Saturday, September 30, 2006

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

I am a busy gal. I've got two kids, a husband with a demanding career, and my own projects that I try to juggle. Suffice it to say that I don't have time to make absolutely everything that goes into my kids' mouths from scratch. When I talk to other moms whose kids have special dietary needs, they always want to know what convenience-type foods I feed my kids. So I thought it would be helpful to share some of the goodies I give to my kids.

1. Envirokidz Cereals by Nature's Path. My kids favorites are the Koala Crisps, Amazon Flakes, and Gorilla Munch. These most closely resemble Cocoa Krispies, Corn Flakes, and Kix Cereal, but they're all gluten/casein-free, unlike their more popular commercial counterparts. P.S., my husband and I sometimes like to eat them too!

2. Nature's Path Crispy Rice Bars in Berry. My kids eat this constantly. What stinks is that only 6 come in the box, which means we go through a box in a few days.

3. Larabars in Ginger Snap, Chocolate Coconut, Cherry Pie, Cocoa Mole--oh, forget this--they're all good! My kids have their preferences, of course. My daughter doesn't like the Cocoa Mole or the Ginger Snap, but she LOVES the Lemon Bar; my son digs the Cocoa Mole and the Chocolate Coconut. But these are excellent and so good for you. The are a great raw food bar. And each one only has like 3 or 4 ingredients--nothing artificial!

4. En-Er-G Breads: Brown Rice Loaf or Tapioca Loaf. I don't always have time to bake GFCF bread for my daughter, so this is a good go-to bread for quick sandwiches or toast.

5. Pamela's Kitchen Cookies. Their cookies, especially the chocolate chunk, are a big favorite here. And what's cool is that I can find them in my supermarket, not just in my health food store--so if I don't have the time to go to both stores I know I can find the cookies at Publix.

6. Mrs. Leeper's Pasta. There are both rice and corn varieties, which means spaghetti and meat sauce is not out of the question for my kids.

7. Zen Soy Pudding. These taste sooo good, that I sometimes eat these too. The chocolate one is very good.

8. En-Er-G Crackers. These have no yeast, no gluten, no dairy, no egg, no nothin! They are thin and crispy, and taste like the real thing.

9. Rice and Shine Brown Rice Cereal by Arrowhead Mills. This makes a tasty and healthy hot brown rice cereal. It's a great gluten free alternative to oatmeal or cream of wheat; it also is nice when you're tired of eating grits (which, where I live, we eat alot of).

10. Taste of Thai Noodle Soups. These all taste fantastic, and they are super easy to prepare, just like ramen noodles. My daughter loves the spring onion and the roasted garlic flavor. They are ready to eat in about 3 minutes. How easy is that?

*I should note that the makers of the products I mentioned have not paid me to endorse these products. These really are things we like to eat in my house. But, hey, if you want to send me some freebies to try out and rate on this blog, I'm so there. I'll be happy to give my honest opinion to my readers.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Call for Recipes/Banana Pancakes

I'm putting together recipes for the upcoming holidays; you know, stuff like pumpkin pie, Christmas cookies, etc. and am looking for requests. If there's a recipe that you're looking for which has been modified for a gluten-free/casein-free diet, let me know. I may be able to find or modify one for you.

Today, I'm going to share my kids' absolute favorite pancake recipe (Man, I'm starting to detect a trend here--think I like bananas much?). Now, I adore pancakes--specifically, banana pancakes. So when I found this recipe in "Special Diets for Special Kids" by Lisa Lewis, I had to try it. The recipe actually comes from the U.S. Rice Council (I know, I had no idea they existed either). It is outstanding.

1 1/2 cups rice flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. xantham gum
1 1/4 cups water
3 Tbs. Vegetable Oil
2 Tbs. Honey
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 large bananas, mashed (or one 6 oz. jar baby bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 egg whites

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in water, oil, honey, egg yolks, bananas and nuts.

Beat egg whites in another bowl, until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter. Cook pancakes in a hot, oiled griddle or frying pan. Serve with real maple syrup. Yum!

Hint: Beating the egg whites separately isn't required. You can just put the eggs into the batter without separating them. However, beating the egg whites separately and them folding them in produces a lighter, fluffier pancake.