Tag Archives: eating allergen free

Gluten Free Musings

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Set up at The Gluten Free Garage

This past weekend I attended the Gluten Free Garage in Toronto organized by Ronnilyn Pustil.  This dynamic lady sure knows how to do an event right and for the right reasons.  It was a fantastic event to showcase local companies from around Toronto. It was also a nice intimate venue that enabled not only the attendees but the vendors to get around and visit all the booths.  As I made my way around to each vendor I was so happy to see the number of companies that were there because they had a personal story about the effects of gluten and they were also providing a much healthier product.

There were also a few companies that had products that were naturally gluten free.  All of these naturally GF products were actually very healthy.  There was a tea company called The Honest Leaf, that had a line of tea blends that specifically support various systems in the body.  A vegan raw line of very healthy salad dressings (yes some salad dressings do have gluten) called Raw FoodzKe-Wa-Za a line of raw, all natural snacks that gives you energy.  The Mad Mexican with gourmet Mexican food from premium, fresh and local ingredients with the bold flavours of Mexico.

Those were just a few of the fabulous products I found.  For more check out The Gluten Free Garage 

Now why am I musing about this.  Way back when I went Gluten Free there were not a lot of choices.  The last 5 years there have been more and more companies jumping on the GF food train.  On one hand I think it is great for us GF Foodies. We have more choices but really how healthy are these choices?  Yes you can buy GF Betty Crocker mixes but they are full of crap I just don’t want to put in my body.  If you do that is cool, we all make choices that meet our needs.

Here is the problem.  If we are healthy individuals with nothing wrong (thinking of my junk food eating teenagers here) you can get away with eating the crappy food without much immediate impact.  If you are Celiac or like me Non-Celiac gluten intolerant then the effects of the crappy food can be felt fairly quickly.  This is not always GI related.  Low energy, achy joints, headaches, skin problems, depression, muscle pain, insomnia etc. can be felt because of a crappy diet.  So many times I hear Celiacs tell me, “I stopped eating gluten but I still feel like crap”.  The old saying “you are what you eat” isn’t just a cute, catchy phrase.

Trust me I am not perfect when it comes to my diet.  I get into ruts when I just don’t care (there is a therapy session in that statement) but I also know how I am going to feel because of it, the one thing I am not is oblivious or in denial about how my diet correlates to how I am feeling.

As a group who eats gluten free because of a medical need NOT a fashionable, trendy way to eat we need to start paying attention to what we eat and the companies providing us with these foods.  The small companies I discovered at the show this past weekend are concerned with your health and have put their blood, sweat and tears into their business because they are concerned.  Trust me creating a healthy product, throwing your life savings into it and working harder than you could ever imagine is not easy.  But like me the owners of these companies had a vision of changing the way we eat and providing a healthy option to the mass produced chemical laden food on the market.

Will Betty Crocker ever go under?  Probably not but every day small mom and pop companies that bring us healthier options go under because they just can’t compete with the big guys.  Think Walmart vs the small family run stores that have gone out of business once Walmart moves in.

So what am I trying to say?  When you can, support these smaller companies whose ingredient list you can pronounce and get through without a chemical engineering degree.  Recognize that the reason their products are more expensive than the mass produced stuff is not because they are greedy and just want to make money.  It is because the natural healthy food ingredients are more expensive.  It  is because they can’t order large quantities of  packaging  and get a price break. It is because they manufacture on a small scale and pay a premium price  because if it. But what they offer is a product that is healthy and convenient for you, that was created with you in mind. It was created to solve a problem they recognized in the food market and then bring that solution to you. I thank these small companies everyday because they provide me with amazing products.

Every purchase I made from these companies this past weekend made me happy because I knew I was buying from an entrepreneur that had the same vision I did 4 years ago. 

 

Holy Crap this bread has a ton of fibre!

High fibre and delicious

High fibre and delicious

  I fell in love with Holy Crap© Skinny B cereal a couple of years ago.  Ever since it has been a staple of my diet.  I have it with some coconut milk in the morning, throw some in my yogurt and add it to cookies I make for the kids (shhhh! Don’t tell them).  I love the fibre and find it keeps me regular always a happy place to be.  Here is a list of the benefits of Holy Crap©; non-GMO, organic, gluten free, kosher,  lactose free, sugar free, salt free, nut free, all natural, vegan, raw, very high in fiber, high in iron, source of calcium, source of omega-3 and omega-6, no cooking required.

