Allergy Shmallergy

Simplifying life for families with food allergies.

No Bake, Almost Everything-free Granola Bars  September 20, 2016

Filed under: Recipes & Cooking — malawer @ 11:43 am

It’s only the third week of school and I’m not going to lie: packing school lunches are weighing me down.  Each day I struggle with not just what to pack each day but how to streamline the process so I can get the kids out the door on time.  After I make five meals inside 40 minutes (not to mention rounding up shoes and homework and instruments and sports equipment…), there isn’t time to think about baking safe snacks.  I’m exhausted just writing about it…

 

Food allergic families cannot often rely on convenient, pre-packaged foods like breakfast bars and snack bags due to unsafe ingredients or cross-contamination.  Here’s an easy no bake recipe for peanut-free, tree nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free and optionally gluten-free granola bars that you can make ahead of time and freeze for your child’s lunch box or a quick after school snack.  These granola bars are the perfect combination of salty and sweet; I dare you not to eat one once the kids jump on the bus!

 

No-Bake, Almost Everything-Free Chocolate Chunk Pretzel Granola Bars (Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan and optionally Gluten-Free)

 

 

Granola bars are traditionally hard to find without dairy or cross-contamination with nuts. And, gluten-free varieties are costly. These no-bake granola bars are as easy to make as they are to consume! Once made, you can wrap and freeze the bars so that they’re ready to pop into a lunchbox in the morning or into a hungry mouth in the afternoon.

 

Ingredients:

¼ cup honey

¼ cup dairy-free butter

¼ cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp Sunbutter or other safe peanut butter substitute

½ tsp vanilla extract

2 cups regular or gluten free quick oats

1 cup Rice Krispie cereal or Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice cereal (a gluten-free alternative)

1 cup pretzel or gluten free pretzel pieces

1 cup dairy free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks)

 

 

Place parchment paper in 9×13” baking pan.

 

In large bowl, combine oats, cereal, pretzel pieces and chocolate chips. Set aside.

 

Over low heat, melt honey and butter together. Remove from heat and whisk in brown sugar, Sunbutter and vanilla extract. Pour over dry mixture. Fold repeatedly to thoroughly coat dry mixture.

 

Pour contents of bowl into baking pan. Press down firmly and evenly to distribute the mixture. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour before cutting into squares or rectangles (like supermarket bought granola bars).

 

Wrap unused bars in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for best quality.

 

Enjoy!
  

 

BEST Gluten-Free (and Optionally Egg-Free) Chocolate Chip Cookies from Cole’s Moveable Feast August 31, 2016

Filed under: Recipes & Cooking — malawer @ 11:45 am

Lucky us, Nicole Seevers of Cole’s Moveable Feast didn’t just answer my questions… she also shared her BEST Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe (which contains instructions for an egg substitute)!  Now’s a great time to make a batch to pop into lunch boxes… or mouths.

Nicole, taste buds everywhere are thanking you!

BEST Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or dairy-free margarine, room temperature (my favorites are Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks or Fleischmann’s Margarine)

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs or equivalent egg substitute for cookies (below)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend (King Arthur Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour is my favorite off-the-shelf blend)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (Enjoy Life Mega Chunks are my favorite)

 

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer, cream together butter/margarine and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs (or substitute) and vanilla and beat until just combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine gluten free flour, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat on low until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Refrigerate dough for at least one hour.
  4. When ready to bake, heat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Scoop dough out in tight rounded mounds (I like to use an ice cream scoop) and place about 3 inches apart on baking sheets. (You will need to do multiple batches ~ refrigerate dough between batches). Do not flatten the dough.  Bake cookies 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown at the edges. Let cookies cool 5 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer with a spatula to cooling racks to cool completely.
  6. COOKIE EGG SUBSTITUTE:
  7. For EACH egg, combine 2T unsweetened applesauce, 1t ground flaxseed meal and 1/2t baking soda. Allow to stand a few minutes before using in cookie recipe.
 

