakes), for a treat once or twice a week. Popeye Protein and Fruit Bars, Chewy Granola Bars, or Black Magic Bars would all make welcome lunchbox treats. Most of my bar recipes can even be frozen on a wax-paper lined baking sheet and then stored in a larger container and pulled out one at a time as needed.

black magic bars, black walnut, chocolate chip, oat, gluten free, dairy free

Black Magic Bars

Crackers ~ 

Then: Sometimes packaged sandwich crackers made their way into Son’s lunch box. You know those day-glow orange ones that came with peanut butter or cheese centers? Those were the ones. Obviously they contained food coloring, but they also contained both wheat flour and barley flour, one or more undesirable oils, and more.

Now: There are a few purchased healthy gluten-free crackers that I buy from time to time, so I’d be willing to use those occasionally. But I’d like to try other ideas like these Roasted Red Pepper Fruit Leather pieces that make great natural crackers, or Ali’s Quinoa-Seed Crackers, Elana’s Vegan Herb Crackers, or Maggie’s Sesame Almond Crackers.

Chips ~ 

Then: Yep, I included packaged chips in Son’s lunches all the time. Son’s favorites were those stackable, thin, “formed” chips. It turns out they aren’t even gluten free like most chips.

Now: There are some healthier chips on the market today (I especially like the veggie chips, like sweet potato, beet, etc.) and I’m sure that I’d still share some packaged ones from time to time, but it’s pretty easy to make one’s own potato chips like Karina shows here. Or you could not go wrong with these yellow squash chips, which Jen’s kids fought over (if your child’s school starts while yellow squash is still in season). Zucchini chips are another great chip option and zucchini seems to be around pretty much year round these days. These Zucchini Chips from Alyssa look perfect for a kid’s lunch. And you’ve now happily crossed over into the Veggies category!

Veggies ~

Then: Unless veggies were included in leftovers packed in thermoses, sadly, few veggies made it into Son’s lunch.

From: I did pack raw carrots from time to time, but later information revealed that the baby carrots that I packed were not healthy at all. A “go to” lunch with an emphasis on veggies would be hummus (in different flavors) with cut red pepper strips, cucumber sticks (or slices), and similar.

Cookies ~

Then: Okay, I never ever bought cookies or muffins for Son. I always made my own. Baking has always been my specialty, but before I was only focused on making tasty baked goods. I didn’t give a second thought to ingredients. I made cookies and muffins with highly refined gluten-full flour, refined sugar, lots of chocolate chips, etc.

Now: I still make cookies but focus more on nutritionally dense ingredients like nut butter, nut flour, unrefined sweetener (honey from our own bees—which I only used in place of pancake syrup back in the day; Grade B maple syrup; and coconut or palm sugar). You will find many healthy cookie recipes on gfe. Today’s recipe for Double Chocolate Nut Butter Oaties—at the bottom of this post—is an example of the cookies I make today. Nut butter, eggs, oat flour, cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder), coconut sugar, allergen-free chocolate chips, coconut oil, baking soda, and homemade vanilla extractcome together to create soft, moist, and filling healthier chocolate cookies.

Beverages

Then: I was trained by television commercials, ads, and soccer game fare to always provide a beverage like milk (yes, chocolate), sports drink, juice pack, or juice. So I always had those for Son. A bright orange “Sunny” beverage was a favorite of his. The ingredients were several juices (that constituted less than 2% volume), corn syrup, canola oil, food coloring, sucralose, gums, and preservatives. Yikes.

Now: I’d focus first and foremost on filtered water. From home. In a recyclable container. If I wanted Son to enjoy some milk, I’d go for a non-dairy milk (I love this easy recipe from Ricki for making one’s own hemp milkand this way to make French Press almond milk), healthy juice (as in 100% juice; not a juice-pack), or even a smoothie. If Son wanted a really cold drink, I’d include Lexie’s Cool-Aid. Putting the beverage in the lunch in a frozen state should result in a cold, drinkable beverage by lunch time.

Making healthy lunches when you are actually making a lot of the food does take a little preplanning and preparation, storage, and packaging time, of course. But it doesn’t have to take tons of time. A once-a-week effort–and a fairly modest amount of time spent–can produce a whole week’s worth of lunch components!

