Mockapple Crumble – Low FODMAP, Gluten Free, Dairy Free & Vegan

Mockapple Crumble - Low FODMAP, Dairy Free, Gluten Free and Vegan

Ahhh Autumn. The markets are full of bright and shiny balls of temptation known as apples. Everyone’s Thanksgiving and Christmas menus always include apple in some form of pie, cake, crumble or salad – at which point I have to calmly remind myself of what will happen if I partake: pain and misery. Good bye, apple pie; Bakers Delight’s fruit mince tarts are a distant memory. Sigh.

For years I had to be strong (or pretend I was wearing blinders) when walking past the dessert buffets at family/friend meals but no more! Enter the choko. I can’t remember how I came across chokos (also known as chayote squash in some parts of the world) but they also happen to be in season during late Summer to Autumn and they make fantastic apple substitutes. To the person or website that first mentioned them to me, I will say a massive THANK YOU!

Chokos are a low FODMAP variety of gourd that, when eaten peeled and raw, resemble an apple in texture (crisp and juicy), with a very mild taste that can be accentuated with the right sugars and spices. They are exactly what you need to make a mockapple pie or crumble and, in my humble opinion, are a much better option than peeled zucchini. So good, in fact, that in Australia there’s an urban legend that states that McDonald’s used to use chokos in their apple pies, because they were cheaper than apples and nobody could tell the difference!

The first time that I made this crumble, I treated the choko like an apple and baked it from a raw state – that was mistake number one. Choko takes a lot longer to soften than apple does, so you need to stew or poach it first, otherwise the crumble topping will be overly brown by the time it’s soft in an incredible 1 hour and 40 minutes. Yikes. I also added the same amount of starch that I would have added to an apple crumble – mistake number two. Mistakes are good, though. We learn from them and – hopefully – don’t repeat them.

After a third attempt I feel I have mastered the choko mockapple crumble; just sweet enough, the choko has the texture of cooked apple and a mild flavour that lets the traditional apple pie spices shine through, while still bringing something of its own to the dish. This filling would also work well with your favourite gluten free/FODMAP friendly pastry for a mockapple pie.

FODMAP Notes

  1. Chokos are a FODMAP friendly gourd in 1/2 cup servings.
  2. Dried coconut flesh is low FODMAP in servings of 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup contains potentially problematic amounts of sorbitol.
  3. Almonds are FODMAP friendly in servings of 10 nuts, while 20 nuts gets a high rating for oligos.
  4. Maple syrup, when pure, is 1:1 fructose/glucose, thus is considered fructose friendly.
  5. Cinnamon, ginger, all spice and cloves are low FODMAP spices.

Mockapple Crumble

Serves 10-12

Crumble Topping

  • 1 1/4 cups almond meal
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup white rice flour
  • 1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger

Mockapple Filling

  • 1.0 kg sliced chokos
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/3 cup castor sugar or 1/2 cup dextrose
  • 1 tbsp. potato starch
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. all spice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 pot of water for poaching

Peel, then slice or dice your chokos (discarding the large centre seed) into 2 cm or so chunks. Poach them in a pot of simmering water until soft – around 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine all the crumble topping ingredients and mix until they are well combined, using your food processor (or by hand/with a pastry mixer). The result will slightly resemble a sticky cookie dough. Keep it in the fridge until you need it.

Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F. Drain the choko and mix through the sugars and spices. Pour the now runny choko mix into a 9 inch pie dish and then top evenly with the crumble dough. Bake at 180 C for 45-50 minutes, until the choko filling has thickened and the crumble has turned a lovely golden brown.

IMG_6644 IMG_6646

Serve warm, with whipped coconut cream (or normal whipped cream) or your favourite FODMAP friendly ice cream (vegan if required). Enjoy!

IMG_6648 IMG_6669 IMG_6680

Advertisements

Maple Lemon Butter – Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo & Vegetarian

Maple Lemon Butter - low FODMAP, fructose friendly, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, no refined sugar, paleo

A few months ago, I posted my Gran’s lemon butter recipe with a promise to attempt a healthier version soon. Well, better late than never, right?

