Much to the kids' dismay, I decided a couple weeks ago, for us all to go on a slightly modified elimination diet. I hesitate to include either of those words, elimination diet, because 1. it's not an elimination diet & 2. it's not a diet. It's really a refresher in our way of eating, eliminating things like gluten, dairy, soy, etc. While my oldest is allergic to dairy, and we don't bring any of it into the house, we also don't watch it with the other kids or with myself, when we're other places. It also felt like the right time to see what kind of impact a change in our eating habits could have on all of us because environmental allergens always kick up in the summer.
The kids' biggest concern? "how will we eat lemon meringue pie? and pancakes? and cookies?" silly kids, they didn't remember I've mastered all this before, and could definitely do it again...I think?! So far, so good.
We're a couple weeks into it and have some noticeable differences happening, mostly in our skin. Our middle gets pretty dry skin, including those little bumps from time-to-time, on the backs of his arms and his back. Admittedly, his skin doesn't get the same reactions from us because it's so mild compared to what we've dealt with in the past. However, since modifying what we eat, those are all gone and his skin is noticeably smoother. Mine is, as well. I feel like it's still early to tell with the oldest and youngest, but overall, I feel better.
We've been eating lots more vegetables and still eating grains, just staying away from gluten. We also discovered Bob's Red Mill 1:1 gluten-free flour blend, and that stuff is amazing! I've made pancakes, waffles, cookies, pie crusts and pizza crust, and it's worked great with every single one. While we've been trying to stay away from sugar, with a birthday party and Father's Day thrown in the same last couple weeks, we did enjoy some sweet treats. Mostly to keep the kids happy and not feeling like I've robbed them of all their favorites. Thankfully it's not a huge dietary change for us.
Today, we treated ourselves with these chewy oatmeal raisin cookies. They turned out so good and it pushed me into sharing a recipe here, which is long overdue (and it even includes a picture!).
Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (gluten-free, dairy-free)
3/4 cup palm shortening
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 coconut palm sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend (we like Bob's Red Mill 1:1 baking mix)**
2-3/4 cup gluten-free oats (again, we like Bob's Red Mill quick cooking gf oats)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup raisins
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat together the shortening & sugars until well combined. Then add the eggs, one at a time. Continue beating for a few minutes, until light & fluffy.
3. Mix the dry ingredients together (except raisins).
4. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing while doing so. The dough shouldn't be sticky, but you don't want it crumbly. Add a little more flour if needed, or 1 teaspoon of water at at time, if needed, until dough holds together well.
5. Roll into balls & then flatten on the cookie sheet, leaving them about 1/2-1" thick, depending on how big & thick you prefer them. They'll get slightly larger while baking, but won't change shape too much.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, taking them out when the middle is just done. Let cool (if you can).
* we use duck eggs because my oldest is allergic to chicken eggs
** this flour blend includes xanthan gum, but if yours does not, you'll want to add either 1 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum