Tag Archives: food allergies

WIN A Food Allergy Gift Basket!

As contest (1)

We have teamed up with Smart Allergy Friendly Education (Daniella Knell) for a fantastic food allergy give-away. We both hold dear, the importance of food allergy education and safety. Daniella knows and lives with food allergies as a mom of a food allergic child. She is passionate about making it easier to navigate the food allergy world through books, resources, recipes, community and products both food and non-food that make life easier. That is why she created S.A.F.E. Food Allergy labels.

These brightly colored, simply stated labels are the EASIEST TOOL AROUND to make sure a LIFE THREATENING MISTAKE doesn’t happen!  Your family and friends will  ‘thank you’ for making it easier to keep your loved ones SAFE while in their care.

“No Need to Memorize My Kid’s Food Allergies because I label the safe food with S.A.F.E food allergy labels.”

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At Allergic Solution we know food allergies, are not the newest fad or marketing gimmick – it’s our reality and yours. Did you know that one out of thirteen people suffers from some type of food allergy? So, we created products that were not only allergen-free but tasty and nutritious.

All of our food mixes are food allergy safe from farm to the manufacturing facility and top 10 allergen-free. They do not contain refined starches such as potato or rice. Instead, we use nutritious bean flours.

Our mixes are free of corn, dairy/casein, eggs, gluten/wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and soy.

Try our All Purpose flour, Pancake/Waffle Mix,  Vanilla Cake or Yeast Free Bread Mix. 

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And now for the contest! It’s easy to enter and you could win a basket with our delicious allergen-free mixes and lots of S.A.F.E. Food Allergy labels. Bake up a storm of tasty allergen-free goodies and then label them!

You just have to tweet about our contest to enter and you can do it once a day to get extra entries. If you visit the Facebook Fan pages or follow us on twitter then you get extra entries! It’s that easy.

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Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes for Valentine’s Day (dairy, nut, corn, soy & gluten FREE)

lava cakes

I had wanted to attempt molten lava cakes for awhile but just never got around to it. I found this recipe on marthastewart.com it was so easy had it whipped up in in the oven in less than 15 minutes.

Molten Lava Cakes

Ingredients:

4 tblsp coconut oil

1/3 cup organic sugar

pinch of salt

cream together until blended well

Add:

3 large eggs mix well then add 1/3 cup Allergic Solution All Purpose Flour Blend

Stir in 8 oz of melted semi-sweet chocolate (we used Enjoy Life). You can also use bittersweet chocolate.

Pour into 6 greased ramekins. Bake in a 400F oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Top with coconut milk whipped cream or coconut ice cream and berries.

They were delicious and did not last long!

 

Savoury Biscuits (Gluten, egg, nut, corn and soy free. Dairy-free optional)

Just in time for  Canadian Thanksgiving!   I made these savory biscuits a couple of ways this week.  They are tasty without cheese but I  also tried adding parmesan cheese to a batch and they were very tasty too.  If oregano is not your favourite herb then try thyme but you can use whatever savoury spices and seasonings you love.

You can also create a dessert biscuit by adding a couple of of tablespoons of coconut sugar and some cinnamon. This would make a  nice base for some fresh berries and whip cream. 

Savoury Biscuits

Savoury Biscuits

Biscuit Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Allergic Solution Pancake/Waffle Mix
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening or coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup Rice Milk
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or seasoning of your choice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbs parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Mix together pancake mix and seasonings.
3. Cut in shortening or coconut oil until mix resembles coarse cornmeal.
4. Add rice milk, a little at a time, until a soft dough forms.
5. The dough will be very sticky, drop about 3 tablespoons onto greased cookie sheet.  Dip fingers in water and form into patty about ½ inch thick.
6.  Bake 8-10 minutes until done (keep an eye on them, they’ll burn fast!)

Epi Pens for All – You Betcha!

Epi Pens for All 

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Recently I read an article in the New York Times making an argument for having non-designated Epi Pens available to all schools.  This means the Epi Pens will not have someone’s name on them which happens when you get a prescription for an Epi Pen.  If you have a child with a food allergy or any other allergy, you would take an Epi Pen to their school and leave it with the school nurse should your child ever need it.   The only problem with dropping an Epi Pen off to the school is they do expire so you need to make sure you are on top of it. The other problem is what if you don’t know your child is anaphylactic to something?

When my son Michael was 8 he was playing outside before dinner.  He came running in crying because he had been stung by wasps about 4 times on his leg.  I put some baking soda paste on it and told him to sit down for dinner.  He didn’t want to eat he said he wasn’t feeling good.  I told him to go lay down and I would save him dinner for later.  About 15 minutes later his friend came over asking if he wanted to play, I told her to go see if Michael was up to playing.  She went in his room and I heard a blood curdling scream.  I rushed in and there was my son laying there un-recognisable.  His face was swollen so bad I couldn’t see his eyes and his hands were like footballs after that I have no memory of what happened, I went into ninja mommy mode.  Next thing I knew I was carrying a limp little boy into the emergency department.  The nurse grabbed him and was gone.  I was left in the middle of emergency with his 6 year old brother crying asking if his brother was going to die.  I couldn’t move, all I was thinking is how did I miss this, why had I not been more concerned?

