Monthly Archives: August 2012

First Grade and More Recipe Successes

Despite our county being rated the wealthiest in the country, we still only have half day kindergarten here, probably because we’re also one of the fastest growing counties in the country.

In anticipation of full day first grade, I signed him up for a couple of full day camps this summer.  He wanted to do nature camps, so despite cringing at all the extensive tick checks I would be doing, I signed him up.  He was tired at the end of each day, but he loved it.

But this is my son’s first full day school experience.  As expected, he’s coming home a little over-stimulated and tired.  He’s waking up like a champ with his new Ninjago alarm clock.  And since he’s trying to earn money to buy Skylanders and he gets the bulk of his earnings from behaving and following the rules at bedtime (our previous biggest battles), he’s going to bed at a decent hour.

Also as expected, he told me on day two that he hated school.  I reminded him that his Kindergarten teacher had said that this would be a rough couple of weeks and that he would be tired and cranky and think that he hated school, but that was all part of the transition.  That he would get used to it.  Love going to school again.  I think that helped because he seems to be accepting that this is only a temporary feeling and that it will pass.

On to the food challenge of first grade.

His teacher is a long term sub while his regular teacher is on maternity leave until mid-October.  Her own daughter has an anaphylactic allergic to garlic, so she gets it!  Hooray!  He sits at same table as his class, but he’s the end of it with a couple of other kids who have food allergies, so he’s in good company without being segregated or feeling left out.

I was shocked to learn that the first grade teachers decided as a team NOT to have snack time.  Let me explain why this is such a surprise.  The bus picks up at 7:25a, the first graders have lunch at 10:40a, and he gets off the bus at 2:55p.  That makes for a LOOONG stretch of time with no food.   Surprisingly, there are older kids at his school who DO get snack and who also have a more normally schedule lunch break.  I don’t see how this makes sense!

But I digress.

In addition to finding good recipes for pancakes and pancakes muffins, I have also found a great graham cracker recipe, a very versatile quick bread recipe, and an awesome breakfast cookie recipe.

For the graham cracker recipe, I used 1 cup buckwheat flour and 1/4 cup teff, and instead of an egg white mixed in, I used 1 tablespoon of chia seeds mixed with a 1/4 cup water to make a gel like slurry.  Instead of doing an egg wash and sprinkling with sugar, I used a mix of teff flour and sugar to roll it out between sheets of parchment paper.  This stuff is STICKY so I highly recommend flattening it out with your hands and dusting LIBERALLY before trying to roll it out.

For the quick bread, I used more chia seed slurry instead of xanthan gum.  I think I used 1 teaspoon of chia seeds and one teaspoon of water.   I made pumpkin chocolate chip bread and was winging the spice measurements.  The kid likes it!  It’s not overly sweet at all and the spices are pretty mild, so all in all it’s a good breakfast option for the kid palate.  Since I used a bean based flour mix, it’s got some protein in it too.  Bonus!

The breakfast cookie is really awesome, I must say.  I have to taste test, even though it has things in it that I’m avoiding for various reasons, to see if it’s something he would like and eat, and these were gooood.  Very peanut butter-y, which is no surprise since they are flourless and the main ingredient is nut butter.  I did not grind the chia seeds for this recipe, but I found that I was digging seeds out of my teeth for a while, so I will be grinding them for the next batch.  (If you’re not familiar with chia seeds, they’re about the size of poppy seeds.)  I used straight cane sugar instead of xylitol, skipped the stevia, and I used two teaspoons of starch.  Oh, and a threw in a handful of mini chocolate chips.  Let me warn you, the recipe makes two humongous cookies.  For a ravenous adult, I can see one cookie being a complete breakfast.  My son has been satisfied after eating only a quarter of one, so next batch will be made into 8 smaller more kid-size appropriate cookies.

Puffed Millet Brand – GF FAIL

While the Candied Puffed Cereal recipe was a success, the brand itself was a big fat FAIL.  As it turns out, I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the description of the Arrowhead Mills Puffed Millet.  It was NOT gluten free and my son reacted.  Bad mommy!  😦  I was able to get him to take some Glutenease mixed with honey and that helped lessen the reaction and he was fine in time for the first day of first grade.

The other brand of Puffed Millet I’ve seen online is Nature’s Path, and there are comments on Amazon that several GF folks successfully consume it without issue, but it’s not certified gluten free.  I’ve contacted Arrowhead Mills to find out how it’s contaminated so I know that this level of cross contamination is not safe for my boy.  I’m still awaiting that response.

I also posted on a Celiac forum asking about the Nature’s Path, and someone responded that she had contacted the company about it.  They said there’s some slight chance for cross contamination but absolutely no gluten in the item.  I think I will contact them to find out about the “slight chance of cross contamination” before buying it.

Candied Puffed Cereal

I recently ordered two different cereals online: crunchy flax, and puffed millet.  The crunchy flax was a go on the first try, but he’s since turned it down.  Boo.  I’ll have to come up with a way to alter it to make it more to his liking.

Puffed millet smells and tastes a lot like popcorn.  It’s very small and light, like the little balls that shed from a sheet of styrofoam.  LOL  So I needed to do something with it to make it tastier and heavier.

This recipe does the trick.

I can already envision some alterations for variety…peanut butter and cocoa powder, brown sugar and cinnamon…   I bet the peanut butter and chocolate combo would be a candidate for the crunchy flax!

Candied Puffed Cereal

1/3 cup coconut oil or butter
1/2 cup maple sugar
1/4 cup real maple syrup
Pinch or two of pink himalayan salt
2 1/2 cups puffed cereal

Preheat oven to 300.   Put butter, sugar, syrup, and salt in a large sauce pan.  Heat the mixture on medium high.  Be sure to keep stirring.  Bring to a boil and allow it to boil for 2 minutes, without letting it burn!  It looks like the sugar is foamy and separate from the oil but no worry.  Pour over the 2 1/2 cups puffed millet.  Using a large wooden spoon, gently stir the puffed rice until all of the pieces are coated.  Spread the coated puffed millet onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake for about 10-15 minutes.  Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

GF Pancake Muffins, yum!

I’ve been looking for an easier way to use up my pancake batter rather than having to stand in the kitchen and cook them all on stove, so I wanted to try my hand at pancake muffins.  I decided to modify a pancake recipe I had been using, which the kid has said are the BEST pancakes ever.  I use half all purpose gluten free flour (bean-based) and half teff and mix it my Vitamix.  Let me tell you, the teff makes all the difference.  The kid says they taste like brownies!   I could pour that pancake batter into a cupcake liner, easy.   With the pancakes, they were great the first day, but once frozen and reheated, they were dry.  So I used milk instead of water and I added more oil.  This seems to do the trick for reheating.

Pancake-muffin success!

Woot!!