Welcome to Day 8 of my 12 Days of Allergy-Friendly Favorites! (If you missed the last seven days, check them out here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7.) Throughout these next 5 days I am sharing some of my favorite products and companies with you. Some of these make wonderful gifts to someone with food allergies (or a parent,) and show that you really care about them and their food allergies. Please note I was not paid to write about any of these companies and all opinions are my own.
(While this is a guide to help you with gift ideas, please always do your own research and to use this article as an aid when choosing what foods, products, and companies are safe for you, your (food allergy) family, and friends with food allergies. The author makes no claims regarding the presence of food allergens and disclaims all liability in connection with the use of this article and site.)
Depending on ones food allergies sometimes purchasing already made foods are not an option at stores, and having the right appliances in the kitchen help making cooking and baking easier! Below are some of them that I have found helpful in my cooking and baking in the last two years as a food allergy Mom. (The title links are for the category of those items on Amazon.)
- Blender – From smoothies to soups to no-nut butters to dressings, a blender is more functional than most realize. My Mom gave me a Vitamix for Christmas last year and we use it almost daily. I love the versatility, strength, and quality of it and know it will last for many, many years. If you aren’t ready to invest in such a big purchase yet, try a blender at a cheaper price point and if you find yourself using it a lot, then would be the time to invest in a higher-end model, like the Vitamix.
- Bread Machine – Truth be told I don’t have one of these… but I have used one and have been hinting for one this Christmas! Bakery-style bread is often very difficult to purchase when you have food allergies as many bakeries have nuts, eggs, or wheat, so it really depends on your allergies and your comfort level. I love the idea of being able to bake safe bread right at home! I think having a programmable bread maker would be a wonderful option. I can close my eyes and smell my favorite cinnamon-raisin bread baking in the morning, whole-wheat sandwich bread in the afternoon, and buttery dinner rolls to serve with dinner- with these countertop appliances it makes it easy to do!
- Griddle – Indoor grills, like this one, the Griddle, gets weekly use in our home! You can use it has a contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle and half grill/half griddle – it’s five appliances in one. We often use the Griddle to cook pancakes, eggs, French toast, hash browns and breakfast meats. Indoor grilling is a great option any day of the week, with the contact grill plate, useful for cooking burgers, boneless pieces of meat and thin cuts of meat and vegetables. Then there is the panini press to grill sandwiches, breads and quesadillas. I love the functionality of this appliance, and I usually leave it on the countertop for our frequent use!
- Ice Cream Maker – After my daughter outgrew her dairy allergy I was really excited to be able to purchase “real” ice cream for her, but sad to quickly realize there weren’t any brands that were safe for her due to their use of nuts on their lines and facilities. While we still love our favorite go-to non-dairy options it is nice to be able to make “real” ice cream on occasion and with an ice cream maker it’s not has hard has it seems. You can experiment with different ingredients to produce your own flavor and is a great way to avoid preservatives and additives.
- Popsicle Molds – Another weekly summer treat, homemade popsicle molds are easy to use and helpful in avoiding sugar-laden popsicles found at the grocer. SInce my daughter has a severe allergy to some fruits we have never felt comfortable giving her a store-bought fruit popsicle, but I can easily make them and control the ingredients with popsicle molds. I just puree our favorite fruits in the blender (Vitamix is what I use,) and add some additional ingredients like a dab of honey, and some milk for a creamier taste. You can also just pour your favorite juice into the molds and freeze.
- Rice Cooker – We use our rice cooker a lot – the rice comes out much fluffier than I make it and it seriously is the simplest thing to use. This means I never make a mistake or overcook the rice. And many rice cookers do more than just cook rice–use them to steam at the same time or cook beans, whole grains, mac and cheese, or any pasta/rice mix.
- Slow Cooker – Slow cooker, crock-pot, whatever you want to call it, these are now a staple in many homes. There are so many options these days from programmable to portable these little machines are wonderful for busy, on-the-go lifestyles. I use one weekly and love tossing everything in and in 2-8 hours having a wonderful meal that tastes like I spent hours in the kitchen over the stove making.
- Yonanas – Okay, so I cannot lie, I purchased this for myself for Valentine’s Day! My husband thought it would be an appliance that wouldn’t get much use, but I use it weekly and almost daily in the warmer months. You can take any frozen fruit and turn it into soft serve. A treat that’s healthy, delicious, and not hard to make with this awesome machine. The unit combines frozen bananas and any additional fruit or chocolate and instantly churns the ingredients to produce a treat with the texture of frozen yogurt or soft-serve ice cream, but without the additional fat, sugar, or preservatives.
Have you tried any of these products? Leave a comment with some of your favorite kitchen appliances!
Don’t forget to come back each day to check out more of my allergy-friendly favorites (tomorrow I will be sharing my favorite no nut butter alternatives!) And on Day 13 (December 13th,) join me for a big giveaway of some of the products I have featured here. One lucky winner will win a bundle of products worth over $750!
This site is not intended to provide medical advice. The suggestions here are not intended as dietary advice or as a substitute for consulting a dietician, physician, or other medical professional. It is the reader’s sole responsibility to determine which foods are appropriate and safe for his or her family to consume. Always consult your doctor. The author makes no claims regarding the presence of food allergens and disclaims all liability in connection with the use of this site.