Not sure what the time lapse was but someone came to talk to me, I was sure the words they were going to say was my son was dead.  Thank God it was “we just about lost him but we think he will be ok”.  They asked me why he didn’t have an Epi Pen.  I said because I had no idea he was allergic.  He was stung by a bee when he was a year old but there was no reaction other than some tears and a bump on his chin.  The doctor told me you have to be stung at least once to develop an allergy and I would never had known had he not been stung now.

After I finally got him home a couple of days later I started to think, what if this had of happened at school or when he was camping with his dad.  What if the hospital was not so close to us?  What if his friend had not come over?

With food allergies you also may not know if your child will have an anaphylactic response to a food.  Kids share food at school, there are treats brought in that you may or may not know what exactly is in them.  If you know the response your kid has then parents make sure the Epi Pens are at school, they make sure their kid knows what they can or can’t eat, the school is aware and there is a plan in place. If you have no idea how can you plan for it? Having non-designated Epi Pens in schools, eating establishments or public facilities will help save lives.  We now have defibrillators in every public facility because studies have proven they save lives, why not Epi Pens?

I would never wish for another parent to experience the gut wrenching fear I faced that day or hear their child gasping to breathe because their throat has swollen shut.

Pizzelle Suntella Ice Cream Sandwiches – YUM! (gluten, dairy, nut, corn, soy FREE)

My kids are half Italian and grew up with Nonna making them Nutella sandwiches when they came home from school.  I always cringed at the white bread and Nutella loaded with sugar.  (Ingredients for Nutella – Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Hazelnuts (13%), Skim Milk Powder (8.7%), Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder (7.4%), Emulsifier (Lecithins) (Soy), Flavouring (Vanillin).). Not really what I wanted my kids consuming!

After Nonna died the kids never got to have Nutella sandwiches because Mom refused to buy it. I was able to come up with a compromise which has stopped the mumbling about me being an abusive mother because I won’t let them eat Nutella (sorry guys!).  Another staple for a Nonna is Pizzelle.  If you have never had a pizzelle, you have to try them at least one.  They are like a very thin crunchy waffle type cookie.  My youngest son would eat a plate of Nonna’s home made pizzelle, he would eat them as fast as she could make them.  I was thrilled when I figured out how to make GF Pizzelle because I could finally enjoy pizzelle again.

This recipe is a great marriage between Nutella and Pizzelle but allergen friendly.  You can add the ice cream or leave it out, my guys love pizzelle smeared with Suntella (my version of Nutella).  The ice cream just makes it extra special when the weather is hot and sunny.

Enjoy!

 Pizzelle

Pizzelle Cookies

  •  3 large eggs
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract (or anise extract if you want them the Nonna way)
  • ¼ cup rice milk

1) Spray pizzelle iron with oil and preheat on medium setting.

2) Place eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla extract and rice milk in a large mixing bowl.

3) Using an electric mixer, mix on medium speed until sugar is dissolved.

4) Gradually add entire contents of pouch and mix on medium speed until completely combined and batter is smooth.

5) Scoop ½ tsp of pizzelle mixture into each cookie grid (pizzelle maker) and cook for 1 minute.

6) Gently lift out each cookie and place flat on cooling rack.

Makes 36 – 40 pizzelle

 Suntella

  •  1/2 cup sunbutter
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder or carob powder

Spread a generous amount of Suntella on each pizzelle.  Top one pizzelle with a scoop of your favorite ice cream, I used a chocolate chip coconut ice cream.  Place another pizzelle ontop, squeeze together gently.

You can wrap these in foil wrap and keep in freezer for a couple of weeks.

 

 

 

Food Allergies and Planning a Wedding Feast?

5111_wpm_lowres In just about 3 months I will be walking down the aisle again.  My partner and I have been together for 7 years and I guess it is time.   The first time I got married we eloped so this is really the first time I have planned a wedding.  Now I am no spring chicken and as the date gets closer I keep thinking ‘why did we not elope??’. 

For those of you that have planned a wedding I am sure you know all the little details that need to be taken care of.  Just when you think you have a handle on everything, someone says ‘what about this?’  URGH!  

Because my fiancé and I are both, well…not spring chickens we made it clear to everyone this is our wedding and we will do what we want.  We are paying for it so have your opinion but ultimately the final decision is ours.  Awesome!

My fiancé has never been married so for his parents this is kind of a big deal.  We picked a venue, decided on the menu and thought we were done.  After letting his parents know what would be served for dinner they offered to pay for the reception meal.  I was so touched that they wanted to do that.  The only stipulation was they got to have a say in the menu.  Ok I can live with that.    Problem is I have food allergies and sensitivities and I don’t want to have to tuck an Epipen into my garter.

So do I speak up and say, no way to the seafood platter (I am anaphylactic to most seafood)?  Do I put my foot down and insist the pasta is gluten free? Do I make sure there is no corn or soy as part of the ingredients?

I have decided to smile and be grateful these two really sweet people wanted to be part of the menu planning for their only son’s wedding.  They want glutinous pasta and a seafood course.  The chef knows the bride is allergic to seafood so my meal will be sequestered and I am bringing in gluten free pasta for myself and a few other guests, which will be cooked separate from the regular pasta.

The reality is; how much will I really be eating that day?  After talking to many other brides, they all said the same thing.  They never even got to taste the food at their wedding.  So I am going to concede and let them have what they want, I have control over everything else.  We are having a gluten free wedding cake, I picked the flowers, my dress, tuxedos, bridesmaid dresses, décor, venue, etc. etc.

A few people are shocked and have been giving me grief over my decision.  Now if this was my kid’s birthday party and they were insisting on having seafood and he was allergic, well that is a completely different story!  Momma Bear would come out and there would not be a shrimp within 50 miles of that party!!

I am an adult and I know how to keep safe and if I have to tuck an Epipen into my garter well so be it.

No sense getting upset.  I had a wedding already, he hasn’t and his parents have never been able to be part of the planning for his wedding.  It is one day that will fly by in a blink of an eye.  In the end I am marrying my best friend and that is all that is important to me.  The food is secondary so I am letting it go.

My decision to shut up I think is a way to honor his parents and their wishes.  If it were his aunt, cousin or even sibling I would probably say ‘whoa hold on there, I have food allergies’.  His parents are in their 80’s and don’t understand food allergies.  His mom tries when I eat there.  She made lasagna with gluten free pasta at Easter!  For a very traditional Italian momma that was a big deal!  She put wheat bread crumbs in the meat but hey she tried and it was appreciated.  She buys bread made from corn flour (I am sensitive to corn), but the thing is she does try.  The statement ‘justa eat a little bit’ has been uttered.  Again the understanding is not there but the effort is so I shut up.

If I were in a restaurant, I would definitely stand up for my food allergies and be very firm about what I can and cannot have.  My in-laws have never tried to push seafood on me (that is the one that will kill me) and always has a different option for me on occasions like Christmas Eve when the traditional meal is fish and seafood.

Perhaps if I were a younger bride and had never been through the whole process, I may feel different.  I know brides that have fought tooth and nail with their mother’s over the smallest of details (ravioli vs tortellini)!  My wish for our wedding is everyone comes and has a great time and we look back on the day with fond memories.  I will be vigilant when it comes to what I am eating and as long as the chef knows what I can and can’t have and understands cross-contamination then it will be perfect!

Carrot Cake (gluten free, egg free, dairy free, nut free, soy free, corn free)

Carrot Cake carrot cake 3

Carrot cake is my eldest son’s favorite cake.  He was never a veggie lover and to get him to eat his veggies I would hide them in other foods.  Either that or Mom would sit beside him at the dinner table and spoon feed him his veggies while he pulled face after face.  Eventually he would clean the plate but a nice slice of carrot cake made with coconut sugar was so much easier!

Add or take away whatever ingredients you don’t like or can’t tolerate.  This is as good with out the walnuts or raisins.  In the words of my eldest “Mom, why did you have to ruin this with raisins?” Personally I love raisins so I will respectfully disagree with him but I will leave it up to you whether the raisins are in or out.

I topped this cake with cream cheese icing made with cream cheese, powdered sugar and a touch of vanilla extract.  It is a favorite icing with the kids.  If you have a dairy allergy you can use creamed coconut.  It is semi-solid at room temperature.  I get mine at a local Chinese grocery store as it seems to always be availale there.  Put your creamed coconut into the mixer and mix until fluffy, add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, mix well.  Slowly add powdered sugar until mixture is thick but spreadable.

Prepare Vanilla Cake according to package directions adding 1/2 cup of apple sauce to the wet 

Ingredients.

Once cake batter is mixed stir in:

  • 1 1/2 c Shredded carrot
  • 1/2 c crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 c raisins
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)

Pour into 9 or 10 inch cake pan and cook at 325 F for 45 to 50 minutes

Crinkle Cookies!

Cookies, cookies, cookies!  Who doesn’t love a good cookie?   For me cookies are comfort food.  I love a nice hard cookie dunked in my tea or a soft chewy cookie when I am feeling stressed.  One of my favorite activity when my boys were little was to spend a rainy Saturday making cookies with them.  They would sit on the counter stirring and tasting, once in the oven they would sit on their knees in front of the oven watching them bake then dancing with delight when we took them out, almost too excited to wait until they cooled before taking a bite. Their Nonna used to make chocolate crinkle cookies, full of egg, gluten, dairy and sugar. Definitely a favorite for my guys. I have adapted the recipe to make them allergen friendly.  Feel free to sub out the sugar with coconut sugar or whatever sugar fits your dietary needs.

Crinkle Cookies! crinkle cookie

Ingredients:

  • ¼  cup sunflower oil or oil of choice 
  • ¾  cup organic white cane sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar 
  • ½  cup unsweetened apple sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 package Allergic Solution Carob Cake mix [If you can eat chocolate check out the the chocolate version below]
  • ½  cup icing sugar [cornstarch free or powdered sugar]

Directions;

In bowl mix oil,sugar (white and brown), Apple sauce, coffee granules and vanilla extract until well combined. Add carob mix, mix well

Place dough in freezer for 1 hour

Preheat oven to 350 F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Using small cookie scooper drop 1 inch balls of dough into icing sugar until completely covered with sugar. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet

Chocolate version:

Use the Allergic Solution Vanilla Cake Mix instead of the carob cake mix. Remove ½ c. of the mix and replace with ½ c. cocoa powder. Follow the directions above.  You will have ½ c. of vanilla cake mix to save for another recipe.

Strawberry Short Cake

Strawberry Short Cake photo

Follow the vanilla cake recipe found on the package

Makes one – 9 inch cake

  •  ? cup virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup rice milk
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 3/4c coconut sugar

Preparation Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F and grease bottom of a 9” round cake pan.

2. Place oil, milk, water, vanilla extract and sugar in a large bowl.

3. Using an electric mixer, blend on low speed for 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved.

4. Gradually add entire contents of pouch and mix on medium speed until completely combined and smooth.

5. Pour batter into greased cake pan.

6. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes.

7. Allow to cool for approximately 20 minutes.

Once cool slice cake in half making two layers. Slice strawberries for top and middle

To make a non-dairy whip cream you can use coconut cream. We sourced this recipe from http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/988521/how-to-make-coconut-whipped-cream

Yields approximately 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons organic powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Place the unopened can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Open the can (careful not to shake it ) and spoon the top layer that has formed into a mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and the powdered sugar and beat on high until the mixture is fluffy and frothy just like real whipped cream.

Put 3/4 of the whipped cream in the middle of the two layers of cake, arrange strawberries, put 2nd layer on top and ice with the remailing whip cream and arrange more strawberries on top. YUM.

 

Chocolate Banana Cream Cupcakes

When I was pregnant with my first son I craved anything chocolate and banana.  I could be found late at night eating a dark chocolate bar and a bunch of bananas.  One bite of chocolate, one bite of banana, it was heaven! banana muffins

I wanted to create something that incorporated both flavours, hope you will enjoy these little treats I whipped up.

Chocolate Cupcakes:

Make Allergic Solution Vanilla cake mix according to package directions, before you add the dry mix add 3 tbsp of cocoa to it and mix it up so all the cocoa is mixed into the vanilla cake mix.  (if you are allergic to chocolate use the carob cake mix according to directions, don’t add extra water).  You will also want to add 1 tsp of water for every tablespoon of cocoa powder you use.  This ensure your mixture will not be too thick.  Feel free to add more cocoa powder if you want them extra chocolaty.

Pour into cupcake liners and bake at 350 F for 22 minutes.

Banana Cream filling

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 mashed ripe bananas
  • Sugar to sweeten (optional)

You will want to put the can of coconut milk into the fridge for an hour at least (I store my coconut milk cans in the fridge so I always have one ready).  Open the can of coconut milk, the fat should have solidified and be sitting right at the top.  Slide a knife down the side of the can in two spots, this will enable you to pour out the coconut water without disturbing the fat.  Put the coconut fat into your mixing bowl and beat on high for 2 minutes, it will start to get fluffy, add in the mashed bananas (I use frozen bananas.  I buy the really ripe brown bananas at my grocery store and throw them in the freezer until I am ready to use them.  They become very sweet and very moist.  I strain off the excess liquid once they thaw).

Once the bananas and coconut fat is thoroughly mixed it should be a pudding like consistency.  Store in fridge until cupcakes are cooled.

Once cupcakes have cooled you want to ‘hollow’ out the middle.  I used a small serrated double sided knife we use for carving pumpkins.  A melon baller might work as well.

Pour the banana mixture into a piping bag and pipe into the hollowed out space in the cupcake.  If I were taking these to someone I would slice a fresh banana and put on top.  I didn’t have any fresh bananas so I just left it.

The cupcakes need to be stored in the fridge so the coconut fat doesn’t melt.  They really are a nice tasty treat that is just a bit different from your traditional cupcake.