Category Archives: Baking

Moving Goal Posts

Well not moving goal posts as the goal is always the same – to make our son healthy.  Its more that the rules of the game have changed.

I had been thinking that I’d finally gotten my head around the GFDFCFSF diet and we had started reducing fructose after reading the book Sweet Poison.  My husband is now fructose free and I’m almost fructose free – its harder when already dairy free which my husband is not. He has lost about 8kg in a month with this small change.

So when our Biomed doctor said that she thought our son had candida in his gut, going fructose free wasn’t that daunting.  Then I realised that an anti candida diet is much more than just fructose free.  This is when I thought my head was going to explode.

All the basics I had come to rely on were to be removed -rice, rice flour, rice milk, rice puffs, potato, potato starch, dextrose, raw cane sugar, honey, let alone his apples and bananas.   Add to that that he isn’t allowed to take nuts to Kinder due to a child with anaphylaxis in his class, so that rules out another food category for baking treats.  Not that we have many treats at all but I like to have something that he can have when birthday treats are taken to Kinder. Fortunately he does like savoury over sweet most times anyway. After some more research, I believe brown rice is ok as it actually helps detoxify and remove the dying candida from the system.

Today I am much more at peace with it. He loves chicknuts (roasted chickpeas), so I am going to work from there and next year his school allows nuts so YAY! Even if rice and its derivatives isn’t OK, we can go over to nutmilks, coconut flour and nut flours.  I’m unsure about quinoa and other seeds as yet.

Breakfast stumped me for a while until I remembered he loves bacon.  I got him to eat some omlette today too, so I think cooked breakfasts are going to be the go.  The only thing I’m sad about is that getting his own breakfast of cereal has been his big independence leap. I can see lunches being sausages and salads and then back to the classic meat and vege dinners of our parents generation.

We will get there.

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See I said I wasn’t good at this… and a recipe

I get so busy ‘doing’ that I dont’ blog about it. I actually started this post in June!

My kitchen has been a mess this week. I needed a special treat to send to Kinder with my son for days when other kids bought in birthday cake to share. I attempted to make macarons as they are popping up everywhere and an original gluten free, dairy free, soy free, corn free recipe.  Well the almond ones were a complete failure and ended up in the bin.  I did realise though that I don’t actually like the strong almond flavour of a traditional macaron so at least I learnt something.

I’d reserved half of the meringue to make coconut ones as my sons kinder is also nut free.  They taste a lot better than the almond ones in my opinion as I’ve never been a fan of strong almond flavours such as marzipan.  I even refused to have marzipan on our wedding cake.

But I still wasn’t happy with these to send them to kinder.  They were huge and very sweet. So instead I went back to an old favourite that I have been making for years.  I used to make this as a teenager when I took over making the cakes and biscuits in our house.  I didn’t have to tweak it at all.  I just needed to make sure that the rice bubbles I used were gluten free and use Nuttelex instead of butter or regular margarine like I would have in the past.

Date and Bubble Slice

250gm dates – chopped

1/2 cup sugar

125gm margarine or butter

4 cups rice bubbles

Combine dates sugar and butter in a small pan and cook until the dates are mushy.  Be careful not to overcook this mix as if you do your bars will go very hard.

Place your rice bubbles into a large bowl and stir in date mix until it is combined.

Spray your slice pan with a little oil and sprinkle with coconut.

Press your mix in firmly and sprinkle the top with more coconut.

Allow to become almost set in the fridge then slice into fingers or if its fully set, use a bread knife to cut your fingers.

Enjoy.

Maybe one day I’ll update with photos.

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Filed under Baking, Corn Free (CF), Dairy Free (DF), Gluten Free (GF), Soy Free (SF)

I’ve been bad…

… I haven’t listed out dinners for almost 2 weeks.

I know this as I have each nights dinner scrawled on my fridge blackboard. Its actually been quite enlightening as it shows how much variation there can be.

