Tag Archives: gluten-free

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.

 

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!

 

 

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.

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.

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

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!

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.

 

 

 

Go Mad for Mango with This Recipe for Mango Cake

Jennifer from The Eczema Company and blogger at Itchy Little World emailed us this recipe for Mango Cake that she created with our Vanilla Cake Mix. We loved it!

mango cake

Mango Cake Before Being Iced

Mango Cake (gluten, egg, dairy, nut, corn and soy FREE)

  • Use 1 pkg. of Allergic Solution Vanilla Cake Mix
  • Instead of water used 3/4 cup mango puree.
  • Use 1/2 cup sugar 
  •  Bake as per package instructions. 

It’s just that simple to adapt one of our mixes! 

Mango Frosting

– enough for 24 cupcakes or 2-9 inch. cakes

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup butter or substitute of choice
  • 1/4 cup mango puree
  • Mix together until creamy. 

For more of our recipes check out our Pinterest page and website

Going Gluten-free is Often Not Enough!

17463_wpm_lowresRecently I had a conversation with a gentleman that has very unstable type 2 diabetes.  Unstable because as soon as he deviates from his very strict diet he becomes either hypo or hyper glycemic.

He shared with me that 40 of his 58 years he ate like crap.  He left home at 18, his mother only cooked from scratch and many things she grew herself including their meat.  When he left home for university he survived on junk food and fast food.  When he got married his wife loved to bake and they ate sweets every night.  Both he and his wife were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in their late 40’s.  They were both on medication and ‘cheated’ quite often.  Within 5 years they were both on insulin and his wife died of complication from diabetes 3 years ago.  After his wife died he decided food was just not worth his health.

Why am I sharing this with you?  Well for me it really hit home because having food allergies/sensitivities I moan and complain about not being able to eat this and that.  I meet many celiacs/people with food allergies and sensitivities that just want food that tastes good and they really are not concerned about the nutrition end of things.

Here is my take on it:  For years I worked with families of autistic kids to help them heal their kid’s guts.  For most children with autism it meant getting them off gluten, dairy, sugar and yeast, cleaning up the GI so they can heal.  Most autistic kids have leaky gut syndrome (small holes in their GI that food etc. can get through wreaking havoc in the system).  Basically these kids eat an anti-inflammatory diet to calm things down enough so they can heal.   Celiacs have a similar problem.  The GI is compromised, there is a lot of inflammation, nutrients are not absorbed and their whole system suffers.

Unfortunately just getting off gluten is not always enough.  It may be for a few years but the one thing I hear over and over again is eventually they start feeling unwell again.  Not always GI related, it could be joint pain, chronic migraines, skin problems, thyroid disease, type 2 diabetes etc.

When the GI tract is compromised it is imperative that we eat a good clean diet so we can fully heal.  Does that mean we can never have a ‘treat’?  No but we can’t be eating ‘crap’ every day.  Garbage in, garbage out! We truly are what we eat.  High inflammatory foods, high glycemic foods cannot be eaten every day or our health will suffer.  Steer clear of products that are high in sugar (especially refined sugars and artificial sweetners), high glycemic carbs (rice, corn and potato starches), artificial colours, flavours and additives, unhealthy fats and low fibre ingredients.

I like the 80/20 rule.  80% of the time, eat healthy foods (vegetables, fruit, lean meats, high fibre grains and healthy fats) and 20% of the time we eat the crappy stuff we all love so much.  Gluten free does not mean healthy.  If you are experiencing health challenges after getting off gluten take a serious and honest look at the foods you are consuming and start making some small choices….food really is not worth your health!