Autism and It’s Impact On One Family- An Interview with Sue

Autism and It’s Impact on  Family

When my oldest son was 18 months old he had a very violent reaction to his MMR vaccination. This is when I first heard the word autism.  I had no idea what autism was but was concerned enough to listen to the person who told me about it. She believed there was a link between bad vaccination reactions and autism.  Seventeen years later and the jury is still out on that one.  Thank God my son was lucky and he is neuro-typical today but from what happened to him I began to be very interested in autism and its cause and effect and in turn started a career in nutrition. I had the pleasure of working with many families affected by autism helping them navigate the gluten free/dairy free (GF/DF) diet. Parents of autistic kids are truly amazing people and I generally stand in awe of them at what they go through day to day. -Tammie

Sue and Her Family

Sue and Her Family

One amazing mom and her journey is the subject of this blog post- An Interview with Sue Taylor 

The Annual walk for autism events coming to up and I wanted to take a closer look at what autism means to one family dealing with it every day.  Meet Sue Taylor and her boys Ryland and Michael both boys have autism and Sue is very involved with her local autism Ontario chapter.

AS (Allergic Solution):  Sue how has autism affected you?

Sue: Autism has affected me in more ways than I can ever imagine. I have learned that you always have to expect the unexpected. You live like you are walking on eggshells a lot of time as you do not really know what might cause the next meltdown. You have to be a very patient person but also very creative in how you deal with situations as the way you respond is so important. You run on very little sleep as sleep is an issue for quite a few autistic children so you learn to function in spite of being dead on your feet.

AS: What does it mean to you to participate in the Autism walk?

Sue:  Planning and participating in the walk is an amazing feeling. Words cannot describe the way that I feel when I have an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) parent say to me “I cannot thank you enough for doing this as it means so much to my family”. To raise the awareness and to see the children’s and families faces when they are at this day that is honour of them is so fulfilling. If we can inform one more person what ASD is about then we have succeeded.

AS: Are you doing any dietary interventions for your kids?

Sue:  My boys are allergic to eggs, nuts, seafood and dairy so they are avoided. We also limit the wheat intake but right now they are both waiting for biopsies for Celiac so wheat has to be in their systems.

AS: Do you feel those interventions have helped?

Sue:.  Yes we do feel these have made a difference, especially the wheat. We notice with my youngest son almost immediate changes in his behaviour and his inability to cope with issues he normally can deal with fairly easily. The meltdowns are more frequent, he can’t think clearly and is easily set off.

AS: What is the one thing you want others to understand about Autism?

Sue:  One thing I would like others to understand is that Autism is a very broad spectrum. It truly does come in many colours. There are verbal, non-verbal, some are social some are not, some flap their arms, some like to hum. There is such a difference in each and everyone. I have heard a few times “well he doesn’t look like he has Autism” Now I say  “What should it look like?” “Come to my house after school and you will see his Autism.”

AS: Do you ever go through : “why me”?

Sue: I go through the why me more than I am willing to admit. I struggled with infertility, miscarriages and high risk pregnancies for a lot of years. So when I had my boys they had issues right from the beginning. But, when I see them struggle with the smallest tasks like getting socks on cause there is a string or a bump. Or curling up in a ball screaming because someone made a loud unexpected sound,  it is hard to watch. When you see them so angry they hurt themselves you ask yourself “why me”. Why did this happen to me, why did I bring them in to this world when they have to struggle so much with everyday life? Even though you didn’t know it would be like this, you never want to see your child suffer and struggle.

AS: What do you hope for your kids?

Sue:  My hopes for my boys are that they can be accepted into the world for who they are. Autistic children are extremely smart and Autism is on the rise so the world should prepare as I believe we have a lot of Einstein’s out there.

AS: Do you think there will be a day when Autism will be a thing of the past?

Sue: I don’t think there will be a day that Autism will be a thing of the past but I do believe they will find out how to deal with it better. Proper therapies, earlier interventions and dietary changes right from infancy will go a long way to help. For myself,  I still question vaccines as both my boys reacted quite seriously and we also noticed changes in behaviour with each. Hopefully one day we will have a definite answer about that issue.

AS: What is the hardest part of having children with Autism?

Sue: Oh wow, if I have to name the hardest part of having Autistic children it is not having  a magic cure. There are so many days when I see them struggle,  I wish I could just wiggle my nose and it would all be gone. I would have neuro-typical children that would play at the beach, go to birthday parties, sleep on their own all night long, have friends, etc.  I guess to sum it up I would give them the opportunity to do what the average child does. It is a day to day challenge that we face that affects all of us in the family in so many ways. But, they are my boys, I love them to death and will except them for who they are and that will always be enough for me.

 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Email

Epi Pens for All – You Betcha!

