Sometimes I feel such sadness for my kids as they navigate all of their food allergies and GI issues. They are already quite aware that they eat very differently than most of their friends, and we have already had some issues come up with birthday celebrations and playdates. A few weeks ago, my 4 year old son pulled the jar of Daddy’s peanut butter out of the pantry and asked if he could have some with his apple slices. (We were out of almond butter, which he loves.) I told him that he couldn’t eat it because he is allergic and it would hurt his body. When he asked why he was allergic I replied “because that is the way God made your body.” He replied in a very sad, subdued voice “I wish God had made me a body that can eat all kinds of food.” It broke my heart.
God didn’t create my childrens’ bodies so they could eat all kinds of food, but I am so very thankful that He did create them to be able to enjoy a wide range of healthy foods, and that He started to raise up awareness of the Paleo movement and its surrounding community right when we needed it the most. My kids eat a huge variety of fruits, vegetables, safe starches, fats, and healthy meats. And because of ideas from other Paleo bloggers and my own need to creatively meet my family’s nutritional needs, I have even been able to bring in occasional treats that nourish their bodies and comfort their sweet hearts. (I am also thankful that I don’t have the checkout line meltdowns when they see all the candy there!)
Jonathan is at an age where he understands when I tell him he can’t eat a food because he is allergic. Unfortunately, Aurora at age two, doesn’t understand, and will eat anything and everything she can get hold of, which can be really tricky at playdates and church.
Every kid loves pizza- at least in the US. And I have really struggled to come up with a pizza alternative that my whole family could enjoy together, without thinking about what is missing or different. It is a bit of a struggle to come up with a crust that is delicious, fairly close in texture, taste and substance to the original (wheat) version, and is dairy, egg, nut, soy and grain free. I have made it a couple times with my Chebe Bread Hack, but that gets a bit gummy. Before Aurora joined our family and we didn’t have a tree nut allergy to contend with, I adapted an almond flour pizza crust by Elena Amsterdam (from this cookbook.)
But it was definitely time to think way outside the box and come up with something that would work for a pizza crust for the whole family. As always, I circled back to our love of everything plantain, which I think must be one of the most versatile foods on the planet. We have really loved integrating this into our menu planning- it’s so fun to have a pizza night every once in a while! (In fact, Jonathan asked for it for dinner tonight.)
We top our pizza with homemade basil pesto, bell pepper, zucchini, pepperoni, ham, sausage, and sometimes caramelized onions. Just choose your favorite toppings, or let your kids make their own delicious creations.
As an added bonus for my sandwich loving son (who has never had anything that could even remotely be considered sandwich bread), I discovered it makes a great sandwich bread. Great to have a “bread” we can use to make and take sandwiches for a picnic.
- 3 large green plantains, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/4 C nutritional yeast
- 1/2 C pumpkin puree
- 1/4 C oil or fat of choice (may need additional to make smooth batter)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- Optional: salt and Italian seasoning to sprinkle on top.
- Pizza toppings of your choice. i.e. tomato sauce or pesto, veggies, pepperoni, sausage, etc.
- Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a high speed blender, puree all of the ingredients together until a smooth batter is formed. You may need to add a bit more oil to get a smooth batter.
- Spoon about 1/4 C of batter onto prepared baking sheets. (I can usually get 4 crusts on a baking sheet.) Use a spatula to spread out into a small circle, about 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. (For a thin, crunchy crust, spread it thinner. If you like a doughier crust, spread it thicker.)
- Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly add toppings. Return to oven for an additional 10-15 minutes, until crust is cooked through and toppings are done.
- Spoon all of the batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a spatula, gently spread it out until it is a uniform 1/8 inch thick.
- Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, until top is golden brown.
- Allow to cool slightly before cutting into sandwich bread.
- Remember that you can control how crispy or doughy the crust is. Just spread it thinner or thicker according to your preference.