Dairy-free Frozen Dessert! Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free Peach Pie August 17, 2016

Filed under: Grocery and Supermarkets,Recipes & Cooking — malawer @ 12:00 pm

This is an Evite® and So Delicious® Dairy Free sponsored post.

Evite Peach Pie-30

 

If your family is balancing multiple food allergies, you already know how hard it is

to find recipes that are safe for everyone. I think most of us would agree that if dairy

and gluten are two of the allergens you are avoiding, dessert is the hardest.

Beyond the obvious foods, allergens sneak their way into so many items: dairy is in

chocolate, eggs are in custard, gluten can be found in frozen treats. For some, safe

dessert feels like a lost cause.

 

 

But don’t despair! Just check out this delicious looking Gluten-Free, Vegan Peach Pie

featured on Evite’s Party Ideas page. With a short list of basic ingredients, you could

feed a whole crowd – including those with gluten, dairy and egg allergies! Make it the

day before serving and you have a ready-to- go dessert for your next barbeque. Plus,

it’s peak peach season. So, now you have something you can make from all the ripe,

mouth-watering peaches you picked up from the farmers market.

 

 

And what could make this recipe better? A scoop of creamy, dairy-free frozen

dessert, of course! Enter: So Delicious® Dairy Free Frozen Desserts. To me, vanilla

is the perfect pairing for peach pie. So Delicious Dairy Free makes not one, but two

vanillas using the dairy-free base of your choice. And, their coconut flavor is making

my mouth water as I type this!

 

So Delicious® Dairy Free Soymilk Frozen Dessert in Creamy Vanilla

So Delicious® Dairy Free Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert in Coconut

And their new line, So Delicious® Cashewmilk Frozen Dessert in Very Vanilla

 

 

For the full recipe, check out the original post on Evite’s Party Ideas Page: Ditch the

Dairy and Make This Vegan Peach Pie for Your Next Party.

 

 

So Delicious® Dairy Free is an allergy-aware company. Please read their Allergen

Information statement to see what lengths they go to keep their customers safe.

And, as always, be sure to check the ingredient list.

 

 

Now let’s get baking!

 

The Beauty of Hampton Creek Mayo (and Bang Bang Chicken) January 18, 2016

Before I dole out this delicious allergy-friendly recipe for Bang Bang Chicken (dairy, egg, nut and sesame-free), I need to gush a little about Hampton Creek.

 

If you don’t know of this company, check them out.  They are revolutionizing the ingredients we use in some of our much beloved foods.  Hampton Creek aims to recreate foods (such as mayonnaise and cookies) with affordable, healthier, and more sustainable versions that are just as delicious!  They make dairy, egg and nut-free cookie dough that you can eat from the container carefree!  Need I say more?!  Okay, one more thing – their allergen menu identifies foods beyond the standard eight and they are very forthcoming about their equipment and facilities.

Hampton Creek allergen screenshot

 

I’ve had my eye on this company for a long time.  So needless to say, I was thrilled when they sent me a mayo sampler.  Check it out:  who knew there were so many different flavors of mayonnaise?!  I was instantly hungry for a sandwich.  And, if you’re wondering (and I know I would be): yes, the mayo tastes the same even without the egg!

Just Mayo Sriracha caught my eye.  So I decided to create a recipe as an excuse to use it.  Thus, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Sesame-Free, Nut-Free Bang Bang Chicken was born!

 

Allergy Friendly Bang Bang Chicken with Hampton Creek Sriracha Dipping Sauce

 

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 chunks

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup olive oil, preferably infused with minced garlic over low heat

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

 

For the sauce:

Hampton Creek Just Mayo Sriracha

 

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2.  Combine panko breadcrumbs, paprika and garlic powder on plate or in shallow bowl.

3.  Dip chicken chunks into infused olive oil, then coat with panko breadcrumbs.

4.  Place wire cooling rack on baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.

5.  Place coated chicken on wire rack.

6.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink and any juice run clear.

