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5 tips for traveling gluten free and dairy free

4 Feb

recently, due to circumstances beyond control, we had two days to pack some things and fly back home to oregon for two weeks. this was our first big trip gluten and dairy free. i think things went okay although, we did have a few episodes where eli got contaminated. all in all, it wasn’t as stressful as i had anticipated.

traveling with special dietary needs

1. pack plenty of snacks for the plane ride. we don’t fly often so, i wasn’t sure if i could bring fresh fruits or homemade goodies, i packed some enjoy life chewy bars we were all pretty disappointed in them. needless to say we were starving when we finally landed 5hrs later. on the plane, i noticed the guy behind me to the right was eating an apple, and then a pear, and then another apple. doh!  *note to self- it’s alright to bring fresh food.

2. if you are staying where you have access to a kitchen the first thing you should do is go buy some “safe” food. i went and bought some basic flour and guar gum, a milk alternative and gluten free oats. easy enough and now other people can enjoy your baking/cooking too.

3. don’t forget to read the ingredients on everything!!! this is where i messed up. i gave eli a bag of corn chips and didn’t think twice they were lime flavored tostitos to be exact. within thirty minutes of eating them his skin was broke out head to toe and he had his normal dairy reaction.

4. be careful eating at restaurants. mistake #2, found a pizza place in town that said they made a gluten free dairy free pizza. we tried it and both eli and dad had a reaction. bummer.

5. relax, it’ll be okay.


cashew “cream” sauce

25 Sep

this was kind of an impromptu sauce i made for dinner last night. it’s been a week of unplanned meals and lunches, i must be crazy! it’s so much more stressful when i don’t plan the weeks menu. it seems it’s been this way since school started, i guess we are still trying to find our groove. i put this sauce on some brown rice noodles topped with some fresh basil. eli ate three bowls then said “mom! you’ve got to write this one down!”  son, this one’s for you.

cashew “cream” sauce (all measurements are estimates, taste as you go)

2 cups of cashews, soaked for 1hr or so
1-1 1/2 cup water
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbs olive oil (i used one tbs evo and one tbs basil flavored)
1/2 tsp salt, more to taste
pepper to taste
aleppo pepper, opt.

place cashews, lemon juice, s&p into blender and roughly chop, add water slowly until desired consistency. add aleppo pepper to mixture if using or you can sprinkle some on top of noodles before serving. you can heat this sauce up with your noodles or have at room temp. this made enough sauce for two dinners.

freezer fudge

13 Aug

a cool snack for a hot summer day. i got this recipe from the spunky coconut. the only change i made to her recipe was to use half the salt. maybe, because i soak my sunflower seeds in salted water before roasting them, my sunflower seed butter was saltier than the one she used. i don’t know. anyway, this recipe is awesome. i sprinkled unsweetened coconut on it before i topped it with this chocolate sauce (half the recipe).

mom! what’s for breakfast?

11 Aug

mango parfaits

the other day i borrowed a book from the library called raw energy. since my children are always hungry i need snacks that are both healthy and filling (also gluten, dairy and mostly sugar free). gah! it’s been too hot here to turn the oven on any more than necessary, i had/have high hopes for this book. i tried one of the snack recipes yesterday, eli ate one and said, “good, but i don’t want any more” and elsa took one bite scrunched her face and said “uh-uh”. really they weren’t that bad. this mango parfait we had for breakfast also came from that book. it’s super easy and delicious.

mango parfait

gluten free rolled oats
unsweetened finely shredded coconut
diced mango
milk of choice

prepare the night before.
in a wine or parfait glass add a layer of oats (a couple tbs), then add a layer of shredded coconut and finally a layer of mangoes. repeat. then top with milk of choice just to cover. cover glass and set in the fridge over night.
in the morning when you take it out sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. enjoy!

feel better banana muffins

8 Jul

the kids have been sick all week with a stomach bug, which i’m sure is the result of a very fun but busy weekend. eli had it the worst. so, after 48hrs of eating nothing but a few slices of an apple and drinking tons of water, i knew he would need something soft on his tummy today. i was inspired by nonna joan over at baby bites and two rotting bananas that were sitting on the counter, i was going to make muffins. i went and asked elsa, who was in her room mixing up stuff in her play kitchen (seriously), if she wanted to help. of course she did!

right as we were putting the muffins in the oven eli came leaping down the stairs and yelled “i’m all better! i can walk better! i can talk fast! and i can draw!” then elsa said “eli! we made these muffins so you could get better!”

