Allergen-free treats for the whole class

According to Health Canada, dairy, eggs, and nuts are some of the most common food allergy culprits for young kids.

These dairy

These dairy



According to Health Canada, dairy, eggs, and nuts are some of the most common food allergy culprits for young kids. Though my kids never suffered from any, there were friends and classmates that were sensitive to one of the above allergens. This added a challenge when sending treats to classroom parties or having those friends over for play dates.

Baking treats without nuts was easy. But, how does one eliminate butter and eggs without compromising texture and taste?

Fortunately, I discovered an answer when I was asked to check out a new cookbook. The book, written by Kelly Rudnicki a Chicago based mother, titled The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book is filled with foolproof recipes that are made without dairy, eggs, and nuts.

For me a cookbook is like a novel, it has to be engaging in the first few pages. From Rudnicki’s touching story of when her son was diagnosed with severe food allergies, to the simple recipes with lip-smacking glossy food photos, this book had my full attention. After being pleased with the outcome of few of her recipes, I find myself reaching for Rudnicki’s “labour of love’ when I am looking for something quick and fail-proof.

So how do you cook without dairy, milk or nuts? “It isn’t that big of a deal. It just means making simple adjustments to how you bake by using safe, allergen free ingredients,” writes Rudnicki. She recommends “using good quality ingredients that are widely available and affordable. “

The beginning of the book provides useful substitution and cooking technique information related to baking and food allergies. The cookbook gives a list of Rudnicki’s favourite allergen-free ingredients that she uses in all of her baking. Unbleached flour, dairy-free shortening (Crisco), Fleischmann’s unsalted margarine, Enjoy life brand chocolate chips, silken tofu, and Tofutti dairy-free sour cream and cream cheese are the “must have “ ingredients for her recipes.

As Rudnicki is from Chicago, I was a little doubtful if I could find some of these. But I grabbed my pencil and paper and headed off to the grocery stores in search for the required ingredients. Though most of the items were available at my neighbourhood grocery store (Save-On Foods), dairy free chocolate chips were only available at a specialty store. (Sugar-Free & More 3434A – 50 Ave. Red Deer)

Some of the substitutes Rudnicki uses for her recipes include the following:

Plain Soy Milk: 1 cup for every cup of dairy milk

Tofutti’s dairy-free sour cream and cream cheese: for recipes that call for either of the dairy versions

Unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana: ¼ cup for every egg

Water: 1 tablespoon for every egg

Flax Meal: Replace each egg with 1 tablespoon flax meal and 3 tablespoons hot water; let stand 5 minutes, until thickened

Soy Nut Butter : use instead of peanut butter and nuts, to taste

The cookbook also includes practical advice and tips for parents when dealing with classroom and birthday parties.

Rudnicki recommends parents to meet the teacher before the start of the school year to discuss their child’s allergy and to create a game plan for birthday celebrations and holiday parties. If birthdays are celebrated in the classroom, Rudnicki suggest to ask your child’s teacher to adopt a non food celebration policy. Instead of sending cupcakes, cookies and candy to school, parents could instead send in fun trinkets, such as stickers, pencils, games or books.

For holiday parties, Rudnicki urges parents to bring festive health snacks, such as fresh fruit, and sliced veggies.

The advice I appreciate the most is Rudnicki’s suggestion of asking your child’s teacher to send out a letter about food allergies at the beginning of the year. Parents who don’t have children with food allergies sometimes just aren’t aware of how dangerous food allergies can be.

The second part of Rudnicki’s cookbook is devoted to traditional and seasonal recipes which she has substituted with allergy-free ingredients. There are sections devoted to breads, muffins, biscuits and breads, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, pies and crisps.

The book is an excellent resource for parents who struggle with the challenge of cooking for the entire family when one or more members of the household suffer from food allergies. But, it is also a great tool for parents like myself who just want to send a simple allergy free treat to their child’s classroom.

Rudnicki’s book is a welcome addition to my culinary library, and I’m looking forward to using it on a regular basis.

To order the book or to learn more about Kelly Rudnicki you can go to the following link. http://www.foodallergymama.com

Banana Bread

Yield: 2 loaves

1/2 cup dairy-free margarine

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana

3 tablespoons water

2  3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup dairy-free buttermilk (1 c. of soy milk mixed with 1 T. vinegar. Let sit 5-10 minutes)

Preheat oven to 350ºF, and spray two 8-inch baking pans with dairy-free baking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine margarine, sugar, bananas, and water. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder with a wire whisk.

