Category Archives: Allergy Friendly Recipes

Rise and Shine Breakfast Smoothie – Allergy Friendly too!

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Starting tomorrow, I’ll be posting a series on How to be On Time in the Morning. In Part 1 of this series, I’m going to talk about how serving better breakfasts can actually speed up your out-the-door time. One of my favorite meals in the morning is this Rise and Shine Breakfast Smoothie. It barely needs a recipe because it’s so toss-and-blend, but here’s the concept to get you started!

Rise and Shine Breakfast Smoothie - Allergy Friendly too!
Adapted from: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
A quick, fruity smoothie to get you going in the morning!
  • ⅓ c. vanilla yogurt or SILK vanilla yogurt
  • ½ c. frozen fruit blend (I used Costco's Wowana Frozen Fruit Mix with mango, papaya, strawberries, and pineapple)
  • 1 c. milk or SILK vanilla yogurt
  • 2 t. vanilla (omit if using silk)
  • 1 T. sugar (optional)
  • ½ banana
  • ¼ c. (a scoop) of frozen orange juice concentrate
  1. Put all ingredients in a mixer and blend until smooth. To make this recipe dairy free, use Silk vanilla yogurt and Silk Vanilla milk, omitting the vanilla.
  2. This makes one large smoothie, or divide it in half for kid-friendly portions.
  3. This recipe is an "eyeball" recipe. Just the approximate amounts in and taste. You can also adjust to taste. I've also used strawberries and blackberries, just strawberries, and other fruits too.
  4. P.S. - Make one big one (doubling or tripling the recipe) in a blender, or make this recipe in a Bullet Blender. I make Abigail's smoothie first with Silk, then I make everyone else a smoothie. You could also freeze the rest in popsicle molds for days when you're really in a hurry.

Nana’s Baked Beans

Ahh, summer.
I think I’m finally getting into the groove.

Well, despite the broken toe thing and totally freaking out on my kids last night
(who cares if it’s Good Luck, Charlie or Ned’s Declassified? It’s all crap!)

But like I said, getting into the groove. Summer school even went well today! The kids are spending a respectable time outdoors versus parked in front of the TV. In short, a happy summer. No big summer vacations planned, but even that is kind of nice. Summer trips are vacations for everyone but Mom, in my opinion.

Can you blame me when I had a mild heart attack when I saw all the back to school specials in the newspaper yesterday?
I’m not ready! Don’t make me go! I don’t wanna!
Whew, apparently I have unresolved school issues there.

Anyway, the middle of July is a time for barbeques and potlucks. {Not back to school shopping!} My go-to addition to any potluck is a recipe I got from my husband’s mom, whom the kids call Nana. My kids inhale this recipe! I’m going to throw in an extra can of beans next time. I’ve made this a lot but I have yet to have any leftovers. 

Start by frying up a pound of bacon.

While your bacon is frying, chop up an onion and a green bell pepper.

We like ours extra crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and let drain on paper towels. Oh my. My mouth is watering. When the bacon is cool, eat a few crumble them up.
Now put those veggies in the bacon fat–let’s be sure there’s no nutritive value left!
In a pot, or in the crock pot, add a large can of pork and beans (I’ve used Van Camps to Walmart brand to Bush’s Baked Beans–it’s all good), the bacon, the onions and peppers, some brown sugar, a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce, and eyeball a cup of ketchup. I almost always forget the Worcestershire sauce, so if you don’t have it on hand, just skip it. We’re cool like that here. If they’re in a pot, bring them to a boil then let them simmer… you know, till you’re good and ready to eat ’em.
If they’re in a crock pot, cook on low about 6 hours, or on high 2-3 hours. You really can’t screw this up, I swear. 

Nana's Baked Beans
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A yummy, summery baked beans recipe that cook up quickly and taste like you spent all day flavoring them "just so."
  • 1 lb. bacon
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large can pork and beans
  • 1 c. ketchup
  • ⅓ c. brown sugar
  • 2 shakes Worcestershire sauce
  1. Fry the bacon until crispy. Remove from pan, let drain on paper towels. Crumble when cool. Add chopped green bell pepper and onion to bacon fat, let cook till onions start looking clear. In large pot, add all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low till ready to eat.
  2. Crock pot directions: Follow directions above. Add all ingredients to crock pot and cook on low 6 hours, or on high 2-3 hours.
  3. Allergy note: depending on the brand of beans you buy, this is a dairy, egg, and nut free allergy. It is most likely also a wheat and soy free food, though I'm not sure about the Worcestershire sauce. Check your labels!