45 minutes later…….

“mom! these are awesome!”

feel better banana muffins

¼ cup oat flour (gf oats ground in food processor)
¼ cup coconut flour (shredded coconut ground in food processor, will still be grainy)
¼ cup tapioca startch
1¼ cup brown rice flour
1 tsp guar gum
2 tbs flax meal
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tbs agave syrup (more if you want sweeter muffins)
6 drops liquid stevia
1 egg
1 cup hazelnut milk, you can use whatever kind you like
¼ cup olive oil
2 mashed bananas

in a large bowl whisk all dry ingredients together. in a medium sized bowl mix together all wet ingredients. add the wet ingredients to the dry. mix until no dry is visible. do not over mix. the batter may still look slightly lumpy and that’s ok. fold in the mashed banana. pour into prepared muffin tins and bake 20 mins.

i’m sure you could use any flour you have on hand, i had some oat and coconut flour left over from the other day which is why i used them. may result in a different textured muffin though.

gluten-free, dairy-free birthday cake! (and banana ice cream)

28 Jun

this is the second year i made eli a ninja cake for his birthday. ♥ he’s my little ninja ♥ i found this recipe in the early stages of our gluten free adventure here and, i’m thankful i did every time a birthday rolls around. i changed it up a bit this year. now all i have to do is figure out how to make the frosting sugar-free and we’re set.

i didn’t get a picture of it but one of our summer treats has been banana ice cream. i buy bananas at a discounted price because they are over-ripe, bring them home, slice them and put them in the freezer for later. it’s a quick easy snack. i’ve been doing a lot of searching over the summer to find gluten free, dairy free and mostly sugar free recipes that a six year old will eat. not everything i make is edible. heh! but i’ve learned a lot about food and nutrition and created some delicious recipes that maybe someday i’ll find the time to share.

birthday cake

1⁄2 cup brown rice flour
1⁄2 cup tapioca starch
1⁄4 cup coconut flour
1⁄4 tsp salt
1 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp guar gum
1⁄2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1⁄2 cup grapeseed oil
1⁄2 cup coconut milk
1⁄2 tbs vanilla

preheat 350°
prepare an 8inch cake pan with parchment paper and oil. (cut a piece of parchment for the bottom, better safe then sorry)
sift together first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, in a medium bowl whisk eggs and sugar for about a minute. add the grapeseed oil, coconut milk, and vanilla. whisk. add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.
bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
recipe makes 1 8in cake. cake above made with 3 8in cakes. i did not triple the batter because i don’t like splitting the batter between pans, it never comes out even.

banana ice cream

approx. 2 cups frozen banana slices
¼ – ½ tsp guar gum (opt)
blend the bananas in food processor until a smooth ice cream consistency then add guar gum if using and blen some more. eat or put back into freezer for later. that’s it. yum.

i put guar gum in it to keep it from freezing into a hard brick.

chocolate-coconut ice cream

31 May

we didn’t do much with our long memorial day weekend. we stayed home, relaxed, nursed a sick puppy, and made ice cream!
one of our most used wedding presents is our ice cream maker. the problem i was having with the ice cream was it would turn into a hard brick in the freezer. this year i did a little research and learned some new tricks. serious eats had a bunch of good ideas. the tuile “bowls” tasted good but they didn’t look pretty. still they worked great as a replacement for a cone.

chocolate-coconut ice cream

1/4 cup agave syrup, more if you like
1 can coconut milk
2 cups soy milk or other dairy substitute
1 tsp guar gum
2 tbs cocoa powder
1 cup dairy free gluten free chocolate chips

wisk agave and guar gum in med sauce pan until no more lumps. add milk and wisk. blend the cocoa powder with a little bit of the liquid until no lumps. dump into sauce pan. bring it to a boil slowly. cool and refrigerate overnight. don’t forget to put your ice cream canister in the freezer.
freeze according to makers directions.


1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tbs flax meal mixed w/2 tbs water
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp guar gum
3/4 cup brown rice flour

preheat 365°
wisk oil and sugar till smooth and fluffy, add flax mixture and vanilla. wisk about 2 mins. in a separate bowl blend flour, salt and guar gum. add to sugar mixture. mix well.
separate into 4 parts. roll onto partchment paper in circular shapes as thin as possible. bake 8-10 mins until golden brown. make sure they have browned or they won’t harden. once out of oven drape over bottom of bowl or cup of choice until cooled.
they are a bit finicky and I did break one but it still tasted great with the ice cream.