I also ended up with a ton of apples after a day of apple picking in September which I decided to slice up and dehydrate.  After dehydrating them I put them in the VitaMix© and made an apple granola.

Now what a treat to add some apple granola to my Holy Crap© and toss in my yogurt! Very Yummy!.

So I decided to see what it would taste like if I tossed it in our Yeast Free Bread mix.  Well the result was great tasting bread that is really high in fibre, approximately 5.7g of fibre per slice!

I made a sandwich using chicken salad and it was truly a fantastic tasting sandwich.  The bread has a very faint apple flavour and just a hint of sweetness.  It is very moist and held together nicely in a sandwich.

I think this will be my new favorite bread recipe.  Enjoy!

bread

Holy Crap/Apple YEAST-FREE BREAD

Makes one loaf of bread

  • 2 tbsp ground Chia seeds or ground flaxseed
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup virgin olive oil or oil of your choice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 package of Allergic Solution Yeast Free Bread
  • ¼ c chopped dried apple
  • 2 Tbsp Holy Crap Skinny B cereal

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and grease bread pan.
  2. In a large bowl, add ground Chia/Flax, vinegar and 1/4 cup of warm water.
  3. Stir and let sit for 1 – 2 minutes.
  4. Add  honey and mix well
  5. Add oil and 1 cup of water to bowl and stir until combined.
  6. Add entire package of AS-YFB  and stir until completely combined.
  7. Mix in Holy Crap and Apple
  8. Pour into bread pan and gently shake until evenly distributed.
  9. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes.
  10.  Allow to cool for approximately 30 minutes.

*Note, once it has risen (about 10 min in oven) cover with foil so it does not brown too much.  Honey can make the crust very dark

 

Holy Crap Cereal can be purchased from  the Gluten Free Smart Store 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Orange Cake (gluten, egg, dairy, nut, soy, corn free)

Chocolate Orange Cake

Chocolate Orange Cake

My favorite combination of flavours is orange and chocolate. Our Vanilla cake is very versatile when it comes to flavours which is what makes it so fantastic.  You can add whatever flavours you have on hand.  The only flavour it doesn’t seem to work with is lemon.  I love adding orange zest to the cake for a really vibrant orange flavour.  Unfortunately when I set out to bake today someone ate the last orange I was saving for the cake.  The perils of living with two teenage boys with hollow legs!

The icing on this cake was a great discovery I found online when I was searching for a chocolate pudding recipe made with avocado.  This recipe is from Katrina Kehoe at Kehoe’s Kitchen. Katrina is a  mom who follows the GAPS diet and creates many wonderful recipes.  I was so glad to come across her site and recipes, most which are allergen-free.

I have to say this is the best dairy-free, sugar-free icing I have ever had!  It can also be made with carob powder if you have a chocolate allergy.

I have to say my mouth was definitely watering when I was taking the pictures of the finished product, could hardly wait to dig in and have a slice.

Enjoy!

Orange/Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Icing

Cake

Make cake according to the directions on the package.  To the liquid  add the orange extract and orange zest.  Bake according to directions on package.

Icing (from Kehoeskitchen)

1/4 c .virgin coconut oil
1 large ripe ripe avocado
3 tbsp cacao powder
1/3 c. raw honey

In the food processor mix all ingredients together on high until smooth and creamy. Spread on the cooled cake and store in refrigerator.

 

 

Fruit and Seed Bars (gluten, egg, dairy, nut, corn, soy free)

This recipe was created by Lisa Cantiker of glutenfreefind.com.  Her recipe was posted in the LA Times last week so it is just a little bit famous.   I have modified the original to be allergen-free.

Fruit and Seed Bars

Fruit and Seed Bars

This is a great recipe to make ahead, cut into squares wrap up individually and store in the freezer.  Pull out of the freezer in the morning and put in lunches.  Makes a great nutrient rich treat to keep you going through out the day.

Gluten-Free Fruit and Nut Bars

  • 2 Tbsp ground chia seed
  • 6 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup seed butter (I used sunflower butter)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup Pancake/Waffle Mix
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup pitted dates, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 350′ degrees. Spray an 8-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl mix the chia seeds and 6 tbsp water together until it has an egg like consitancy. Add seed butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, salt and water to combine.

Stir in flour (waffle pancake mix), oats, pumpkin seeds and dried fruits, and mix well.

Pat dough into prepared dish and spread evenly. Bake about 17 minutes, until the edges brown.

Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Mediterranean Bread (gluten, egg, dairy, nut, soy, corn free)

I think the thing I missed most after going gluten-free was really good artisan bread.  I used too buy this bread at a bakery near my apartment eons ago!  It was a nice crusty bread with olives, sun dried tomatos and herbs.  I really, really miss that bread!

Med bread

Mediterranean Bread

I never thought I would ever find a gluten free bread that would compare.  After developing my Yeast Free Bread mix, I decided to start experimenting on how I make it a bit more ‘sexy’, after all how sexy can gluten-free bread be?

This has become my favorite bread, great for a dinner party even if your guests are not gluten-free.  I cube it, throw it on a serving platter with a bowl of olive oil seasoned with Bragg seasoning and sea salt for dipping.  No one has ever asked me if it was gluten-free and so far everyone I have made it for loves it.

Soo good hot out of the oven!  You really should let it cool as not to have the slices fall apart but I usually can’t wait that long.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Allergic Solution Yeast Free Bread
  • 2 tbsp ground chia seeds (you can also use flax seed)
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 c water
  • 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil*
  • 1tbsp Italian seasoning or oregano or whatever your favorite herbs are (dried not fresh)
  • 1/2 c sliced black olives
  • 1/2 c diced sun dried tomato

* if you use sundried tomatoes packed in oil you can use some of that oil in place of some of the olive oil

Make Yeast Free Bread according to package directions.  Sprinkle the herbs in to the wet ingredients . Before finishing combine all the flour into the wet ingredients, add the olives and sundried tomatoes.

Put into a greased loaf pan and bake according to package directions

International Pancake Day is Here! Do you Like them for Breakfast or Dinner or BOTH?

 

I have such warm and fuzzy feelings around our pancakes/wafffles because my fondest memories of my 2 sons growing up were all the Saturdays, the three of us sat around the breakfast table eating our pancakes or waffles and chatting.  Then as  we discovered food sensitivities in our family there was some frustration to create a pancake we all could enjoy and maintain our health. Eventually I created our Allergic Solution Pancake/Waffle Mix  and we could once again dependably enjoy pancakes while maintaining out healthy diet. We all could eat pancakes happily without any gastro-intestional or skin flare-ups! You know what it is like. You just want to eat delicious familiar food and feel great too. Now they are teenagers and most Saturdays I would just like to wack them upside the head with the waffle iron! :)

#1 Our Favourite Dinner Pancake Recipe

Many nights in the rush of getting two teenagers off to work after school and also having to have dinner for me and my hubby, I resort to this ultra quick pancake or waffle dinner.

I generally keep a ziploc bag full of waffles or pancakes in the freezer that can be pulled out, popped in the toaster and eaten.  Even if they have to be made fresh it rarely takes more than a few minutes to get them mixed and on the waffle iron or in the pan.

Recipe

Make AS Pancake/waffle mix according to directions on bag.  While your pancakes or waffles are cooking start broiling or frying your sausage (to save time cut the sausage into bite size pieces it will save time).

Place one pancake or waffle on plate, cut two sausages into pieces cover the pancake/waffle evenly, sprinkle cheese on top and cover with another pancake or waffle.  Serve.

You can also roll the sausage (whole) and cheese in a pancake and eat like a burrito.  My kids sometimes put salsa on top of their sausage and cheese pancake sandwich and if truth be told they generally eat these in the car on the way to work.  Once hubby gets home all I do is warm the pancakes in the toaster oven with the sausage.  Once warmed I assemble and serve.

#2 Yummy Breakfast Waffles (or Pancakes)

Saturday morings are traditionally our waffle mornings.  This goes back to when my boys were little and I would be woken by two little boys jumping up and down chanting “we want waffles, we want waffles!”

We would make a batch of waffles (this also works well with pancakes) then assemble all the goodies we would put on top.  My guys like strawberries, kiwi, melon, blueberries, bananas and apples.  While the waffles cooked I would cut up all the fruit and put in small bowls, some mornings for a treat we also used chocolate chips, pecans and whipped cream.  This is great for little kids because they can choose from each bowl and create their own pancakes

#3 Recipe Adaptations

Throw in a half cup of frozen blue berries in the mix when you are finished mixing as per directions on the bag and you have instant blueberry pancakes.  Throw in half cup of chocolate chips and top with banana slices and voila banana chocolate chip pancakes.

Feel free to add your favourite recipe in the comment section.