Get Autumnal with Manpreet's Allergy-Friendly Salted-Caramel Apple-Crumble Muffins!
I came across the lovely mum and business-woman Manpreet Azad and her extremely honest and informative Instagram feed last year, and was very taken by her energy and her desire to pass on what she has learned from her child's allergy journey to other parents. Her beautiful allergy-friendly Christmas recipe e-book Allergy-Friendly Christmas Recipes was a top seller last year, and at Easter she very kindly went on an allergy-friendly Easter Egg hunt for my blog!! Now she is back to share her story plus a fabulous recipe to get you in the mood for Autumn - Salted-Caramel Apple-Crumble Muffins!
Manpreet, what is it like being an allergy-Mum?
Manpreet: "My daughter Eva was diagnosed with multiple, life-threatening food allergies as a young baby, and for the last five years I have been learning how to safely navigate through it.
"The way we cook and eat food has completely changed. I have always cooked from scratch, and I love cooking and baking, but I’ve had many failures at baking dairy free and egg free cakes! From being crumby and dry, to failing to rise and turning out as flat as pancakes! Along the way I have learnt what has worked, and built up a collection of quick and easy go to recipes which we use ALL THE TIME!
"I’ve even passed some of these recipes on to my daughter’s School for the Chef to use when cooking lunches and dessert, and her teacher has used these recipes in her baking too. They love these recipes and it means that Eva can safely enjoy her lunch and enjoy baking activities at School."
"Sometimes we focus so much on what we can’t eat when explaining our allergies, but we need to remember to show others how easy it is to adapt recipes and include the person with the allergy. Feeling included is so important when someone has an allergy and I always would want to include someone who came to my house whatever their dietary requirements were.
"I wanted people (those who live with allergies) and those that don’t, but might cook for them, to know that it really doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult to cook for someone with allergies AND that it can taste just as good! Meaning you don’t need to cook separate foods and in fact it not only saves time but makes it safer as well as inclusive when everyone can share the same meal.
"In my recipe book I also added a guide on how to prepare food safely when cooking for someone with allergies. It’s often something people are not aware of if they have never had to it before. A tiny trace of the allergen such as using an unwashed spoon or unwashed hands can transfer the allergen into the food, meaning that although there are no allergens in the ingredients, the contamination during preparation means someone could have a severe allergic reaction.
I wanted to explain this in a practical way that will help not just parents, but friends, family even School teachers who are looking for recipes for people with allergies."
Manpreet shares her recipe for Allergy-Friendly Salted-Caramel Apple-Crumble Muffins:
Manpreet: "Here's the recipe:
Salted-Caramel Apple-Crumble Muffins
Prep time: 25-30 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
"These are incredibly light and fluffy and taste just like apple crumble but in a cake! You would never know they were vegan!
"I filled these with salted caramel (actually, I cheated and used Biscoff Spread in the centre to save time, but you could make your own dairy free salted caramel if you wanted to). Aldi have a Dairy Free and Soy Free version if you are avoiding soy! I love the addition of this, it takes these to another level!
"These apple crumble muffins do take a bit longer to make than your simple muffin recipes, but I think they are perfect for this time of year and a great way to use up any apples from your garden!
"And…They are healthy too! We know apples are great for us, the cinnamon is also anti-inflammatory and great for digestion, so a little bit of nourishment thrown in for you too!
I hope you enjoy!
250ml unsweetened dairy free milk (oat milk or soymilk work well)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 Apples, peeled and diced into 1cm chunks (approx. 120g)
250g plain flour
125g light brown sugar
60g dairy free butter
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
0.25 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
0.5 teaspoon salt
0.5 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
dairy free salted caramel or smooth Biscoff Spread
For the topping:
65g plain flour
50g dairy free butter
Pinch of cinnamon
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees and line your muffin tray.
First make your apple crumble topping by mixing all the topping ingredients together with your hands in a bowl. The mixture should look like a crumble. If it is too sticky then add a little flour.
Gently cook your apples to soften in a pan adding 2 tablespoons of water and a pinch of cinnamon, adding a little water at a time so they are soft and still formed (not mushy). This should take about 5-10 minutes on a gentle heat.
Next combine your dairy free milk and apple cider vinegar in bowl and mix together. Leave for 5 minutes to curdle.
