The holidays are upon us!
In a few days it will be Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Year’s… All celebrations that are steeped in the tradition of stuffing ourselves full of candy, cookies, cake and all manner of tasty treats that – let’s face it – really aren’t that good for us. (That’s why they put New Year’s at the end you know… so that you can wait to make your resolution to be healthier after all those holidays are over with and not before!) And while none of us should recklessly stuff ourselves full of holiday fare, there are some among us for whom partaking in this holiday fare can mean severe illness or even death.
I am talking about people with food allergies. Each year more and more individuals (including children) are diagnosed with a food allergy or food intolerance. Almost everyone knows somebody who can’t eat certain foods. There may very well be a student in your child’s class who is lactose intolerant, allergic to peanuts, or gluten-intolerant. In a season of class parties, what special treat can you send to school for everyone to enjoy? If your own child suffers from food allergies, what can you offer him or her to offset the seemingly never-ending supply of “off-limits” sweets that will inevitably be offered time and time again?
I have been vegan for several years. I married a vegan with a peanut allergy. Together, we managed to produce at least one gluten intolerant child. A birthday cake at our house has to be made with no milk, no eggs, no sugar, no nuts and no wheat. I tried and tried to substitute all kinds of gluten-free flours for wheat, but they always left a grainy texture that made the dessert unpleasant. And let’s face it, if you’re going to consume as many calories as are in dessert, the dessert should taste really good. So I gave up trying to make ground millet taste like an indulgence.
My solution? Learn to make desserts using only ingredients that are not considered highly allergenic. After scouring cookbooks, a little experimentation and several failed attempts, I came up with this secret fudge recipe, and I am going to share it with you. Don’t be fooled by the ingredient list. Even though all the ingredients are healthy, on a scale of 1-10, this one is a 12!
So here it is… My secret recipe for Allergy-Free, Gluten-Free Fudge
In a bowl mix together the following ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups honey (or 1 cup honey and 1/2 cup maple syrup)
- one 16 ounce jar “Sunbutter” (an all-natural sunflower seed spread available near the peanut butter in many health food stores.)
- 3 tsp vanilla
- Add 1 cup carob powder until well blended. (also available at your health food store. Carob is a chocolate-substitute)
- Add 6 cups sunflower seeds.
(Or you can mix the seeds with nuts of your choice if nobody has a nut allergy. I like to use: 1 cup sunflower seeds, 2 cups chopped Walnuts, 3 cups sliced almonds)
Stir until well mixed.
Pack into sprayed 9″ x 13″ pan and refrigerate!
(Note: If you cannot find Sunbutter, you can substitute almond butter or peanut butter, but be aware that tree nuts are highly allergenic!)
And finally… Enjoy!
Alina Joy Dubois is wife and mother to a vegan, gluten free family. The family moved out into the country and her husband recently quit a career in software to open the “Good Old Days Farm” in Blue Ridge, Texas. They grow fruit, vegetables and herbs, raise honeybees and make handcrafted soap. To follow the goings-on of the farm, please visit the Good Old Days Farm Blog.