Sunday, May 15, 2016

Yummy Buttermilk Pancakes

A few years ago, when we cut out gluten, dairy and eggs, we really missed buttermilk pancakes. Curdling coconut milk by adding vinegar is the solution.  Some people curdle it with lemon juice as well.

Here is the recipe:
Make your egg substitute ahead of time by putting 2 TBSP of ground flax in 3 TBSP of water.  Mix with a fork and leave in the refrigeration for 15 minutes to gel.

Prepare the milk by adding 1 and 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar to 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut milk.  This recipe makes a very thick pancake.  Samuel prefers them thick and we prefer them thin.  I probably use almost a full cup of milk.  I would recommend that the first time you make it that you mix it an add in milk until you like the consistency.  The next time you make it you can prepare more buttermilk if you wish.

Wisk together the dry ingredients:
1 and 1/3 cups of Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Mix (not the 1 to 1)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt

Wisk the wet ingredients together:
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 eggs (or egg substitute)
2 TBSP Olive oil
2 tsp vanilla (gluten free)

Heat up the skillet on medium and use about 1/4 to 1/3 cup per pancake.  You can make them without added fat but, we love to cook them in melted soy free earth balance.

Serve with real maple syrup!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Yummy, Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I had a friend try these cookies, she thought they were better than "regular" chocolate chip cookies.  They are super yum, easy to make and if you don't use eggs, you can eat all of the dough you would like to.

I have started to measure some of my baking ingredients by weight but, you can use standard baking measurements as well.  

Before you begin, prepare your egg substitute.  Place 2 TBSP of ground flax in a bowl with 6 TBSP or water.  Stir with a fork and place in the refrigeration for 15 minutes.

  • 1 cup (224 grams) of fat -  I use 150 grams of Soy Free Earth Balance and 74 grams of Spectrum Soy Free Shortening.  I have found the cookies a little greasy so I am going to try messing with these ratios next time I make the cookies and I will update the recipe if it improves.
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (220 grams) of brown sugar
Add and mix in:
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs or egg substitute
Wisk together dry ingredients and then add a bit at a time to above mixture:
  • 2 1/4 cups (360 grams) Bobs Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Mix (not the 1 to 1)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp  xanthum gum
Mix in 2 cups (360 grams) of chocolate chips (we use Enjoy Life brand)

Chill the mixture for 4 hours in the refrigerator

Roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the edges start to brown.  

I was tired of making a huge amount of cookies that were gone in a few days and also the mess that I make of the kitchen when I bake.  Last time, I tripled the recipe, baked only 16 cookies and rolled up the rest of the dough to put in the freezer.  Next time we want chocolate chip cookies, I can just take out a dozen and let them thaw a bit, then throw them in the oven.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

We Love Ice Cream

Our family loves ice cream.  When I was a kid, I would have gladly eaten if for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  When my husband and I were first married and very poor college students, our date night included tv at home and splitting a carton of Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk.

I have known for years that dairy and I do not mix.  My husband, whose love of dairy products is greater than most anyone I know, has also realized that he is allergic to dairy products.  Dairy is part of Samuel's elimination protocol and we are hoping that he will be able to tolerate it in the future.

We have tried various substitutes.   My go to was a coconut ice cream that can be found in the health food section of most grocery stores.  Samuel's favorite has always been to take frozen bananas and blend them up with other ingredients to make it into whatever flavor he chooses.  Fortunately, my husband will try anything even if it does not live up to his expectations.

I am happy to say that we have finally found a substitute that is so good that we keep way to much of it stocked in our freezer.  It is cashew ice cream.  Our favorite is the snicker doodle but, they have a really great chocolate as well.  We haven't tried the other flavors yet.  It is a little pricey at about $5.00 a carton but, not much more than a carton of Ben and Jerry's.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

And We Are Back!

Well, we are back, sort of.  I don't even know if anyone is still getting notifications about this page as it has been almost 4 years since the last post.  We put this up some years back to help people who were trying to figure out how to cook through food sensitivities and allergies.  We had to make some changes to our food plan for Samuel and this fell by the wayside.  I am so glad that we kept some of the recipes on here because we are on an elimination diet and I can find a few of his favorites.

Changing what you eat or following an elimination diet can seem daunting.  It isn't quite as difficult as one might think once you get into a pattern.  The difficult part is starting a new pattern and that pattern may eliminate a lot of social eating.  While that is hard, it can be a blessing!  It eliminates some of the junk we feel compelled to eat at social gatherings.  Take if from a pastor's wife, there are a lot of situations where there is food we cannot eat.

Back when we started this page, we were not on a whole family elimination diet.  Samuel was cutting out gluten, dairy, eggs and soy.  We also placed restrictions on MSG and preservatives.  Chris and I followed this diet as home that is.  This time we are doing everything as a family for the most part.

Here is the plan:  We started an elimination diet almost 2 months ago.  We took out a long list of foods and once we feel confident that it has made a difference, we will add one back in at a time to see if we can find an offending food.  It will take months but, we are doing it carefully so we don't need to repeat it.  The add back in part will look a little bit different for each one of us based on food allergies that Chris and I have.  I'll update as we work through it.

What we took out:  Dairy from cows, Gluten, Eggs, Soy and Corn.  We also eliminated MSG, preservatives, and of course food dyes.  In addition, as I was reading labels, I just decided that we would switch to real food.  What does that mean for us, you ask?  When I read a label, for example on crackers, I must be able to find the ingredients in a store somewhere to make it myself.  So our crackers include garbanzo bean flour, which I can find in local grocery stores.  I thought that switch would be a pain but, it really hasn't been.  I do spend a bit more time in the kitchen though as I am making a lot from scratch.

