Chef Elizabeth Gordon demonstrates how to bake delicious, allergy-free desserts.
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Allergy-Free Ingredients for Cooking Dr. Travis Stork: Everybody knows it can be really hard for kids to understand why they can’t eat certain foods. Jared here can absolutely relate because he was diagnosed with nut allergies when he was three. So, he’s here with his mom Julie and Chef Elizabeth Gordon who developed food allergies later in her life. But here is the good news, she discovered a way to allow kids like Jared to eat the food they never thought they’d be able to eat which is awesome because it sucks. It’s a bummer not being able to eat the food you want, right? Jared: Of course. Dr. Travis Stork: So you developed food allergies as an adult? Elizabeth Gordon: I did. I developed food allergies after the birth of my first child. It’s about six years ago. I was covered head to toe in rash and couldn’t figure out what it was and it turned out I was allergic to wheat and eggs. Dr. Travis Stork: So what if I told you Jared and mom that you can eat everything on that table. Would you believe me? Jared: No, I wouldn't. Dr. Travis Stork: Well, you absolutely can and the reason is that Elizabeth actually has created a way to swap out ingredients that you are allergic to with things that you are not. Jared: Wow! Dr. Travis Stork: But let’s go to some of these swapped out ingredients Elizabeth. So what are we swapping out here? Elizabeth Gordon: Well, first of all, Jared I heard that you want to be a chef someday so pay a close attention. And it’s really easy to cook allergy-free. So, the first thing that we need to start with is xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is a gluten replacer. And so for people like me who are allergic to wheat, it is the most important ingredient in gluten-free baking. The next thing and this one is very tricky but it’s my egg substitute. Eggs are really important part of baking. They add flavor and texture and they binds to the batter. And I’m really allergic to them. So, I use Flaxseed meal and I add some water. I stir it in and see how thick it gets? It’s sort viscous just like an egg white. Dr. Travis Stork: So you’re telling me that in a dish, you can’t tell the difference? Elizabeth Gordon: No, and you can probably tell us Dr. Stork that Flaxseed meal is actually really good for you. Dr. Travis Stork: Flaxseed is wonderful for you. It’s good for your heart. Elizabeth Gordon: The next ingredient is one that I love. This is like a secret weapon in my arsenal of baked goods. This is called the organic palm fruit oil shortening, and it’s great because it substitutes for dairy and for soy because so many kids are allergic to soy and dairy. So, it's the same consistency as butter or Crisco, but it’s trans fat-free. It’s organic and it’s great in baked goods. Dr. Travis Stork: What's it called again? Elizabeth Gordon: It’s called organic palm fruit oil shortening. You can find them usually in the healthier department or in the organic section. And I have had some people say. “I haven’t been able to find this” but it’s no problem because you can go right online and find it so easily. Dr. Travis Stork: So this is the baggy? Elizabeth Gordon: Yes. Dr. Travis Stork: Peanuts are a no-no for you right? Jared: Yeah. Dr. Travis Stork: And so you probably haven't had a peanut butter cookie in forever? Jared: Probably not. Dr. Travis Stork: So, what can we do for someone like Jared who wants to have a peanut butter cookie desperately but can’t have peanuts? Elizabeth Gordon: Well, I understand because I love desserts and I had to kind of I felt like I was going to give them up when I found out about my food allergies. But it’s not true. And one of the reasons that I wanted to make a peanut butter cookie was because I am a mom too and I know that peanut allergies are big problem in the school. So I wanted to come up with something that looked just t like a cookie and tasted just like a peanut butter cookie but that was safe and safe for everyone in the classroom. So, I used sunflower seed butter. It tastes so much like