Crazy Food Journey

Living with newfound food intolerances (allergies, reactions)

Easy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie (egg-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)

20140813_142342Sorry for the long title, but I was so excited to work all that stuff into one simple, quick cookie recipe. I whipped this up today in just a few minutes so that I would have something sweet on the road tomorrow. I was so very excited about how they turned out and I knew more people would enjoy this quick and yummy 6-ingredient cookie recipe.20140813_142256

Yield: 30ish                   Bake time: 10 min                  Total time:17 min
Ingredients:

  • Chia seed egg substitute
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Whisk together the egg substitute
  3. Add the baking soda, brown sugar, coconut flour, and coconut milk
  4. Whisk together until smooth
  5. Add in the peanut butter, use a fork to stir together until smooth
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips
  7. Spray your cookie sheets with olive or coconut oil
  8. Use hands to form cookie-like shapes and place them on the cookie sheet, spacing them about an inch apart
  9. Place in oven for ten minutes
  10. When done, remove from the oven, let cool, and enjoy!

 

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Chai Tea Ice Cream

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I know that Ice Cream Week is over, and even Ice Cream Month is over, but summer is not. And, well, chai tea is my favorite kind of tea, and ice cream is wonderful during these hundred degree days. So, without further ado, here is my summertime chai tea ice cream.20140809_215716

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • a shake of allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 bags chai tea

Directions:

  1. Put one can of coconut milk in a sauce pan, add the honey and spices
  2. Stir together, then bring to a boil
  3. Add the bags of tea and let them steep a little while
  4. Squeeze the bags to the side of the sauce pan with a spoon and remove the bags
  5. Place the mixture in the freezer for about 20 minutes
  6. Get your ice cream maker and pour the mixture in plus your other can of coconut milk and let it go (Let it go! Let it go! Can’t hold it back anymore!)
  7. Scoop it out and serve with a little chocolate

 

 

 

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ADHD and Food Intolerance

girl bubbles stockHow many kids do you know who have been diagnosed with ADHD? It seems every time I am working with after school care or some other children’s class, I am being told about this or that kid who has ADHD. Several parents have even told me, “We’ve never had him tested, but he has ADHD.” Almost every kid these days seems to have ADHD. According to The New York Times there really has been a significant rise in the last few years.

Nearly one in five high school age boys in the United States and 11 percent of school-age children over all have received a medical diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

These rates reflect a marked rise over the last decade and could fuel growing concern among many doctors that the A.D.H.D. diagnosis and its medication are overused in American children

This just strikes me as crazy! This many kids have ADHD? Beyond that, there is something that scares me even more. I started looking into the most common treatment for this condition: Ritalin. And here is what I found on drugs.com under the “For Professionals” tab.

Ritalin is a mild central nervous system stimulant.

The mode of action in man is not completely understood, but Ritalin presumably activates the brain stem arousal system and cortex to produce its stimulant effect.

There is neither specific evidence which clearly establishes the mechanism whereby Ritalin produces its mental and behavioral effects in children, nor conclusive evidence regarding how these effects relate to the condition of the central nervous system.

In other, more honest, words, we don’t know exactly what this stuff is. Nor do we know exactly what it will do to your child. All we do know is that it seems to keep the symptoms of ADHD temporarily at bay, so here, give it to your children. This doesn’t exactly inspire my confidence. In fact, it scares the pee-diddle out of me. After reading that, I swear to you, no child of mine will ever ever go on Ritalin. Ever!

I’m much more inclined to consider what might be causing it, and to look at what other solutions there might be. Most of these fixes I would never have considered about 3 years ago, but now it seems second nature to me to realize that ADHD, much like IBS, is not a disease, nor really a diagnosis, but simply a label for a group of symptoms. In an NPR article Dr. Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Centre in the Netherlands says this about treating ADHD:

There is a paradigm shift needed. If a child is diagnosed ADHD, we should say, ‘OK, we have got those symptoms, now let’s start looking for a cause.’ 

According to Dr. Plesser, 64% of the kids diagnosed with ADHD, are actually experiencing food intolerance. Wow! So, we’re giving medicine we know nothing about to a bunch of hyperactive children, 64% of whom do not need it, when what they really need is to simply stop eating certain foods. For those other 36% of these children who may have no obvious reaction to foods, looking into food intolerance first would be the best first step for anyone who is symptomatic.

