Archive for September, 2013
September 24, 2013
A satiating, fiber-full, antioxidant-ridden, mouthwatering breakfast is my idea of something to accompany coffee. So here is a muffin that fits the bill. It not only contains all the fruits (apples, blueberries) and vegetables (pumpkin) your RDA can hold, but a protein boost in the form of sunflower seed butter that adds a moistness and creamy nuttiness that is out-of-this world. So without further adieu, I will give you this recipe so you can say “good morning!” and mean it.
APPLE, BLUEBERRY, PUMPKIN PROTEIN MUFFINS
Makes 12 standard size muffins
12 standard-size paper baking cups
2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons sodium-free baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon guar gum
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup coconut nectar
2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
¼ teaspoon stevia powder
¾ cup unsweetened plain coconut milk
½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
½ cup fresh apples, cut into ¼-inch dice, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, guar gum and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle.
Add the grapeseed oil, coconut nectar, sunflower seed butter, pumpkin puree and stevia and stir to combine. Add the coconut milk and mango blueberries and apples and stir until the liquid is absorbed and the batter is smooth.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, dividing it evenly. Each cup should be about two-thirds full. Top each with a sprinkling of the blueberries and diced apple.
Bake the muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, or until they are a light golden brown and bounce back slightly to the touch. Rotate the muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking.
Transfer the muffin tin to a wire rack and let sit for 10 minutes before removing the muffins to cool completely.
Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
September 16, 2013
I was invited by New York Times bestselling author of The Virgin Diet, JJ Virgin, to participate in the launch of her new book The Virgin Cookbook, coming out February, 2014, by doing a demo video with her.
I was very honored to do this video because JJ’s philosophy about food is very similar to mine. She talks about the 7 foods that are usually the culprits for people’s intolerances. I speak about the 8 top allergens to which children are usually prone to have anaphylactic reactions. Guess what? JJ’s list of 7 foods and my 8 foods are just about the same! I wonder if this is a coincidence?
It seems eliminating dairy, egg, refined sugar, wheat, peanuts, corn, soy from you diet is a very good thing according to JJ. These foods are responsible for making us bloated, gassy, fatigued, inflamed and a host of many other attractive adjectives. When people eliminate these items one by one or all together from their diet they lose weight, feel better and more energized and don’t get sick as much.
It is these same foods to which 6 million children in the United States alone are allergic and can have fatal reactions in some instances. What is up with that? There is something very wrong when a child’s body cannot handle something that is edible to most of the population. It speaks to the contamination in our food supply chain, the GMO’s that are lurking in our produce and elsewhere and to a whole slew of unknowns that allergists and researchers are still trying to pinpoint. It’s a scary situation at best.
It is good to know that people like JJ are bringing these issues to the forefront of our collective conscience and helping people every day to be healthier and wiser about what goes into their bodies.
I look forward to the video coming out in February where you can see how we made Sweet Debbie’s Sweet Cranberry Hemp Bars. JJ gave them a thumbs up. You’ll have to let me know what you think.
September 7, 2013
Sitting in the front row at my class in the midtown Manhattan Whole Foods Market a few weeks ago, there were three twenty-something young women from Germany. They spoke ‘nichts’ English yet they understood my class completely. (The interglot translation dictionary app on one of the girl’s i-phones helped).
We bonded through a shared experience of food allergies and eating sweets. Although, one of the girls couldn’t even eat the Chocoholic Cupcakes I demonstrated that day, since, in addition to a smorgasbord of 13 allergies, she is also allergic to chocolate, a key ingredient in chocolate cupcakes.
But she and her friends sat and smiled intently while watching as I poured, sifted, mixed and measured. I learned that they each had significant careers in engineering, teaching, and fashion design and had come to New York City on vacation.
I thought about my 5-year-old son whose allergies rival that of the German girl with the baker’s dozen of food allergies and how scared I would be if he traveled the world with his friends, navigating the dicey waters of cross-contamination and possible hidden allergens in his Wiener Schnitzel. Heck, when I give him a pretzel from a new company I only let him take a taste and make him wait a half hour before taking the next bite. That’s how neurotic I am when it comes to his allergies.
I admired the food-allergic girl’s courage and strength for what must be very difficult situations in restaurants, bars, and even coffee shops. How do you really know if the food preparer didn’t just touch a hunk of cheese or eat a handful of nuts before plating your dish. You don’t. You just make your case to the manager before you order and hope that the communication to the kitchen help is clear and understood because your or your child’s life is in their hands.
Thank goodness I’ve drilled into my son the need for him to be his own advocate. I didn’t even let him go to pre-school until he could say “I can’t have that” when offered something on his long list of food allergies. I made a delivery to a customer once, and my customer’s baby offered my son a teething cracker. My son, the radical crusader for his own cause, yelled at the poor and uncomprehending 11-month old boy, “I CAN’T HAVE THAT, I HAVE FOOD ALLERGIES!”.
I knew then I had done my job as a food allergy mama. I just hope my son can learn that line in 6,000 different languages one day. I’m sure his interglot dictionary app will be willing to help.