Here’s my recipe for healthier lunch box cookies. Note that some of you might recognize the name of this recipe from a previous post during the July Self-Care Retreat. A number of folks had issues with that one (myself included!) after I published it, so I took down that post until I can recreate that recipe. This cookie is not the same recipe, but does contain the same basic ingredients; hence, the name. These are soft, moist and somewhat hearty cookies. They make for great lunch or breakfast cookies; only one or two is needed to satisfy!

chocolate, peanut butter, nut butter, oatmeal, cookies, healthy lunches

Double Chocolate Nut Butter Oaties (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup nut butter (or sun butter)
  • ⅓ cup certified gluten-free oat flour (see notes on making your own oat flour)
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder)
  • ¾ to 1 cup coconut sugar (or palm sugar, to taste; may even use less)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten (see notes for natural egg substitutes)
  • up to 1 tbsp coconut oil (if needed; see notes)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ to ½ cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Add ingredients to large mixing bowl in order shown, adding chocolate chips after other ingredients are mixed well.
  3. Drop cookies by heaping tablespoonful onto baking sheets, about one inch apart. (The cookies will not spread much during baking.)
  4. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, until cookies appear set. Remove baking sheets from oven and let cookies stand on baking sheets for 10 minutes longer. They will continue to bake during this time.
  5. Remove to drying rack to cool.
  6. Makes about 24 cookies, each about three inches in diameter.
Notes
You can always make your own oat flour by using your blender/food processor to turn your gluten-free oats into flour. Just process your oats until they turn into flour. Those who don’t eat oats, but eat quinoa might try substituting quinoa flakes. Natural egg substitutes such as flax “eggs” (or chia seed eggs) should work fine; I’d start with 1½ flax eggs and add more if needed to achieve cookie batter consistency. Only add coconut oil if the mixture seems too dry to make drop cookies. For example, I added coconut oil when using natural peanut butter, but did not add coconut oil when using almond butter. Start with a smaller amount of coconut oil, adding a little more as needed until your batter is right for drop cookies.

 

Shirley
Not just gf, but gfe!

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Comments

48 Responses to “School Lunches—Then and Now—and Double Chocolate Nut Butter Oaties”

  1. Angela Sommers on September 12th, 2012 3:24 pm

    Shirley, I simply love this brilliant post! So many ideas and so much advice rolled up into one post! Thank you!

    And as for the cookie recipe at the end, just from reading the recipe I know it is a winner, so sometime soon be prepared to get a picture of my batch! :) I am back from a very intense business trip and I hear the kitchen call my name!!!

    • Shirley on September 13th, 2012 9:09 pm

      Hi Angela–Thanks, dear! Glad you found my post useful. I’ll look forward to the pic of your cookies! Baking is a great way to unwind any time, but especially after an intense business trip. ;-)

      Shirley

  2. Kelly on September 12th, 2012 4:16 pm

    Awesome post Shirley! I love it. It’s funny you posted about yogurt. My 7-year-old just announced to me this morning that she “missed yogurt.” I guess I didn’t realize I could make my own. I’m going to explore making my own.

    Thanks for the great post. I’m printing this recipe to try!

    • Shirley on September 13th, 2012 10:22 pm

      Hi Kelly–Sometimes timing is everything! ;-) Yes, check out the different posts. Some of the bloggers say it’s super easy; others say it takes a few tries to get the hang of it. I wish you much luck so you can make your 7-year old happy. :-)

      Thanks for all the kudos! I’m tickled that you already made these cookies so successfully and linked back–thank you!

      xo,
      Shirley

  3. Ricki on September 12th, 2012 4:22 pm

    Love this, Shirley! And so much great advice–not just for school lunches, either (though I guess technically my work lunches ARE “school” lunches!!) ;-) Thanks for linking to my hemp milk, too. And holy moly, I need those cookies!!!

    • Shirley on September 13th, 2012 10:35 pm

      Hey Ricki–Yes, all my lunch advice applies to kiddos’ school lunches and to adult lunches! :-) The truth is I find that when eating real food, there’s not much difference between lunches for kids and lunches for adults. I still need to make the hemp milk. I’ve lost my hemp seed somewhere in my fridge! LOL, but true. ;-) If Son were still here, I’d have found it and already made the hemp milk. He fell in love with the chocolate hemp milk, so I’m sure he would have loved a homemade healthier version.

      I’m so happy you made the cookies with flax eggs and stevia and had such success! I really appreciate you sharing your photo and lovely review on your DD&D FB page! :-)

      Shirley

  4. Sarah @ Celiac in the City on September 12th, 2012 10:36 pm

    Uh-oh… I have all of the ingredients in the cupboard for those cookies — that could be dangerous! Great post. Love all the “then and now” comparisons, and isn’t it funny how things have changed, how much we’ve learned about food? Thanks for all the ideas!

