We first learned of my oldest son’s food allergies when he was 11 months old, and reading through the results of the allergy test was overwhelming. How could such a tiny creature be allergic to so many things? It was difficult but we eventually found a set of allergy friendly foods he liked and didn’t make him break out into hives or throw up.
As he got older, though, he quickly began to notice all the different foods he couldn’t have, and while he does understand that those foods will make him sick (and could kill him), it still bums him out because the kid loves to eat. Sometimes he helps cook my breakfast, and standing over the frying eggs, he’ll usually take a deep breath in, and ask me if he’ll ever be able to eat them because they smell so yummy. I know, heart-wrenching. Thankfully, over the past seven years more options have become available as he has outgrown three out of his 10 allergies.
For this week’s #ETHANproject challenge to Enjoy the Flavor, I knew I had to make something for him. There are few things that encourage him more than when I take the time to make him his special food, and the boy loves breakfast. Our go-to option is usually Van’s line of gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free waffles and French toast. But he loves when I make home-made pancakes, with the help of pancake mixes from Arrowhead Mills and Cherrybrook Kitchen, and Ener-G Egg Replacer of course. To change it up, we added Enjoy Life chocolate chunks, and of course they loved it. At least he’s not allergic to chocolate, because, let’s be real, that would be tragic.
One of the challenges with feeding someone with multiple allergies is that the variety of pre-packaged store products are limited because you are bound to find at least one of those allergens in just about everything. And if you’re not a kitchen guru, then you feel even more limited in your food options. That’s why I’m grateful for people like Laura from Petite Allergy Treats. This woman pours her heart and soul into crafting delicious allergy friendly recipes from scratch, making things like eating pizza possible for my little one. This week we tried Laura’s Fudgy Gluten-Free Egg-Free Brownies, and they were beyond this world. You can’t even tell they’re vegan (we used almond milk instead of cow’s milk). Plus, they were really easy to make.
I was originally planning to make them myself and surprise the kids, but there’s something about me being in the kitchen that always attracts attention. Maybe it’s because I’m not the one who usually cooks, so whenever I get spotted taking out pots and pans (and I’m not making coffee), I get bombarded with “What are you doing, Mami? Are you going to cook something? Is someone coming over? Are you making something special?” So, as soon as I took out my ingredients, the party got started in the kitchen.
That is exactly how they left my kitchen floor. And, just like that, they were gone for like a whole 10 seconds before the barrage of questions began again: “Are the brownies ready yet? How long do we have to wait? Why is it taking so long?” Somehow they managed to survive the whole 30 minutes it took to bake them, but I think they’d agree that they were definitely worth the wait.
Best of all, my son loved them. Actually, he’s asked me every day since then if I can teach him how to bake them. I guess he doesn’t want to wait until the next time I’m in the mood to whip something up, and I don’t blame him.
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We’re well into summer now, but it’s never too late to Enjoy The Here And Now with the #ETHANproject. We’re just finishing Week 3’s challenge to Enjoy The Flavor, but you can still share your stories on social media using the #ETHANproject hashtag, or on the ETHAN Project Facebook Group. You can also stop by the #ETHANproject Blogger Linkup to see what everyone else is doing.