Mary Sheehan Coming Home To Cook

October 11, 2011

baking for chidren with autism

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:14 pm

Always up for a challenge, I jumped at the opportunity to teach a baking class for mothers of children with autism. As a cook who specializes in vegetarian menus that are often gluten and dairy free,  cooking for people with food sensitivities is just what I do. But, throw in the ever present corn,  soy and sugar and it’s time to get creative.  Research has shown that some of the behavioral characteristics of autism can be alleviated with the elimantion of gluten, dairy, sugar, corn and soy. So, I’ll be taking these mothers through the maze of flours, rising agents, oils, natural sugars and non dairy alternatives so that they can create tasty treats at home and for the lunch box.  Is it possible to have chocolate pudding, yummy cookies, scrumptuous cakes and tarts without these traditional ingredients? Absolutely! Here’s a recipe for chocolate pudding cake that is easy peasy and delicious!       

Sift together 1 1/4 cups brown rice flour with 1 tsp. gluten free baking flour and 1 tsp. cinnamon.  Add 1/3 cup xylitol*. Whisk 2/3 cup almond milk, 2 Tbl. sunflower spread and 2 Tbl. gluten and dairy free cocoa powder. Heat until spread melts. Set aside and let cool. To the flour mixture  add 1 egg and  slowly add liquid mixture and blend well in food processor. The batter will be thick. Pour into a greased 5 cup ovenproof dish. Whisk together 1 -1/2 cups boiling water with 2 Tbl. molasses and 2 Tbl. cocoa powder and pour over batter. Bake for 35 -45 minutes or until tester comes out clean. *xylitol is a 100% natural sweetener that was first researched in Finland. It comes from berries, fruit and vegetables. It has a significantly lower glycemic response than refined sugar, has 40% fewer calories and 75% fewer carbohydrates. In recipes, use a 1/4 cup less when substituting for granulated or caster sugar. cake2

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