Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Banana Bread

I have found the most delicious banana bread recipe! Both of my boys can eat it with all of their many food allergies AND I really like it too.

I found the recipe on-line. I only altered it a little. The recipe is so flexible to accommodate several allergy needs. First I will give the recipe as I found it online and then I'll give the exact recipe that I used.

Joy’s Banana Bread

3/4 cup sugar (OR 1 tsp stevia)
1/2 cup butter, margarine or oil
2 eggs (OR 3 tsp egg replacer mixed with 4 TB water OR an extra banana)
1 cup mashed bananas with 1 tsp baking soda mixed in (usually I do 2 bananas and skip the baking soda step, but my sister says it makes a difference)
2 Tb milk (cow, soy, rice)
1 tsp baking powder (OR 1/4 tsp baking soda mixed with 1/2 tsp of lemon juice)
1 3/4 cup flour (wh. or br. wheat, spelt, or rice flour OR my favorite mix: 1 cup br. rice flour, 2/3 cup chickpea flour, 1/3 cup tapioca flour – this mix can be used in place of wheat in almost all recipes)
pinch of salt

Bake at 350 degrees. 50 minutes for wheat, 45 minutes for spelt, 40 minutes for rice/chickpea/tapioca flours.

Here's what I did:

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Fleischmann's unsalted margarine (dairy free)
1 cup bananas (3) plus 1 extra banana in place of egg
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. rice milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1 3/4 cup rice flour

The bread took about 65 minutes to bake, rather than the 40 minutes the recipe called for, but it is SO moist and... I don't think I've tasted an allergy friendly recipe that I liked so much. We will definitely have fun eating this bread again and again!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

An Allergy Update

There have been lots of reasons to celebrate in our household these past few weeks. There have been a couple of disappointments too, but that's okay.

Adam is thriving in more ways than we could ever imagine. Not only is he crawling, but pulling himself up, talking, and eating ALL the time! What is he eating you ask? WHEAT, SOY and WATERMELON!!! Adam is NOT allergic to either of them, which now gives us SO many options that did not exist before. He will even have a REAL birthday cake with REAL frosting on his birthday. (The cake will not have nuts, eggs, dairy, etc..., but it will still be real, compared to our options before now.)

Jason and I are so excited. Adam's list of non allergy foods is growing. He now can eat: bananas, cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches, grapes, chicken, turkey, rice, corn, potato, wheat and soy! This week we're experimenting with oats. At this very moment Adam is eating Cheerios! Hopefully we see no reactions.

Our sad news-We decided to reintroduce Owen to wheat at the same time we introduced it to Adam. Unfortunately Owen is still allergic and DEFINITELY has affects from it. Poor Owen. My challenge now is to keep wheat in Adam's diet, but not Owen's. This would be easy if Owen had never had crackers, breads, and cookies before, but he has and LOVES them. He still doesn't understand they make him sick.

I don't want to dwell on the not so fun stuff. So we'll just focus on the fact that Adam is having so much fun with wheat!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Peanut Butter Balls

Tuesday I was in need of a "no baking required" dessert that Owen can eat. Remembering a delicious treat from my past I began to search for peanut butter ball recipes online. All that I found had either wheat or dairy in them. That is until I found these!
Owen LOVED helping me make them. The only thing I would have changed was the type of peanut butter I used. I used Jiff with 33% less sugar, and it caused the peanut butter balls to be REALLY sticky and not harden as well, but they were still delicious. I didn't have any non dairy chocolate, so we didn't dip them in chocolate, but they were delicious without it! Here is the recipe. The picture and recipe are from Little Joys website.

For peanut butter balls:
18 oz. smooth peanut butter
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 1/3 cups ground rolled oats
12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (We used non dairy margarine.)

For chocolate coating:
12 oz. bag chocolate chips (We'll use non dairy chocolate chips.)
2 Tablespoons butter (We'll use non dairy margarine.)

Line a cookie sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until evenly combined. Scoop the peanut butter mixture by the rounded teaspoon and form into 1-inch balls, arranging the balls on the parchment-lined sheet. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or until very firm. The best way to test is to pick one up, bring it close to your mouth and bite it in half. It shouldn't be at all squishy. Leather hard, if you’re a ceramicist.

