Sunday, June 24, 2012

Trying new things: Going low-gluten

In the last few months I’ve done everything I possibly can to try to help Koby with his tummy troubles. Wind drops, tummy massage, cycling his legs, gripe water, sugar water, regular chiropractic, homeopathic drops, Baby-Gaviscon, elevating the end of the bed, eliminating foods from my diet… you name it, we’ve tried it.

One thing that does seem to help, is for ME to stop eating wheat-based products. He seems to vomit a LOT less when I don’t have gluten/wheat.  I am not totally gluten-free though, I still have a few little things like gravy, or a little bit of lasagne if I feel like it, I'm just avoiding the obvious big things.

Anyway once I realised this, I bought a whole heap of store-bought gluten free foods, and wasn't particularly impressed with either the taste, or the price!  So I got stuck in to finding some gluten-free recipes so that I could actually eat something that didn’t taste like rubber (store bought gluten-free bread? Ick… no thanks)

The biggest bonus (apart from having a happier baby) is that I’ve lost the final couple of kgs, and am now back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Not being able to eat regular cakes, biscuits, breads and pasta means that I don’t eat a lot of rubbish.  I eat a lot more natural foods.  Plus, without gluten, I’m not bloated, and have no wind/gas at all – yay!

I’ll admit that its actually been quite challenging to find things that I CAN eat. Some days its been quite difficult, I mean, I love food – and being so restricted has been frustrating to say the least. Its so easy to have a toasted sandwich for lunch, and now I cant. Its so easy to have toast for breakfast, and unless I have the gluten-free stuff (as abovementioned – ick) then its not an option at the moment.   Some days its gets to lunch time and I scratch my head as to what to have...  At playgroup every week, I’ve had to pass on the morning tea cakes and cookies… yes annoying, but again, probably a good thing in the long run.

Here's a few things I've made recently:

Strawberry and Almond Friands.  I couldn't get any fresh strawberries at the time, so I used a dollop of strawberry jam on top instead of strawberry slices - still delicious!

I make these dense little  almond cakes regularly (although not normally gluten-free) but I use a muffin tin rather than a proper friand pan.

Recipe is from the Womans Weekly cookbook:

6 egg whites
185g melted butter
1 cup almond meal
1.5 cups sifted icing sugar
1/2 cup plain flour  (I used gluten free plain flour)
Strawberry jam (for dolloping) - the original recipe calls for 100g of sliced strawberries

Preheat oven to 200 deg C (or 180  fan forced). 
Whisk egg whites with a fork until just combined.  Add butter, almond meal, icing sugar and flour, mix with wooden spoon until just combined.
Divide mixture into muffin tins, top each with a dollop of jam (or strawberry slices).  Bake uncovered for approx 25mins.  Stand for 5 mins before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

Super easy gluten-free cookies, and one extremely hopeful puppy!

Recipe is:

180g of softened butter
1/3 cup of sugar
125mls of sweetened condensed milk (I used the lite version)
1.5 cups of gluten-free self raising flour
handful of raisins
handful of white choc bits

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Cream the butter and sugar.  Stir in the condensed milk and flour.  Mix in the raisins and choc bits.

Place spoonfulls on baking trays and cook for 15 minutes.  So easy and yummy!

Toasted corn tortillas with scrambled egg and cheese.

I kinda just made this up on the spot - a nice change for breakfast.  Cook the scrambled eggs as normal, place the egg mixture onto a corn tortilla, sprinkle cheese on top, then fold and cook in the toatsed sandwich maker.  Next time I might add some chopped ham, tomato or avocado too.

Buckwheat pancakes, from a pre-mixed gluten-free packet!

I'm not sure how long I will continue eating a low gluten diet.  I'm hoping that it wont be long before Koby's digestive system starts to mature and he's able to handle me eating gluten again.  I'm really crossing my fingers and toes that he doesn't end up being gluten intolerant himself, but time will tell.  He has such a sensitive tummy that even plain old rice cereal and pears seem to upset him.  I am told that this is common too and that in time he should be ok.  Fingers crossed.

But I will persevere for a while longer, it seems to be doing both of us some good!


Francesca @ Francesca Writes Here said...

I'm glad that you're noticing a difference, even if it is a difficult thing to get used to. We tried low gluten for a little while last year for Miss E. We didn't need to keep it up, but it made me realise how difficult food intolerances can be. It looks like you've found some yumminess there!

Schez said...

I really enjoyed this post, I like the "Toasted corn tortillas with scrambled egg and cheese"; and I am glad that you found something that helpd little 'un out.
I'm tempted to try some of these recipes you put up here. I am struggling to loose the rest of my baby weight after bambino #2... And tend to feel bloated which doesn't help! Well done on making this into a positive. ;-)

Francesca @ Francesca Writes Here said...

Hi Hilary,
The Liebster award thingy has come around to me again, thanks to the lovely Schez. I chose to do it again, as it's a bit different this time. I've nominated you again, but no pressure to resend. Here's the link:

Hilary said...

Its hard work isn't it Francesca? I'm wondering how long I can go on like this, its so easy to slip up! Thanks for the award nomination again, I'll get onto that for my next post! (I cant seem to manage to blog more than once a week these days, and even thats a struggle sometimes!)

Thanks Schez, its nice to try something new now and then! I have to admit I was surprised at the weight loss from going low-gluten, and I'm certainly less bloated. Its probably something I should consider doing long term since it agrees with me so much.