Sunday, 17 April 2016

Fruit & Seed Bites


I've been trying to find new ways of getting plant based protein into the kids, particularly my daughter who struggles with meat and point blank refuses fish. (Let's face it, fish refluxed back up afterwards is not pleasant....!) I have made coconut protein bites in the past but they contain egg, which doesn't suit everyone - and are quite sugar heavy.

So these came about after baking with seeds, dried fruit etc in the style of "Deliciously Ella" but using ingredients I had in the cupboard. I've made these a variety of ways, listed below.


Prune, Seed and Cashew Bites

120g prunes - make sure they are juicy ones, not too dry
1 tbsp chia seeds - these help bind the mixture as they swell in water
120g cashew nuts
handful of seeds - I used pumpkin and sunflower
1 tbsp nut butter or tahini (I used cashew butter, if you can have soya but not nuts try Wowbutter)
2 tsp honey

Whizz the seeds and nuts in a food processor until crushed. Add all the other ingredients and blend until the mixture becomes sticky, then form into balls and chill.

Date, Almond and Seed Bites

120g plump dates 
Handful of seeds - I used sunflower and pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp almond butter or tahini
120g ground almonds
2 tsp honey

Whizz the seeds and chia seeds together in the blender until crushed. Add the ground almonds and all other ingredients and blend until the mixture becomes sticky, then form into balls and chill.

Fig, Oat and Seed Bites

100g rolled oats - NB not porridge oats
120g plump dried figs with stalks removed
Handful of seeds - I used sunflower and pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds 
1 tbsp tahini or similar butter

Whizz the oats, seeds and chia seeds in the blender until crushed but not quite a flour consistency. Add all other ingredients and blend until the mixture becomes sticky, then form into balls and chill.

Tip - You can pretty much add whatever you like to these, just ensure the mixture is sticky enough to combine. Macadamia nuts, almonds, pine nuts..... all possibly and can be combined with various "butters" and syrups. Just try and keep the ratios fairly constant. You could even roll them in icing sugar or cocoa for a special treat and can substitute some of the dry ingredients for protein powders if desired.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Chocolate Mug Cake - gluten, dairy, soya, nut and egg free!

This utterly brilliant recipe came from our Facebook group, so I can't take the credit! It is absolutely perfect for visiting friends, relatives or events where your child will not want to miss out, all the location requires is a microwave and a mug! Even most village halls have both these days, so I could have used this for countless parties and events when my children were small.

We tested it yesterday - huge success!


The ingredients below are sufficient for approx ten small bags of cake mix. My digital scales are not great for weighing to exactly the right total in grams, 60g is actually very difficult to achieve! it didn't seem to matter.

Dry Ingredients

  • 285g gluten free SELF RAISING flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 255g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
Method
  • Weigh out the above in a bowl, then mix WELL.
  • Transfer to a freezer food bag, clip tight and shake together further.
  • Weigh out portion of 60g into separate smaller bags and tie closed. 
Tip : sit each small bag in a mug, zero the scales and start weighing so tie bag doesn't collapse as you pour!!

You now have ten portable cake mixture bags - for a fraction of the cost of supermarket alternatives!

To bake

  • Melt 1 tbsp "Pure" or other safe margarine
  • and 2 tbsp water
  • Mix well in a mug
  • Microwave for around a minute - my 1000w microwave needed only 50 seconds.
Tip add chocolate chips for a decadent touch!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Scotch Pancakes - Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Soya and could be free

My daughter was keen to make pancakes this weekend, and wanted to try something slightly different from our buckwheat pancake recipe here. She wanted something she could take to school in her packed lunch and smaller scotch pancakes (sometimes called "griddle cakes") seemed an ideal choice!


