Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Egg free banana pancakes

You know it's going to be a long day when you start counting down the hours until bedtime the minute you wake up. 

Sigh. 9 more hours.

But, if I'm lucky maybe I can sneak a nap in. That is if I get cooperation from the littles around here. I swear some days they are conspiring against me! How come I'm the only one who wants to sleep around here?! 

I have early risers. All three of them. Six o'clock rolls around and they are up and ready to go. I mean they are READY to go! My hubs and I are looking forward to the day when our kids are teenagers and we can exact our revenge! >insert evil laughter<

What's that have to do with today's post? Nothing. Except this is what I made for my kids breakfast this morning.

Egg Free Banana Pancakes
From Egg Free Bakery

2 overripe bananas, mashed
1-1/2 cups milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon, optional

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and optional cinnamon. In another bowl, combine mashed bananas, milk, vinegar and oil. Preheat griddle over medium heat. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Scoop out 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto hot griddle. Cook about 2 minutes per side, flipping only once. Remove from griddle. Serve with additional bananas for garnish if desired and maple syrup. Yield 12-15 pancakes

*you can use just all purpose flour. I haven't tried it with all whole wheat flour yet.
*a handful of chocolate chips folded into the batter would be s special treat too!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Coping with the Social & Emotional Effects of Food Allergies/Intolerances

Coping with the Social & Emotional Effects of Food Allergies/Intolerances.

Sounds like the title to a college essay.

But Seriously.

I just had a friend who posted on facebook that her daughter was diagnosed with a fructose malabsorption disorder (What was that now??)  I googled it because I had never heard of it and from what I read her daughter's body is not able to breakdown fructose.  Because of that, she will have to avoid foods that have a high fructose level, including naturally occurring sugars, as in some fruits and vegetables.  It's not surprising that my friend is feeling overwhelmed with all this new information she is receiving about her daughter's condition and the new dietary restrictions she now has to work with.  The comments on her facebook post were all encouraging.  I told her about my boy's allergies and being able to relate to feeling overwhelmed.

Fortunately, that part gets easier.  Once you know what to avoid and relearn how to cook, it almost becomes second nature.  I was talking to my husband about this friend of mine and the journey their famiy has ahead of them and I realized that the new diet is only half the battle.  The bigger battle, I think, is the social and emotional effects of having food allergies/intolerances.  I like to pretend they are not there, but they are.  I would guess that that part gets easier too the older you get, but I wouldn't know.  We aren't there yet.  My boy is only 7.  But it is hard!  It is hard as a kid being different and being left out.  It's hard when so-and-so's mom brings birthday cupcakes for the class and you get to eat the tootsie rolls mom sent instead.  It's hard when all the boys are eating pizza and you aren't.  When the teacher passes out candy and you aren't sure if it is safe and have to refuse.  When your friends are eating PB&J's at school and you are by yourself at the "peanut free table".  

Just this pass weekend we were at a restaurant as a family.  Going out to eat is rare for us, and "protocol" is that I pack something safe for my boy.  Sometimes he gets to order a drink.  (You'd think going out to eat would be anticlimatic since he is not actually eating the food from the restaurant, but he loves it.  It must be the change of scenery, being able to color pictures at the table and getting a balloon to take home, I don't know).  But before I could intervene, he went ahead and ordered a hot chocolate.  I got the pit in my stomach.  When they brought it out I talked to the waitress to see how it was made etc.  She couldn't tell me anything about the manufacturer of the hot cocoa mix they use and ultimately we had to abide by the "when in doubt, go without" rule.  My boy broke down in tears.  He's never done that before!  I just felt so bad.  I know everyone else did too.  It's times like that when food allergies just suck.

What do you do though?  It is what it is and I try hard to "make it up" to my boy so he isn't missing out.  I'm almost always prepared with "safe" alternatives when we go to birthday parties, potlucks, and other social functions, but it's not the same.  It never will be.  I'm doing what I can.  I also find comfort in the fact that food allergies and intolerances are so common now that my boy isn't in this totally alone.  I find too that most people are quite accomodating.  Teachers will ask me what he can have and will buy those treats for the whole class. Same thing  with parents for birthday parties.  That is helpful.

