Sunday, November 27, 2011

Awesome vegan blog

I tend to search for vegan recipes since the little one is allergic to dairy, eggs, beef, and chicken. Vegan takes care of these, and with a little tweaking the rest of her allergies can be avoided. Well, I found an amazing looking vegan blog to try out! I can't wait to allergy-proof some of these this month, check it out!

Mouthwatering Vegan Recipes

Monday, October 17, 2011


I made Strawberry Pineapple smoothies for Buggy and I today :) Here's the recipe:

Strawberry Pineapple Smoothies

6 strawberries (or ~1/2 cup if they're small)
1/2 cup pineapple
4 oz almond milk (or any safe milk)
1 tbs honey (or agave nectar)
10 ice cubes (more or less)

Toss all ingredients into the blender, blend until smooth, and enjoy! This made just shy of 3 cups which was more than enough for the baby and I. We could've made it into 3 servings, but my husband wasn't interested in any. Another tasty way you could try this would be to add a banana or maybe some blueberries. Have fun with this one!

Almond Milk

1 cup raw almonds
4 cups water

Soak almonds overnight or at least 6 hours. Rinse 2-3 times then add almonds and 4 cups of water to a blender and blend until a nice milky white. You'll need to strain the almond pulp out of the milk: you can use cheesecloth or they make super handy nut milk bags like this one. Cheesecloth is a bit slower of a method, but it gets the job done! Some people will use up to 7 cups of water to 1 cup almonds, it just depends on how creamy or watery you like yours. You can also add agave nectar or honey to taste.

I added at least one picture to each recipe (okay, you caught me - every recipe EXCEPT the almond milk one) because I think recipes are more trustworthy with images. To me, a recipe without a picture is like a book without a cover - yeah, it still works.. but it's just not the same. Besides, if there's no picture for me to look at, how am I to know if I made if right? And how will I know if it looks like something I might enjoy? I'm a very visual person... I rarely try recipes that don't have pictures of the finished product with them.

So go on... scroll down, check out the picture, go make yourself some pancakes and a smoothie for your midnight snack :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

emotional video

I was going to just come on here and post the adjustments I made to the bread because my friend said it was even better today, but then I came across this video that deserves sharing. I found this on the BabyCenter FPIES board, it's a tribute to special needs mamas and is the only video I've seen to this day that has actually brought tears to my eyes. At the end there are websites listed for prader-willi syndrome, but it's dedicated to moms of all special needs kiddos. So break out the kleenexes ladies and click here

As for the delicious bread, I upped the sugar by 2 tbs to make it 1/4 cup sugar, used 1.5 tsp cinnamon, and decreased the baking soda slightly :) easy peasy!

On a completely unrelated note I've finally started getting things together for my daughter's allergy free Halloween party on the 29th and even decided on her costume! She's going to be Little Bo Peep and I'm going to make a little sheep costume for her baby (Violet). A tad dorky, I know... but oh so cute! I've got allergy friendly goody bags for the kids (crayons, coloring book, snack bag, etc), and am working on a nice little allergy friendly menu so I don't have to stress about her grabbing someone else's food or the kids all sharing like we know they like to do. Even though she's only 14 months old, she very much notices when somebody gets something she isn't able to eat and gets very upset by it :( This way everyone gets cool goodies, tasty treats, and nobody is left feeling upset/left out! I'm so excited (read: anxious/nervous) about the party... only two more weeks!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

mmmm.. fresh, warm, homemade cinnamon bread!

Ignore the light patch ; ) my bread machine didn't mix as thoroughly as usual!

I was playing around with my current hypoallergenic bread recipe, trying to tweak it so it was JUST right and decided to try adding some cinnamon today. After all, who doesn't like cinnamon? I made this bread at 1:30 pm, largely due to may daughter, it's now more than half gone! (It's 9:03 pm by the way) Even my husband said it was delicious and tried to steal my piece :) I think I'll make some more tomorrow, maybe add a little more cinnamon and possibly even a bit of nutmeg.

10/16 edit - more cinnamon was definitely better! I've also decided this bread smells like Christmas :) I changed the ingredients below to reflect my latest trial of the bread recipe. I must say I'm quite satisfied with it. Slather on some coconut oil and honey (or agave nectar) and enjoy!

