Friday, April 18, 2014

FPIES Frustration = New Cookie Recipe

New frustrations have arisen in addition to our regular batch of FPIES issues. At five years old and with no end to this parade of allergy nonsense in sight, I have decided to work on one thing in my control. For all that B deals with everyday, at least I can give the girl more cookies. And since we are decent sharers at our house, well, most of the time. . . we are sharing this with you! From our kitchen to yours, join us in drowning your frustrations in cookies if you can!

Top 8 free, FPIES common trigger free, and completely and deliciously unhealthy.

Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookies
1 cup sorghum flour (or quinoa flour/millet flour/other safe flour)
1/2 quinoa flakes (or quinoa flour/millet flakes/rolled oats/amaranth flakes/etc)
1/2 cup baking cocoa (we use Hershey's)
1/3-1/2 cup sugar (depending on preference)
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
5 Tbsp sunflower seed butter (or other safe nut/seed butter OR coconut manna)
3 Tbsp shortening (We use palm. You could use a safe butter or coconut oil here)
1/2 cup safe milk (we use coconut)
1 Tbsp vanilla (optional)
1 cup chocolate chips (we use Enjoy Life brand)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease a brownie pan if making bar cookies. This recipe will make: 2 1/2 dozen medium to large size cookies OR 1 13x9 pan of bar cookies OR 2 8inch circle pans of bar cookies.

In a large bowl, combine flour, flakes, cocoa and baking powder. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, sunflower seed butter, shortening and vanilla.

Blend sugar mixture into flour mixture. Once well blended, add milk and chocolate chips.

For an easier time rolling cookies into balls, you may want to refrigerate the dough for an hour or two. If you simply cannot wait that long (like those in our house, haha), you can scoop the balls unto the pan with a cookie scooper or use your hands to roll into balls. Just be aware that it gets a bit messy! The dough here is similar to a traditional peanut butter cookie dough--- you will need to squish each ball down into proper "cookie formation" just as you would if you were making traditional peanut butter cookies (this recipe is nut free of course-- just using this as a point of reference!)

If making bars, simply smooth into prepared pans.

Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Allow to completely cool before cutting bars or eating cookies. Enjoy!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Coffee Cake Follow Up-- Fancy, Big Girl Style

Last week I gave you B's new muffin recipe. Well, sometimes, you may be craving something a bit more than muffins! So today we will talk about how easy it is to turn this muffin recipe (and many other muffin recipes) into a coffee cake version for more of an adult presentation.

To start, like all of these recipes, this is a version of something that looks and for the most part tastes like a coffee cake. This may not be like the ones you buy at the store but it is close!

The first step is altering the initial recipe. For the sake of ease, let's use last week's recipe which is here. You really do not have to do much, in fact you don't have to change it at all. But in my opinion (take that for what it is, haha), there are a few things that you can do to make this more like a traditional coffee cake.

One thing you can do is, instead of just using a cup of unaltered berries, is to dice them into small pieces (even the blueberries-- I cut them into fourths), put them in a separate bowl, add 2 Tbsp of white sugar/cane sugar, blend, and let them sit in the fridge for an hour or so before starting the rest of the recipe. When you prepare the recipe, simply add this mixture instead of unaltered berries. OR, for better results, you could cook this mixture (berry mixture) down in a saucepan until it becomes more like a syrup and then when you get to the spot in the recipe for the berries, add the syrup that you made.

The other thing you can do, either by itself or in addition to the alteration above, is to add a coffee cake-like topping. This is super easy and adds a nice sweet crumb topping. All you need is 4 parts brown sugar (or coconut sugar) to 4 parts flour to 3 parts shortening (or butter, or coconut oil or coconut manna).

Translation for this recipe?

In a small bowl, blend:
4 Tbsp brown sugar (same thing as 1/4 cup)
4 Tbsp of safe flour
3 Tbsp of shortening (I used palm)

The mixture should be crumb-like. Once ingredients are blended together, set aside. Prepare the rest of your recipe according to the instructions and pour into prepared pan. Ensure that the to of batter is relatively smooth. Using your fingers, sprinkle crumbs over top of batter until entire top is completely covered. Bake according to original recipe instructions. You may want to peek in on it a bit more frequently to ensure that the topping does not burn. If the topping does start to appear like it will burn before the cake is done, you can do a few different things. (1) make sure that the cake is closest to the center of the oven and the top isn't too close to the heating element, (2) cover the cake with foil (being careful not to disturb the topping), (3) decrease the oven temperature and increase your baking time to correspond.

You could also do these alterations and simply keep the recipe as muffins. I decided to make a coffee cake version because it had been five years since I had one of those yummy bakery coffee cakes and for whatever reason, I woke up with a craving and decided I was going to make one. ;) Enjoy your "adult" Sunday breakfast treat and if you can have coffee with your coffee cake, drink an extra cup for B, C, and I!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Berries for Breakfast

As many of you can relate I am sure, getting our kiddos to eat can often be a struggle. Between normal age and stage pickiness and all of the issues that arise from reaction pain/anxieties, it can seem like an impossibility at times to get through three meals a day.

Slowly, B has been eating less and less and is now at the point where she is refusing breakfast 5 of  days a week, entirely. I told her that I would make her whatever she wanted if she would start trying to eat and she decided on berry muffins. Happily, an easy choice! This is what I came up with:

B's Merry Berry Muffins
1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes (or amaranth flakes, millet flakes, or rolled oats)
1 cup sorghum flour (or corn flour, or wheat flour, or millet flour, etc)
1/2 cup sugar (I used brown sugar but coconut sugar would be yummy)
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
4 Tbsp sunflower seed butter or safe nut/seed butter (or coconut manna/butter!)
2 Tbsp palm shortening (or safe nut/seed butter, or coconut manna/butter)
1/4 cup safe oil (we use canola)
2 Tbsp honey/maple syrup/coconut nectar
1 - 1 1/2 cups safe milk (we use coconut)
2 Tbsp coconut vinegar (or other safe vinegar)
1 Tbsp vanilla (OPTIONAL)
1/2 - 1 full cup finely diced berries of choice (1/2 cup was fine for us)

Makes 36 mini muffins and one 4x6 coffee cake (for coffee cake recipe, stay tuned for next week. There are some alterations here) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and prepare 36 mini muffin cups (approx 12 regular sized muffins).

In a medium bowl, combine flours and baking powder. Add in sugar and blend well. Add oil, then shortening and sunflower seed butter. Pour in the honey. Mix all ingredients well and then blend in the coconut milk until mixture is well blended. Add berries!

Combine vanilla into mixture completely. Add vinegar and mix JUST until blended in.

Using a small cookie scoop or Tablespoon, scoop spoonfuls of batter into each muffin cup, filling each 3/4 to completely full. Bake in a 375 F oven for 10-15 minutes or until muffins are golden brown and spring back when you poke them gently.

These may look done but feel a bit soft when you poke them in the center. Still, remove them from the oven and keep them in the pan as they sit on top of your stove to cool. They should set up just fine.

Next week, I'll give you the scoop on how to do a few quick alterations and to create a beautiful coffee cake to have for the more adult presentation, in case you are getting sick of muffins ;).