Friday, September 25, 2009

Natural Flavors

Natural flavors might just be the end of me. They are in EVERYTHING. Because of my daughter's corn allergy, I have to read every label very carefully and usually end up calling the company to be sure there are no corn derivatives. I already feel like there isn't enough time in the day, so calling company after company isn't exactly how to want to spend the few free minutes I have!

We've realized that she is very sensitive to corn and any derivatives so I've been extra careful lately on what we both eat. I would safely say that if a label says natural flavors, there is a 99% chance that there is corn in the food.

What prompted me to write this post is that we've recently night weaned our daughter and she has been sleeping great. Except a couple nights ago she was up all night, couldn't settle herself and my husband got very little sleep. The next day I tried to figure out what was going on and realized we had been giving her the little juice boxes that we purchased awhile back. Just about everything in my house is "safe" for all of us to eat. I guess this one slipped by because what do you know, natural flavors were listed on the box. And these are organic, no sugar added, real juice drinks. So, I called the company and they said that yes, the natural flavors were in a base of corn (or wheat) alcohol but since "alcohol is a distilled product, there are no proteins from wheat or corn left". I am 100% positive that my daughter reacted to the juice because she hasn't had anything else that could have caused a reaction, isn't sick and had been sleeping fine. Once we stopped the juice, she slept fine again.

So, I've learned my lesson. I don't plan on buying anything else with natural flavors unless I have confirmed that it is corn free. There are some natural flavors that are not corn derived, but be careful if you are corn or wheat sensitive to always confirm the ingredients with the company!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Homemade Mayonnaise

I just recently found out that the Whole Foods Mayo I was using also has corn in it (in the natural flavors) so I wasn't sure what to do since I have looked at most other brands and they all have corn. Now, of course I can live without mayo. But I do like a little on my sandwich and egg salad is one of my weaknesses :) So, I decided to try and make my own. I was a little nervous and not really sure what to expect, but it was delicious and very easy. You probably have all of the ingredients at home already. It only took me about 10 minutes to make. I did use an electric beater to make it a little easier though.

I used a regular egg but I think next time I will use a pasteurized one just to be safe. Even if you aren't allergic to corn, give this recipe a try, it really is delicious!

The recipe I used is as follows (click here for a direct link):

  • 1 large egg yolk*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 3/4 cup canola oil, divided


Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Whisk until blended and bright yellow, about 30 seconds.

Using 1/4 teaspoon measure and whisking constantly, add 1/4 cup oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, about 4 minutes. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick, about 8 minutes (mayonnaise will be lighter in color). Cover and chill. do ahead Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

* Raw egg is not recommended for infants, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems. To avoid the risk of salmonella infection, you can use pasteurized egg yolk instead.