Dishes on Holiday Challenges

From mid November through early January, most people find themselves juggling multiple holiday parties, elaborate dinners, family get-togethers and perhaps the recipient of some well-intentioned holiday cookie platters from loving friends and neighbors.  If so, then you know all too well the inner battle that makes up your dreaded “holiday challenge”.

If you’re like me, and you have food allergies, this can be the most challenging time; when I see cookies and cupcakes galore, and my mouth waters as I recall long-time family recipes of spiced cakes, cookies and pies. This is the time of year I wish the most that I was without food allergies. So, I’m here to share some of my tips for remaining strong, against your weak of heart moments, and helping guide you to a path towards allergen free goodies that are sure to satisfy your cravings!

So, as I continue to build out the site, I am focusing first on the research aspects of the various health issues Wellness Dish is designed to guide you through, and the recipe sections will be last. Since I don’t yet have them live, I will link out to some recipes I love and hopefully they can help you to navigate your way through a healthy and delish holiday!

Allergen free tips:

One very useful (and much healthier) flour alternative is almond flour. Almond flour is highly nutritious, easy to use and readily available. For those of us watching our glycemic index, almond flour is high in protein, low in carbohydrates and low in sugars.

Unlike other alternatives to wheat flour, almond flour is moist and delicious. My go-to chef for cooking with almond flour is Elana of Elana’s Pantry. I was given her book recently as I began to explore baking with almond flour, and I started making my way through her many recipes.  As she puts it, “After having tested just about every gluten free flour out there, I can save you a lot of time and hassle when I say that almond flour is far superior to other flours in terms of taste, nutrition and ease-of-use.”
Here’s a fave of ours, though you can browse the hundreds of other recipes from Elana on her site here:


http://www.elanaspantry.com/chocolate-strawberry-shortcake/print

chocolate strawberry shortcake gluten-free recipe

This simple gluten-free shortcake recipe is easy enough to make with your children

 Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Chocolate Biscuits:

Filling/Topping:

  1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine eggs and agave
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry
  4. Batter will be wet, so using a 2 tablespoon scoop, scoop batter onto a parchment paperlined baking sheet
  5. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes
  6. Cool biscuits completely and set aside
  7. In a large bowl, whip cream, agave and vanilla
  8. Slice biscuits in half horizontally
  9. Place bottom halves on a platter; top each one with a dollop of whipped cream and strawberries
  10. Top with remaining biscuit halves, and more whipped cream and strawberries
  11. Serve to your hungry gang

Here’s another easy favorite – I like to add some dairy free, dark chocolate shavings after I pull them out of the oven 🙂

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Photo

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Serves: 24, Yield: 24 cookies

About This Recipe

“This flourless peanut butter cookie recipe is excellent and so easy to make. Your kids will love it and you will too! Because this recipe contains no flour, the true taste of the peanut butter comes through loud and clear! I hope you will enjoy these cookies as much as I do!”

Ingredients

    • 1 cup peanut butter
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 large eggs, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease cookie sheets.
  2. Beat together peanut butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.
  3. Add beaten egg and baking soda to peanut butter mixture and beat until well combined.
  4. Roll 1 teaspoon of dough into a ball and place on cookie sheet.
  5. Place dough balls one inch apart on cookie sheet and flatten with tines of fork making a cross pattern.
  6. Bake until puffed and a golden pale, about 10 minutes.
  7. Cool cookies on baking sheet about 2 minutes and then transfer with spatula to rack to cool.
  8. May be kept in air tight container at room temperature for 5 days.
  9. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Remember, the holidays don’t have to be a laborious bore just because you have some food allergies! Embrace your new-found way of living a healthier and equally delicious life, and those around you will enjoy your happiness, and improved health (a blessing for all!)

In good health, Jen

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