While we are still awaiting the actual results from the naturopath on exactly how intolerant we all are, I’ve already been cutting way down on dairy for the kids and myself and I’m happy to report that a. it’s been easy and b. I see good results. My oldest is less clogged in his sinuses, my youngest’s cheeks are looking smoother (he has that pinkish-slightly bumpy stuff on his cheeks that adults get on the back of their arms. No doctor has ever been able to say why, just that it’s something a lot of people have. The naturopath though says it’s a food intolerance and we’ll fix it~ yay for getting to the root of the issue!) and I’m less bloated without dairy in my life. For my oldest, I have switched to almond milk, the vanilla kind (Blue Diamond unsweetened vanilla) that is in the refrigerated section and he likes it just as well as regular milk. For cheese, I’ve switched to goat cheese for quesadillas and cinnamon toast. The goat cheeses were recommended by my friend who is already dealing with a house of four with food intolerances. She gave me two to try from Trader Joe’s, both carrying the Trader Joe’s name: one is a hard cheese called Goat’s milk Gouda cheese. It comes in a fairly big triangular cut and is surprisingly inexpensive. This is what I’ve been shredding for quesadillas lately and my oldest loves it, plus I’ve been slicing it for crackers and it is delightful. The other cheese is a spreadable goat cheese medallion, which comes in small individually wrapped circles. Both cheeses are mild, but the spreadable one is somewhat more like butter than cheese when spread on toast, which is how I ate is yesterday with my salad at lunch. My friend recommended I top the cheese on toast with some cinnamon sugar, so I tried that for my boys and it was a huge hit with my oldest. I’m still working on my youngest on trying new things, but I’m sure it won’t be long before his palate is less picky. For yogurt I’ve been eating Redwood Hill’s goat yogurt or So Delicious’ coconut yogurt. I like the goat kind better because it has a healthier protein to sugar ratio and the taste is more like regular yogurt that I’m used to. The coconut yogurt is good, but less protein and sweeter. I have a feeling that might be what my kids like better though and it would be good to have as many diverse foods as possible in their diet so I’ll have them try it. I asked a couple of employees at Whole Foods what they saw people buying the most of, and they said the almond yogurt, but it has different texture that you have to get used to. I tried it and did not like it at all. The texture is indeed very odd~ not smooth and creamy at all, but to each his/her own. So, that’s how the dairy experiments are going right now.
Here’s a chocolate chip cookie recipe I modified from the Flying Apron cookbook. It’s gluten-free and vegan and so incredibly delicious you’ll never notice the difference. By the way, neither of my kids really like the taste of coconut, but the amount of oil I used in this recipe leaves such a mild coconut taste it’s hard to even figure out what that extra little something is unless you know. And the boys adore these cookies. With that said, use whatever ingredients you have. I don’t believe in that whole “baking must be precise” myth. Experiment!
Gluten Free, Vegan, Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 cups brown rice flour
- 1.25 cups + 1T gf oat flour
- 1 cup garbanzo bean/fava bean flour (it’s a Bob’s Red Mill blend)
- 1t baking powder
- 1/2t baking soda
- 3/4 sea salt
- 1/2t cinnamon
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1t vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips (I like the smaller ones found in bulk sections)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add all dry ingredients up to and including the cinnamon in a bowl and mix with a spoon. Blend the sugar and oils together in a (bigger) bowl with a mixer. Slowly add the almond milk and dry ingredients to the sugar and oil bowl, alternating the ingredients until well blended. Then add the chocolate chips and mix until well-distributed. Scoop dough onto lined cooked sheets and bake for 17-20 minutes. Enjoy!