Friday, 30 September 2016

Egg Substitutions!

So, we are officially egg free and I must say it's a bit of a steep learning curve. We have previously always been advised to keep the twins on eggs and it has been a valuable source of protein. Substituting that on a dairy and soya free diet is hard, especially when you have a vegetarian who is now pretty much vegan due to allergies to feed....

Because we hadn't trialled egg replacer, I have been using pear puree instead, which I was hugely sceptical about. However, I have had considerable success - although I seriously doubt I could substitute more than a single egg successfully this way.

I've come across several ideas for egg substitution, all work slightly differently with varied results.

  • Chia seeds soaked in water make an excellent binding agent, but not the best raising agent. 
  • Soy is not an option for us - and many others too, so I haven't tested this.
  • Ripe banana works in a similar way to the pear puree we've tried, and since we have passed the banana trial this is my fall back option! This banana muffin recipe only has one egg in because the bananas act as a raising agent too, and could be easily substituted unlike recipes which contain several eggs.
  • Ground flax seeds apparently give quite an earthy texture, and can be heavy - but many recommend them.
  • Applesauce - again, like the other fruit options it works, but perhaps not for more than one egg.
  • Egg Replacer - I trialled Organ's egg replacer with my daughter last night. Not brilliant, a bit heavy but ok.  She prefers the pear option!
  • Go without!! This recipe really works and as a large cake recipe is virtually unbeatable as an egg free option. Also, research "Crazy Cake" which is very similar, these recipes are from the days when rationing and scarcity made egg-free recipes a necessity.

The chart below is widely available on different sites and has more ideas.



It's really a case of trial and error. I've made these pancakes very successfully with a pot of pear puree, you cannot taste the pear and they rise beautifully. 



The following has even more helpful information, I've discovered you really have to bite the bullet and just experiment, and also try new ways of doing things that just don't use eggs. Good luck!



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Friday, 2 September 2016

It's been a while... #FewFoodDiet

I've been really slack about updating - but the truth is, this is HARD. Really hard. Not being a stranger to exclusion diets I knew it would be, but nothing prepares you for the reality that is an indignant, stroppy tweenager who understandably wants to be like her friends and is facing a *much* longer term than expected of a very limited diet.

We've made progress, mostly by sensible planned means - but I confess in absolute desperation we tried some BFree rolls before every ingredient had been tested and thankfully, these are ok. This success not only brought a bumper set of accepted foods but a real possibility of a school packed lunch! This is not to be sniffed at, in a school where packed lunches are not permitted, she really will be the *only* child having one, and if it's as near normal as possible that matters. A lot.

We've done well with carbs. Protein - not so much. And she's now completely refusing every possible (sneaky) attempt to get chickpea into her diet as it's now "revolting". This is a stage all parents face on similar exclusion diets, the child is understandably feeling utterly out of control and I completely understand why she needs to do this. She's telling me that whilst she accepts the restrictions imposed by her medical team, she still calls the shots. Her body - her rules.



This, in my opinion, is vitally important to appreciate. We couldn't have embarked on this without her consent. Giving a degree of control, where appropriate really helps though - for example, blood tests really panic her, causing a rapid escalation into anxiety which she can barely cope with. So we've now adopted the policy that she has control, she makes the choices, but she needs to understand why they are necessary. On the whole it works too. She tells the doctor or nurse where they are allowed to put the needle (hand, arm etc) and whether she has cream, spray or nothing. Within reason she has the right to refuse too - although she hasn't yet, because she's in control and is actually pretty sensible for a ten year old.


So we've also followed her list of priorities for food introductions too, which sadly hasn't included much protein! We've made pancakes (above) using a pot of pear puree instead of egg, my fruit, cashew and seed bites  with a few alterations and she's done a fair bit of experimenting too. She enjoys the BFree pittas with lettuce, sweetcorn and carrot chopped inside, with some Violife cheese in. I just wish there was some protein in it!


On the (hugely) positive side, when she's not reacting to new foods, I have a daughter who barely refluxes. Seriously. Hardly at ALL. After 10 1/2 years of moderate to severe reflux this is life changing - and if the unpleasant bowel and urinary symptoms are indeed delayed and related, we could be looking at one seriously healthy and happy young girl.

Which makes it all worthwhile.

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