As much as I love baking, photographing the end results and posting them up here for you, sometimes life gets in the way. Over the last few months my IBS was getting worse, no matter if I took it back to basic FODMAPs or not, after which I discovered that spelt, unfortunately, had begun to make it worse. I then embarked on a gluten challenge for ten weeks, to get retested for coeliac disease and wait for an endoscopy, which also took its toll and left me feeling constantly fatigued and with a shoddy immune system to boot.

Well, on Monday I had the endoscopy and I’m already feeling better now that I’m back to being wheat and spelt (fructan/gluten) free. It sounds like a quick turnaround but, given that I stopped eating on Saturday evening for the Monday afternoon procedure, used a colonoscopy prep (those things clean you out!) and knowing what I do about my reactions normally taking about 2-3 days to clear, I’m not surprised that I’m feeling so much better by Wednesday morning. I’m just glad to be able to get on with everything and not be in a brain fog haze.

So, Tuesday evening I decided to get cracking with this healthier lemon butter. Now, I say healthier, which it is, compared to traditional lemon curd – but it’s still definitely not an health food, so don’t go guzzling it down like water! Maple syrup (used instead of castor sugar) is unrefined and the grade B syrup (not pictured but delicious and flavourful) even contains many nutrients but it is still sugar. Luckily, using stevia allowed me to cut the sugar in half. The reason I did not use a stevia product as the only sweetener is that I find it can get too bitingly sweet and leave a distinctive aftertaste; by combining a natural sugar like maple syrup with the stevia drops, you get the best of both the flavour and low calorie worlds.

The result is a creamy looking curd with a nice balance of maple and lemon, both tart and sweet but not too sweet, with very minimal stevia taste.

FODMAP Notes

  1. Maple syrup is a natural, low FODMAP sweetener. Make sure you’re not buying maple flavoured syrup.
  2. Stevia is FODMAP friendly, however many products that contain stevia also contain other sweeteners that may not be. Read the labels. I use SweetLeaf stevia drops, which contain water, organic stevia leaf extract and natural flavours. Seeing as only 1 tsp. is required to reach the sweetness of 1/2 cup of sugar, the natural flavours are not present in large enough amounts for me to be affected, if any of them are not low FODMAP. Use the sweetener that you are happy with.
  3. Lemon is a low FODMAP fruit.
  4. Eggs do not contain FODMAPs.
  5. Coconut oil is an oil, therefore contains no carbohydrates, so cannot contain FODMAPs. This is the dairy free option.
  6. Butter is lower in lactose than other dairy products due to its very low water content.

Maple Lemon Butter

Makes approx. 1 pint.

Option 1: maple syrup and stevia combination, paleo

  • 25 g virgin coconut oil or 20 g grass fed butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 tsp. SweetLeaf stevia drops (equivalent sweetness of 3/8 cup sugar)
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Juice of 2 large lemons

Option 2: maple syrup and raw turbinado sugar combination

  • 25 g virgin coconut oil or 20 g grass fed butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Juice of 2 large lemons

IMG_6358

Gently beat the coconut oil (or butter), maple syrup and stevia (or turbinado sugar) in an heat proof bowl until well combined, then add in the eggs and continue to whisk until mixed through. Add in the lemon juice (using a sieve to keep out pulp and pips), then place the bowl over a double boiler on a medium heat.

Mix with a whisk until the coconut oil (or butter) has completely melted and the mixture is smooth, then keep stirring and slowly increase the heat until the mixture thickens. This should take 2-3 minutes.

Maple Lemon Butter Double Boiler

Keep stirring for another 2 minutes at that temperature, then divide it between two clean half pint-sized/235 ml jars and let it come to room temperature before refrigerating. It will thicken further as it cools, though is a little runnier than the original recipe. But don’t worry, it won’t run sideways off your toast!

All that’s left to do now is enjoy your treat on some gluten free/FODMAP friendly bread, on a scone as part of afternoon tea or use it to fill up tart shells. Yummo!

IMG_6398 IMG_6411IMG_6379

Peach Crumble – Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free & Vegan

Peach Crumble - Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free & Vegan

I thank my lucky stars quite often that polyols don’t seem to affect me. Avocados, blackberries, peaches… I can still eat them all in reasonable amounts without making myself sick. I think I’ve had to give up enough, without resorting to cutting out those, as well. Of course, I realise that others have had to cut out much more than I – one of the reasons that I am so thankful. No matter how bad you or I may have it, someone else is always worse off.

