Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why is there sugar in my table salt?

Seriously, is the thought of having sugar in your table salt not just a little weird? I mean, have you even thought there was anything in your salt, other then, oh, salt? I know I didn't! But seriously, take your granulated table salt out of the cupboard and take a look at the ingredients list.

So why is all that stuff in there? What the heck does it do? I still can't over the fact that there is an ingredients list on my salt at all...I always thought it was just salt(well, with some iodine, yum). According to Simon Quellen Field, who wrote "Ingredients";

"Glucose is a sugar (the main sugar in corn syrup), and is added in small amounts (0.04%) to salt to prevent the potassium iodide from breaking down into iodine, which evaporates away (sublimes). Other potassium iodide stabilizers include sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), sodium carbonate, and sodium thiosulfate. "

Check out the rest of that article.

I won't give any advice on whether people allergic/intolerant/sensitive to sugar cane (plant) should avoid salt containing sugar or not, I mean, the glucose could be from a corn source, or it may not be, I am sure further research or contacting manufacturers could get you some answers. If you are still worried, I would say try sea salt or kosher salt.

Don't fear your food, become informed! Food is pretty fascinating stuff :D

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Baking Disaster of the Week - Oatmeal Raisin Squares

Welcome to our weekly disaster. True, I don't have a disaster every week, but when I do I want to make sure I share it so I can learn from it, and maybe help you not make the same mistake! Remember kids, DON'T DO THIS AT HOME! But please, DO make improvements and tell me about them, and feel free to offer some constructive critisism!

So I decided to be adventurous and convert a non allergy friendly recipe into something more friendly. So I went to my old Betty Crocker's New Cookbook and found a recipe for Oatmeal-Raisin cookies. I changed this recipe to substitute: gluten free flour, gluten free oats, egg replacer, honey for both sugars and 1 whole cup of butter (for the butter and shortening because I don't yet know much about shortening substitutes). I also decided to make squares instead of drop cookies because my other drop cookie recipe (see Sara Safe Cookies) melts together into a sheet as it cooks anyway, so I thought this one might too. See below for the altered recipe!

How did it turn out? Well, it's in my disaster of the week post, so no surprise there :) Too much butter makes it feel very greasy, however, the taste is great! The texture is pleasant, except for the fact that it is a crumbly mess. You have to put these squares into a bowl and eat them with a spoon! I am thinking I will take this recipe and turn it into an apple crisp/apple crumble instead, because it is very tasty.

Obvious screw ups:
1. I think you are supposed to press dough tightly into the pan, which I did not do, I just poured it in.
2. I think that was a ridiculous amount of butter, I definitely need to find out if there exists any shortening I can actually use, or if I will have to somehow create my own.
3. The recipe says you can substitute unsweetened apple sauce for shortening, which means I could likely in the future use banana, or maybe even pumpkin or squash and maybe they would help the ingredients stick together better.
4. Perhaps I need a different egg replacer too, like flax seed?
5. Maybe this recipe could have been helped with more moisture added.

Oatmeal-Raisin Square Disaster!
Wet ingredients

2/3 cups honey
1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
Egg replacer for 2 large eggs
Dry ingredients
3 cups quick cook oats
1 cup all purpose gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour
1 cup raisins (or you can use chocolate chips or nuts if you can use either of those)
1. Heated oven to 375
2. Mixed all wet ingredients
3. Mixed all dry ingredients together, and then mixed them into wet ingredients.
4. Poured into 9x9 silicon bake pan
5. Baked for 20 minutes

That concludes this weeks tale of disaster!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ice Cream I Can Eat? Hurrah!

I thought I was done with the lovely yummy cold sweet creamy heavenly treat called icecream... But then My mother in law, Nancy, found me this little piece of nivana;

I would eat this stuff even if I didn't have all the food allergies, It's yummy! Obviously a no go for those allergic too coconut, but if you aren't then give it a shot. It tastes like "normal" chocolate dairy icecream, with the same sort of texture, but it has a coconut flavour to it too.
Ingredients: organic coconut milk, organic agave syrup, chicory root extract, cocoa processed with alkali), carob bean gum, guar gum, NATURAL FLAVOR - course I always get slightly worried when encountering "natural flavour" on a label, it's really not at all reasuring to those of us with food sensitivities and allergies, but I had no adverse reations. I want to check into that out of curiousity though.

Yes, perhaps I am getting a little overly excited, but I am a little sick of pretending that dried fruit, as yummy as it is, tastes like candy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sara-safe Chocolate Chunk Cookies

This is still in development, but it is the second edible prototype. It has been adapted from a recipe in the Readers Digest Food Allergy Cookbook by Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne. However, I still could not eat their allergy friendly recipe and had to make multiple adaptations, lol. Still not completely happy with this one, but at least it finally tastes like yummy cookie!!! Comments to help make it better are always appreciated!

½ cup softened butter
1/4 cup and 4 tbsp honey (the original recipe is 1/2 cup and 8tbp of cane sugars, use whatever sweetener you want and sweeten to your taste! Every sweetener makes this taste a little different though…)
Egg replacer for 1 egg
1 tbsp rice milk or goats milk

1 cup all purpose gluten free flour mix
½ cup almond flour (I added this because it drastically improves the taste of this recipe, sometimes I put more in, sometimes less)
1 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
1 tsp salt

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped up – make sure no soy (Lecithin – can be from soy or egg, I can’t have either!) or cane sugars

Cream sweetener and butter together, add egg replacer and milk to that.
Mix together dry ingredients, and then whisk into wet ingredients.

Place blobs on small cookie pan (does not matter where, they will all melt together anyway into one big giant sheet of cookie, I am tempted to put this into a cake pan and see if they make better cookie squares instead)

Bake for 13- 15 minutes at 350, bottoms are very prone to burning so watch! I recommend using a silicon baking sheet to help prevent scorching on the underside, trust me, it's worth it, these guys love to burn!