Friday, March 28, 2014

Chocolate Chips: Are They REALLY Ever Just Optional?

I believe that, in FPIES, as in most things, we get bones thrown to us once in a blue moon. Something to make the road a little less difficult, to give us a break, whatever it may be. Often I talk about the amazing support of the FPIES community, or some other life line that helps us to get through. Tonight, I am here to talk to you about something slightly more superficial but all the same, truly lovely-- chocolate.

That is the bone that we have been thrown. And I am so grateful for it.

I can still eat basic cocoa on my elim diet (as well as Enjoy Life Chocolate chips) and B can eat cocoa and EL chocolate chips also! I really hope that little sis C can join us in our love of this sweet sweet treat in the months to come!

Because B does not have a ton of safes and because treats are not super common in her diet, chocolate is happily our go-to, our "Add-in" to make a food more enticing so that she will eat it. Now don't get me wrong-- I add very little at a time, and I don't put it in everything, but baked goods get a nice dose of it about 50% of the time at our house!

In honor of this delightful treat, here is our current waffle recipe. And a note-- I cheat with waffles and use this pan instead of a waffle iron. Not quite the same, but so much easier to clean! Chocolate chips are of course optional (sometimes I sprinkle the chips into individual waffles so that some are plain):

Wonderful Wake-Up Waffles (also great as pancakes!)
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar or maple sugar!)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil (or other safe oil)
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (or other nut/seed butter)
1 1/4 cup safe milk (we used coconut) 
1 Tbsp vanilla extract (optional)
Chocolate chips/ cut fruit/ whatever you might want to put in your pancakes or waffles-- optional

If using a skillet or waffle iron, you will need to lightly oil the surface. I like to melt a bit of coconut manna in the skillet and then pour it into the batter if there is excess.

Mix flours, flakes, baking powder, and sugar in a medium bowl. Blend well. Add canola, maple syrup and sunflower seed butter. Blend all ingredients well. If using chocolate chips and/or vanilla, blend into mixture. As soon as the pan/skillet is ready, add milk to the mixture, blend thoroughly and then pour into prepared pan/skillet. Cook as you would typically cook waffles or pancakes. Just a note-- your batter will not be thin--- it will be thick and need to be thick in order to hold up.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fifth Birthday

Another birthday has come and gone. B is now getting so big! She still loves being a big sister (most days), loves arts and crafts, loves trucks/cars/any and all vehicles and legos. . Now she goes to gymnastics class twice a week and it has been a great outlet for her. Still homeschooling but we are considering public kindergarten for the fall. She has truly become an amazingly spirited girl and a very strong one, a strong girl who still very much deals with allergies and FPIES everyday. 

This year's birthday: Lightning McQueen and ice skating. Never a dull day! Happy birthday to my sweet girl!! I can't wait until May for little sis to turn two!!!

B's Best Brownies

Please check out the recipe at the end of the post!! :)

I promised my husband that I would get better at writing these things down.

Life has been so nutty with both of the girls busy at homeschool and tumbling, in addition to the routine allergy nonsense that we have going on daily. Most of my recipes end up in my head or on the back of some old medical billing envelope, typically written in crayon. . . not very useful to anyone but myself when the recipes end up there!

So in true fashion of this blog, this is a treat recipe--- I thought our lives needed some sweetening up these days. With quite a bit of chronic issues and then two major ER reactions in the last month, B needed a new treat. Brownies, it is!

As is with all other recipes on here, you do not have to stick to the exact same ingredients. Great subs for sorghum flour include millet flour, rice flour, corn flour, wheat flour (just be aware that if you are using a gluten flour, it will rise more than my original recipe, so just keep that in mind). . . any "stand alone" flour would be great. Though I have not yet tried it, I strongly suspect that you could do this recipe completely with quinoa flour or amaranth flour. If you went that route though you might want more sugar. . .

Also, for corn free, keep in mind that you can use HAIN brand baking powder if potatoes are safe or you can make your own baking powder out of baking soda and cream of tartar. Another option is using vinegar-- I would use 1 Tbsp vinegar (we like coconut vinegar) in place of the two Tbsp baking powder. It may make the brownies a bit denser or fudgier, but who doesn't like a fudgy brownie?!

The vanilla extract and chocolate chips are optional. Instead of sunflower seed butter, you could use the same amount of coconut manna or coconut butter, or a different nut butter or seed butter. We used coconut milk with this recipe but any safe milk would likely be fine. Remember that you CAN make milk from quinoa as well as other seeds!

B's Best Brownies
1 cup sorghum flour
2/3 cup quinoa flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 cup brown sugar (coconut sugar is a wonderful substitute for this)
1/3 cup sunflower seed butter
2 Tbsp warm water
2 Tbsp safe oil (we use canola)
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips (we use Enjoy Life) OPTIONAL
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract OPTIONAL 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly oil a 9x9 inch pan (this makes a tall brownie--- about 1.5 inches thick. If you wanted a thinner brownie, you could use a 9x13 inch pan).

In a medium bowl, combine flours, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Add sugar and blend well. If using chocolate chips, add them here!

Blend in sunflower seed butter, vanilla, oil, and water. Once oven is fully preheated, add milk and stir until just blended. Pour/scoop batter into prepared pan immediately and smooth until level with a spoon. Bake for 25 minutes at 350.

Another option for your chocolate chips is to not add them to your batter, but to spread them over top of the hot brownies after you take them out of the oven. One chips start to melt, you can spread them over top of the brownies like a frosting.