Monday, November 29, 2010

RECIPE: Vegan Banana Cake by Tasty Cake Recipe for People with Food Allergies!

If you are searching for a banana bread or cake to fit to your food allergy or dietary restrictions, try this dairy-free, egg-free banana cake recipe. This recipe is also soy-free, peanut-free, tree-nut free, sesame-free, garlic-free. My kids love this banana cake, and guests always help themselves to multiple servings. No one can tell that it is vegan. I hope you enjoy this recipe that I've created.

Please note: If you have food allergies, make sure that the ingredients you are using do not have any cross-contamination issues with any offending allergens. For example, my daughter has a severe milk allergy, so we use baking soda made in a dairy free facility (like Bob's Red Mill Aluminum Free Baking Soda. It is made in a gluten-free facility that happens to be milk-free as well).

4 large bananas, very ripe (4 bananas will produce a very moist cake. If you prefer less moist, use only 3)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar (sometimes called evaporated cane juice)
1 teaspoon baking soda (make sure you are using baking soda, not powder)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I usually use safflower or sunflower oil, but any vegetable oil should be fine)
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan, or 9 inch pie pan.
3. Make sure bananas are very ripe. If they have a few black spots (like freckles, not bruises) on the outer peel, that means that they are very sweet and perfect for this cake. Peel and mash the ripe bananas on a very large plate. Remove any banana "strings" and bruises.
4. In a separate large bowl, mix the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda with a wire whisk.
5. Pour the vanilla extract into the liquid measuring cup holding the oil, and mix well.
6. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth.
7. Pour the mashed bananas into the batter, and gently mix. The batter will be lumpy.
8. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the cake appears golden brown.
9. Cool, then serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.

This banana cake tastes great freshly baked or cold. Enjoy your cake and let me know how it turns out!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Allergen Awareness with Cosmetics and Skin Care Products

As you may already know from carefully scrutinizing food labels, it is just as important to read labels in beauty, skin care, and other household products.  Allergens frequently appear in the ingredient listing of soaps, lotions, lip gloss, eye cream, etc. 

After about 5 years of wearing minimal makeup, I have recently leaped into a cosmetic shopping frenzy.  The majority of my recent makeup purchases have been through because of the convenience of shopping online while the kids are in bed, and the usefulness of reading customer reviews and ingredient listings.  Please be aware that not all cosmetics have their ingredients listed.  And I have even come across a product or two that had incorrect ingredient information listed on the website.

Since many cosmetic products carry allergens, I try to read the labels as carefully as I can to keep our home free of milk, sesame, garlic, and egg. (I want to make sure I can safely kiss my kids on the cheek or give them a cuddly hug without them breaking out in hives or eczema.)  Many companies change ingredients without notification.  So even if I've purchased a product many times in the past, I usually try to remember to read the ingredient label each time I purchase.  

If I've made any errors below, feel free to send me a email.  Or if you would like to share info about cosmetics that have worked for you, feel free to post a helpful comment.  

FAVORITE NEW FINDS FOR ME (Click on links to see images of items):

PRODUCTS OUR KIDS USE (Click on links to see images of items):

Friday, November 26, 2010

Allergy Friendly Muffin Pan Meals

If you have very picky eaters in your household, this is a fun way of feeding them allergy friendly meals.  Muffin pan meals are fun for kids because they can enjoy small portions of a variety of foods. Also, for very picky kids that don't want all of their food mixed together in one dish, muffin pans allow for separation of different foods.  Here is an example of one meal that my 4 year old enjoyed. We use stainless steel muffin pans and stainless steel utensils since they are the healthiest and most sanitary.  Everything pictured above is FREE of dairy, egg, garlic, sesame.  It is also peanut-free, tree-nut free, soy-free, wheat-free, low fat and healthy.  To make the meal even healthier, you can substitute the lemonade for 100% fruit juice, a non-dairy beverage (my kids are fine with nuts, so they consume Almond Breeze sold in the asceptic container), or water.  Also, if your child is open to eating a variety of vegetables, it would be great to add broccoli or another green leafy vegetable to the mix.  You can be as creative as you like with muffin pan meals.

Pictured above from left to right:
Top Row: Brown basmati rice, red seedless grapes, Trader Joe's lemonade

Middle Row: Diced chicken (cooked with olive oil, salt and pepper), baby carrots, steamed cauliflower, stainless steel fork and spoon, napkin

Bottom Row: Annie's Naturals Organic Ketchup (This is the only garlic-free ketchup I am aware of), second helping of basmati brown rice

Sometimes we fill the open spots with a dessert for the end of the meal, or a children's multi-vitamin once a day.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Introduction...Welcome to my first post!

The kids are asleep and this is my first blog post on  I'll begin by telling you about my family and what I hope to accomplish with this blog.

I have a 4 year old daughter with milk protein and egg food allergies.  My 2 year old son is allergic to sesame and garlic.  We have been living with food allergies since my daughter was born.  The first year dealing with food allergies was the most challenging.  However, after countless nights of researching my children's food allergies, numerous doctor visits, and the many trials and tribulations figuring out what was safe to feed our kids, life is now a lot easier.  Eating is no longer about what we can't have.  It is now about what we can eat.  And discovering a new food, ingredient, or recipe is an exciting new experience for us.  We love being able to find something new that is safe to eat and makes life easier and more enjoyable.

I plan on using this blog to post recipes, thoughts and experiences.  Since this is a new blog, it will probably evolve over time.  I will try to include pictures and links whenever I have time.  I hope you enjoy reading my posts.  Feel free to email me or post any helpful comments.

Please be aware... I am not a doctor or medical professional.  I am a stay at home mom that has worked very hard to provide a safe, loving home to my children.  My blog posts are by NO means medical advice.  Everyone has different allergies, dietary needs, health issues, medical concerns, etc.  Please consider your own situations and consult your doctor for any medical advice.