For those who celebrate Purim with family and friends, there is nothing sweeter than taking that first bite into a freshly baked Hamantaschen. If you have food allergies, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this 3-cornered cookie with the rest of the party goers. Why? I can tell you in one word: Substitution!
In fact, for those 32 million Americans who are food allergic, substitutions are key to eating healthy and delicious foods safely.
I have worked with many clients who are upset with family members who find it unthinkable to change a family recipe. However, being able to pass down recipes is also important. I encourage my clients to make their own recipes and enjoy a beloved treat together.
Here are few things to keep in mind when baking for food allergic individuals.
Read. Each. Label. I cannot stress this enough! It is important not to assume that you know what ingredients are contained in any product you may use because ingredients can and do change. Also, do not simply look at the bottom of the ingredients list for the allergens in bold print. Currently, only eight allergens are in bold in the United States (Dairy, Egg, Wheat, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Soy, Shellfish, Fish). They may or may not be the allergen(s) you are concerned with.
Cross Contact: Even a trace amount (5 particles per million) of a food protein could result in an allergic reaction. Cross contact happens when two food proteins mix together. As a result, each food then contains small amounts of the other’s food protein. In order to avoid this, keep countertops and utensils clean. Keep other foods in question away from where you are preparing the food.
Be Creative. Practice makes perfect, but remember, you are creating these new recipes with love. Trying new recipes using different (read: safe) ingredients to find which ones you and your loved ones like best, are the best way to pass down new traditions and who knows, you may end up with a new family favorite.
Here’s my take an allergen-free Hamantaschen (adapted from Kosher On A Budget):
Wheat, Gluten, Egg, Dairy Free
1 T Ener-G Egg Replacer (or 2 eggs if not substituting eggs)
4 T Warm water
⅔ c sugar
1 t vanilla
2–¼ c gluten-free all-purpose flour
½ to 1 t xanthan gum (if not already in flour)
¼ c canola oil
1 t baking powder
¼ t salt
1 t orange zest
Filling of your choice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Follow Ener-G Egg replacer directions (mix together Egg replacer and warm water)
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg replacer, sugar, vanilla, oil, and orange zest.
Using a sifter, pour flour, xanthum gum, baking powder and salt inside the sifter. Sift on top of liquid mixture.
Mix together until crumbly. Add water a small amount at a time if the mixture is too dry.
Knead dough until smooth. Transfer ball to gluten-free floured surface. Flour the rolling pin and roll out dough to ¼ — inch thickness.
Using a 3” round cookie cutter, cut circles in dough and transfer to lightly greased (or parchment paper and skip grease) cookie sheet.
Place about 1 tsp of filling in the center of the dough round.
Pinch edges to form 3 corners
Place on a cookie sheet and bake about 16 minutes until golden.
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