Category Archives: peanut allergy

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

I really should of been a baker. Not a fancy sort with funky icing designs, or cake too pretty to eat sort of baker, but a practical, every day healthy food consumption kind of baker.  Stop at my little corner bakery on the way to work for your breakfast to-go.  I could do it.  Maybe I should do it…

Sixteen years ago when my son was diagnosed with life threatening food allergies (peanuts and tree nuts) I started paying attention to ingredients in food. Up until then I had the grab and shove in cart mentality.

That many years ago there wasn’t a large variety of peanut/nut free foods or even strict allergen listing requirements that is available today. So, if my child was to enjoy a cookie, or a muffin or at that point, bread, I had better get the baking ingredients out and get’er done.  Besides, I started to notice this food in EVERYTHING called ‘Soy’ and labeled in many different forms. Soy lecithin, soy flour, hydrolyzed soy, soy soy soy. After much research into the world of soy, we avoid all soy in this home and if you buy anything premade/boxed etc., you will more than likely find it in the ingredients list. Anyways, this post isn’t about the deteriorating ingredient list in foods, its about super refreshing delicious Lemon Blueberry Muffins.

When it comes to blueberries and baking, the type matters. The small wild blueberries, won’t give you the blue bleed. The taste of biting into a juicy blueberry isn’t as prominent in the small blueberries, so I recommend Blueberries. You can use wild blueberries, just not my fav when it comes to baking.

If you are lucky like us, you will have a Mennonite Blueberry Farm around the corner. I can pop in anytime of year and grab a bag of frozen big juicy blueberries.

Chances are you can buy blueberries in your local area in the late summer when it is in season. The good things about this farm is they don’t use pesticides or harmful treatments so you can just plop them in a freezer bag and have on hand all year around. No washing. (Fantastic for smoothies too).

I also got a wonderful gift recently from a friend who went to Mexico and brought back vanilla.  The good stuff!

Like most of my recipes they have happened by accident and the measurements are my critiquing over time. Ok, here we go.

Side Note: I never advocate for the use of margarine in my baking.  It has a different outcome and really, if you are using margarine, do yourself a favour and don’t.  Seriously, don’t believe all the crap the agencies tell you.  Hydrolyzed anything and soy is not for human consumption!

Ingredients

1/2 cup melted butter
2 large farm eggs
3/4 cup of milk
1 cup of organic cane sugar
2 cups of blueberries (frozen is best for the addition to baking)
Zest of 2 organic lemons (zest of anything should be organic to avoid crop sprays)
2 tsp of vanilla
2 cups of AP flour, plus more for blueberry dusting
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt

See that ingredient list?  Wonderful!  Okay, lets get ready to bake!

Preheat your oven to 375 – I use convention oven, but any oven will do.  Line your muffin tray with paper cups.

In a medium bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix.

In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, add your melted butter (room temperature so you don’t scramble your eggs), vanilla, sugar, milk and mix until all incorporated.  Add in your lemon zest.jUNE 2017 058
(yup, those are pretty blue eggs from a friends farm)

Put the frozen blueberries into a bowl and cover them with flour and make sure they are all dusted.

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After your wet ingredients are all mixed well, add in your dry ingredients slowly with mixer on low.  Let it mix for 1 minute on medium speed.  If your batter looks too dry don’t be afraid to add a splash of milk to get the desired texture seen in the picture.  Some flours, especially depending on age, can be more dry than others.  A bit more milk never hurt anyone.

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Remove bowl from mixer stand.  Add your frozen flour dusted blueberries (not all the flour in the bottom of the bowl, just the blueberries) to your batter.  Fold the blueberries in gently.

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Once completely mixed, scoop into lined muffin tray.  Fill them up!

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Put the trays in your preheated oven.  Turn 1/2 way through cooking.  Watch your muffins as they can easily overcook in the matter of 2 mins.  Then you’ll have dry I need a drink of coffee kind of muffins.  Look for a bounce back when gently pushed in the middle to see if it is done.  Cook for 15-20 mins depending on your oven and elevation.