Alternate the flour mixture with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Pour into prepared pans, and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until cake tester comes clean.

Cool completely before slicing.

Sugar Cookies

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

2 ¾ cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon. salt

In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment combine shortening, sugar, applesauce and vanilla thoroughly. In a separate medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt with a wire whisk. Add to shortening mixture and mix on low until combined. Chill dough in refrigerator for one hour or more.

Preheat oven to 400 F degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. Roll dough to ¼ inch thickness on floured board. Dip cookie cutters in flour and cut out desired shapes. Bake 8-10 minutes or until very light golden. Cool completely on baking sheet.

Chocolate Chip Brownies

1/2 cup dairy-free shortening

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup silken tofu

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips

confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, thoroughly combine the shortening, granulated sugar, tofu, and vanilla. In separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, powder, baking powder, and salt with wire whisk. Add the flour mixture to the shortening mixture, and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

Pre-heat oven to 350F, and spray an 8-inch square dish with dairy-free baking spray. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan, and bake for 30 minutes, or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely, and dust with sugar.

Cupcakes

 ½ cup dairy free margarine

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup soy milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup silken tofu

2 cup cake flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. In a small measuring cup combine the soy milk, vanilla and tofu. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt with a wire whisk. Add the flour and soy milk mixture to the margarine mixture in thirds.

Pour batter into prepared muffin cups and bake 20-25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

 

Creamy vanilla frosting

 1 cup dairy free margarine

2 tablespoon Soy Milk

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the margarine, soy milk, vanilla and salt until incorporated. Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar and mix on low for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and beat for 4-6 minutes until light and fluffy.

Madhu Badoni is a Red Deer-based freelance food writer. She can be reached at madhubadoni@gmail.com. Watch for Madhu’s Masala-Mix blog on bprda.wpengine.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer now has 911 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

An anti-lockdown protest went ahead outside a café in central Alberta on Saturday, despite pouring rain and a pre-emptive court injunction. (Photo by The Canadian Press)
Anti-restriction protest underway in central Alberta despite injunction

A large crowd has gathered in the parking lot of the Whistle… Continue reading

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre's expansion project is still a high priority, says Alberta Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer hospital ICU admissions stable, but rising, says surgeon

The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s intensive care unit is in better… Continue reading

Alberta recorded a single-day record of over 57,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta hits daily record of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Central zone has administered 111,735 doses of the COVID-19

FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, is setting off a social media reaction with his calls to stop non essential shopping, such as "buying sandals at Costco", with this photo of his worn sandals, which he published to social media on Saturday, May 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Dr. Robert Strang, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Nova Scotia’s top doctor sparks meme with caution on non-essential shopping

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s top doctor has launched a social media meme… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Canada's chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Tam warns that full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Canada’s chief public health officer reminded Canadians on Saturday that even those… Continue reading

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour conducts drills during NHL hockey training camp in Morrisville, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
NHL relaxing virus protocols for vaccinated playoff teams

The NHL is relaxing virus protocols for teams that reach a threshold… Continue reading

Canada skip Kerri Einarson directs her teammates against Sweden in a qualification game at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, May 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canada’s Einarson eliminated at curling worlds after 8-3 loss to Sweden’s Hasselborg

CALGARY — Canada’s Kerri Einarson was eliminated at the world women’s curling… Continue reading

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman didn’t expect to get hit with a double whammy at… Continue reading

A courtroom at the Edmonton Law Courts building, in Edmonton on Friday, June 28, 2019. The effect of the coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting impact on the Canadian justice system warn a number of legal experts. The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench announced Sunday it would adjourn all scheduled trials across the province for at least 10-weeks limiting hearings to only emergency or urgent matters. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton mother found guilty of manslaughter in death of five-year-old girl

EDMONTON — An Edmonton woman was found guilty Friday of manslaughter in… Continue reading

A Statistics Canada 2016 Census mailer sits on the key board of a laptop after arriving in the mail at a residence in Ottawa, May 2, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Statistics Canada sees more demand to fill out census online during pandemic

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the response to the census is higher… Continue reading

Travellers, who are not affected by new quarantine rules, arrive at Terminal 3 at Pearson Airport in Toronto, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Ottawa will create a new digital platform to help in processing immigration applications more quickly and efficiently after COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for a faster shift to a digital immigration system, the immigration department said. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ottawa to create new system to tackle delays in processing immigration applications

Ottawa says it will create a new digital platform to help process… Continue reading

Most Read