Sometimes Diabetes is not the only food issue when you have Diabetes. Some of us need to or even choose to be gluten free. Others among us can’t handle dairy products, and some of us have food allergies (especially nuts).

It is not always so easy to keep our plates full!

Gluten free

Many of my recipes are gluten free. This is more by coincidence than choice. The exceptions are my cakes and those few protein dishes that I like to add a crust to. Some of my cake recipes can be made only with almond flour or toasted ground nuts. They can be rich and delicious but they tend to be very heavy.

I do have desserts that are naturally gluten free. Choices like a double chocolate or vanilla, or raspberry ricotta crèmes or my New/Old fashioned spaghetti squash pudding. And of course fresh berries either with yogurt or sweetened sour cream. I often suggest using nuts and cheese to add crunchy coatings to fish and chicken dishes. In all these recipes it is dairy that carries the weight of the dessert or crust. I know there are a lot of folks out there that don’t /or can’t do dairy products


Dairy allergies

The same thing applies here. I have all kinds of dishes that don’t use any dairy. Again, this not by intent but by coincidence. Often you can replace the butter in a recipe with an oil and it will work perfectly well.

Almond and soy milk will also work in many cases. A perfect example is replacing regular milk with Almond or soy milk to make an amazing Café Latte. As I try to find substitutes for higher carbohydrate dishes, I challenge those of you that need to find non- dairy dishes to find what works for you. You and I know that not everything will work in terms of flavor and texture. You won’t know until you try it for yourself.

Nut Allergies

I am floored by the number of people, especially children with nut allergies. I don’t remember this being widespread when I was growing up. It is a “puzzlement” how this has become such a serious issue. It is not only children of course; the parent of one of my friends was rushed to the hospital because he ate something that came into contact with peanuts.

One of my readers suggested using pumpkin seeds to replace nuts in a recipe. I thought it was brilliant.

I need to find the “new” dish as good as the “old” dish or I am not happy to share it with you or for that matter, make it again for me.

I am so pleased to host a forum where the readers can share cooking thoughts with me and others. Using seeds has become my newest craze. One reader sharing her use of seeds instead of nuts with us led me to start creating a few new recipes for those allergic to nuts of any kind.

My old response was to tell readers to try coconut flour instead of the nuts in my cake recipes, using seeds is a much easier and, I think, tastier and more nutritious solution. You must remember that I need to find the “new” dish as good as the “old” dish or I am not happy to share it with you or for that matter, make it again for me.

I started to use both pumpkin and more frequently sunflower seeds to replace nuts in quite a few recipes with astonishingly good results. They do EXACTLY what I want them to do and that is to replace all or some of the flour or breading in a recipe.

I shared a recipe for chicken with a seed crust with you a few weeks back. It is the one recipe I have developed….so far, that is gluten free, dairy free, and nut free. MOST importantly, it is NOT a poor substitute for anything. It is a simply delicious recipe. Not only did it come out better than I expected as a substitute for nuts in the recipe, but it turned out moist and flavorful as something special all by itself.

I keep working at trying to address some of the extra needs of my readers. I can’t do it all every time. The chef and mad scientist in me is thrilled to keep up the effort. Taste and texture has to please above all else.

ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, and BE DECADENT! –w!