Friday, November 19, 2010

Coconut Flour, You Are My Hero

My new food hero is coconut flour. So much so that I renamed this blog in honour of this miraculous food (to me, anyway).

I recently ordered some off a Swedish website, as I haven't found it in any of the stores here in the city where I live (I live in the mid-north region of Sweden. If I was in Stockholm, I'm sure I wouldn't have had any issues finding it. Alas, was not the case here where I live).

I'd had coconut flour previously in Australia, but it still stirred a reaction in me. My stomach would bloat a little, & so I would only use it very sparingly. But I've had nothing but luck so far with the 1kg bag I've bought now, so I suspect that the flour I bought in Australia was sweetened, as this is not.

Oh boy, a whole new world of food adventures has now opened for me. I had pancakes for dinner the other night with the boy. I can't remember the last time I had pancakes! They fluffed up nicely, even The Boy said that he found them good. I was very pleased by this!

The following night, I decided to do a test batch of some cookies I was thinking of making. I'd been reading up a lot on coconut flour, trying to find conversions or liquid to flour ratio recommendations. Most reliable information said to just experiment. Coconut flour absorbs a lot of fluid due to its high fibre content, so I saw that a lot of eggs are commonly used in baking with coconut flour.

So I attempted a small batch using the flour, an egg, some psyllium husk, coconut oil, sweetener plus some spices (always throwing cinnamon into the mix - love that spice!), salt & a bit of milk to test consistency & baking times. A friend of The Boy's came over during my baking session, & tasted some of my trials. He wanted more! I couldn't be more than happy with that. If people who can eat wheat & sugar try my baked goods & enjoy it, that's definitely a good sign!

So much experimentation is in order with this flour. I can now try to make things that have been a memory of the past for so long now: cake, pizza, bread, crackers. Let's see how this goes

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fault with the Flax

This upcoming 'time of the month' is always a challenge for me. My sweet tooth kicks in, taste buds go rampant, & I'm constantly revisiting the fridge in a search for what I can taste next. I have a few days of the 'bottomless pit', where nothing seems to satisfy long enough & I feel constantly hungry. Or, at least, constantly wanting. It's a state I find frustrating & boring. Mix that in with a bloated, 'oh woe, I'm so fat' everytime I put something in my mouth, my moods jumping from OK to upset. Yes, it's all fun fun fun.

This is the time when my inner baker likes to come out & play. Since going on this anti-Candida diet, it's been a constant search to find something that I can create that is sweet & fulfilling, without wavering off the wagon (though temptations to do that have diminished with each painful remission). Anything I bake tends to bloat me, either minimally or very painfully. Yesterday's venture into the oven was the latter.

I'd decided to try to bake a small zucchini bread, using a recipe of my own creation but inspired by some that I had looked up on the web. Having recently bought some ground flax seeds (considering the low carbohydrate & fat content, something to mix amongst my nut meal & soy flour), I threw a hearty lot into the mix & happily went along my way. Having sampled some of the batter, I placed the bread into the oven & then made a small sweet batter mix that I could just nibble on while the bread baked. Uh oh. Within minutes of consuming it my stomach was up, feeling like it was being stretched to the point of busting. I didn't understand it; everything that I had put into the mix I have consumed various times reguarly, & while some bloating occurred, it was never this bad. After some confusion, I realised the culprit: flax seeds. I've had this problem before, months ago when I started this diet. I consumed some flax & almonds, thinking I was doing the right thing. Technically I was, both are allowed on my diet. But there's something about both of these foods that my stomach just doesn't like. Pain with a capital P.

Once my stomach had settled a bit, I decided to test my theory. I took a teaspoon of the flax & waited to see what happened. Yup, a no go. Stomach blew up, & the next few hours were spent nestling a rather sore & groaning stomach & intestinal tract. Ahh well, all part of the discovery process.