An allergy-friendly version of a classic Eastern European dessert and snack perfect for celebrations.
Tag: food allergies
Happy New Year! Yeah, I know we are halfway into January already but it’s been a busy start to the year. I’m not one to make resolutions because, let’s be honest, they are just going to be broken. I’m more realistic than to think I’m going to eat better the entire year or go to the gym 5 days every week. I do, however, make some goals to hit throughout the year.
Goal 1: Be better about avoiding ALL my allergens, which means ditching my beloved ketchup and cutting out alcohol as much as possible. That may be a confusing sentence but several of my food allergens cause stomach issues, not eat-it-and-die issues. With that said, it is not fun to regularly have stomach pains just because I want to eat what everyone else is eating.
Goal 2: Spend more time with family. This should be an easy one but most of my family is either in Ohio or Chicago and I don’t make it to either often enough. We are fortunate to see Scott’s parents often because they come to the city a few times a year and now that his sister and her family have moved just across the river we’ll get to see them a lot, too.
Goal 3: Be more dedicated to this blog. When life gets busy the first thing put to the side is this blog. It is meant to be a resource to help and guide others struggling with food allergies and I have TONS of ideas and things I want to get involved in, so it’s time to start treating this like the job it is supposed to be.
Now back to food. I buy bananas all the time to add to smoothies but some [most] mornings I really do not want a smoothie and then the bananas start to go bad. Before they get completely disgusting I either cut them up and freeze them or make banana bread. This has caused banana bread to be a very common food in our house which is only disappointing in that it’s not really the healthiest breakfast and/or lunch and/or snack. (I’ve definitely eaten three slices in one day……)
When I had to omit butter and eggs in my banana bread recipe it took awhile to recreate it so that it was just as tasty and had a good texture. I relied on eating a lot of vegan banana bread at cafés and restaurants, many of which were barely edible, and a few that were shockingly delicious. Thanks to their secrets and some research on my own, I’ve come up with what is a barely noticeable difference. As in, if I didn’t tell you this banana bread was vegan you’d probably have no idea. When it’s a special occasion I’ll load it up with walnuts and chocolate, but one or both can be left out without harming the final product.
Allergy note: this recipe is DAIRY-, EGG-, SOY-, PEANUT-, and YEAST-free with an easy option to also be TREENUT-free. It is not gluten-free but GF flour substitutes could be used with varying degrees of success (texturally I’m not sure how each will turn out).
I like to use my bananas when they get to the level of brown speckling shown in the photo above. The sugars have really come out in them and made them extra sweet but they haven’t yet turned into slimy mush.
I highly suggest using three bananas on the larger side for this recipe. If you only have two bananas left in your bunch you’re not going to have as moist of a bread (unless they are giant bananas) and if you have four bananas it could be too much moisture so that your bread never fully seems to be cooked through (unless they are small bananas). How to solve this conundrum? If you have 2, add some applesauce for moisture, and if you have 4, freeze one, use the rest.
Aside from the bananas, you need: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, grapeseed oil, coconut or almond milk, cane sugar, vanilla, fresh lemon juice, plus your optional add-ins: walnuts and chocolate.
Mix together all of your dry ingredients (except sugar) on one bowl and your wet ingredients (including sugar) in another bowl or large liquid measuring cup. Add the wet ingredients to dry and gently mix until everything is just combined. If you over mix the bread will get dense so pay close attention. In a separate shallow dish, mash your bananas (I use a potato masher for ease) then add it to the mixture along with your other add-ins, walnuts and/or chopped allergy-friendly chocolate. Ever so gently fold these ingredients into the batter until just mixed. Again, no one likes dense bread.
A note about mashing: I do not like to have chunks of banana in my banana bread. My stepmother once made banana bread when I was young, like 8 or 9, and left the bananas chunky. I think I almost threw up on the table while chewing. I pulverize mine until they are pretty smooth. If you like chunks you probably should not use a potato masher, stick with a fork.
