One of my challenges when I developed latex-fruit syndrome was coming up with healthy, portable snacks since I could no longer just pick up granola bars, bananas, or apples. I came up with this granola to help fill the snack gap, and now some version of it is almost always stored in my kitchen ready to pack in a quick lunch or to top a bowl of Greek yogurt … or pack in a lunch to top a bowl of Greek yogurt. By changing up the spices I use each time, I make sure I don’t get too bored with it.
Some important allergy tips specific to this recipe:
- I am not extremely sensitive to gluten, so I use regular oats. Oats are naturally gluten-free, but gluten-containing grains can get mixed in during growth and processing. If you react to gluten or any other grains, be sure to use gluten-free oats to avoid potential cross-contamination.
- Many dried fruits are coated with sunflower oil. Unfortunately, sunflower seeds, which are the source of sunflower oil, can cross-react with latex. If you react to sunflower seeds or sunflower oil, be very careful when choosing your dried fruit or dry your own fruits (a bit cumbersome, I know, but at least you will get a little more variety and a lot more confidence).
- Although many seeds and nuts do not cross-react with latex, they may be processed in facilities that also process peanuts, walnuts, or other ingredients that do. If you are especially sensitive to these ingredients, be sure to check the labels carefully or skip the nuts and seeds altogether.
- And always be sure to get your allergist’s advice before trying any ingredients that are new to you. (See more detail below recipe.)
Maple Spice Granola Base
This granola is lightly-sweetened with maple and brown sugar. Season it with your favorite spice combination and add your favorite dried fruits, seeds, or nuts to make a truly delicious portable snack, or use it in place of raw oatmeal for softer cookies or breakfast bars.
The Spices (Version 1: mild, traditional)
The Spices (Version 2: fruity spice)
The Spices (Version 3: vanilla spice)
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Place the oatmeal, brown sugar, salt, and dry spices of your choice in an un-greased 9 x 13 ceramic or Pyrex baking dish. Gently mix the dry ingredients together.
Drizzle the liquids over the oatmeal mixture. If you begin with the oil, the maple syrup will slide easily from the measuring cup (2 Tbsp is half of a 1/4 cup measure.) Add the vanilla now, if you are making the vanilla spice version.
Gently stir the ingredients until well mixed; then spread the mixture out again evenly in the dish.
Place the dish in the middle of the oven for 8 minutes. Open the oven and stir. Return to the oven for 8 more minutes, stir, and bake for a final 8 minutes. The granola should be lightly golden now.
Stir once more and allow to cool. Once the granola base is cool, add your favorite nuts and/or dried fruit to make a more robust snack or use in oatmeal cookie, granola bar, or breakfast bar recipes.
My recipes avoid all ingredients listed on the American Latex Allergy Association website as known for cross-reacting with latex as well as a few other ingredients that I have discovered elsewhere. However, latex-fruit syndrome is still an emerging issue and poorly understood. There may be other foods that cross-react, and people with latex-fruit syndrome often have other food allergies independent of their latex allergy. Each individual is different, so be sure to discuss with your allergist the safest way for you to try out ingredients that are new to you before you cook with them.