Gluten Free Oatmeal Drops

Getting my kids to eat something nutritious in the morning is more of a challenge every day. Most breakfast foods are not naturally allergy friendly. We have four of the top eight allergens in our family (and three more that are less common, although just as difficult to work around).

This recipe is super simple and I managed to make it in 25 minutes on a school morning.

6 ripe bananas – peeled and mashed
1T Cinnamon
3C Freedom Foods Gluten Free instant Oatmeal with berries (market district)
1C Raisins

I mashed it all together with my mix and chop for a chunky texture and scooped into my mini muffin tin with a small scoop. Fast, easy and contains the mess.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes and let cool.
The bananas are very hot inside, so don’t do what I did and eat within the first 5 minutes.

The oatmeal in this mix is super refined and cooks quickly. These have a fantastic hearty texture and are secretly healthy for them. I won’t tell if you don’t.

Hidden Gluten.

Are you new to the diet, confused and overwhelmed?

Maybe you have been on it awhile and you don’t understand why you are still getting sick?

Here are a few simple ways to keep an eye out for hidden gluten:

#1.     Oatmeal

It must say gluten free. It has to do with how it’s grown. Basically, farmers rotate crops to keep the ground conditioned for optimum growth. This means that one year of wheat, another year of oats, results in wheat being harvested in oats. Many tests have been run on leading oat brands and determined that the contamination was so high you might as well be eating a bowl of wheat bran. My favorite is Trader Joe’s gluten free oats. They are the best value I have found on the market.

#2.     Imitation crab meat

Not only is it imitation, making it essentially equal to the plastic stuff used in the display cases, but it’s full of food dyes. Oh, and did I mention that it’s created from wheat? Check the label. You will see what I mean. Either it’s real crab or it’s not safe.

#3.     Vanilla extract

I have watched the food network and according to Alton brown and his infinite food wisdom, I have learned that vanilla is made from a vanilla bean being placed in a jar with vodka and distilled. If the vodka has gluten in it, which most do, you have a bottle of gluten filled vanilla extract. If the bottle doesn’t specify gluten free, assume it’s not. I use Kirkland brand. It is labeled gluten free and a great value.

#4.     Soy Sauce

I know, you thought it was made from soy, right? Wrong. It’s actually made from wheat. Unless you buy La Choy, Tamari based (gluten free) soy or Liquid aminos. Bragg’s aminos are in my fridge now. They taste amazing and I love the quality of the companies products.

#5.     Licorice Candy

Anyone think that candy must be safe? Well, actually, flour is added in the baking process to most recipes, although the root itself is a legume. Put down the Twizzlers and watch for the “healthy alternatives” to main stream candy as well. The process is the same. The only brand I have found to be free from gluten is from Lovey Candy Co.

 

#6.     Cheese

Don’t get excited, it’s not all cheese by any means. Check the package on shredded brands for flour that is used (as a non caking agent). Also, some bleu cheese may be produced with the aid of flour. I’m not a fan of bleu cheese so this hasn’t been an issue for me.

#7.     Packaged meats

Lunch meat, hot dogs, sausages, hams and turkeys can be infused with gluten containing substances (usually present in the broths they are made in). The safest meats will label gluten free on the package. Boars head is my personal favorite.

#8.     Condiments

BBQ sauce, teriyaki,  salad dressings, asian sauces,  gravy, dips… you name it. I have encountered wheat, rye and barley in all of the above. Be especially careful in restaurants as they tend to buy the least expensive options, due to the quantity they go through. It may be boring but much safer to have any sauce left off.

#9.     Cereal

Just because it is a “corn” “rice”, or “potato” cereal does not mean that it doesn’t contain multi grains. There are a few brands, like Chex that carry gluten free options but always double check the label. And remember that malt is made from Barley, so if your cereal has rice and malt, it’s NOT gluten free.

#10.     Soups

This is one of the most agonizing for me. I love a good bowl of hot soup in the winter and cans, boxes, catering and restaurants love to thicken their soups with flour. Anyone ever heard of corn starch? Seriously. It’s rare that I can have a soup. A few safe ones I have found are Chili’s baked potato, Jason’s deli’s veggie chili and tomato and Zoup has several daily choices that are clearly labeled with gluten free tags.

