Because Arizona is allergic to wheat, eggs, nuts, soy and dairy and especially since a lot of our kiddos have food sensitivities these days, I thought it would be helpful to share some practical tips in getting through the holidays with fun, baked goods that everyone can enjoy.
In the past, I’ve tried all kinds of funky recipes; one of which I used repeatedly : a quinoa + coconut flour “cupcake.” I put that word in quotes, because it didn’t look or taste like a cupcake, more like a clump of gluten free randomness. But guess what? Arizona loved it – and more importantly got to fit in with the other kids during birthdays, class celebrations and other festive occasions. This was reason enough for me to keep trying out various recipes.
Luckily, though – there are now a million new options for allergy free baked goods, YAY.
Here are some of my Go To’s during the holidays :
Cherrybrook Kitchen – comprised of potato / tapioca / and rice starches and flours, Cherrybrook Kitchen offers a variety of cake and muffin mixes, pancakes and breakfast treats that are gluten free, nut free, dairy free and egg free. Add ons to the mix include oil, sometimes water, sometimes vanilla. If a mix ever calls for milk, you can choose any alternative that fits your dietary needs (we use oat milk).
Trader Joe’s – gotta LOVE Trader Joe’s gluten free baking mix options. Every year they come up with new varieties and my recent favorites are the gluten free pumpkin and corn bread options. Absolutely delicious.
The Neat Egg – I have tried and tested all of the “egg replacer” products around because most gluten free mixes have egg in the ingredients, unfortunately one of Arizona’s biggest food allergies. The Neat Egg is by far my favorite. Made of garbanzo beans and chia seeds, the mixture only requires an additional ingredient of water to make the “egg.” It’s easy, perfect in texture and makes the end product taste delectable.
Enjoy Life Foods : At the end of the day, when I don’t have the energy or desire to bake, I turn to Enjoy Life for delectable pre-made options. All products are free of wheat / dairy / peanuts / tree nuts / egg / soy / fish and shellfish, the top 8 allergens. Enjoy Life is sold at various grocers (for example, Whole Foods , Sprouts and Rainbow Acres and also online. Arizona’s favorites are the soft baked cookies : chocolate chip, snickerdoodles and gingerbread spice. For additional holiday fun, we order a bunch of the crispy sugar cookies and decorate with gluten free / vegan sprinkles and icing.
In the words of Enjoy Life : EAT FREELY! Happy Holidays everyone! May it be a delicious season.