Cinnamon Bread

Dry ingredients:
2 cups of allergy friendly flour (see below recipe if you need one!)
1/2 cup tapioca (or arrowroot) starch
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbs cinnamon
~1/2 tsp himalayan salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 packet Red Star yeast (if avoiding corn it's important to buy this specific packet of yeast as it is corn free - if avoiding yeast, try this without it, you'll still get some rise from the vinegar/baking soda)

Wet ingredients:
1 1/4 cups HOT water
1-2 tbs honey
1/2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tbs chia seeds soaked in 3 tbs water until gel-y (or if you're not avoiding eggs, use 1!)

a) Add all wet ingredients to the bread maker
b) Combine dry ingredients separately in a bowl
c) Once dry ingredients are all mixed together, gently add them to the bread maker as well

I bake mine on the ExpressBake 1.5 setting with a medium crust and in just under an hour it's done :) It also leaves your house smelling wonderfully like cinnamon for a while. Check on the batter after a few minutes of mixing, it should be roughly the consistency of muffin or pancake batter rather than bread dough consistency. Add water or flour if needed to achieve proper batter consistency.

I hope you guys enjoy this bread! I will try making another loaf soon with a few adjustments :)

Friday, October 7, 2011


I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted! Things have been really busy lately and I kind of just forgot to post :( I apologize to anyone who reads this.

But! I've figured out a flour for us :) It works great for bread, cupcakes, and pancakes. Are you ready for this? I did a big batch:

8 cups GF oat flour
6 cups GF Sorghum flour
3 cups arrowroot starch
3 cups tapioca starch

Total: 20 cups. 7 parts grain, 3 parts starch. I made bread and cupcakes with this flour mix today and the most AMAZING thing happened....... they both rose! As if I had used *gasp* regular flour (not quite the same, but way more than any non-rice, GF flours I have tried so far). I'm so ecstatic! The only thing I'll try differently next time is equal parts oat and sorghum flours. I can still taste a hint of oat. It isn't bad, but I feel like there's still a bit of room for improvement (it's the perfectionist in me lol)

For anyone looking for an excellent cake/cupcake recipe, you absolutely must check this one out: Chef Chloe's Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes. They are the best cupcakes I've ever had and very easy to adjust for allergens. They are vegan - but you'd never guess it by the taste! No super strange, hard to find, completely random ingredients involved. The "weirdest" thing would be the apple cider vinegar, but have no fear: you can't taste vinegar in the cupcakes, all you taste is chocolatey deliciousness. The frosting is comparable to buttercream frosting, in fact, despite being a major buttercream frosting fan and not being allergic to it myself - I still use this vegan version as my go to frosting now. I also used this recipe to make my daughter's birthday smash cake, 1 batch should be good for that. I made a double batch and it was more than enough for her cake plus a bunch of cupcakes for everyone else (you may need more/less depending on how many you're serving)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Even better than the last batch, we made pancakes again today! I only did a half batch this time (enough for 3 fun pancakes for Buggy and 3 small ones for me).

I learned that I need to learn to photograph food better. A LOT better. Today's lesson: turn flash off when taking pictures on the griddle. With flash you see every little droplet of oil used and it makes it look like a lot more. So if you'll forgive my horrid food photography skills, here's the pancakes and recipe.

This recipe contains none of the following allergens: peanuts, beans, wheat, beef, chicken, rice, corn, dairy, eggs, shellfish, sesame, ginger, lemons, soy, nightshades.

This recipe DOES contain the following allergens: oats (I use GF, you can use a different GF and/or allergy friendly flour), almonds, apples (can be subbed with bananas or any egg substitute)

Allergy Free Pancakes for Buggy

70g (just over 1/2 cup not packed) gluten free oat flour
35g (just over 1/4 cup not packed) almond flour
pinch of himalayan salt (or fine sea salt)
1/2 tsp allergy friendly baking powder (click here for how to use cream of tartar and baking soda)
1/2 tbs cane sugar
1/4 cup allergy friendly applesauce (this is an egg replacer, you can use 1/4 cup banana or any other safe egg replacer)
1/2 cup water (we were out of allergy friendly milk, you can sub any kind of milk in here -it will change taste though-)


1) Mix thoroughly flours, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl.
2) Add applesauce (or other egg replacer) and water (or milk), mix until smooth.
3) Cook on griddle at 250F lightly greased with olive oil to prevent sticking.
4) Enjoy with coconut oil, fruit, and 100% maple syrup or any kind of toppings you love : )
5) (Optional, but appreciated) Comment below and let me (and everyone else) know how well these did or did not turn out for you!

