Click "Read More" below for the recipe!
On a level, we all accept the situation for what it is, which is not the end of the world. In fact, Kaspar's made such enormous strides lately -- his eczema is GONE, and he's sleeping through the night on the regular (wanna know how that happened? Click here) -- so we've all counted ourselves on the winning side of the equation, and been reminded of patience's virtues right and left. Patience and daring come into a delicate balance with food allergy stuff. We've only been able to expand Kaspar's dietary options by way of trying new foods, but we're cautious about doing so. I'm not giving him nuts, eggs, or anything obviously super dangerous. But foods like tomatoes? Worth a small try, and if his eyes go itchy or he gets bumps anywhere, we bust out the Benadryl and make a note to self to wait on tomatoes until later. Most of the time, because we're judicious, this system works in Kaspar's favor and hooks him up with new and tasty options.
Though committed to taking it slow and steady in this way, I've nurtured a subtle longing that my kid will one day be able to eat a chocolate chip cookie. Cookies were the first thing I ever learned to make in the kitchen (circa 1994); they occupy a special place in my heart. And fresh-baked cookies make everyone happy; Aaron's face lights up when, on the rare occasion I've decided to bake, he discovers some in the oven. (I realize that comes off as really Sally Homemaker of me, but hey... It's the small things in a marriage that keep the big things on track.) I had plans, over the weekend, to bake some vegan breakfast muffins for us (as in Aaron and me), and picked up this flour blend while shopping for groceries -- I'm a creative baker, and enjoy experimenting with different flours, even in the absence of food restrictions. As I mixed the muffins' ingredients, however -- grated carrot, granulated maple sugar (white sugar substitute... so good), applesauce (egg substitute), cinnamon -- it occurred to me that they were all Kaspar-friendly. Except for the flour blend, which was a wild card.
Its main ingredient is brown rice flour, which is fine. I knew the next two -- tapioca flour and arrowroot flour -- would probably be okay, too; I've tried them before with Kaspar, in pancakes, and he didn't have a reaction (too many pancakes and he gets a little pink the following day, however, which I always bear in mind.) But sorghum flour was a mystery. I looked it up, and discovered it's a cereal, like rice and other grains, and a grass. And at first, I thought, "Why bother? Slow and steady... we're playing it safe." But, as with all new foods, I weighed the risk/reward factor and, in this case, decided to give Kaspar a small (SMALL) bite of muffin to try it out. He devoured it, and asked for more. I told him, "Just wait, buddy. Let's hang out for a few minutes and make sure we're all good."
I knew he wouldn't need an Epi pen shot after eating one bite of a wheat-free, gluten-free, vegan muffin. But I was prepared with the pen, and Benadryl, within reach nonetheless. I watched carefully for any face, lip, or eye swelling, and, five minutes later, checked his body for suspicious spots. All clear. He was pretty much busting at the seams for another taste by then, so I let him have it. By the end of the day -- one bite at a time -- he'd eaten an entire muffin. And the next day, he hadn't turned pink.
Thus the doorway opened unto baked goods for Kaspar Quincy. Today, he has a chocolate chip cookie in his school lunch. Victory, my friends, sometimes comes in the smallest -- and sweetest -- of packages.
Here's the recipe, adapted from the classic Joy Of Cooking. It's not only hypoallergenic (depending on your particulars), but it's also vegan and really pretty healthy, as cookies go. The results are tasty, too. I recommend it for anyone, food-allergic or not.
What You'll Need
- 1 1/4 cups Namaste Foods Perfect Flour Blend (FYI, I have not been compensated in any way for making this recommendation...)
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 cup virgin, organic, cold-pressed coconut oil (or butter, if that's more your speed)
- 1/2 cup granulated maple sugar
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (ours had cinnamon in it, too)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Optional: 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (I skipped this, because vanilla's a bean... Not sure if Kaspar can have it)
- 1 cup (we used less) chocolate chips (we used these)
What You'll Do
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fehrenheit
2. Mix everything but the chocolate chips in a large bowl
3. Add the chocolate chips. Mix on.
4. Grease (with a small amount of coconut oil, or butter) a baking sheet
5. Drop the dough by the "heaping teaspoonful" onto baking sheet, leaving about three inches in between each cookie-to-be. Bake for 12-15 minutes before removing from the oven. Cool on a cooling rack, and, whenever you're ready and think you won't burn yourself, enjoy!