How to make a vegan chocolate spread that is allergy free and tastes amazing!

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. I use Nuttelex + coconut milk to make a vegan, allergy free frosting that tastes amazing!

If you have a child with food allergies then you may find it difficult to source safe versions of products like Nutella. Alternatively, you may have a child attending a nut free kindergarten or school in which case Nutella isn’t permitted (as it contains hazelnuts). If you want to use a treat spread, for school lunches or parties, then this recipe will help you make your own!

Ingredients

  • 115g allergy friendly spread like Nuttelex (buttery taste)
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dutch Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 – 5 Tbsp  coconut milk

Allergies: gluten free, dairy free*, soy free, egg free, nut free. Vegan*.

Directions

  1. Whip the Nuttelex.
    • I like to use the food processsor (with a plastic beating tool rather than the metal cutting one).
  2. Sift in the cup icing sugar, and cocoa powder. Add the vanilla and 2 Tbsp milk.
  3. Beat until smooth.
    • I like to pulse it slowly in the food processor.
  4. Mix in more coconut milk, 1 Tbsp at a time, until you have a good thick smooth consistency.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

How to save money and freshen clothes naturally! Pre-soaking laundry using baking soda.

Replace chemical cleaners with a natural and cheap laundry soaking solution!

Replace chemical cleaners with a natural and cheap laundry soaking solution!

Miss 2 has really sensitive skin (and eczema) which means that I’ve needed to look around for non-chemical options for the laundry pre-soak bucket. Funnily enough, sometimes it’s the mid-range brands of ‘Oxygenated Whiteners’ or ‘Nappy Soakers’, which claim to be environmentally friendly and ‘natural’, which cause her to react more. Of course they’re still packed with chemicals and I know it’s just a marketing ploy but it’s easy to want to believe them!

Turns out all I needed was a 1/2 cup baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) dissolved in warm water (a couple of litres half fills my soak bucket). It helps to freshen and soak laundry (and keep it smell free) before it goes in the washing machine.

Tip: Rinse laundry first and handscrub any stubborn stains. Create a paste using four tablespoons of baking soda and ¼ cup of water. After working the paste thoroughly into the stains, apply a little undiluted vinegar.

Tip: Don’t add white vinegar to the soak bucket. Baking soda (base) + white vinegar (acid) will largely cancel each other out and reduce effectiveness. Instead, add white vinegar during the rinse cycle (instead of fabric softener or an anti-bacterial agent) and line dry in the sun if you can.  Vinegar will help to soften hard water, reduce odours, and reduce bugs. Sunlight will also help (especially if you’re washing cloth nappies!)

How to make allergy free Peppermint icing

After Dinner Mint Chocolate Cupcakes (Gluten Free!)

After Dinner Mint Chocolate Cupcakes (Gluten Free!)

It continually amazes me how many products contain hidden sources of soy. I wanted to make a peppermint icing but Natural Peppermint Essence at the supermarket contains: Glycerine, Alcohol, Water, Peppermint Oil. That might not sound so bad but our lengthy food allergy journey had me wondering what Glycerine actually is.  Research shows it’s sometimes made from animal fat but mostly it’s made from vegetable oil..with soybean oil being extremely likely.

I liked this on the Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes 🙂

Ingredients

  • 100% Peppermint herbal tea bag
  • Boiling water
  • Icing sugar

Directions

  1. Steep the tea bag in 1/4 cup boiling water.
  2. Make your cupcakes. (This gives the peppermint time to steep and the water time to cool.)
  3. Slowly mix the peppermint water into icing sugar.
  4. Ice your cooled cupcakes. We like them on gluten free Chocolate Cupcakes.

Note: Herbal / fruit teas work to create other flavour icings as well. Check out this naturally pink icing on vanilla Gluten Free cupcakes.

Gluten Free Pina Colada Cookies

Gluten Free Pina Colada Cookies

Gluten Free Pina Colada Cookies!

These Gluten Free Pina Colada cookies (UK/USA)  are a light fluffy cookie that I don’t think most people realize are gluten free when eating them! They use the Gluten Free Vanilla Cookie recipe as a base but the variations make this a moister cookie (as well as tasting of the sunny tropics). These are very welcome to add a bit of sunshine to a cold winter day and also make a great tropical treat for birthday parties!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup superfine white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup Healtheries Gluten Free Bread Mix
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp butter or allergy-free spread (i.e. Nuttelex)
  • 1 egg (whisked) or egg replacement.
  • 2 Tbsp greek yoghurt / coconut yoghurt / coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1/4 cup pineapple (crushed and drained)

Allergies: gluten free, dairy free*, egg free*, soy free, nut free.

Directions

  1. Cream the ‘butter’ and sugar. Mix in the egg.
  2. Mix in the rice flour, GF bread mix, baking powder. baking soda, yoghurt, coconut, and pineapple.
  3. Spoon out onto lightly oiled baking tray and flatten slightly.
  4. Bake at 180’C for approx. 15-20 mins (or until golden brown).

Makes approximately 12 cookies.

Note: There are several reasons that I choose to use the Healtheries Gluten Free Bread Mix instead of the Healtheries Gluten Free Baking Mix.

I prefer to use guar gum in my recipes and avoid xanthan gum; the latter is artificially derived and is often grown on an allergenic base (such as corn, soy, or wheat).

I like to control the rising agents in my baking so that I can tailor them to each recipe.

