I am on an endless quest for healthier and fun holiday treats for my son. I find it stressful to deal with holidays, birthdays and any other event that offers buffet tables of food my son and I should not eat. As I’ve delved deeper into a healthy eating style, I’ve become so conscious of the toxic junk our children are consuming and its effects on their health that I no longer can even donate my son’s candy he receives at various events. I’m sorry to say that if it makes its way to my home, it goes straight in the garbage. I decided that if I don’t want to contaminate my son’s body, why would I want to contaminate some other child’s body.
My solution to this problem last year on Valentine’s Day was to make heart-shaped cookies. They were a hit. Several parent’s commented that they couldn’t believe they were GFCFEF (gluten, dairy and egg free). It was a unique gift and Sammy had a ball helping make them.
I used the sugar cookie recipe from Cybele Pascal’s The Allergen Free Baker’s Handbook. It includes a simple recipe for royal white icing that you can color, if desired. There are several brands of natural color on the market now. I recently bought Seelect brand but have not tried it yet.
India has a line of natural colorants available locally at Whole Foods Market. You can print a color chart off their Web site that will help you achieve the perfect color.
Chocolate Craft, available at the NaturalCandyStore.com, also offers a complete line of natural coloring for baking.
To decorate the cookies, I used India Tree naturally colored sugars.
I bought the plastic bags that we placed the cookie in from Walmart in the Cake Decorating section. You can also buy these at Michael’s craft store in Dublin. I found the decorative ribbon at Michael’s. The transparent stickers I bought at OfficeMax. It was a fun project for Sammy and I felt better about what I was giving the children in his class. If you don’t feel up to making cookies, you could buy gluten free cookies and put them in the same packaging. Another option is HomeFree Treats. They have a new gluten, dairy, egg and nut free cookies that comes in little packs. They are a perfect size for giving out on Valentine’s Day. You can order them online at HomeFreeTreats.
Another less labor intensive option is NaturalCandyStore.com. I bought the EarthYummy pomegranate lollipops and SurfSweets Organic heart gummies for Sammy. Both are free of gluten, dairy, color dyes and GMO’s.
Whatever you decide to do for Valentine’s Day, may it be full of love and sweetness (in moderation, of course).