As  I thought  about  it, here is my advice:

I think it is important to have your food allergic kid on board with you.  Research their allergies together, talk about what they can't and what they CAN have.  Rehearse social situations beforehand so they know what to do and what to expect ( I STILL do that with my boy.  "Remember, don't eat anything unti I check it."  "The food at the party isnt going to be safe but I'm packing you _________.")  Talk about what would happen if they did ingest foods they need to avoid.  I have to use that sometimes. "If you eat that you will have an allergic reaction. (Do you want that?)" Try to provide alternatives so they aren't missing out entirely.  (Better to have the tootsie rolls instead of nothing at all, right?) Point out other people in their lives who have restricted diets too. ("Cousin Z is allergic to peanuts just like you and our neighbor E can't have milk and wheat. Mommy's friend has diabetes and has to watch what she eats too")  It helps knowing you are not alone.

It's also helpful to have your spouse and extended family on board too.  Hopefully after being informed they will be understanding and accommodating. 

Though there are times when it's hard, overall, it DOES get easier!  Yes, food is a big part of our culture and traditions,but it's just food.

What advice would you give to  someone who is new to food allergies//intolerances?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Egg Free Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes

I've been playing with my food again.

And apparently the word "simple" doesn't exist in my vocabulary. Here I am trying to simplify things this holiday season and yet when the opportunity presents itself to make cupcakes for our church Christmas party, what do I do? I sign up. (Of course I'm going to sign up so there is something safe for my boy to eat.) But I can't do just cupcake + frosting. Oh no. The creative powers take over and I find myself bumping my cupcake up to the next level. I can't help myself! Seriously! SO ...drumroll please...

I give you Egg Free Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes!

With a surprise inside:

Egg Free Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes
By Egg Free Bakery

2 cups water
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp Apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
24 Hersheys candy cane chocolate kisses
2 peppermint candy canes, crushed
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk water, oil, applesauce, sugar, vinegar and vanilla together. In another bowl whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients gradually, mixing after each addition. Scoop out batter using a 1/4 cup measuring cup into prepared tins. Unwrap the kisses and place one kiss on the center of each cupcake. (You do not need to push the kiss into the batter, just set it on top and it will sink as it bakes). Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
3-1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp milk or cream
Pinch of salt

Beat butter and shortening together for a few minutes, scraping down sides as necessary. Add sifted sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add salt and vanilla. Add milk 1 tbsp at a time, mixing well after each addition. Increase mixer speed to high and whip until light and fluffy. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Immediately sprinkle with crushed candy canes.

For the final touch, melt chocate chips with a tsp or two of shortening in a small bowl in the microwave, stirring frequently. Once melted, use a fork to drizzle the melted choclate over the cupcakes. 

Store cupcakes in the fridge. Remove one hour prior to serving. Yields 22-24 cupcakes

These are mildly peppermint flavored. If a stronger peppermint flavor is desired, add peppermint extract to the frosting, starting with 1/4 tsp and adjust according to taste.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Egg free chocolate peppermint kiss cookies

Holiday baking. Do you dread it or look forward to it? For the most part I enjoy it--though I do not enjoy the cleanup afterwards. Who does? I would love to meet the person who likes doing dishes. I will invite them over and they can clean up my messes.

I LOVE this time of year! The lights, the smells, being with family and friends, the food (oh the food!) this year I've been trying to simplify things so I can really enjoy this holiday season with my husband and kids. I've got my Christmas shopping done, I'm keeping our activities simple and yes even my holiday baking will be simplified this year. Usually I bake goodies for our neighbors, but this year in the name of sanity-simplicity- I'm going a different route. I had the opportunity to bake for a dinner party we were invited to and converted this tasty cookie recipe egg free. I loved the results! All I did was used applesauce to replace the egg. Worked perfectly! Happy holidays!

Egg free chocolate peppermint kiss cookies
From thenovicechefblog.com, adapted egg free by egg free bakery

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla 
1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
Hershey's peppermint candy cane chocolate kiss candies
Granulated sugar, for rolling 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until well combined. Add vanilla and applesauce. Add flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Mix until well combined. Roll into 1 inch balls, using about a tablespoon of dough per ball. Pour some granulated sugar into a small bowl or plate. Roll each cookie dough ball in the sugar to coat and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press an unwrapped peppermint kiss into the center of each cookie. Allow to sit for two minutes on the cookie sheet then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Don't let it sit on the cookie sheet any longer otherwise the kiss will melt. It will melt slightly anyway but not so much that it loses its shape. Likewise you may also find it helpful to pop the chocolate in the freezer while you are preparing the dough. If the kiss does melt more than you would like, no biggie. Just smooth the top a little with the tine of a fork or toothpick. You will have a lil button instead. Cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Egg Free Gingerbread Muffins