This peach crumble came about because it’s summer, peaches are in season, I needed a dessert that I could make ahead of time and forget about, and peaches are delicious! A little prep work the day before you need this dessert and you can keep it in the fridge until 45 minutes before you need to bake it (your baking dish, if glass or ceramic, will need time to get back to room temperature before baking or you’ll most likely have a shattered crumble on your hands).

Also, I apologise for the grainy photos, I was using my phone camera.

Notes:

  1. All peaches contain sorbitol in large enough amounts to be considered high FODMAP (according to Monash University) but Clingstone and Yellow peaches are low in FOS, GOS and fructose in servings of one peach. White peaches, on the other hand, contain enough FOS to get a high rating for that FODMAP, as well as sorbitol, in servings of one peach. So, if you only have issues fructans, Clingstone and Yellow peaches are safe; if you have issues with sorbitol, peaches are not advised. I would stick to one slice of this crumble, so as not to over-do the fruit portion of your FODMAP bucket.
  2. Almonds are considered low FODMAP in servings of 10 nuts and high in GOS in servings of 20 nuts. The crumble topping in a single serve of pie doesn’t contain that many almonds, so should be safe – unless of course you have separate issues to almonds.
  3. Desiccated coconut is considered low FODMAP in servings of 1/4 cup and a moderate rating (overall) in servings of 1/2 cup; any more than that and sorbitol becomes an issue.
  4. Pure maple syrup is low FODMAP, watch out for any added ingredients that may cause digestive issues, such as polyols.
  5. This crumble is low in excess fructose, fructans/FOS, GOS, mannitol and lactose. It is not low in sorbitol.

Peach Crumble

Serves 10.

Fruit Filling

  • 6 large ripe peaches (yellow or cling)
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar or 1/3 cup dextrose
  • 1 tbsp. potato or corn starch
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Crumble Topping

  • 1 1/4 cups almond meal
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup white rice flour (or gluten free alternative)
  • 1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger

To peel the peaches, score four evenly spaced lines from top to bottom and place them in boiling water for 60 seconds, then strain them and dunk them into an ice bath for a further 60 seconds; the skins should peel right off. If all else fails, use a peeler.

Dice the peaches into bite-sized chunks (approx. 1.5-2 cm) and mix through the rest of the fruit filling ingredients, until well combined; dump the lot into a pie dish.

IMG_5863

To make the crumble topping, mix all the ingredients together, either by hand or in your food processor, until they begin to clump together. Easy! Cover the fruit evenly with the crumble mix and you’re ready to bake or store the pie before baking.

IMG_5865 IMG_5866

When you are ready to bake it, pre-heat your oven to 180 C/350 F and bake the crumble for 55-60 minutes, when the peaches should have cooked until soft and the topping browned nicely. If you notice that the crumble is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a sheet of foil to prevent further browning.

If I am serving this as a hot dessert at a dinner party, I put it in the oven as dinner is served, so we have an hour to eat dinner and digest/chat before the crumble is ready to eat. Serve with vanilla ice cream (vegan or lactose free if required), vanilla bean custard, coconut yoghurt (vegan) or plain Greek yoghurt. Enjoy!

IMG_5907

Lesley’s Lemon Butter – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Lesley's Lemon Butter

When life gives you lemons, make lemon butter!

Some recipes make you think of your childhood; certain tastes and smells can bring back happy memories. This particular recipe is for my Gran’s lemon butter (curd). When I eat it, I’m instantly back in her kitchen, having breakfast and maybe a cup of tea, after sleeping the night.

I have been asking my mum to find it for the last two years but it was written on a scrap of paper and had gone missing. Luckily, it turned up a month ago. By putting it up here, I am sharing it with you and storing it in a place from where it is much less likely to be lost. Touch wood.

This is a traditional British style recipe, so it’s not a big surprise that it’s also popular in Australia. No starches or thickeners required, just patience and a double saucepan (boiler)/bain-marie. Tarter lemons are more suited to lemon butter than sweet, because it adds a depth of flavour. If you use sweet lemons and sugar, it will of course work but you will just end up with sweet lemon butter and no notes of anything else. If that’s how you like it, though, then by all means use sweet lemons.

