Part of our travel planning is making allergy free food with long shelf life for Z. This is the challenge I face everytime we are about to travel. We are about to embark on a long road trip, crossing four Southwestern and Western states and possibly 3 more on the way back, and I figured that the easiest and least bulky allergy free food I can make are cookies. Of course he’ll get fruits, and dates, and chips, and lunch and dinners, but I need some finger food that will also give him some kind of protein and ‘I’m eating snack like other people’ feeling, especially when he sees us eating food he can’t eat.
So, I checked out a whole bunch of allergy free cookbooks from the library a few weeks ago, and have been poring over them and scrutinizing the recipes in them. I decided to try one yesterday. Well, I tried one the week before but he had a serious attack of hives. We can’t really pinpoint what caused it, if it was the marble pound cake I made that triggered it, but I gave it to him again yesterday and am waiting 24 hours to see if he has any kind of reaction. So far, no reactions. The hives may have been triggered by the bread crumbs hubs had left in the living room where Z was sitting with him but we can’t know for sure.
Anyway, I made snickerdoodles yesterday, using Tammy Credicott’s recipe from her book The Healthy Gluten Free Life. I had used Cybele Pascal’s recipes before, and to this day I still make her Banana Flax Muffins, which Z loves, but I find that Tammy’s approach in avoiding even egg replacer feels a lot more ‘natural’. She uses a variety of gluten free flours too rather than just a standard Gluten Free Flour combo mix for everything. Since this post, Tammy has updated her Snickerdoodles recipe to what I found in the book.
I am still waiting to give Z the snickerdoodles, because I want to make sure there are no reactions to the marble pound cake (recipe of Elizabeth Gordon from her Allergy Free Desserts) I gave him yesterday. I had made it the week before, and given it to him and froze the rest. I tasted the snickerdoodles yesterday and they are indeed yummy!!
For trips, usually, I pack his allergy free home made cookies in small ziplocs nestled in 16 oz. plastic yogurt containers. I keep these refrigerated in the cooler, and having them packed like that makes it easier to ‘save’ them throughout the traveling period so he won’t over-indulge in them as he can only get one container at a time. I’m trying Tammy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies today inshaaAllah. The dough has been sitting in the fridge overnight. Once I have that, and I ascertain that Z doesn’t react to them, I should be done with the snack portion of Z’s travel food inshaaAllah. Then it will move on to the protein meal part of the travel food planning.
Some may think I’m going over the top especially when they find out that I actually have to sit down and list what food I can make that will last a long time unrefrigerated. I do this when we are about to have guests too actually. I actually write my menu and plan down on a piece of paper and even time them as such:
- 2 days before :- make such and such
- 1 day before – make such and such
- D day – make such and such
This is the only way I can plan to cook for a large number of people all by myself. I have been doing this since I got married and so far for me, this method works alhamdulillah. The downside of it is that I need to prepare way ahead of time, unlike some amazing sisters who can whip a table of wonderful food last minute. I’ve seen this happen a lot of times, and hubby also remarks on my inability to do this. What can I do? My strength lies in planning ahead, not in last minute ‘whip ups’. Take it or leave it, right? The way I figure it, people do things in different ways, but in all of those ways, there are shortcomings or deficiencies. You basically just kind of choose what deficiencies or shortcomings you are willing to deal with, as no one is perfect. To be fair to hubs, he also mentions my strengths, and so I am aware that he’s not just bashing me, but just being male-ly honest.
To be perfectly honest, I guess the love of baking is so deeply rooted in me that even through Z’s allergies, I’m willing to go through all the cross-contamination ‘watch’ while baking (I don’t know about other people, but for me, this can be stressful) just to get that homemade baked good. My baking activity has significantly decreased, at the expense of my older kids sweet indulgences. They have even complained that I don’t bake much anymore.
In a way, I also feel that when Allah tests you, He wants to strengthen you through your weaknesses, and through that, He is extracting strength you didn’t know you have. Maybe I was doing TOO much baking. With Z’s allergies, my baking activity is significantly reduced and my focus has been channeled elsewhere. I could have gone into the whole allergy-free baking craze and obsession, but I didn’t. Alhamdulillah I didn’t. Maybe that task is for someone else to explore and benefit others with. Maybe my role is to do something else. Something else beneficial I hope. Same thing with sewing and home decorating. I was so into it before. I am no longer that much into it. I still love baking, sewing, home decorating, and other lovely homely stuff, but my passion for it hasn’t been sustained. For me, I feel like Allah put a loose cork in my indulgence in these halal hobbies. Now, because I don’t do them as much, I like to think they have become more of a treat when I do bake.
Oh, and my love for food photography has given way to exhaustion and laziness and just lack of time.
The recipe, because even though I copy them onto my recipe cards, I think having a soft copy as a back up makes it that much safer 🙂
1 C brown rice flour
1/2 C sorghum flour
1/2 C potato starch
3/4 C tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 C nondairy butter
1 C organic evaporated cane juice
1 Tbs flax meal mixed with 2 Tbs hot water
3 Tbs unsweetened organic applesauce
Mix together 2 Tbs organic evaporated cane juice and 1 Tbs cinnamon. Set aside.
Whisk together dry ingredients.
Cream butter and sugar. Add flax meal mixture and applesauce. Mix till combined.
Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients till full combined.
Chill dough for an hour.
Take small portions of the dough and roll into balls. Roll the tops in the topping mixture, slightly pressing down to flatten it. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350F for 11-12 minutes or till edges are slightly browned. Don’t overbake.
You can also make the cookie dough and freeze it. When feeling like having fresh oven baked snickerdoodles minus the mess, thaw the dough, and form and bake. I love this aspect of the Tammy’s recipes! Thanks Tammy!