This week I have been posting a mini-series of tips about eating allergen free (and healthy) on a budget. So far We have #1: Plan Ahead , #2: Eat Naturally “FREE” and #3: Shop sales, in-season and online! Today I have some tips on finding the best deals around!
Tip #4: Make It Yourself!
It can be very easy to break the bank by buying specialty gluten free, allergen safe products. You can save a ton of money by buying the ingredients and making your own! This also gives you control over specific ingredients if you have unique food intolerances/allergies and over the nutritional value. Investing in a food processor can make a lot of these recipes very convenient.
Here are 3 of my favorite “Make it yourself” recipes.
Lara Bars – These cost $1-$2 a piece in the store – they can be custom made at home for so much cheaper!
Here is the guide I follow – I found that these proportions work best for any fruit/nut/seed combo!
1/2 cup pitted dates
1 cup seeds or nuts (part of this could be GF oats as well!)
1/2 cup dried fruit
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp flavoring of choice (cinnamon, vanilla extract…)
Blend all of the ingredients in the food processor until it turns into a big sticky ball, this takes a few minutes. Form into bars (or whatever shape you love) and wrap in tinfoil or plastic wrap. Store in the fridge.
Get creative here! I love using dried pineapple and papaya with some unsweetened shredded coconut for a tropical twist! Dried apples and oats with cinnamon is a great treat too!
Gluten free granola can be very expensive, and if you have nut allergies it can be very tough to find a safe product. I have learned that making my own is delicious and fairly easy!
My latest, favorite recipe:
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
7 cups gluten free oats (or a combo of puffed millet and oats – millet is MUCH more affordable and very nutritionally dense)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup sweetener (honey, agave, maple syrup)
1/2 cup brown sugar (I have subbed applesauce here for no refined sugars)
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 tsp each of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together and then add sweeteners, oil, vanilla and berries. Stir to coat evenly. Spread out in a large baking pan covered in tinfoil. Bake for 40 minutes – stirring every 10-15 minutes to get evenly brown.
I recently found a great AND easy recipe to save a lot of money on my sunbutter habit. Because I am peanut and nut free – sunbutter is really my only option as a substitute. I love it, and I always try to buy unsweetened brands. You can easily make your own and save about $2/jar by doing so! Butter-up!
Check out the recipe with great step-by-step instructions here at Prudent Baby
What store-bought products have you started making from scratch on your own? Any favorite recipes to share?