Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Food Sensitivities: Gluten, Dairy, Cinnamon, Egg-Free Pumpkin Bars

I have been IgG (sensitivity, not allergy) tested and am making an honest effort to avoid most of the food items that came up in my test.  The top three include egg whites.  I want pumpkin bars (a recent favorite of mine) except the recipe I have calls for eggs.  I have been scrounging around for egg replacements and there is a commercial one, but I am going to try using flaxseed.  I didn't know! After googling it, I grabbed my bag of Bobs Red Mill and there it is right on the back: Baking Tips for Flaxseed Meal: per egg substitute 1 Tbsp flax and 3 Tbsp water and let sit.  It forms a gel.  I did this with a blondie recipe that was vegan (something I have learned to watch/search for in order to avoid dairy and eggs, not because I do not eat meat cuz I do) but I did not put it together that the flax gel was the substitute!

My pictures for today are of my bars (not too exciting for you, but yummy for me and my babes!)  Joe is in Colorado until Friday, so I'm on vacation.  It is tough with him gone but then I can watch my prophoto videos and keep the kids up for a fun movie night.  Shhh, don't tell Evan.  He asks for these nights when Joe is gone and he still goes to bed at a decent time, but he feels like it is special and late.  I'm a stickler with the mentality that we need our sleep.  Especially the little ones.  Now, why doesn't Calvin understand that lately?

I am going to be letting him cry more at night to get past this.  Okay, who am I kidding?  I am a sucker for crying babies - but I will need to get over it to get some sleep and not feel so out of control.  I am getting very little sleep.  I do not understand how I am functioning, and fairly happily!  I am happy actually.  Life is good.  Challenges are humbling.  

Oh, these are why:
Pumpkin Bars (cake - Nolan has been singing "Happy Birthday to Calvin!")

2 Cups Bobs GF (Gluten Free)All Purpose Baking Flour (I've used other alternatives too and don't have a preference yet)
1 Tsp Guar Gum (use when using GF flours, I've learned)
1.5 C Sugar (Could use less if you'd like - I have and am trying it this way to see/taste the difference.  I am curious about the flax adding a strong 'nut' flavor)
1 Tsp Ground Nutmeg to replace 2 Tsp Cinnamon (one of my sensitivities)
1/4 Tsp Ground Cloves
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
4 Tbsp flax gelled with 12 Tbsp water to substitute eggs
15 Ounces of Pumpkin (no, I do not use any of Joe's Giants)
2/3 Cup Grape Seed Oil (polyunsaturated oil, rich in Linoleic Acid - main source for Omega "6", rich in vitamin E, use less than other oils) substituted for 1 cup of vegetable oil
Mix all together and bake at 350 for about 25-35 minutes, depending on your stoneware, I mean bakeware (I like stonewear for baking).
(I like my new lens!  That is my answer to the previous post)

Reflecting on this large change in the way I eat leads me to wonder if I am doing so well on little sleep because I am healthier?  I have lost 10 lbs since May.  I weigh as much as I did when I graduated from HS.  I feel pretty good and energetic.  I am running about 15 miles a week.  Down from about 20 this past summer.  So, the answer is not in exercising more.  However, I am also starting to bike and swim with the goal of a sprint triathlon in mind for next year.  I was thinking another marathon but am not sure I want painful knees again. I am only biking and swimming about once a week right now, but the goal is to swim 2 to 3 times a week.  My running might dip to 12 miles at that point.  Joe is looking at bike trainers.  I digress.

It might sound like I exercise a lot.  I get in about 6 workouts a week and make sure to have 2 days off.  One can always double up on workouts per day to have more days off.

I hope my words are not misinterpreted as bragging.  I am in awe over what I have learned in regards to food.  I have a huge motivation for the way I eat.  I am sad to say it is not me.  It is Calvin.  Knowing I can have such a big effect on his digestion and indigestion (reflux, spitting up, bowel movements) keeps me in check.  However, I know we have a long way to go.

Reading about girls starting puberty early because of plastic (leakage from packages) and soy makes me wish the food on the shelves had to meet higher criteria (basically, less additives and preservatives - not organic by any means).  It is an investment to eat healthier and it only needs to start small.  I know that from personal experience.

Many of you might remember the stress I felt over such a large endeavor.  So, I slowly replaced and deleted.  Look, I'm ready to look at egg replacement!  My high sensitivities are Egg Whites, Cottage Cheese, and Buttermilk.  Moderate: Baker's Yeast, numerous dairy items, Kidney Beans, Brewer's Yeast, Casein, Pistachio.  Low: Too many to name including berries - something I consume daily.  Joe and I have talked about this and the question is: do the benefits out weigh the negatives.

Anyway, I have too many things to get done.  Okay, too many pumpkin bars to eat.  ( I am not starving myself: "Miss Pan Of Brownies In 2 Days" (Calvin was in the hospital, I had nothing else to do!)

Cheers!  Heres to hard work and dedication!  I like challenges!  Most of them...


  1. What a great find on the flax. Those bars look amazing!

  2. You humble me with how much you much you know regarding diet, life, exercise! Enjoy those bars because you certainly deserve them! Sounds like you are enjoying some special time with those boys too :)!

  3. Pumpkin bars are my favorite! Now I can't wait for Thanksgiving!

  4. Yes the bars do look amazing (I might try to make them myself)! I am also in awe of what you do for your boys!

  5. Just commenting on here to let you know that your bars are AMAZING. I have my own bakery and I have vegan and dairy free requests, and this recipe is always my go to for pumpkin bars. Thank you!