Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Courgette Fritters

So, as per my previous post we are starting our #FewFood diet imminently. Less than two weeks....  The reason for this delay is that such a big change really needs to be monitored carefully and we are starting immediately my daughter breaks up from school.

Two of her permitted foods are courgette and chickpea. Chickpea is also available in flour form, known as Gram Flour. Gram flour, also known as garbanzo bean flour, or besan, is a pulse flour made from ground chickpeas known in a number of Asian countries as gram. It is a staple ingredient in Indian, Pakistani, Nepali and Bangladeshi cuisines. You can find recipes on the BBC site for gram flour, assuming you are able to use more than a handful of foods!

When mixed with an equal proportion of water, it can be used as an egg replacement in vegan cooking so it works well as a batter. Gram flour contains a high proportion of carbohydrates, no gluten and a higher proportion of protein than other flours.

I was hoping to make my own few food version of vegetable pakoras, which can be found here. Having learned from our Facebook group than fizzy or sparkling water is brilliant for creating a batter I used some with the gram flour, and it did mix up to a nice thick consistency. This time I cut the courgettes into chunks and steamed them for a few minutes to soften. Then I dipped them into the batter and attempted to coat them sufficiently before frying in a little olive oil.

This was the gram flour I used - from Dove's Farm.

The verdict - really tasty if eaten immediately, but the batter became quite tough and leathery when cool. So definitely an option t eat straight away.

In actual fact after discussion wit our dietician  we've swapped the courgettes for carrots, perhaps easier and more filling, but it was a useful experiment!

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Our Few Food Diet

After ten years of unresolved, unimproved reflux and with a known gut allergy process at play we are embarking on a few food diet with our daughter. I should point out that this has been suggested by an expert paediatric dietician and proposed after much consideration and discussion with our paediatric gastroenterologist. It's not something you should EVER do without professional support since it is potentially quite dangerous since the child's nutritional status is obviously at risk. It's also pretty hard to do without the child's full agreement if at all possible. Our daughter is desperate for improvement, her reflux is hugely life-affecting and she's losing adult teeth already. So.... I'm gritting my teeth and going with it.

My reason for sharing this is that my first port of call for advice was our Facebook group. It is home to some truly inspirational mums, dads and carers, who have all been battling strict exclusion diets with their children. Many have come up with some phenomenal recipes on virtually nothing - whilst I wallow in the luxury of baking with egg. Seriously, I am not of their league......

So I'm going to be sharing our journey, and the wonderful suggestions that my friends have come up with in the hope of showing you that few foods - and we are talking SIX foods here - need not be quite so difficult and monotonous as you might think.

So here are our big six:- courgette and pear as the fruit and veg, cashew nuts and chick peas as the protein and rice and potato as the carbohydrates.

The reason for these choices are many, you can't pluck them out of the air and I cannot stress enough how you MUST only be doing this with medical advice. Our dietician worked with our daughter's chewing and swallowing limitations, her likes and dislikes and obviously the who manageability of the diet.

But of course all these foods come in so many forms

Potato - crisps (plain), chips (with my air fryer at home), jacket potatoes, potato cakes (here) and potato flour.

Chick peas can been whizzed in a food processor with some oil to make houmous, or used as gram flour which together with fizzy water can make little patties or a batter to fry with.

Pear - pear crisps, pear puree, dried pear, and pear spread as well as pear from the tree.

Cashew nuts - I have the mother of all cashew butter tubs at the ready, it's wonderful for whizzing up in the food processor with dried fruit (that will be pear) and more cashew nuts to make something like this 

Rice - obviously the possibilities are endless. Rice porridge, rice, rice balls, rice pudding with rice milk, rice cakes and rice flour, even rice mochi which I will tell you more about later!

Courgette - supermarkets sell it as "spaghetti", you can food process it with potato cakes, or mashed potato balls, make fritters with the gram flour.... it's pretty versatile.

Obviously to stay nutritionally safe we will have to include all foods every day, so I've got my thinking cap on!

We start when school ends, in just over two weeks - makes life a bit easier! Then the plan is that once we (hopefully) see an improvement in symptoms, we start trialling foods one at a time, as per our dietician's recommendations and see if there are any triggers which make symptoms worse. It's not just reflux for us so we are keeping a diary to be sure we don't forget anything!

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