Food Allergy Rights

One of the hardest things about dealing with food allergies is going to restaurants. I can control and monitor what my daughter eats at home, but who knows what’s going on in a restaurant kitchen?
The servers certainly don’t!

Fortunately, my little Abigail is still, well, little, so it’s not yet as hard as it could be. One recent situation illustrated how difficult this may soon become. Abigail loves to try new foods, and will eat anything I’m eating. Even at our dinner table she wants to sit on my lap so she can grab whatever is on my plate–the buttered bread perhaps, or maybe a handful of that delicious looking salad coated in ranch dressing? 

We spent the weekend at the lake and had a great time. We did a lot of this:

Our favorite thing to do after a day at the lake is get one of LaBeau’s famous raspberry shakes. Well, they are famous for their raspberry shakes, but I don’t think anyone got one of those. We settled for more mature versions such as Mint Oreo or Cookie Dough. Anyway, it’s a tradition I insist on maintaining. 
{Mostly because there is ice cream involved.}

Here’s a question: how do you take your 15 month old baby to get shakes for everyone when 
she can’t eat ice cream?

As I’ve said before, she loves to be eating what I’m eating. I can’t exactly hand her an animal cracker and call that a substitute for a shake, now can I? Babies are smarter than that!

Here’s a trick for your favorite non-dairy baby:

Yeah, really! This probably wouldn’t work with say, a recently diagnosed six year old, but for a baby who doesn’t know the difference? A smooshed banana looks like ice cream!
In fact, this is a Weight Watchers trick. Cube a banana, freeze it, and puree. Just like ice cream!
(I know, you’re not buying it. But supposedly it’s better than… not eating ice cream?)

Because of the large amount of kids swarming around the window to order at LaBeau’s, I requested via my mother a banana for my baby. An ice cream store has got to have banana’s, right?

I sat down, and she came back with–no banana. They would not sell her one
Say what now?
They told her there was a market not too far that she could purchase some bananas, but they were almost out and couldn’t sell her any.
Say what now?

Picture me, not exactly irate, but my momma bear fur has definitely been ruffled. 
My mom says we can just go get some bananas. 

Uh no. I don’t think so.

I went to the window and spoke with the girl who had talked to my mom. She explained the situation–they only had a few bananas on hand and couldn’t sell one to me.
After going back and forth for a moment she requested I speak with the manager. 
I’d love to.

The manager introduces herself; she’s apparently the owner.
Great. I want a banana.
She again explains that they only have a few bananas left, and need to be open till 10 p.m.
I ask her what I’m supposed to feed my egg-dairy-almond allergic daughter.
She looks flustered. I kindly (but firmly) explain that LaBeau’s is a family tradition and one I’d like to carry on with my family. I brought my daughter, who has food allergies, and I’d like her to be part of this family tradition. I want to feed her a banana while we eat the ice cream we’ve ordered. 

Owner: Well, we’d have to go down to the KOA and buy more bananas.
Me: Okay.
Owner: So you want a banana?
Me: Yes. I want a banana.
Owner: Well… I don’t even know what I’d charge. I’ve never sold just a banana before.

She spent a few minutes calculating. I offered to pay her a dollar for the banana (I understand the inconvenience I was causing, really), but after thinking for a moment, she charged me only $.15 for that much disputed banana.

Why do I bring this up?
Sometimes, when we have a child with food allergies, it’s up to us to make sure their needs are met. While it’s in a restaurant’s best overall interests to make things as allergy-friendly as possible upon request, they certainly don’t have to. A server is (almost always) completely unaware of what food contains what allergens. As parents, we must be the person not only checking to make sure the food is safe for their consumption but sometimes we must be the ones to demand it.

By nature I’m not a confrontational person. I hate fighting and I am uncomfortable with arguing. However, when it comes to my children, I’m much more assertive. I like the idea of giving your server allergy information cards to show the chef, but they apply to more severe allergies than Abigail has (fortunately!). I wonder what happens when you hand your server a stack of these cards and say “avoid these?” 

One of your best defenses is a good offense. Go here or here to learn as much as you can about your child’s allergy. The more knowledgeable about those sneaky ingredients you need to avoid, the better you can explain your situation at the restaurant.

