5

The simplest, yummiest allergy safe ‘choctastic’ ice cream…

DSC_0169It’s a bit hot isn’t it!! Ok, scrap that, we’re all melting, it’s positively tropical at the moment!

And it’s lovely, compared to miserable rainy weather!

But our poor little ones don’t really know what to do with themselves when it’s like this do they!

Normally, you’d go out and buy a job lot of ice creams, but if your little ones are anything like Callum, then can prove to be somewhat of a challenge. As you know, he’s allergic to a vast amount of ingredients, so I find it easier to make my own ice creams.

All of my recipes are quick, simple, and taste really good!

One of our all-time favourites is the ‘Choctastic ice cream’, which is made so regularly in our house, even the kids know all the ingredients required, and could make it with their eyes closed.

It really is that simple a recipe!

Give it a shot and let me know what you think, it won’t disappoint!

You will need:

  • 1 large ripe avocado – stoned and peeled
  • 1 tin coconut milk – not shaken!
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar/ honey/ pureed dates
  • 2-3 drops vanilla essence
  • Handful of dairy-free choc drops (white or dark choc) such as Moo Free, No Muu etc

Method:

In a food processor, add all of the ingredients apart from the choc drops and blitz until smooth. It will take around 5 or so minutes.

You will know it is ready when you have a smooth, silky, lump free and thick consistency.

Gently fold in the choc drops, and then pour into a freezer safe container, and place in the freezer until hardened (around 2-3hrs)

Serve either on its own, with a drizzle of dairy-free cream, or with some fruit.

Enjoy!

1

Dermatique – The Review…

dermatiqueRegular readers will know that Callum battles with multiple severe allergies on a daily basis. But did you know that he also suffers with asthma and severe eczema too? Yep, he really does get a lot chucked at him!

We have a fairly good routine when it comes to controlling and maintaining Callum’s skin, and trying to keep the eczema as calm as possible. It involves using a vast amount of moisturising emollient cream, and various different steroids, according to the state of the eczema. Sometimes, we can get away with no steroids/ very little steroids if the eczema is being well controlled!

At the moment we’re doing battle with the very high pollen counts.

The pollen causes havoc for hayfever sufferers – you can count Callum and myself into this mix! Our eyes look awful at the moment, we have permanently streaming noses, and we’ve lost our voices a few times over the past month or so.

But, did you know that pollen can also unbalance eczema?

It gets into the already sore skin, and literally causes havoc!

Callum loves playing in the garden – what kid doesn’t! But it doesn’t like him, or at least his eczema prone hands!

Day1aFor weeks now, we’ve had a vicious circle of sore, splitting, weeping, bleeding palms of his hands. No matter what steroid we use, and we have a pretty potent collection, nothing seems to be helping. It probably doesn’t help that Callum loves to push his cars around in the grass, and pull up clumps of grass at a time……

A few weeks ago I got in touch with Dermatique via twitter. They were looking for eczema sufferers to test one of their products, and see if it helped.

Dermatique Recuperating Cream was created by a parents desperate search for a solution to eczema after seeing their little one go through the agony of itchy, sore, broken, weepy skin. Any parent who witnesses their child go through severe eczema without a means to fix it will tell you that they will do absolutely anything in their power to fix it!

To quote directly from them, they:

‘combine the latest scientific research with the best raw minerals and plant extracts nature has to offer, our products moisturise, nourish and protect skin. We keep harsh ingredients out of our products, and balance them so that they can benefit people of all ages from babies like Princess Patricia to men and women in their golden years.’

Normally I tend to ignore requests where people are reaching out to sufferers, as more often than not the products will contain ingredients that Callum is allergic to. However, this product was made by parents desperate to find a cure.

I’ve been there! I’ve begged for some other cream to help Callum, tried to find lotions and potions to make it better for him! We’ve found some sort of happy medium, but there’s always room for improvement with anything!

Something made me get in touch with Dermatique, and a week later a sample arrived for Callum to try.

I had to do a patch test for 24hrs (testing a tiny area of Callum’s skin) to see if it would cause a reaction. We got lucky, no reaction!

So, I decided to use the cream on Callum’s hands, let’s face it, they needed all the help they could get, and some! In fact, the day I started to test the product out, his hands were so very sore, he was literally holding them up in the air so that nothing could touch them and cause him more pain than he was already in.

Can you imagine, a 3 year old, with such painful hands, all he wanted to do was hold them up in the air.

No playing!

No scrubbing about on the floor with his toy cars!

No running around and mucking about in the garden!

Just horrible, painful, weepy, sore hands….

Something had to give, so for the past 3 weeks now, I have been using the Dermatique Rejuvenating Cream on his hands, wrists and arms, whilst keeping up with his normal routine elsewhere.

It’s not been easy, the pollen has really thrown a lot of curveballs and has been quite frankly, an utter pain to overcome!

Day16BUT! Check out the before and after photos. You can see for yourself that the skin looks far less angry, and red. It appears soothed, calmer and less irritated. I tried to take photos of both hands, but Callum was not playing ball!

All in all, I would say that this product is definitely one to consider for mild to moderate eczema sufferers. It does exactly what is described, and certainly promotes healthier skin, with a sensitive skincare solution.

For severe eczema sufferers, it’s a little more difficult as you do need to still use your steroids, which is what we resorted to. It is a fantastic moisturiser though, and Callum thought so too!

Thank you Dermatique for sending us a sample to try, we give you a big thumbs up for your great product!

(NB: No payment was received for this blog post)

8

Dispelling the myths…

I am very aware that writing this post is likely to stir up a fair bit of discussion, as there has been a lot of controversy surrounding this particular topic.

