I will admit to you, traveling with my children with food allergies gives me anxiety. They seem to want to eat more than most adults I know! If we need to leave the house for more than a couple hours, it's a true necessity to have something to sustain them.
Going to any restaurant or store not already confirmed to have safe foods is not a possibility for most people with multiple and severe food allergies. At times, I can get away with fruit or veggie chips, but as children commonly do, my children tend to change their mind on what fruit they like and don't like at whim, leaving me with guilty panes of not having something to fill them up. So the idea of bringing something heartier yet satisfying to their ultimate craving of something sweet yet dense. Bread.
Like many people, I want things as easy as possible and many gluten-free recipes are just not easy. Many times they call for 3-4 different flours and ingredients questionable to me such as xanthan gum, carrageenan, and powdered egg alternatives. Don't get me wrong, I have used these in the beginning of learning to cook without eggs, dairy, and other highly used allergens and they can work. I've experienced digestive upsets with myself and kids and honestly, they just do not sit right with me to use these in the long run for health and financial reasons.
I've used arrowroot powder as my main go to for a starch needed in baking as well as a thickener for sauces. It's derived from the root of a plant, not a grain such as cornstarch. With us working towards healing our digestive issues, anytime I can use something in place of a grain has been helpful. I'll be sure to write more on health benefits on using arrowroot powder.
I was inspired to make bread from an original recipe that contained many of our allergens. Normally in my recipe inspiration marathon, if I get to five ingredients that need to be changed out, I lose interest and move right along. However, this recipe talked about a grain called teff and it peaked my interest. After taking a small taste test of the teff flour, immediately it had hints of bitterness yet slightly sweet undertones similar to pure chocolate. Adding cacao powder, similar to cocoa, however healthier in that it is either raw or minimally processed to retain antioxidants, creates a great chocolate flavor.
I decided to go to town and try to create something magical. And sure enough, this bread fit the bill.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
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We also have found many of these ingredients at our local Whole Foods Market or natural foods store. Keep in mind buying in bulk via Amazon or buying a full case at Whole Foods can help cut down the price.