Living without gluten, casein, soy, eggs and peanuts. Living with ASD and ADHD. Life is good!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Biscuit Blend

Here is another rice-free flour blend. I have been using it sparingly - the starch content is higher than I like, but it makes really fluffy biscuits! It also makes the most amazing Navajo Tacos (recipe to follow soon). Biscuits and Indian Fry Bread are treats worthy of their own flour blend, I think, and this one works really well for both of them.

1/3 cup buckwheat flour (or teff flour)
1/3 cup sorghum flour (or amaranth flour)
1 cup tapioca starch

Sift together the buckwheat, sorghum and tapioca flours together until well-blended. Store in the refrigerator an air-tight container.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rice-Free Multi-Grain Flour Blend

I have not fallen off the face of the earth, I promise! I've just been busy. It's a lame excuse but it's true. First I was sick, then I was sick again, then Anna was sick, now DH is sick. Only Megan has been spared. However Megan, after a year and a half of no eczema, has had to deal with hands all chewed up again. The last time this happened, we found out she was allergic to egg. Before that, it was dairy. Whenever the eczema appears it is the harbinger of bad food news. A blood panel confirmed that we'd overdone it with rice, coconut and peanut butter (Anna does not eat peanuts, but Megan was crazy for peanut butter). Lucky for us, it seems that it is just over-exposure (like what happened with Anna). I think after 6 months or so of avoidance, we can add those foods back to her diet in moderation. So I've been baking even more than usual. It's a good thing I like to bake!

Interestingly, the allergist insisted on testing Megan for antibodies to wheat. I thought it was a waste of time since we've been wheat and gluten free for four years. But her antibodies to wheat were really high! I don't allow gluten into the house, and she's very good about not eating other people's foods. For her antibodies to wheat to be so high, she's had to have chronic exposure to it. Talks with her teachers didn't reveal anything other than daily hand sanitizer use before snack time. I learned that some hand sanitizers have wheat ingredients in them. Whether or not the hand sanitizer is the culprit, it does not wash gluten off the hands. Now Megan is only using soap and water and never hand sanitizer. Her hands are looking better...not 100%, but not chewed up, either. Hopefully in another month they'll be back to normal.

At this point, I've got the whole house on a hand sanitizer, rice, coconut and peanut butter free kick because it's probably a good idea for everyone to rotate. To that end I've modified one of my existing multi grain flour blends to be rice-free. So far it makes fabulous muffins, scones, cookies and pancakes. Take that, eczema!

Rice Free Multi Grain Flour Blend

1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup potato starch
1 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour

Sift together all ingredients until well-blended. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Buckeyes


I am sick. Again. For Super Bowl weekend, no less! I'm so miffed. I thought 37 was going to be so awesome and then I got slammed with first a bladder infection (an evil from which I have been previously spared and hope to never endure again) and now an unnamed upper respiratory infection, which I sincerely hope won't turn out to be bronchitis. I totally need to drown my sorrows in chocolate. Some nut butter in the middle wouldn't hurt either. If the girls would make these buckeyes for me, I'd be golden. I think they might do it. I just might have to ask.

2 cups creamy nut butter (such as almond)
4 tbsp. dairy-free, soy-free margarine (such as Earth Balance)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
a little almond milk, if needed
1 package dairy-free, soy-free chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life)
1 tbsp. palm shortening

In a large bowl, beat the nut butter together with the margarine, salt and vanilla with an electric beater. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, beating until fully incorporated. If the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add a little almond milk. If the mixture is too wet, add more powdered sugar. The end result should be stiff - something you can roll in your hands without it sticking everywhere. I used Maranatha Creamy Almond Butter, which is way less creamy and wet than traditional creamy peanut butter, so I did not need to refrigerate this before rolling it.

Taking a heaping teaspoon of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls and place on a baking sheet covered with wax paper. Set aside (if the dough is a little too soft and sticky, refrigerate until firm). In a small saucepan, heat the chocolate and shortening over low heat. Heat only until the chocolate is soft, then remove from the heat and stir until the chocolate and shortening has melted completely and has been thoroughly combined.

Stick a toothpick into a ball and dip it into the melted chocolate about 3/4 of the way up. Let the excess chocolate drip back into the saucepan and place the ball back onto the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining balls. The toothpick will leave little holes in the tops of the buckeyes. You can gently smooth the hole over with your finger if you like, so the surface is smooth. Refrigerate buckeyes until the chocolate is set. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks - I like to keep them refrigerated.