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      Local store evolves to address special diets

      Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies.

      Three million others have celiac disease, which makes it necessary to eat gluten-free.

      Finding safe foods can be challenging for people with those diets. But one downtown Hannibal business is evolving to meet the needs of its special consumers.

      When Mississippi Marketplace opened seven months ago, the store focused on bulk foods and specialty items like dips and mixes. Click here to watch a demonstration on how to make a quick sweet stuffed pepper appetizer from Mississippi Marketplace.

      Owner Linda Studer says over the short time she's been open, it's amazed her just how many people were looking for items to deal with a growing number of allergies and other special dietary needs.

      In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children have increased approximately fifty percent in the last decade.

      "Everyone who comes in has a story," Studer said. "Either they have an allergy or it's someone they know or they have someone in their family. And this time of year we're seeing people because they are having people over to their home with special dietary needs."

      From gluten free flour to nutritional yeast for milk-free diets, they're finding answers to cooking problems. For example, people on low sodium diets are turning to liquid amminos as a tasty alternative to soy sauce.

      There's also a growing number of people becoming more aware of what they're eating every day. They're going back to basics like whole grains.

      "It just depends upon the person," Studer said. "People are trying to cut sodium out of their diets, getting back to an all-natural grain. Something that is wholesome and something that is back to basics."

      While the Mississippi Marketplace didn't start out as a health food store, it continues to expand to address the needs of its shoppers.

      Click here for a demonstration on how to make marshmallow edible ornaments live on KHQA This Morning.

      Click here for a demonstration on how to make peppermint wreaths.

      Click here to watch a demonstration on how to make an olive oil and spice dip for Italian bread.

      Find Mississippi Marketplace on Facebook.

      Mini Stuffed Sweet Peppers

      Click here to watch a demonstration on how to make a quick sweet stuffed pepper appetizer from Mississippi Marketplace.

      Ingredients:

      Mini Sweet Peppers8 oz cream Cheese1/2 c Alpine Spinach Dip1/4 c Grated Parmesan Cheese1/2 c real bacon bits1/2 tsp granulated garlic

      Instructions:

      Step 1 - Cut peppers in half and take out seeds. Set aside

      Step 2 - Mix cream cheese, spinach dip, parmesan cheese, bacon bits and garlic in a bowl.

      Step 3 - Fill peppers with filling

      Step 4 - Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Yummmmmm!

      Dipping Oil spices

      Click here to watch a demonstration on how to make an olive oil and spice dip for Italian bread.

      Ingredients:

      1 teaspoon crushed red pepper1 teaspoon ground black pepper1 teaspoon dried oregano2 teaspoons dried rosemary1 teaspoon dried thyme2 teaspoons dried basil2 teaspoons granulated garlic

      Instruction:

      Mix together all ingredients. Sprinkle on a small plate and pour olive oil over the spices. Serve with bread for dipping! Serve the spices on a small plate and add olive oil.

      Candy Cane Ornament

      Click here for a demonstration on how to make marshmallow edible ornaments live on KHQA This Morning.

      Ingredients:

      Small Candy Cane (unwrapped)Large MarshmallowsMeringue Icing (Royal Icing) to use as cement to stick candy pieces togetherChocolate Almond Bark

      Instructions:

      Step 1 - Smash several candy canes into small pieces and set aside. You will use these to sprinkle on the outside of the dipped marshmallows.

      Step 2 - Stick one candy cane into the top of a marshmallow. Candy cane should be not poke through the bottom of the marshmallow.

      Step 3 - Melt Almond bark in small bowl.

      Step 4 - Dip 1/2 of the marshmallow into the chocolate and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Set on wax paper and allow to dry.

      Step 5 - Using the hook in the candy cane hang on the Christmas tree.

      Recipes are from the Mississippi Marketplace at 217 N. Main Street in Historic Hannibal, Missouri.