Shayla Gunter-Goldstein and Lillian Sweet don’t let food allergies or sensitivities get in the way of holiday festivities.
Between the two of them, they deal with family members who cannot eat peanuts, tree nuts, fish, soy protein, dairy and gluten. “We also have numerous relatives who are vegetarian and vegan,” says Gunter-Goldstein.
To ensure the safety of her family, she hosts most large family gatherings, and while she accepts salads and entrees made by others, she’s the only one who makes dessert.
“Before any holiday, I pore over my recipes, looking for suitable meal ideas. I’ve really taken a liking to vegan baking,” says Gunter-Goldstein.
She and her kids love making baked doughnuts for Hanukkah. She says that they’re “not quite as good as the greasy, oily, sugary ones from bakeries, but yummy nonetheless.”
Sweet, whose husband doesn’t eat dairy or gluten, says she deals with invitations by having him eat before they go to someone else’s house. “We used to avoid brunches, but if he has eaten, he can pick at whatever he can eat. I also offer to bring dessert so he can eat it,” she says.
Cooking is a lot easier now than when he stopped eating gluten and dairy 10 years ago, says Sweet. “Stores are now full of gluten-free items. I modify mainstream recipes, and no one knows they’re eating gluten-free.”
Vegan Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes
o 250 ml (1 cup) soy milk (or other milk substitute, depending on allergies)
o 5 ml (1 tsp) apple cider vinegar
o 30 ml (2 tbsp) cornstarch
o 375 ml (1½ cups) flour
o 3.75 ml (3/4 tsp) baking powder
o 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) baking soda
o 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground nutmeg
o 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
o 75 ml (1/3 cup) Canola oil
o 205 ml (3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp) sugar
o 10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla extract
o 75 ml (1/3 cup) raspberry, strawberry or grape jam
o 30 ml (2 tbsp) powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a cupcake tin with paper liners. In a mixing cup, combine the soy milk, vinegar and cornstarch and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Create a well in the centre of the flour for the wet ingredients.
Mix the soy milk mixture with a fork to dissolve the cornstarch and pour into the flour mixture. Add the oil, sugar and vanilla and mix well.
Fill the cupcake liners about full with batter. Place a heaping spoonful of jam into the centre of each cupcake, being careful not to overfill. The jam will sink into the cupcake during baking.
Bake cupcakes for 21-23 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack and then let them sit, uncovered, overnight in a cool, dry place. This will make the tops slightly crispy, like a donut crust. Using a sifter, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with coffee.
Sweet Marie Bars
o 75 ml (1/3 cup) corn syrup
o 7.5 ml (1/2 tbsp) butter or coconut oil
o 125 ml (1/2 cup) brown sugar
o 140 ml (1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp) peanut butter, divided
o 300 ml (1¼ cup) chocolate chips, divided
o 175 ml (3/4 cup) chopped peanuts
o 250 ml (2 cups) Rice Krispies
Melt corn syrup, butter or oil, brown sugar, 125 ml (1/2 cup) peanut butter and 125 ml (1/2 cup) chocolate chips together (in a microwave, if desired).
Add chopped peanuts and Rice Krispies. Press into the bottom of a square 20×20-cm (8×8-inch) or 23×23-cm (9×9-inch) pan.
Melt 15 ml (1 tbsp) or more of peanut butter and 175 ml (3/4 cup) of chocolate chips together. Pour over base evenly.
Refrigerate and cut into squares.
Three Seed Cookies
o 250 ml (1 cup) pumpkin seeds
o 250 ml (1 cup) sunflower seeds
o 125 ml (1/2 cup) sesame seeds
o 1 handful raisins or Craisins
o 2 egg whites
o 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
o 60 ml (1/4 cup) sugar
Preheat oven to 160 C (320 F). Mix together sugar, seeds and raisins. Lightly beat egg whites and add to seeds, along with the vanilla. Bake for 20 minutes.