Sunday, September 30, 2012

Gluten-Free Nut Butter Cookies

Flourless Nut Butter Cookies

1 cup creamy peanut butter, Barney Butter Almond Butter or I.M. Healthy Soy Nut Butter
1 cup I.M. Healthy Creamy Soy Nut Butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large brown eggs
2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper(my favorite baking accessory!).  Makes 36 cookies.
In a large mixing bowl combine peanut/soy nut butters, sugars, eggs, baking soda and salt until smooth.
Shape dough into balls(about 1 heaping TBSP each) and place about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
Using a fork, flatten each ball creating a criss-cross pattern.
Bake 10-12 minutes until puffy and golden.  Cookies will "fall" as they cool.
Cool slightly, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
These cookies also make awesome ice cream sandwiches!  My kids were thrilled to make their own ice cream sandwich for dessert!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

School Celebrations - Without Food!

We are at the start of our 2nd gluten-free school year for our 2nd grader.  Although he has a 504 Plan in place, the school has informed me that they can only request NOT require that parent's send in gluten-free foods for classroom parties and celebrations - sigh.  I was hoping I had conquered this issue.  So, I prepared a list of Gluten-Free treats & snacks which I supplied to the teacher.
Gluten-Free Party Foods

Jello Cups          Jello Jigglers
Popsicles          Edy's Frozn Fruit          Home-made Ice Pops
Italian Ice Cups          Sorbet
Gluten-Free Brownies          Gluten-Free Cupcakes
Chocolate M&M's          Tootsie Rolls          Skittles
Pirate Booty          Cool Ranch Doritoes          Plentils
Smartfood Popcorn          Lay's Classic Potato Chips
Food Should Taste Good Chips
Enjoy Life Cookies
Fresh Fruit Kabobs          Fruit with Whipped Cream
Watermelon Slices          Watermelon on a popsicle stick
Banana Boppers(un-peeled bananas decorated with stickers)

Better yet, Don't make food the focus
Plan activities such as:

provide chalk and have a sidewalk chalk party
provide bubbles and have a bubble blast
provide music and have a dance party
provide a craft (decorate a seashell, pinecone, soup can...)

each activity can take 10 minutes before/after recess or at the end of the school day and gets kids moving and creating

I hope that families are sensitive and respectful of my little guys dietary restrictions and realize how heartbroken he will be if left out of classroom celebrations.  It's just not the same when your mom brings in a treat that doesn't look like everyone else's.  He's really good about it and never complains, but I know he would be thrilled to be included.  Fingers crossed:)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

G-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 mashed bananas
1/2 cup sunflower or canola oil
2 t vanilla
1 cup Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour or King Arthur Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour
1/2 cup Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free Garbanzo & Fava Flour
1 t baking soda
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 TBSP cream of tartar
1/2 t xanthan gum
1 t cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Muffin pan lined with foil lined paper muffin liners or silicone liners.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Makes 18 muffins.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  
Combine the wet ingredients.
Mix your wet and dry ingredients.
Ladle into a muffin tin.
Bake for 12 minutes.

The photos definitely don't do the muffins justice.  They taste way better than they look.  Slightly crumbly - but hey what do you expect for gluten-free muffins.  I'm also realizing I need prettier dishes. Will be shopping next week!

Hmmm....I have no idea what happened here!  Only a minor disaster:o)

After a year of using gluten-free mixes, I finally felt confident enough to create my own recipe!  I'm so glad I did, and all 3 of my kids love my banana chocolate chip muffin recipe!  And none of them know they are enjoying garbanzo and fava bean flour:o)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Favorite GF Product: L'il Critters

