Posts Tagged ‘ allergy ’

Gluten-Free, Allergy-Safe Cupcakes? Yes, please!

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Allergy-Free CupcakeHas this ever happened to you? You see a recipe in a magazine, and the dish looks spectacular. You make it at home, and while the food tastes good it looks nowhere near as beautiful as it did in the photo.

It’s certainly happened to me (and I’m a food editor!). Here’s the truth: It’s not our fault. The food in Parents and other magazines looks amazing thanks to talented food stylists and photographers like Liza Jernow and Tara Donne. Liza is a food stylist extraordinaire. You can see some of her recent work for Parents on cookies and birthday cakes. Photographer Tara Donne recently shot our gorgeous Easter Lunch story.

Now these two are starting Wild Apple, a magazine devoted to gluten-free living. I recently chatted with them about the magazine, and they graciously shared a recipe for a scrumptious allergen-free cupcake.

This is a big undertaking! Why did you decide to publish a magazine?

Being gluten-free for a collective 13 years now, we’ve really seen the market for gluten-free goods change shape. We saw a hole in this expanding category and felt that with our experience in magazines and food we could offer readers something really special.

What will Wild Apple cover?

Wild Apple will share simple snack ideas, well-tested recipes for classics, and menus with which to entertain friends or easily create weeknight meals. It will also feature travel, city guides, profiles on interesting creative people, and roundups of beauty products—all, of course, gluten-free.

Learn how to stock an allergen-free pantry.

What’s your plan to get Wild Apple off the ground?

Our Kickstarter campaign launches today and our goal is to raise the funds required to launch our inaugural issue this fall. We then plan to develop relationships with brands we believe in to carry the magazine forward. Visit Wild Apple’s Kickstarter page.

What are your biggest challenges living gluten-free?

Eating in restaurants and finding on-the-go snacks. When eating out, we make sure our servers know our limitations and that cross-contamination is an issue, especially with deep fryers.

Regarding snacks, it’s always good to keep a bag of almonds – or another nut your kids like – in your purse. We also like to pick up extra in-season fruit at the farmer’s market to have on hand at home. On road trips we stop at grocery stores whenever possible as opposed to fast food options. Here we might pick up snack packs of almond butter, carrots and hummus, or a yogurt. The key with the latter two is to check the ingredient list or look for a “GF” symbol.

What are a few tips for families with kids who are making the switch to gluten-free foods?

Our biggest tip is to become vigilant about reading ingredient lists. Forming this habit is a game changer. Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, farro, kamut, oats, rye, and spelt. In addition to these grains, gluten is sometimes used to make other foods like soy sauce, some vinegars, malt, seitan, salad dressings, and more. Other foods to look out for include crackers, bread, pasta, cream sauces and soups, candy bars, cookies, flavored potato chips and rice mixes. It is also often added to cosmetics, hair creams, and lipsticks.

Focusing on naturally gluten-free foods is also a good way to save money instead of paying big bucks for processed gluten-replacement foods. A homemade meal like roasted chicken, potatoes, and vegetables is already gluten-free and your family will not wonder where the gluten went. This way everyone can enjoy the same meal, which will save you time.

Many kids’ breakfasts, for example, have gluten in them — any quick ideas for moms?

There are lots of options. A few of our favorites are gluten-free oatmeal, quinoa porridge, cream of rice cereal, breakfast taco with egg and corn tortilla, corn tortilla quesadilla, or apple wedges with nut butter.

Tell us about this cupcake recipe.

In a group of children there will always be someone with an allergy so we think it’s easier to just avoid the major players and go straight to something everyone can enjoy. So this recipe is as allergen-free as it gets; there’s no milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, soybeans, or wheat. When baking for others with allergies make sure you’re careful with cross-contamination. Use a fresh sponge and clean everything you’ll be using thoroughly before you start.

Gluten-Free CupcakesChocolate Chip Allergen-Free Cupcakes

(From Wild Apple Magazine)

Makes 2 dozen

These cupcakes have a great flavor and theyre speckled with chocolate chips.  They also happen to avoid some of the most common food allergens: tree nuts, egg, lactose, and gluten. Gluten-free baked goods store well in the freezer. If they are made ahead, freeze them unfrosted and tightly wrapped for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature and frost them just before serving. Use organic ingredients to enhance the flavor.

When cooking for people who have very sensitive food allergies, avoid buying ingredients that are processed in a facility that manufactures other products containing soy, milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.

• 2 tablespoons freshly ground golden flax meal

• 1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder (found online or in natural foods stores)

• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (that does not contain guar or xanthan gums)

• 2 teaspoons baking powder

• 2 teaspoons baking soda

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

• 1/2 cup extra-virgin coconut oil

• 1 1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

• ½ cup vegetable oil

• 1 1/4 cups rice or soy milk

• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

• 1/3 cup mini bittersweet chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk together first seven ingredients, set aside. With an electric mixer beat the coconut oil, brown sugar, and vegetable oil together until fluffy, about 3 minutes on high.  Add the milk, vanilla and dry ingredients. Beat for 3 minutes on high speed until well-combined.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Let the batter sit until the oven is hot, about 20 minutes, to allow the flax to thicken the batter. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Fill the cups 2/3 full and add a pinch of chocolate chips to the top of each cupcake. Bake for 35 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in their center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely before removing from pan.

