I met Kim & Megan at The Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in May 2011. We immediately hit it off. (They even helped me prep food for my cooking class!) They are fabulous women dedicated to making allergy friendly food that everyone can enjoy.
I just got my copy of their new book, Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes. I couldn’t put it down!
When Amy asked me to write a guest post, I thought a lot about what I wanted to say. There were plenty of possible topics to write about. As a mom with a food-allergic son (dairy, eggs and nuts), a food blogger and cookbook writer, I think about food and food-related issues all the time. The idea that came to me most often, though, was … Unintended Consequences.
When you are dealing with medical issues, this phrase “unintended consequences” can be a scary one. I am thinking about it in a kinder light.
My son showed signs of allergy right away. He had severe, bloody eczema and breathing problems from when he was a baby. We dealt with doctors and researched and experimented and found solutions to keeping him as safe and healthy as possible. Along the way, though, we have encountered a bucket-full of unintended consequences.
First … the food. Once you start looking at labels, it’s almost impossible not to change the way you eat. I cook and eat more whole foods, much less processed food (though, I confess to using jarred pasta sauce more than I should!), and healthier ingredients than before I really had to think about food. Artificial colors, flavors and preservatives are out. Organics and in-season produce is in. I also give a lot more thought to the environmental impact of my food choices.
Second … the people. People who were in our lives showed themselves to be incredibly compassionate. Moms made birthday cakes that were safe. Our extended family went out of their way to learn how to cook safely for our family. New friends asked what they could do to make our son feel included. I also have become part of a community that is positive and focused on making life vibrant for folks facing all sorts of challenges. The friends that I have made, both in person and through electronic communication, have truly been the best of the unintended consequences. Who knew that a challenge could make life so rich?!
I, and the dietitian I work with, Megan Hart, strive to create tools to make every kitchen a welcoming kitchen—a place where friends and family can gather and share a meal that is delicious and safe for everyone.
We are sharing a recipe from our book, Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes. To reduce the refined sugar in this recipe, substitute coconut palm sugar for equally delicious results!
Serves: 12 muffins
- 2½ cups oat flour
- 2¼ teaspoons baking powder, divided
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¾ cup applesauce
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar (or coconut palm sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 (15-ounce) can solid-packed pumpkin
- ½ cup dried sweetened cranberries (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a standard muffin pan.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, 1½ teaspoons baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine applesauce and ¾ teaspoon baking powder. Add oil, brown sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, one half at a time. Stir to combine. Stir in cranberries, if using. Spoon into muffin pan.
- Bake 18–23 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool on rack.