Ingredients

  • 200g flour (we use Dove's Farm gluten free blended flour)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder (not teaspoon)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 large egg (egg replacer should work)
  • 300mls your choice of milk (we used rice milk)
Method
  • Add dry ingredients to the mixing bowl
  • Beat egg and milk into the mixture, using a hand balloon whisk. If using egg replacer mix as instructed and add gradually to the dry ingredients. READ LABEL as instructions vary.
  • Heat frying pan to medium and add safe oil
  • Fry small spoonfuls of batter to make pancakes approx 3" across

TIP This batter is a LOT thicker than your regular pancake batter - this is intentional to prevent the batter spreading too much.

And here's my chef - she made the pancakes above all by herself!


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Fish Pie - Gluten free, dairy free, soya free, wheat free, nut free, corn free

Apologies for only sporadic posting at present, life seems to well and truly have taken over! I've still been cooking daily, anyone catering for children with allergies knows only too well that there are not many short cuts. My christmas present this year was a slow cooker, which I must say has been hugely liberating. It means I can spend food preparation time whilst the children are (usually!) at school, and the meal cooks with little intervention from me. Once the children are home I can devote my time to them, rather than the evening meal.

My main aim this year (a resolution if you like!) is to continue to build on the growing independence the twins are gaining. This is quite a slow process - new readers can read my musings on why children with allergies lack a degree of independence here,  and to that effect I am aiming to broaden their meal repertoire, if not their safe food list!

Fish pie has long been a big favourite of my two oldest children, the twins each enjoy a few ingredients each - and both are hugely suspicious of sauces and combined meals. We've been slowly working on them tasting and eating a white sauce and after initial success as a warm "dip" I decided to attempt a fish pie.

My aim was not for either to eat a plateful, or even enjoy all of it - but to taste some, and pick out a few pieces they felt they could eat. This is an approach called a "bravery ladder", which I will write more about next week.

So, here it is - our fish pie. Obviously if your child is allergic to fish, this is a complete no-no!! The eggs are entirely optional though, so tolerating rice, potato and a few vegetables is all that is required on top of the fish.




White sauce ingredients

  • 300ml rice milk
  • 100ml rice cream (I use Isola)
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 50g "Pure" Olive or Sunflower
  • 50g plain flour - either corn flour or rice flour
Method
  • Melt the margarine a little in the microwave
  • Combine with the flour (I use a hand held whisk) and gradually add the cream. 
  • Whisk/stir whilst adding the milk
  • pop in the bay leaf and gradually cook in the microwave until thickened.

Fish Pie Method
  • Peel and boil approx 4 -5 large potatoes
  • Poached the fish in the microwave with a little rice milk and a sprinkling of pepper, then flake it. 
  • I have an egg cooker and hard boiled three eggs, cooled peeled and chopped them.
  • Quickly stir fry the spring onions whilst the fish and eggs are cooling a little
  • Make the white sauce (above) and mix with at the fish, eggs, onions, sweetcorn and peas.
  • Place at the bottom of a large dish
  • Once cooked, mash the potatoes, add white pepper to taste and use "Pure" Olive or similar to mash
  • Cover the fish mixture with mashed potato, starting with the edge first to avoid the contents getting pushed over the edge.
This will keep in the fridge once cooled until you wish to cook and serve. Alternatively cook in a moderately hot 180C oven (170C fan) for half an hour - or an hour if straight from the fridge.



Saturday, 7 November 2015

Banana Muffins (with or without the nuts!) Can be MEWS free


I have long used my Mum's recipe for Banana Muffins, which you can find here. However I was keen to develop a recipe that was truer to a muffin mix but also used a variety of flours. I confess the reason for the latter was partly because my baking cupboard is overflowing with flours at present, but I'm trying to be braver in my cooking too.

I have a lovely little muffin and cupcake recipe book by Ann Nichol - listed here on GoodReads.


I used the "Streusel-Topped Banana Muffins" recipe as a starting point, and adapted.

Ingredients
  • 5oz gluten free flour mix - I used 3oz Dove's Farm, 1oz coconut flour to allow more moisture to be absorbed into the recipe, and 1oz peanut flour for flavour and protein. OBVIOUSLY peanuts are a MASSIVE issue for many, so you can use any similar protein based flour instead, or substitute another oz of your usual GF flour.
  • 1teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 large ripe bananas (if smaller, reduce flour a little)
  • 1 large egg
  • 50mls sunflower oil (DO NOT use olive oil, it is too heavy for baking, same with coconut oil)
  • 50mls your choice of milk substitute. I used rice milk.

