Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Gluten, Dairy and Soy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies and Blueberry Crumb Bars
Jill has been asking me for a long time to start baking more simple gluten, casein and soy free desserts that kids can enjoy, so this will be my little section dedicated to it. I am a pastry chef by trade, but I have never really baked allergen free so this is a learning experience for me. I have found that even the most common ingredients contain gluten, such as vanilla extract, which is made with alcohol and alcohol is made from wheat. Ingredients that I never suspected had gluten, do in fact have it, so I will have to be very diligent and check every single item in my pantry.
As many theories state, the human digestive system is our second brain, in the sense that it controls and builds our immune system and protects our brain from toxicity. Therefore, the treatment for autism is very linked to the protection and strengthening of the digestive system.
We believe that Connor most likely had a genetic predisposition to the autism disorder. However, when his young immune system was overloaded with toxic metals, his body could not react fast enough and became sick. The symptoms started shortly after.
This is why the rebuilding of his immune system through diet has been crucial and so effective. Behavioral therapies are necessary but most likely insufficient without the support of an allergen free diet, but this diet doesn't have to be boring and it is important to make it fun and kid friendly. So here are a couple of cookie recipes that everyone will be able to enjoy.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
4 oz non-hydrogenated shortening (palm oil)
4 oz organic brown sugar
2 oz organic milled sugar
1 organic egg
1 tsp gluten free vanilla extract
8 oz gluten free baking mix
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
5 oz gluten, dairy and soy free chocolate chips
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the shortening and the sugars until well combined. Add the vanilla extract and the egg. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure that all ingredients are well incorporated. Add the baking mix, the xanthan gum, the baking soda and the salt. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a log that is about 3 inches in diameter. Wrap the log in parchment paper and refrigerate it overnight. Cut the log into half an inch disks and bake them in a 350ºF oven for about 12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown but the center is slightly soft.
Blueberry Crumb Bars
Makes a 13 x 9 inch pan
3 cups gluten free oats
2 1/4 cups gluten free baking mix
1/2 cup organic brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
8 oz non-hydrogenated shortnening (palm oil)
1 lb frozen or fresh organic blueberries
3/4 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs water
In a medium saucepan, mix the blueberries with the sugar and cook until the blueberries start to bubble. In the meantime, dissolve the cornstarch with the water and lemon juice. Add the cornstarch mixture to the bubbling blueberries and cook stirring constantly until it thickens. Pour the filling in a bowl and let it cool completely.
For the crust, combine the oats, brown sugar, baking mix, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Add half of the shortening and work it into the dry ingredients with your fingers or with a pastry cutter. Add the rest of the shortening and do the same. The shortening is soft and sticky that's why we want to work quickly. Don't work too much. We want a crumbly dough.
Take half of the crumble and press it onto the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Spread the cooled blueberry filling on top of this dough. Take the remaining half of the crumble and sprinkle it on top of the filling. Don't press it in because we want to keep it as a crumbly topping.
Bake in a 375F for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Let it cool completely before cutting it. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 2 months.