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J.M. Hirsch

A Gluten-Free Treat Any Kid Will Love

When it comes to my son and the food he eats, I’m incredibly lucky. Aside from the typical veggie-phobia that plagues so many kids, I’ve faced few feeding challenges.

I know plenty of parents who struggle mightily with food allergies and sensitivities, a whole host of conditions that can put everything from nuts to gluten to dairy and seafood off the menu.

We’ve been lucky enough to avoid all of this… Until a couple weeks ago, when his pediatrician suggested we try a few weeks without gluten.

I didn’t think he was sensitive to this protein found in wheat (it’s also added to many other foods), but I agreed to give it a try anyway. Several weeks later, I’m still pretty sure gluten isn’t an issue.

But it was a fascinating experience. I’m already pretty tuned in to reading labels and knowing what goes on our plates. So, really, this was just one more ingredient to keep an eye on.

My No. 1 takeaway from the experience? The easiest way to avoid gluten is to avoid processed foods. A diet built on produce, meat, and seafood is naturally gluten-free.

Of course, treats were one of the challenges. Baked goods minus the gluten tend to be pretty tricky. And they tend to rely on specialty ingredients or pre-made mixes.

But, a baker friend taught me the easiest naturally gluten-free recipe ever. It’s just three ingredients for delicious cookies. Mix them. Scoop them. Bake them. Eat them!

So, for all you parents who are struggling to find gluten-free treats for your kids… Here’s an easy lunch box cookie to try:

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Gluten-free Peanut Butter Cookies

Start to finish: 25 minutes
Makes: 36 cookies

Ingredients

1 cup natural peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1 cup brown or granulated sugar
1 egg

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with kitchen parchment or coat it with cooking spray.

2. In a bowl, mix together the peanut butter, sugar, and egg.

3. Scoop the batter by the tablespoon and roll into balls. Arrange the balls on the prepared baking sheet, working in batches if needed, leaving 2 inches between them. Using a fork, gently flatten each ball.

4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned at the bottom edges. Use a spatula to carefully transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.

Want more gluten-free goodness? Try:

Gluten-Free Quinoa Pancakes
Gluten-Free Viennese Crescent Cookies
Gluten-Free Squash Muffins


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