Method
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/180C if fan/Gas Mark 6
  • You will need 6-8 large muffin cases or 10 cupcake cases (better for children)
  • Sift the flours, xanthan gum and baking powder together (worth doing with a mix of flours)
  • Mash bananas well, make a well in centre of flour and add them to the bowl
  • In another bowl, beat egg, oil and milk together **
  • Add wet bowl to dry bowl and mix well
  • Spoon into paper cases so they are approx two thirds full
  • Bake for 20-25 mins until golden and a skewer/knife comes out clean


** Because banana is an excellent raising agent, and because coconut flour holds fluid in well, this is quite a good recipe to swap the egg for egg replacer to make MEWS free muffins.

Eat fresh from the oven, or freeze for later once completely cool. (If there are any left....!)

Friday, 16 October 2015

Quick, protein-rich Autumn supper

It's been kind of busy here over the past few weeks, not least because my eldest is about to turn 18! Apart from making me feel old, it's meant I've had to spend considerable time planning a menu for his party that all the family can enjoy.

Being short on time can be useful though, since necessity is the mother of invention! I was stuck for an quick and easy after school tea this week, and needed something that was free from dairy, soya, wheat, gluten and meat since my daughter has trouble chewing and swallowing meat - and absolutely refuses to budge on her "no fish" decision! Here's what I came up with :-


Basically it's lots of root vegetables, peas, chickpeas, pulses and brown rice protein simmered with stock and seasoning over a slow heat like a soup. Then I added gluten free couscous to absorb the excess water. To prevent the broccoli going soft I added it at the end.

Uses/Ideas

You could serve this on rice, pasta or potato, or on its own since the couscous provides the necessary carbohydrate. It would work really well in a warm food container for school lunches too, and will freeze well.

Monday, 14 September 2015

MEWS free Raisin Cookies

Following a plea from a friend who was seeking a reliable recipe for raisin cookies that were milk, egg, wheat and soy free, I spent this morning playing with ingredients to devise a recipe.

I'm quite pleased with the result, it's certainly delicious warm from the oven - but the cookies are more chewy in texture than the crumbly result i was hoping for. For the second batch I added some pear puree (this could easily have been banana for a similar result) which helped soften the biscuit texture. I used egg replacer today for an egg free cookie, but an egg - if allowed - might make these crumblier and more like regular cookies.


Makes 6
Dairy free, wheat free, gluten free, corn free, egg free, soya free

Ingredients

  • 55g/2 oz margarine - I used Stork hard block margarine, softened first.
  • 55g/2 oz caster sugar - you could try soft brown sugar for a "richer" taste
  • 110g/4oz SR free from flour (I used our Juvela prescription flour but often use Dove's Farm)
  • 1 tsp baking powder if the above flour is not self raising
  • 1 teaspoon egg replacer made up as instructed
  • 100g pear puree - if using a softer margarine reduce to 75g)
  • 60g/2-3 oz raisins
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
 Method
  • Preheat oven to 180C
  • Use a non-stick baking tray or line a tray with baking paper
  • Beat together sugar and margarine
  • Fold in the flour, baking powder (if using) and spices
  • Stir in the puree, add the raisins and combine.
  • Mix in the egg replacer as per instructions
  • Once the mixture is mixed well it will look like the first picture below.
  • Using a table spoon, spoon out the mixture onto the tray in cookie shaped areas, taking care not to place them too close together.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for 15-18 mins
  • Allow to cool.


Tips 
  • You can make double quantity but these may not keep well. 
  • There is no reason they cannot be frozen since they are more like cakes than biscuits - but I have yet to try doing so.
  • If you can use an egg instead of replacing it, beat it in after beating the sugar and margarine together, then fold in the flour.
I'll let you know the kids' verdict later!


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