Tag Archive: allergy

Allergy friendly chocolate cake

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This past weekend’s mission was to test run a chocolate cake for P’s first birthday.

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Mission: accomplished.  🙂

Like, SO accomplished.  I was beside myself with pride when it turned out.  Now I can serve a cake for everyone to enjoy that will make my son feel normal!!!  Hooray!

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It is chocolaty and rich and tastes indulgent, despite having no added sugar.  It’s also free of grains.  And nuts, seeds, soy, wheat, and dairy.  And it actually tastes good.  Scratch that.  It tastes great. 

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Grain free, allergy-friendly chocolate cake [wheat/gluten free, grain free, nut free, dairy free, soy free*]

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup enjoy life chocolate chips*
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 banana
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil together until smooth.  Add vanilla.

Combine eggs and banana and blend with an immersion blender or in a standing blender until frothy.

Add chocolate to whipped egg/banana mixture (starting with a little bit at first so the warm chocolate doesn’t cook the eggs).  Stir until combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones.  Again, stir until combined.

Let sit for a few minutes to thicken.

Meanwhile grease a cake pan with coconut oil.

Pour batter into cake pan.  Bake for 20 minutes (or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).

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[optional] Chocolate frosting [vegan, dairy free, nut free, soy free, wheat/gluten free]

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips*
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • [optional] pinch of salt

Directions:

Chill your can of coconut milk overnight and upon opening it, scoop the solid layer on top into a mixing bowl.  This (cream) is the portion you will use (but feel free to save the liquid portion for another use).

Combine coconut cream and melted chocolate chips and whip until smooth and thick and delicious.

Let both the cake and the frosting cool to room temperature before icing.

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*Make sure you check the ingredients of the chocolate chips you use.  Enjoy Life brand is definitely allergy friendly (as noted by the dairy, nut & soy free label), but various brands of dark chocolate chips may be suitable as well.  Soy lecithin is often safe for those with a soy allergy, but please check with your MD or allergist first.

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YUM!

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Happy 1st birthday little boy.  I am so happy to be your mama.

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Adding meat back

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Tofu lover that I am, it was hard to stop eating it.  But – plain and simple – it wasn’t a choice.

My son is my #1 priority.

So if he cannot tolerate soy, and he has eczema when I eat it (through my breast milk), then the choice is clear.  I stop eating soy.

And gluten.  And nuts.  And seeds.  [Cow dairy was already out of my diet, but goat dairy is now too.]*

So what does that leave a (vegetarian) to eat??  Fruits and vegetables of course.  And non-wheat grains.  And legumes.  And…[crickets].

Not only was that getting boring, but my little guy refuses to eat beans, which makes his protein situation on the low end of the spectrum.  Rather than feed him eggs and quinoa all the live long day, I made a decision.  I decided to try feeding him meat.  And guess what?  He LOVED it.

And since I’m not a short order cook, I decided it was time for us all to adopt the same diet.  So we are all eating lots of fruit, lots of veggies, lots of eggs…and some meat.

At first it was weeeeeeird.  But you know me.  I love food.  I love cooking and baking and learning about all things culinary.  So I dove in head first and started educating myself like a student chef.  It took a couple of months for me to get up the nerve to do it, but like the band-aid scenario, I realized it wasn’t going to get any easier, regardless of how much research I did.  So I bought 100% grass fed and finished organic ground beef and made it for P and he took to it immediately.  A few days later, Kyle and I joined him (we all ate the same dinner!).  It was bizarre, but wonderful (bizarre to be eating meat, wonderful to be cooking the same thing for us all).

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t enjoyed certain aspects of it.  The learning part mostly.  It’s been a blast reading various culinary sources that I previously skimmed or glossed over altogether.  I am trying to be as responsible with our consumption of animals as possible – doing research on the source of all the meat we buy and using it in it’s entirety.  [Side note: yay for living in Davis where we have access to so many organic farms!]  I’m still trying to make plants be the focal point of our food (with meat as the accent), so that our fam gets all our nutrients covered.

We are now a few weeks into this new diet, and while some things still weird me out, I’m getting the hang of it.  More importantly, though, my gut seems to be doing fine with it so far**.  As are my taste buds.  Since my mom was a vegetarian and I was raised without cow/pig, I don’t know much about preparing it.  Thank goodness for the crock pot.  And Bon Appétit.  And the internet.  And meat thermometers.  🙂

But like I mentioned before, the biggest selling point of all is how much simpler it has made meal times for the family.  We all eat the same thing.  I don’t make special meals adapted to each person’s tolerances because now we all share the same tolerances.  Sure, we each had to cede a bit – Kyle likes wheat and dairy, I like nuts and tempeh – but now that meat is on the menu, the center point of our Venn Diagram is much larger than it once was.

If you’re a vegan/vegetarian or someone who will be offended to see meat on the blog, I don’t know how much I’ll be posting about it.  I don’t have the skills to make up my own recipes yet, so I’m only making others’ creations at this point.  Moreover, I’m pretty sure meat is one of the more ugly foods to photograph (although pinterest could prove me wrong there…).

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to share.

I started this blog over 5 years ago and my life has changed in so many ways since then, so it’s only natural that my diet would evolve as well.  I know that not eating meat was a big part of my identity on this blog…and in real life it was for a while, too…but I’m not the same person I was back then.  I know that you guys appreciate my openness and honesty here (which is how I want it to be), so hopefully you’ll respect this decision.  I will still be eating yummy vegan food, too.

*I am still working out the kinks, but I occasionally have some nuts and goat dairy after nursing P to sleep at night because it will be >12 hours until I breast feed next, thus allowing the allergens to clear out of my milk.   I think it’s okay, but I am still experimenting. 

**Not to drag this out and make eating meat into a huge saga, but I do plan to write one more post that addresses the impact on my GI tract (since my decision to ditch animal protein stemmed from my IBS, I think a follow up on how my gut is doing is warranted).  

The allergy convo

When I first launched into this whole baby allergy thing, I was overwhelmed to say the least.  And I have a pretty strong background in food and sensitivities.  So I imagine it’s even worse for a non-food-obsessed parent with a new diagnosis – kinda like you’re stuck in the middle of a tornado of info.  Right at the time when you feel like you’re getting your bearings with your new little one! 

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For this reason I’m going to share what I feed P.  And what I do in social situations.  And all the stuff I learn as I go. 

I wasn’t going to have baby stuff on this blog, but it’s my life now.  Despite my best efforts, it consumes my every thought.  And I want to help other allergy mamas (if I can).  If you have zero interest in baby stuff, you can skip these posts.  I’ll still share other recipes on HHH. 

For the record, my little man CAN’T have: peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, soy, gluten, or dairy.

He CAN have: eggs, shellfish, fish, coconut*. 

*The FDA classifies coconut as a tree nut, but FARE considers it a palm fruit.

Stay tuned. 

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Please don’t take my blog as a replacement for medical care or advice.  If you have questions, see an allergist before introducing new foods or trying my recipes!

More allergy free baking with coconut flour

Success number one with coconut flour baking was enough of a confidence boost to encourage me to try again.  So I did.  This time with a few of the super ripe bananas we had on hand. 

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Success number two!

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Because the bananas were almost entirely brown I didn’t think much sugar was necessary and I was right!  This bread is sweet in a way that doesn’t taste “healthy”. 

I loved it.  And so did P.  I think it’s going to be the recipe I use for his birthday cupcakes.  Can you believe it’s almost 1 year??? 

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I did add molasses to add some flavor and a touch of sweetness since I was only using a mere 1 tbsp of maple syrup.  Feel free to use another liquid sweetener if you want (ie honey, agave).

Coconut Flour Banana Molasses Bread [dairy free, grain free, wheat/gluten free, nut free, FODMAPs friendly]

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine wet ingredients (first 6 listed) in one bowl, mix well.  Then add in the rest of the ingredients.

Pour into large greased loaf pan. 

Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).

*The large loaf pan seemed too big when I poured the batter in, but it expanded and ended up being a good fit.  It’s too small for a mini loaf pan, but could probably use a bit more batter to fill out a large one, so prepare to have a more squat loaf.  I didn’t care about this because it still tasted good.  Alternatively, you could pour the batter into muffin tins.  Baking time will need to be reduced significantly (I’d start with 25-30 minutes).

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I’m getting the hang of this super absorbent flour…and the texture and flavor are preferable to other GF baked goods which can be a little bland or dry if significant amounts of sweetener or oil or egg aren’t added.

I thought this loaf was nice because it only used a minimal amount of coconut oil and eggs.  Lots of grain free type breads call for 6-8 eggs and that’s just insane to me. 

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I’d rather eat my eggs on the side.  🙂