Sounds intriguing?

Read on!

Having been part of the allergy world for a number of years now, first as an allergy parent, and then more recently as an allergy business owner, I have heard differing opinions regarding a company called a2 Milk.

What is it?

a2 Milk was initially launched in Australia, and has been available in their supermarkets since 2003. It came to the UK in 2012 and is sold in a number of large retail outlets across the country. Milk contains A1 and A2 proteins, among others. Their products focus on the A2 protein, and it is believed that by not containing A1 protein it can make the milk easier to digest, and reduce the bloated feeling some people get.

Important bit!

They are very clear to tell people that their products are NOT suitable for dairy allergy, lactose intolerance or galactosaemia! In fact, they have a disclaimer on everything they produce, including handouts, and will ensure any conversations include some form of reference to this as well.

It is not a product I could ever give to Callum due to his allergies, that I must make absolutely clear!

nat & dcMy experience of a2

A couple of weeks ago I was invited by their PR team to attend a private event in the SAID café in London.

I’ll be honest, I was wary and also dubious, after hearing tales about their ‘quackery’ product, and how they were marketing it in such a way that it was dangerous for CMPA sufferers. Equally, why would someone such as myself who is quite clearly marketing her business towards the allergy world be interested in an event such as this?

But, I like to make up my own mind on things, so decided to go along to the event and see what all the fuss was about.

I was greeted on the door by Louise, part of their PR team, who signed me in and explained about the products they had at the venue, and the treats they’d prepared for attendees. They certainly put a lot of thought into it. Double Choc Belgian Hot Choc, a variety of smoothies, all the coffee options you’d expect to find in a good café, and also some baked goods.

Every one of these products were made by/ contained a2 Milk.

There were also little a2 branded soft toys dotted about the place. A cute little extra that made for a conversation starter.

The audience was a mixture of industry insiders, bloggers, parents with an interest for their children, and also allergy business owners such as myself. I’d say around 25 or so of us were there.

In addition, they had their registered Nutritionist Mel on hand. She has a number of years’ experience within the NHS, and has worked with a2 Milk for 3 years to ensure they are accurate in their claims.

She presented the key reasons behind their product, what the purpose of producing milk without the A1 protein was, and why – always being very careful to ensure they never used the word allergy!

I was watching like a hawk, making notes of everything, and was ready to jump in if she had done!

Once Mel had finished her presentation, she invited Danny Cipriani, their brand ambassador to join her for a live Q&A session.

a2milkDanny explained that he had suffered since childhood with an underlying sense that he wasn’t always feeling 100% when consuming milk, so removed it from his diet and used almond/ soya/ oat milk instead.

It is only recently, when his sports training began to suffer, that he had tests done, to try to determine the cause of what was affecting his training. At the same time, he was living in Australia for his training programme, and saw a2 Milk and decided to give it a try.

Interestingly, his previous symptoms of bloating, lethargy and bad digestion didn’t return when consuming the a2 Milk.

My thoughts

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. They are most definitely NOT marketing their product towards the allergy market in any way. They are providing a product that does seem to benefit people who struggle to digest what we classify as ‘normal’ milk.

Where do they fit in within the food market? It’s a tough one! They can’t be classified as a ‘free from’ product, because they’re not! End of!

Equally, they shouldn’t be lumped with the ‘normal’ milks. If anything, they seem to be carving out their own market.

If we were to judge, and say they shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing, because of ‘quackery’ or due to them misleading the market, then, perhaps we should be saying the same about flavoured waters that are available for us to buy. Technically they are essentially doing the same thing. We don’t need flavoured water, enriched with vitamin d, or calcium, or whatever antioxidant the latest company has come up with, but it’s a nice option for us to have!

As long as a2 Milk continue to be very clear in their stance that they are NOT suitable for dairy allergy/ CMPA, lactose intolerance and galactosaemia, then really, we shouldn’t have any beef with them!

0

Allergy Safe Chicken Nuggets…

If there’s one thing I am always being asked for advice on, it’s how I overcome the issues with finger foods for little ones. It’s all very well cooking hearty family meals, but when the weather starts to improve, you don’t want a heavy plate of food. Light bites, and nutritional healthy food is what it’s all about.

It’s a difficult one for us, as we have to avoid egg, dairy, wheat, gluten, tomato, nuts and so on as standard. This can restrict what you can make, or can it?

I love being able to create a recipe that everyone thinks is impossible. To get it to work, I usually have to go through a lot of trial and error, and testing on the family.

This one took some doing to avoid the egg and still have it tasting good, but it works so well!allergy safe chicken nuggets

It’s quick, simple, healthy, and great to take on picnics too!

You will need:

  • 14oz (400g) raw chicken/ turkey cut into strips/fillets
  • 2 tbsp milk alternative (such as Oatly, Koko, Soya etc)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil + extra for the frying pan
  • 2-3 slices of gluten free bread – blended into crumbs (such as DS)
  • 2 tbsp gluten free plain flour (such as Doves)
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 3 medium sized bowls

Method:

Add a little olive oil to a frying pan, and place over a medium to high heat.

Place the bowls in a line, and add the flour and paprika to one and mix well, add the olive oil and milk to another and mix well, and the bread crumbs to the third.

Take a piece of chicken, dip in the flour and coat well, dusting off any excess. Then quickly dip into the olive oil and milk mix, before coating in the breadcrumbs.

Repeat until you have done this with all the pieces of chicken.

Add the chicken to the frying pan and cook for 3-4 minutes before turning over and repeating. Both sides should end up a lovely golden brown colour.

Remove from the frying pan and leave to rest on a tea towel to absorb any oil before serving.

Enjoy!