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

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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!

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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

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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!

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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.

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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).

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Spelt and Flax Seed Bread Rolls – Lower FODMAP & Vegan

Spelt and Flax Seed Bread Rolls

About 6 months ago, I accidentally bought 25 lbs of spelt flour instead of 5 lbs. Whoops. The moral of this story? Always check your orders before submitting them.

Anyway, it’s been 6 months and I am being generous if I say I’ve used half of it. I don’t want it to go bad – not that flour usually goes off within 6 months, it’s just a lot of flour to lose if it does – so lately I’ve been baking and freezing. Spelt flour works well in my banana cake recipe (just omit the xanthan gum), I’m working on a sourdough starter made of spelt (and rye but Ev isn’t a huge fan of rye) and then there’s these little rolls.

These rolls are soft, flavourful and can be used as a lunch roll, or as a dinner roll when you’re having a party, with some good extra virgin olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. May I also suggest that they go really well with soups like this roasted pumpkin and tomato soup.

Notes:

  1. Spelt (Triticum aestivum subsp. spelta) is an ancient form of wheat that has not been tinkered with and contains gluten that is said to be more readily digestible (due to it being more water-soluble than that in modern day wheat), so is potentially better tolerated by many who react to normal wheat. More information here.
  2. Like rye, spelt flour is generally better tolerated than wheat flour among fructose malabsorbers. Also like rye, spelt does still contain fructans and is not tolerated by everyone on a low FODMAP diet. For this reason, I would recommend not overdoing it until you know your spelt limits.
  3. Spelt is NOT gluten free. The gluten it contains is different than that in wheat. If you have coeliac disease or non-coeliac gluten sensitivity then spelt is not safe for you, regardless of the different fructans. There is some evidence that completely fermenting wheat will degrade gluten such that it is safe for gluten sensitive people, however not enough research has been done yet to say so definitively.

Spelt Dinner Rolls

Makes 8.

  • 250 g + 1 tbsp. white spelt flour
  • 155 ml filtered water, chilled
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. activated yeast
  • 2 tbsp. mixed seeds – optional, I chose flax and sunflower seeds

Add all the ingredients into a mixing bowl (except for the 1 tbsp. spelt flour) and thoroughly combine. I use my stand mixer with the dough hook attachment and knead for 5 minutes on a medium speed, let the dough rest for 10 minutes and then knead it for a further 10 minutes on a low to medium speed.

Next, lightly dust your bench with the 1 tbsp. spelt flour and knead the dough (with your hands this time) for 2-3 minutes. Roll it out into a log and then divide into 8 even chunks. Arrange them on an oiled baking tray (I use a 9 inch cake pan or pie dish) and then place into a cold oven with a dish of boiled water – this will help the rising process. Leave the rolls in the oven for an hour, until they have doubled in size.

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Remove the rolls from the oven and let them sit on the bench while the oven pre-heats to 230 C/450 F, then place them in the oven on the bottom shelf (leaving the water dish in their to help keep them moist) and bake for 15 minutes, until they have turned a light golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Let them cool for 30 minutes before serving, or cool completely for 2 hours until you store them in an airtight container in the pantry.

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Cast Iron Cornbread – Low FODMAP & Gluten Free

Cast Iron Cornbread - Lower FODMAP

I had never eaten corn bread before moving to the USA, which isn’t really that surprising. I suppose back home our cheat’s bread is damper and many Americans wouldn’t have tried that, either.

The first corn bread I tried was a sweet version that I’m pretty sure had corn grits in it as well, judging by the texture. It was moist and chewy and sweet and delicious but really only a one trick pony. The savoury version you can use as sandwich bread, as the base to a stuffing, serve it with soup etc. Much more versatile.

The following recipe I based from reading about corn bread in general – to get an idea of ingredients, as well as the method. The website I found most useful was The Paupered Chef, as I particularly liked the idea of soaking the corn meal in the buttermilk (they used milk) beforehand. Some say that true Southern corn bread is 100% corn meal, others say that that’s untrue. Not being from the South, let alone the country, I have absolutely no opinion on what is or isn’t traditional, I’m just making what I find tasty.

FODMAP Notes:

  1. Corn is a tricky one. The FODMAP content depends on the variety; sweet corn can be troublesome for some with FM due to the high sugar content and some people are sensitive to GMO crops, of which corn is the poster child (I’m not going to enter the GMO debate here, though). However, the sweet corn that is grown for eating on the cob isn’t the same corn that is used for corn meals, flours or starches and it’s different again to corn that is grown for use in plastics and bio-fuels. Corn meal is not made from sweet corn, thus is much better tolerated. There are specific corn allergies, though, so watch out for those.
  2. Rye can be substituted in for the GF plain flour, if you can tolerate it. As I have mentioned beforestudies show that rye flour contains more fructans than wheat but evidence suggests that the chains are longer, thus taking longer to ferment. It is generally less of an irritant than wheat to those with FM, although many still have problems.
  3. If you have a gluten issue or are very sensitive to fructans, replace the rye flour with your favourite gluten free blend and 1/2 tsp. of xanthan gum (or 1 tbsp. chia seed meal).
  4. Buttermilk contains lactose, which is water soluble. If you malabsorb lactose then replace it with the same volume of LF milk with a dash of lemon juice.

