So here we go. The first chapter of the Feeding My Intolerant child book/guide. I decided to start with breakfasts, because I don’t know about you but the first thought that pops in to my head when I wake up is – what am I going to eat today? It seems to be the first thing my children think of too, as their first words to me each day tend to be ‘I’m hungry’.
When you are told by the doctor and dietician that your little one needs to go on a gluten free and dairy free diet, you instantly wonder what on earth they can eat. It doesn’t seem to leave much. One of the most difficult meals to deal with, in my opinion, is breakfast. For many of us breakfast is usually some kind of wheat or gluten based cereal or grain served or made with dairy – e.g. any breakfast cereal and milk, porridge, even toast.
Perhaps this is part of the problem. Maybe for too long we have all over eaten wheat and dairy based breakfasts and should have had more variety in our diets. Perhaps this is actually a blessing in disguise and natures way of prompting me to make healthier more varied breakfasts. My ‘intolerant child’ has no choice but to try different breakfast foods now and it turns out that it is not as daunting as you may think. I have found it quite a tasty and interesting challenge.
So rather than mourning what is no longer on the menu, let’s look at what is still ok and also look at some new alternatives. So this week, posts will be all about breakfast – starting with pancakes. This recipe is more for a crepe or traditional Shrove Tuesday kind of pancake. I have a recipe for American style pancakes too – but will cover that off next.
Pancakes have become something of a weekend treat/ritual for us, as I find it is a bit of a hassle/mess to make them midweek. But if you make up plenty of batter on a Sunday for instance, keep some in the fridge overnight then there is no reason why you cannot get Monday off to a great start too. I find the batter actually improves having been kept in the fridge. With your ready-made mix this breakfast takes no longer to make than toast, so just heat up your pan, pour in the batter and get flipping!
Pancakes are easily made gluten and dairy free with just a few simple ‘swaps’. At the moment we have not got a confirmed diagnosis on any of Zac’s allergies. Still waiting for the test results. He has never shown any major reaction to cooked egg, so for now until I hear from the hospital we are cooking with them. I realise that for many allergy sufferers eggs are a big problem . I believe there is an egg replacer which can be used in many recipes, I am just not familiar with it, so please forgive me for not including it in my recipes.
So my recipe just swaps out the flour and milk. I have taken it from the Doves Farm website, and I use their flour. I just add a few flourishes of my own at the end to make it ‘my recipe’. I have also halved the quantities stated on their website, as we just don’t need that much batter.
100g gluten free plain flour – I use Doves Farm
1 medium egg
1 tbsp sunflower oil or melt a blob of the Pure Dairy Free Sunflower spread and it was fine)
250ml dairy free milk (I have used Alpro Soya Junior for the kids version, but have tried Alpro Almond milk and Kara dairy free milk for myself – all have a slightly sweet flavour that add a little extra something!)
For even more flavour I sometimes add a tiny splash of vanilla extract.
Put the flour and egg in a mixing bowl. Add the milk and whisk into a batter. The Doves Farm recipe says you should leave the batter to rest for an hour, who has an hour? I often cook mine within minutes of receiving the ‘please can we have pancakes’ breakfast request and they are usually always fine. Heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan and add a good tablespoon of the batter and roll it round the pan to cover the surface. Cook till golden and then flip and cook the other side. I usually find these quantities make about 4 good sized pancakes.
Sophia topped hers with the Antony Worrall Thompson chocolate spread and rolled it up a bit like a crepe http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/#/sainsburys-price-comparison/jam_and_spreads/antony_worrall_thompsons_chocolate_and_hazelnut_spread_gluten_free_350g.html
This spread is gluten and dairy free, but obviously not nut free, so not suitable for all. Zac is not a fan of chocolate spread, and has got a bit creative with his pancakes in the past and smeared a bit of yoghurt on his and topped with chopped up grapes and strawberries. Hardly a gourmet topping and not that pretty but when your child asks to add fruit to a breakfast instead of chocolate you just don’t say no do you?
Obviously that is the point, pancakes are great fun, ‘fast food’ and you can make them as healthy or naughty as you like but whichever you choose isn’t it nice to know that pancakes are definitely not off the menu and are in fact a great breakfast option for the gluten free, dairy free child?