7.  Place chicken on serving plate and either drizzle with Hampton Creek’s Sriracha mayo or serve sriracha mayonnaise as dipping sauce on the side.

 

Step 3: After dipping in garlic infused olive oil, coat chicken in panko breadcrumbs.


Step 5: Oven ready!  Place coated chicken on wire rack.

  

Baking at 375 degrees F.  Don’t they look good already?!

GET IN MY MOUTH!  These were crispy where they should be, juicy and with the right amount of tang and kick in the sauce.  Addition of green onions, optional.  Maybe next time – I couldn’t wait to eat them.


Mmmmm……

 

Nut, Egg and Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread July 8, 2015

I wonder if every family is the same…  One week my kids can’t eat enough bananas.  The next week, they’re not at all interested.  So we cycle between having an empty fruit bowl and having overripe bananas.

This used to frustrate me.  Then I looked at the sunny side of having too many bananas: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread!  This bread is delicious.  I mean mouthwatering delicious…  I recommend heating it up in the toaster oven or microwave briefly and eating plain (with lots of napkins to let those melty chocolate chips know who’s boss) or with butter.  I might have to make some now…

I omitted the nuts often called for in banana bread recipes and adapted this particular one to be egg and dairy-free.  I already can’t wait for breakfast!

Almost Everything-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup dairy-free butter or shortening

1 cup whole wheat flour + 1 cup white flour (you can use all white or all wheat as well)

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3-4 bananas)

1/2-3/4 cups dairy-free, nut-free chocolate chips

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.  In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter (or shortening) for approximately 5 minutes (note: mixture does not get smooth).  Add dry mixture little by little to creamed butter and sugar, alternating with mashed bananas and beating after each addition.  Stir in approximately safe chocolate chips with a spoon.  The batter will be fairly thick.

Grease 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pan.  Spoon batter into pan and bake at 350F for approximately 40 minutes or until toothpick can be inserted/removed cleanly from thickest point in bread.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack.

Mashed bananas (does anyone else hear The Wiggles song when you read that?!). Looks gooey now, but this is flavor gold!

The dry ingredients.

Can you smell it? To ensure you have a moist – but not undercooked – bread, check it with a toothpick. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before moving to wire rack.

When’s breakfast? Maybe we serve this for dinner…

I had to snap this quickly. That butter was melting fast against the warm chocolate chip bread. And, the sweet banana smell was intoxicating!

 

Sweet Surprise Cake Cookie Sandwiches (Nut-Free) April 10, 2015

You guys already know this:  Desserts are tough to rely on for people with food allergies.  The typical bakery will almost never guarantee that your dessert doesn’t contain or hasn’t been cross contaminated with nuts and most are made with dairy, eggs, wheat, and even corn and soy.

So, every couple of weeks, I would spend an afternoon baking and frosting cupcakes for my son to bring with him to birthday parties, class celebrations, and dinners out.  Sometimes, he’d have the occasion to gobble up a whole batch (minus a few for Dad) before I could even freeze a few!  But I began noticing he wasn’t really eating the cake part.  Which started making my labor of love a lot less lovely.

“Yeah, Mom….” he began one day, “I don’t really like the cake part.”  I thought I would die.  Do you know how much time I had been spending baking cupcakes?!

Turns out he was just using the cupcakes for the frosting.  So, I had to find a new vehicle to get frosting into that kid’s mouth (but ONLY for special occasions, much to his dismay!).  Thus the Cookie Sandwich was born!  At first I used store bought cookies (influenced by my son’s inexplicable objection to my baking).  As they are, they are a humungous hit when I send them into school for both my boys’ birthdays.  And, it’s embarrassing when moms ask for the recipe because it’s so insanely simple.  But this week, the Cookie Sandwich has been upgraded.

