Sunday, July 17, 2011

Treat Food That's Really a Treat

Becoming a parent transforms the way you look at the world. As you clutch your newborn baby to your chest, the world becomes, in the blink of an eye, a frightening place, fraught with lurking dangers. Things which you never gave a thought to, prior to childbirth, now seem ominous. A staircase is a place of peril, with the possibility of tripping and falling ever before your eyes. The person sneezing in the grocery store might be spreading killer germs. Driving down the freeway with your infant strapped into the carseat brings on visions on car crashes and fiery death as you struggle to rescue that new, precious, helpless bundle. Why do you think there are so many cars on the road with Baby On Board signs?

As your child grows, you continue to keep a part of your heart in his or her body, cringing at every stubbed toe, bleeding at every scraped knee, wishing desperately you could protect him or her from all harm.

I think that parents of kids with food sensitivities have it even tougher than regular run-of-the-mill parents. A friend of mine discovered her son had a violent allergy to peanuts when a day care worker wiped the face of a boy who'd eaten a peanut butter sandwich and then used the same cloth to wipe her son's face. His face inflated like a playground ball! Panic!!

Always on guard, vigilant against what might be lurking inside a "treat" that's given to your child, early on you have to teach them the litany of "I can't have" foods. What a blessing, then, to find some "I CAN have" treats. Especially if you don't have to go to a specialty bakery and pay $6 a muffin for it!

The obvious solution for kids with special dietary issues is to make it yourself. Then you know exactly what went into it, you know it's safe, and if you find the right recipe, you can also make it delicious. (And, trust me, not every $6 muffin is delicious!)

I recently made these as a thank you for a super sweet mom who took my son for a week to a Vacation Bible School. Her son has gluten, soy, and egg allergies. She shared them with some other moms of food-issue kids and they all clamored for the recipe, so I'm bumping it up to the head of the posting queue.

I had a muffin before I gave them away (I can't give away untested food - it might be nasty!) and they are really good. Not just in a "not bad for gluten-free" way, but truly good. Moist, tasty, studded with blueberries, with a good texture, not gluey or brickish. Even if you're not going gluten-free, you'll enjoy them!

GF, Egg-free Blueberry Muffins
- adapted from The Spunky Coconut

1 cup almond meal flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour (the same thing as tapioca starch)
1/2 cup coconut flour
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp baking powder*
1/2 cup dried blueberries
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp xantha gum or guar gum (they're interchangeable; the xanthan gum is more expensive)
1 Tbsp flax seed meal
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup milk (substitute coconut milk if dairy is an issue)
1/2 tsp Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, liquified

*If corn is an issue, you can make your own baking powder. Substitute 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp cream of tartar, 1/2 tsp tapioca starch.

1- Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Grease a 12-well muffin tin.

2- In a medium bowl combine the almond meal flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder. Whisk together to break up any clumps. Stir in dried blueberries.

3- In a bowl combine the applesauce, guar gum, flax meal, and apple cider vinegar. Make sure there are no lumps.

4- To the applesauce mixture add the milk, stevia, honey, and coconut oil. Stir well.

5- Divide the batter between the muffin cups and bake for about 22 minutes.

They are delicious warm, or you can let them cool on a cooling rack.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I'll have a muffin please while we discuss this "run of the mill" parent.
Love blueberries. Do you have blueberries on your bushes! Oh ... wish I could pick. That would be so much nicer than sanding and painting.

hobby baker said...

I have her cookbook, I'll have to try these out. Sweet, I even have everything on hand! (I used to special order Bakewell's starch-free double acting baking powder but recently found some baking powder in the gluten free section of Top Foods that was made with potato starch. The brand was Hain Pure Foods. Better than paying about $10 to ship the Bakewell BP from the east coast!)

Jennifurla said...

I agree with everything, I am thankful not to have a food allergy in our family to deal with. What a blessing.

Shannon Riley said...


Cookie baker Lynn said...

Tanna - the cherries and blueberries are both ripening. Put down that paint brush and come make blueberry muffins with me!

Hobby Baker - Thanks for the tip on the baking powder! I'll pass it along to my friend.

Jennifurla - Your daughter is a delightful blessing.

Shannon Riley - Thanks!

Cleaning London said...

Absolutely delicious! Thank you for the great recipe!

grace said...

i'm so lucky in that i've never had to deal with food allergies, personally or with any of my friends or family. i so admire the steps you're taking to bring tasty food to those who have sensitivities!