Massachusetts has made a great first step by requiring managers of food establishments to go through a food allergy course. Of course people who suffer from allergies are accountable for watching what they eat, but it’s nice going out knowing you’ll come home without a visit to the hospital first. :)

While national restaurant chains are becoming more and more accommodating to the situation, I wish labeling was required at restaurants the way it is when I buy a loaf of bread. At a glance, I can usually see whether or not the loaf contains milk or egg. It saves a lot of time from having to scan the list of ingredients for words like “casein” or “whey.” Why not a little symbol on the McDonald’s menu board for each of the most common trigger foods? At a glance, one could easily tell what foods to avoid.

I got these nifty little graphics from the Special Gourmet site. What’s neat about this site is on the home page you can enter your city and your allergies, and it comes up with a list of restaurants and more that are listed as “allergy friendly.” This list claims to be the largest global guide for special dietary concerns, which is probably true; however, it only came up with one restaurant in the Salt Lake City area. 

Okay. I’m officially done. I started this post hours ago, meaning to mention a quick little story about the bananas and look at the rant it’s turned it to! Forgive me. :)

Update: Nutrition Facts for Banana Bread Recipe!

Out of curiousity, I decided to figure out how much healthier my “egg/dairy/nut” free version of banana bread might be over the original version. I ran the numbers and came up with the following statistics, courtesy of The recipe was calculated with a 1/12 serving size and all were calculated without streusel.

If you make my recipe as written, it’s 142 calories and 7 grams of fat. (That’s with Nucoa margarine.) 
If you use butter and eggs, it’s 157 calories and 9 grams of fat. 
If you are really watching things , you can use 1/4 c. Nucoa margarineand 1/4 c. applesauce. That’s only 115 calories and 3.6 grams of fat, which is 3 of the new Weight Watchers points

Oh, and you know how I ask you not to ruin perfectly good desserts by adding nuts? If you go all crazy and add the full 1 cup of walnuts with the eggs and butter, your little slice of banana bread will be a whopping 223 calories and 5.8 grams of fat! That’s 6 points on the new Weight Watchers plan, should you be curious.

So now you know: even though I’m posting “allergy friendly” recipes, take another look. Allergy friendly can also mean diet friendly!

Dairy, Egg, and Nut Free Banana Streusel Bread

I really hate letting food go bad. I have a hard time eating leftovers, or even remembering I have leftovers to eat, but when I have to toss food it makes me feel so guilty. I’m not so much worried about the starving-children-in-Africa as much as my bank account. I spent money on that food! According to Discovery News, Americans toss 14% of their food in the trash.

Yikes! If your grocery budget is $100 a week, that means $14 each week is literally thrown away. That equals (thanks to my trusty calculator) $728 in wasted food each year!

Now we should worry about those starving Africans. This site asks you to donate $48 to feed a family of five for 3 months–which is a mere $192 a year! For the amount of food American’s waste, every family could be helping almost four families for a year! I highly recommend examining your grocery budget to see what you can do you reduce your waste, and if you can afford to pay more money towards your fast offerings each month. That way you can be sure your money is going to where it is needed most, both around the world and in your community.

Wow, that was a lot of math and a total tangent. All I wanted to say was that when I have overripe bananas, I like to make banana bread. :) I told you I was ADD!

Onto the banana bread! Is dairy free, egg free, and nut free banana bread any good?
Oh yeah. 
It’s good.
(Like I would waste precious kids-are-at-the-park time posting a bad recipe!)

My goal in life (well, one of them), is not just to find recipes that my entire family can eat, but also recipes that are no additional work for me. If it’s more work, it’s not happening. The allergy friendly version is completely optional and adaptable to your unique situation. If you have no allergies in your family (luck you!), then use butter. Use eggs. Don’t ruin it with walnuts unless you really think that will improve things though. 

I’m not a nut person. It would have been nut free regardless of allergies.

Here’s the recipe. The ingredients in italics are the standard recipe.

Dairy Free, Egg Free, and Nut Free Banana Streusel Bread
(or just plain ol’ Banana Streusel Bread)
adapted from Land O’ Lakes Recipe Collection: Recipes and More

3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. Nucoa margarine or butter
Egg Replacer, made as directed for 2 eggs
or 2 eggs
2 medium overripe bananas, mashed
1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. walnuts 
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon

For the streusel:
2/3 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. cold Nucoa margarine or butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Greased bottom of loaf pan, set aside.
Combine sugar and margarine in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add prepared Egg Replacer or eggs; continue beating until well mixed. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Spoon batter into prepared pan. 

In food processor, pulse together flour, brown sugar, and margarine until crumbly. Sprinkle liberally on top of batter.

Bake for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely.

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