Meet the soft, perfectly proportioned, Sweet Surprise Cake Cookie Sandwich:

 

And, may I point out that it’s frosting to cake ratio is ideal!  It’s just simple math.  These are perfect for taking with you to birthday parties, serving as class treats, and offering to guests.  I made them for my husband’s birthday this week and plan on making more for a May Day celebration.

Here’s how to begin (based on a suggestions from the Betty Crocker site):

1 box cake mix (I used Betty Crocker’s Rainbow Chip Super Moist Mix)

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 Tbsp milk

1 egg

1 can frosting

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together until soft batter forms.  Scoop onto ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.

[Tip:  You want to remove the cookies from the oven before they begin to turn golden.  I took mine out at 8 minutes sharp.]

Cool completely.  Frost generously on the bottom of one cookie and top with the bottom of another.  Serves 12.

Notes:  I use Pillsbury frosting because it is dairy-free (a holdover from when my son was very allergic to dairy).  Although this recipe isn’t dairy free, I’m certain it would be delicious using dairy-free butter and very vanilla soy milk in lieu of regular.  As is, it’s good for kids who are approved to incorporate baked milk products into their diet.

Optional:  I liked mine with the sprinkles IN the cookie, but you would use another cake mix and roll the frosted cookies in sprinkles, chocolate chips or nonpareils to mix things up!

Quick someone get me a napkin, I’m salivating from TYPING about them!

 

Get Ready, Fellow Mathletes: Pi Day is Extra Special This Saturday March 12, 2015

Pi = 3.14159265359…

This Saturday is March 14, 2015… or 3.14.15!  And, on that magical day at 9:26 and 53 seconds (3.14.15 9:26:53), I suspect a lot of math fans like me will be eating pie to celebrate its magical homonym Pi.  Mmmm….

Pie can be tricky for people with food allergies for so many reasons.  They typically contain dairy, sometimes contain eggs, often are topped with nuts.   And, of course, that gluten-filled crust.

If you’re planning to celebrate Pi Day, here are a couple recipes to help you and your little calculators eating safely:

Sweetheart Sorbet Pie:

This cold, delicious, fruity pie is a synch to assemble and a joy to devour.

Egg-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free

Moo-Less Chocolate Pie:

If you’re a chocaholic like my younger son, this recipe is for you.  Alton Brown’s recipe uses silken tofu to achieve its creamy, fudgey consistency.  Be sure to use dairy-free margarine/butter in lieu of the milk-based variety.  Read the reviews to determine if you want to include any of the readers suggestions (like adding cinnamon or using a graham cracker crust).

Dairy-free, Nut-free, Egg-free

Crazy for Crust’s Perfect Graham Cracker Crust:

This blogger really knows her crust as evidenced in the narrative leading up to the recipe.  Again, be sure to substitute dairy-free margarine/butter for the real deal in her recipe.

Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Milk-Free ***but also read ingredient list of graham crackers/crumbs you choose to use***

Gluten-Free Pie Crust:

This ready made dough from Pillsbury can be used in both pies and pastries.

Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free

Here are some Pi facts to discuss over pie:

  • Pi is the ratio between the circumference (the distance around its edge) of a circle and its diameter (the distance across the center).
  • Pi is an irrational number. Not only can’t you reason with it, but you can’t write it as a fraction either.
  • Pi’s decimals go on forever without any repetition or pattern.
  • BUT! 314159, the first six digits of Pi, appear in order at least six times among the first ten million decimals of Pi.
  • Albert Einstein was born on Pi Day!
  • Pi has been studied by the human race for almost 4,000 years. The Babylonians established the constant circle ratio as 3-1/8 or 3.125.  One of the earliest known records of pi was written by an Egyptian scribe named Ahmes (c. 1650 B.C.) who was only off by less than 1% of the modern approximation of pi (3.141592).
  • In one Star Trek episode, Spock foils an evil computer by challenging it to “compute to last digit the value of pi.”
  • Comedian John Evans once quipped: “What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o’-lantern by its diameter? Pumpkin π.