Although we try our best to eat a healthy and varied diet, along with the occasional indulgence, I worry that my kids aren't getting enough minerals and vitamins necessary to support their active and growing bodies.  I am not a health care provider, nor am I a trained or educated health care professional.  I'm a mom who is passionate about learning about Celiac Disease, the long-term health consequences of C.D. and sharing what I learn.  
Vitamin D deficiencies are very common among Celiac's - even those strictly complying to a gluten-free diet.  A variety of vitamin deficiencies can persist for years in people living with C.D. even after switching to a gluten-free diet.  
So, I choose to play it safe and supplement my children's diets with L'il Critters vitamins.  Due to poor absorption and the fact that my little guy doesn't like dairy(except for ice cream) and upon the recommendation from our pediatrician, we supplement with the L'il Critters Vitamin D and Complete daily.  We also supplement daily with the Omega-3 due to the recommendation from our pediatric neurologist.    
L'il Critters are available in many varieties such as Fiber, Immune C, Calcium and more.  The L'il Critters website is fantastic - providing easy to find nutritional and allergy information specifically for each type of supplement they produce.

Some allergy information is as follows:  

  • Omega-3 are Gluten-Free, Peanut Free and Dairy Free.  
  • Complete and Immune C are Gluten-Free, Peanut Free, Dairy Free and Soy Free.  
  • Vitamin D, Fiber and Gummy Vites are Gluten-Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free and Soy Free.  

L'il Critters are available for purchase on-line and at stores such as Kmart, BJ's Wholesale Club, CVS etc.  The website also provides information about where to find the L'il Critters brand, however, not all supplement varieties are available at each location.
And the best news is my kids love them and can't wait to have them after breakfast each morning.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Gluten-free Sour Cream Dip

Sour Cream Veggie Dip

1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 cup chopped mixed veggies 
                  approx: 1 scallion
                  1/2 cucumber - seeds removed
                  2 large carrots - peeled
                  1/4 orange pepper
sea salt
black pepper
1/4 fresh lemon

Prepare all veggies and place in a food processor.  Blend until just smooth.  Be careful not to puree.

Measure sour cream and yogurt into a medium sized mixing bowl.
Fold in the veggies.
Add fresh ground sea salt and black pepper to taste.
Squeeze the juice of 1/4 fresh lemon.  Be careful not to add too much lemon or your dip will be runny:(

Mix, transfer to a serving bowl & garnish.
This dip works well with gluten-free chips, crackers or a fresh veggie platter!

Coconut Kiwi Pops

Coconut Kiwi Froz Fruit Pops

1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 ripe kiwi fruits
Peel the kiwi and cut in half.
Place the kiwi and coconut milk(my favorite is So Delicious) in a blender.
Blend until smooth.
Pour into your ice-pop mold and freeze.

Makes 4-6 pops depending on the size of your ice pop mold.
Simple, easy, healthy and a fun way to get your kids involved in the kitchen!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Roasted Garden Veggies

Roasted Beets and Veggies

4 TBSP Olive Oil
2 large red potatoes
4 beets
2 carrots
1 large shallot
1/3 cup each fresh basil, chives rosemary
sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper

serves 4-6
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
Quarter the red potatoes.  Peel and quarter the beets.  Peel and cut the carrots into bite sized pieces. Quarter the shallot.  Chop the fresh herbs.
Put the veggies and herbs in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt & pepper.
Line a roasting pan with foil lined parchment paper.
Transfer the vegetables to the roasting pan and cover with aluminum foil.
Roast for 45 minutes.
Stir and remove foil cover.
Roast an additional 15 minutes.
Serve warm.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Wild by Nature

Wild by Nature is a full sized natural food market with 4 locations throughout Long Island.  While I do my regular weekly shopping at another market, that market lacks variety in gluten-free products.  So, it is with sheer delight that I make a monthly visit to Wild by Nature to stock up on gluten-free supplies such as brownie mixes, pasta, cereals, gluten-free flours and lots of frozen items such as gf pizza, mozzarella sticks, bagels, waffles, chicken nuggets, and dumplings.  I bring my cooler to keep everything fresh until I arrive home.
Wild by Nature holds FREE monthly seminars and workshops ranging from Fall Allergies, to Natural Postpartum Care, to Transformational Joy through Breath Work.  If you don't live on Long Island, check out their website which hosts a comprehensive online reference room.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Favorite GF Product: Smooze

Smooze!  Gluten-free, dairy free, vegan and 100% natural fruit ice!  We love these refreshing pops.  Made with coconut milk and packed in bpa free containers, Smooze pops are sure to be a hit.  We loved them all summer after a day at the beach.  They make a great after school treat, and are a fun way to refresh after healthy play and exercise.  Smooze fruit ice pops are available in Coconut Mango, Coconut Pink Guava, and Coconut Pineapple.
Smo0ze are available at Whole Foods Market and through Amazon.  You can also fundraise a tasty way for your school, PTA or any child centered group with Smooze!  Visit their website to find out more.  