    • Shirley on September 13th, 2012 10:37 pm

      Hi Sarah–Have you made them yet? ;-) Thanks for the sweet feedback, Sarah. It’s funny and amazing how much we learn about food once we go gluten free. I consider it an unexpected and fabulous bennie of going gluten free. :-)

      Shirley

      • Sarah @ Celiac in the City on September 13th, 2012 10:43 pm

        Haven’t made them yet — have you had success with freezing them? (I am home alone this weekend, and worried I might eat them all tonight!) And I know a few others who would like them. :)

        Hope to make them this weekend. Can’t wait!

  5. Kim-Cook It Allergy Free on September 12th, 2012 10:43 pm

    Shirley, this post is so full of good info. I really am loving all of these ideas. Now that we have been gluten free for about 7 years, I am surprised at the differences in some of the things I used to serve up for lunch versus what I serve now.
    And, as usual, this recipe looks just perfect! A perfect one for us to try and I totally have everything to make them.
    xo
    k

    • Shirley on September 13th, 2012 10:48 pm

      Thanks so much, Kim! It really is amazing how far we have come, isn’t it? If anyone had told us where we’d end up, we probably would have scoffed! ;-)

      I hope you love the cookies. I usually don’t like chocolate cookies, believe it or not, but the nut butter and oats make this one special. :-)

      xo,
      Shirley

  6. Ina Gawne on September 13th, 2012 6:43 am

    Shirley – wonderful cookies! I bet they would work well with Quinoa Flakes too – yum!

    • Shirley on September 13th, 2012 10:49 pm

      Hi Ina–Yes, I believe quinoa flakes would be great in these cookies. I love quinoa flakes in heartier chocolate desserts. :-)

      Thanks!
      Shirley

  7. Nance on September 13th, 2012 9:46 am

    My kids, when little, wanted the Sunny Delite drink. I remember the absolute shock and horror I felt when I read the label in the store and saw that it contained a large amount of OIL. I told them so, using the example of salad dressing that I made at home each day. They, too, were horrified and didn’t want to drink that. To this day, they never have!

    Reading labels–what a concept!

    I thought of you yesterday when browsing for an overnight oatmeal recipe for Rick’s breakfast. Have you seen this: http://lifehacker.com/5942286/make-grab+and+go-oatmeal-in-your-fridge?tag=food-hacks

    (Apologize for the long URL. Not sure if we can use HTML in comments.)

    • Shirley on September 13th, 2012 11:16 pm

      Hi Nance–You were a really good mom, and taught your boys well! Yes, exactly on reading labels. Sadly, I’d wager that most still do not read labels though. :-(

      Nance, that overnight oatmeal recipe is almost legendary now. It comes from The Yummy Life, a blog whose author was pretty much ready to quit blogging until this post went viral, she then monetized that post (and her blog overall) and ending up quitting her day job! That post has half a million pins on Pinterest, 15,000 shares on FB, and I have no idea how many views. I know you don’t get into all that, but the numbers still have to be impressive. Unfortunately, I can’t tolerate much in the way of even certified gf oats, but lots and lots of folks love their gf oatmeal, and that post has so many variations. She even did a follow-up post with more flavor combinations. Let us know what you think when you make it! :-) Oh, and no worries on the long URL, but yes, you can use HTML in comments.

      Every time I see the Lincoln trailer I think of you … can’t wait to see that movie! Hope we can get together in the near future!

      Shirley

  8. Kelly on September 13th, 2012 3:45 pm

    Tired them and LOVED them! I shared my findings on FB and my site and linked it back to yours. Thank you!

    • Shirley on September 13th, 2012 11:16 pm

      Thanks, again, Kelly, for all! :-)

      xo,
      Shirley

  9. Jeanette on September 13th, 2012 4:23 pm

    I love your “then” and “now: post Shirley – we all learn as we go and hindsight is always 20-20. With a gap of 9 years between my oldest son and youngest, I see a huge difference in they eat even to this day. We can just keep doing our best – healthy eating is a continuous learning process.

    • Shirley on September 13th, 2012 11:23 pm

      Hi Jeanette–How very true … a continuous learning process for sure! :-)

      Thanks!
      Shirley

  10. Alisa on September 13th, 2012 4:23 pm

    Wow, what a great list! I just got a yogurt maker, so I’ll be referencing help from those ladies for sure!

    Whenever I see the word oaties I think of HEAB.

    • Shirley on September 13th, 2012 11:25 pm

      Hey Alisa–How cool! Will look forward to hearing how your yogurt making goes. :-)

      Awww, I do miss HEAB. I wonder how she’s doing with her expanded family and a life without blogging … probably—and hopefully—very well!

