Best new product finds 2017- Part 1

I decided that I would make a lengthy post today about all of the amazing new allergy friendly brands I found this year. When I started to go through all of them, I realized that there are SO many. This is great news for all of us, you included, but too much for one post. This will be the first of two parts. Stay tuned for part 2 soon. I was able to travel for work this year to Portland, Oregon for Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest (GFFAFEST) where I had a booth to promote my business. A few weeks later I headed to Denver, Colorado to meet up with some other amazing food allergy bloggers for a Food Allergy Bloggers Conference (FABLOGCON). These two events were inspiring, encouraging, helped me solidify the vision I have for my business, and allowed me to meet some amazing people and brands. I’m so excited to share these all with you over the next two posts. At the bottom of the post, I also added the recipe for my amazing tortillas. I keep getting asked for them, and since it’s Friday when I typically share a recipe, you get it down below. 🙂 Don’t skip all the great new products I found on your way to snag the recipe!

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As always, my goal is to give complete honest reviews on products that we have tried. I don’t get paid for any product reviews, but I did get many of these as samples from GFFAFEST and FABLOGCON. These are listed in no particular order.

Hammond’s Candies Peppermint Stirrers

These Hammond’s Candies Peppermint Stirrers were a product that I found at my local natural grocery store. I have searched high and low for a candy cane type item that my corn intolerant girls can eat. Two years ago I found these and we haven’t looked back. My girls absolutely LOVE these. They taste just like a candy cane, but have the texture of a soft dinner mint, the ones that melt in your mouth. These stirrers are so fun to put in hot chocolate. Since these are softer than a traditional candy cane you can suck liquid through them like a straw. What’s not to love about that?! Hammond’s Candies also uses all natural food coloring with is an awesome added bonus! This company is out of Denver, I so wish I could have gone to meet them when I was there. Next time!

Bloomfield Farms Sandwich Bread
Bloomfield Farms Sandwich Bread 2

Are any of you in the market for amazing Top 8 Free (no wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shell fish) sandwich bread? My youngest daughter is currently on an egg free diet (along with many other frees) to see if it helps her health. While I make my own top 8 free bread, we were heading to Phoenix for Christmas so I needed to find a good packaged alternative. I asked my friend The Allergy Chef and this Bloomfield Farms Gluten Free Sandwich Bread is the one she recommended. It far surpassed all of our expectations. We have loved Udi’s and Rudi’s bread (both have egg white) for years. This bread trumps anything we have tried. It is soft, doesn’t need to be toasted, and tastes great. The price is comparable as well. If you purchase their bread mix it’s far less expensive. You can’t go wrong with this bread!

Free2b Chocolates
Free2b Chocolate Bars

I met the Free2b folks at FABLOGCON in Denver. They were so kind, helpful, and loved to give away loads of their chocolate. 🙂 Their products are top 12 free (peanut free, tree nut free, dairy free, gluten free, soy free, egg free, fish free, shell fish free, no corn, sesame free, coconut free, mustard free). I mean come on, what’s not to love for a food allergy family?! I stashed the pile of chocolate that I got from them in my closet until Christmas. They made the perfect stocking stuffers. My girls were beyond thrilled to get sunbutter cups, mint cups, dark chocolate with peppermint, and chocolate rice crisp bars. Free2b is chocolate heaven for food allergy folks. Their products are really good and will become a staple here!

Forager Project Chips

I found these new super food Forager Project Chips through Erica at Celiac and the Best. She was raving about them being gluten free and dairy free. I figured I must need to try them. My mother in law bought some while we were visiting them in Phoenix for Christmas. They are packed with organic vegetable, are gluten, dairy, and corn free. I really love these chips! There might just be times when I eat a whole bag in one sitting. 😉 I will say though that the “cheesy” flavor comes from nutritional yeast which I don’t think tastes much like cheese. It might be cheese like to a small degree, but I wouldn’t say these taste cheesy. That’s not to say they aren’t amazing, because they are, just don’t go into eating them thinking they will taste like a dorito. The one downside I found to them is that they come pretty crumbled. There are some whole and intact chips, but most of them came crushed. That’s likely because the chips are made of vegetable and don’t stay together as well as corn. I’m not really sure, that’s just my educated guess. None the less, I high recommend these. 🙂

