I finally created a chocolate chip cookie Kaspar can eat. (In *almost* a single mouthful. Wow.)

Click "Read More" below for the recipe!

The thing about "hypoallergenic" recipes is that whether they're actually hypoallergenic for a given individual depends entirely on that individual's specific allergies. I have one good food allergy cookbook -- it's dishes are tasty even for non-allergic people -- but I honestly don't use it very often, since Kaspar's diet, although continually expanding, is limited enough that we stick to our own system for his meals (brown or black rice + meat + safe fruit or veggie), while Aaron and I eat as we otherwise would. Food items, likewise, that say "Gluten Free!" or "Nut Free", are usually not allergy-free for Kaspar, so while I'm glad they're available for people who must singularly avoid those allergens, they're not helpful for us. Kaspar's an adventurous eater in his own right -- I guess that's what happens when you're relegated to sweet potato alone for months on end, early on -- and has been excited for every new offering that's hit his plate in the past year, but baked goods have not been in the cards. He's highly allergic (like, swollen-face style) to wheat, and other grains beyond rice; and rice flour, while okay for pancakes, just makes baked goods too crumbly to really work. So he got a lollipop on his birthday after blowing out a free-standing candle, and considers things like popsicles (homemade fruit-and-veggie-juice popsicles) his big treats. 

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!
 


Comments

Liz Hengen
09/05/2012 18:27

Small victory.....?? A chocolate chip cookie is BIG progress!!

Reply
09/28/2012 11:03

It definitely is. It feels like a big (delicious) deal. :-D

Reply
Beth Pell
09/06/2012 06:29

Hooray for Kaspar! Kudos to you, momma, for your investigative work. It's interesting to read about how you approach trying foods for him. I take it for granted that I can hand my DD a cookie on the run, more often than I should probably!

Reply
09/28/2012 11:05

Thanks for commenting Beth. It's definitely second-nature now to think this way, but there was a big learning curve! I hope someday we can just hand Kaspar a snack without having to scrutinize every ingredient, but for now we're very happy to be broadening his range, and the health benefits of his limited diet -- since he's not eating anything processed are a great bonus.

Reply
01/31/2014 03:08

I have to say i am very impressed with the way you efficiently website and your posts are so informative. You have really have managed to catch the attention of many it seems, keep it up

Reply
04/15/2014 23:23

Hooray regarding Kaspar! Congratulations to you personally, momma, on your investigative perform. It can be exciting to learn precisely people method hoping food items regarding him or her. I get regarding given i always can certainly hands my DD a candy bar away from home, often compared to I ought to almost certainly!

Reply
04/20/2014 12:02

Hooray for Kaspar! Kudos to you, momma, for your investigative do the job. It is exciting you just read about how an individual approach striving ingredients for your pet. I get it for granted that we can hand my DD a cookie out and about, more reguarily compared to I would likely!

Reply
07/04/2014 01:47

This was a fantastic article. Really loved reading your we blog post. The information was very informative and helpful.

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