This lemon butter works well in a sandwich, as you’d expect but it also goes great guns with a Pav or as part of a Devonshire tea. Or just on a spoon, when nobody’s looking. If you can bear to part with it, lemon butter makes a fantastic gift… a great way to get rid of the ridiculous amount of jars that you (or I) may have collected.

Notes:

  1. Lemons are a low FODMAP fruit
  2. Butter is lower FODMAP than other dairy products, as FODMAPs are water soluble and it is mostly the milk fat. However, if butter does not agree with you, replace it with a lactose free alternative such as coconut butter.
  3. There is a lot of sugar in this recipe, so obviously small servings (1-2 tbsp) are recommended. As it’s intended as a spread, that’s about all I ever use, anyway.
  4. Eggs do not contain FODMAPs.
  5. Replace some or all of the castor sugar with dextrose (glucose-glucose) if you want to increase the glucose:fructose ratio of the spread.

Lemon Butter

Makes approx. 1 pint

  • 20 g softened unsalted butter
  • 225 g castor sugar (or 125 g castor sugar and 100 g dextrose)
  • 3 large eggs
  • Juice of 2 large lemons

IMG_5352

Gently beat the butter and sugar together in a heat proof bowl until well combined and then add in the eggs and continue to beat until mixed through. Add in the lemon juice (using a sieve to keep out pulp and pips) and then place the bowl over a double boiler on medium heat. Mix with a whisk until the butter has completely melted and the mixture is smooth, then keep stirring and slowly increase the heat until the mixture thickens.

Lemon butter, before and after double-boiling

Keep stirring for another 2 minutes at that temperature after it thickened, then divide it between two half pint-sized/235 ml glass jars and let it come to room temperature. It will thicken further (from a runny sauce consistency to spreadable) as it cools, don’t worry.

Now all that’s left to do is enjoy!

IMG_5363

Homemade Strawberry Sundae Sauce – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Strawberry Sundae Sauce

I made this sauce for the first time to serve with dessert at a friend’s house a few months ago. My friend isn’t a fan of baked goods, so she decided we’d have sundaes for dessert instead. I bought the ice cream – I didn’t have time to make it, toasted and diced the almonds and got a chocolate sauce for everyone else to have (I couldn’t find a Nat-friendly option at the last minute) but I decided I’d make the strawberry sauce. Not only did I know – from previous experience – that the only suitable options would be ridiculously expensive, “artisan” style sauces that I could just as easily make at home, we also had a tonne of frozen strawbs in the freezer.

This sauce takes only about 15 minutes of attention, as it just needs to simmer for the rest of the time. The result is a rich and flavourful strawberry sauce that can be served with ice cream, Pavlovasbanana cake or even pancakes and crepes.

Notes:

  1. Strawberries are a low FODMAP fruit.
  2. Make sure you use pure vanilla extract, to rule out any additives that might irritate your gut.
  3. Dextrose is less sweet per gram than sucrose, as it only contains glucose, whereas sucrose is 50% fructose, which gives it added sweetness. This is why the amounts required differ. However, you can make this to your own taste by adding more or less of either sugar, as you see fit.

Strawberry Sundae Sauce

Makes approx. 750 ml of sauce

  • 750 g strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Up to 1/3 cup castor sugar dextrose or 1/2 cup dextrose (I prefer less, you could also combine it with Stevia)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Weigh, hull and dice (if fresh) the strawberries, before putting them in your saucepan with all the other ingredients. Turn the heat up to medium and simmer until the strawberries have softened enough to smoosh them with the wooden spoon – about 5 minutes. At this point, take the pot off the heat either use your blender or immersion blender to puree the mixture, before returning the mixture to the medium heat and bring to a gentle boil.

WP_20140603_10_11_27_Pro

Strawberry before and after

Watch it like a hawk, as it can boil over easily… been there, done that; the clean up isn’t fun.

As the sauce comes to the boil, you will need to spoon off the foam that develops, as this will add a bitter taste to the mixture that you want to avoid. After boiling gently for 5 minutes, finish spooning off the foam and drop the heat to low. Let the sauce simmer for at least an hour, an hour and a half is best to really thicken. You may need to spoon off a little more foam at the end.

