WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Cinnamon Roll-(gluten free, soy free, corn free, yeast free, dairy free, nut and seed free)



Abby was craving a cinnamon roll. Couple problems with that. Cinnamon is out. Yeast is out. Butter is out. We have done biscuit style cinnamon rolls but those tend to get tough if you don't eat them straight out of the oven.


Jelly Roll cake is tender and easy to make, a perfect vessel for making replacement cinnamon rolls.


We do have our fake margarine but we also had a couple jars of sweetened condensed coconut milk in the fridge.

I opted for the sweetened condensed milk. Worked well!


Jelly Roll :

4 eggs
3/4 C. sugar(organic cane domino's)
1/4 C. water(crystal geyser)
1 tsp. vanilla(homemade)
1 cup gluten free all Purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder(homemade)
1/4 tsp.salt(pink himalayan)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 10x15 Jelly Roll pan with parchment paper.

Beat eggs until they are yellow and fluffy. Add sugar, then water and vanilla. And the rest of the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour onto a parchment lined 10" x 15" pan. Bake until the cake springs back, approximately 10-12 minutes.


While still hot, roll cake up ( short side ) and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes while rolled. Pick your filling (raspberry jam and marshmallow frosting this time). Gently unroll cake and spread with filling. Roll back up. Allow to cool or place in fridge. Sift corn-free powdered sugar across the jelly roll before serving.

Filling:

1 cup homemade sweetened condensed coconut milk
1/4 cup crushed roasted chickpeas(homemade, store bought are corny)
1/4 cup flaked coconut(tropical traditions)
1/4 cup diced figs(soak in hot water and vanilla extra for more tender bites first)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves.

Mix it altogether and spread on jelly roll cake. Roll up and chill.

Methi Leaves(fenugreek leaves)


These are a nutritional goldmine!

C,iron, calcium, vitamin K and nicotinic acid.


Hands down fresh is best. They tend to a slight bitter undertone and that is more pronounced when dried. For the record, we don't find them at all bitter.

They have a different flavor then the fenugreek seed.

Younger sprouts/leaves are going to be more tender and mild.


They are CHEAP!


Lots of articles indicate it is possible they could help control insulin, benefit hair growth and even some theories of how they are used to aid in inducing labor.


To prepare methi leaves for cooking: Remove the stems. Rinse, and rinse some more. They tend to be grown in a sandy base and the last thing you want is grit!

A couple of the Indian based recipes I read suggested sprinkling a bit of salt and sugar on the leaves before cooking with them. Since they are frequently used in Indian cooking I figured there is a good reason for that so I did!

Think spinach- similar flavor profile and best paired with foods that would pair well with spinach.


Methi Leaves and Potatoes:(Great side dish or add some chicken for a main)

Ingredients:
3 potatoes, peeled, boiled and cubed
1 half red pepper, finely chopped
1 cup packed fresh methi leaves, (add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar and leave aside while potato's boil)
1 shallot or small onion, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 cloves fresh garlic finely minced
1/4 tsp turmeric powder(or fresh grated)
garam masala powder (2 cloves, 1 teaspoon chili flakes, 1 cardamom, dry toast until fragrant and then grind in spice grinder)
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil(coconut oil, grape seed oil, whatever is safe)


1 Add big pinch salt + big pinch sugar to the methi leaves and let it rest while your potato's boil. Squeeze excess water from methi and keep aside.

2 Heat oil in a pan, add the grated ginger, onion,garlic,red pepper, turmeric pwd, and a tbsp of oil and saute until softened.

3 Add the boiled potatoes and combine. Add the methi leaves and combine. Cook till the leaves wilt. (This is a dry saute dish)

4 Add garam masala powder mix and combine well. Salt to taste. Turn off heat and serve hot with rotis, flatbread, tortilla's or hot rice.



Friday, January 23, 2015

Carrot Lentil Gingerbread Loaf-(gluten free, rice free, dairy free, soy free, corn free, nut and seed free)

It sounds awfully healthy doesn't it?

It tastes great. Reminds me of a dense heavy slice of zucchini bread.. I have used both carrots and sweet potato. The carrots create a drier loaf and a bit lighter, the sweet potato makes it heavier, moister. I am sure pumpkin would be terrific as well.

Lentils,carrots, coconut oil,buckwheat, blackstrap molasses,eggs, and homemade raisins offers a big bang of good nutrition in a very sweet slice.

Buckwheat is very heavy and tends to crumble. I usually mix it 50/50 with a gluten free all purpose blend. This time I opted to just blend in some potato starch and it worked very well. I am going to guess you could use tapioca starch instead. It is heavier then a traditional quick bread loaf but in a good way. Keeps well in the fridge and makes excellent toast. When toasted it reminds us of a slice of raisin bread.

I made a batch of our "fake butter" spread for this bread as well. 1/2 cup grapeseed oil, 1/2 melted coconut oil. A bit of salt, a dash of turmeric(for color) and a touch of honey or Lyle's for a tiny tiny bit of sweetness. You mix it together in the mixing bowl. Place in the fridge 30-45 minutes. You want it to have started to solidify, but not completely. I use the hand mixer and whip it until it blends and looks like a whipped butter.


Ingredients:

1/4 cup split red lentils cooked until soft
1 cup well cooked pureed carrot or sweet potato or pumpkin
1/2 cup coconut oil(Tropical Traditions)
1/2 cup organic cane sugar(or honey or coconut sugar)
1/3 cup molasses
3 large eggs
1/3 cup coconut milk(homemade)
1 cup buckwheat flour(I grind my own from toasted buckwheat groats)
3/4 cup potato starch
1 tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
2 tsp ground ginger(I dehydrate and grind my own)
1/2 ground cloves (simply organic)
1/4 tsp salt(pink himalayan)
1/2 cup raisins(we make our own with organic grapes)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a blender, purée the lentils,carrot, coconut oil, sugar, molasses, eggs, and coconut milk. Pulse until well blended and smooth.
Add the buckwheat flour,potato starch, baking soda,psyllium husk powder, ginger, cloves, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the blender and pulse just a few times just until blended. Add raisins or figs and mix in by hand before scraping into a 9x5-inch loaf pan that has been greased.
Bake for 50-60 minutes. Check about halfway and cover with tin if browning too much. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Shortcake and Peaches(gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nut and seed free, corn free)




While I do love a more dense and biscuit like shortcake, I prefer angel food cake. BUT, that is more work then I always want to put into a dessert that should be quick, fresh and easy. Spongecake is a nice in between especially when I don't have to whip the egg whites separately and fold them in. This is a recipe I have used for making a jelly roll. I could have spread it out on a jelly roll pan and then just used a cookie cutter to cut rounds but I have some tiny little cake pans I had dragged home and thought they would work well, and then did. We have had 70 degree and sunny weather the last few days and it is making us hungry for Spring! Shortcake is just the perfect spring dessert.

Sometimes when Abby is having a more sensitive stomach then usual she avoids fat as much as possible. Since this cake only calls for eggs a little lighter and easier on her.

I used some peaches as those are Abby's only safe fruit right now, but you could use any fruit. I added some coconut cream for Sara's and it really turned out delicious. Abby was quite happy with just the sponge and peaches. Another bonus to this recipe is that no gums are needed. Simple and sweet.



SpongeCakes:

3 large eggs
1 cup organic granulated sugar(Domino's or C&H organic sugar)
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract(homemade)
3/4 cup gluten free all-purpose flour(blend your own, no store bought blended is completely corn-free)
1 teaspoon baking powder(homemade)
1/4 teaspoon salt(pink himalayan)

Directions:

Heat oven to 375°.

Grease 6 small round cake pans(3 inch).
With an electric mixer, beat the eggs for about 5 minutes, or until very thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in sugar. Using low speed, slowly beat in water and vanilla extract. Gradually add the flour, baking powder and salt, beating just until batter is smooth and blended. Pour into pans, splitting equally among pans(no more then 1/2 full)
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Coconut Cheese(gluten free, soy free, nut free, corn free, seed free, dairy free)



When you have to be nut free, soy free, corn free, dairy free, and seed free you realize that suddenly cheese is not an option.


This is our substitute. It is "cheese like". We use it instead of cream cheese in anything from a cheesecake to a white sauce for pasta.


When using it for a "spread" for crackers or bread we add a bit of salt and fresh herbs.

For desserts we use it as is in place of cream cheese. We have found that it is more convincing if you add a little lemon juice or tamarind to offer that "tang" we are accustomed to when eating a cream cheese based dessert.


You can just use coconut yogurt and strain it into a cheese. It tastes fine. We opted to add the chickpeas to increase the nutritional profile and give it a bit more body. While we love all things coconut one thing coconut is lacking is protein and adding chickpea's helps balance that out. When using it as a topping on a pizza or italian dishes the coconut yogurt on it's own melts away to nothing very quickly. By blending in some chickpeas(or nofu)it holds it shape a bit better. I like to mix italian herbs and salt into it for pizza and italian dishes.


1 cup homemade coconut yogurt
1/3 cup very well cooked chickpeas.


(If you use canned they will be too firm. You will need to cook them until they are starting to fall apart. I used dried and cook them in the pressure cooker until they start falling apart.)


1)Combine the yogurt and chickpeas in a blender and puree until very smooth.

2) I use a yogurt cheese box with the strainer(I bought mine on Amazon). I line the strainer with a piece of wet/damp cotton muslin and pour the yogurt/cheese blend into the muslin. (The strainer is not adequate with coconut yogurt,so the cloth is needed.)
3) I tie or twist the muslin shut. My box has a lid which I use.
4) I leave it at room temperature and every hour or two I will squeeze the muslin to help remove the whey.

5) After 8 hours I will place in the fridge overnight.

6) In the AM I will feel the muslim, if it is firm I know I have removed enough whey. If it is still soft I allow it to come to room temperature and squeeze some more whey out and then place back in the fridge.

7) I will pull/scrap the cheese off the muslin and press into a saran lined small container. I pack it firmly and cover tightly and place back in the fridge.
8) After a few hours it ready to use.

You can use many different methods to strain yogurt. They have something called "nut bags" or cheese bags which you place your yogurt in and suspend over a bowl to catch the whey. Same idea with a recycled piece of cotton fabric, lay it out(line a bowl is easiest), pour in your yogurt, gather the edges, tie it tightly and suspend over a bowl. I have hung it off a knob on a kitchen cabinet, or one of those banana hangers.
Don't toss your whey! You can use it for fermenting or add into another dish for some added flavor and probiotics.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Jelly Filled "Muffin": Gluten free, corn free, soy free, dairy free and chemical and color free.




So if you refuse to make a homemade donut or swore off them for the New Year, what is a person to do? Fill a Muffin.

Abby has been after me for years to make some for her. She is yeast free now too so I keep telling her I have to draw the line somewhere and making donuts with her restrictions is the line! I was browsing pinterest at 4 am this morning and saw filled muffins. Perfect. Not a Donut!!! Abby got the peach filled and the rest of us got the raspberry filled. If you cannot have a donut anymore? This will hit the spot.

Muffins:

2 1/4 cup all purpose gf flour(make your own blend, no store bought blends are corn-free)
1 tablespoon baking powder(homemade)
1/2 teaspoon salt(very hard for the corn sensitive crowd,we have been using 1 brand of pink himalayan)
1/2 teaspoon guar gum(still using NOW brand)
3/4 cup organic granulated sugar(Domino's)
6 tablespoons grapeseed oil(TJ's )
1 cup plain fullfat coconut milk(homemade)
2 large beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract(homemade to be corn-free)



Preheat oven to 350
1) Mix all dry ingredients
2) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just mixed.
3) fill muffin cup 3/4 full.
4) Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350


Allow to cool. Peel off paper if you used them.

Brush muffin with melted coconut oil, or grapeseed oil or water(move fast if you use water!)

Dip muffin in powder sugar. Pat the powdered sugar onto the muffin. Place on plate. Wait 5 minutes and roll in powdered sugar again.


Fill with your choice of jelly.

Other things you will need:
Pastry bag and tip
Corn-free powdered sugar(make your own)
melted coconut oil, or grapeseed oil or water



Peach:
I cooked some frozen peaches(about 1 1/2 cups) I had put up this summer in sugar. I then pureed until smooth. I poured the smooth puree back into the sauce and brought to a boil. I added aprox 1 tablespoon potato starch to 1/4 cup water and mixed well. While puree is at a boil I rapidly poured in the potato starch/water mix and stirred well. It will thicken quickly. If it is too thick add a bit more water, if too thin mix a bit more potato starch and water. You want it rather thick.

Raspberry:
I heated the frozen raspberries and once hot I poured them through a sieve to remove the seeds. Placed back into the saucepan and added sugar to taste. I mixed 1/4 cup water to 1 Tablespoon potato starch. Once raspberries were at a boil I rapidly added the potato starch/water mix into the raspberry/sugar. It will thicken rapidly. If too thick a little more water, too thin mix a bit more potato starch and water.

I used a pastry bag with a tip to fill them. It isn't easy(as you can see by my messy muffins)but just work the tip around and slowly back out as you fill. I really need to buy a longer tip made specifically for filling.

Other filling options:
Some jelly or jam you already have on hand.
Some pudding already set and chilled.
Lemon curd or other fruit curd.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Peanut Butter Cookies- YES! We got peanuts back!!




A late Christmas present, Abby has tolerated peanuts well on the couple careful tries over the past couple weeks. Close to a miracle for an All American family who has missed peanut butter terribly! She could eat peanuts for quite a few years and then suddenly lost them but that is the way with food intolerances, digestive issues, mast disorders, Mito and so many other chronic disorders that impact food tolerances.

I found some raw,unsalted,unshelled peanuts. Roasted, shelled and ground into our own peanut butter. While we are incredibly excited about her tolerating peanuts again, the work involved in making the peanut butter in order to make sure they are safe will keep their use in moderation around here, probably a good thing. Not the easiest thing to digest, so we have been very happy they haven't caused any digestive issues, again in moderation. Peanuts do have great nutritional value so really a huge step forward to get them back.

When I thought about making cookies I thought about the flourless recipe, but I wasn't sure how my somewhat "crunchy" version of peanut butter would work. I opted for a gluten free version.


Peanut Butter Cookies:

1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter(roast your own and grind your own to avoid chemicals and corn if you don't add salt to your peanut butter add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to your cookie recipe)

1 cup packed light-brown sugar(Domino's organic cane mixed with a bit of blackstrap molasses)
1/2 cup Coconut oil(we use tropical traditions)
2 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour(Mix your own, no store bought blend is safe)
1 teaspoon baking powder(homemade)
1/2 teaspoon guar gum(you could probably skip easily, or use psyllium husk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract(homemade)

Heat oven to 350

Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper.

1) cream together the peanut butter, brown sugar, coconut oil,vanilla extract and eggs.

2) stir in the guar gum, flour,baking powder.

3) This dough is stiff and crumbly. So you will need to work with it to shape into walnut size balls.

4)roll the ball of dough in granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheet. Press down with a fork to make criss cross marks and flatten the cookie.

5)Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes.

6) Allow to cool before removing from cookie sheet.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Parent Guilt

Today a few Mom's took a huge issue with me posting about the dangers of Miralax. Or commenting that we have found safer ways without the risk.

It was as if they have been feeling guilty about dosing their babies with miralax and I was the straw that broke the camels back. Abby got terribly ill(still battling residual issues)and I would have been THRILLED to have prevented the damage had someone warned me sooner. So I share. If the Drs won't, then the parents should.

What if I KNEW a medicine that you were giving your child was on recall, or had new warnings slapped on the label, wouldn't you hate me if I opted not to tell you?

We all feel guilt when it comes to the choices we make for our children.


I think it is more so in the rapidly growing chronic health issue population.


I remember yelling at my girls a few times when they were little.. I will never forget or forgive myself for the hurt looks that spread across their faces. I feel guilty to this day.


We moved a lot and it was especially hard on Sara, I will always carry that guilt, though we thought we were doing the best we could at the time.


We trusted Drs about vaccines, antibiotics and other medications, and I will carry guilt over that.

I have to admit, as we tried different things the Drs. had recommended over the years, I had some doubts. But I "ignored" it. I made the choice to "trust" the Dr. completely. I should have gone home and read up on the treatment, or asked questions. That is what I feel guilt over. Not that we tried the treatment, but that we did so without doing our own research, we did it because the "Dr said so". When they told me that it was "impossible" that food could be increasing her health issues, I was GLAD to accept that.. because if I did not? I WAS RESPONSIBLE.


Today, we are seeing a lot more parents who are asking the questions. We are also seeing some scary situations of CPS being called because the Dr. disagreed with the parent, be that they, the parent did not want a treatment for their child or that they wanted a second opinion.


When your child is sick, you WANT some Dr. to trust. To have faith in.. to take care of all the medical worries like whether something is safe or not.. but that isn't possible any more, because we know better.


Miralax is a great example. While odds are there will be far fewer who get sick from it like Abby, the fact is it isn't as safe as they say. Drs. have disbelieved it could cause side effects because the sales rep or conference they went says so. If a parent brings in a decent article describing the concerns over PEG in medications more often then not the Dr. will blow them off and tell them to quit googling.

If I had quit googling Abby would be very sick today, maybe not alive.
If I had not questioned, read, and listened to the experiences of other parents Abby might be dead today, despite seeing many, many Drs. who are good Drs. by all accounts.

Treating constipation for "many, not all" cases can be done without chemicals. But see, that involves getting children to eat something different then fries and nuggets. Or that entails some time and maybe therapy to develop better bathroom habits. Maybe reducing stress, increasing fluids.. I did not want to hear that... I was busy, terrified and who wants to take those "pleasurable" foods from their poor sick child? You know what? I did and I am glad I did. Clean food, and foods that work for keeping bowels healthy can be tasty, but you have to make the effort. That is work. ISn't that our job though?

The lines at Starbucks, McDonalds,taco bell, pizza delivery- they would not be multiplying if folks were eating for their bowels.

If you do need interventions there are still better options then miralax- maybe not as easy to hide, or mix or get into your child.. but just maybe worth asking about. Prevent as much parent guilt as you can, you cannot avoid all but ask the tough questions and be prepared to do the work- your child is worth it.

Miralax- Not tested for Pediatric Use


The New York Times: Scrutiny for Laxatives as a Childhood Remedy

Highlights:

“Every pediatric GI physician, I would guarantee you, has told a family this is a safe product,” said Dr. Kent C. Williams, a gastroenterologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Now, he worries, “it may not be true.”


Also, shared on the Today Show


From my previous posts:

The FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) shows over 7,000 adult and child adverse event reports that include at least one PEG 3350 product, including a number of deaths. The number of reports rose from 2,257 in 2012, when the FDA Citizen petition was filed. In 2009, the FDA Drug Safety Oversight Board acknowledged neuropsychiatric, metabolic, gastrointestinal, and kidney events in children who took PEG 3350 laxatives, but felt that “no action was required” at that time:

“The Drug Safety Oversight Board discussed reports of metabolic acidosis, metabolic acidosis with increased anion gap, and neuropsychiatric adverse events in children using polyethylene glycol (PEG) products. Metabolic acidosis is a disturbance in the body's acid-base balance and causes too much acid in the blood. In some situations, metabolic acidosis can be a mild, chronic condition; however, it may lead to shock or death in severe cases. Neuropsychiatric adverse events may include seizures, tremors, tics, headache, anxiety, lethargy, sedation, aggression, rages, obsessive-compulsive behaviors including repetitive chewing and sucking, paranoia and mood swings.” “It is unknown if prolonged duration in solution would change the chemical properties of PEG-3350, and what the actual content of ethylene glycol or diethylene glycol or other low molecular weight PEG would be under such conditions.”



Or how about some antifreeze with that?

In addition to the ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol children may be exposed to through the degradation of PEG 3350, the FDA has tested 8 lots of polyethylene glycol 3350 and found ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol contaminants in the product itself:

“To better understand the level of polyethylene glycol impurities in PEG, the FDA Chemistry and Manufacturing group evaluated PEG 3350. This analysis of eight lots of PEG 3350 confirmed the presence of small amounts of ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol in all lots tested. Based upon the recommended daily adult dose of 17 mg daily dose PEG 3350, the maximum daily exposure of ethylene glycol would be 0.005 mg/kg/day for a 60 kg patient, or 0.015 mg/kg/day for a 20 kg pediatric patient (approx 5 years of age). Other low molecular weight PEGs were not included in this analysis. However, it is not known if any of these LMW species are absorbed and if so to what extent. Understanding the human absorption profile of LMW species is the first step needed in trying to understand the possible contribution of PEG 3350 use to the development of adverse events in children using this product chronically.”


So when your Dr. says something he prescribes is "perfectly safe" is it really?

The big question is, why so many pill popping, Miralax dependent toddlers out there? That is the big question.

Go to any Walmart, Walgreen's,Costco you will see they now sell massive gallon jug like bottles of this stuff.

Ask yourself, why aren't you able to poop?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Corn-Free Cooking Contest: $50.00 Amazon Gift Card

I am doing a little contest on my corn-free cooking page on Facebook. 1 recipe will be picked as the winner(by me!) and receive a $50.00 Amazon gift card.


Read about and enter at; Corn-Free Cooking. on Facebook.
 
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