Cooking with kids makes me happy. How could it not? Kids are playing with food, getting excited about creating something from scratch, and then feeling so proud when people enjoy the fruits of their labor. But more and more, I am noticing children with food allergies or dietary restrictions. Kids at class parties are feeling left out when they can’t eat the treat that another child brought in, and family members don’t feel included when they are served an alternate dessert to what everyone else is enjoying. Perhaps this is on my mind more than usual because we are in the midst of doing a dairy elimination diet for our 8 year old son. We have been struggling with his unpredictable behavior for years, and are seeing if this makes a difference. I digress…
My goal in writing this post? I want people to feel loved by food. Instead of feeling like they are settling for a crummy substitute, I want people to eat everyday meals and special holiday feasts with confidence that they are getting the very best. For some of us, that means we have to step outside of our comfort zone and try some new ingredients. It might mean using new recipes and setting aside the ones that are tried and true.
When I need inspiration for adapting recipes and having an excellent attitude about it, I always look to Shauna from Gluten Free Girl. She has embraced her diagnosis with celiac disease and has learned to create foods that never feel like a compromise. While I wait for her new book, Gluten Free Girl and the Chef, to arrive in the mail, I thought I’d adapt an apple crisp recipe on my own. In our case, I am going to make it dairy free…but I am also going to go gluten free for the first time. Since I wasn’t ready to buy a variety of alternative flours and mix them on my own, I thought I’d start with a blend from Bob’s Red Mill that was already prepared. Baby steps, right?
I made this apple crisp yesterday with a Girl Scout Troop as part of their Try It badge. And today, I will adapt it, using a dairy substitute and my new flour mix.
8 tart apples
2 tablespoons sugar, more or less, to taste
1/3 cup butter (or Earth Balance)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour (or a mix of GF flours)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Peel and slice the apples into a large pie plate or a 9×9 inch pan, layering with sugar. Or, you can wedge the apples with an apple wedger. Then, chop the pieces with a knife or a food chopper.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the topping ingredients. Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter. Work the ingredients together until they become crumbly.
- Distribute the topping evenly over the top of the apples.
- Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cover and bake an additional 15 minutes.
- Serve warm.
The verdict? Pictures say a thousand words, don’t you think?
If you’d like to see other fantastic Gluten-Free recipes for Thanksgiving (or any time!), check out the round-up on the Gluten Free Girl website.