Chocolate-y Coconut Frosting

Enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes

When you refrigerate a can of coconut milk, the coconut water separates to the bottom and the cream rises to the top. Refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight.

• 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

• 1 cup cream from the top of a can of unsweetened coconut milk

• 1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil

• 1/4 cup vegetable shortening

• Pinch fine sea salt

• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat the chocolate with half the coconut cream until melted. Let it cool to room temperature. With an electric mixer beat the remaining coconut oil and vegetable shortening together. Beat in the chocolate mixture. Add the salt and vanilla. Place the bowl in freezer for 10 minutes, until it begins to set up. Continue beating on high until light and fluffy.

Interview has been edited and condensed.

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Food Allergies: Helping Your Child Cope
Food Allergies: Helping Your Child Cope
Food Allergies: Helping Your Child Cope

Photos by Tara Donne; food styling and recipe by Liza Jernow

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American Baby Baby’s Booty: Win a Build-a-Bear Baby Gift Set

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

My kids are crazy about Build-a-Bear Workshops, where you choose the skin of a new plush friend and then get it filled, right there in the store, with fluff. And they’ve got a new addition to announce: Baby gifts from Build-a-Bear! The line is called Hug-a-Cub. Since the new goods are for babies, you don’t have to wait in a store to get them stuffed (definitely more fun for the older kids). They do encourage you to order online, because there’s lots to chose from there. 

For instance, the 5-piece Brown Bear Gift Set can be personalized with Baby’s name. And I was excited to see this Sweet Velvet Bear who is allergy-friendly. There are a lot of Snugglers, too, those blankets-with-a-head that babies love so much.

Build-A-Bear is giving away THREE cuddly Hug a Cub 5-piece Brown Bear Gift Sets, including a soft bear, rattle, snuggler, blanket and bag to tote your treasures.

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and Wednesday, November 27, and don’t forget to read the official rules. Be sure to check back on December 2 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!

Our winners have been chosen. Congrats to Charley Elizabeth, Veronica Lynn Willyard and Mary Singer!

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New Gluten-Free, Allergen-Free Cookbook

Friday, May 10th, 2013

I am lucky not to have any food allergies, but I still want to make so many of the delicious-sounding recipes in Elizabeth Gordon’s new book, Simply Allergy-Free: Quick and Tasty Recipes for Every Night of the Week. Just looking at the gorgeous photos in the book, you’d never know that ever recipe is free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs and nuts. Author of the blog My Allergy Free Life and owner of the online allergen-free bakery Betsy & Claude Baking Company, this busy mom of two girls has multiple food allergies. She says, “I like to think of these recipes as the little black dress of my pantry—simple and economical fare that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.”

She shows you how to use (and where to buy!) key ingredients like xanthan gum, agave nectar, superfine rice flour, powdered vanilla rice milk, and sorghum flour, which can make gluten-free and allergen-free foods taste like “the real thing.” The recipes I can’t wait to try include chicken tikka burgers, chickpea French fries, beef tostadas, corn quinoa salad, herbed biscuits, and chocolate pretzel pie. Yum!

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Tips for Managing Your Child’s Allergies

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Girl blowing her noseEditor’s Note: This guest post was written by Dr. William E. Berger, a Parents advisor and one of the nation’s foremost experts on allergies and asthma. He is also a board-certified physician in two separate specialties (Pediatrics and Allergy and Immunology) and a member of the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters that writes the national treatment guidelines for asthma and allergies.

A sure sign of spring in the many parts of the country are news reports about high pollen counts. And this year’s relatively mild winter nationwide has triggered an unusually early release of tree pollen, suggesting that this could potentially be the worst allergy season in a decade.

As many as 30% of children suffer from seasonal allergies — prompting the seemingly endless sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and stuffy noses. Allergies can also lead to congestion, prompting more kids to develop colds, flu and sinus infections. Antibiotics are often prescribed, but they have shown to be ineffective at combatting such viral infections. Follow these  tips to manage your child’s allergies:

Make an appointment early. If your child seems prone to allergies, see the pediatrician before allergy season to get tested. By knowing what your kid is allergic to will help determine how soon she should start allergy medications and ensure the products have the greatest effect.

Stay hydrated.  Water also helps thin mucus build up, making it easier to expel and relieve congestion.

Use a natural decongestant. Steam can have a profound effect on allergy and cold symptoms, but historically, it has posed some challenges. Humidifier tanks are prone to mold and bacteria growth and Neti pots and nasal rinses can be generally unpleasant. Instead use a handheld steam inhaler like MyPurMist – warm mist soothes irritated tissues in the nose and throat, calming coughs, opening nasal passages, and reducing dryness.

