Recently I’ve had to make a few major adjustments to my diet because of my own personal health issues, which means, apart from butter/ghee, I have cut out gluten, dairy, alcohol and sugar from my diet. This has reduced my bloating and gut issues, given me more energy, cleared up my acne, balanced my moods a bit and has me feeling more like myself again, even though I still have further to go. Having food intolerances can really suck, especially when people have no empathy for you (because gluten intolerance doesn’t exist, apparently) and a lot of the foods that are created as substitutes are loaded with sugar and chemicals and crap.
Between my boyfriend and I, the list of foods we can’t eat is quite expansive, so we’ve become experts at reading labels and thinking outside the box when we cook for one another. For the most part, we don’t feel like we’re missing out, and we enjoy cooking together, or for each other, because we both like to try new things when we do.
Having food intolerances or a temporarily limited diet doesn’t mean you have to live off rabbit food, I promise. Here are 7 of my food intolerance faves that I’ve currently been eating a bunch of:
1. Peace Love and Vegetables Cashew Cheese
If the first thing that really hurts when you have to cut foods out of your diet is cheese, then this is the stuff for you. With activated cashews to reduce any flatulence from the nuts, an added culture for a healthy gut and dill for a taste reminiscent of cheese and pickles, Peace Love and Vegetables is surprisingly delicious. We’ve eaten it on nachos, as a dip on it’s own and as a substitute for bechamel in lasagne when we haven’t had time to make our own. It’s on par for price with fancy cheese, but goes much further in my opinion.
2. Sempio Korean Sweet Potato Noodles
These things are such a bargain, and the texture is fantastic too! Great for stir-fries, noodle soups, pasta dishes, or even a DIY instant noodle pot. Personally, I’m totally obsessed with Korean food at the moment (Beef Bul Gol Gi soup in particular!!), so I was so excited to find out that their noodles are not only free from gluten, they’re available at Woolies for under $2.
3. BORN Cultured Coconut Yoghurt
This one is probably obvious to most of you, but I am pretty picky when it comes to coconut yoghurt, which is why I’ve included this particular brand here. I have my coconut yoghurt on top of chia pudding with fruit and paleo granola, so I don’t want one that will be too sweet, which some brands really can be. A customer at work, Leanne, got me onto BORN Cultured, a coconut yoghurt that doesn’t use a sweetener in their natural yoghurt. They do use xylitol in their chai, vanilla and apple flavour, but it’s not a noticable sweetness to me, it really is quite wonderful. And for me, it’s made locally, in Noosa, which is nice too 🙂
4. Suncoast Gold Macadamia Milk
O. M. G. I freakin LOVE macadamia milk. If you struggle with coconut and almond milks and can’t have grains, it’s definitely a good way to go, although it is a little hard to come by lately (devastating really). Macadamia milk is creamy and almost has a vanilla flavour to it even though there is no actual vanilla in it. I know I definitely struggled with the bitterness of almond milk when I first tried it, but I urge you to try it before you swear off nut milks altogether. So delicious.
5. Homemade Cashew Cream
Want to make creamy curries and sauces without milk?
I blitz up 1/2 cup cashews and water or stock/broth and add that to my sauces for a quick creamy fix. The other day I made a butter chicken-esque curry using the cashew cream and the spices from my Fabulous Vegetarian Curry Feast and some fresh ginger and turmeric.
I toasted the spices, then crushed them in a mortar and pestle before adding them to the cooked chicken, onion, tomatoes and vegetables with the cashew cream and a tablespoon of butter. It tasted like any good Indian curry should, but without the heavy feeling you’d usually get if it was laden with cream and butter. Safe to say I was incredibly chuffed with myself!
6. Nutritional Yeast
If you’re new to a cheese-less life, let me tell you, nutritional yeast is the closest thing you’ll get to that cheesy flavour you miss. My favourite way to have this is with rice & quinoa pasta as vegan mac’n’cheese.
Boil 3-4 potatoes, skin on, with an onion and two carrots until tender. Drain, retaining 1/2 cup of the water and put into a blender with 1/2 cup of cashews, salt, white pepper and a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast until smooth, then pour over your cooked pasta. My gluten and dairy eating carnivore friends ate the huge batch I made for a barbecue we had so I can assure you, it is delicious.
7. Worchestershire substitute
If you can’t eat MSG or seafood, but need to use W sauce or just love it in general, this tip is for you.
Mix a teaspoon each of tamari, tamarind paste and white vinegar with a pinch of cloves and a dash of hot sauce. It tastes very similar to the original and again, hasn’t got any crap in it, as well as being vegan.
I’m hoping in the future to bring you a guide to eating in Brisbane with food intolerances, so if that’s something you’re keen on, or you have any tips, I’d love to hear from you.
(Featured image source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/genamourbarrett/this-nerdy-twitter-account-is-the-funniest-50-shades-parody?utm_term=.ypnaRNbxn&sub=4018699_6840217#.eelvlQW2N)