This month is food allergy awareness month. A whole month dedicated to helping raise more understanding of food allergies and how to find food for people who have food allergies.
As you may know, we have a gluten-free cookie product line — which makes for a perfect pairing with food allergy awareness month. And there has not been a single event that someone doesn’t approach the table and criticize the cookies for being gluten free and remarks about how they like their gluten. I, the quick-witted person that I am, usually respond with, “so do I, it just doesn’t like me.”
This interaction allows me to defuse their frustration with the “gluten-free fad” and hopefully encourages a deeper conversation about why I make gluten-free cookies. A few weekends ago a similar instance occurred, and the woman who commented about the cookies gave me about a two-minute window to tell her my story. After she listened, she tried my cookie, and then said, “well, I guess it’s good, because you’re a REAL one.”
What does that mean? A REAL one? I hate that! So, let’s break this down.
What is a food allergy?
A food allergy is when an immune system has a reaction to a certain food. Some can cause people go into anaphylaxis, and even die. The top seven allergens are egg, wheat, milk, soy, shellfish, fish, peanuts, and tree nuts.
Most people don’t realize that in celiac and gluten intolerance, the problem is not a food allergy, but an inability to process casein, a protein that is found in wheat, rye, barley, and malt.
Some children outgrow their food allergy, but same may have it their whole lives. Be aware of your body, and if your are a parent, the best thing to do is ask your child how things taste. If they ever complain about things tasting like metallic, this could be a sign of a food allergy. Also, pay attention to their skin, bumps, and/or stomach pains after they eat.
Celiac Disease vs. Gluten Intolerance
My diagnosis came up positive for Celiac Disease–an autoimmune disorder. Gluten intolerance is real as well; it is when a person has a negative reaction to Gluten but they can tolerate some gluten. Neither Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance are food allergies.
A few ways to know if you have Celiac Disease is by getting a blood test or a scope test by a Gastroenterologist.
Thankfully the market has seemed to meet the demand of a gluten free lifestyle!
The seriousness of food allergies?
Food allergies can be deadly, but not all people react in such a way where death is a possibility, however, they are something that we all need to be aware of. A small trace of food can cause reaction in someone.
I’ve mentioned this before, but if your body is reacting to a food, make sure to see your doctor and be referred to an allergist. If you decide to do the elimination diet, please make sure that you let your doctor know and to be monitored by a specialist.
Now, if you have a food allergy, and aren’t sure about a product in a grocery store, then be willing to call the company. Manufacturers are wise about their product and know more than the grocery store where you’re purchasing their product.
Whatever you do, consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet.
When a person is diagnosed with food allergies, their world changes and it is difficult to know how to navigate your relationship with food. My food relationship was strained once I was diagnosed with food allergies, but this recipe helped me remember that food can be enjoyable! These mini muffins can also be made in full size!
- 2 C gf flour (trader joe’s version)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ C unsalted butter (1 stick)
- ½ C whole milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ C organic cane sugar
- 1 tsp orange zest
- ½ tsp pure vanilla
- 1 ¾ C blueberries
- Thaw your blueberries, then strain the liquid.
- Preheat oven to 375℉. Spray your muffin pans with oil or use paper muffin liners.
- Whisk the butter and sugar together.
- Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix.
- Add the orange zest, milk, and vanilla. Stir well.
- Slowly add the flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Fold into the wet ingredients.
- Fold in the blueberries and make sure not to break them.
- Pour the dough into the muffin pan, ONLY filling ½ way full!
- Bake for 18-20 minutes. Yields 24 mini muffins
Gluten Free Mini Blueberry Muffins