I know I’ve said it time and time again but I honestly bow down to each of you who deal with food allergies on a personal level and also for those of you who work around food allergies on a small- or large-scale family level.
You are amazing! Seriously, so amazing. I have heard from hundreds of readers over the years who are cooking and baking gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, everything-free; I mean, the list goes on and on.
I personally don’t have to work around any food allergies (yet, at least!), but I want you to know how much I admire and respect those of you who do. Even if my blog is not dedicated to any definite niche of eating, I try to post a wide variety of allergy-friendly recipes on this blog.
In the past, this gluten-free chocolate cake has been one of my most popular recipes for that given year, and here are the categories for allergy-friendly recipes (gluten-free, gluten-free adaptable, egg-free, dairy-free) that hopefully help those of you who desperately need recipes like that!
I have extended family members and lots of dear friends who deal with food allergies each and every day, and learning more about their experiences has been eye-opening and quite honestly, a little humbling (totally makes me grateful for our lack of food allergies – something we totally take for granted most days).
My friend, Megan, reminded me that this week (May 8-14) is National Food Allergy Awareness Week and it didn’t take me even three seconds to know that I wanted to post a delicious, easy, allergy-friendly recipe in tribute to all of those who live with food allergies day in and day out.
You know me well enough to know that even given my admiration for all the above, I still wouldn’t post a recipe if it wasn’t absolutely amazing. And these little no-bake cookie dough bites are just that. Not only do they take literally minutes to put together, they are crazy delicious.
Kind of unbelievably so, really, given there is no refined sugar, and the base of the recipe is cashews (I have nothing against cashews, but I was a little skeptical, I’m not going to lie, when I first made them). Let’s see, as far as I can tell, the laundry list of allergy-friendly items in this recipe are:
Gluten-free (make sure to use gluten-free oats!)
Dairy-free (with dairy-free chocolate chips – or sub in carob chips or cacao nibs)
Peanut-free (but NOT nut-free)
Vegan (if you use Vegan chocolate chips)
What else? I’m probably missing several others but those are the ones I noticed immediately. UPDATE: what I assumed would be obvious may not be so – PLEASE keep in mind this recipe would clearly not be appropriate, and could be dangerous, for anyone allergic to cashews (or any other ingredient in the recipe).
We loooooove these little nuggets of healthy cookie dough goodness. I make them all the time because they are such a yummy and guilt-free treat to pull out of the fridge once (ok, five times) a day, and I’ve converted several friends and family members to their amazingness. It didn’t take much work, let’s be honest. They are seriously dreamy!
Happy Allergy Awareness Week! If you deal with food allergies on a regular basis, keep on keeping on! You are amazing for what you do. And if you don’t have to worry about food allergies, maybe this week would be a good opportunity to take a minute and think about those you know who do – and figure out how you can support them.
A few ideas that come to mind are:
-keeping allergy-free/friendly ingredients on hand for when these friends/family members are at your house,
-being aware (to the point of keeping a written list) of what they are allergic to,
-going out of your way to talk to them about it,
-control your reactions – instead of being irritated you might have to cook a gluten-free (or any kind of -free) meal for an upcoming get-together or function, be grateful that it’s a one-time obligation and not something you have to do every day of your life.
And then! If your friends or family members aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients, you should totally make these cookie dough bites for them.
- 1 cup (5 ounces) unsalted cashews
- 1/2 cup (1.75 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats (use gluten-free oats, if needed)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (1.5 ounces or so) mini chocolate chips (use dairy-free chocolate chips, if needed)
- In a food processor, add the cashews, oats, salt and cinnamon and process until the mixture is finely ground (but don't overprocess until it becomes a paste!).
- Add the maple syrup and vanilla, and process until the dough forms a cohesive ball; this might take longer than you think. It should do more than just "come together," the dough should stick together in one large mass.
- Remove the blade from the food processor and add the chocolate chips, kneading them in with your hands.
- Scoop out tablespoon-size portions of dough and roll into balls with your hands. Refrigerate to firm up a bit or eat immediately.
Recipe Source: adapted ever so slightly from The Kitchn