Clementine Cake (gluten and dairy free)

I love using citris in recipes at this time of year. I love citris, period, although I rarely use it anymore due to my 1 1/2 year old’s citris allergy. When I saw this gluten and dairy free recipe for clementine cake by Deb at Smitten Kitchen, I knew I wanted to try it. I ended up making it for our Solstice Party (while my husband pointed out that having people over is not a time to try a brand new recipe which I planned to further alter).

However, it turned out really well. I was quite impressed and happy to have another use for the almond meal leftover from making almond milk.

Recipe:

  • 1 pound of celementines.
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons  sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups leftover almond meal from making almond milk (as opposed to Deb’s 2 1/3 cups of almond flour)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder (I use homemade in order to avoid the cornstarch)

According to the original recipe, you cover the clementines with water, bring to a boil, and simmer for two hours, under the raised eyebrows of your husband, who is horrified that the entire clementines will go into the cake. Deb’s instructions say to deseed the clementines after they cool, but the seeds were so small it seemed pointless. I dumped them in my trusty Blend-Tec,along with the other ingredients, and blended away.

After pouring in a greased (with canola oil) springform pan, I baked the cake for about 50 minutes at 375.

The cake turned out wonderfully moist with an almost custard like texture and a taste that was more than sweet enough (I may even cut the sugar down next time).

Child Size Wrist Warmers

My daughter has an atypical form of eczema known as dyshydrotic eczema. It presents as small bumps underneath the skin on the palms (and sometimes feet) that itch horribly. It is generally connected to food allergies and intolerances. Oddly enough, she never had the problem before we began cutting foods out, and we have yet to figure out which food is the culprit.

The majority of her scratching occurs at night during her sleep. The worst spot is in between her tumbs and forefingers, where she rubs her thumbs against the skin on her fingers. In order to help her sleep better, I knitted some wrist warmers for her to wear at night after she puts her cream on. They seem to help keep her from scratching as much.

The Plunge

Photo by Chas Redmond

Last Fall when I received the results from my allergy testing, I felt like I was on the edge of a cliff, teetering as I looked at what I was dealing with. We debated getting the kids tested. We didn’t want to put them through anything without reason, but I really wanted to know. In the end, my husband’s company helped make the decision. They decided to downgrade employee health insurance, so I made a rush call to get the kids in for bloodwork before the end of the year.

I expected a few allergies, especially since our youngest has been having reactions now that she eats some food or when I eat something I normally avoid (she’ll be tested when she is older). I wasn’t expecting the results we received – that all of our children have extensive food allergies.

That was the gust of wind that pushed me off the cliff, tumbling into the whirlpool waiting below. I went through some mama guilt. Did I do anything to cause this? Had I passed on my faulty genetics? But as I was struggling in that whirl-pool, I had a much greater reason to fight through. Children will do that for you.

We are addressing the allergies in phases. Right now we are working on going completely gluten, dairy, soy, tomato, yeast, and corn free. We’ll add in some more a little bit at a time. The kids are handling it surprisingly well. My six year old had one near breakdown at Costco, when out of the 15 or so samples, there were none that our family could eat. She was upset that there wasn’t anything she could eat. My husband and I pointed her toward the cart and explained that she could eat everything that we were buying, much to her relief.

It’s a new beginning for all of us. My children were headed down the path that I was. I look at my eight year old, just a few shy years of the age I was when my body first crashed. I have absolutely no regrets about getting them tested.

food allergies and food intolerance…

After reading Overcoming Allergies, I dove into Jonathan Brostoff’s Food Allergies and Food Intolerance. The beginning of the book is quite informative regarding the biological processes behind food allergies and food intolerance. Based on the work of clinical ecologists and scientifically sound, my only complaint about the beginning of the book was the lack of references. For individuals faced with reactions to food, the earlier sections are definitely worth reading. Some of the appendices at the back are also useful.

However, there is a rather long section in the middle of this 450+ page book which remains lacking. The book waxes on about various food intolerance theories without adding much beneficial information. The lack of references in this section is especially apparent. My other complaint is the breastfeeding advice. While the authors are pro-breastfeeding, it is obvious that they are not educated on the topic and should definitely not be dispensing some of their horrendous advice.

Check the book out from the library. Read the front part of the book, glance at the appendices, and turn it back in.