suggestions needed

Thanks for all the positive feedback on the blankie! I love it too :)
First, the knitting.

I’ve started the Bell Sleeve Jacket form Vogue (Holiday 2006) and I love it. Based on some recommendations made by Rose, I’m adjusting a few things – I cast on for the smallest size to try and control the flare, and increased up to the largest size (35″ – wtf?) for the bust. I also left out one of the leaves at the side, in the hopes the flare won’t be too crazy. I also lengthened the body by working an extra diamond pattern.

It’s a fast, fun knit – I’m using Knitpicks Andean Silk and I think it’s a good match. The yarn is nice, smooth and shows off the cables really well. And I finished the second front today!

So it’s on to the back, amidst a couple of different deadlines for other things. Bah.

Now, onto diet-related: I did three weeks of the elimination diet and then one week where I reintroduced dairy (no reaction – yay!) and wheat (iffy – will try again later). I’ve decided to keep going with the reintroduction through Christmas, rather than taking a break and having to do more elimination after.

The problem? Actual food isn’t so much trouble; I’ve been coming up with things to eat (lots of lentils). It’s the sweet treats. I NEED something sweet I can make! So very hard with all the restrictions.

Does anyone have suggestions of sites, books, or specific recipes? Mixes, even – so many I’ve found have corn or potato starch, or cane juice, or ask you to put in eggs. I can’t use powered egg replacer because of the corn and potato. Darn you potatoes! I’m desperate here!

– rice flours
– oil
– applesauce
– tapioca starch
– arrowroot (or I can use it to replace cornstarch)
– stevia
– nuts – almonds, walnuts, macadamia, hazelnut
– coconut
– dairy (butter! and cream and stuff)
– fruit (except bananas and citrus, lemon OK)
– carob
– buckwheat, quinoa, millet, amaranth

Not OK (so difficult):
– gluten (wheat, barley, oats, spelt, rye)
– sugar/honey/molasses/maple syrup/etc.
– potato starch
– corn products
– eggs
– peanuts, cashews
– bananas, citrus
– soy products/flours

I *think* that’s it. Any suggestions would be MUCH appreciated!






29 responses to “suggestions needed”

  1. briana Avatar

    I find dates to be incredibly sweet on their own – not sure if you are a big fan, or a allowed dried fruit… or maybe re-working a date square recipe?

  2. Bex Avatar

    maybe you could try agave nectar? I am not sure if it would be an OK sweetener. They might sell it at a natural foods store near you. I think it has a different sugar than regular old can sugar. Maybe you could make rice pudding or something like that.

  3. Ariel Avatar

    Definitely things like dates/figs and other dried fruit. I’ve been off most sweet things for 8 months or so, and I find natural things like dates to be way better anyway. :D Also, you can use applesauce (unsweetened) or ground flaxseed to replace egg. You could also make fruit smoothies with frozen berries and such.

  4. Ruth Avatar

    You might try Larabars, particularly the Chocolate Coconut Chew or Cocoa Mole flavors. I can’t guarantee they’re available in Canada — I usually buy them from, but I’ve also seen them at outdoor stores and in a few random grocery stores in the U.S. They have a great rich, sweet, chocolatey flavor, but all the sugar comes from dates (which sounds a little gross but actually they’re delicious). My mom, who can’t eat refined sugar or flour, eats them and loves them.

  5. Jill Avatar

    Dried mangos, apricots, and sugar free jam were my fav’s when I couldn’t eat a lot of other things. By the way, the blanket looks great.

  6. Dotty Avatar

    You can take pretty much any quick bread/muffin recipe and make a few substitutions.

    In place of eggs & sugar, you can use the applesauce. You’ll end up with something denser but it’ll taste good.

    I would recommend that you buy a flour alternative mix containing ingredients that you can eat. Any good health food store will have something. Look for one that is designed for quick breads.

    The Canadian Celiac website ( might have some links to wheat-free recipes.

    Good luck!

