Gluten and dairy free pumpkin brownies

This is a recipe I created.I had some pumpkin and was wanting to make something other than pie but didn’t feel like searching online.

For this you’ll need

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup of veggie oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup of cocoa
2 cups of flour (I use Walmart’s gluten free All-purpose baking flour)
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate chips

I added the sugar and cocoa to taste

Mix the sugar and vegetable oil until smooth, add in the cocoa, eggs, flour, baking powder and vanilla. Mix in the pumpkin puree until smooth then fold in chocolate chips or walnuts.

Pour into a greased pan and bake at 350 until a toothpick or knife comes out clean.


Anyone else doing Blogtober?

I totally forgot this was a thing, but decided to do this with 4 websites.

Since I’m letting my “primary” site expire (it was an experiment and it filled it’s need, so the special extras are expiring), I’m going to use this challenge this month to up my content on all four niche sites.

I’m going to try to keep with the fall/Halloween theme but also thinking winter/Christmas/Thanksgiving- crafts and of course, allergy friendly recipes.


This will coinside with a major holiday promotion I’m starting today as well as prep for Campnano next month, so I’ll be leaving one challenge to enter another.

If anyone is doing Blogtober, I’d love to see some links in the comments


Beginner Guide to Going Gluten Free

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac, allergy or are starting an elimination diet to see if gluten is a problem, you need to keep in mind- no matter if you’re sensitive or intolerant, gluten is all or nothing. You either eat a normal diet or eliminate ALL gluten. Just like dairy, there is gluten hidden in a lot of foods and in medications.

It typically takes 1-3 months eliminating to fully test out how the food specifically makes you feel.

Going off gluten means cutting ALL wheat, rye and barley. With barley comes eliminating “malt” anything as well. The concept of eliminating wheat alone tends to feel overwhelming at first, but there are many options on the market to replace what you normally love eating. There are also tons of online resources and gluten free groups on Facebook.

I first eliminated gluten from my diet in June of 2017. I stayed off until November, re-added then couldn’t deal with being sick so much and have been strict since January 2018.

What can you eat?

I’ll start easy

You can eat fruits, vegetables, meats,

most grains (amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, nut flours like almond meal/almond flour, coconut flour, etc), most dairy products (and most chocolate brands have a gluten free label- but be careful. Hershey’s bars with almonds are safe but Hershey’s kisses with almonds aren’t, so it can get tricky at times- Hershey’s typically labels their candy if its gluten free)

You can also eat a lot of other stuff but I would recommend looking for the “gluten free” label. It’s typically safe to assume that you will get sick if you eat something labeled “no gluten containing ingredients but may contain traces of gluten” or any other way of saying “may contain traces.” It depends on your sensitivity (if you’re allergic or have Celiac you may want to fully avoid to be safe).

The “May contain traces” is a warning that it may or may not be cross contaminated, even if they make it without gluten ingredients. If it’s processed on the same belt or in the same space as gluten containing ingredients it could have residual gluten. If you’re not celiac but have an intolerance, it could be hit or miss.

Foods that aren’t labeled gluten free may or may not be safe. My best recommendation is to stick with the people who label until you really know what you’re doing.

There are also some very good resources (and I’m working on adding a page with different candies and other foods that are fact checked as gluten free on this site for a resource)

One of the main sites I visit is also have a forum that has been so beneficial to me personally, I’m not a member but most products have been asked about at some point.



What can I not eat?

You can’t eat anything with wheat, rye, barley (so anything with the word “malt” is also out) or spelt. The main well known parts are wheat, rye and barley but since spelt is very closely related to wheat, it reacts to people a lot like wheat does.

Just because it’s only three grains, doesn’t mean you’re in the clear to stay away from pasta, bread and other items made with grains. Gluten is kind of the glue that holds breads and baked foods together so it is used in many other things- gravy mixes, processed foods and meals, soups and soup mixes, even a lot of pasta sauces and condiments can be hidden sources. That’s why it’s usually safer to buy substitutes that are specifically made to be gluten free versions until you get the diet change down and learn what unlabeled foods are safe.

Also- stay away from oatmeal unless it’s specifically labeled “gluten free.” A lot of the rolled oats are rolled in wheat (or whole grain)

Avoid anything labeled as “whole grain” because that includes wheat

Be careful when it comes to “no gluten containing products but may contain trace amounts”

That warning is usually about cross contamination. It depends on your severity- if you’re Celiac, it’s best to avoid. If you have a serious intolerance, it’s also best to avoid. If it’s a minor sensitivity the choice is yours.

What if I’m on a Budget?

If you’re on a tight budget, going with frozen vegatables and fruits help. They last longer than normal produce and one bag is only .84 and can be a good side dish for a whole family of four.