When your batter is ready, transfer it to a loaf pan that has been greased and floured, smooth it out, sprinkle the top with crushed walnuts, if using, then toss it in the oven for 50-60 minutes at 350F. I begin to check my bread at the 50 minute mark but almost always need the full 60 and sometimes a little longer even. The top should be nice and browned and the walnuts nearly burnt. If you’ve burnt the walnuts, no worries, the bread will still taste delicious. Just pick off the worst of the walnuts so they don’t overpower the flavor of the bread.
Once the bread is done, loosen it from the pan by taking a knife around the sides then transfer it to a cooling rack for 10 minutes or so before serving. The bread will keep, wrapped, in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. You can also freeze it in individual slices to be reheated in the oven or toaster oven.
If you can eat some version of cream cheese, this is the best topping option in my opinion. After that I’d go with butter of some sort (I like the Olivio Coconut Spread…it’s also the only butter alternative I can eat but I promise it is soooo good). If you are in dire straights, nut butter pairs nicely. I often end up with almond butter on mine because it is impossible to find said Olivio Coconut Spread in Manhattan. I have an Amazon alert on for when it becomes available through them again. I asked for it for Christmas. No one could find it. I emailed Olivio asking them to ship me some with shipping costs on me even. No response. PLEASE FIND ME THIS SPREAD.
Anyway, make this, top it with delicious things, fool your friends into thinking it’s not vegan, eat an entire loaf in one day, it’s completely acceptable.
- 3 large ripe bananas
- ¼ cup grapeseed oil
- ½ cup cane sugar
- ½ cup coconut or almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup + ¼ cup walnuts pieces (optional)
- 3-4 ounces vegan and allergy-friendly chocolate, chopped (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease and flour your loaf pan then set aside.
- Whisk together oil, sugar, milk, vanilla and lemon juice in a small bowl or large liquid measuring cup until fully incorporated. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour in the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Using a potato masher or fork, mash bananas in a shallow dish. Immediately add to the batter along with one cup of walnuts and chopped chocolate and fold in. Be careful not to overmix so that your bread doesn't end up dense!
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup walnut pieces, if using.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is browned.
*To make this gluten free, sub in your favorite gf flour mixture. I haven't tried any so can't comment as to how it will turn out but it should work fine!
*If you do not have grapeseed oil on hand, use another flavorless oil in it's place, like canola oil or refined coconut oil.
*If you do not have a fresh lemon on hand, apple cider vinegar can replace it, though I recommend avoiding that if you are allergic to or have a yeast sensitivity.
Let me know if you’ve tried this recipe! Comment below or post a photo to Instagram and tag me @champagneandfrites #champagneandfrites.
There’s something you should know about me: I love pie (I mean, I really, really love it). I’ll chose pie over cake any day of the week. Feeling too lazy to make a full pie? No problem, I’ll take a tart or galette and be just as happy. When it comes down to it, they are the sisters to pie so it all works out. Just don’t be a cheat and make it on puff pastry because that is not the same thing. I won’t throw it at you but I will accidentally drop it on the ground (jk, I’d never do that!).
Because my love of pie runs so deep I am always thinking about it. I can’t walk through the produce section of the grocery store without thinking about what fruits, and sometimes even vegetables, would make a delicious pie. I make a lot of apple and blueberry, because they are my absolute favorites, but love to explore other options.
I was walking through the Union Square Greenmarket a few weeks ago and was drawn to a huge display of peaches. I usually avoid peaches because they can make my mouth itchy when in raw form but for some reason I had to have these peaches. They were perfect and fragrant and I wasn’t walking away without a bag. As I stood there waiting to pay, I started to think about what to do with them. I looked around at the other vendors and spotted a table full of fresh berries and a bell went off in my head: peach and berry pie!
I got home and got to work: I whipped up a double pie crust, washed all my fruit and went through my spice rack to decide what should go into the filling. I decided not to add much to let the flavor of the fruit really shine through. I also decided that I’d go heavier on the berries than the peaches just because, well, berries. Once I started putting everything together I made a decision to turn this into a galette…mostly because I hadn’t made enough filling and I was too lazy to make more.