    PS. If you’re really desperate, you can call up Panne Rizo ( and order some gluten/egg/sugar free carrot muffins.

  7. Elinor Avatar

    In place of eggs, use FRESHLY ground flax powder. Just buy flax seeds and run them through the blender. I use 1tbs in 1/4 c water for one egg. It’s never failed me in baking recipes.

  8. Melanie Avatar

    Check out “Hip Chicks Guide to Macrobiotics”
    You may not need a macrobiotic diet but there is a recipe for a rice crispy treat.Au Natural.

  9. Renata Avatar

    Try the Original Moosewood Cookbook (or any of their later editions, though the original is the best). All the recipes are vegetarian and are easily modified to macro or raw food diets and are realyl yummy. I love the dessert section, which tends to shy away from using traditional sweeteners.

  10. k. Avatar

    I bet you could do shortbread with rice flour, butter, and some stevia. I made a rice-flour shortbread once where you knead the flour and butter together…if you’re interested, e-mail and I’ll dig up the recipe. Not as crystalline as regular shortbread, but still sweet and rich and sandy.

  11. heatherly Avatar

    there is a syrup that is really sweet that is made from rice. i can’t remeber the name but it can be used for alot of things. it looks like a caro syrup bottle but dark in colour.

  12. wendy Avatar

    you can make your own nut butter and spread it on things like apples for a snack. it’s pretty easy to make:

    my local grocery store has also started carrying gluten free desert mixes in the baking aisle. maybe they would work for you if they didn’t have other ingredients that ruled them out?

  13. Kim Avatar

    You could make Thai coconut mango sticky rice. I’m guessing that sticky rice is okay. It is sometimes called glutinous but there isn’t any gluten in it. Just replace the sugar with some sweetener alternative (maybe a juice). Good luck with that.

  14. Ash Avatar

    Do you read Shauna at Gluten Free Girl? She has great suggestions.

  15. Kim Avatar

    A girl at work made some cookies that may work. Here’s the basic recipe, though it’s not exact measurements:

    -1 cup rice flour
    -pinch salt
    -2 tbsp some kind of oil (coconut, sunflower, whatever you can have
    -3/4 cup fruit juice (this is the sweet part!) or applesauce would work as well
    -sesame seeds, sunflower seeds — if you can’t have these, then you could use nut pieces
    -cinnamon (she uses lots!)
    -ground ginger

    Mix dry ingredients together.
    Mix wet ingredients together.
    Mix dry and wet together. Roll dough into small balls (about 1.5 – 2 inches in diameter) and bake at 350 degrees for 5 – 10 minutes.

    If there’s something on the ingredient list that you can’t eat, you can easily replace it with something similar. I.e.: if you can’t have nutmeg, try another spice like cardomen or anise. If you can’t have oil at all, add more applesauce instead.

  16. Miss Muffy Avatar

    Rice Malt! It’s a good substitute for corn syrup and very sweet. Agave nectar and apple butter might be good too. If I remember, I’ll try to bring you an amazing cookbook: the Green Door Restaurant. Lots of good sugar/wheat/dairy free recipes!

  17. gleek Avatar

    well, we eat mainly vegan in my household and for an egg replacer in baked goods i use Ener-G brand egg replacer which is tapioca starch. it works really well! i’ve also found that the recipes in dreena burton’s vegan cookbooks (look her up on amazon) have lots of substitutions for wheat allergies. perhaps you can find some good things there!

  18. Jessica Avatar

    Clif Bar makes a line called Nectar. They are raw and vegan and also very tasty. They all have only five or fewer ingredients and no added sugar.

  19. Ella Avatar

    I have dairy and oil allergies and often use apple butter when baking, to replace butter and also cut down on the number of eggs I need to use. It has a thicker creamier consistency than apple sauce and is very sweet, it is also just apples with no additives.

  20. Michelle Avatar

    I’m not sure this fits all your criteria, but I’ve been dieting recently and have found that yogurt covered almonds help satsfy my sweet tooth.