The 3 most common food allergies associated with ADHD symptoms are:

  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Food dyes and additives

Going backward, because I like to be complicated, many children are allergic to different food dyes. And part of the problem is that millions of pounds of dyes go into American foods each year, and most of them are specifically marketed toward children: cake, jello, pudding, cereal, soda, drink mix, cookies. . . Yum, yum! This is hard to cut out if your child is accustom to eating a lot of packaged foods (like all the ADHD kids I know do) but probably the easiest to cut out of the top three allergies.

Gluten–Let me tell you, there is so much information about gluten intolerance, it’s too much to cover in this post. Mood disorders and hyperactivity are common symptoms of untreated gluten intolerance or even celiac disease. Gluten causes many other problems too, discussed in some of my other posts: abdominal pain, acid reflux, stomach cramps, acne, eczema, chronic fatigue, headaches, false fat, infertility, diabetes, and severe PMS symptoms. It’s definitely worth considering cutting out gluten from your ADHD child’s diet.

Finally, let’s take a look at dairy. Personally, I love, love LOVE dairy! Absolutely love it. Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, yogurt, sour cream, cheese cake, ice cream, coffee creamer, butter. . . However, did you know that humans are the only species that continue to consume dairy after infancy? Most humans (between the ages of 2 and 5) stop producing the enzyme – lactase – that digests the main sugar found in cow’s milk – lactose. This helps me to understand a little more why dairy is one of the most common food intolerances and allergies among children. Humans simply weren’t created to continue consuming dairy past infancy.

Each of these foods is capable of causing the symptoms we refer to as ADHD. In order to determine which food(s) your child might be intolerant or allergic, try eliminating all of these foods completely for 4 weeks. . After the elimination time is over, add a little back in (one at a time of course) to see whether there are any adverse effects. While this may not be easy to accomplish, it will be well worth it if you can alleviate the ADHD symptoms.

All parents need to know the frightening truth about Ritalin. All parents need to know the adverse effects dairy, gluten, and food dye (among others) can have on the human body. All parents need to know that their children’s symptoms may be caused by the food that Mommy and Daddy are feeding them.

Whether you have already put your child on Ritalin and are wishing you could get them off, or are appalled to learn that doctors do not really know exactly what it is or how it works, or whether you are looking for an alternative to prescription medications, you really ought to try experimenting with your child’s diet. It’s not easy, but it will be more than worth it if you can help your child gain control over his/her ADHD symptoms without pills.

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Blueberry Ice Cream

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This will be the last ice cream recipe that I will share for this week. I, personally, think it’s the best I’ve had all week. Rich, creamy, gorgeous and simple. But don’t worry next week we can move on to even more wonderful and post worthy topics!

Ingredientsblue
·2 1/2 cups blueberries (I used frozen)
·1/3 cup maple syrup
·1/8 tsp sea salt
·2 cans canned coconut milk

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Directions
·Start cooling your coconut milk
·Place blueberries, maple syrup, and salt in a sauce pan. Dinner until the blueberries are beginning to pop open, stirring occasionally. It will taste like blueberry syrup, the type you might have had at Ihop before you discovered the problems of eating gluten.
·Put this syrup in the fridge until it’s pretty cold again (put it in the freezer if you’re in a hurry)
·Next, put it all in the blender together so that the blueberries will be broken up and it will all be mixed together
·Finally pour it all in your ice cream maker and let the magic commence!

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Paleo Sweet Potato Ice Cream

So, you’ll never guess what holiday happened yesterday. National Ice Cream Day!! I’m terribly sorry to have missed posting about it yesterday, so instead, I’m going to declare my own Official Ice Cream Week. To celebrate Ice Cream Week, you could make one of the ice cream recipes available on my blog: Vanilla or Butter Pecan. You could also go find a new favorite, I’ve compiled some that I would like to try on my Pinterest DF ice cream board, perhaps you would enjoy some of those recipes.

…OR,,,20140721_155330

You could try this healthy paleo ice cream!

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It might be one that is only truly appreciated by those who LOVE sweet potatoes, but I can tell you that I thought it was great. I found this recipe at La Fuji Mama. And I completelyfollowed the recipe, to the very last thing. (I know I’m surprised too!) Here it is:

Recipe from Kate of Eat, Recycle, Repeat

Recipe Notes: This recipe is simple, but just requires some prep time. The day before I want to make it, I usually roast the sweet potatoes if I haven’t already, soak the dates overnight, and make sure my ice cream bowl is in the freezer. You can use any variety of sweet potato here. If you can get your hands on some purple sweet potatoes, I suggest adding a squeeze of lime juice for a tropical flavor.

