In one of my not-so-illustrious moments as a mom, I swung a parenting deal with my preschooler that I’ll probably still be honoring when he’s 17. The just-be-quiet-and-cooperate-and-stop-grabbing-everything-and-I’ll-let-you-pick-out-one-thing at the grocery store deal.
Foolishly, it didn’t occur to me at the time that I was setting the bar. It was a moment of pure desperation to get dinner made and lunches packed. Plus I assured myself this was the incentive I needed to get the meal-planning done on Sundays and whip through the store solo on Monday morning. The only problem is summer came…and Christmas vacation…and two weeks of snow cancellations… Before I knew it my grocery store co-pilot had earned his stripes. And lots of snacks.
Not that he was in the habit of picking out anything absurd. Yet.
Then it happened. We needed something from Whole Foods. When you’re a gluten-free, dairy-free family Whole Foods is par for the course. You seek out the 365 tags and otherwise keep your head down. To this day I’m still not sure why we went down the snack aisle. I think we were looking for Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips. But that’s where he spotted them – a 6-pack of chocolate covered rice cakes – for $4.99. Six rice cakes. For five dollars. Folks, that’s 26 bananas at Trader Joe’s!
But a deal’s a deal, right? And Allergy Moms… those tiny heart strings that pull when your child asks, “Are these gluten-free?” What are you going to do, lie? No, you tell the truth and say, “Yes, and dairy-free and nut-free, so you can even take them to school.”
Maybe by now you’ve noticed that despite my status as “not a food blogger,” I like to post recipes. And therefore this story has a happy ending. Because finding an allergen-friendly snack for a preschooler who’s just trying to be normal, despite his inability to eat Goldfish crackers and string cheese, is like finding the golden egg. But usually comes at the cost of the golden egg. Not today, I’m happy to report! Here’s my recipe for homemade chocolate-covered rice cakes for a fraction of the pre-made cost:
Easy Allergen-Friendly Rice Cake Snack
1 c. chocolate chips, such as Equal Exchange or Enjoy Life brands
1-1/2 T. organic virgin coconut oil
1/2 T. grade B maple syrup
12-15 thin rice cakes
1. With double boiler on medium heat, set upper pot over water and add chocolate, coconut oil and maple syrup.
2. Meanwhile, space out rice cakes on a flat surface that can easily be transferred to the refrigerator, such as a cutting board.
3. As chocolate begins to melt, stir until smooth and well combined.
4. Spoon approximately 1/2 T. of melted chocolate onto each rice cake and spread with a spatula to cover each rice cake completely.
5. Transfer chocolate rice cakes to refrigerator to set.
6. Store in an air-tight container or Ziploc bag in the refrigerator.