The first galette I made was SO GOOD. Scott and I ate the entire thing in two days……..that’s normal, right? Of course, I didn’t measure anything. My first attempt to replicate it was ok but not great; it was too sweet and too runny. My second attempt to replicate it was amazing. No, it was AH-MAZZZZIINNNGG. Better than the first one with the perfect balance of sweet and tart, a little hint of spice, and the perfect filling texture: not too running and not too thick. Hands down, this is my new go-to summer dessert. Invite me for dinner? Guess what, I’m bringing you this galette. Want to go on a picnic? Sure, I’ll make this galette. Drinks and gossip on the roof? Galette is the perfect pairing! You get it.
Allergy note: this recipe uses my double pie crust recipe which is completely vegan and can be made gluten free. If you are allergic to stone fruit, swap the peaches for apples or just increase the amount of berries overall. Both would be delicious options! I use cornstarch is a thickening agent but if you’re allergic to corn, you can substitute it with arrowroot starch, tapioca flour or all-purpose flour (these may not all be 1:1 substitutes so please read the guidelines on the packaging).
Let’s do this!
You don’t need a lot for this recipe because it sticks to my philosophy of the simpler the better. Delicious food does not need a million ingredients! You only need your peaches and berries, sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and lemon, plus your pie dough: flour, salt, shortening and water.
Even when I get my fruits and vegetables from the greenmarket I give them in good wash and let them soak in a vinegar solution to help kill any surface yeasts that may be hanging around. Organic options may be safe from pesticides but they are not safe from mold and bugs! Let your berries dry completely before proceeding so that you don’t add extra liquid into the filling.
To make each bite easier, I like to cut the peaches into slices and then halve the slices. I can’t stand it when I go for a bite and end up dragging out half the filling in the slice because it was all attached to one big piece of peach. I also advise cutting the strawberries into slices so they mix better with the rest of the filling. Once you’ve cut up the peaches and strawberries, add them to a bowl with the raspberries, blackberries and blueberries then add in the rest of your filling ingredients and stir it up.
BTW, I got this mini pink rubber spatula at Williams Sonoma a few months ago and am obsessed! One, it’s pink, two, it’s the perfect size, three, it has a mate that is more of a scrapper perfect for cleaning out jars. I love them so much I got a grey set, too. Grey for savory dishes, pink for sweets! (I’m just a little OCD…)
Anyway, now that your filling is prepped and macerating, start rolling out your pie dough. If you were making a pie you’d roll out half the dough. But since we’re making a galette, roll out about 3/4 of the dough to a 1/8″ thickness in a circle 3-4 inches larger than your pie plate for more overlap on the filling. If you just thought, “pie plate? I thought we were making a galette?,” let me explain. Galettes are round freeform pastries that are not meant to be perfect like pies. But I find a pie plate to be a wonderful mold to make sure your galette has a nice, uniform roundness and to help catch any spillage that would otherwise destroy your baking sheet or oven bottom. I leave the imperfections only to the rustic edges of the crust.
So grab your pie plate, lay your dough in it as evenly as possibly, pushing the dough into the plate, and get to filling! As you are filling, be careful to reserve 1-2 tablespoons of the filling liquid to brush on top of the crust. Since it contains all sorts of goodies in it, this will help the crust get nice and golden brown that otherwise can’t be achieved without an egg wash. (Or, if you can eat eggs, skip this and just brush the top with an egg wash.) Once your filling is evenly distributed, fold the edges of the galette over, overlapping where necessary. Using a pastry brush, brush the reserved filling liquid on the edges then sprinkle with sugar.
Bake this beautiful galette at 375F for 45-60 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the bottom is fully cooked (another benefit of using a pie plate, if it’s glass, is that you can check the bottom). Take it out and use all of your self control to let it cool for several hours, or even over night, so that the filling has time to fully set. If you cut it too soon you’ll have a runny mess on your hands. If you want to eat it warm, simply reheat it in a 200F oven.
While this makes a wonderful dessert, it makes a delicious breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea, too. It is also perfect as an afternoon snack. Actually, just eat it for all your meals until it’s gone and then make another and repeat.
- one double pie crust
- 2 cups sliced peaches
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- ½ cup raspberries
- ½ cup blackberries
- ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- juice from ½ lemon
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Prepare pie dough according to recipe and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together fruits, ¼ cup sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and lemon juice. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to macerate.