Enjoy Life Products

Enjoy Life products have always been my girls favorite. I found them many years ago when my middle was first diagnosed with severe food allergies. Their products have been a staple in our house and well loved. My girls take their cookies to school every few months to leave in the cupboards as safe snacks when parties happen at school. Enjoy life has come out with some new products this year so of course my girls were thrilled to try them. I also had the pleasure of meeting the Enjoy Life crew at both GFFAFEST and FABLOGCON. They are a huge supporter of our food allergy community. Alright, onto some of their new products that we have tried. All of Enjoy Life’s foods are top 8 free and so is their facility. Plentils came out earlier this year which are chips made from lentils and potato starch. We first tried the plain which my girls really liked until they tried the dill and ranch. My girls LOVE the Dill and Sour Cream Plentils so much that they, along with a non food allergic neighbor, made up a song about them. Seriously, they are SO good!! We look forward to trying their other new flavors as well. Next we tried their new Coco Loco Baked Chewy Bars. Again, my girls love these. As a mom who doesn’t feed her kids very much sugar I would make these dessert, not a snack or granola bar. They are definitely delicious. Last on our list of new products from Enjoy Life was their Chocolate Chip Handcrafted Crunchy Cookies. We have been long time fans of their Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies. Enjoy Life continues to be one of our staple store bought safe treats.

*There are affiliate links above for your convenience and helps support my blog 🙂 always be sure to check ingredients to be sure the items are safe for you.

UmpalaRAIN Tortillas


2/3 C Brown rice flour
2/3 C White rice flour
2/3 C Tapioca starch
1 t Guar gum
½ t Cream of tartar
¼ t Baking soda
1 t Salt
1 C Warm water

If you have a tortillas press plug it in and set it to medium high. Tear a large piece of parchment paper that is big enough to fold in half and fit in your press. If you don’t have a tortilla press, I HIGHLY recommend getting one. It is worth every penny. I have the Chef Pro 8 inch Tortillas Press and love it.

In a large bowl mix together all dry ingredients well with a spoon. Add water to dry mixture and mix until well combined. The dough should be a bit sticky, but not terrible thick. If you use an in expensive brand of flours you may need to adjust the liquid. I use a tortilla press to make these which saves a ton of time. Using a large cookie scoop place dough on tortilla press with parchment paper, press down, let cook for about 30 seconds, then remove and place on a plate. Enjoy!

If you are making these by hand with a frying pan I would still use a cookie scoop to get even balls. Then use a baking mat dusted with extra tapioca starch. Place a ball of dough on the mat, sprinkle the top of the dough with more tapioca starch, then roll out into a circle. Spray pan with non-stick spray and fry each side for 10-15 seconds. Repeat until done.

This recipe works really well to double.

Back to school- granola bars

I know that some of you have been back to school for several weeks now. My girls head back to school next Wednesday so we are, begrudgingly, getting ready for school to start. We all love being home together so the thought of the girls going back to school is sad, but we know it’s what is best for all of us. It is time to get back to a routine and let me get something done. While I LOVE having my girls home all the time, I get a whole lot of nothing done. My desk has been piling up for two months so it’s high time I get several hours each day to tick through my pile. One thing in my pile is preparing curriculum to teach live video classes for you all. I am so excited to be able to teach you, right from the comfort of your home and mine. Stay tuned for more on that soon. My email subscribers are the ones that get to sign up first so be sure to get on the list!

Baking is in full swing around here in preparation for my girls to go back to school. I like to be sure to have several quick grab snacks that are packed with healthy ingredients. It’s important that I am not feeding my girls junk so I typically make all of their snacks myself. These granola bars are packed full of healthy fats, protein, and omega 3’s. The original recipe for these came from my friend Alayne. I have since made them allergy friendly and tweaked some of the ratios. When I cut these, I make them pretty small as they are very filling. These are great for lunch boxes, after school snacks, and other on the go activities.