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and add the dairy free butter. Use your hands to mix together and form a breadcrumb texture.
Next add the milk and vanilla extract, mix together to combine, careful not to over mix.
Fold in the apple.
Spoon the mixture into the case so it’s just under half full. Add a large teaspoon of your salted caramel (or Biscoff Spread ) into the centre of the batter and add the remaining batter on top. Then sprinkle your apple crumble topping on top so that its fully covered.
Cook for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Allow to cool before eating.
Manpreet, What advice would you give to parents who are just beginning their allergy journey with their child and are feeling a little bit apprehensive?
Manpreet: "Let your support system in and to really understand what you are facing, and what your concerns are, which in turn will hopefully allow them to be more understanding and able to help.
"If you are struggling to find people who understand, (and many people do), then do reach out for support because it really does help. Just having someone to listen who understands and can even offer practical advice. There are many places to look for support such as online support groups, local supports groups and ones run by Anaphylaxis Campaign.
"I offer 1:1 coaching families living with food allergies, and run a monthly online allergy meet-up where we can connect, and build relationships. The best thing is that we know that whenever we need to, we can chat through any problems or difficulties without any blame or judgement. Details can be found on my Instagram page if anyone would like to join in!"
How do you feel about the "food allergy-friendly" products currently available to parents in the supermarkets? Do you have any brands that you can recommend?
Manpreet: "I think it is fantastic that there is more choice and product innovation in this area. Manufacturers are realising that more and more people have allergies and are so trying to develop products to suit.
"There is still a long way to go, in that a child with allergies can’t buy anywhere near close the same things that a child without allergies can, from advent calendars, novelty chocolates, and Smarties even!
"There are lots of parents who go to great lengths to make sure their child doesn’t feel left out, from taking the packaging of character advent calendar and melting their safe chocolate down just so that their child can have the same calendar as their friends and siblings."
"Even many of the Free From products are not safe for us because of the manufacturing methods. For us, it is not enough to have the allergen ingredients replaced with an alternative, the product needs to be 100% free from all my daughter’s allergens and all too often we can’t have them because of the potential cross contamination with say, milk and nuts. Meaning that a chocolate might say ‘Dairy Free’ but then declare ‘may contain nuts’ on the label. And my daughter has reacted to those, it’s not just a blanket warning as some might think.
"There are however, some great brands like Creative Nature who ensure their factory is free from the Top 14 Allergens and go through rigorous quality control in order to be absolutely sure it’s safe. They are continually innovating and bringing to the market great tasting products that the allergy community want to buy. Nomo chocolate and Sofree chocolate are also completely nut free facilities and these are the type of things I need to check when I’m buying free-from products.
"The other concern which I have with food labelling in general is the amount of product recalls that are being made so regularly, with allergens undeclared on the labels. I really would like to see much stricter control and protocols with manufacturers when it comes to producing and packaging food."
Thank you so much Manpreet for sharing your story and recipe with us! Manpreet offers 1:1 coaching for families living with food allergies, providing support through what can be a challenging time. She also hosts an online support group, connecting you with others who can relate to you.
You can get 25% off your first 2 coaching sessions with her using this code ISOBEL29. Visit Manpreet's website Food Allergy Fit to join her community and read her blog. And don't forget Manpreet's recipe e-book Allergy-Friendly Christmas Recipes is a Christmas must-have for all parents of a child who has allergies!
Do you have any other helpful tips to share about cooking allergy-friendly meals for your family? Let me know! What works best for your family, and what matters most to your child?
My Autumn newsletter is coming soon, full of lots of positive, holistic, and sustainable ways to enjoy this beautiful season - sign up to my mailing list to get it straight into your inbox! For more food related blog posts, why not check out my posts with Pre- and Post-Natal Fitness and Nutrition expert, Emma West, about Following a Plant-Based Diet for your Child, Weaning, Cows Milk Allergy and Pre- and Post-Natal Nutrition!
Check out my other posts for more info and advice on screen time, dinner times, fussy eaters, buying pre-loved children's clothing, decluttering before your new baby, and thinking about whether or not your family could foster a child.
Get in touch for more information on any of the topics mentioned here or elsewhere on my site, I would love to hear from you!