Living with food intolerances

One member of the family has food intolerances – lots of food intolerances. Diagnosed by a reputable tester using blood tests at considerable expense. Some show up as quite severe, some as pretty mild, but to stay on the safe side he tries to stay away from all them as much as possible. By doing this he can hold down a job and have a social life – previously getting through school and college sometimes seemed impossible. This adds complications to the family catering. When he’s around we don’t eat gluten, most dairy, soy, bakers yeast, a whole host of grains, many nuts, several fruits, shellfish, some algae and seaweeds, cinnamon, mustard or pepper, avocados – the list goes on and on.

So does this make our diet limited? Of course not. Only a few generations ago my ancestors’ daily bread would have been oatcakes leavened with wild yeast, none of our native vegetables are on the banned list, and most vegetables are fine, as are all the fruits that are easy to grow except plums and strawberries. My peasant ancestors would have depended on dried peas and the family pig for protein, but they would have eaten a huge range of wild herbs and cooked greens beside which the limited collection in a modern supermarket, or even a modern farmers market, pales into insignificance.

Meanwhile I made these for breakfast today

Oatmeal and Apple muffins

Dry ingredients: 1.5 cups flaked oatmeal,1 cup gluten free flour, 2 tsps baking powder, half a cup sugar

Wet ingredients: 1 cup coconut milk, 1 tbs organic sunflower oil, 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla

2 apples washed, cored and chopped

Heat oven to 200C (400F), 180C in a fan oven

Whisk dry ingredients together in one bowl, whisk wet ingredients together in another bowl, combine the two and stir in the fruit. Divide between 12 large or 24 small muffin cups.

Bake 20 minutes for small or half an hour for large muffins. Eat warm – they got a bit stodgy cold.

This was an adaptation of a very common recipe. I was going to make them with blackcurrants or raspberries but the family were hungry and didn’t have time to wait while I picked them. They would work equally well with fresh or frozen berries – don’t defrost frozen ones or they shed liquid into the mix and mess the proportions up. Spelt would have given a better texture but I was in a hurry and used the nearest bag of flour. More baking powder would have made a lighter muffin
Coconut milk is sweeter than the low fat milk usually specified – next time I’m cutting the sugar to a quarter cup.

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