Sunbutter Granola Bars

½ C Raw sunflower seeds
1/2 C Unsweetened coconut flakes (for those who aren’t allergic)
3 C GF Oats
½ C Allergy friendly chocolate chips like Enjoy Life Brand
½ C Craisins
2 T Whole Millet
2 T Flax meal
2 T Chia seeds
3 T Pepitas
1 t Salt
1 t Cinnamon
¼ C Honey or maple syrup for my vegan friends
¾ C Brown Rice syrup
1 C Sunbutter
1 t Vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° Prepare an 8×10 baking dish with parchment paper and non-stick spray, set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients through cinnamon. Once well combined, add the remaining ingredients. Mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly until everything is well coated. It’s easiest to do this with a stand mixer, but you can do it by hand if necessary. Place granola bar mixture in your prepared dish. With a large piece of wax paper, press down mixture firmly until the whole pan is even. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Once mostly cooled, press down one more time with wax paper. Let completely cool on the counter or in the fridge. Cut into desired sizes. Wrap individually and keep in an airtight container. Enjoy!

*There are affiliate links above for your convenience and helps support my blog 🙂 always be sure to check ingredients to be sure the items are safe for you.

Quinoa Salad

For many years I couldn’t eat potatoes and one of my favorite summer sides growing up was potato salad. I could eat quinoa so I thought I would try to replace the potatoes with quinoa. It turned out amazing. I actually might prefer quinoa salad over potato salad, gasp! There are many days that I crave this salad. I have made this before many camping trips and eaten it for at least one meal every day while we are gone. It tastes great cold which makes taking it out really easy. Enjoy this great protein packed side dish, or if you’re like me, you’ll eat it as a main dish. 🙂

Quinoa Salad

1 C Quinoa cooked
4 strips of cooked bacon
2 hard boiled eggs
¼ C red bell peppers chopped
1/8 C chopped celery
1/8 C green onions

Cook Quinoa as described on the package. Once the quinoa is cooled, mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Put in the amount of mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper to taste. Start with ¼ C mayonnaise and 2T mustard. I often triple this recipe. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

I have been on vacation and haven’t posted any recipes for a few weeks so I thought I would post one today. This recipe is brand new as of a few weeks ago. I was feeling the need to add a new muffin to my breakfast routine so I came up with the pumpkin oat muffin recipe. It is so good that I almost shed a happy tear. I’m not a girl that cries over food, but this one was almost worth it. 🙂 Clearly, I know this seasonis not fall with lots of pumpkin recipes floating around. I have a very long list of foods that I can’t have so I’m not able to eat seasonally very often. This forces me to eat whatever I can whenever I want. With pumpkin, I’m happy to eat it all year round!! I hope you enjoy this amazing and quick muffin recipe all year round as well.

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

1 ½ C Gluten free oats
2 2/3 C Gluten free oat flour
6 T Coconut sugar
5 packets Stevia
1 t Baking soda
½ t Salt
2 T Flax meal
½ t Pumpkin pie spice
1 t Cinnamon
2 Eggs or 6 T aquafaba (chickpea water)
2 C Pumpkin puree
½ C Olive oil
1 ½ C Water

Preheat oven to 400°. Prepare muffin pan with paper liners sprayed with non-stick spray, then set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients. Then add all of the liquid ingredients together and mix until well combined. Using a large cookie scoop, fill each muffin tin. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minuets. Makes 18 muffins. Enjoy!

*These aren’t very sweet so if you like a sweet muffin, I would up the coconut sugar to 3/4 C

Camping with Food Allergies- Part 2

Now that we know how to have fun camping we’ll tackle how to eat safely and well when camping. My husband is the one that encouraged me to write a post about food allergy eating and camping. This came as he ate the meal that you see above. He thought it was AMAZING!! I’m so glad he thought it was amazing as it really was simple. My goal when we go camping is to eat as normally as we can while also eating some “junk food” that we don’t normally eat (hot dogs). Half the fun of camping or vacation of any kind is being able to eat food we don’t normally eat.