What are we doing on here now that we are back?  I am going to post some favorite recipies....easy to complicated, sweets and savory and link you up with some great recipe websites.  I don't need to reinvent what is already out there.  The updates won't be super frequent because our life is very busy but, I'll try to post at least every week or so.

So, here we are.  Let me know if you have any special questions about how to eat with your particular food allergy or sensitivity.  I'm pretty good at substitutions!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Fun, Fast and Easy Dessert

"Oh, by the way, did you know that there is a party for insert name of child or special event here tomorrow at Sunday School, Awana, school...."

That is probably one of the more difficult situations I encounter with Samuel's diet restrictions.  Sometimes, it is difficult to come up with a substitution for him but, most of the time it isn't.  The real problem comes when I am not given advance notice.   This doesn't happen very often because most of the people in Samuel's life are very aware of and sensitive to his food restrictions.  I admit that I don't really love baking and I especially don't like making cupcakes and icing from scratch at 10:00 when I am supposed to be in bed.  

Recently, I had to get very creative for a school party and ended up with a really yummy treat that I can make in only 10 minutes.  His class was celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday.  The food list was a nightmare!  Green eggs, green ham and green milk.  Of course, they were all died with food coloring.  I was able to send in some ham and rice milk for Samuel.  They also made Cat in the Hat treats using an ice cream cone, ice cream, fruit by the foot and candy.  Sending in ice cream wasn't a problem and I was able to make him some fruit rolls but, I didn't know what to do about the ice cream cone.  I decided to try and form one out of rice krispies treats.  There are marshmallows that Samuel can eat but, I couldn't find them anywhere.  My first batch was made with gluten free rice chex.  It came out super yummy.  I made more over the weekend, using gluten free rice krispies.  Both of those cereals contain a preservative called BHT.  It is not the worst one out there but, I realized that if I intended to make these on a regular basis, I should find another option.   I have made the last two batches using EnviroKids Organic Koala Crisp Cereal.   Koala Crisp is a chocolate cereal.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Koala Crispy Treats

3 TBSP Earth Balance Soy Free Spread
2 tsps corn starch
1 TBSP vanilla
1 TBSP molasses
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup liquid sweetener (agave syrup, maple syrup or honey - I used 1/4 cup of honey and 1/2 cup of agave)
1/3 cup peanut butter
8-9 cups Koala Crisp Cereal

Melt Earth Balance (you may substitute with butter, another spread or coconut oil) over low heat.
Whisk in the corn starch.
Add vanilla, molasses, sugar and sweetener.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Allow the mixture to boil until the sugar dissolves.
Remove from heat and add peanut butter.  Stir until the peanut butter melts into the mixture.
Add the Koala Crisp a few cups at a time.  For more goo add less cereal.  For more crispy add more cereal.
Put into a greased 9x13 pan and wait until it cools completely (if you can stand it) before cutting.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Our first baking day in Pekin

Would you look at that!  I don't mean the adorable 6 year old holding up Boba Fett.  Look at that counter space.  I was able to do all of my prep work, mixing and cooling right there, on ONE counter!  Oh, and with room to spare.  I just love the kitchen in our rental home.  Lots of easy to access cabinet space and plenty of counter space.  Samuel and I took advantage of President's Day and spent the day baking.  Ok, so I baked and Samuel played and asked every ten minutes when the cornbread would be finished.

I was able to get the bread ready and leave it to rise while I started on the cornbread.  On the same page I got this bread recipe there was a great idea for a proofing box which reduces the amount of time needed to let the bread rise.  You put a glass of water in the microwave and heat it for about 5 minutes and then put the bread in the microwave with the water.  This bread is amazing warm and right out of the oven but, if you need sandwich bread, make sure that you let it cool completely before slicing it.  If you plan to eat it the same day you can leave it on the counter.  It is Samuel's sandwich bread so I put it directly into the freezer once it is sliced.  Here is the link to the recipe that I used to make this bread.

I doubled the recipe for the vanilla cornbread and split it between two pans.  The recipe instructions called for a 9x9 pan.  I put half in the 9x9 and poured the rest into this mini muffin pan.  I thought that would be fun for Samuel.  Even though they turned out a little bit dryer, they were still super yum!!  If by some miracle, you have leftovers, make sure to put them in the freezer so they do not start to crumble. You can find the recipe at the Gluten Free Goddess blog here.
Samuel, loving the mini loaves of cornbread with peanut butter

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hot Chocolate and Ice Skating

Once a year our new church hosts an ice skating night at the local arena.  This was Samuel's first time ice skating.  With how difficult he found it, I was surprised that he loved it.  It was the first time I had been on skates since 1988 and my feet found it painful but, we still had a good time.

There was no food served at this event but, they did provide hot chocolate.  Even though Samuel isn't one to complain about the foods that he cannot have, I do try to make him substitutes.  I did a quick search on the internet for homemade dairy free hot chocolate.  I gathered together some of the ingredients I found on the net and made my first batch.  Samuel loved it but, Chris and I both thought it could use a little more work.  My first batch was made with 4 cups of coconut milk, 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of nutmeg and 1/8 tsp of vanilla. It was a little bit chalky tasting and had too much cinnamon.  My second batch turned out much better.  Unfortunately, as usual in my cooking, I didn't measure much of anything.   Here is my best estimation:

2 cups of So Delicious Coconut Milk
1 handful of of Enjoy Life Allergy Free Chocolate Chips
Some Agave Nectar - I think about 1/4 cup
A few shakes of cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla
A pinch of salt
After tasting it I added about 1 TBSP of unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 TBSP of sugar

Warm it on the stove, stirring frequently, until the chocolate chips fully melt.
Turn it up so that it almost boils.  This helps it thicken to a more creamy consistency.