So here we go:

  • Pork chops with vegetables
  • Lamb Steak with salad and homemade chips
  • Apricot chicken with rice and beans
  • Lamb Rissoles with vegetables
  • Roast chicken with roasted potato, pumpkin, beetroot and steamed beans
  • Tempura Fish and homemade chips
  • Pork stirfry with fried rice
  • Pork sausages with fried potato and peas (this was a Dad creation as I was attending a lecture)
  • Chicken Korma curry with rice and peas
  • Pork Sausages – a slack night where this was all we felt like – no veges.
  • Lamb casserole made with chops, potato, pumpkin and carrot and served with a side of Kale and red cabbage sautéed with bacon and garlic until wilted.
  • Lamb spaghetti Bolognese with rice pasta for our son and rice and corn pasta for the rest of us.
  • Pumpkin soup made with stock made from the carcase of the roast chickenwith GFDFCFSF bread rolls
  • Devilled Sausages with mashed potato and peas

Wow, it really has been a while!

I’m still not having success with baking though. Those ‘yummy’ fig and honey muffins didn’t turn out very well.  My raspberry and apple variation sounded yummy but tasted tart and its pinky brown colour made them look like half cooked rissoles. Next I made it to the recipe but I didn’t like the gritty texture of the figs.  My mum said she often made it with sultanas as she didn’t like the texture of the figs either. Dates or apricots might work well too.

I have soaked some nuts this week so our son can have his much adored cashews without it upsetting him. I’m so glad I asked my mum if I could have her dehydrator.  I put the nuts in to soak in the morning, drain whilst I’m preparing dinner, put on to dry out over night in the dehydrator and in the morning they are done.  From these I will make my own nut flours as I think I should soak the nuts first before grinding into flour so as not to upset our sons stomach as he obviously can’t digest unsoaked nuts.  I will do a post about the benefits of soaking nuts soon.

Coconut flour is also on my radar. I can buy organic dessicated coconut and I want to try making coconut milk with it and using the left over pulp to grind into flour.  I will buy a bag of commercial coconut flour, which apparently is defatted, to compare it with.  Hopefully they are similar and I can use this possible waste product in my baking. Its very low GI and high in fibre, so a very healthy baking ingredient.

Fortunately I have a week with my mum soon so we can experiment. She has already been trying out recipes for me and my dad says the carrot cake she made was quite good.  I can’t wait.  Lets just hope the Chilean volcanic ash cloud doesn’t disrupt our travel plans.

 

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Always learning

Bah – I new I wouldnt’ be good at blogging!  I have to apologise for the lack of photos. I know they make a blog much more interesting to read.  Plain text is not very interesting to read, but I appreciate you sticking with me whilst I organise myself.

Life has been a bit hectic around here between sickness and getting ready for a trip away to my brothers wedding in less than 2 weeks.

On the weekend I attended a lecture given by two very well respected doctors on the field of bio medicine.  I’m still trying to absorb the information presented and when I do I will do summary on here.  One thing that was mentioned and I’ve been doing some googling on since the lecture was removing all grains from the diet – not just gluten containing grains and corn but ALL grains. This along with the mantra’s of “Heal the gut, heal the child” and Hippocarates, “All disease begins in the gut”, really drove home to me the importance of my job of feeding my family.

At first I thought, ‘how can you do that and still have a diet resembling something normal?’. With a little googling and a phone call to my mum, I have what sounds like a yummy fig and honey muffins and a grain free baking book in my cart. I’ll be trialling this recipe today with a bit of a twist. Cross your fingers for a success. I’d recently also heard of crumbing fish in almond meal which was apparently very yummy, so I’ll try some nut crusted nuggets today too.

I haven’t discussed going grain free with our doctor as yet, even though she was also at the lecture. It does seem to take some confusion out of the gluten free baking maze though as removes some of the gluten free options.  I found myself getting paralyzed by all the options and baking mix recipes I’d found.  To go grain free and remove sorghum and rice from the options, actually makes it easier in my opinion. It basically leaves nut flours,bean flours, quinoa flour, potato and tapioca starches.  I still have some sorghum and rice flour here so I will use that up whilst I get myself organised for grain free and going away. We visit our doctor again a few days after we are back from our holiday so I will discuss  a completely grain free diet with her before going hard core. The only issue I see with using so many nuts though is that our son has a bowel reaction to nuts so they need to be soaked and dehydrated first to kill the enzymes causing this reaction, then ground into a flour or meal. Just another layer of complexity to deal with but it will be worth it – I know it will.

