Sorry it has been a while since I last posted anything! Life has been pretty hectic with university lately but I have a few recipes that I will be posting soon, think mini quiches and cupcakes!
Anyway, this week it is (food) allergy awareness week in Australia! I think that this is a fantastic week but I have one issue with it, allergy awareness week is different in every country! Last week my Instagram feed was full of American allergy week posts and the UK were earlier in the year! I think this is something which should be universal, lets connect across the world and share information and resources.
That aside, it is important to raise awareness and more importantly funding towards finding a cure for allergies. Allergies are often not considered a medical condition by most people, let alone a life threatening one. This is a view which needs to change. That is what this week is about. Realising that allergies do not just impact our food choices, but our lives. People with life threatening anaphylaxis have to be so careful to avoid cross contamination and can’t just have a little bit of something that they are allergic to!
So let’s get together, raise awareness for this life threatening condition and contribute to finding a cure! Please donate to my page https://give.everydayhero.com/au/hannaphylaxis-allergy-awareness
No amount is too big or small and any donation will work towards finding a cure for anaphylaxis and allergies.
And if you are interested in getting involved in any way, it is not too late, please visit http://www.foodallergyaware.com.au/
And if you are in Australia, keep an eye on Channel 9 this evening, my story should be airing!
I’ll have more recipes out soon!
Yesterday was ANZAC day and I felt that it was appropriate to make ANZAC biscuits, however I needed to find a recipe which met my dietary requirements. After much searching, I came up with this recipe, which is also egg free so that my boyfriend can eat them, and as a result, vegan!
Most gluten free recipes use quinoa flakes to replace oats as there is a protein similar to gluten in oats. However, as I am allergic to wheat and not intolerant to gluten, I am able to use oats which are grown in a crop only used for gluten free grains.
I had never made ANZAC biscuits before so it was an interesting learning experience, particularly using the bi-carb combined with the coconut spread and golden syrup, it fizzed up quite a bit!
I found these quite simple to make, however I will bake them for longer next time as they went quite soft after being stored in a container. I found these biscuits were perfect to accompany a hot drink, however if you prefer to eat them alone I would advise adding more sugar. This recipe made 18 biscuits.
- 100 grams wheat free, nut free oats
- 120 grams gluten free flour
- 100 grams brown sugar
- 75 grams shredded (or desiccated) coconut
- 125 grams coconut oil spread
- 1 Tablespoon golden syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper
- In a large bowl, combine oats, gluten free flour, sugar and coconut, making a well in the centre
- Place the golden syrup and coconut oil spread in a saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Once melted, remove from the heat
- In a small bowl, place the bi-carb soda and add 2 Tablespoons boiling water. Mix this quickly to combine
- Add the bi-carb and water to the sugar and spread mixture and stir to combine
- Pour the liquid mixture into the well in the dry mixture and stir to combine. The mixture should be wet but there should not be any excess liquid. Add water if the mixture is too dry
- Place dessert spoon size balls onto the tray and flatten slightly
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on how soft-crunchy you want your biscuits
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool
I developed a love for sushi when I was in late high school and used to eat it out quite often. Around the same time I began to experiment with making it at home and got quite good at it! After developing all of my allergies I am now very wary with eating sushi out and so finally, after well over a year, I decided to make sushi again! Making sushi at home means that it can be adapted to many allergy and dietary requirements including vegetarian and vegan.
It is very important to read the packets for everything when making sushi. One of the seaweed (yaki nori) packets had a nut warning on it and most soy sauce contains wheat. Also, make sure that you have a sushi mat to roll the sushi. It will keep in the fridge for a few days.
Next time I make sushi I will enlist the help of a friend to photograph or video so I can demonstrate the technique of rolling the sushi. I have explained as best as I can but I’m sure there will be plenty of videos online. It’s like riding a bike, once you know how to do it you won’t forget!
- 1 packet yaki nori (seaweed)
- 2 cups sushi rice
- 3 tablespoons sushi seasoning
- 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- desired fillings eg carrot, lettuce, avocado, omlette, chicken, smoked salmon etc according to your allergies or dietary requirements
- Gluten free soy sauce to serve
- Cook the rice as you desire. I use 3 cups of water to 2 cups of rice in a rice cooker
- As it cools, add 3 tablespoons of sushi seasoning and 3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and mix
- Leave the rice in the fridge for a few hours to cool
- In the meantime, cut and prepare the fillings
- Place the last tablespoon of rice wine vinegar in a bowl with some water
- Place one piece of seaweed on the sushi mat and cover with rice, leaving a 1-2cm gap around the edge
- Place the fillings on the front edge of the rice
- Roll the sushi, taking care to roll the mat out of the way. This takes a bit of practice to get right
- Once you get towards the end of rolling wet the far edge of the seaweed
- Press down on top to ensure that the roll is sealed
- I usually bring the sushi roll back to the middle of the mat and square it off
- Finally, wet a knife and cut the sushi as desired
- Pour some soy sauce into a small dish for dipping, serve and enjoy!