To make all of our food dreams come true on vacation, it has taken my husbands creative mind to make it happen. Our trailer has a small gas stove that fits two medium sized pans, barely. I can cook this way, it just takes much longer than it takes me at home. When on vacation, I try to do my best to not be in the “kitchen” as much as possible. My husband came up with this contraption below that is a DC converter to AC. We run this off of our car battery while camping to use our microwave and toaster oven. How cool is that?! I know that kind of defeats the purpose of “off grid” camping, but so be it. At home my toaster and microwave get a whole lot of use so it makes our life in the woods so much easier for meals.

UmpalaRAIN DC Converter
UmpalaRAIN Outdoor Kitchen

Here is a list of the meals that we ate for the three days and two nights that we were out. I have listed for you what I made on site and what I brought along. It is possible to eat really well without a whole lot of time in the “kitchen” while camping.

Day 1

Lunch- My family had pizza in the woods the first day! 🙂 I made it for dinner the night before and brought the left overs for lunch. I popped them all in the toaster with tin foil to heat each piece up. That made for some very happy campers. I ate a tortilla sandwich from left over chicken we had earlier in the week and plantain chips that I made in the toaster oven. We also had potato chips, fruit, and carrot sticks.

Dinner- Hot dogs roasted over the fire for the girls while my husband and I both had hamburgers. I used an oat tortilla as a bun and I brought homemade buns for the hamburgers and hotdogs. My husband always RAVES about my buns! We also had rice noodles that I made on site, and roasted broccoli.

UmpalaRAIN hot dogs

Dessert- S’mores every night over the fire of course. I made the chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers all at home. The marshmallows and graham crackers both freeze really well so I make large batches of both. That way I have them ready when I need them.

UmpalaRAIN S’mores

Day 2

Breakfast- Pancakes which I made at home and brought frozen, sausage, and eggs. My family eats Jimmy Dean sausage because that is what my husband grew up eating. It’s definitely not clean eating, but they love it none the less. I also had an oat blueberry muffin that I made at home and brought frozen.

Lunch-Sandwiches with bread toasted that I made at home, lunchmeat, lettuce, mustard, home made mayonnaise made at home, potato chips, fruit, and carrot sticks. I had an oat tortilla sandwich.

Dinner- This night was a smorgasborg. My youngest had a fire roasted hotdog, my husband and oldest daughter had chicken which I put spices on from our trailer. I have about 7 spices that live in a tupperware in my trailer so I’m always prepared. My middle daughter and I had hamburgers with buns I brought from home and oat tortilla as a bun for me that I made at home as well. I had left over rice in our refrigerator at home and decided to bring it for one of our dinners. This turned out to be brilliant. I was able to make a simple fried rice very quickly since the rice was already made. The whole family was so happy about the fried rice which I put carrots and onions in. I also had a can of green beans, not healthy, but good anyways. This picture is at the top of the post.

Dessert- S’mores over the fire again. Even I had something similar to a S’more. Oats to the rescue again which allowed me to make a graham cracker! 🙂

Day 3

Breakfast- The girls were hungry early on this morning and couldn’t wait until the pancakes were done so they crumbled up home made granola bars and added rice milk to have “cereal”. They all loved it. It’s important to get creative sometimes. I brought a homemade pancake mix for this morning as I only had 7 frozen pancakes. Using the mix was quick enough as I just had to add coconut milk, olive oil, and egg whites. They were done pretty quickly. We warmed up the pure maple syrup in the microwave because no one likes cold syrup! I also made eggs, sausage, and warmed up one of my blueberry muffins as well.

Lunch- Sandwiches with bread toasted that I made at home, lunchmeat, lettuce, mustard, home made mayonnaise made at home, potato chips, fruit, and I ate plantain chips made in the toaster oven.

– Homemade Granola bars (2 different kinds)
– fruit leather from Costco
Dairy Free Cheese crackers (Top 8 Free)
– Oat Crackers
– Dried fruit

Going camping can be a lot of work, but I have learned that it is worth it. My family loves camping and some of our favorite memories are made when we do. The one thing I have learned that has greatly helped me with food when we are camping is to prepare ahead of time. I have a list of our typical food on an excel spreadsheet so I can look at it the week before to know what I need to prepare before we go. This has saved my sanity and made for happy eaters while we are out. The day before we head out, I put all of the meat we will have while gone and put it in zip lock bags with marinade, then pop it back in the freezer. When we head out the day of camping I put the frozen and marinaded meat into the cooler. This helps keep everything else cold and also allows our meat to marinade for a good long time. Every morning while camping, I putt out of one the meat zip locks to thaw for the day. By dinner the meat is ready to BBQ. Having my freezer stocked with all of our staples like tortillas, buns, graham crackers, bread, english muffins, and pancakes, greatly helps to save me a ton of time as well. This year has been a year of learning to bulk bake more than I ever have. It has saved me so much time for situations like this. I have always baked in bulk, but now I bake about 2x what I used to which seems to be the best for my family. I hope that you find this post helpful and encouraging that you can go camping even with food allergies. Having all of our safe foods makes camping doable. If you need to be close to a hospital in case of a reaction, be sure to find a campsite just outside of town. Here in the Seattle area, there are literally camp grounds in town. There is one about 10 minutes from our house. If you really love camping but you don’t feel comfortable going far away, see if you have camping close to home. It’s still fun to get away and feel like you are on vacation right in your own town if need be.

Go To Allergy Friendly Meals

I am continuing to answer several questions that I was asked on social media to celebrate Food Allergy Awareness week which is next week, May 14-18. The question I will answer today is: What are my go to allergy friendly meals? Many of us with multiple food allergies don’t go out to eat very often. It’s typically easier to eat at home so we know that we are eating safe for us food and we don’t have to deal with asking a thousand questions to the restaurant staff. When we do go to restaurants we do ask a thousand questions to be sure we can eat safely, not to annoy the restaurant staff.

Since we do eat at home more often that not, we cook a lot. We personally have some amazingly hospitable friends that love to feed us, long list of food allergies and all. Can I just tell you how amazing these people are? They are true gems in our lives for many reasons. Even though we know these friends well, it still feels hard to give them our long list of “can’t haves”. I often find it easier to tell people what we can have vs. what we can’t have. Keeping it simple has been the best thing for all of us involved. We usually do dinner with friends so I say we can eat meat, veggies, rice, and potatoes. That’s pretty easy to do, right? There are so many amazing and simple meals that we can all eat. Sauces and spices are typically out for us so I am more than happy to bring a sauce/dressing or spices. I usually offer to bring dessert since that’s a tough one to find in a store for us. Our desserts are safe for us and delicious for anyone so that seems to work out well. I will also bring anything my family needs that would be challenging for the family we are eating with to find. Things like buns, dairy free cheese, ice cream, etc. are a few examples of items that I always bring if we need them.

Having open communication with the people we eat with has also been key. I always let our friends and family know that I am more than happy to bring everything we need. The burden of our family’s food allergies don’t need to be someone else’s burden. There are times when it is much easier for us to bring all of our own food. This way we can enjoy a meal together, which is the point, without needing to worry about the long list of “can’t haves”. We have some friends that are honestly afraid to feed us. I totally get that and actually appreciate it. They don’t want to accidentally feed us food that will make us sick which is so thoughtful. I find that these friends take our food allergies seriously which I am thankful for. For these friends, we always bring our own food and we still have a great time together. The friends that do feed us have been kind enough to call and ask us lots of questions about ingredients to be sure we can have them. We have shared many wonderful meals together with friends and family that feed us safe foods.

All that to say, here is a recipe for a simple allergy friendly meal that anyone can make. Hit up your friends soon to have you over for dinner. 😉 Or enjoy this simple, but delicious go to allergy friendly meal yourself. Remember to help your friends and family know that simple is good and ok! We appreciate anything they are willing and able to safely feed us. Since summer is coming up here quickly in the US, I thought I’d share my favorite summer allergy friendly meal.

Grass Fed Hamburgers

1 lb grass fed organic ground beef
Onion Powder
Olive oil

Preheat the BBQ to 375°

On a large plate, divide the ground beef into four equal parts. Pat each portion of beef together to make flat patties. Drizzle each of them with olive oil and then sprinkle with onion powder and salt. Once the BBQ has reaches 375° place the burgers on the BBQ for 6 minutes and then flip and cook for another 4 minutes. Check the middle of your burgers to see if they are cooked to your liking. Adjust cook time as needed. Some great allergy friendly toppings would be lettuce, grilled onions, mushrooms, tomato, etc. Naked burgers are great, buns aren’t necessary. If you can bring your own safe buns and cheese, feel free to do so, but I’m pretty sure most of us with food allergies have had our fair share of delicious naked burgers.

For those with concerns about CC with the BBQ, you could cook your burger on tin foil. If that still makes you nervous, it might be best to bring your own food.

Sweet Potato Fries

1 Large Sweet potato
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°

Wash and rinse sweet potato. Using a food processor with a french fry attachment, place about 4 inch long sweet potatoes and process to make french fry shapes. If you do not have the above kitchen tool cut the sweet potato in slices the size of french fries. Place all of the sweet potatoes in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt lightly. Bake for 10 minutes then flip, and bake for another 5 minutes, then flip and repeat baking for 5 minute intervals until all are done. In total it takes about 40 minutes for all of the fries to be done.

UmpalaRAIN BBQ Broccoli

Barbecue Broccoli


1 Large head of broccoli

Olive Oil


Lemon pepper


Take a large piece of aluminum foil and place all of the broccoli in broken up pieces. Generously drizzle olive oil on top of the broccoli. Then sprinkle with salt and lemon pepper. Grab both end of the foil and pull towards the center rolling them together. Then fold up the ends. Place on a BBQ at approximately 375° for 30 minutes until the broccoli is a bit black on the bottom. Be careful when you open the foil as the steam will escape and can burn you. I put the broccoli on the BBQ 20 minutes before the burgers, that way they are done at the same time. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Granola

I love everything about granola, except the hefty price of gluten free granola. It always shocks me to see the price tag of so many allergy friendly foods, granola included. A small bag of gluten free granola is often around $7. My family would eat that in one sitting and leave a few of us without any. A few years ago a friend send me a traditional granola recipe so I could look at the portions. I honestly looked at the recipe and went, “that’s it?!” I tweaked that recipe a lot to make it work for my family and it has been great. From that moment on I have been making our own gluten free granola in HUGE batches for a fraction of the cost of store bought granola. Can I just say too that this recipe is so versatile you can change the add in-s for anything your heart desires. I make the nut version for my husband cause he’s a nutty guy 😉 and I make the nut free version for my girls since they can’t have nuts. This way, everyone in my house is happy.

I do believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We do our best to pack our breakfasts full of protein, healthy fats, omega 3’s, and a tiny bit of sweet from honey. In our house we don’t down a bunch of sugar first thing in the morning hoping it won’t make us crash a little while later. I know that breakfast can often be a rush to get nutritious food on the table which is why I make this in huge batches. It keeps beautifully in an airtight container in my pantry. In the mornings it is just as quick as eating cereal from a box, but so much healthier and tastier too! Last but not least, it’s really quick to make too, I promise. It’s a win all around, go make some. I think you’ll love it just as much as my family does. This granola has a Top 8 Free option and a vegan option as well.

Gluten Free Granola

5 C Gluten free oats
1 C Slivered almonds (seeds of any kind work)
1 C Unsweetened coconut flakes
1 t Salt
2 t Vanilla extract
2 T Flax meal
1 T Chia seeds
1/3 C Honey (maple syrup for my vegan friends)
1 C Rasins (any dried fruit will work)
1/2 C Allergy friendly chocolate chips like Enjoy Life Brand (optional)

Preheat oven to 325° Prepare a large baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, place all ingredients through vanilla together and mix until well combined. Next, add the chia seeds and flax meal on top. Directly on the chia seeds and flax meal, place the honey and mix well until all of the oat mixture is evenly coated. If you don’t put the honey on the small seeds they will just end up at the bottom of your granola. Bake for 10 minutes and then gently flip with a spatula and bake again for another 10 minutes. The oats will be barely golden brown, if it is very brown it will taste terrible. Watch it carefully. Let cool completely on the pan outside of the oven. Once cool, mix in the raisins and chocolate chips and then put in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Comparing Egg Substitutes

My family can eat eggs, but I have clients that can’t. That means that I make it my job to find the best egg replacement for them that I can. I test every recipe I make so it can be safe for my clients. When I began my egg free baking many years ago when my middle daughter was allergic to egg, I used ener-G egg replacer (affiliate link). I had no complaints about the ener-G egg replacer, and at the time there were very few if any other alternatives. Times and ingredients change quickly in the food allergy world for the better all the time. A few years after I started using ener-G egg replacer, the flax egg became popular, then the chia egg not too long after that, and now aquafaba (garbanzo bean/chick pea water) is the craze. Over the years I have trialed all of these egg substitutes in many different recipes. I had many successes and also many failures. Through all of my experimenting with different egg substitutes, I had never compared them side by side, until recently anyways.

The way I learn best is by reading or watching and then doing. I have done so much reading on egg substitutes and experimented, as I mentioned above. Every time I have used one of the egg substitutes I used in the video, I have more questions I wish I could find the answers to. Since I can’t seem to find them online, I decided that I will figure it out myself. I know I can’t be the only one with these questions. This video is just scratching the surface of baking without eggs, but I hope it is helpful for you. There are other videos that I would like to make about egg substitutes so be sure to come back again. One thing to note, this is a B rated film. This is what happens when I venture to do videos without my professional video guy helping me. I figure, the content is helpful and life can be B rated sometimes. Enjoy!! 🙂

By far, I would say that aquafaba is the best egg substitute as a general whole. I will do another post and go into more detail about my years of experience trying all of these egg substitutes. Some of the egg substitutes are great for some recipes and terrible for others. More on that to come. For now, enjoy this first video.

Blueberry Oat Muffins

1 1/2 C Oats
2 2/3 C Flour
2/3 C Coconut sugar
1 t Baking soda
½ t Salt
2 Eggs or egg substitute of choice
1 1/2 C Water
1/2 C Olive oil
1 C Blueberries
2 T Chia seeds
2 T Lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400°. Prepare a muffin tin with non stick spray and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, combine all dry ingredients until well combined. Then add the wet ingredients with a spoon and mix well. Using a large cookie scoop, place a heaping scoop of batter into each the muffin tin until all of the cupcake wells are full. This mix will make 12-15 muffins. Bake at 400° for 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave the muffins in the muffin pan until they are completely cool or they will be crumbly. They freeze really well in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Coconut Milk Yogurt

Yo yo yogurt!! 🙂 My family absolutely LOVES yogurt. For about a decade, I ate yogurt for breakfast EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. That’s a whole lot of yogurt. My girls had never had yogurt until the last few years because they all can’t have dairy, nuts, and my two youngest can’t have soy. That omits most yogurt, except coconut yogurt. When we have gone on vacation in the last few years we have splurged for coconut yogurt for the girls. While my girls can eat coconut, the yogurt is still full of sugar which they don’t tolerate well. Read my last post if you would like to read why they don’t eat very much sugar. Beyond the sugar, the cost of coconut (or any dairy alternative) yogurt is really high.

I have a friend that has been making her own coconut yogurt for a few years now and it just seemed complicated to me. My friend kept telling me that it really wasn’t, but I just couldn’t get on the band wagon quite yet. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I purchased a pressure cooker. I have continuously read that people make just about anything in their pressure cooker, including yogurt. That sparked my interest so I started to watch youtube videos, reading in a group on Facebook, and finding blogs about it. Low and behold, it still looked super complicated. My life in the kitchen is complicated enough feeding my family with multiple food allergies and intolerances, I don’t need complicated food. The research I did included heating the milk to a specific temperature, then cooling it to the right temperature, adding gelatin, heating up, then cooking in the pressure cooker, to only get a small amount of yogurt. For those that don’t mind that process, all the more power to you! For me, I leave complicated baking to things like caramel and apple strudel. 🙂 I was ready to throw in the towel on making my own coconut yogurt when I came across CJ Nutrition’s post about making coconut milk yogurt. You guys, it is SO simple, you have to check it out.