Epi Pens for All 

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 1.40.37 PM

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.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Email

Cauliflower Latkes (gluten, nut, corn, soy free — egg and dairy-free option)

Cauliflower Latkes

Baked latkes at the top and fried at the bottom.

Baked latkes at the top and fried at the bottom.

We are very divided in my home when it comes to vegetables.  Myself and my youngest son love our veggies but my fiancé and my oldest son are not big fans.  I am always looking for ways to hide veggies into my recipes.  My fiancé swears he would choke if he even had a small piece of spinach in his food.  Well he has eaten more spinach pureed into chocolate then he will ever know  about (I hope he doesn`t read this!).

I came up this recipe trying to recreate a potato latke but with a cheesy twist.  Feel free to use a non-dairy cheese or omit it all together, just add a bit of extra spice to replace the cheesy flavour and mask the cauliflower flavour (especially if you are not a fan).

I did these fried in a bit of coconut oil and omitted the egg and also baked them with egg, either way they were good and held together nicely.  We are all good with egg so I like to add them to up the protein content of my vegetarian recipes.

The baked latkes I topped with a bit of plain marinara sauce but I think they would be good with yogurt sauce or even a pesto.  Experiment with your favorite sauces and spices.

Every time I make a new recipe, I get the litany of questions from the dinner table “what are these?”, “what is in these?”, “are they gluten free?”  The answers to these questions are usually asked with a look of distain on their faces.  I was surprised this time after answering; all of the usual questions, I got the reply “hmmm not bad, they are actually pretty good!” as he reached for another one.  Whew!

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil -
  • 4 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • ½ cup Allergic Solution Yeast Free Bread Mix
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese or cheese of your choice, works well with Daiya
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 2 eggs – beaten (optional-use an egg replacer, recipe is on our site under tips)
  • salt/pepper
  • Paprika or spices of choice

Directions

  • Cut up cauliflower and steam until tender. Place in medium size bowl and either mash or cut into small pieces (I just took a knife and ran through the cauliflower until it was into broken up to small pieces)
  • Preheat the oven to 400′ degrees.  lightly grease a baking sheet
  • Heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat, add in the garlic and onions.  Season with salt& pepper to taste.  Saute onions and garlic until tender.  Add to bowl of cauliflower.
  • To the same bowl, add the cheeses or non-dairy alternative, eggs or egg replacer, and salt/pepper/spices addition to taste. Once mixed add Allergic Solution Yeast Free bread mix and mix until completely blended.
  • Form into patties about 1/2in thick (I used an ice cream scoop then patted down to desired thickness) and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, flip then bake another 15 min.
  • If you are frying in coconut oil, heat oil until frying temperature is reached.  Drop an ice cream scoop full of mixture into pan and pat down with a wooden spoon.
  • Fry until golden brown turning once and drain on paper towel to remove any excess oil.

The picture here shows two baked latkes at the top and the fried at the bottom.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Email

Excuses (and Fat) Be Gone!

 Tammie’s comment: I had the pleasure of meeting Michelle Armstrong February 2013.  Michelle has such a great spirit and her energy is boundless, what impressed me the most was her passion for healthy living on the gluten-free diet.  She really inspired me to stop making excuses of being too busy to exercise on a regular basis and to take care of myself.  Six months later and I have exercised consistently every day and I am putting my needs before the needs of my business.  Michelle is truly an inspiration!

 

Excuses (and Fat) Be Gone!

By Michelle Armstrong (Bio below)

We’ve all heard them and we definitely have all used them; excuses have become an easy way to justify why we can’t do this and didn’t do that! “Everyone else was having one, it was my birthday (my dog’s birthday, valentines’ day etc etc), but I haven’t had one in so long!” ____________ (insert own excuse).

Excuses seem to spew freely and unknowingly from our lips and before we know it they are not the odd feeble attempt to put off what we know should be done but have morphed into a regular part of our day to day vocabulary.

Excuses give us permission to put off today what can be done tomorrow. Starting a diet when cupcakes are starring you down seems easy enough to put off, or just picking up some fast food because we’re too tired to make dinner. The excessive use of excuses not only leads us astray but even worse, we start believing these fabricated stories we tell ourselves about why we can’t or can do something. They have become so second nature to us that we have actually managed to trick ourselves into believing these excuses as truths.

At the end of the day it comes down to how badly we want it!

As a nutritionist I coach 99.9% of my clients on how to lose weight healthfully. I give them all the education, tools and accountability they could possibly ask for. Recipes galore, weekly food log analysis, pep talks and more! But if a person isn’t willing to do the work, than all that time and energy is in vain. Sometimes it’s just easier not to do it.

Instead of letting these justifications of inaction, fear and failure rule our lives, I challenge us to find the true motivation behind our goal. Why do you want to lose weight? Are you looking for a better sex life, to live longer for your kids? If the motive for weight loss isn’t truly important enough, if it doesn’t really resonate with you deep inside, than justifying the change will be next to impossible.

