Sunday, May 24, 2015

Coconut Yogurt Drink

These days, my Inbox is filled with emails from sites about super foods. I even made a checklist of what foods my kids and I should be eating. Doesn't matter what super foods are out there. I just don't like to eat breakfast. My kids aren't into breakfast either.

I came up with a solution. Even though I don't have an appetite for eggs or pancakes, I have to drink something. I read that coconut water keeps you hydrate. Natural electrolytes. And I know many years ago that probiotics is good for the digestive system, restoring good germs in the guts.

By mixing yogurt and coconut water together, I've been having this breakfast drink nearly every morning. Because of the yogurt, this drink can be really sour. Adding sweetener like agave is optional. I don't add anything to my coconut yogurt drink. One time I blended leftover strawberries and kale. Very good. If you prefer something quick and good for your body morning drink, try coconut yogurt drink.

Not all coconut water are created equal. When buying coconut water, look for "coconut water" as the only ingredient listed. Nothing should be added. No flavorings or vitamins added. For yogurt, use whatever you can tolerant. My kids and I prefer sheep's milk yogurt. Again, be sure the yogurt is plain, no flavorings or preservatives added.

Coconut Yogurt Drink
serving 1

yogurt of choice
coconut water
sweetener: agave or honey (optional)
  1. In a tall glass, add one part of yogurt to one part of coconut water. For example, 1/2 cup of yogurt to 1/2 cup of coconut water. TIP: Add more yogurt than coconut water for thicker consistency or vice versa.
  2. Add a sweetener to taste.
  3. Mix with spoon. Enjoy!!!
Allergy Info: This coconut yogurt drink is free from or can be made without dairy, eggs, corn, legumes (soy), wheat, nuts (not coconut), and fish.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Strawberry Cookies (dairy and egg free)

The challenge with having food intolerance or allergy came when I had to bake cookies from scratch. Since I came to a conclusion that Camden has chicken eggs intolerance, I've tested and made all sweets without them.

All of my cookie recipes have at least one large chicken egg in them. Bummer!!! What to do?!?! I tested my pecan chocolate chip cookies without eggs, but they came out like a short bread. I didn't like them too much because they were messy to eat. So I checked out a lot of egg free baking cookbooks and researching them online. I came to a conclusion that the secret ingredient to baking cookies is... are you ready... liquid. It can be applesauce or coconut cream or even just plain cold water. Replace two tablespoons for every large chicken egg.

I modified Allergy's Mama's chocolate chip recipe to achieve the right consistency of vanilla cookie dough. Then I added other ingredients like chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruits. I came up with the strawberry cookies because I had extra freeze dried strawberries that I meant to use up. So there you go. Strawberry cookies with no dairy and no eggs. So very strawberry aromatic that vanilla extract is no needed. My kids luv them. Great for their breakfast or afternoon snack.

Strawberry Cookies
adapted from Allergy Mama's chocolate chip cookies
makes 16

1/4 cup (2 oz.) shortening
1/4 cup (1.8 oz.) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1.8 oz.) sugar
2 Tablespoons (1.4 oz.) unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup (3.7 oz.) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 Tablespoons freeze dried strawberries, roughly crushed
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F degree. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or nonstick matt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the shortening, sugars, and apple sauce with a hand mixer until creaming.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and freeze dried strawberries.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the shortening cream.
  5. Mix it with the hand mixer until just combine.
  6. Using a small scoop, scoop the cookie dough on to the prepare pan, making sure they are about an inch apart.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven for exactly 12 minutes.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool on a pan for 5 minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!!!
STORING: These strawberries cookies can be kept in an air tight container at a room temperature for up to 3 days. Place the cookie dough in a freezable container for up to 3 months.

Allergy Info: These strawberry cookies are free from or can be made without dairy, egg, corn, legumes (soy), nuts, and fish.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My Kids' Emilination Diet

Just because I took my kids to the doctors, I didn't expect them to have all the answers. The mother's intuition has worked for me more than any doctor's visit.

Case in point. Five years ago, Brek always woke up with stuffy nose. For his yearly checkup, his pediatrician suggested that he visited a board certified allergist. At that time, Camden also was having food intolerance to dairy, corn, and chicken eggs. I took them in and asked if they could be tested for food allergy. At first, this doctor totally ignored Camden's issue, saying that he was too young for food allergy tests. He gave so much attention to Brek, saying that his stuffy nose was most likely triggered by environment. So Brek had a skin test instead... for environment. Came up positive for many things, including oak, grasses, cats and dogs. We left the office with three prescriptions and with a doctor's final says (not exact words), "Tried these medications. Come back in a month and we'll evaluate how the medicines work out for him." Really??? Three prescribed medications. What a waste of time.

I never filled the prescriptions. My intuition told me that it had to be something Brek ate. When he was a baby, Brek was sensitive to dairy. I thought he was already outgrew it, but I went ahead and took him off of cow's milk products. Within twenty-four hours, his nose cleared up and was no longer stuffy. Come to think of it, I should just eliminate dairy from his diet instead of going to see the allergist.

Fast forward to this year. The same situation happened to Camden. His nose was super stuffy that he couldn't breath at all. His turbinates were swollen. It was over a year of not knowing what was the culprit that caused his stuffy nose. During his yearly checkup, his doctor prescribed him a steroid nasal spray. It was all good until it no longer worked. Plus, if he didn't get the nose spray, his nose would become stuffy again. Temporary relief but I wanted a permanent solution.