      Shirley

  11. InTolerant Chef on September 13th, 2012 5:48 pm

    Love the then vs now Shirley :) I find school lunches tricky too. With such hot weather here in summer its difficult to keep things cool even with freezer blocks and chill bags. My sisters school provides a fridge fire each classroom which would make things a lot easier. Five hours sitting in a hot locker or school bag its enough to make anything unappetizing, especially when its over 30*C!
    These cookies would have to be an exception though :)

    • Shirley on September 13th, 2012 11:27 pm

      Thanks, InTolerant Chef! You really do have some challenges with school lunches. I’d say a fridge is required under those circumstances!

      Yep, no refrigeration required for these cookies. ;-)

      Shirley

  12. JLSY on September 13th, 2012 6:20 pm

    Can you pinpoint where exactly in the link you posted about carrots that it says baby carrots are not healthy? I must be missing something, I read it as a marketing strategy. Baby carrots really are just cut up regular carrots after all- a bit of a waste of money but I can’t see why carrots would lose nutrition in the process of being cut up.

    Those cookies do sound good, I’ll have to try them out.

    • Shirley on September 13th, 2012 11:36 pm

      Hi JlSY–Welcome! I’m sorry … I didn’t link the correct article. :-( Like you said, that article is focused on the marketing of the not really baby carrots. Here are two links that talk about the concerns, Snopes and Best Food Facts.

      Thanks so much re: the cookies!
      Shirley

  13. Deanna on September 14th, 2012 9:43 am

    Great tips. I’m already bored with lunch packing. :)

    Oh, and I’d never seen the french press almond milk technique before. Thanks for pointing that out!

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2012 6:50 pm

      Hey Deanna–The boredom can come pretty quickly sometimes, can’t it? ;-) Sunny’s series had one post from Jessica of Allergic to Air that had a nifty idea on using index cards to make decisions on what to pack. Sometimes, I think that we just don’t want to think when it comes to packing lunches, so an idea like that might help. This post from Ali might be really helpful, too. :-) The French press technique is cool; isn’t it? Someone else shared it on Facebook and I just thought it was so cool that I had to snag it for my post, too. If Son were still a kiddo, I’d definitely be trying it!

      Shirley

  14. Sarah @ Celiac in the City on September 16th, 2012 10:10 am

    Made them this morning, Shirley and they are delicious! I lowered the coconut sugar to 1/2 cup, added a little espresso powder and used white chocolate chips (all I had in the house, can you believe it?)

    Perfect with coffee. Yep, for breakfast. :)

    Hope you are having a lovely time on your getaway!

    • Shirley on September 17th, 2012 7:09 am

      Hi Sarah–Thanks so much, dear, for the feedback and for sharing your version! They sound sooo delish. Yep, these cookies make for a perfect breakfast in my book, too. ;-)

      We had a relaxing weekend at our property. It’s impossible to have a bad time there. Well, unless it’s raining and then we just pack up and come home (or don’t go in the first place). We’re fair weather campers!

      Have a good week, Sarah!
      Shirley

  15. Jane on September 16th, 2012 12:15 pm

    This is such a great post, and a great comparison! And it has motivated me to make my own jerky — my hubby loves it, and I have been wanting to try it for a while! :) The french press method to make almond milk? Genius! Can’t wait to try that one!

    • Shirley on September 17th, 2012 7:11 am

      Hi Jane–Great to see you again! :-) And how awesome that you were inspired to make your own jerky! I have not done that yet, but I have two jerky lovers in my house, and I’d probably be one, too, if I made my own. ;-) I thought the French press almond milk idea was genius, too. I’m not really into the standard way. Hope you’ll report back on that after you try it!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment with your feedback!
      Shirley

  16. Sophie on September 17th, 2012 5:32 pm

    What a lovely read & what lovely & very useful & tasty tips for us all! :)
    Every food or every dish looks fab & tasty! Those cookies are my favourite though! :) xxx

    • Shirley on September 18th, 2012 10:36 pm

      Hey there, Sophie–Thank you, dear! I think you’d enjoy the cookies for sure! ;-)

      xo,
      Shirley

  17. Dana on September 17th, 2012 8:40 pm

    Hi Shirley, I love this post! My daughter just started pre-k and I have to pack lunch and 2 snacks every day. Last week, her first, was exhausting, so it’s great to have fresh ideas. I also enjoyed the nostalgia of your then and now. Looking back, my own lunches were probably less than ideal, but at the time I know my mom thought they were healthy. But one thing I know for sure, is that they were made with love, as I’m sure yours were too for your son, beef jerky and all :)
    -Dana

