Tag Archives: personal experience

No Eggs, No Problem: Egg Substitutes

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Nothing says welcome home like the fresh smell of baked goods wafting from your kitchen. Cookies, pies, cakes, you name it, sound delicious.  But there is one sneaky ingredient lurking in all of those delicious baked goods that could cause major problems: eggs. Eggs are currently on the list of the most common food allergies in Canada; but that doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying delicious treats of every kind. For many treats, there are many alternatives to crunchy, chewy centers; but what about the very makeup of the treat? Eggs provide rise, moisture, and fill to many different kinds of recipes.  The following three items are my most sacred baking tips for the most delectable, unique baked goods you’ll find. These are recipes that your friends will beg you to tell them or demand you make when you bake.

1)  Yogurt

We all love chocolate chip cookies. They can be gooey and chewy or crunchy and satisfying. But what about those pesky eggs in the recipe?  Well, the purpose of the eggs in this particular recipe is to add moisture to the batter. To add a little kick to your already perfected chocolate chip cookies, try putting a table spoon of plain 1 percent yogurt for each egg called for in the recipe. The yogurt will supply the batter with enough moisture and add a delicious taste that will leave people wondering what that special ingredient is.

2)  Coconut Milk/Butter

It’s delicious, it’s sweet, it’s the perfect low-fat substitute for many baked goods. It provides excellent moisture to batters as well providing items like breads, cookies, and muffins, an extra sweet taste; so you can cut back on the sugar you add to your recipe. Coconut butter can be used in breads and muffins to add sweetness to things that also don’t require a lot of sugar. For each egg called for, use a tablespoon of butter or 1/3 cup of the milk. If you’re using the milk, make sure to add baking soda so your mixture isn’t too wet. If you feel like your batter is too wet, add some flour.

3) Baking Soda

Odorless, virtually-tasteless baking soda is a Godsend to those of us who bake without eggs. Why are they so great? It provides rise or lift to certain baked goods that need to stand to attention, like breads, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, and cakes. It has no taste (always make sure to check it so it hasn’t gone bad. If it has, it will have a very sour taste.) and it gives substantial lift without making your goods too dense or heavy. For each egg, add half a tablespoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of hot water together, mix separately, then add it to mixture.

Baking is fun, therapeutic, experimental, and has endless possibilities. Just because there are certain things we can’t put in our baked goods doesn’t mean we have to place limitations upon the things we bake. So get in the kitchen and see what you can create! Above is my favorite recipe for delicious chocolate-chip cookies. Enjoy, and happy baking!

Arianne K. 

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

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When it comes to bringing up allergies in the workplace, I think a lot of us get nervous, anxious, or even just simply forget because of all the new information we are trying to learn at a new job. From my personal experience, the sooner I let my co-workers know about my severe peanut and tree nut allergies, the safer I feel at work. A few different strategies have worked for me in the past. I will share them with you here.

1)      I had the unique opportunity during an interview to mention my allergies. The question had something to do with describing a time when I had to deal with a high pressure situation and what I did. I decided to step outside the box and share two experiences. One was a workplace experience and the other was an allergy experience. I explained how my brother was having an anaphylactic reaction and, being allergic to nuts myself, I knew how to use the auto-injector and the steps that needed to be taken to help my brother. This turned out to be a simple way of opening up a conversation about allergies with a company that I would end up working for. Sometimes explaining your allergies before you even get the job can be useful and insightful for both parties. Even if you do not get the job, at least you can walk away knowing that you advocated for others with allergies who may work for that company in the future!

2)      Another strategy that I have used to tell my co-workers about my allergies is, essentially, the same calm, cool strategy I use when meeting new people. I mention my allergies and their severity casually, such as before a team meeting where donuts are provided: “No thank you. I’m severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.” This is almost always followed up with questions about what I can eat, where I keep my auto-injector, how to use it, and the list goes on. This is a simple, yet quite effective strategy.

3)      I have never done this; but I have heard of people emailing their boss to explain their allergies. From the abundance of emails everyone seems to go through in a day, I’m not sure this is the best strategy; but it has worked for some and maybe it will work for you! Just be sure to keep the email optimistic and informative in case your boss has never had any experiences with allergies before.

4)      A final method I have used is very blunt. I went straight to my new boss (the owner of the company) and explained my allergies to her. After my initial explanation, I asked if she had any questions and we entered into an informative dialogue back and forth for nearly twenty minutes. When we concluded, she took it upon herself to endorse a “peanut/nut free” unwritten policy where no peanut or tree nut containing food was allowed to be eaten in the office. I never asked for this exceptionally kind gesture; but my boss understood the severity of the allergy and would not take any risks. Based on my experiences, I find this strategy to be the most effective.

It may seem scary and nerve-wracking to put yourself in a place of vulnerability by explaining your allergy to co-workers in the workplace. Yet your safety is paramount. Take a deep breath and spread the word! You may be surprised how well your workplace takes your allergy information.

 

Dylan