If you desire chocolate covering your peanut butter, pour the chocolate chips and butter in microwaveable bowl (or double boiler). Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until they’re smooth and creamy. Coat the balls in chocolate — you can carefully pour it over top of the balls, or you can do what I did and drop one at a time into the bowl, spin it around or spoon chocolate on top until it’s coated, then lift it out with a fork, tapping the fork on the inside of the bowl a few times to let some of the excess chocolate drip off. Replace the balls on the tray and refrigerate again until chocolate is set.

Makes about 48. Probably more if you don’t eat any out of the bowl.

Serving suggestions: These would be fun for kids to make, to give away at holidays, or for girlie bridal and baby showers. These are also really good for breakfast.

I can't wait to make these again. Owen was SO excited!!! They will make a great holiday give away that Owen can help make! Perhaps someday Adam will grow out of his oats, peanut and soy allergies and be able to eat them too.

Peanut butter balls are wheat and dairy free!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Allergy Friendly Birthday Party Preparations

Adam's birthday is in three weeks. I can't believe he's turning 1 year old. Lots of family and several cousins will be here celebrating the event with us. Plans have been underway for months now. I finally understand why Heavenly Father blessed me with the talent of planning and organizing things. In the past three months I have learned that EVERYTHING must be planned out in great detail when dealing with kids with food allergies. A simple trip to the mall can turn into a nightmare when it's time to eat if I haven't packed lunches for everyone. Food court foods are off limits. My husband and I wanted to go out to eat as a family this week. Adam is eating table food now. Running down the list of restaurants that we are familiar with in town, we realized that there is not one place that can provide Adam with an allergy safe balanced meal. Very few if any permit people to bring in their own food. Family gatherings are now very stressful with buffets of dangerous foods, plates and drinks left out everywhere... Adam is now on the move, putting everything in his mouth. Despite these challenges, we're managing quite well.
Adam's birthday party is the biggest challenge I'm facing right now. It is a soccer ball birthday party. We are expecting a crowd of at least 30 people ranging in age from newborn to 83 years old. There will be food, drinks, etc... everywhere. I've decided to make sure all of the food is allergy friendly for both Adam and Owen. Luckily they can both eat plain potato chips and tortilla chips (without soy bean oil). Plain popcorn and an allergy friendly caramel corn are safe too (not necessarily for a 1 year old, but if he accidentally eats a piece left on the floor, it won't cause an allergic reaction). For drinks I was able to find bottled water decorated with sports balls. The bottles are even shaped like balls.

Last week Adam successfully ate Cherrybrook Kitchen Gluten Free Dreams Chocolate Cake without any allergic reaction. Besides being gluten free it is peanut free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, and soy free. He LOVED it! We have a cake AND a boy who's not allergic to cocoa!

Unfortunately this week Adam had an unsuccessful trial with soy. Unless anyone has information as to where I can find a soy free, dairy free margarine, the poor boy will not be able to have decorative frosting on his cake. Although I do have a glaze recipe that I may use on his cupcake.

My biggest success lies in the goodie bags. Eleven goodie bags needed filling. There will be six girls, four boys, and a baby. All of the bags are allergy friendly! Just look at the contents:

For the Baby: For all of the kids:
For the boys:For the girls:
It may seem a bit overboard to make sure the goodie bags are allergy proof too, but chances are the children will open them before they leave the house. If there is food in them that Owen and/or Adam can't have and they see it, they'll wonder where theirs is. I'd like to avoid this. The second threat is that if the goodie bag were to have treats that my boys can't have, and one were left lying around somewhere, leave it to one of them to find the bag, empty the contents, and start chowing down. This way all is safe for everyone. I'd be surprised if the kids don't like the contents of their bag.

When I went to one of my friend's children's parties my friend handed out goodie bags to adults and/or families too. I LOVED this idea. Obviously parents go to a lot of trouble finding a gift for your child, bringing them to the party, etc... It will be so nice to have a way to say thank you right at the party. My friend's goodie bags were filled with cookies. Obviously we won't be doing that, but I did come up with another idea. Instead of cookies, everyone will be receiving a 1 year portrait of Adam. Over 75% of the people coming to this party are family, so they'll love an updated photo (especially since the last one they received was when he was 6 weeks old). Those who don't make it to the party will receive the portrait in the mail with a "We missed you!" card.

Here's a sneak peak at the unedited photo taken by photographer Bill Lockhart:

It should be a fun birthday party don't you think? At least in the way of goodie bags and thank yous. More details about the party will be posted after the big event! I can't wait! It truly is amazing that we've all made it through this first year. There are definitely reasons to celebrate!!!