5.03.2012

Cooking with Dietary Restrictions

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Sugar-Free Banana-Coconut Bread
A couple weeks ago, we started working with a new client, a sweet family of four with lots of dietary restrictions. How many, you ask? Well, they're on a no dairy (including butter and eggs), no gluten, no sugar, all organic diet. We're also working with a pretty lengthy outline of foods that they can eat, and those to avoid. We've dabbled in the various dietary restrictions before for dinner parties and the like but never to this extent so I was looking forward to getting into the kitchen. 

I dove in, head first into learning everything I can about these dietary restrictions and also, bearing in mind that children are involved, we wanted to make sure that the food included very familiar and common "kid cuisine", but still meeting the dietary needs. I've been perfecting gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free breads and find myself covered in alternative flours and xanthan gums by the end of the day but I've been relishing in the challenge. The biggest thing that I've done to make a difference is to do as much as I can from scratch. That means I'm making rice flours and nut flours by hand because, not only is the packaged stuff costing my client a small fortune, I've found, to no surprise, that I get so much flavor out of using the fresh ingredients and doing it myself. For the most part, we're making all three meals for them and so far, the favorites have been a banana-coconut cake and strawberry muffins. (I'm still tinkering with the recipes a bit so I'm not quite ready to share just yet.)

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free Strawberry Muffins
While we're still in the "getting to know you" phase of working with our new client, the feedback has been positive and the most rewarding part of all is hearing that they're happy. The other day when we stopped by, the daughter was excitedly telling us how she loves bringing her new lunches to school and she went on about an avocado dip that we had made. Her mother said it's been great seeing her get so excited about food and that makes all the extra effort worthwhile. 

4 comments:

Christine said...

As someone who is gluten and dairy-free as well as trying to reduce refined sugar, I really enjoyed this post! Definitely better to make things from scratch!

MOLLY GALLER said...

Wow! Congratulations on moving past the restrictions and delivering delicious results!

Taryn said...

I just started my own very restricted diet, no gluten, no dairy, no legumes, and limited fruits and veggies. It's pretty intense! And for someone who loves baking, it's rather tricky, but certainly an interesting learning experience.

Allie Beauchesne said...

My boyfriend just started to slowly cut out wheat products to see if it makes a difference in his mood and overall wellbeing. It is definitely a change--but great to see that baking is still very much a possibility! Those muffins looks great, nice work!

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