    • Shirley on September 18th, 2012 10:40 pm

      Hi Dana–It’s great to see you. :-) What a sweet comment on the love that went into your lunches and the ones I made for Son–thank you! Be sure to head over to Sunny’s to get some more great ideas for making your daughter’s lunches. After all, you are just at the beginning with this school lunch thing. ;-)

      Hugs,
      Shirley

  18. Susan on September 18th, 2012 5:31 pm

    Thanks for a very thoughtful and informative post on school lunches Shirley. Convenience packaging has really taken over school lunches, much to the detriment of children’s health. So glad to find the links to homemade yogurt in the slow cooker (I don’t have a yogurt maker). Looking forward to trying that. Wonder if your son is making healthy lunches for himself in NYC?

    • Shirley on September 18th, 2012 11:15 pm

      Hi Susan-Thanks for the kind words! That’s a good way of putting it … convenience packaging has taken over school lunches. Indeed. It can be easy to fall prey to marketing and *conventional* guidance on what’s healthy.

      I’ll be interested in hearing how your yogurt-making adventures turn out!

      Son is making some healthy meals for himself in NYC, but he’s also working super long hours and taking advantage of many gf/df dining options in the area. ;-)

      Shirley

  19. Susan on September 18th, 2012 8:05 pm

    I just discovered the original cookie recipe missing! Glad to find this, I made the original recipe (but added an egg for stickiness) and they were wonderful. I am making more tonight, as I’ve been thinking about them for weeks.

    Yum!
    -Susan

    • Shirley on September 18th, 2012 11:53 pm

      Hi Susan–I’m sorry that I had to take that recipe down, but I didn’t want folks trying it and failing. I am glad that you got the original recipe to work, but I hope you enjoy this recipe as much, too! :-)

      Shirley

  20. Fatcat on September 19th, 2012 11:24 am

    Shirley, I have a challenge for you. I’m not sure how to say it, but I’d like you to do some kind of a blog party, carnival or something, where we all write what we would like to say to our loved ones who need to go GF and won’t. It could be a letter, an infographic, a poster, something, to tell them what we need to tell them. Maybe someone will get really creative and come up with something we can share with them that will finally convince them!

    Someone I love who needs to be GF but refuses told me last night “if I could only find a soft sandwich bread that I like” but I think what is this disease going to take away from you that is so much worse than giving up bread??!!!! I haven’t found a good way to say it though. Maybe your readers can?

    Poster ideas that run through my mind include:

    What if it is gluten that is making you sick and you are eating it 10 times a day!!!!!!

    What will gluten take from you?

    • Shirley on September 20th, 2012 10:54 pm

      Hey Fatcat–Now that’s a struggle that almost all of us face. I’ll have to think on this one. Getting someone to see that living gluten free could be life changing for them is much like getting someone to stop smoking, lose weight, etc. It won’t happen until the person is ready and, sadly, for some it will never happen. As family members and friends of those still suffering and making excuses, it’s so hard to see others continue to have issues and potentially harm themselves. But we know that nagging doesn’t work, and chances are even if the person you love had soft gluten-free sandwich bread to eat, there’d be another excuse. Putting ourselves in their shoes we might understand the resistance. But maybe we all could come up with something that might make a difference and get others to try living 100% gluten free. Again, I’ll think about some possibilities. Thanks so much for your ideas, Dana!

      Shirley

  21. Megan @ Allergy Free Alaska on September 21st, 2012 2:02 am

    What a great recipe, Shirley! I’ll have to make these for the girls (and me too) soon. I’m sure they will be an instant hit!
    xo
    Megan

    • Shirley on September 25th, 2012 10:59 am

      Hey dear Megan–Thanks! I hope you all love them!! :-)

      Shirley

  22. Arleen on September 24th, 2012 4:37 pm

    So that’s how to keep apples just cut fresh! Never occurred to me. My youngest graduated high school 3 years ago. I wish I had known sooner! I will pass along your tips (when the time comes!)

    Those cookies look awesome! What a great excuse to turn on the oven and get some heat in here!

    • Shirley on September 25th, 2012 11:01 am

      Good to see you again, Arleen. :-) That idea never occurred to me either, but I love it. Even for me. ;-)

      Thanks for the kind words on these cookies. I hope you will really enjoy them. I sure could have used some extended baking to warm up my house last night and this morning, too!

      Shirley

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