Happy Smoozing:o)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Favorite GF Product: fruit me up!

One of my favorite new products is fruit me up! by Andros.  Fruit me up! are fruit sauce pouches for kids in varieties such as Only Applesauce, Only Apples Mangoes Pineapples, and Only Apples Strawberries Bananas.  What makes these my favorite fruit sauce pouches are several things: they are Made in the USA, are certified gluten-free, the pouches are bpa free and they are "super sized" at 4 ounces.   Since my youngest are now 7 and soon-to-be 10, the "super size" pouch is a much more appropriate size to satisfy hungry tummys.
I serve a variety of fresh seasonal produce every morning with breakfast.  Generally we have kiwi, berries or bananas in the morning.  Each school day their lunch boxes are packed with fruit that can tolerate getting squished such as an apple, orange or grapes.  After school can get tricky with 3 kids participating in different activities.  If we are home, they snack on melon and chips.  However, I love these pouches as they are easy to toss in my car for a quick after school snack when we are heading to a dance class or off to watch big sister play field hockey.  They provide a healthy snack bursting with natural fruit energy.
Be patient as this is a fairly new product and is still somewhat difficult to find.  If you have found it on store shelves - let us know where to find them.  Several sections of  the fruit me up! website are still under construction - so check in with them again soon.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Favorite GF Product: Plentils

Plentils - our new favorite chip!  I have to admit, I was hesitant to try a chip made from lentil beans, but I'm glad I did!  I hesitated buying Plentils because I didn't want to spend the money on a bag of chips that may wind up in the trash.  So, I was thrilled when a bag of Plentils Light Sea Salt chips were included in our gift package from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center.  We devoured the bag!  The chips are lighter than potato chips and have a delectable crunch.  Plentils can be challenging to find on market shelves, but you can order them directly from Enjoy Life foods through their online store.

Happy Crunching:o)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Banana Mochachino Smoothie

Banana Mochachino Smoothie

1 cup Bolthouse Farms Mocha Cappuccino shake
1/2 cup Stonyfield Farm Banilla Yogurt
2 TBSP Nutella
2 ice cubes

Blend and enjoy!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Gluten-Free Awareness Wrist Band

My little guy started 2nd grade this week!  I sent him off to school wearing a gluten-free wrist band(he doesn't like for me to call it a bracelet) from Hope Paige Designs.  Although he has a 504 Plan and school staff are aware of his dietary restrictions, I feel better knowing he has a visual reminder.  The wrist bands are a great reminder for birthday parties, scout meetings and play-dates too!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Gluten-Free Snack Packs!

Although I strive to pack home-made snacks and lunches for my children everyday, life sometimes gets in the way.  Our K-5 elementary school does not have a cafeteria.  That means packing 2 lunch boxes daily with snacks, drinks, lunches, healthy treats, and snacks for after school programming.  As a working mom of 3, volunteering at my kids elementary and high schools, and essentially running a free taxi service from field hockey practice, to dance lessons, to band performances, my days can get overwhelming and complicated.   Often times, pre-packaged gf snacks are my sanity saver.  I fill a huge basket with a variety of gf snacks and let my kids choose 2 each day to toss in their lunchbox.  They love having the freedom to choose their own snacks, and I love the mostly guilt-free freedom it provides me.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mocha Cappucino Smoothie

Mocha Cappuccino Smoothie

1 1/2 cups Bolthouse Farms Mocha Cappucino 
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1 TBSP Justin's Maple Almond Butter
3 ice cubes

Pour all ingredients into a blender.  Blend until smooth.

Loving creating tasty, healthy and gluten-free smoothies to start our mornings!  My 16 year old field hockey player loves them too!