Mar
31
2014

The Best Allergy-Friendly Muffin Recipe Ever

Delicious, healthy, and safe

The Best Allergy-Friendly Muffin Recipe Ever

best ever allergy-friendly muffin recipe

I made these muffins this weekend and my husband said they're my best ever, so I figured I'd better write down the ingredients and share them with you guys. What I absolutely love about making muffins is how easily customizable they are. I usually just throw in whatever I have around, but the combination this time was magical, so I'm excited to share with you. They're fairly healthy (you could easily make them without the chocolate chips, too), and the kids ate them all up quickly.

They're safe for school snacks, too, which is a great bonus.

Best Ever Muffins



Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, chopped
the zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
4 super ripe bananas
1/3 cup ChipIts chocolate chips (these are safe for nut- and peanut-allergic people)
2/3 cup large flake oats
1/2 cup chopped apple
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

 Preheat oven to 350°.

 In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, and whisk together.

 In another bowl, cream together brown sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and bananas, then add the chopped butter.

 Add the wet ingredients into the dry, and combine well.

 Add the oats, apple, and cranberries, and mix well.

 When fully combined, fill greased muffin tin cups 3/4 full with batter.

 Bake for 40 minutes.

 Remove from tin and let cool.

(Makes ~18 muffins)

If you have to avoid eggs or other allergens, please see this post for suitable replacement ideas.

And don't forget to make these amazing Mini Egg Shortbread cookies!

Mar
28
2014

Non-Allergic Siblings Of Kids With Food Allergies

The Struggle to Find Equality

Non-Allergic Siblings Of Kids With Food Allergies

What about the non-allergic siblings of kids with food allergies?

Allergies are difficult on all members of the family. They're hard for the person who has to deal with them, they're hard on parents trying to learn about them and keep kids safe, and they're hard on siblings who often get lost in the shuffle while everyone's trying to protect the at-risk family member. More discussions should be happening about the non-allergic siblings of allergic kids, I think.

When my son was born, my daughter was three years old. She previously wore peanut butter facials, had her pick of treats, we ate out in restaurants freely, and never worried about what we'd eat, or where or when. Looking back, I long for that kind of care-free living.

When my son was born and diagnosed with severe allergies, suddenly everything changed. 



Where we ate became a huge decision. 
The foods we allow in the house are highly restricted.
Activities we do have to be so carefully planned.
Every road trip has lost its spontaneous sparkle.
Easter changed. Christmas changed. Everything changed.

My daughter loves her little brother more than anything in the world, and happily spends her life worrying and caring for him. In the earlier years, so much of our attention focused on this new addition, for so many more reasons than are normal when a new baby arrives. We managed this as best as we could.



My daughter is her little brother's protector, best friend, and superhero. She changed his diapers, dressed him, cheered him on, and loves him to the end of the earth. She reads to him, teaches him, watches out for him, and rarely leaves his side.

They are now 7 and 4 years old, and just latelyI don't know if it's the gloomy weather or the years of responsibilitythings are shifting between my kids. I hear my daughter wistfully remembering her peanut butter on toast days. Her patience wears thin when I have to carefully read labels on something she wants to buy at the grocery store. She asks to go places she knows we can't take her brother. She seems to be short on patience with accommodating her little bro, and I'm honestly not surprised. It's been four solid years of altering her wishes for this kid.

We're so lucky that she's such an empathetic, mature child, but I admit, we've dropped the ball on attending to her needs. Things have been vastly unequal in the attention department, and before resentment builds, I want to make sure we care for her needs as much as those of her brother.

So, here's what we'll be implementing:

1. Special days for just her and one of us, where she gets to choose whatever she'd like to do.

2. Treat days where we'll go out and she can eat all the nut products she wants.

3. Attention for her in the same way as it's given to her brother, even if not in the same (worried) manner.

I don't want to neglect her in our mission to keep her brother alive. And I certainly don't want to do any damage to the wonderful, strong, totally adorable relationship they have together.

To help your child get a better understanding of his/her sibling's food allergies, here are some books about severe food allergies for children of all ages

And check out these 25 important questions to ask your child's allergist.

Mar
27
2014

Mini Egg Shortbread Cookies

Making Easter Even Sweeter

Mini Egg Shortbread Cookies

A friend mailed me some of these delicious cookies years ago, and shared her recipe with me. Ever since, I've made batches of them as soon as those sinfully yummy Mini Eggs hit the shelves each year. I usually end up buying the huge bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs from Costco. Now I realize that they're not necessarily allergy-friendly, but before my son was diagnosed as having a peanut and nut allergy, he ate Mini Eggs without issue, and has continued doing so, so we're comfortable with him eating them. This isn't the case for everyone, I know, but I wanted to share this with you all anyhow.

This is not only a super easy recipe, they look impressive so they're the perfect addition to your Easter dessert roster.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Cadbury Mini Eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter

 Preheat oven to 275°.

 Put Mini Eggs into a Ziploc bag and hit them with a heavy measuring cup a few times to smash them for use in this recipe. You don't want them pulverized, just cracked up into small-to-medium-sized pieces.

 In a large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, icing sugar, and salt.

 Once combined, add in butter.

 Cream all the ingredients till you've got a workable dough. If you find that the dough is a little dry (or very crumbly), add a bit more butter (about 1 tbsp) at this stage.

 Add in the crushed Mini Eggs and combine well.

 Roll into ping pong ball-sized balls, gently smoosh them a bit, and lay on a cookie sheet. These don't flatten/expand the way chocolate chip cookies do, so you'll end up with fatter cookies if you don't smoosh them down a bit.

 Bake on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet for about 22 minutes, or until the very edges of cookies just start to brown.

For more fun Easter ideas, check out How to Host an Easter Egg Hunt and 5 Great Easter Egg Decorating Ideas.