Since we weren't having dairy (cow's products) in the house, I took corn out of his diet. I cooked and baked everything from scratch with clean and corn free products. For over six weeks of corn free diet, there was no change in his health. His nose was still stuffy, so much so that I decided to take him in to see ETN, fearing that he might have sinus related issue. His doctor seemed to be angry with me for not getting him tested for environmental allergy. But at the same time, she told me that there was no solution for environmental allergy. Just allergy shots and steroid nose spray. Even after I told her that Camden's nose bled twice, she told me to stop using it for a few days then start up again. Seriously, that was the doctor's advice.

I cleaned Camden's bedroom from top to bottom, washing the walls and floor. Took out everything from his bedroom but a bed, dresser, and a bedside table. No books or toys. I bought an air purifier and ran it on "Tubor" before he went to bed. His nose was flushed out with natural saline spray and treated with organic coconut oil. No steroid nose spray. No medications. Yet, there was no change. His nose was still stuffy. Some days were worst than the others. I was really stumped.

Then both Brek and Camden caught a stomach virus. They couldn't keep anything down. Their diet was banana, rice, my homemade tortilla and bread, Late July crackers, and water. By the third day of being sick, Camden's nose was clearing up. For the first time, he was able to breath normally. It was a light bulb moment. I was pretty sure the crackers he was eating wasn't corn free because there was yeast in them. While they both were sick, we weren't haven't anything with eggs.

I took chicken eggs out of his diet completely. Then I did a little research. Turned out the chickens that produced the eggs that we were consuming were fed with soy beans and alfalfa. Legumes!!! Another light bulb moment.

Since Camden has G6PD, his diet must be without legumes. I came to a conclusion that maybe it wasn't the chicken eggs he was having a reaction to. Maybe it was the legumes that pass on to the eggs. Well, as of this writing, I'm still cooking without cow's products, all types of eggs, and all legumes, including soy products. We're now in a fourth week of food elimination diet.

My method of elimination diet is very simple. I take away the questionable food for at least six weeks. Then I add it back and wait for the food sensitive reactions such as stuffy nose, vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn-like symptom (especially burping), and night waking. Keep in mind that if your child is super sensitive to certain foods, contamination may occur through utensils and cookware. I had to buy new cookware when Camden was sensitive to corn.

If I find a culprit to my kids' food intolerance and share this finding with their doctors, they would incline to agree with me. If the findings are not scientific or from another doctors, it isn't reliable to them. But think of it this way, who knows more about my kids more than me? I'm their mother. I take care of them 24/7. It doesn't matter what anybody thinks about my findings. All I know is that my kids are in good health and that is all that matter.

Just because my kids have a strict diet, doesn't mean they can't eat good food, especially sweets. Here are some of my favorite egg free recipes that I posted:

Autumn Puff Rice Crispy
Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Frosting
Chicken Noodle Soup (see Allergy Info)
Chicken Nuggets (see Allergy Info)
Chocolate Pudding
Gummy Snacks
Hash Browns
Palmiers (also puff pastry)
Pizza Dough (that can be made into so many sweets and savories)
Salted Caramel Sticky Buns
Salted Caramel and Lollipops
Slow-Cook Pulled Pork (with dry spice rub)
Steamed Bao
Steamed Rice Hearts
Sweet Pecans Delight

Be sure to check back as I've been testing some recipes with no dairy, no eggs, and no legumes. So far, it's been a challenge but fun.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


What is not to like about deep-fried food. And deep-fried dough is even better.

Back when I was on Camden's strict allergy free diet, I saw a cooking show, featuring Daddy's Fried Dough. He deep-fried a pizza dough and drizzled it with a chocolate sauce. I luv the idea and tested it out using my own pizza dough. Very addicting.

The thing about this deep-fried dough dessert is that I have to have a yeast dough in order for it to work. I even learned how to make Beignets. Another winner for deep-fried dough. Again, waiting for the dough to rise is always very time consuming. When I plan my kids' afternoon snack, I usually don't plan ahead. I make them something sweeter that morning, usually after we eat our brunch. When they ask for deep-fried dough for their afternoon snack, I just cannot have yeast dough ready to deep fried that quickly.

I came across several sopapilla recipes and realized that I could have deep-fried dough in no time. I tested out several recipes and came up with my own. But seriously though. The dough is like flour tortilla dough with baking powder which is a must have ingredients. Without it, the dough won't puff up when deep-fried.

Three things I usually add to my sopapilla: powdered sugar, cinnamon-sugar, or melted chocolate. If I have time, pastry cream is a sweet creamy compliment to these sopapillas.

serve 2-3

1 1/4 (5 oz.) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons sunflower oil, more for cooking
1/3 cup (3 oz.) hot water
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Mix in the oil.
  3. Add the hot water and mix well until a dough is formed.
  4. Roll the dough out into 1/2 inch thick. NOTE: If the dough is too thin, the dough won't puff up when it hits the hot oil. Keep them on the thick side.
  5. Cut the dough into desired shapes, such as square, rectangle, or circle.
  6. Place about 2 inch oil in a heavy bottom pot.
  7. While the oil is heating up, place a wiring rack on top of a baking pan. Set aside.
  8. Once the oil reaches 350F degree, drop the dough, about 5 at the time.
  9. Deep-fried the dough until golden brown, about 1 minute per side.
  10. Transfer the sopapilla to a prepared pan to drain the oil.
  11. Choose your flavorings. TIPS: Coat the sopapilla with cinnamon-sugar. Leave them plain for powdered sugar, melted chocolate, or pastry cream. Enjoy!!!
Cinnamon-sugar: mix together 3 tablespoons granulated sugar with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Powered sugar: place a lot of powder sugar in a sugar shaker
Melted chocolate: microwave 1/2 cup of chocolate chip until melted
Pastry cream: click for recipe

STORING: Since the sopapillas are deep-fried dessert, they taste best as soon as they are cool enough to devour.

Allergy Info: These sopapillas are free from dairy, egg, corn, legumes (soy), nuts, and fish.