goodbye butter, goodbye ghee

I really don’t have any intention of turning this blog into my personal food diary multiple times a month, but I just spent 4 days with my sister, brother-in-law, and baby C, and I’ve never cooked or baked so much in my life. I was determined to leave them with enough soup and baked goods to last them awhile, and all that prep got me thinking about my own journey with food. So, here’s my tiny rant: I’m a believer that what you put in your body matters. A lot. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way in the last few years. What I’m still learning is how to eat the things I love without doing damage.

Celiacs disease is under-diagnosed in the U.S.: an inherited, autoimmune disease, as many as 1 in 133 people in the U.S. have celiacs and 97% of them go undiagnosed. (like me.) Like many of these people, I didn’t have many symptoms until i was in my late twenties, and then, well, the s*^# hit the fan (literally) and things went down hill fast. Unfortunately, in addition to celiacs, I have a severe allergy to all cow products and soy. Suddenly all the uncomfortable stomach aches I’ve had over the years are making sense.

Ok, rant over.

Now, onto what I made. My first new year’s goal is to relearn how to cook for myself with my new diagnoses. Interestingly enough, my sister has similar food allergies; therefore, her kitchen is my version of heaven: everything you need to cook amazing treats with no refined sugar, dairy, soy, or gluten. I’m finally beginning to learn the tricks of the trade.

Here’s what I made: roasted butternut squash and rosemary soup, roasted tomato and basil soup, kale and chicken sausage soup, two roasted chickens with veggies, (and two massive pots of chicken stock), almond tomato spread, egg salad, and from the Spunky Coconut’s latest cookbook (which I highly recommend for anyone, not just people in need of alternative ways to bake): 2 batches of rosemary biscuits (this are amazing dipped in my bro-in-laws fancy herbed olive oil recipe), coconut lemon bars, cinnamon rolls, and two pans of coffee cake. All these baked goods are casien, gluten, soy, and dairy free.

Lessons I learned:

1. Navy beans are amazing. They make the most amazing, fluffy cake batter you could ever want. Case and point: coffee cake and vanilla bean cake. Who knew?! Try it for yourself here.

2. Applesauce makes amazing dough AND amazing cinnamin roll filler.

3. When in doubt, almond butter and coconut milk & oil solves all problems. The cinnamin roll recipe called for a cashew glaze, but we didn’t have any cashews. So, I mixed honey, coconut milk, vanilla, and almond butter in a blender and I had a hard time keeping myself from eating all of it.

4. If you have an allergy to cow products, that includes ghee. It took 48 hours of analysis to figure out where the massive stomach pain came from, but we finally figured out it was the 2 tablespoons of ghee in the rosemary biscuits. Turns out, you can just use coconut oil and it tastes just as amazing. Good bye butter, good bye ghee.

The only problem with my new-found knowledge is that after months with no sweets, I can suddenly eat lots of baked goods without getting sick. At least that solves my sweet tooth.

Happy baking!

(all photos: thespunkycoconut)

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  1. sis
    Posted January 17, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    i can never thank you enough for coming out and helping all weekend! :) you are fabulous and the perfect big sister!!!! I will keep having babies if you keep visiting me! sis

  2. Posted January 17, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    i wonder if i can make these cakes and such using egg-replacer. im hungry over here!

  3. Posted January 17, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    sure can whit! let’s research it

  4. Posted January 17, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    you don’t have to have more babies! i’m already obsessed with your first! xo

  5. Posted January 18, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    These look so delicious! Proof that food allergies don’t have to mean sacrificing deliciousness.

  6. Posted January 18, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    totally agree marisa!

  7. Victoria
    Posted January 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m trying to pinpoint my stomach pains, so far I’ve linked it to things like chocolate chips (caffeine…maybe artificial flavorings), cheese, other foods and drinks with caffeine- definitely coffee, as well as meat and hot sauce, et cetera.. I’ve been to the doctor several times regarding my stomach issues. They’ve done just about everything and can’t seem to find anything wrong, and all the docs I’ve been to don’t seem to think it’s anything serious. They brought up spastic colon and IBS…but weren’t sure. I’m seeing another doctor next week hopefully can shed some more light into this issue, but I just know certain things seem to trigger the pain more and it does travel from one side to the other. Sometimes it’s just a flat out stomach pain. I’m trying to get rid of these foods and drinks that may be contributing, but I can’t seem to find exactly what’s going on and what all these items include. I know you’re not a doctor, but since you have experience with food allergies I thought maybe you could shed some light on what sounds like might be going on? On a lighter note, love the article. I’m planning on buying the Spunky Coconut cookbook. :) The foods you mention look and sound absolutely fabulous!

