My 4 year old has recently been shown to have a gluten and dairy intolerance.  The gluten I can handle, to some extent, as we have pretty much already eliminated most gluten from our diet.  Bread is a bit tricky however, and I’m finding myself spending a fortune on a gluten free loaf that doesn’t contain additives and vegetable oils.  It is definitely time I start investigating making my own gluten free bread I think – watch this space!!!

Dairy, on the other hand, for a child who’s favourite foods were cheese and yoghurt is a bit of a nightmare.

I have to say though, after a trip to the supermarket to investigate my options, I was mortified.  I mean, seriously, all the products marketed gluten and/or dairy free are FULL of chemicals, vegetable oils, preservatives and a plethora of other numbers that I don’t even really want to look up.  I mean what are the manufacturers really saying – ‘hey your poor child clearly has a sensitive digestive system, I know let’s take the gluten/dairy out of this product and flood it with crap- I’m sure it will go down wonderfully’.  Keep in mind that most of these products are directly marketed at our kids.

So, I have decided that I simply have to spend even more time in the kitchen than I already do and get creative with my cooking and baking so that I can feed my children the kind of food they deserve, despite their intolerances (bearing in mind that my children could be the fussiest kids ever).

One of my new creations are these delicious vanilla cupcakes that are gluten, dairy and sugar free.  I trawled through the internet and cookbooks looking for such a thing and couldn’t find it, so I have made up my own and am proud to say that not only do I find them absolutely delicious but MY KIDS DO TOO!  And they seriously take about 5 minutes to pull together.  Winning!  So give them a go – they are delicious on their own, but you could add chocolate chips, banana, blueberries, cacoa powder (1/4 cup would be good) – whatever you like really.  You could omit the dates and they are a delicious savoury base for breakfast muffins.

Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free Vanilla Cupcakes

(serves 18 mini cupcakes)

You will need:

1 ½ cups almond meal

1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten free – from health food stores)

2 organic/free range eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup macadamia, coconut or olive oil

¼ cup milk of your choice (I used almond milk)

½ – 3/4 cup of pitted dates

How to pull it together:

Put all ingredients in your food processor and blitz until well combined (dates in particular).

Spoon into mini cupcake papers and bake in a moderate oven (about 180 degrees) for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Careful – they tend to burn easily on the top.



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