Secondly, we must identify road blocks. Emotions play such a huge role when it comes to fat loss, if we are unaware of these fears and struggles than how can we possibly plan to be successful? We must identify our triggers before they up and jump into our mouths.

Instead of “I’ll start tomorrow” and “oh well, she is doing it, so will I”, keep your personal reasons for change at the forefront of your mind. Have a vision board that reminds you of your goal, have a buddy system; someone who can support you. Hire someone to educate you and keep you accountable. Whatever your weight loss goal, knowing why you want it and what might stand in the way and how you will overcome these road blocks are essential to keeping you on track and excuses at bay!

 

“It’s not that some people have will power and that some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not” ~ James Gordon MD

Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 9.11.14 AM

Michelle Armstrong RHN (Registered Holistic Nutritionist) is the Oakville Nutritionist.  After completing her undergraduate degree at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University, she went on to graduate from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, holding the designation of a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Completing multiple lifestyle therapy programs along the way, years of clinical experience, plus a thriving private practice, has set her apart from the rest.

Contact Michelle on Twitter Facebook  email

 

 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Email

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.

 

 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Email

Yahoooo! Yipeeeee! Back to School.

Back to School

Back to School

  I have to say back to school is truly the happiest time of the year. Beats out Christmas and my birthday.  Not only will there be fewer dishes stacked in the sink from my boys eating non-stop all day (I don’t own a dishwasher!!) but the routine will be back and the rhythm of life will return.

Now my guys are not little, they are men, one is starting university and one is going into grade 12 so they are pretty much self sufficient (not counting laundry but that is my issue not theirs).  I don’t have to worry about lunches or shopping for back to school stuff, they are looking after those things themselves. The days of slogging through the mall buying running shoes, new uniforms and enough school supplies to outfit a small school in Africa are over.  It is a bit bitter sweet for me, well more sweet than bitter.  I will miss the company during the day in my home office.  Umm ok by company I mean one boy running in asking to use my truck, another complaining we are out of peanut butter.  I will miss my guinea pigs when I make a new recipe or being able to text one of them with ‘can you make mom a cup of tea?’ then having a nice hot steaming cup of tea plunked on my desk…..ahhhh.

I still remember the first day of school for my oldest.  I walked him to school holding tightly to his little hand, he clutched his Spiderman lunch box hardly able to contain his excitement.  As we got closer to the school I found it hard to fight back the tears.  My little boy was a big boy now was going to be away from me with strangers all morning!  We got to the gate of the playground and the tears were falling like rain.  Mike looked up at me and said “mommy why are you sad?”  I said because I am going to miss you so much.  He looked up at me with his big green eyes all astonished “It ok mommy, I am not going to miss you at all!” He ran off to meet his new friends while mommy stood at the gate crying like a baby.

That seemed like yesterday but today he was off for his first year of university with all the confidence in the world.  Who knows where he is heading but where ever it is I have the confidence I raised a great kid with a good head on his shoulders.  Now it is time to turn my attention back to me.  It has been 19 years since I have thought about me and my life without kids.  My youngest will be off next year for the next chapter of his life and it is time Mom thinks of the next chapter of hers.

This summer I decided it was time for Mom to start to take care of Mom.  I started being really conscience of my diet and for me that meant to eat on a regular basis and take the time to prepare nutritious meals for myself all day not just at dinner when the rest of the family was there.  I started committing to exercising every day.  I actually put it in my daily schedule.  My dog and I hit the road every morning for a 5km walk and I do strength training at least 3 days a week.  I feel better than I have in a very long time.

As moms we tend to put off looking after ourselves because kids are just so darn needy! We make sure the kids are fed nutritious foods, they are in all the appropriate activities, they have clothes to wear to school, their homework is done and we ferry them to and from all the places kids need to go.  In all of that we lose ourselves a little. This is just a reminder not to forget yourself in the daily grind, commit to doing one little thing for yourself every day, especially during this back to school time when things get a bit harried with all the new stuff the kids have going on and all the old stuff they are starting again.

Here’s to a happy healthy back to school to all the kiddies out there and to all the moms, dads and guardians it is ok to celebrate just a little today for the joys of a quiet house….for a few hours anyways!

 

 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Email

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.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Email

Wrap it up! An Allergen Free Wrap/Flat Bread for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

wrap

It Doesn’t Look Exciting Till You Load it With Yummy Stuff!

I have been looking for a good wrap/flat bread for a long time.  My attempts have fallen short….until now.  I spent the day determined I was going to make a flat bread that could be used as a wrap, pizza crust or plain old flat bread.  Thirteen attempts and I gave up.  I put the remainder of the batter into the fridge and figured I would work out what to do with it the next day.

