Today I have the great honor of having Debbie Adler, Mother and allergy-free food blogger at Sweet Debbie’s Organic Cupcakes over here at NurtureMyGut to share her story and her vegan/gluten-free/ nut free/egg free/soy-free & sugar-free Pumpkin Pie-lets. Debbie is an advocate for allergy free cooking and owner of the Famous Los Angeles Allergy-Free & Vegan Bakery (she ships to your door!!!) She is also the author of Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats. Her delicious recipes exclude gluten, eggs, dairy, soy, sugar and nuts!! Whoa! She is amazing. My son and I had lots of fun making her Pumpkin-Pie-Lets and may I add, these are amazing and perfect for the holidays!
In this Guest Post, Debbie shares her heart-felt story of how she learned of her son’s food allergies and how she found strength and courage to not only make her son’s life amazing, but those around her. Let’s hear from Debbie….
My Son, My Bakery & Me
By: Debbie Adler
Back in 2006, I started my bakery, Sweet Debbie’s Organic Cupcakes, because I was hungry. Actually, I was craving a cupcake, but I wanted it to be sugar-free. At the time, healthy options for sugar-free baked goods were few and far between. I was hoping someone would develop something soon, but like I said I was hungry, and didn’t want to wait. I decided to take a crack at it.
After many tribulations, and errors for which I should have been put on trial, I came up with recipes for cupcakes, brownies, muffins and cookies. My bakery opened and the orders started pouring in.
Just as business was booming, my son was born in 2008, with severe and life threatening food allergies. I discovered this by giving him a taste of my frozen yogurt, which sent him into full-blown anaphylactic shock. I was not prepared for this. No one warned me that I should carry an Epi Pen or Benadryl. My son almost died. He had life threatening reactions after that incident, to many other foods. I soon learned my son has to avoid most items listed in the USDA food pyramid.
And not unlike the stories about moms lifting cars when their children are stuck underneath, I felt I had to save my son from the crush of his severe food allergies. I forced myself to relearn how to cook and bake without dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, flax seeds, sesame seeds, soy, gluten and shellfish.
After I got involved in the food allergic community I learned my son was in the company of millions of other kids as well as adults with these very same allergies.
At first, I felt paralyzed and scared to feed my son anything but the three things that I knew were safe, and rotated them daily. But then I realized he could not thrive, on a long-term basis, on avocado, apples and chips alone.
So I ripped up my sparse grocery list, and went to Whole Foods with the intention of expanding my plant-based, allergy-free and gluten-free horizons. Eventually, I came up with recipes incorporating things my son could eat and meals became more enjoyable, flavorful and eventually downright delectable.
In 2010, I revamped my bakery to make it allergy-free, gluten-free and vegan. The brownies, donut holes, granola bars, cupcakes, muffins and cookies coming out of the ovens are more delicious than ever, and people with celiac, food allergies and intolerances now have a safe haven in the form of a bakery when hankering for a sweet treat.
In celebration of autumn and the holidays that come with it, I share with you my recipe for Pumpkin Pie-lets. One of the things I learned in having to eliminate nuts from the bakery, is that seeds make a spectacular substitute. I use them here to make the crust for these adorable pie-lets and the taste is nutty, crunchy and oh so satisfying. They’re easy to make and freeze well, so you can always have them on hand, speaking of which, they are easily hand-held. For more recipes, please see my blog at sweetdebbiesorganiccupcakes.com or my cookbook Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats: Allergy-free & Vegan Recipes from the Famous Los Angeles Bakery.
Recipe by: Debbie Adler
Photography by: Ester Perez
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Check out these yummy gluten free recipes:
- 1 ¼ cups gluten-free oats, finely ground (use coffee grinder or food processor)
- 1 cup sunflower seeds, finely ground (use coffee grinder of food processor)
- 1 Tablespoon chia seed, finely ground (use coffee grinder)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup coconut nectar
- 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
- 5 tablespoons coconut milk (I use So Delicious Lite Culinary Milk)
- ¼ cup coconut nectar (I use Coconut Secret)
- 2 Tablespoons tapioca flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon stevia powder
- ¼ cup gluten-free oats, ground (use a coffee grinder or food processor)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- Coconut Whipped Cream
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 12- cup cupcake tin with liners.
- To Make The Crust :Whisk together the oats, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle.
- Add the coconut oil and coconut nectar and stir to combine. You always want to measure the coconut nectar in the same measuring cup as the oil so it slips out easily.
- Take about 2 Tablespoons of ‘dough’ and add it to the cupcake well. Press down firmly on the bottom and a little bit up the sides of the well until the crust is evenly distributed. Repeat until you have used up all the dough.
- Place the cupcake tin in the oven for about 9 minutes or until the crust is a light golden brown.
- Remove the cupcake tin from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
- To make filling: Mix together the pumpkin puree, coconut cream and coconut nectar in a large bowl.
- Add the tapioca flour, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and stevia and stir to combine.
- Spoon about 2 Tablespoons of batter into the prepared cupcake wells, smoothing it out evenly on top.
- For the streusel: Mix together the ½ cup of ground oats and the cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Top each pie-let with a little of the streusel so that it covers each lightly.
- Bake the pie-lets for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pie-lets are golden orange and bounce back slightly to the touch.
- Transfer the cupcake tin to a wire rack and let sit for about 40 minutes before placing in the refrigerator for 3 hours to set completely.
- Remove cupcake liners before serving and place a dollop of coconut whipped cream on top of pie-let before serving.
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