Thursday, July 13, 2017

Egg-free Baking and Favorite Recipes

If you're a regular reader or friend on Facebook, then you are probable aware that one of our three girls has food allergies. We discovered them the hard way while I was single parenting back in Norway (but thankfully had immense friend support and great medical care).

It's been a journey since then of reading food ingredient labels closely, translating labels from Russian and Azeri (via Google translate or our amazing nanny), and making sure restaurants understand what we are asking when we inquire about food allergies, yet still being uncertain if they truly understand. We ordered a child's hot dog one time only to have it arrive smothered in mayonnaise. When we told him she wasn't able to have it because of the egg allergy they took it back and brought us the same hot dog in a new bun and had attempted to just wipe off the mayo (which they didn't do a great job of at that).

It's nerve-wracking here since allergies are not common and epi pens are not available to be truly comfortable. It's also obviously very challenging - one brand of pretzels contains egg, but another doesn't. One baby biscuit in chocolate contains nuts, but the vanilla brand doesn't. When something just contains egg or nuts in small amounts we are fortunate that Olivia doesn't have an anaphylactic reaction, but her poor body has eczema breakouts and rashes. Our nanny helped to discover which snack was the culprit of this painful rash.

It's been worth the effort and research to find new recipes and substitutes to bake delicious treats that everyone can enjoy together so Olivia does feel left out. Below are some of my favorite recipes that we've tried and I'd love suggestions of others from people who are learning to bake/cook without eggs.

Egg-free Cake

My journey of baking egg-free started with the twins' smash cakes for their first birthday. I tried out a recipe a friend from Norway sent me and was pleasantly surprised that the cake tasted amazing and both Jason and I agreed we would use the recipe regularly.

Here's the recipe link. I omit the cocoa powder if I want to make vanilla cake/cupcakes and I've never actually followed the recipe of making it in the baking dish. I always do it in a mixing bowl and transfer.

Egg-free Cookies

Olivia loves cookies so I am glad to have found this recipe. They definitely have a different consistency than cookies with eggs, but I don't think it's super noticeable. I've also frozen these in dough balls to pop into the oven whenever I need cookies last-minute. The challenge here is that a lot of the chocolate chips I have are either processed on a facility or same equipment as peanuts. If anyone has suggestions for a brand of chocolate chips that are nut-free entirely please share. :-)

Egg-free Pancakes

We don't often make a big breakfast, but sometimes on the weekends it's a nice treat. We tried substituting with mashed banana and while Olivia enjoyed them, her sister were not fans. We wanted to find something that we could make and all enjoy instead of having to make two and worry about cross-contamination. This recipe is great, but we made some slight modifications for our own taste (slightly more cinnamon and one time we ran out of vanilla and used maple syrup).

I also apparently haven't bothered to ever take pictures of them devouring them so eventually I'll try and update the blog the next time we make some. :-)

Egg-free Waffles

I borrowed a friend's waffle maker and tested out this recipe for waffles. We couldn't taste any difference and everyone loved them.

Egg-free Brownies

We recently had some friends over and when she suggested brownies I knew I needed to try and find a recipe without eggs. This one was great, but tasted slightly more cake-like than I would prefer. It definitely still has some brownie consistency, but wasn't quite like the egg-version in my opinion.

I looked at a couple different recipes and both had you make the roux-like mixture and one used some brown sugar rather than just white. Since brown sugar is hard to come by (and super expensive) here, I used 1.5 cups white and 1/2 cup brown in my recipe.  I also didn't have enough cocoa powder, but after reading the comments below just added a couple squares of baker's chocolate into the melted butter mixture.

Egg-free Banana Bread

We recently had some bananas about to turn for the worst so I decided to try my hand at finding a recipe for egg-free banana bread. I used this recipe, but added chocolate chips at the request of Jason.

I also found this graphic that I think it really helpful and I continue to look-up when I'm checking on substitutes. I recently tried the flaxseed replacement in a boxed pancake mix and boxed cake mix. It tasted great in both, but I felt the cake was too crumbly and think I will stick with the recipe above.

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