This month I've got birthday treats on my mind since my oldest son's birthday is in July. Cupcakes and allergy free ice cream have been staples on our birthday party menu but every year I want to try something new and discover yet another sweet that Gavin and the rest of our birthday party guests can enjoy. One day I found myself brainstorming about what allergen-filled birthday treat I would try to duplicate and I wondered, do parents with children who can eat anything think this much about their child's birthday party menu? It would seem that people who are eating with food allergies would take the focus off of food but, for me, the focus is even more on the food just for the sheer challenge of coming up with something delicious!
While the cupcakes remain on our list of "must-haves", the ice cream component always leaves something to be desired for me because I am a huge fan of the glorious, creamy treat. Earlier this month, my hopes of my family enjoying dairy-filled ice cream cones together were dashed when Gavin failed his dairy challenge. After this discovery, I accepted that he would be on a dairy-free diet for the long haul (or at least a year or two longer) and decided it was time to come up with a delicious ice cream/cone that he could have too.
It was less than a week after the failed dairy challenge that I ordered my waffle cone maker! I ordered it online and anxiously awaited its arrival. To my delight, it arrived only three days later. I immediately started working on a allergy free waffle cone batter and, when it was done, poured some into the waffle cone maker. It looked like it would be a failed attempt at first when the batter started running out the sides but after a minute or two of cooking and some experimentation rolling the cone, voila! A near-perfect wheat free, egg free, dairy free (and the rest of the top 8 free) waffle cone! Success!
The aroma of freshly baked waffle cones wafted through the house which was reminiscent of the old fashioned ice cream shops I used to visit on occasion when dairy wasn't a forbidden food. Gavin requested a cone at once but had to wait for them to cool. When he finally sunk his teeth into one he said, "Mmm, this is good, Mommy!" And with that, my heart melted just like ice cream on a hot, summer day.
So, this weekend, we'll be enjoying dairy free ice cream in allergy free waffle cones - the Recipes of the Month - while celebrating four years (with food allergies and all!) While you might have to wait for your waffle cone maker to arrive, you don't have to wait for a birthday to celebrate your own victories while eating with food allergies!
Food Find of the Month
A few weeks ago, my family and I were on our way to a get together with some friends. We made a quick stop at the grocery store for some ice cream to go with the strawberry rhubarb cobbler that I made for dessert. While the cobbler was "allergy free", I wasn't sure the boys would care for it so I decided to look for some popsicles or other "safe" frozen treat for them. I quickly scanned the freezer aisle and came across Philly Swirl Popperz which, at first glance, reminded me of the orange push-ups that I used to love as a kid. I examined the label and discovered that the product was free of the top 8 allergens and even specified that it is peanut/tree nut, gluten and dairy free and is manufactured in a peanut/tree nut free facility.
According to the box, Swirl Popperz are "Swirled Italian squeeze up tubes that are fat free, dairy free and made with real fruit juice". The treats come in three flavors: Rainbow (white lemon, blueberry and cherry flavors), Cherry Melon (cherry and watermelon flavors) and Cotton Candy. While they are all pretty tasty, the sweet and sour combination of the lemon and fruit in the Rainbow flavor made it my favorite. My kids, however, had no preference as all of the flavors are sweet, delicious and just plain fun to eat (watch out though, the slurping fun can lead to serious stains on the t-shirts). In addition, I can't help but mention that each push up contains a mere 66 calories which makes it a guiltless treat for everyone.
The Bottom Line: These treats are cool, refreshing, free of the top 8 allergens, can be found at the regular grocery store and are kid approved (at least in my house). What's not to like?
To learn more about Philly Swirl products and where they can be purchased, visit the website at www.phillyswirl.com
The Recipes of the Month
Top 8 Free Vanilla Ice Cream
4 cups vanilla rice milk
3 tablespoons amaranth flour
15 large marshmallows
1/3 cup sugar
dash of salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1) In a large mixing bowl, combine the amaranth flour with 1/4 cup of the rice milk, set aside. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining rice milk, marshmallows, sugar and salt. Bring mixture to a boil and immediately remove from the heat. Pour the hot mixture over the amaranth flour and milk mixture and stir well. Add the oil, xanthan gum and vanilla extract and whisk mixture together until blended. Place in the refrigerator until completely cooled.
2) Pour cooled mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Makes about 1 quart.
Allergy Free Waffle Cones
Waffle cones that are free of the top 8 allergens can be difficult to find and expensive as well. If you miss ice cream cones, purchasing a waffle cone maker might just be the ticket. Sure, it's another kitchen gadget that you'll have to find a space for and it does require a small investment up front but the satisfaction of filling yet another void in your or your child's list of treats is well worth it!
You can get your hands on a waffle cone maker from Amazon through the Food Allergy Store help to keep Eating With Food Allergies up and running. Thanks!)
1) In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg replacer and warm water until light and fluffy. Add the salt and sugar and whisk together until fully incorporated. Next, add the flour and xanthan gum and stir until flour is moistened. Add the oil and water and stir well. The batter should be the consistency of muffin batter.
2) Using a waffle cone maker, cook waffle cones (use about 3 tablespoons of the batter) according to the manufacturer's instructions. Makes about 10 cones.
Congratulations to this month's Wildtree sample drawing winner! To enter the drawing for next month, visit the Wildtree Page in the Food Allergy Store.
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