 

1 cup mashed sweet potato flesh, either roasted or steamed in the crockpot
1 (14-ounce) can full fat coconut milk, Native Forest is BPA-free
1/2 medium avocado
6-8 dates, soaked until plump or 15-20 drops liquid stevia, such as NuNaturals
1/4 cup almond or coconut milk

 

Remove the pits from the dates, if using. Blend all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.  Add the mixture to your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer directions. Mine took about 20 – 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

This ice cream is best eaten the day you make it—after all, you don’t take soft serve home from the vendor and freeze it. That 20140721_155604being said, I usually can’t eat an entire batch on my own, so I freeze it in individual servings and let thaw for about 10 minutes. You can also re-blend the ice cream with a banana & milk of choice for a delicious shake!

 

I used only 6 Medjool dates and coconut milk, of course, since I steer clear of almond. Once it was made, I poured some chocolate syrup on top. I think that some cinnamon chips on top of it would be absolutely wonderful as well!

I hope you get some time to try it out and I sincerely hope you enjoy it (especially since it seems a great way to get down some fruits and veggies).

 

 

 

 

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For more great recipes from my fellow bloggers, go check out The Baking Beauties Tuesday Link Up

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“Butter” Pecan Ice Cream

Butter PecanI haven’t had butter pecan ice cream in I don’t know how long! It used to be one of my favorite kinds before I discovered my dairy allergy. I have read since then, and have certainly found it to be true in my case, that you crave the things to which you are allergic. I guess that means many of us ought to look into cutting out chocolate, but I don’t think I’m quite ready to take that step.

In any case, when my mom found this recipe I was super duper happy. I loved butter pecan ice cream, as did my mom. And, I would venture to say, that it is my dad’s absolute favorite ice cream. Tonight, he asked if he could have seconds of it!

Yum!

This recipe is originally over at Allergy Free Alaska, and of course, made a few changes. Here are the ingredients I used and the directions as I followed them.

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c chopped dates, packed
  • 1/4 c brown sugar (could probably use less, will experiment next time and let you know)
  • 1/2 c coconut milk
  • smidgeon of sea salt
  • 1 1/2 T of vegan/regular butter + a little extra for pecan toasting (I used Earth Balance, but next time will try using coconut oil)
  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk (we use Polar brand)
  • 3/4 c chopped pecans
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp butter flavoring (if using coconut oil instead of vegan butter, use more flavoring to taste)

Directions

  1. Put the dates, brown sugar and 1/2 c coconut milk in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in a smidgeon of sea salt, and the butter/coconut oil.
  2. Refrigerate mixture until chilled (ours was in about 5 hours, if you wish to speed this up, you can freeze it a short while)
  3. Place mixture in a blender, add the 2 cans coconut milk and the butter flavoring. Blend until completely smooth.
  4. Pour ice cream mix into your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Meanwhile be toasting your pecans, Megan at Allergy Free Alaska recommends doing them in a skillet. My mom recommends doing them with about an 1/8 tsp of sea salt, as well as a bit of coconut oil or butter
  6. Add the toasted pecans into your ice cream in the last few minutes of mixing.
  7. Then you may serve immediately or freeze until you are ready to enjoy this deliciousness!!

Deliciousness

 

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Holiday

Happy National Kitchen Klutzes20140613_200727 of America Day!!!! This is my day. Whether it’s leaving out the baking soda or baking powder (I am only just now remembering that they’re different), or misreading the directions and adding too much sugar, or turning on the mixer only to spew chocolate cake batter all over everything, I’ve done them. I’m sure each of you has your own kitchen disaster stories: catching paper towels on fire, getting hair caught in a mixer, etc. So, in honor of the day, I’m sharing an easy recipe, that I hope you will try.

Once every week or two, my family has pizza. I love pizza! One of these pizzas is exactly right for one person. And it’s simple to make.

 

Ingredients:20140613_201502
Brown rice flour tortilla
Marinara sauce
Cheese (regular or dairy free)
Your toppings-I like pineapples and green olives

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 435
2. Grease the tortilla and place it on a cookie sheet
3. Let it brown a little
4. Take it out and put in the marinara, toppings, and cheese
5. Place it back in the oven until the cheese melts
6. Take it out and enjoy. And don’t forget to turn off the oven!

 

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Dairy Free Vanilla Ice Cream

I promised a couple weeks ago that I would share some ice cream with you and today, I’m going to do so!

