What kid doesn’t like corn dogs? As the mother of an ADHD child on a restrictive diet, I’ve wanted to bring this food back on board but I haven’t been up to the challenge. My mom was brave enough to give it a shot, and her ADHD recipe modifications passed the test with flying colors (specifically red, white and blue).
This might come as a surprise, but corn dogs aren’t too bad for ADHD if you prepare them properly. They certainly aren’t a superfood, and I’m not going to claim that they are a fantastic protein source, but a deep-fried corn dog can be a good source of healthy fat. Hear me out.
Fats have been demonized for decades, but the latest research tells us that fats and their cholesterol are important for brain health. In fact, brain cells can’t communicate without cholesterol. In the ADHD brain, anything that promotes communication between brain cells is a good thing. But you have to use healthy oils.
My #1 recommended oil for deep-frying corn dogs is expeller-pressed coconut oil. It won’t go rancid in high heat and it’s saturated, which means it has Large LDL’s (these help carry cholesterol to places like the brain but don’t clog arteries). My #2 recommendation is olive oil. It handles high temperatures well and is mostly monounsaturated (the HDL’s in monounsaturated fats are always a plus), but it has a distinctive taste that doesn’t pair as well with corn dogs.
Unfortunately, healthy fats are pretty darn expensive. I don’t know about you but I tend to be protective of my expensive oils. It’s hard for me to envision using a big gob of it for deep frying. Then my mom told me I could save the used oil for later.
I’m not sure why I didn’t know that, but I didn’t. Note to all cheapskate parents: you can save the used oil. Just strain it back into the container and put it in the fridge. You could make sure it’s specifically earmarked for deep frying or use it for whatever.
I’m pretty stingy, though, so I still don’t want to dedicate too much oil to deep frying. My mom resolved that issue with an idea for this recipe. She used a small sauce pan and cut the hot dogs into pieces. She didn’t have to use too much oil and the small hot dog slices accommodated the size of the sauce pan. Smart! The end result was a bunch of cute little tasty corn dog bites. Yum!
This is a variation of a recipe by Elizabeth Barbone that originally appeared on SeriousEats.com. It is a straight-up gluten-free corn dog recipe (and gloriously tasty in its own right) but my ingenious mommy modified some of the ingredients for ADHD and used a smaller pan and hot dog slices. She also kept the oil at 350°F instead of 375°F (as the recipe suggests) because she didn’t want to worry about the doggies burning. Her ingredient modifications are shown below in bold. Follow the instructions and helpful tips on Elizabeth Barbone’s recipe at http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/08/gluten-free-corn-dogs-recipe.html. Keep scrolling for helpful images of the process.
- 1 1/4 cups gluten-free cornflour (finely ground cornmeal)
- 3/4 cup white rice flour, plus additional for coating hot dogs
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 cup milk (almond milk)
- 2 large eggs (can be substituted with 1/8-1/4 cup ground flax seed, start small and add more as needed to achieve desired “stickiness”)
- 3 tablespoons honey (or brown rice syrup)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (olive oil)
- 8 gluten-free hot dogs (make sure they are nitrite-free for ADHD)
- 1 quart vegetable oil (2 cups expeller-pressed coconut oil in a small sauce pan)
- 8 skewers, about 6-inches long