Just checking in!  There is something about having a new baby that kind of makes you fall on the face of the planet for a little while.  Baby girl is 5 months old!  It really has gone by quickly.  I thought for sure by now I'd be on top of things again-- or not.  But that's ok.  We're keeping busy with 1st grade, ballet, co-op preschool, laundry, laundry and more laundry and trying to sneak in some naps here and there AND keep my sanity.  But I thought I'd check in and leave a recipe.  Gingerbread Muffins!  (Muffin.  Cupcake.  It's kind of the same thing a little bit.  Especially with egg free baking.  Cupcakes have frosting on them.  Muffins are a little less sweet and denser-- but we'll call these muffins and eat them for breakfast. ) My kids especially liked these.

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest if you don't already.  I'm using that a lot more to share recipes and ideas that I find and use. (In fact your feed is probably full of a whole bunch of things I just pinned.  You're welcome)  I'll save blog posts for recipes that I convert egg free.  Hope you enjoy the holidays!

Egg Free Gingerbread Muffins
From Annie's Eats, adapted egg free by Egg Free Bakery

1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened appplesauce
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp cold water

For topping:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1-2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.  Whisk to blend.  In another mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add applesauce. Mix in the molasses. With the mixer on low speed, stir in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Add in the second half, again mixing just until incorporated.  Mix in the water on medium-low speed, just until evenly mixed and no lumps remain. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin liners, filling each about two-thirds of the way full.  Bake, about 18-20 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To finish, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and whisk until evenly combined.  Dip the top of a muffin in the melted butter, then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat with a thin layer.  Repeat with the remaining muffins.  Serve warm. Yield 10-12 muffins

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Vegan Waffles

Oh my heart!  School started today.  I have mixed feelings about it.  This year my boy is starting first grade at a different school than last year- and- he is riding the bus.  I was excited and nervous for him, relieved for him to be back in school but also sad because summer is now "over".  He is going to be just fine.  I think I am having a harder time than he is.  He didn't even say goodbye- he just hopped on the bus along with the other kids while I'm running after the bus waving and blowing kisses. I can't wait to hear how his day went when he comes home.

So for the past few weeks I have been absorbed in pinterest looking at fun ideas for breakfast and healthy school lunches. (Now let's be serious here, I'm not the mom who cuts sandwiches into shapes and makes palm trees out of carrots and broccoli)  But I did make a rotation (which looks great on paper)-- but we'll see how well I can stick with it.  :)  I love menu planning so it is fun for me.  It's difficult with an egg and nut etc etc allergy to think of a variety of healthy breakfast ideas


Speaking of breakfast, I came across this recipe from Mr. Breakfast.com.  We've made them several times since.  Nicknamed "yellow waffles" by my kids, they are the closest in texture to "real" waffles that I have tasted.  Topped with syrup and butter (I know, I know- no butter if you are eating these because you are a for real vegan-- we just like them because they are eggless), you can hardly tell they don't have eggs or milk.  I already have an egg free waffle recipe on my site, which I think freezes/stores better than these vegan waffles, but I find myself going to these more and more because of how simple the ingredient list is and again for the texture.


Vegan Waffles
From Mr. Breakfast, slightly adapted by Egg Free Bakery

2 cups flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
4 tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt
2-1/2 cups water

Preheat waffle iron.  In a bowl combine flours, sugar, salt and baking powder together with a wire whisk.  Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients.  Pour water and oil in the center and give a quick stir, then mix with the dry ingredients just until combined.  Lightly spray preheated waffle iron with cooking spray.  Pour about 1 cup of batter into iron and cook according to manufacturer's directions, cooking 30-60 seconds longer than recommended.  Remove from iron, top with butter and desired toppings and serve IMMEDIATELY.  These are best eaten hot of the press.  Yield 4 waffles.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lemon-Herb Zucchini Fettuccine

August and September I think zucchini.  And if I had a garden I would grow zucchini and if I had a green thumb they would be growing out of my ears and I wouldn't know what to do with all of them.  But I don't have that problem so I graciously help my neighbors with their zucchini overload.  Hey.  I'm just nice like that.  You have too many zucchini?  Sure, I'll take some.  It's the least I can do.  :)

Here's one of my FAVORITE summer dishes that uses up zucchini.

Find the recipe for Lemon-Herb Zucchini Fettuccine at Our Best Bites