Keep allergens out.  Set your central air conditioning unit on recirculate and keep windows and doors shut to limit the pollen and mold entering your home.

Plan playtime. Kids enjoy playing outside, so let them! But do a little planning – pollen.com provides reliable zip code-specific pollen forecasts. When pollen or mold counts are high, consider using allergy medication as a preventive measure or limiting outdoor play to late afternoon. Most pollen is dispersed in the early morning and travels best on warm, dry, breezy days. It tends to peaks in urban areas around midday. Pollen counts are lowest during chilly, wet periods.

Consult your pediatrician again. If symptoms persis, the doctor can refer you to an allergist, who can confirm your child’s allergens and to see if it’s necessary to start allergy shots.

Visit the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America for the nation’s top allergy capitals.

Read more about allergies on Parents.com

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Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Goody Blog Daily News RoundupSmartphone danger: Distracted parenting
Still, I know my addiction to my hand-held device is bad. Checking my phone while talking to my kid while cooking dinner is hurting my capacity to stay with a thought for more than 140 characters.

Living with pets may protect infants from allergies
Children who live with dogs and cats are less likely to develop allergies to those animals later in life, but only if the pet is under the same roof while the child is still an infant, a new study suggests.

Japan city to give radiation counters to children
Japan’s Fukushima city said on Tuesday it would hand radiation dosimeters to 34,000 children to gauge their exposure from the crippled nuclear power plant about 60 kilometres (40 miles) away.

(more…)

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EveryoneBreathe.com, Asthma Resources for Your Child

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

mary-joe-fernandezIt’s allergy season again, which means your child may be experiencing watery and itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and exacerbated asthma. According to Bill McLin, President and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), “asthma affects nearly seven million children in America, and it is imperative that we make an effort to further educate children and parents on asthma care and management.”

If your child deals with asthma year-round, EveryoneBreathe.com is a great site dedicated to providing parents with helpful explainers, resources, and tools to manage its symptoms. Printable tools that increase asthma awareness include a glossary, a symptom and trigger tracker, a healthcare provider checklist, a back-to-school checklist, and more.

Mary Joe Fernandez, an Olympic medalist and tennis champion, is the site’s spokesperson.  “Having battled the symptoms of asthma for many years, and now as the mother of a child with asthma, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of quality asthma care both at home and in school.”  To help improve quality of care and education for school-aged children with asthma, EveryoneBreathe.com is partnering with the AAFA for a new Everyone Breathe Asthma Education Grants program.  Parents who have children with asthma can apply for a $2,500 savings bond for their child’s continued education and a $5,000 savings bond for their child’s school to improve asthma care and education in the classroom.  Ten winners total will be selected.  The deadline is July 29, 2011.

Read about asthma on Parents.com

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Peanut Allergies: What’s the Best Treatment?

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

peanuts-shellsThe recent Skippy peanut butter recall serves as a reminder that peanuts are still a problem in the U.S., in more ways than just salmonella.

Food allergies among children are actually increasing in the United States, the most common being the peanut allergy.  Peanut allergies are the most dangerous, since often breathing or eating just a small amount of peanuts could cause fatal reactions such as anaphylactic shock and death.

While most children grow out of certain food allergies by the time they are in their teens, some have worsening allergies or later develop certain allergies.  In a recent New Yorker article, most doctors have commonly believed that children are less likely to develop food allergies if they are not exposed to certain foods as babies.  Those with food allergies have to avoid certain foods for life, reading labels carefully and asking about ingredients, since no other particular treatments are available.

(more…)

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Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Study Tracks Drug-Related Teen Suicides

Teenage girls are about three times as likely as boys to attempt suicide for drug-related reasons, according to an analysis of emergency-room visits. A government study also found boys are far more likely to attempt drug-related suicide in the month of December, while the suicide rate for girls stays fairly steady throughout the year. (Wall Street Journal)

Higher IQs linked to healthier diets in kids

Plenty of studies have established a link between breastfeeding and intelligence. One-meta-analysis of 20 such studies found that babies who were breastfed got an IQ boost of 3.16 points, on average (even after adjusting for the fact that moms with more education are more likely to prioritize breastfeeding). (Chicago Tribune)

Giving Baby Solid Foods Too Early Linked to Obesity Later

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) — Babies who were formula-fed and introduced to solid foods before they were 4 months old were more likely to be obese when they were 3, researchers report. (Business Week)

Brain Tumor Risk Drops with More Allergies

There may be one benefit to having a lot of allergies — they may protect against glioma, researchers found.

Patients with gliomas were significantly less likely to report having any allergy (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.79), a relationship that applied to both high- and low-grade tumors, Bridget McCarthy, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues reported in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. (Med Page Today.com )

After a False Dawn, Anxiety for Illegal Immigrant Students

MILWAUKEE — It was exhilarating for Maricela Aguilar to stand on the steps of the federal courthouse here one day last summer and reveal for the first time in public that she is an illegal immigrant. (New York Times)

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