I’ve missed ice cream. I’ve missed so much, that I even had some a while back, and yes, it made me sick. However, now, since we got my mom an ice cream maker for her birthday/mother’s day, we’ve done some pretty amazing stuff. The last one we made was: vanilla. 😀

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of coconut milk (we use Polar brand)
  • 1/3-1/2 c honey
  • 2 T vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Put your cans in the fridge to chill for at least a half hour.
  • When you’re ready, scoop out the contents of the cans into your mixer, until you get to the water, then pour that on top of the cream. Add the honey (I suggest spraying the measuring cup with olive oil before you measure the honey). Then add the vanilla and run your mixer for a while to make sure it’s all combined well.
  • Then turn on your ice cream maker and pour in the mixture. It’ll take at least 20 minutes to finish. If you want to add chocolate chips, add them at the very end and just let them mix in before you take it out.
  • Once done, scoop it into another container in order to freeze it. Let it harden for an hour or tow at least before serving (if you want it in less time, put your coconut milk in the fridge earlier).

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If you want to get a hold of more allergy friendly recipes, head over to The Baking Beauties website. And I hope you find time to enjoy this scrumptious ice cream!

With berries, a doughnut, and chocolate on top!

With berries, a doughnut, and chocolate on top!

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Cookies. Yum!

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If you can’t tell by looking at my last post and this one, I’ll tell you: I’m on a bit of a dessert kick. Cake, brownies, cookies, ice cream; they’re all on the list. In fact, every night for the last week or so, my family has eaten a bed-time snack consisting of a small brownie, some ice cream, and a lot of delicious berries. Perhaps the next recipe I will share can be homemade dairy-free ice cream, which is definitely one of my new favorite things!

A little of what’s been going on here, so perhaps you can be more forgiving of my spotty posting:

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Since I didn’t have a lot to do, I thought it would be kinda cute and diverting for me to take a picture like many people are taking at the beach right about now. And since I was writing anyway, I thought I would share them with you so you could see a little of my last couple of weeks.

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Yesterday, I managed to get on my one good foot and putter around the kitchen long enough to make some cookies. (I did this with help though, my little sister had finals this morning and was off this afternoon.)

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So today, that’s the recipe I’m going to share with you. They taste delicious, and to top it off,  they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and egg-free. And surprisingly enough, I actually followed the recipe almost to the letter this time! No subbing (except coconut milk for almond milk to make it nut free), just a few extra oats to make the dough more dry (next time I think I will use a little more, probably a little more than a half cup total, I’ll get those measurements more exactly for you soon) and, of course, about a 1/4 cup extra of chocolate chips. (Other people never seem to call for enough chocolate to suit me.)

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Anyway, head over to this website: http://theprettybee.com/2013/12/gluten-free-coconut-oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

Try it out and tell me what you think! I personally think they will go beautifully with some ice cream. 😀

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Cake!

Some background to this delicious post . . . My mom’s birthday was Friday.  My sister’s birthday is the 18th. Mother’s Day was yesterday. My dreaded/eagerly awaited ankle surgery was this morning. 

Henceforth, we had the party for all these celebrations Saturday. And more importantly, my family had its first flourless cake. It was delicious! Like a thick, rich brownie with coffee-chocolate frosting between the layers.

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Now, I have to be honest, I did not make this cake (except for a little help here and there). My sister made it. Yes, she did! I asked her to start, telling her I’d be in momentarily to help. When I got there, she was doing so well that I decided to sneak out again. In the end, all I ended up doing was mixing some instant coffee together to sub for the coffee extract, as well as lining and greasing the pans.

Here’s the link to this deliciousness.

healthylivinghowto.com/1/post/2013/05/healthy-recipe-double-mocha-cake.html

Some quick tips: do not try to use an egg substitute on this unless you want a falling-apart mess. Also, be careful not to over grease the cake pan. And finally, it will be bubbly with oil when it’s time to take it out. My sister waited about 5 extra minutes for the bubbling to go down a bit. And if was perfect!

I cannot emphasize enough how proud I am of my sister for making this! It was her first time to make anything paleo/allergen-free practically all by herself.

Now, my mom and I actually did the frosting, and we didn’t exactly follow the recipe. This may not be paleo, I’m not sure, but it was delicious and can be made allergen-free, so here you are:

First, throw in whatever was left of your coffee extract substitute (I had about 6 tsp). Then put in 1 1/2 Tbsp of melted butter (or butter sub if you need that),  about 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla flavoring, 2 Tbsp of coconut milk (or any other milk), and about 1/2 cup melted chocolate chips. Then mix it all together and add more powdered sugar or milk as needed to fix the texture.
It was even better topped with a little dairy free ice cream!

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