Sooooooo to my surprise with my first attempt the next day I had a perfect result!  I believe the key here is to let the batter sit.  This excites me because I can make up the batter and store in the refrigerator until I need it (I imagine it will keep for few days).

I used one package of Pancake/Waffle Mix and got 7 – 9inch wraps.  I also made them with the Yeast Free Bread Mix and got a slightly denser result but it was still very good.  They are very filling because of the fibre.  I made myself a sunbutter and banana wrap for lunch and it was enough to fill me up until dinner time.

My Favourite Things:

My favorite thing about this recipe is you can add whatever seasonings you want because there is not a strong flavour to them.  I added cinnamon to the ones I used for my sunbutter/banana wrap.  You can make up the batter without seasoning, then each time you make a new wrap just sprinkle the seasoning into the pan and mix gently and pop in the oven.  Each one can be personalised.

 Here is the recipe and Yep that is all the ingredients….

Put one package of mix in a large mixing bowl. Add the water gradually as you whisk it, to keep any lumps from forming. Once all the water has been added, mix until completely smooth and add salt and pepper as desired.

Let the mixture stand on the counter covered for 3 hours or more ( or over night in fridge) When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350′ degrees. Generously oil a 9 inch cake pan or medium Pizza pan (must have rim) Once the oven is hot, pour in the batter, covering the bottom of the pan.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven when done and let cool a little before serving.

Top with whatever you want or wrap around your favorite sandwich ingredients

Flat Bread Notes:

When you take them out of the oven one side is nice and crispy (still very pliable) and the other side is very soft.  If you want both sides crispy take them out of the oven after 20 minutes, flip over and put them back in for 10 min.  I used a 9inch silicon cake pan and a medium non stick pizza pan.  I liked the silicon pan the best.

Pizza Crust Notes:

For Pizza crust I would use the batter made from the Yeast Free bread mix as it is a bit denser. Also pour a bit more batter into the pan and cook for an extra 10 min or until it is a bit more crispy, you will want to flip the wrap after about 25 min to ensure it is cooked all the way through.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Email

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

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Email

Carob Brownies with Caramel Sauce (gluten, egg, dairy, nut, corn, soy and chocolate FREE)

A few months ago we ran a contest on Facebook.  To pick the winner from all the posts I asked my son to pick a number between 1 and 42 (for the number of posts).  He picked 11.  Number 11 was a Ricki Heller.  I didn’t realize it at the time but she is a GF cookbook author.  Once I found out who she was I started taking a look at her site and recipes.  I was so excited because she does healthy gluten free with a focus on eliminating common food allergens in her recipes.  Ricki is coming out with a new cookbook called Naturally Sweet & Gluten Free. I can’t wait to get a copy!  Check out her website www.dietdessertndogs.com  it is a great resource and you can also check out some of her other cookbooks.

I decided to get my son Anthony to bake up this weeks recipe post which was created by Ricki from our carob cake recipe.  If your kid is going to have a talent, I have to say cooking and baking is a great talent for them to have.  I am so lucky he cooks dinner at least 3 times a week. These tasty treats came out perfect!

Carob Brownies by Ricki Heller       carob brownies with caramel

  • 1 full bag of Allergic Solution Carob Cake Mix 
  • 1/4 cup smooth all natural (unsweetened) sunflower seed butter
  • 1/4 cup melted organic coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or use milk of choice)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 6 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened carob chips (you could use chocolate if you can have it)

Directions:

Empty Carob Cake Mix into a lrg. bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together sunflower seed butter, melted organic coconut oil,  unsweetened almond milk, pure vanilla, coconut sugar and coconut nectar.  Pour the liquid mix over the dry and stir by hand, once mixed stir in unsweetened carob chips. Spread in an 8×8 inch square pan and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes till  still moist but not wet in the middle. Allow to cool completely and cut in squares.

We decided to take this recipe up a notch and add caramel sauce.  We found this gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free recipe on www.allergyfreealaska.com this is a very yummy sauce I would put on anything!

Liquid Gold a.k.a. Dairy Free Caramel SauceRecipe

Yields about 2 cups

  • 14 ounces canned coconut milk
  • 1 cup palm sugar we used Madhava coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Small pinch of sea salt
  1. In a small heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the coconut milk, palm sugar, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes and then remove from heat.
  2. Whisk in the coconut oil, vanilla, and sea salt.
  3. Allow the Caramel Sauce to cool for 20 minutes. A thin film will naturally form over the top of the sauce; this is perfectly normal. Simply give the sauce a good whisk before pouring it into a glass airtight container (I use a canning jar). The sauce will continue to thicken (although not much) while it cools.
  4. Store in the refrigerator. Can be served warm or cold. Use within 5-7 days.

Drizzle over brownies and enjoy, I bet you can’t stop at one!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Email