The holidays are a bad time to start a diet, particularly a no-sugar one. Thankfully, we finally received our order of the sweetest Christmas gift ever: lakanto. And when I say “sweetest,” I mean that literally. (And when I say “literally,” I mean that in its correct usage—to the letter—not as the slanguage usage, “I literally died when I realized I forgot to wear lipstick today, OMG.”)
Lakanto is sweet. It tastes like sugar but isn’t bad like aspartame and other sugar substitutes. With lakanto, managing our sugar-free diet should now get easier. (Of course, I still have to find the time to actually bake with it, and actually learn how to bake, but at least the first hurdle is cleared.)
So a few weeks ago, at my mom’s house, we decided to make a dessert with lakanto—quinoa crunch bars. A friend had sent me a recipe her kids made (and posted on YouTube here), and my mom and I figured if two 8-year-olds could do it, we could, too.
- ½ cup coconut oil for the bars and another 2 tablespoons of it for the topping
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- 2 cups quinoa puffs
- 1/3 cup lakanto
- 1 ounce chocolate
The first problem we ran into was that our coconut oil didn’t look anything like the coconut oil the girls in the video used. Theirs looked like water; ours was solid and pearly. The next problem was the recipe asked for quinoa puffs, but I couldn’t find a store in town that carried them. All I could find were quinoa flakes, which we hoped would be an acceptable substitute. Finally, we needed 1 ounce of sugar-free, casein-free chocolate. This exists, as far as I can tell, in one brand only: Luv. Of course, Luv is apparently not sold in any store near me, either. I substituted with Lily’s brand of chocolate, which is dairy-free but not sugar-free. Close enough, I thought. The average American gets about 153 grams of sugar a day—if we’re down to a dozen or so, we’re still doing pretty well.
It seemed like an awful lot of coconut oil, I thought as we made the bars, but apart from our substitutes, as far as I can tell we followed the recipe correctly. We spread the mixture and its topping in a glass pie pan, and put in the freezer for an hour (so I suppose this doesn’t even qualify as “baking.”)
Once they were ready, the bars tasted delicious though they were pretty crumbly. Logan and Sadie loved them, just like they loved our last attempt at baking sugar-free, our peanut butter-pumpkin pancakes. Another win!
Unfortunately, the next day, both kids came down with awful, awful diaper rashes—which is odd, since neither of them wear diapers during the day—and it’s still hanging on, two weeks later. We’re stumped as to where the rash came from though there are really only two likely suspects. It could have been from the indoor swimming pool we took them to that same weekend or something they ate. Of their food, only the quinoa is new, but the coconut oil might still be the culprit since they’ve only had it in very small amounts in cooking before and these bars used such a large quantity of it in raw form.
So now I’m unsure what to do. On one hand, the bars were delicious, and if we could send one to daycare with Logan, he likely wouldn’t mind having different food than the rest of the kids. On the other hand, I don’t want to give him something that’s going to cause such a bad reaction.
Dang it. Why is food so complicated?