  8. Posted January 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    So sorry you’re having issues! Was there for three years. I actually had to have genetic and stool sample testing done in order to find out about my gluten and dairy intolerances. Unfortunately, testing for celiacs requires blood work and biopsies that do not always detect the issue. I had a colonoscopy and two endoscopies and still no results. What I learned through genetic and stool sample testing is that medicine today looks for damage DONE. If your intestine are not already suffering visual damage, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have celiacs and other food allergies: it just means that you might have caught them before they started to show the damage that comes up when you do those tests with your GI. Do some reading on celiacs: many people have it and never suffer a single day with it while people like myself have it but don’t have symptoms until later in life. I’ll email you some resources. Just remember: IBS is a blanket diagnosis that covers “everything”. My GI told me it’s what they tell you you have when they don’t know what’s wrong with you. Doesn’t make you feel very assured, for sure!

  9. Rhonda
    Posted January 19, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Victoria, you should look at LGS (as should everyone who has gluten intolerance). I too used to have all the same stomach issues, saw all the specialists and was eventually told that nothing could be pinpointed. I’m now treating myself for LGS and although the intolerances to soy, dairy, vinegar, gluten etc. are still there I am healing rapidly through diet and supplements. You should always avoid the gluten but you can repair the damage that’s been done.

  10. Renee
    Posted January 19, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Careful with the beans. If you are allergic or intolerant to soy, it is also possible that you are sensitive to all legumes. I am. : (

    I’m allergic or intolerant to dairy, soy, legumes, gluten, corn, chicken, garlic, onion, and nightshades. I think that’s all of them! ;) I found that Loren Cordain’s work has helped me immensely in sorting out all my food problems. I have hope that I’ll get over the onion, garlic and nightshades by following his advise. If you are interested, here is his new book. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m sure it applies to these special conditions and not just to weight loss. The marketing team pushes the weight loss, I’m sure.

  11. Posted January 19, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Was recently diagnosed with allergies to gluten, soy, dairy, and eggs. Interesting that you can’t have ghee. My nutritionist told me it was okay b/c the milk solids were removed. So far I seem to be doing fine with that but I do use more coconut oil than ghee b/c of the cost. Thanks for you blog. I will stay posted.

  12. Posted January 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    I thought I’d be able to eat ghee too, but it really upset my stomach. I think what’s important is that I figure out what bothers me and stay away from it. It’s not hard to avoid ghee, but it’s really hard to avoid butter if I eat out! I’m happy to report that coconut oil doesn’t bother me at all: it’s a great substitute.

  13. Posted January 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m finding that beans really irritate my system. If I eat hummus, I’m in a bad place for a few days. So, I’m trying to treat beans like a dessert: as a treat. everyone asks me if i’m doing the paleo diet, which i’m pretty close to from what i’ve read. so far, so good!

  14. Sue
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    dear rachel,

    to stop yourself eating a great amount of sweets/sweet baked goods, you “just” might want to skip sugar, cane sugar, raw cane sugar, honey, and nearly all kinds of sirup for a few weeks. you can use stevia or rice sirup (rarely). the monosaccharides (fructose as well) leads your body to crave for sweets, for the depot discharges quickly, more quickly than with oligosaccharides. i know that this won’t be an easy time, but worth it.

  15. Posted January 20, 2011 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I’m finding that everything tastes too sweet to me after months of not eating sugar. Apples and raisins especially. Thanks for the tip. I don’t have much time to bake anyway, so avoiding sweets is pretty easy!

  16. Grady
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    I highly recommend everyone look into choosing your foods by blood type.

    Though it may not cure all your issues it will definitely free up your immune system to work on things the way it should.

    Search “Blood type Food Lists” the D’Adamo stuff has proven the most accurate for my family so far. (A, B and O blood types)

    After 2 years… wouldn’t dream of choosing my foods any other way…. many many issues I’ve had have completely disappeared.

    Be well!

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