Cast Iron Corn Bread

This quantity cooks well in a 12 ” cast iron skillet.

  • 2 1/4 cups corn meal
  • 2 cups buttermilk or lactose free milk
  • 1 1/2 cups rye flour OR a gluten free plain flour blend with 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum or 1 tbsp. chia meal
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large or 3 small eggs
  • Optional – 1/4 cup roughly cut fresh herbs, such as rosemary

Combine the corn meal and buttermilk in a large mixing bowl – everything will end up in here eventually – and let it sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 230 C/450 F. Place your cast iron skillet (or any skillet with an oven safe handle, the heavier its base the better) in the oven to heat up. Please remember to now use gloves whenever you handle the skillet!

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While the corn meal is soaking, sift the flour (with any necessary xanthan gum or chia meal), baking powder, salt and the optional herbs into a separate bowl, and combine the eggs and softened butter (the softer, the better) in another.

When the corn meal and buttermilk have been sitting for the ten minutes, add in first the wet ingredients and then gradually add and mix in the dry ingredients – depending on your particular flours of choice, etc, you may or may not need all of it. The mixture should resemble a thick cake batter.

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Now, take the skillet out of the oven and grease it up with either a dollop of butter or olive oil, or even lard – I used butter. Spread your lipid of choice all around the base and at least half way up the sides of the pan and tip out any excess. Plonk the batter (it is too thick to pour) into the waiting skillet, make sure it is evenly spread out and pop it in the oven.

Baking instructions:

  • 12″ cast iron skillet – 25 minutes at 230 C/450 F.
  • Loaf tin – 50 minutes at 180 C/350 F (until a skewer tests clean).

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Let it sit in the skillet for 10 minutes to cool slightly and then turn it out onto a wire rack. Let it sit for half an hour before cutting, or it may crumble. This corn bread works well as sandwich bread (in a loaf pan), served with soup etc, it goes very well with my cranberry sauce/jam and can be used in a corn bread stuffing, the recipe for which I will be posting next. Stay tuned!

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FODMAP Friendly Thanksgiving & Christmas Recipe – Cranberry Sauce

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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. 🙂

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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.

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Strawberry Pepita Muesli Bars – FODMAPs, Fructose Friendly, Paleo & Gluten Free

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At the request of someone who cannot eat almonds – hence the last muesli bars I made were unsuitable – I promised to attempt an almond free version.

Well, here it is… and isn’t. I submitted the recipe to Yummly, a recipe/food/cooking website that I absolutely love for the reasons I listed here. It is like a big community of professional food writers, chefs, cooks and the likes of us. If you make your own account, you can start searching for delicious recipes with ingredient filters and saving them to try later… because of course you’ll be making these beauties first!

These are lower GI than your store bought muesli bars, and wont have any nasty preservatives in them. I kept mine in the fridge, in a sealed container and they lasted one month until I had finished them without spoiling.

As I mentioned in my last post about muesli bars, low GI is important not only when you’re not doing anything – to avoid a blood sugar spike, years of which can lead to insulin resistance and put you at risk of Type II Diabetes – but to help you maintain energy levels while you’re exercising, or even during the day if you eat one of these as a breakfast bar. Once reason I don’t eat any cereal other than whole oat porridge is because I was tired and hungry within an hour or two. Just ask Ev what I get like when my blood sugar drops… very grumpy 🙂

Notes:

  1. Use pure maple syrup, which shouldn’t have any extra sugars or sweeteners in there that could potentially elicit a FM reaction.
  2. I used raw nuts and seeds but you could use roasted for a little extra crunch.
  3. Strawberries are a FODMAP suitable fruit, with fructose concentration of 3.0g/100g and a glucose concentration of 3.1g/100g. Monash University lists them as safe.
  4. Most seeds are safe in moderate amounts, however they can affect some people because they are high in fibre. These bars will pack a caloric punch – they are intended for workout/hiking food, not for dieters – so you won’t need more than a single serving, anyway.
  5. Almonds have been listed by some as higher in FODMAPs, so to play it safe I excluded them.
  6. You could add in a quarter cup of dried cranberries if you can tolerate them – just watch for any juices used to sweeten them.
  7. Nuts are not safe for dogs, so please don’t share them with your furry hiking buddies.
  8. If you want a nut free version, simply remove the nuts and then add in the same volume of seeds. I still wouldn’t be sharing them with your dogs, though. We normally take chicken jerky for the dogs when we go hiking, as well as extra water.

The recipe is over on Yummly’s blog, please head over and have a look! I like to eat these as a breakfast bar with plain yoghurt and some berries. They are quite filling and keep me going until lunch time. Enjoy! Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

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