Either pour this sauce (piping hot) straight into a sterilised canning jar and use your choice of canning techniques to preserve it or let it cool and serve warm (for that awesome semi-melted ice cream effect).

WP_20140606_21_48_18_Pro WP_20140610_16_55_38_Pro

Chocolate Coated Strawberries – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

WP_20130214_007

If it’s a quick, simple and delicious dessert that you’re after, then look no further than these chocolate coated strawberries. They’re so easy that it’s almost embarrassing blogging about them but seeing as it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d do it anyway. Though we do chocolate covered strawbs most years, these photos were from Valentine’s Day 2012… Ev bought me a fish – as in a live fish, in a bowl. It only lasted 1 year 😦

Notes:

  1. Good quality dark chocolate over 70% should be lactose free but it always pays to read labels.
  2. Strawberries are low in FODMAPs, so safe to consume.
  3. The cream cheese icing I suggest to pair with this dessert is not lactose free.

Chocolate Coated Strawberries

  • 10 large strawberries – washed, dried and topped if you wish
  • 1 cup dark chocolate – in chip or chunk form

Melt the chocolate slowly over a double boiler, until it’s smooth and creamy. With a tray with wax or baking paper ready and nearby, dip each strawberry in the chocolate and, after letting some of the excess drip off, place it on the tray. Repeat this for all the strawberries and let them set, so that the chocolate hardens (the fridge can help hasten this), before placing them on the serving platter.

If you have foam and skewers, you could skewer the strawberry before dipping it and then poke the other end of the skewer in the foam to let them harden without a flat side.

IMG_2848 IMG_2849

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 6 oz/170 g cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp. softened unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 oz/85 g icing sugar (more or less to your personal taste)

Make sure all the ingredients are properly softened (or the icing will be lumpy) before blending them all together. Done!

I like to surround the dip with the coated strawberries but there is no right or wrong way to serve them. I hope you enjoy them! Just go ahead and dip the strawberry in the cream cheese icing and forget about the calories for one night.

And have a great Valentine’s Day this Friday with whomever you spend it with. Xx

WP_20130214_008

FODMAP Friendly Thanksgiving & Christmas Recipe – Cranberry Sauce

IMG_4145

Cranberry sauce is the easiest jam you will ever make. I promise.

Cranberries are high in pectin – well, their skins are – so that they will thicken up quite nicely without any help from you. All you need to do is add sugar to your taste and some water and you have a very basic jam that tastes great but a few adjustments can make it taste even better.

Notes:

  1. Cranberries are considered low FODMAP, however, like any fruit, don’t go overboard because it is the fructose (or FODMAP) load of the entire meal that counts.
  2. Fruit juices, even those from safe fruits, should be consumed in very limited amounts. Freshly squeezed juices aren’t nearly as bad as the concentrated fruit juices you get form the supermarket, though, as they have no added sugars and are not concentrated down into a thicker, sweeter juice. Still, moderation is key.
  3. Adding dextrose (a disaccharide that is 100% glucose) can aid with co-transport of any free excess fructose of not just the jam but the entire meal – to a point. It’s always best to err on the side of caution when huge meals are eaten and you may or may not be tempted by goodies that have an unfavourable fructose-glucose ratio… like mangoes. Yum.

Cranberry Sauce

Makes 5 x 1/2 pint jars.

  • 2 x 12 oz packets of fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dextrose (more or less to adjust flavour to tart or sweet)
  • Juice of 1 orange and water to make 1 cup
  • Zest of 1 orange

Place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes to let the cranberries burst – you can either leave the sauce as is or use an immersion blender (you know, the hand-held ones) to whiz it into a smooth sauce. Next, fill jars of your choice. Alternatively, you can preserve these jars to last for 6 months by following these instructions for immersion canning acidic foods, which is what I did. They make great little gifts at this time of the year. 🙂

IMG_4134 IMG_4136 IMG_4137

Done! Let the jars cool properly – for at least 12 hours – before testing the seals with a magnet. If any do not pass, then either reprocess or freeze them, or refrigerate them for use within a week or two. If you are gifting them, tie a piece of rough twine around the rim with a label attached, then place them in a brown paper bag for a rustic look.

IMG_4140 IMG_4143