Happy holidays to you all! I have teamed up with some amazing food allergy bloggers to bring you all kinds of fun today. The 5 of us are sharing our favorite holiday traditions and our favorite holiday recipes. You are in store for great ideas of new traditions to start with you family and wonderful recipes for you all to enjoy. All of us wish you a warm and festive holiday season! Please check out all of these ladies on social media and their blogs, they are true gems that you want to follow!
I’ll start out the fun. We have made some really fun traditions during the holiday season that are really special to us. One of our favorites is going out on the Polar Express as we call it. I started this tradition several years ago, honestly on a whim. We were heading out to look at Christmas lights and decorations and thought it would be fun to call it going on the Polar Express. The girls were in the car with their pj’s, hot chocolate, a safe candy cane, and we headed out to look at Christmas lights. This tradition has stuck and my girls look forward to it every year, several times in the season. Two years ago I even printed out tickets for them to ride our Polar Express which now come out each year for the trips. Below I have given you links to the printable tickets, the safe candy canes, and our recipe for safe hot chocolate. 🙂
Hot Chocolate Mix
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend together until well combined. Store in an airtight container. When you want a delicious cup of hot chocolate, add two heaping scoops to mug and add hot water. Enjoy! This also makes a great gift, place in a mason jar, add a bow and you’re set.
Now for one of our favorite recipes: Vegan, Refined Sugar Free Caramel
Line a 9×13 dish with parchment paper with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large sauce pan combine the coconut sugar, butter, salt, brown rice syrup, and half of the coconut cream. Cook on the stove until bubbling and then slowly add the other half of the coconut cream. Then bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reaches 220°-240°. 220° will give you a soft caramel and 240° will give you more of a harder caramel more like taffy. Drizzle a little bit into a bowl with cold water. When it is done the caramel drop will be soft but not mushy at 220° and harder at 240° in the cold water. Once it has reached the right temperature you need to move quickly. Take the caramel mixture off of the stove and stir in the vanilla. Then pour into prepared baking dish being sure the caramel is even in the dish. Let sit for 20 minutes, then using a pizza wheel or knife, make cut marks in the caramel while it is still pliable. You will need to do this a few times (every 20-30 minutes) to ensure it is easy to get out. If you wait to cut it until it is fully hard, it is almost impossible to cut. I’ve learned the hard way, trust me! Once the caramel is well firmed up, separate pieces and wrap them individually in wax paper. If you love salted caramel, add Pink himalayan salt on top. 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.
Meet my lovely blogger friends!
Dr Vivian- You can find her on Instagram and Facebook as well as http://allergyfamilies.com
Vivian is a U.K. physician who now lives in California. She has 14 years of experience as a doctor and is passionate about functional medicine and using lifestyle measures to get to the root cause of medical problems. She started to look into the reason behind the chronic disease epidemics when her kids were diagnosed with severe food allergies and she got no answers from her allergists. She has also helped her husband combat hypertension through a plant based diet and navigated herself out of chronic fatigue. She will be starting her own health coaching practice in 2018 to help others take back their health.
Dr Vivian’s favorite holiday recipe is:
Vegan sweet potato brownie with a dark chocolate ganache on top
Recipe (this will serve 8)
2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potato
1 cup almond butter or another nut butter like cashew
2 tbsp maple syrup (you can add more if you want)
1/2 – 1 cup dark chocolate chips (the more chocolate chips the thicker your ganache layer)
2tbsp coconut oil
Mix the sweet potato and almond butter and maple syrup together, pour into a baking tin/tray and bake at 350F for 20-25min. Let it cool. .
Meanwhile melt the chocolate chips in a bowl over hot pan, stir and add in the coconut oil. Stir until everything is melted. .
Once the brownie has cooled completely, pour the ganache mixture on top and spread evenly. .
Put in the fridge for 3-4 hours and it’s ready! .
NB: the ratio of nut butter to sweet potato should be 2:1. Make sure your sweet potato is not too moist and if it is, add some oat flour to absorb the moisture or the brownie will come out all floppy and too soft… also – the firmer your nut butter the better – a lot of shop bought nut butter has added oil, and it can be too watery which means the brownie will throw the consistency too (and again you can remedy that by adding some oat flour in the mix if your nut butter is runny rather than firm). Enjoy!
You Can find Kortney as Allergy Girl Eats on Instagram, Facebook, and also at http://www.allergygirleats.com
Just because I have food allergies (anaphylactic to sesame & peanuts; allergic to tree nuts, soy, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, and then some, plus OAS) doesn’t mean I don’t love to eat! Instead of becoming paralysed by the limitations food allergies may bring, I have embraced them and turned them into a passion, a passion for all things delicious and adventurous! My blog, www.allergygirleats.com, explores how simple and empowering cooking can be, and how to live life to the fullest with multiple food allergies and anaphylaxis.
There are two things I love about the Holidays; the first is menu planning. When we celebrate with my side of the family, there is nothing more fun than thinking up an epic menu with my mom, who just so happens to be a chef! The second thing is we always play charades. I don’t think I laugh that much all year, watching my grandma mime ‘Jaws’ is priceless.
My father has a potato allergy, which means instead of mashed potatoes we make mashed sweet potatoes with caramelised onions. These always make an appearance at the Christmas table, and sometimes they even get a chipotle flavoured twist!
3 medium Sweet Potatoes – cut in half lengthwise (roughly 20cm by 7cm)
1/2 large White Onion – thinly sliced (approximately 2 cups)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1.5 tsp Fresh Rosemary – finely chopped and divided into 1 tsp and 0.5 tsp
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Wrap sweet potato pairs in tin foil and bake at 475° for 30-35 minutes, until soft.
In a large pan or wok add onions and olive oil. Cook over medium-high heat. You want to continuously stir the onions, so they do not burn. When the onions are starting to soften, add 1 tsp of rosemary and balsamic vinegar. Turn the heat to medium and continue to stir the onions until they are caramelised, around 20 minutes. The onions will have halved in quantity and be slightly sticky. Take off heat and set aside.
When the potatoes are done, remove flesh from skin and place in a large bowl. Mash the potatoes using a fork.
Mix the caramelised onions and remaining rosemary into the sweet potatoes. If the mash feels dry, add a little more olive oil.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
You can find Gena as Symplynourished on Instagram and at http://symplynourished.com
Hi I’m Gena, I’m a Dental Hygienist who has crossed over into becoming certified as an Integrative/Holistic Nutrition Practitioner. My Son has suffered with Eczema, food allergies and sensitivities, which has opened my eyes to the importance of food as medicine. It has pushed us to find new and nourishing ways to fuel our family. As a Mom on a mission, I’ve spent countless hours researching the root cause of these ailments along with other common chronic conditions becoming prevalent in our children today. I’ve created a Health and Wellness Blog sharing our story, resources and recipes. My hope is that these ailments don’t have to be the new normal for our children, that they can lead healthy, thriving lives.
As holidays approach, I’m filled with memories of baking and enjoying treats with family and friends. When you have allergies or food intolerance’s it can feel like some of the fun is taken from you as you need to prepare “special” meals or treats. What I have come to find is that friends or family tend to enjoy the allergy friendly treats more than some of the traditional goodies.
I hope you find my recipe for mini apple pies useful. The dough is very versatile allowing you to tailor it to savoury pies as well. You can find more of my allergy friendly recipes over at symplynourished.com – Wishing you all a very Happy Holidays.
Mini Apple Pies
1 3/4 cup Cassava flour
½ c Tigernut flour
1/4 tsp sea salt (adjust according to preference)
1/2 cup palm shortening
1/4 cup vegan butter (check oils for dietary preferences)
1/4 cup ice-cold water, added in tablespoons (may need more or less adjust accordingly)
4-5 medium apples cored and roughly chopped (Approx 4 cups)
1/4 cup coconut sugar or succanat
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cassava flour
Optional: Add raisins, cranberries or other dried fruit to taste.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Crust: In a medium bowl combine cassava flour, tigernut flour and salt.
Cut in vegan butter and shortening with fork or pastry cutter if you have.
Add water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms and can be shaped into a ball.
Cover in wrap and set aside while you prepare the filling. You can place dough in the fridge, but I find it easier to work with when the dough is closer to room temperature.
Filling: Toss the apples with the coconut sugar, cinnamon and cassava flour. Add the apples to the bottom crust then roll out the remaining smaller disc and carefully place over the top of the pie. Roll and crimp the edges of the dough together, tightly sealing them. Poke a few vent holes into the top of the pie. Then cut out shapes with remaining dough to top the mini pies and place on the bottom rack of oven.
Assembling the pies: Roll out dough between two pieces of cassava floured parchment paper, to about 1.5-2mm thickness.
Cut out larger circles for the pie bottoms, eyeball a circular shape larger than the width of the muffin tin about 6-inch in diameter
Use the top of a cup for smaller circles for the tops.
Press the bottoms (larger circles) into your muffin tin, allow extra dough to form over the edge as you will need to crimp the smaller circle on top once you get the filling placed inside.
Fill each pie with about 2-3 tbsp of filling (depending on the size of your muffin tin).
Place small circle of dough on top and crimp/seal edges.
If extra dough is available, roll out the dough and use little cut outs to make shapes to place on top of the mini pies.
With a pastry brush lightly coat the tops of the pies with a dairy free milk wash on the top (I have also used vegan melted butter).
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes (check often, ovens temps vary), until lightly browned on top.
You can you find Elizabeth on Instagram as Food Allergy Mama and also Food Free Fun
Elizabeth Moreno is a former actress and puppeteer who lives in Oregon with her husband and two teenage boys, both of whom have anaphylactic food allergies. As an allergy advocate, Elizabeth chaired the Portland FARE Walk for Food Allergy and co-founded Food-Free Fun for Everyone, an organization that hosts food-free social events for kids with food allergies and restrictions in and around Portland, OR. She connects with the food allergy community via her Instagram account, foodallergymama where she shares her family’s food allergy journey and the things she does to make life safe, inclusive and fun for her boys. Elizabeth also writes for the online family travel magazine, KidTripster, where she shares tips for traveling with food allergies.
Our favorite holiday tradition is probably giving our boys new pajamas every year on Christmas Eve. It’s the one present they’re allowed to open before the 25th and I can’t believe they still go berserk over pajamas!
Mexican Wedding Cookies
I fiddled with a bunch of recipes, coming up with a vegan, nut & soy free cookie I love. I use coconut oil, powdered sugar, Mexican vanilla extract (regular vanilla extract is OK too), imitation almond extract (optional but I highly recommend), unbleached flour & coarse sea or kosher salt (gives a little burst of salty goodness & imitates the crunch of the missing pecans). These cookies taste buttery & have no coconut flavor.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with silicone mats. (Parchment paper works too.) In a large bowl, add:
1 cup coconut oil in solid state, but not cold
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp Mexican vanilla extract (regular/imitation vanilla is OK)
1/4 tsp nut free imitation almond extract (opt. but highly recommended)
Beat above ingredients with electric mixer until incorporated & creamy.
Stir in 2 1/4 cups flour & 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt or kosher salt.
Using your hands, knead or squish the dough making sure all flour is incorporated & no chunks of solid coconut oil remain. Dough will be crumbly.
Squeeze & roll dough into 1″ balls & place on cookie sheets. Bake one sheet at a time on center rack for 10-12 minutes until cookies just begin to brown. Remove cookies to cooling rack.
While still warm, but not hot, roll cookies one at a time in a small bowl of powdered sugar (you’ll use about 1 1/2 cups) & place back on cooling rack. When they are completely cool, roll in powdered sugar again.
I use two forks to roll the cookies & lift them out of the sugar to keep my fingers from getting gooey sugar all over them. I remove the excess sugar by lifting each cookie with a fork & gently tapping the fork against the side of the sugar bowl, using the other fork to keep the cookie from falling off the first fork.
Yields 2 1/2 dozen.
We would love to hear if you adopt any of our traditions and/or make our recipes! Happy holidays and a very happy new year to you all, we appreciate each of you!