  21. Purl in the Rough Avatar
    Purl in the Rough

    These things might help:

    1. arrowroot can be exchanged measure for measure with cornstarch (so that would take care of the g-f flour mix)

    2. egg substitutes:
    – for one egg: 1/4 cup of silken tofu
    – for one egg: 1 tbs flax seeds blended with 3 tbs of liquid (whatever suits the recipe) for 30 seconds
    – for one egg: 3 tbs unsweetened applesauce
    – for one egg yolk: 1/8 cup soft tofu

    Basically, I have found that you really do have to experiment, and you have to realize that the first time you try any recipe, it probably won’t work out, but you’ll know what to do (or not do) the next time!

  22. CHANDA Avatar

    I’ll try to find my recipe for the Atkins cheesecake I make that uses cream cheese and Splenda. It has no crust underneath and tastes really, really good. I’ll post it if I find it this week.

  23. Teena Avatar

    Very nice! I’ve been knitting for about 25 years and have never cabled before.

    BTW, I’m here via GTA Bloggers.

  24. jo Avatar

    Blend dates with almond meal, roll in coconut. Any combination of dried fruit blended with any combination of nutmeal/nut butter/coconut/tahini, with dried milk powder (if desired) – use whatever ratios you need to get it to stick together. Include cinnamon, ginger, cardamon or whatever you think will work (dates blended with cashews, cardamon and coconut is amazing and addicitive!!). Dried pineapple (dried on it’s own – no sugar – nothing else whatsoever) is amazing – a fantastic snack on it’s own (very intense).

  25. Claire Avatar

    This happened to a friend of mine in college. Broke out in big splochie red icky stuff. She had to do the diet and what not, turns out it was stress. When school finished for the winter, no more itchies. Hopefully the same will happen for you, because sugar is a wonderful thing.

  26. Gina Avatar

    Check out the blog Gluten Free Girl for some ideas and recipes. Also, check out the gluten free mixes at a health food store — many are also soy, egg, dairy, corn, etc. free. I observe a gluten-free diet myself, and it is hard to find many packaged foods without the offenders: gluten and high fructose corn syrup.

  27. Cindy Avatar

    I have a smoothie every day and (mostly) it keeps my sweets cravings down. I freeze ripe, peeled bananas and throw one in the blender with about a cup and a half of skim milk. I add mixed, frozen berries (I have to find ones without strawberries!) and blend. They are so yummy and satisfying. I am adding coconut oil now (because I’ve read it’s good for my thryroid) and I also add whey protein powder, as I have trouble getting enough protein, but you don’t have to add those things.

    You might want to try just oatmeal, but continue to avoid the other grains. There is a big controversy over whether oats affect people with wheat intolerance or not. I find I do okay with oats, but have to strictly avoid wheat and the other high-gluten grains. If oats work for you, I make a “cobbler” that is also very satisfying and yummy. I cut an apple into chunks, put 1/2 c. oatmeal over the top, sprinkle with nutmet and cinnamon and microwave for 2 min. on high. I eat it with plain yogurt that I have flavored with Mexican vanilla and sweetened with splenda. This is really good. For a change I make it with the mixed berries I use in my smoothies and omit the spices. I hope some of these work for you. I have almost totally avoided eating Christmas goodies, although I had to have a piece of my fudge last night – just to make sure it was good enough to give to the neighbors : ). Because I’m not depriving myself, it’s much easier to avoid the really bad, very sugary things! Good luck and Merry Christmas.

  28. yvette Avatar

    When I’ve been on elimination diets, I have found tha yoghurt stirred with vanilla extract and cinnamon and ice solves my sweetish craving. Since you can eat fruit, whir in a mango or papaya. Yum!

  29. LynnH Avatar

    I wrote you a too-long-for-comments reply and now I realize I do not have your email address. Your list of “no” foods is a lot like mine, but mine is longer… please send me your email addy and I’ll send you some of my own fave recipes, OK?


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