 

 

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Meals and Baking – a week in review

A quick post to note what we’ve been eating this week.  I hope you note that there are less sausages this week!

  • Lamb Curry with rice, peas and green beans
  • Sweet and Sour Pork with rice. Homemade sauce
  • Chicken Fillet with potato, peas and green beans
  • Lamb hamburgers on gluten free french bread rolls (I’ll be making these again, so I’ll have pics and the recipe up soon)
  • Sausages with potato, peas and green beans
  • Fried Rice
Baking hit and miss this week.
  • Gluten free vegan red velvet muffins – fail
  • Rice crackers – fail
  • Lemon butter – success
  • Meringues – success

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The Cleanout

These are the bags of food I passed on to my friend when I cleared all gluten and dairy out of my pantry.

More than 5 shopping bags full.Lots of things you don’t think of such as lolly pops which are made with wheat glucose. My friend loved it as she didn’t have to do groceries that week!  I, on the other hand, spent double our regular shopping budget that week.

Ok, daily keeping track of our meals is not working so I think I’ll do it each week in retrospect.

In the last week our meals have been:

  • Sausages and vegetables (peas, corn and potato) or salad ( lettuce, tomato, beetroot, cucumber, pickled onion) x 3 times
  • Lamb steaks with veges or salad
  • Pumpkin soup
  • Chicken stirfry with rice

I must be doing something right as they have actually cleaned their plates  a couple of times!

Sausages have been good lately as not only are they being eaten but with the price of meat the way it is right now, its a cheaper option so keeps the budget under control.  I always make sure they are gluten free but I am on the lookout for a good range of sausages that are organic and without fillers.  Ingredients such as hydrolized vegetable protein is usually soy or corn based and although I haven’t eliminated these things (yet), I do prefer to avoid them as they will be eliminated in time.  Maybe I’ll just end up making my own …. or is that just another reason (aka excuse) to get a Kitchenaid mixer?

Breakfast for me has been an egg on GF toast or rice porridge with coconut milk.  Our eldest son is loving Freedom Foods Maple Crunch cereal.  He’s decided that he doesn’t want rice or almond milk so he has it dry.  We’ve been snacking on apples, rice cakes, rice crackers, potato crisps, more dry cereal and salami ‘twiggy’ sticks.

I’ve also had some success with baking, but thats for another post.

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GFDF Cooking – Lesson Number One

Cadainian Via Flickr

When I  first realised that we would be going GFDF and then probably soy, corn and rice free too, I started researching all the alternatives.  I found so many recipes for gluten free flour blends and I bought almost every different type of gluten free flour out there.  I have a drawer full of buckwheat, potato, rice, arrowroot, tapioca, amaranth, besan (chickpea), nut and sorghum flours and starches.  I felt like my head was about to explode with all the variations.

I had information overload and was paralyzed by the choices which then made me feel like postponing starting our GFDF diets.

Then I had my first revelation.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel

The next day I went and bought packets of premade flour mixes that met our current needs of GFDF.  Fortunately they are also soy free.  Ones that are corn free aswell are not as easy to find.

Some may say that lesson number one would be to read the labels carefully but for me this was a given as I usually did this anyway.  In general I would not buy products where I did not recognise the ingredients and I couldn’t make it at home if I wished.  I needed to realise that I am not the first to do this and won’t be the last.  Use the information that is out there but don’t overwhelm yourself.

So right now I am using premade one to one substitutes while we settle into this new way of life.  I really want to get to the point of making my own mixes and preparing everything from scratch but that is not where I am right now.  I’m not completely happy with the outcomes using the premade mixes but they will do for now.  As our diet progresses and takes its twists and turns or it comes to the point where I can’t find a premade mix to suit, then I’m sure I will have the time, headspace and more knowledge to be able to try out all those recipes I found or even develop my own.

For my own record, I’m going to keep a track of what we are eating in here.  I hope to start developing meal plans to share including baking for the week too.

Last nights dinner was pork scotch steak with peas, corn, potato and cabbage.

Tonight so far I have some pork sausages out which will probably be teamed with vegetables much like last night.

The boys are getting into Bubble Guppies and are learning about Smores so I we have made marshmallows and graham crackers.  They liked them but I think they prefer the yoyo biscuits I’ve also made this week.  I’ll be back with the recipes later.

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