Yummy, Easy, Allergy-Friendly Meals – Part 3

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In part 3 of our allergen-friendly meals series, we get down to what kids (and a lot of us grown-ups) really care about: the sweet stuff! Cookies, muffins, cupcakes, cakes . . . they’re everywhere this time of year, and a growing number of us have to pass on the goodies at Christmas parties because of food allergies. That puts a damper on holiday cheer!

So, in order for ALL to enjoy the sweeter things in life, here are a few allergy-friendly recipes, tips, and tricks I’ve gathered, tweaked, and created over the years for my daughter. The following are all dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and shellfish-free. I encourage you to do your own tweaking if your or your child’s food allergies vary. OK, let’s get baking!

Sweet zucchini muffins
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This is my extra allergy-friendly version of Ener-G’s (an egg substitute I rarely bake without) egg-free muffins . . . with added zucchini!

  • 1 2/3 cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer (beat in 2 tablespoons warm filtered water)
  • 1 1/4 cups rice milk
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1/3 cup shredded zucchini*

*Or you can add banana (puree) instead, or blueberries (add berries whole and mix by hand after all other ingredients blended), or pretty much whatever you like. It’s nice to change it up from time to time.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix dry ingredients. Mix liquid ingredients in separate bowl, then combine with dry until thoroughly mixed. Grease muffin pan(s), or use cupcake cups, and fill cups 2/3 full. Bake 25 minutes or until done. Makes approximately 12 large muffins.

Birthday cake and cupcakes

imageI had an original recipe that I used up until a couple of years ago when I was living abroad. Then I moved back to the States and had access to aisle and aisles of allergen-friendly baking goods! Turns out, I was working way too hard on my baby’s birthday cake (photo is of the first one). Good old Bob’s Red Mill has gathered most of the gluten-free vanilla cake ingredients and put it together for us (how nice, right?). So, you can find it here with a list of ingredients and a link to the recipe, but I’ll post the recipe below, as well, for your convenience (with my egg-free tweak, of course).

  • 3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 3 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer (beat in 6 tbsp warm filtered water)
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil or Canola Oil
  • 1/2 cup Water at room temperature

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat egg substitute on medium-low speed, then add dry ingredients, then oil, and then water. Beat all ingredients on medium-low speed for one minute. Liberally grease the pan(s) of your choice.

My daughter religiously requests that Hello Kitty cake for her birthday every year. The cake pan is roughly 9×13 inches and takes about 30 minutes to bake. Click here for baking times for pan type and size variations.

Frosting time!

imageI’ll admit, I’ve struggled with frosting since the beginning. In Germany, I couldn’t find a soy-free, dairy-free butter substitute to make any for a birthday cake, and it consumed me — as if I didn’t have any REAL problems. You know how we can obsess about our children’s birthday parties sometimes (but frosting on a cake is kinda basic).

Now that I have access to Earth Balance Soy-Free Dairy-Free Buttery Spread (of course they were all out in our area this year the night before her birthday party, but I digress), it’s easy! Well, for everyone else (I’m unlucky with frosting; I’m shutting up about it now). All you need are a few ingredients, a bowl, and a blender. Let’s whip it!

  • 1 cup Earth Balance Soy-Free Dairy-free Buttery Spread
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice milk
  • flavor of your choice (vanilla extract, orange extract, etc.)
  • optional food coloring — in our article on allergen-friendly ice cream, we have a list of delicious natural food dyes!

Warm buttery spread to soften, mix in by hand powdered sugar little by little, then add rice milk before using electric blender to whip frosting into a fluffy consistency. If you prefer your frosting thicker, carefully add a little sugar while you blend until it thickens to your taste. Same goes for thinning it using rice milk. Store in refrigerator.

Sugar cookies

imageThese are fun to make with the kids! They can be made into simple round and yummy sugar cookies, or shaped into festive gingerbread and holiday favorite characters, then decorated with your allergen-friendly icing! The sugar cookie icing is a bit different from the cake and cupcake icing, however. See below.

  • 2 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 cup refined coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer (beat in 2 tablespoons warm filtered water)
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl beat coconut oil and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, reduce mixer speed to low. Add egg replacer, vanilla extract and oil, mix until combined. While mixer is still on low, add dry ingredients then slowly increase speed and mix until well combined, about 30 seconds.

Cookie dough may be too thick and/or dry for mixer; therefore, kneading may be required. Due to ingredients, cookies will not hold any shape during baking. Use shaped cookie pans (recommended) or compress cookie dough into 3/4″ diameter balls and place on parchment paper-lined flat cookie sheet approximately 1″ apart from each other (any further apart and they will spread out too thin and crispy). Bake 8-10 minutes or until outer cookies’ edges are slightly golden. Place on cooling rack and allow to cool completely before decorating.

Sugar cookie icing

imageThis comes from JBS Box, and I tweaked it so it’s now nut-free and dairy-free. It’s fast and easy — only three ingredients plus food coloring.

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp rice milk
  • 2 tsp light corn syrup
  • add the food coloring of your choice

Mix sugar and rice milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup until icing is glossy. If too thick, add more syrup. Divide into as many bowls as you want different colors. Add food coloring to each bowl separately. Dip cookies or paint onto cookies. Too fun!

It may not seem like a big deal to forego the sweet treats until the kids start feeling left out at birthday parties and festive events. That’s when these recipes come in handy. Like my daughter, your little ones can take their allergen-friendly treats with them to enjoy on those occasions! It’s also nice to have for guests with allergies. These simple recipes have made a difference for us, and I hope they sweeten things for you and/or someone you know with food allergies.

Thank you for being tuned in parents. I welcome your comments, suggestions, recipes, stories, and tips! There’s more for you, too, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

-Elle C.

References:
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sugar-cookie-icing/
http://tunedinparents.com/2014/08/03/easy-homemade-allergen-free-ice-cream/
http://www.bobsredmill.com/gluten-free-vanilla-cake-mix.html
http://www.ener-g.com/egg-replacer.html

About Elle C. Mayberry

Elle C. Mayberry is a mom and author, who just released a new children's book with her young daughter. With a passion for parenting and degrees in psychology and "make it workology," she created Tuned In Parents (TiP).

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