Life’s been a little crazy lately and i haven’t been experimenting much in the kitchen. But with the cooling temperatures outside and the over and abundance of pumpkin recipes on pinterest I’ve been feeling an itch to do some baking.
When you have a gluten and dairy intolerance baking can be a challenge but I love a challenge.
As I was reading the most recent Trader Joe’s Frequent Flyer pamphlet I noticed they had a pumpkin version of their popular “…walked into a bar” line of fruit bars. I love these kind of bars. The graham crackery bar with the fruit filling are sooo good. but they almost always have wheat in them. And sometimes the filling as dairy in it. So I decided to give a homemade gluten & vegan version a try.
So here’s my basic graham recipe. You can make this into graham crackers or into a fruit bar. These are not as sweet as a traditional graham cracker so if you want them sweeter just add more sweetener. See, baking is easy.
Gluten free/Vegan ‘grahams’
1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup almond meal/flour
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons flax meal (soaked in 2 tablespoons of water as an egg replacement) or 1 egg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon stevia or 2 tablespoons of sugar
3 cups of water
combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl with a silicone spatula until smooth.
if you are using this for a fruit bar you want it to be the consistency of muffin batter. if you feel like it is too dry or thick you can add more water until you reach that consistency. if you are making them into graham crackers you want it to be in the thicker side.
*note* These don’t rise a ton so don’t be alarmed.
Fruit bars – pour half if the batter in to a greased square baking dish or lined muffin tins. layer in your filling then pour the remaining batter on top.
bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. if you are doing your bars in a muffin tin you’ll want to rotate them halfway through.
Graham crackers - Pour the batter onto the lined cookie sheet, and spread it out evenly to the edge of the sheet.
Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, or until the edges are brown and the center is just starting to crack.
Remove the parchment paper or silicone mat from the sheet (don’t burn yourself!) and cut the crackers into squares. (I got about 30 crackers out of this recipe.) Stick them back in the oven for 2-4 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let the crackers cool completely so they can crisp up.
You can use your favorite fruit preserves (fig is particularly yummy *fig newtons anyone?*) for a fruit version.
*I just thought of this* nut butter & chocolate chips for a reeces cup feel. OR chocolate chips and marshmallows for s’mores. OR combine those two fillings! Amazing! Your options are limitless!
Here’s my pumpkin spice filling recipe. I like to really taste the pumpkin so mine, again, is not super sweet. Adjust to your taste.
3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not the pie filling – just 100% pumpkin)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg (you can use pre-ground but fresh is really better)
1 teaspoon stevia or your favorite sweetener
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir to combine.
Note: I made these into little bites in mini muffin tins but you can use a baking dish for bars or regular muffin tins or a loaf pan. If you use a loaf pan you may need to adjust your baking time.
There you have it!!
They’re not super attractive but they are so easy and really versatile. Have fun and let me know what versions you make!