Friday, July 21, 2017

Egg-Free, Wheat-Free, Bean-Free Falafel


     Most falafel is made with garbanzo beans. There are, however, authentic Middle Eastern recipes that rely on fava beans, and that is what we are going to use here. Favas are a vetch, not a true bean. Allergies to beans do not necessarily mean an allergy to favas. My grandson, who used to get sick from the amount of soy lecithin in a chocolate bar or the bit of soybean oil in a handful of candy corn and was unable to eat any kind of peas, lentils or beans, could gobble favas with impunity. 

     Note that there is a rare genetic enzyme deficiency (not a true allergy) that gives some people, especially of Middle Eastern or African descent, gastrointestinal distress when they eat favas.

     crispy unsweetened cereal (See Bread Crumbs in the Glossary
     salt   (See Salt in the Glossary
     2 c. soaked split favas (To soak the favas, cover them, in a large pot, with 
          enough water that they will remain immersed after they expand. Bring to 
          a boil; cover tightly and remove from heat. Wait one hour and 
          drain. Note that soaked favas can be kept in the freezer. You may find it 
          efficient to soak a large potful, portion it out into 2-cup units, and freeze.)
     1 Tb. fresh squeezed lemon juice (See Juice in the Glossary)
     2 Tb. chopped onion
     3 cloves of garlic, sliced
     1/4 c. fresh parsley leaves (See Produce in the Glossary)
     2 Tb. fresh mint leaves (See Produce in the Glossary)
     1 Tb. olive or other oil (See Oil in the Glossary
     2 Tb. buckwheat flour
     1/4 tsp. baking soda
     1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (See Spices in the Glossary 
     2 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and ground (To toast, put the seeds in a 
          small pan over medium high heat. Stir constantly until they 
          become fragrant and start to brown. Immediately pour into a 
          coffee/spice grinder: they may be scorched if left sitting in the 
          heated pan. Grind.)
     3 tsp. coriander seeds, toasted and ground (same as for cumin seeds)
     flaxseed meal
     oil for frying (See Oil in the Glossary
     First, make "bread crumbs" from the cereal. Pour some onto a plate, stir in a sprinkling of salt, and set aside.

        Stir 1-1/2 Tb. flaxseed meal into 1/2 cup of water and set aside.

     Put the favas, lemon juice, chopped onion, garlic, parsley, mint, and olive oil in a food-processor and run it until they are thoroughly ground up.

     Stir together the buckwheat flour, baking soda, cayenne pepper, 3/4 tsp. of salt and 2 Tb. of flaxseed meal. Mix this into the fava mixture. 

    Form 1/3-inch-thick patties from the fava mixture. Dip each patty into the flaxseed mixture so that it is thoroughly coated, and roll it in the "bread crumb" mixture so that it is coated with crumbs. Cover the inside of a skillet with a thin layer of oil and heat to a medium temperature. Put the patties in the oil and fry until golden brown on one side, flip, and brown the other side.  Serve with lettuce, tomato, and regular or sunflower seed tarator.

You can fry falafel patties without the flaxseed meal/"bread crumb"
coating.  They're still tasty and contain less fat, but they have no crunch.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Corn-Free Syrups and Corn-Free Soda Pops

Rhubarb syrup and rhubarb soda

     Most commercial syrups are made with corn syrup, as is most soda pop. To make simple syrup from your choice of plain sugar, follow this recipe:

     1 part water
     2 parts sugar (See Sugar in the Glossary)

     Heat the sugar and water together, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils. The sugar should be thoroughly dissolved. Refrigerate.

     Fruit or other flavored syrups: In place of the water, substitute any fruit juice to which you are not allergic. (See Juice in the GlossaryMint or other infusions and rhubarb juice make interesting syrups too. (To juice rhubarb in a juicer, first peel the stalks. The strings clog up juicers.) Sweeter fruit juices will make somewhat thicker syrups. For infusions that don't have any acidity (such as mint), you need to add some lemon juice to prevent mold.

     Soda Pop: To make soda pop, mix 1 part flavored syrup with 3 or so parts plain soda water.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Single Serving of Hypoallergenic Soft-Serve Ice Cream

Chocolate ice cream, pineapple/coconut ice cream
and the containers  used to freeze them

     You want to serve cake and ice cream at a children's party, and one child who's coming is allergic to wheat, dairy, eggs, corn, soy, etc. What kind of cake is that, and where do you find that ice cream?

     The cake is tricky but, as long as the kid is not allergic to coconut, the ice cream doesn't have to be. If you can find Coconut Bliss Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert in your grocery store, check out the label: it doesn't have any of the ingredients I listed. If you can't find it, the kid is allergic to it after all, you think it's a bit pricy, or you really only want, like, one scoop, keep reading. Making one scoop of coconut-milk-based "ice cream" is surprisingly simple.

    Basic Recipe: Coconut Ice Cream
     1/4 c. canned coconut milk (See Coconut and Milk in the Glossary)
     1 Tb. sugar (See Sugar in the Glossary)
     (optional) 1/4 tsp. corn-free vanilla extract
     Basic Recipe + 1 Tb. cocoa (pure cocoa, not drink powder)

     2 Tb. canned coconut milk (See Coconut and Milk in the Glossary)
     2 Tb. pureed pineapple (Puree a slice of fresh pineapple in a food-
     1 Tb. sugar (See Sugar in the Glossary)
     (optional) 1/4 tsp. corn-free vanilla extract

You will also need
     table salt
     crushed ice (or small ice cubes)
     cold water

     Stir your ingredients together. You are now ready to freeze your mixture. There are commercial gadgets, such as Ice Cream Magic, that do a fine job in 3 or 4 minutes. Follow the instructions.

Ice Cream Magic set

     Alternatively, put your ice cream mixture into a tiny container with a good seal and shut it tightly. Put 3-4 parts ice, 1 part salt, 1 part cold water and the tiny container into a somewhat bigger container with a good seal and shut it tightly. Have the kids take turns shaking for a few minutes, until the mixture turns solid. The point of using crushed ice, cold water and table salt instead of ice cubes and rock salt is to get the process off to a faster start.