Remove from tray immediately and place on a bakers rack to cool.

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Bakers tip:  Baked foods always continue to cook for a few minutes while cooling.  So its OK to pull from the oven when JUST done, that extra minute you would wait in the oven, let it do it on the counter.

This is such a great ‘summer’ muffin that can be enjoyed at anytime of the year.  The lemon is fresh and the blueberries are juicy!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Oreos In The Pantry

Definition of Anaphylaxis: Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. It can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to, such as a peanut or the venom from a bee sting.

The flood of chemicals released by your immune system during anaphylaxis can cause you to go into shock; your blood pressure drops suddenly and your airways narrow, blocking normal breathing. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include a rapid, weak pulse, a skin rash, and nausea and vomiting. Common triggers of anaphylaxis include certain foods, some medications, insect venom and latex. Anaphylaxis requires an immediate trip to the emergency department and an injection of epinephrine. If anaphylaxis isn’t treated right away, it can lead to unconsciousness or even death.

My son, Flyp is an anaphylactic. He’s anaphylactic to peanuts. Most recently he has dropped tree nuts, but we will still be avoiding them for 2 years until we have a second negative test. Simply put a peanut can kill him.

Flyp is 15 years old. Over the years the availability of peanut and nut free foods has definitely been increasing. It’s wonderful. Other allergens such as gluten, milk/dairy etc. are also getting the spot light and allergens are being respected. The FDA has strict labelling laws to help protect anaphylactic persons. This makes a big difference for families living with allergies and/or anaphylaxis. Some big restaurant chains have allergen listings which helps as well. Real progress over the years.

I won’t get into the emotional and physical stress that comes with allergies today. I’d like to just keep it simple in this write.

Dare Foods is superior in peanut and nut free foods in my opinion. Crackers, cookies, jelly beans, June jubes, Melba toast. I just got an email today/press release from Anaphylaxis Canada that Dare has partnered with Cineplex for a safer environment for all. Wow. Impressive. But we also have other companies like Enjoy Life, Nabisco, Quaker, Presidents Choice, Natures Best, to name a few, who have made a lot of peanut/nut free (and some other allergens too) alternatives for families that live with allergies.

Although Flyp does gets some store bought cookies every once in a while…thank you Dare, Nabisco and Presidents Choice, he has always wondered about the famous Oreo. The one everyone loves. The one his friends say ‘man it must suck to have an Oreo free life’. Everyone loves an Oreo. I do prefer to make our own cookies, just way less junk in the ingredients list and we have become used to it with his allergies. However once in a while Flyp wants to have a store bought box of cookies.

Today I was out doing errands before the snow storm hits tomorrow and I noticed a bag of mini Oreos. The bag looked like it has the very recognizable peanut free symbol on it. I did a double take. It is!! Oreo Minis are peanut free. I read the label. Yup. Looked at the other Oreo bags, they all have peanut free symbols on them. I get my phone out and call the 1-800 number on the bag and ask all my relevant questions. They pass the test and make it into my cart. I grabbed a carton of chocolate milk and said today will be the day. A question answered. Yes it’s not the most important question in the world, but it’s one of his many questions in life.

I wish I videoed his first Oreo taste. Flyp is definitely on the Oreo band wagon. Best cookie ever. Being the good mother I am, I didn’t put him in the spot and ask him whose is better, mine or the scrumptious Oreo. I can’t handle the truth. Hahah! He’s a teenager whose never had an Oreo until today. I’m totally cool with taking the back seat for a bit.

It’s just a bag of Oreos to most, but to us it’s been a forbidden item for 15 years. That bag of Oreos is gone less than 4 hours later. I’m ok with it. Everyone needs freedom to eat a whole bag of Oreo minis once in a while.

So, today a bag of Oreo Mini’s made it to the pantry.