Yield: 3 small pancakes for the mama, and 3 fun shaped pancakes for a toddler/baby/child (see pics below)

This is where we learned NOT to use flash when photographing food on the griddle. Oops! The one on your far right is my sad attempt at an Alaska shaped pancake ; )

Flipped 'em over, looking good!

My pancakes.

Buggy enjoying her fun pancakes and the left over homemade applesauce (we used Earligold apples, but you can use any you like)

Monday, August 22, 2011

mmmmm vegan pancakes...

... now if only I could remember how I made them.

I made some pancakes yesterday for the family, and they scarfed them down! We had a few left over so Buggy and I ate those today - and they were even better! (pretty sure that just means I should have let them cook just a smidgen longer since all I did today was microwave them for 25 seconds)

I will try to make them again tomorrow and write down the recipe to share. They are very simple and allergy friendly - at least for us. They DO contain almond flour though, so if you're allergic to almonds, you'll have to substitute a different flour. I topped mine with some coconut oil, strawberries, and a light drizzle of 100% maple syrup so these pancakes (even with those toppings) are free of the following allergens: all legumes including peanuts, wheat, beef, chicken, rice, corn, dairy, eggs, shellfish, sesame, ginger, lemons, soy, and nightshades (things like tomatoes, potatoes, and bell peppers). I will also post pictures tomorrow, because I don't trust recipes this allergy free to taste good without pictures first!

We welcomed sleeping in and an extra scrumptious breakfast this morning because we've had some recent setbacks with Buggy's allergies. She had allergy testing last week, and to say it went bad would be an understatement. The doctor literally GUESSED what she might be allergic to! In his defense though, I wouldn't have been able to even guess - her entire back was red and inflamed from where the tegaderm was holding the patches on. There were a few patches of clear skin where I'm guessing patches that she wasn't allergic to might have been? But your guess is as good as mine on this one. He threw out a few suggestions the first day the patches were removed and then completely different suggestions the next day, at which point he said he was sticking with those and to remove them from her diet - but don't add any of the old stuff back in yet - for the next 6 weeks and he'd see us again in 8 weeks. After this 2 month trial, we can start attempting to add foods we think she tested negative to this time but she was positive to last time. Comforting. At least we have corn free diphenhydramine (anti histamine. Think hypoallergenic benedryl) now though!

One of the other things was that she had an endoscopy the week before that and they found eosinophiles in her stomach, which means she's still consuming something she's allergic to. I'm hoping the doc was right with his guesses, but we'll see.

Finally, yesterday she broke out in hives 6 times (no joke). 4 times were after eating foods she's had at least a dozen times before, the other 2 times she hadn't consumed anything for at least 45 minutes to an hour. One time was when her daddy was making popcorn, so I'm wondering if maybe her corn allergy has taken another turn for the worse? He says no way, but what else was there? Nothing that I saw. I guess we'll see.. tomatoes were one of the things she broke out from yesterday, so my husband wants to trial those today and see if she breaks out; she was also eating a pluot, some red grapes, and lettuce at the time. We picked tomatoes as the most likely culprit since the doctor suggested a potato allergy and both of these vegetables belong to the nightshade family. So, if she breaks out in hives today from JUST tomatoes, then I'll be more confident in the doctor's potato allergy guess. Our other guess is cross contamination. We only have a handful or less of things in the house that contain corn. We used to have more than that, but as her corn allergy became worse, some products had to be replaced with hypoallergenic ones. Soda is no longer allowed in the house because my poor Mt Dew loving husband left the cans in Buggy's reach one too many times. She's pulled them down on herself on 3 different occasions, and anywhere it touches breaks out immediately and looks more like a bad burn in pictures. After the first time I told him to make sure he puts them up or disposes of them, after the second I said if it happens one more time no more soda here - then she did it a third time.

The only other thing I have to share today is that I invested in a scale for my kitchen yesterday! So now I'm trying to figure out the perfect mixture of flours for us since a lot of gluten free recipes recommend using a mixture of flours rather than one. I have decided I will not use any quinoa flour in there though... I used 16g of quinoa flour in a 140g mixture and when I bit into the muffin, all I could taste was the quinoa flour. Maybe we'll try again tonight.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What do you feed your kid?

That's what I get asked every time I pull out Buggy's allergy list. I have also asked myself many times a similar question - what on Earth do I feed her? In the era of fast food and processed foods, it's hard to imagine there is anything left for people with multiple allergies. But think healthy! There are tons of options.. granted, most are fruits and vegetables ; ) but there's also things like quinoa, gluten free oats, homemade bread, and sun butter! Well... maybe not the last one. Today, while we were shopping, Buggy enjoyed a tasty single serving packet of Sun Butter which she LOVES! But when I went to wipe her face off I found hives everywhere.... I'm crossing my fingers, hoping there was just cross contamination somewhere (hard not to get that with all her allergies), but since she recently had an endoscopy done and allergy patch testing, I'm going to give her a break for a while before trying it again to see. I plan on getting up both a list of no-no's for allergies and a list of good foods to have because I know the hardest thing is trying to find foods while looking at a list of can't haves. Like I said before, our list of Buggy-friendly foods has been a life saver. In the meantime though, there are three cookbooks I have found tremendously helpful in getting her fed (and keeping her healthy) that I'd like to share with you:

Raw Food Real World by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis - Raw foods... are delicious foods! No real "cooking" in this book, they use a dehydrator, a blender, and a few other tricks to make things like almond milk, almond flour, macadamia nut cheese, tomato and zucchini lasagna, and some very scrumptious looking desserts :) One of my favorite cookbooks because even with all of her allergies, my daughter can eat almost everything in the book without substituting things

Allergy Self Help Cookbook by Marjorie Hurt Jones, RN - One of my favorite parts about this book that sets it apart is it's description of all the different flours. I spent a lot of money and time trying to figure out which wheat free flour to use for pancakes, breads, etc that could have been saved if I had bought this book first. For each flour, there is information on flavor and color, breading (how well it makes bread), thickening (how well it works for things like sauces and gravy), baking (for some, it recommends only using 25-50% of the called for amount in one flour, and use the other 75-50% in a different flour), and a section called comments, where anything else she has to say about that flour falls in. The book is labelled as being free of all common allergens - corn, gluten, sugar, wheat, egg, milk, soy, and yeast :)

And last, but not least - the first cookbook I bought when I found out my daughter is pretty much just allergic to the world *drumroll please*

Allergy Proof Recipes for Kids by Leslie Hammond and Lynne Marie Rominger - These tasty, kid friendly (and husband friendly) recipes are wheat, gluten, nut, egg, and dairy free, but also low in sugar! I love this book, and truth be told I actually purchased it because of my husband! He is somewhat picky about what he eats, but generally ate like a kid at the time. I didn't want to be cooking 2 or 3 different meals every day so I figured this was my best bet for getting everyone eating food that is Buggy-friendly! I have to make some substitutions because she has so many allergies, but overall this is a great book (and most kids don't have as many allergies as mine does). This book has many kid favorites like mac and cheese, chicken nuggets (we sub turkey and it's still awesome), corn dogs, and who could forget - cakes and cookies :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

So your kid has allergies...

Relax! At first it can be stressful, difficult, even seem like there's absolutely NOTHING your kid can eat; I've been there. I've started crying and felt like a failure as a mother because it seemed like everything I gave my child gave her hives. But it gets better, I promise! It isn't the end of the world, it's not as scary as it seems (you just need resources, information, and allergy mama buddies to talk to!), and there's plenty your child can eat.

One thing I highly recommend is to write a list of what your child can eat. It's good to have a list of what your child needs to avoid, have it ready for other caregivers, and take it with grocery shopping... but it's also kind of depressing to stare at list after list of what your kid cannot have. It was such a relief the day I sat down and wrote a list of what my daughter could eat; it was after I broke down and said I had no idea what to feed her - everything was giving her hives. I calmed down, pulled up my laptop and started typing foods she hasn't reacted to. I got 3 whole pages! I also learned to start searching vegan recipes because those wouldn't have the beef, chicken, dairy, or eggs that she's allergic to and I could go from there easier than starting from scratch and working out all of her allergies individually.

Buggy's Current Allergies: