Last week I baked up some fresh goodness for a friend of mine who had unexpected surgery.  Due to Celiac disease and food allergies, she cannot have gluten, soy, dairy, or nuts.  Feeling limited while recovering, she welcomed the thought of some comfort food that didn’t come from a package.  While eliminating foods can leave you feeling like there’s nothing left to eat, spending time trying recipes and reading cookbooks can leave you with a collection of options that work for your needs.  For all of my gluten, dairy, soy, and nut-free friends, this post is for you.  If you have a friend or child in your life who would appreciate eating something yummy just like everyone else, try out one of the recipes below.

Bread

Fresh Bread

The first thing that goes by the wayside is usually fresh bread.  Yes, you can find gluten-free bread in the grocery store, but it may be vacuum-sealed, it may be frozen, and it likely won’t be baked in the past 24 hours.  What I love about this recipe is that makes two soft, crusty loafs that are neutral and stand up well to your favorite sandwich filling. We typically go through one loaf while it is fresh, then slice and freeze the other. My friend’s husband tasted a slice and said it has an “angel-food consistency,” which is a nice description. Called Tapioca Bread, it’s a rice flour and tapioca blend, and the recipe comes from an oldie but goodie, The Gluten Free Gourmet.

Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins

Banana muffins lend themselves really well to gluten-free baking. With the moisture and intense banana flavor, you end up with a taste and texture identical to wheat-based baked goods. We’ve tried quite a few recipes, but our favorite is Mom’s Banana Bread from Cooking for Isaiah. The recipe in the book is for bread, but we divided the batter among a 12-cup muffin tin and baked them for 25 minutes. In fact, there was enough batter leftover that my little one suggested we put it in the donut pan.  Banana donut muffins were a nice treat for the kids.  Baked for ten minutes, we set two aside for my friend, and each had one warm out of the oven.

Banana Muffin Donuts

The world of food allergies and intolerances is unfortunately more complicated simply by the fact that one needs to carefully monitor every recipe, meal, and morsel.  Cooking for yourself is truly the safest way to go, but unarguably time consuming, and can be stressful.  Lots of people are overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed.  If you are avoiding allergens, share your favorite recipes and tips here.  To find out what’s new in our kitchen, stop by, or become a fan on Facebook.  Happy baking!

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