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Nut and Cranberry Gluten-Free Granola Bars

Two weeks ago, I tried a low FODMAPs diet. I’ve been having some GI issues and wanted to see what following the diet is like and if I’ll find relief (and I did!). While I can’t feel each client’s exact physical pain, trying the diets I recommend helps me understand the daily challenges someone on a restricted diet goes through. It helps me be a better dietitian. It pushes me to think outside the box and tweak my programs so they’re not only effective, but also practical and flexible.

I’m not a huge fan of bars on-the-go in general and they’re not a staple in our household. But I have to admit, they’re convenient, especially when embarking a new way of eating. Since it’s not easy to find bars that are low in FODMAPs, I made these in the beginning of the week as a snack or breakfast food in case I didn’t have time to put something fresh together and sit down to eat it.

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Planning is key to successful nutrition changes–from weight loss, to digestive conditions, to food sensitivities. That’s what I tried to do.

These bars are low in FODMAPs (for people with IBS), gluten-free if you buy Certified Gluten-Free oats (for people with celiac disease, gluten sensitivities, and a variety of inflammatory conditions), and appropriate for people following their own MRT-LEAP diet (for people following the food sensitivity testing and program for IBS, migraines, fibromylgia, and a variety of inflammatory conditions).

MRT-LEAP Recipe Modification

Since there’s no one MRT-LEAP modification, adjust this recipe according to your own lab results. You might bake a few batches before you get to the perfect combination. Choose your allowed flours, allowed nuts (almonds, pecans, or cashews), allowed fruit (banana chips or dried pineapples), allowed sweetener, and allowed oil. If you can’t have vanilla, just skip it. If you can’t have eggs, add a bit more oil to moisten the bars.

Nut and Cranberry Gluten-Free Granola Bars
Recipe Type: Snack, breakfast
Author: Nour Zibdeh
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 55 mins
Serves: 14
Try this granola bar recipe made with REAL ingredients. Gluten-free, low in FODMAPs, and MRT-LEAP friendly
  • 2 c rolled oats
  • ½ c almond flour
  • ½ c brown rice flour
  • 1 c dried cranberries
  • 1 c chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 c pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ c coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325° F
  2. Grease a large cookie tray with a dab of coconut oil.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl until thoroughly mixed using your hands, a wooden spoon, or stand mixer.
  4. Transfer to the cookie tray and pat down into one large square or rectangle ½ inch thick.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes until brown around the edges (dough might still be soft in the middle, it’s ok, it will harden as it cools).
  6. Allow bars to cool completely in the pan. Cut into even pieces. (Should be able to get 14).
  7. Store bars in a covered container at room temperature for 3-4 days. Wrap leftover pieces individually in plastic cling wrap and freeze for later, up to 1 month.

See MRT-LEAP modification

As a dietitian and nutritionist, I don’t only focus on weight loss. I care about digestive health, inflammation, and immune function. Have you ever considered following a certain diet to improve your gut health?

Nour’s guidance and expertise was the key to dramatically halting our son’s [Crohn’s] disease progression! His pediatric gastroenterologist is now in agreement of our choice to treat solely with diet and supplements. All his labs have improved and his inflammatory markers are so low they are practically nonexistent.

Before working with Nour, I experienced intestinal pain off and on for for 54 years with minimal success on medications. I have benefited 100% from Nour’s program as I am now pain free!

A lot of time and money was wasted on foods that I thought would help my digestive struggles [diarrhea, bloating, hunger], but in fact I was making it worse. The main benefit is getting a handle on what negatively affects my digestive symptom. Doing a total 180 to my eating habits has been pretty amazing.


13 thoughts on “Nut and Cranberry Gluten-Free Granola Bars”

    1. IBS stands for irritable bowel syndrome. It’s gastrointestinal disorder in which the person who has it suffers from abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, gas, diarrhea, urgent need to go, and changes in frequency and consistency of elimination. For some people, IBS is mild, for others, it’s severe and affects their quality of life to the degree that some people miss work days. IBS can be a result of your body not breaking down carbohydrates (FODMAPs) appropriately, so whatever is left goes to your large intestine where the bacteria ferments it leading to gas and the accompanying symptoms. A low FODMAPs diet is recommended as well as restoring healthy gut bacteria. IBS can be related to immune system reactions and IBS in this case is accompanied by other signs of inflammation, and my approach then would be MRT-LEAP food sensitivity testing: http://www.nourition.com/services/food-sensitivities-testing-and-program-mrt-leap/

  1. These FODMAPs diet-friendly bars look and sound great. I too am experimenting with FODMAPs (and SCD) as a solution to a niggling problem, although I suspect it is hormonal in nature. I appreciate the fact that you try diets that you recommend. I am working on low-fibre recipes for post-bowel surgery patients I see in the cancer support centre where I work (and also those with partial bowel blockages) and I must say that making and photographing my recipes shows how tricky it can be to make such a restricted diet interesting. But I am trying! Thanks for this recipe. I will definitely bookmark to try it soon.

    1. Thanks Kellie. You made me smile about photographing food 🙂 This is not the best of my pictures, but I had a house full of people–house guests who’re not used to my crazy little photography studio..LOL, I snapped it very quickly but it does taste good. A little crumbly but really good… nice to meet you, good luck with your health/diet experiments. I’m reading about SCD, success with Crohn’s disease, very interesting stuff…

  2. This was a GREAT recipe! Some of it cut into bars and some crumbled and we just used it like granola. I didn’t have maple syrup so I substituted honey and added a handful of dark chocolate chips. Also used Almonds in place of walnuts. this would be good with peanut butter or almond butter mixed in as well. I brought it to a sport function with us and everyone raved about it. Such an easy recipe as well.

    1. Hi Eileen… thank you for the comment and I’m glad you all enjoyed the bars! They were a little crumbly with maple syrup too. Did you crush the almonds? That would help the ingredients stick better and you make a great suggestion about using nut butters. Now I will have to try it with your tip! Thanks!

    1. Thanks Dixya, I try to give people options when I share my recipes. I too feel that I can tolerate cooked onions more than raw, but it general, too much onion bothers me… too bad, considering their benefits 🙁

  3. Have them baking in the oven right now! I am hoping they come out and taste as good as they look. I went on line b/c I did not have almond flour, but I did have plenty of almonds. So I have a very inexpensive way to make almond flour .http://www.ehow.com/how_4969027_make-almond-meal-flour.html. Next I will be looking up brown rice flour. I know if they made it so can we. For less than half the price. Will keep you posted.

    1. Hi Patty… thank you for the comments and for sharing the recipes. I’m not a baking/pastry chef 🙂 maybe if you add more coconut oil next time they’ll be more moist. Also, ovens vary in their temperatures. Is it possible that you cooked them too long?

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