Buying meats on clearance, some clearance produce also work. I mentioned this in the Paleo on a budget post, but I hardly ever buy meat at normal price. I always buy Manager Special then freeze it as soon as I get home.

If you’re a baker, like I am, you’ll miss baked foods more than anything. If you look hard enough, you can find gluten free all purpose baking flours cheaper than buying a bunch of white rice, brown rice, almond, coconut and other special flours.

I use Walmart’s Equate brand all purpose baking flour- it’s the closest to normal flour I have found and is only 3.00 in stores.

Stick with mostly foods naturally free of gluten at first. If you’re on a budget, the specialty replacement items are the budget killers. A buggy full of produce, meats and (if you do dairy) dairy products won’t kill your budget as fast as filling it up with empty calorie replacements.

Make your own broth, stock and bone broth

Batch cook meals

Eating gluten free on a budget is very similar to eating paleo (or any other way) on a budget- the best way is to go with sales, buy natural, shop weekly and prepare a shopping list with a full meal plan including snacks.


Other Tips to Starting this Journey

Join online support groups- you can find so much help in Facebook groups. There are people who have been eating that way for years, decades, months and days. All you have to do is post and you will have tons of tips for whatever you’re trying to do.

Follow Gluten free magazines and blogs on Facebook or follow the actual websites

Pinterest has pins for everything. They are a great source of gluten free substitutes and recipes

Remember- there is no such thing as “just a little gluten” this is all or nothing.

Following a traditional gluten free diet is not a good way to lose weight, in fact, there is so much sugar and other bad added to traditional subs that healthy people tend to gain. On one hand, gluten free causes wider awareness of what you’re eating BUT if you stick with highly processed, you may end up gaining (good thing if you’re Celiac or have other underweight issues, but if you’re condition is causing you to hold weight- it’s not a good thing)

I’ll be doing more posts about gluten free, dairy free, paleo and other diets along the same path.



Allergy Friendly Recommendations

Disclaimer, this post has some affiliate links, I will get a small commission for the links but I will only post brands and links that can be trusted- I am specially searching for items I have, in fact, used. I also promise I will not be doing these too often.

If you’re like me, you need to keep allergy/intolerance friendly snacks around.
I lucked out with having one child who is able to eat normal foods but Enjoy Life has been a lifesaver for me with my youngest. Every product we have purchased has been a winner. The chocolate chips and chocolate candy bars have been a regular in the house. I use the chocolate chips as snacks lol

I cannot give my daughter the same foods over and over but she’s not a huge breakfast person. We found these breakfast bars- easy to eat on the go (school drop off or on the way to grocery shop) and delicious.

Of course, all children LOVE waffles and pancakes. Enjoy Life also has these for a fast pre-drop off breakfast. Great for the whole family.

You also have to have snacks. These nut and seed packs are just the right blend of sweet and savory. They are healthy, guilt free snacks for the whole family.

These along with the chocolate chips I posted in the top picture and the soft cookies are go to snacks and breakfast foods in our home, especially since transitioning to the gluten free and dairy free life. I eat a lot less since being gluten free for as long as i have, but I’m not forcing my daughter to give up foods she likes just because of an intolerance. Enjoy Life has one of the healthiest ingredient lists of the other brands available.

Dairy and Gluten Free Chocolate Walnut Biscotti

I originally found this recipe on another blog but made so many substitutions it ended up being it’s own recipe. My kids love it and I think it turned out great

1/4th cup nut milk (I used cashew), unsweetened and unflavored

1/2 cup oil (I used regular vegatable oil)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose baking flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

Blend all ingredients together

fold in

1/2 cup enjoy life allergy free chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped/crushed walnuts

Mold into several logs in whatever thickness you want and put on a greased cookie sheet

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes and take out of oven

Let sit for 30 minutes while oven cools down

Reheat oven to 325 and bake again for another 20-30 minutes then let cool.

Gluten and Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie

Get a gluten/dairy free pie crust. Next time I buy it, I’ll make a post of my recommendations and include the crust I use.

Mix 2 cups of pumpkin puree

1/2 cup sugar

Pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon)

1 egg

1 cup milk- I use Silk soy or almond sweetened vanilla

Mix it all and pour it in one crust.

Bake at 350 until it’s done and I personally use coconut whipped topping on top.

Gluten and dairy free chocolate chip walnut cookies

This is a recipe I changed a bit.

The original is for dipped pecan spritz but I dont have a cookie press and I didnt have almond extract and didnt finely crush the walnuts.

1 1/2 cups earth balance soy free vegan “butter”

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups gluten free all purpose baking flour

1 cup pecans (it says finely ground, I didnt grind them)

1 tsp baking powder

3/4th cup enjoy life chocolate chips

Mix it all and bake 5-7 minutes at 375.