- Roll out ¾ of the pie dough into a large circle and transfer to a pie dish making sure dough hangs over the edges of the dish. Fill the dish with the peach and berry mixture, reserving 1-2 Tbsp worth of liquid. Fold the pie dough edges over the top of the filling.
- Brush the top of the dough with the reserved filling liquid then sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
- Bake the galette for 45-60 minutes, until the crust has turned golden brown and the bottom is cooked through.
- Let the galette cool for several hours before serving to allow the filling to set.
Let me know if you’ve tried this recipe! Comment below or post a photo to instagram and tag me @champagneandfrites!
In honor of National Fry Day (I know, it was yesterday and I’m late to the game), I’m sharing my method for making crispy, fluffy, delicious baked french fries that will satisfy any fry-connoiseur’s demands. I can say this because I myself am addicted to fries.
Now, I’m not saying that baked fries are anywhere near as good as those twice-fried in duck fat, but for a “healthy” homemade version, these are the crème de la crème. Over the years I have tried many different recipes trying to get a fry that has a crispy outside and creamy inside like true french fries but always failed. The reason why this recipe works so well is because it combines many processes together to produce the perfect final product: crispy golden brown on the outside with a light and airy fluffy center. It may seem like a lot of steps but I promise, it is well worth it.
Not much is needed, just potatoes, olive oil and salt, plus whatever seasoning you’d like on your fries. I chose to add some fresh rosemary to mine but you could use cajun seasoning, garlic, paprika, herbs or anything else you’re craving at the moment. I also suggest using Yukon Gold potatoes, not Idaho Russet potatoes. Yukon Golds have more flavor than Russets while still having enough starch to give you a tender inside.
While you can buy special french fry cutters, I prefer the old-fashioned method: cutting the fries by hand. It really doesn’t take more than a few minutes and it allows you to adjust the size of the fry easily. Plus, who really has room in their kitchen for yet another gadget? If you decide to peel the potatoes (I always do simply because the skin, even with a good washing, can hold on to molds), peel them first and then cut a slice off one side in order to give the potato a flat, steady surface for cutting.
Next, place your fries in a bowl of cold water and let sit for 30 minutes. By soaking the potatoes you remove excess starch making for a crispier final product. You’ll notice the water turn a mirky, cloudy color as the starch leeches out.
The first step in the cooking process is to boil the fries to help them get tender on the inside. Strain out the starchy water then place the fries in a medium sized pot. Cover the fries with 1-2 inches of fresh water and cook on high for 10 minutes. If the water starts to boil before 10 minutes, reduce the heat to a simmer. Carefully drain the fries and spread them on a clean towel to dry completely before baking. You want to ensure all excess moisture has been removed or else they will not crisp up!
Once fully dried, place the fries on a baking sheet along with olive oil, salt and whatever other seasoning you choose. Toss together to fully combine and coat the fries on all sides. Bake in a 450F oven for 20 minutes, remove and flip, then bake for another 5 minutes, and repeat until the fries are browned. (I usually flip 2-3 times.)
Immediately transfer the fries to a paper towel lined cooling rack and sprinkle generously with salt. Do not let them cool before salting! Serve with your favorite dipping sauce (ketchup, mustard and hot sauce mix for me!) and enjoy!
- 4 large Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 sprigs rosemary (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 450F. Peel potatoes then cut into ¼-1/2 inch sticks. Place in a bowl of cold water and let sit for 30+ minutes.
- Strain potatoes then add to a medium pot. Cover with 1-2 inches of fresh water and cook on high for 10 minutes. If the water starts to boil before 10 minutes is up, reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Carefully strain the potatoes and spread on a clean towel to dry completely.
- Remove rosemary leaves from stems and scatter over a large baking sheet. Place fries on top then drizzle with olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Toss together to fully coat each fry. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Remove, flip, and cook for another 5 minutes, repeating until the fries are perfectly browned.
- Transfer to a paper towel lined cooling rack and immediately sprinkle with more salt before they cool. Serve and enjoy!
Let me know if you’ve tried this recipe! Comment below or post a photo to instagram and tag me @champagneandfrites!