Unfortunately, there are loads of places that gluten lurks, including “Modified Food Starch” because it can be made from corn or wheat. Keep stead fast, be diligent. It is worth the effort to rid your body of the pollutants and help you feel better.

-Your Gluten Free Sister.

 

Gluten Free Banana Bread

I’m detoxing from sweets after a long winter break but I still needed a little treat with a healthy edge. Besides I had four over ripe bananas that were going to be round filed, so why not bake them up?.

I ordered one of Brooke’s Naturals Banana Bread mixes in my recent Green Bean Indiana bin and altered the directions to accommodate for my sons dairy and egg yolk allergy.

What you need:

4 ripe bananas (black but no mold)
3T Earth Balance Vegan Butter (melted)
3T Coconut oil (melted)
2 egg whites
1t Vanilla
1C walnuts (I used fishers whole)

This is the easy part… peel the bananas, add to melted butter and coconut oil. Add in the egg whites and vanilla and beat with a pampered chef mix n chop. I like chunky bananas so this works perfect and you don’t have to dirty a mixer.

Spray a pampered chef stone wear loaf pan with coconut oil and pour in mix. Bake for 1 hour at 350 for a perfect texture banana nut bread that is gluten, dairy, rice and egg yolk free.

Gluten Free layered dip

I’m not sure about the “seven” layers so we are just going with layered dip. After all, it can be as many or as few layers as you want it to.

We LOVE Mexican inspired food in our house and I’m pretty sure my kids could live on corn chips. This was one of our New Year’s Eve treats and it was a crowd pleaser.

I used a 9×9 casserole dish for the quantity of ingredients. You can always double and go with a larger dish.

Layered:
1Can Refried beans (I used trader joes)
1 8oz sour cream mixed with 1/2 package trader joes taco mix
4 individual servings Eat Wholly Guacamole (or an 8oz container)
6-8oz Shredded Cheese (more trader joes)
1Can sliced black olives
1/2Can tomatoes with green chilis
1Bunch green onions (chopped)
Chips to garnish

You could add a layer of beef on top of the beans or sub for beans.
You could also leave out the sour cream and mix the taco seasoning into the guacamole for a dairy free option.

Grandmas Cherry Torte, Gluten free

Through the years, grandmas cherry torte was a constant at holiday meals. For years we have tried to immolate it and somehow it just doesn’t taste the same. Maybe it’s just the love she put into making them for the enjoyment of the family that made them better. That was a lot of love.

This Christmas we made some adjustments to the recipe to avoid gluten and ended up with a delightful replacement that is allergy friendly. I believe grandmas would have been proud.

Crust:

1 stick of butter
1 package Schar GF graham crackers
1C pecans

Grind them together in food processor or magic bullet and pat into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes (this should make it lightly browned) and set aside to cool completely before adding filling.

Filling:

8oz package Cream cheese (room temperature)
1C Sugar
1box dream whip (large box has two packets-this is what you need)

Mix both packages of dream whip according to directions in large mixer (I used Kitchen Aid). In another bowl, blend cream cheese and sugar. Then add this mix to the dream whip mix in the large mixer. Pour the combined mixture over the cooled crust.

Let mixture chill for one hour and spoon 2 cans of cherry pie filling on top. We used Duncan Hines Wilderness Simply Cherry. It is made with no artificial ingredients, food color or HFCS.

Let chill and it serves about 12 per pan. We usually make at least 2 pans. The longer it refrigerates, the better it tastes. At least let chill overnight before serving.

Enjoy!

 

FREE Donut holes: from gluten, dairy, rice and yeast that is.

This has been a tricky one for me. My kids are really picky when it comes to donuts. Honestly, I don’t know if I can ever win them over with a yeast free donut. I can’t blame them. I’m a light and fluffy kinda donut girl myself.

After three batches, I added and removed a couple things and ended up with something that reminds me more of a pancake but tastes really good. The key to donut holes is 1) have deep enough grease that you can drop balls and they won’t splat before they cook 2) don’t get the oil too hot or they will burn before you can get them all in the grease and 3) have your coating ready to go as soon as you pull them from the grease.

You will need a deep pan, pot or fry baby.

Coconut oil for frying (enough to have 2-3″ of oil in the bottom)

Combine:
1 1/4C Bobs Red Mill GF baking mix
1/4C Brown Sugar
1/4t Nutmeg
1/4t Cinnamon
2T melted Earth Balance
1/3C Coconut milk
1/4C egg whites, whipped
1t Almond extract
1/4t baking powder

Use a small scoop with release for dropping into the oil for approximately one minute. Don’t drop too many at once or you won’t be able to retrieve them before they burn.

Pre-mix coating, option 1:
1/4C sugar
1/2t cinnamon

Pre-mix coating, option 2:
1C powdered sugar
3T Coconut milk
Retrieve from oil and drop in coating. Let cool and enjoy!

baking-supplies

Some of my favorite ingredients…

Gluten Free Hamburger Hash

Some nights I start with one ingredient and then build a recipe from there. I honestly don’t spend time in the grocery each week building each recipe by ingredient. I simply don’t have time or patience.

This week I started with a bag of hash brown potatoes… fortunately, the rest just seemed to fall into place.

1 bag gf hash brown potatoes
1 large onion diced
2LB ground chuck (we buy local and split a cow)
1 bag frozen corn

Start with aluminum foil squares and spray with non-stick cooking oil. Add potatoes, onion, raw ground beef crumbled, and frozen corn. Then cover with a tablespoon of oil (your choice), a tablespoon of water and sprinkle with rancher steak rub. Place in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes.

When they are taken from the oven, sprinkle with cheese (or daiya, non dairy cheese).

 

GF/DF/EF/RF Brookies

I often share cool recipes I come up with using Brooke’s Naturals Mixes. This is one of my absolute favorite mixes, since my allergies served as inspiration for her mixes. If you haven’t tried these mixes, check them out at brookescandyco.com and buy a case. They are amazing!

Once I found out my son had dairy and egg allergies, I had to change the stock recipe on the back of the package to include alternatives. I try something different each time and I think I have found a great texture in this one below.

1 package Brooke’s Naturals Chocolate Chip Cookies
5T Coconut oil (melted)
1T GF Vanilla (I use kirklands)
1/2 C Applesauce
2T Almond Milk

Mix completely and bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
I use the pampered chef mini muffin pan because I don’t like my cookies to ooze to flat. This creates a nice caramelized type cookie-muffin hybrid that holds it’s shape.

Happy Baking!
The mixes are gluten and rice free, the alternatives make it dairy and egg free.

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Apple Chicken

Crock pot meals are my go-to this time of year. They are ready when you need them and dump-n-run prep. Earlier this week I quickly perused the shelf in my pantry for something that I could add to chicken and settled on the items below. Yes, it was easy. Yes, it was yummy. My kids even asked for seconds!

8 frozen chicken breasts
4T oil (i used sunflower, but that is up to you)
Cover with 2 cans sweet potatoes
Cover with 1 can apple pie filling

Set on low for 5-6 hours in the crock pot.
Protein, veggie and dessert all in one.

Gluten & dairy free Pumpkin Muffins

I’m not always in the mood to bake. It truly strikes me out of the blue and I usually make several items at a time.

Having pumpkin on hand made me want to throw something together with fall flair. I tend to take existing recipes and alter them to suit my mood, ingredients on hand or traditional recipe allergy free.

I mixed the wet ingredients and added dry. Heat oven to 350 and bake in a greased (or lined/greased) muffin pan for 30 minutes.

2.5C Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
3 egg whites
1/4C Applesauce
1/4C Maple Syrup
16oz Pumpkin Puree (I used Pacific brand)
1/2C Coconut oil (melted)
1t lime juice
1/4t Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice (I like Trader Joes)
3/4t baking soda
1T Vanilla extract (I use Kirkland)
1/2C Brown sugar

When cups are filled, sprinkle with almond slices and cinnamon/sugar combo and bake.