Posts Tagged ‘ gluten-free ’

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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Safe Body and Skin Care Products for Kids

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

It’s scary to think of all the harsh chemicals we ingest daily during harmless activities. Until recently, I didn’t even know that the shampoos, soaps, and cosmetics I was using contained ingredients that were actually dangerous for my health. Many moms are deciding not to take their chances and are instead switching to products made with natural, organic, and easy-to-pronounce ingredients for themselves and their little ones.

Gregg Renfrew, founder of Beautycounter, is one of these moms. After noticing a lack of safe yet stylish products on the market, Renfrew created the body and skin care line, which launched last spring. Renfrew’s Beautycounter products, such as the Everyday Shampoo and Conditioner, are vegan, gluten-free, and made without harmful petrochemicals. Bonus: they come in sleek, sophisticated packaging so you can feel good about replacing some of your old favorites on your vanity.

Of course, parents and their children appreciate different styles and tastes, so with that in mind, Renfrew has decided to extend Beautycounter to create Kidscounter. The line, which launched with its Bath Collection in November, is made with the same healthy goal in mind but with a kid-friendlier approach. The first three products of the kids’ line are the colorful and fruit-scented Nice Do Shampoo, Not a Knot Conditioner, and Squeaky Clean Body Wash, retailing for $16 each.

All of the Beautycounter and Kidscounter products are available for purchase at beautycounter.com or through a local Beautycounter consultant.

Image courtesy of Beautycounter

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Plan a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Menu With Udi’s (Yes, It’s Possible!)

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Udi's gluten-free food - sweet potato hummus, sausage and fennel stuffing, roasted beet salad with garlic croutons, snickerdoodle cranberry cream cheese tartRounding up the family together for Thanksgiving (and having them get along) is already hard enough without the added worry of creating dishes to satisfy certain diets and picky eaters. And if you have family members who have certain food allergies and sensitivities (especially to gluten), you might feel even more overwhelmed.

But don’t throw in the towel yet.

Hosting a gluten-free Thanksgiving feast is possible — and Udi’s Gluten Free has simple and delicious recipes that can even convert gluten lovers (like me). Recently, another editor and I were invited to a special Udi’s Thanksgiving luncheon, along with other Meredith editors, to sample gluten-free takes on classic holiday dishes. As a foodie and someone who believed going gluten-free meant eating pale imitations of “real” foods, I was surprised by the versatile spread and even more surprised by the delicious flavors.

On the menu was a whole course that incorporated gluten-free bread, chips, and cookies:

I could definitely see the sweet potato hummus and roasted beet salad on my own Thanksgiving table, which usually has some gluten-free (and dairy-free) dishes made especially for my little nephew, who has a few food allergies. Even if no one in your family has gluten allergies, there are still some benefits to going gluten-free, like taming tummy troubles and maintaining a healthy weight. And some studies have shown a gluten-free diet could possibly help kids with autism, though research results are inconclusive.

Best of all: these gluten-free dishes could easily substitute Thanksgiving mainstays (without sacrificing tastiness) and be worth repeating for Christmas, perhaps served with an additional dessert like ice cream sandwiches made with Udi’s maple pecan chocolate chip cookies. So now that you have some new recipes, I hope this year’s dinner planning will be just a little easier!

More Gluten-Free Foods on Parents.com

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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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