Life saving pancakes that are gluten free, egg free and vegan truly are just that: A Life Saver. These pancakes are food allergy friendly; free of the top 8 food allergens. Pancakes are the most basic gluten free staple that could help you learn to bake and cook allergen free.
Pancakes made without dairy, egg, soy or wheat were my first attempt at creating ‘real’ food for my son after his devastating initial diagnosis of over 55+ food allergies at only 1 year of age.
To say I was a little lost at what to feed him would be a gross understatement. Food allergies are tough. Ask any parent (or sufferer) out there and they’ll agree, adjusting to a new diet is just plain DIFFICULT.
It’s overwhelming. It’s frustrating. It’s maddening. Virtually everything you knew how to cook or bake could now be considered forbidden.
I feel enough time has passed and I can finally share some real food allergy tips to help you, starting with what most parents go through those first difficult days:
What can I feed my child?
Sandwich bread, Bagel, muffin – Wheat, egg, soy, dairy… Scrambled eggs for breakfast?- Deadly-egg Lasagna/Spaghetti/Pasta – wheat, egg, soy… Crackers/ graham crackers/ cookies– wheat, soy, egg, dairy Peanut butter and jelly kid staple?- Double deadly- peanuts and cross contamination of objects (more on that in a bit)
If you’re managing food allergies you will find out (if you haven’t already), other families are suffering too. WE are suffering right along with you.
It’s important to not let all those negative obstacles get you down on a day-to-day basis. Things can and will get better. And quicker than you may think.
Below are some basic survival tips for newly diagnosed families to help ease the transition of food allergies. And of course you’ll find the Life Saving Pancake recipe. I am not exaggerating when naming them Life Saving Pancakes. Not only were these free of the top 8 food allergens, but this gave me the confidence to attempt allergy free cooking and baking instead of only feeding my son broccoli and plain chicken. Gluten free egg free breads are such a difficult thing to make and takes years to master… but these pancake thankfully do not.
FOOD ALLERGY SURVIVAL TIPS
BASIC IS BEST
In the beginning you’ll need to read every label for everything. Some products have a chapter of ingredients and others just have 1 ingredient. Less is sooo much more with food allergies! Whenever you can, ditch labels and go basic with fruits and vegetables. Frozen broccoli and fresh apples are some of our basic staples. Easy snacks like raisins, dried fruit and homemade popcorn consist of our quick grab snacks.
Seems simple enough, right? It’s difficult to admit but spontaneity will a thing of the past and planning needs to occur around events with food. This can include special days at school when treats are known to be brought in or even attempting to eat out at a restaurant.
We very recently started eating out again. And when I say us, I mean everyone except Mr. Naughty. There are only 3 places we have tried and all have been wonderful. Instead of trusting them with is 15+ list of existing allergies, I called them and ask if we could bring food for him. It takes the stress of worrying about a reaction due to a mistake in the kitchen OR due to cross contamination.
A few minutes of calling around before (and not during peak busy hours) can save you (and the restaurant staff) so much stress.
Now, this is not the ultimate solution to safely eating out, but it will give you a sense of ‘normalcy’ just knowing you can go out again. My son is only 3 and realizes he does not get to eat the same food the rest of the family orders. Some might say this is unfair (which it is) but:
1. We don’t eat out often.
2. There are social situations where he’ll need to bring safe food, e.g. parties, potluck etc.
3. Eating out teaches social skills of being patience and being in a public place.
MAKE AND FREEZE
This is part of the whole planning ahead. Bake and cook when you have time and freeze the excess. If I make pancakes, I’m always making a double batch. Undoubtedly, pancakes freeze extremely well. And they are the only bread you need to make.
Ideas for using pancakes:
-Cake (add some sugar to the batter, layer with frosting. Why not?)
START BASIC IN BAKING
I have a few gluten free mixes I love using. I created these since the pre-mixed flours were too expensive and often lead to failures. BUT- I used the ready mixes at the beginning as my crutch. Everyone needs to start somewhere right? Well, a ready mix can do that. Just open the box and try a recipe you find through Pinterest or the internet.
Gluten free flours are not like wheat flours. More than 1 flour is used to help create the correct texture. The usual mix contains grains (rice flour, brown rice, sorghum) and starches (tapioca, arrowroot, potato starch). Starches make things stick and form bonds. In addition to starches, a type of gum is used. Xanthan gum and Guar gum are the usual suspects here although fruit pectin, psyllium husks and chia seeds are becoming very popular too.
Bottom line- try a mix if you’re just starting to bake gluten free until you’re comfortable. It will save you time (which is also money, right?)
REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT…
Eat the same thing if it works for you! The first month, all I ate was: plain chicken, steamed broccoli, white rice and rice chex cereal. I was nursing my son at the time and needed to avoid all the things he was allergic to. I ate the same thing until I was able gather up the courage to re-learn everything in the kitchen. Once I figured out pancakes, my confident rose! And now here I am with a food allergy recipe blog sharing the other things our family can enjoy.
If you have a safe recipe or food, use it whenever you can. I have to say we ate pancakes in some form or another at almost every meal for MONTHS. If it works, use it!
Ahh… failure in gluten free baking. This will happen to you and does with even the most experienced gluten free bakers out there. They say baking is a science. Gluten free baking is a PRECISE science. If the water ratio is off a little, it will show. Too much water, gummy gross inedible things happen. No eggs can= crumbly fall apart mess.
Same with a failure in life, you learn something new each time. This is how future failures will become less frequent and will ultimately give you confidence in gluten free allergy free baking.
CONNECT WITH OTHERS
Last and not least, find a support group. And when I say group I don’t necessary mean a ‘meeting’ or person to person encounter. Facebook has some groups with just gluten free recipes, peanut free support, etc. Find an outlet you connect with.
My outlet are other blogs that have similar struggles with food allergies and diet restrictions. Here’s just a few I read a regular basis:
Allergy Free Alaska– gluten free, pale-ish, dairy free
Fork & Beans– gluten free dairy free egg free Vegan
Jeanette’s Healthy Living– gluten free, natural, healthy
Oatmeal with a Fork– gluten free, mostly egg free, Vegan-ish, healthy
The Pretty Bee- gluten free, egg free, nut free (transition at the moment), Vegan
Fearless Dining– gluten free recipes, restaurant review database
Once you have gotten the basics down, you’ll be cruising along sooner than you know. Don’t forget, you can always ask me for help or advice too. 😀
- 1 cup gluten free basic white flour mix
- ¾ cup brown rice flour
- 1½ cups + 2 Tbsp water or milk of choice
- 2 T oil + more for cooking
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp guar gum or xanthan gum
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Heat skillet with oil.
- Scoop gluten free flours with a spoon into a measuring cup, do not pack flour.
- Combine all dry ingredients and mix well.
- Add wet ingredient and stir mixed well eliminating lumps.
- Pour onto a hot skillet with oil. Cook for 2 minutes and bubble start to form in the batter. Flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Repeat with remaining batter.
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