After the first time I made fudge, it quickly became a favourite sweet amongst my family and friends. I began to experiment with other nut free chocolates and my personal favourite is white chocolate fudge. I only recently discovered Sweet William’s white chocolate in Coles and was very excited to find it, it’s been quite a while since I could have any white chocolate with my allergies! Anyway, here is the recipe, enjoy!
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (approx 400g)
- 100g coconut oil spread
- 250g brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 200g nut free chocolate (I use 2 Sweet William 100g blocks)
- Put all ingredients EXCEPT chocolate into a microwave safe bowl
- Heat ingredients in 1-2 minute bursts on medium power, stirring after each time
- Now you can add the chocolate. Stir it in until all melted
- Pour the mixture into a shallow baking tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight if you can wait that long!
- Remove the fudge from the tray and cut into rectangles
- Store in a container, with grease proof paper separating layers and keep in the fridge (if it lasts that long!)
And again, I spent my day in the emergency department.
Driving down South road I started to get that all too familiar feeling in my throat and ichy eyes. I managed to get my ventolin and have 2 puffs, hoping it was just asthma. Then I looked at my hand as it started to shake. Luckily the traffic lights were green and I was able to park my car at a doctors surgery I visited as a kid.
I gave my first EpiPen whilst sat in the car just as my cough and violent shakes began. I managed to get into the doctors surgery where a doctor saw me, I used my second epipen and I was given Steriods. Then the ambulance came and the paramedics gave me an antihistamine just as I was starting to get better.
I went into hospital, where they first suggested I went to the waiting room. I quickly changed their minds when I told them I still had chest tightness and was then admitted to emergency and the extended care unit and was monitored for 6 hours where my dad, mum and boyfriend kept me company. I had a chest X-ray and was eventually cleared to go. I even had a nurse who had previously treated me recognise me and a friend of mine who is a nurse in ED look after me!
My immunologist appointment should be being brought forward. This is the 5th reaction I’ve had with no known trigger and 13th in my life. I just want to live normally and not fear food as I currently do.
So as you all know I have quite a few allergies myself, and I wear a medicalert bracelet every day. Apparently it can be a bit of a conversation starter to someone who also has allergies! Long story short, my new boyfriend is allergic to almost as much as me!
I have only ever had to consider what I am eating for me. Learning to ensure that I don’t eat something that my boyfriend is allergic to is difficult and makes me understand what it is like for everyone who has to avoid my allergens when cooking for me.
Between us we are allergic to nuts, wheat, apples, egg, sesame seeds and seafood! And amazingly it is possible for the two of us to find things that we can both eat!
For times when we are eating at home together, I will be cooking things that we are both able to eat. Dining out will be more difficult but I’m sure we will be finding all of the best allergy friendly restaurants in Adelaide! Cooking with fresh produce from scratch is the easiest way to avoid our allergens and I will also be starting to bake foods we can both eat.
Egg free baking is the first challenge I will be facing, something which will also appeal to vegans! Keep your eyes out for new recipes!
Dating can be daunting for many people. Getting the courage to ask someone out, the awkwardness of the first date, the list goes on.
Often dates include food, going out for dinner, sharing the popcorn in the movie, you get the idea. Now imagine having to bring up immediately with someone that you could die if you eat something. I’m pretty sure that would be enough to scare someone off!
Then you have the issue of the kiss at the end of the date? Not just, will they kiss me? Or should I kiss them? But, what have they eaten? Could they have eaten something I’m allergic to? Do I ask, or do I just avoid kissing them?
Long term, will someone be willing to change their diet for me?
Allergies are serious and kissing someone can be enough to spark a reaction if they have eaten something you are allergic to.
The only advice I can provide to anyone dating with allergies is to mention them early. If the person is put off then they aren’t the right person for you anyway!
And for those without allergies, just think, if you meet someone with allergies, please be supportive and try to consider it from the other person’s point of view. They probably feel like a huge inconvenience and wish they didn’t have allergies at all! And don’t worry, there is still plenty you can do that won’t be impacted by their allergies, you will learn in time!