I wanted yogurt for my girls right away since CJ Nutrition made it seem so easy. I went to my local natural food store and picked up my favorite coconut cream, pictured above. It has 1 ingredient: coconut. For me it is important, when I can, to buy foods with the least amount of ingredients as possible to give me the most control over what I put in the food I feed my family. Aroy-D coconut milk is also the most inexpensive that I have found at my local store, it’s a win all around. This 33.8 oz carton costs $3.23. Below is my calculation of cost, if you are like me and save money on food where it is possible. One thing that I have learned by making this coconut yogurt several times now is that it takes warm temperatures to make it work. It is the dead of winter here, and much colder than normal so my kitchen in unusually cold. I tried making this on my counter with no luck at all. I had watched another youtube tutorial that said it needs to be warm for the live cultures to work. So I put my coconut yogurt starters on my fireplace mantle for 48 hours, since we have a gas fireplace. This works like a charm so be sure to have your yogurt in a warm temperature.

Here is my price calculation for several different yogurts below.

– Store bought regular dairy yogurt $.79 (on sale) for 6oz which comes out to $.13/oz
– Store bought Coconut milk yogurt $2.29 for 5.3oz which comes out to $.43/oz
– Homemade coconut yogurt $3.23 for 33.8oz which comes out to $.10/oz!!!!

I made homemade coconut yogurt for cheaper than dairy yogurt on sale. Now that is a screaming deal if you ask me, and SO easy!! My girls sweeten their yogurt with stevia and add fruit and/or granola as well. Thank you CJ Nutrition for a great and simple recipe that works. Happy coconut yogurt making!

Oat Tortillas

I wrote about my love for oats a week or two ago and had someone request the recipe for the oat tortillas. This has to be one of the simplest recipes that I make. Hopefully you find it just as simple and delicious as I do. I will say that having a tortilla press makes my life SO much easier since I make somewhere between 60-80 tortillas a month. Here is the tortilla press I have. Next week I will do a review on the one I have, as there are many to choose from.

Oat Tortillas

2 ½ C Gluten Free Oat flour
1 C Warm water
½ t Salt

If you have a tortilla press, which I highly recommend, plug it in and let it warm up on medium heat. If you do not have a tortilla press, prepare a small frying pan on your stove with olive oil in the bottom. Also get out two pieces of parchment paper and prepare them with non-stick spray.

To make your own oat flour, simply take your regular gluten free oats and blend them in a high powered blender until it becomes flour. In a medium sized bowl add the oat flour and salt mixing well to combine. Then add the water and mix thoroughly together until you have a very thick paste like consistency. The mix shouldn’t be drippy or too heavy and thick. Watch the video above, to see the correct consistency. If the mix comes out too watery, simply add more oat flour. If the mix comes out too dry, simply add more water a tablespoon at a time. This mix will get thicker as it sits. For those of you that do not have a tortilla press, you need your mix to be on the thick side or you will have a difficult time getting it off the parchment paper. If it takes you a long time to make all of the tortillas and the mix is too dry at the end, just add more water, a tablespoon at a time. It’s hard to go wrong here, I promise!

If you have a tortilla press, simply prepare it with non-stick spray, then drop a medium sized cookie scoop of the mix on to the middle, press and wait about 10-15 seconds. Take it out with a spatula and let it cool on a plate. Repeat that step until your mix is gone.

If you don’t have a tortilla press, turn your stove onto medium heat and warm up your pan with oil in it. While the pan in warming, drop a medium sized cookie scoop onto your greased parchment paper and cover it with the second piece. Either with your hand or a rolling pin, flatten out your tortilla ball until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Gently pull off the top layer and parchment paper and flip the tortilla into the warm frying pan and peel off the now top layer of parchment paper. Fry for 10 seconds and flip to fry for another 5 seconds. When the tortillas are done, place them on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any extra oil. Repeat that step until your mix is gone. Enjoy warm or freeze them in a big pile once they have cooled.

A few days ago on Instagram, I posted a picture of the guacamole and the oat chips you see below. Someone told me that I had been holding out on you all about oat chips. I laughed and then figured I would throw that recipe up with the tortillas since you can’t make the chips without the tortillas. Perfect timing that Super Bowl Sunday is in tomorrow. It’s always fun to bring a new, simple, yet fabulous dish. So go ahead and make the tortillas and the chips. They will be a crowd pleaser for sure!! Of course, guacamole is a definite MUST! Press on friends, press on, the tortillas are worth it. 🙂