Frugality! The Bread Mix can be used to make both Gluten Free Bread and Gluten Free Baking whereas their Baking Mix can only be used for baking.

Highlights for May (collected recipes & posts)

ALLERGY FRIENDLY COOKING

BAKING & DESSERTS

MEALS

PARENTING

PLAY

HEALTH

Gluten Free Vanilla Cookies

Gluten Free Vanilla Cookies

Gluten Free Vanilla Cookies are the base recipe for making Pina Colada Cookies!

These Gluten Free vanilla biscuits (UK) / cookies (USA) are a light crunchy cookie that I don’t think most people realize are gluten free when eating them! They’re also the base recipe for variations, like the GF Pina Colada cookie recipe that will be publishing soon!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp superfine white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup Healtheries Gluten Free Bread Mix
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp butter or allergy-free spread (i.e. Nuttelex)
  • 1 egg (whisked) or egg replacement.
  • Vanilla Essence

Allergies: gluten free, dairy free*, egg free*, soy free, nut free.

Directions

  1. Cream the ‘butter’ and sugar.
  2. Mix in the egg and several drops of vanilla essence.
  3. Mix in the rice flour, GF bread mix, baking powder.
  4. Spoon out onto lightly oiled baking tray and flatten slightly.
  5. Bake at 180’C for approx. 15-20 mins (or until golden brown).

Makes approximately 12 cookies.

 

Note: There are several reasons that I choose to use the Healtheries Gluten Free Bread Mix instead of the Healtheries Gluten Free Baking Mix.

I prefer to use guar gum in my recipes and avoid xanthan gum; the latter is artificially derived and is often grown on an allergenic base (such as corn, soy, or wheat).

I like to control the rising agents in my baking so that I can tailor them to each recipe.

Frugality! The Bread Mix can be used to make both Gluten Free Bread and Gluten Free Baking whereas their Baking Mix can only be used for baking.

Highlights for the month (January)

ALLERGY FRIENDLY COOKING

BAKING & DESSERTS

MEALS

 

PARENTING

HEALTH

PRODUCT REVIEWS

Yes You Can! Allergy friendly baking mixes

 

Yes You Can is a great Australian brand (available internationally) with artisan baking mixes that are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, and nut free. Their vegetable oil is certified palm oil.

Their website has full ingredient lists for their baking mixes (handy!) as well as cooking instructions. Turns out these can even be cooked in a rice cooker if you don’t have an oven (or microwave).

So far I’ve made their Apple & Cinnamon muffins and their Chocolate Orange Zest (as cupcakes rather than a cake). I thought they were both tasty! I liked the apple & cinnamon best, my toddler prefers the chocolate orange (the icing is included in the pack).

21/1/17 I checked with them just to make sure about the soy and they were really quick to get back to me. They advise that they are soy free, and also nut free, so have updated the post. So handy to find for a family with allergies and I love that their website has information on the countries & locations/stockists where they can be purchased!

Mum’s Spiced Fruit Loaf


This is a fabulous recipe and a firm family favourite. It’s also very versatile and can be used to make child sized cakes (in silicon cupcake cases) or miniature christmas cakes (in muffin trays). It also freezes well.

Ingredients

Group 1

  • 1/2c sugar
  • 50g butter or 60ml rice bran oil
  • 1c sultanas
  • 1c chopped dates
  • 1T golden syrup or maple syrup
  • 1 1/4c water

Group 2

  • 1 1/2 tsp  ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2c chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Group 3

  • 2c flour (or gluten free baking mix)
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder

Allergies: dairy free, soy free, egg free, gluten free*, nut free*.

Directions

  1. Place Group 1 in pot. Boil; then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Stir in Group 2.
  3. Ideally allow to cool to room temperature (this takes several hours) as this allows the dried fruit time to soak.
  4. Grease and line loaf tin. Preheat oven to 180’C.
  5. Stir in Group 3.
  6. Bake for 1 hour or until skewer comes out smooth.
  7. Cool in tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto wire rack.

Notes

I use a greased silicon loaf tin and often cook a smaller portion in silicon cupcake cases at the same time (for my toddler); the cupcake-sized cakes only take about 15 mins to cook.

This is a versatile recipe. Sometimes I have my toddler help me assemble all of Group 1 and 2 in the pot before I put it on to heat; sometimes I only give the fruit mix 5-10 mins to cool before adding the dry ingredients and cooking it. Sometimes I’ll do the fruit mix after my toddler’s midday nap, let it cool all afternoon, and then put it in to cook after dinner (when the oven is already warm); I’ve also allowed the fruit to soak all night and then cooked it in the morning.

I’ve made this a number of times and varied ingredients (while essentially keeping to the base recipe); i.e. using 1/2c sultanas and 1/2c cranberries; having no walnuts; using coconut thread instead of walnuts; using 1c mixed nuts (smashed) + coconut + melted chocolate + extra water (this is the one pictured).

Walnuts are a soft nut that are easy to smash and chew. I’ve made this using a nut mix (predominantly walnuts & almonds with some hazelnuts and brazil nuts) because it was on special – the other nuts just take a bit more effort to smash. If you have a young baby or toddler then you may want to leave the nuts out until they’ve grown all their molars and are comfortable chewing nuts.  I’ve found the ideal way for us to smash nuts is to put them in a plastic bag and have my toddler enthusiastically whack them with her toy hammer!

Allergies: Soy free, peanut free, egg free, dairy free (replace butter with oil).