Today, a gluten-free and dairy-free diet does not mean we have to compromise on taste or quality!
Food intolerances are complex and people react very differently to the same problematic foods. In fact, our own children's intolerances and allergies to food, seem to be getting increasingly more complicated as they grow older.
At the start of our growing family's intolerances to gluten and dairy (and a few other things besides), my husband and I knew we were going to have to see a major change in the way we ate and approached food in our household. Besides affecting our small budget, it changed the way we sourced our ingredients and how we prepared family meals, snacks, picnics and school packed lunches.
Initially, it felt so daunting that we wondered if we could realistically maintain this free-from diet. We knew that the time we spent in the kitchen would have to substantially increase if we were going to eat contentedly and nutritionally on this diet, whilst staying within budget!
So as parents, it became our 'mission' to prove to our children that 'special food is still tasty food' and that we didn't have to miss out on all our delicious favourites! In fact, most of our favourite family recipes just needed a little tweaking, with no need to spend too much on speciality ingredients.
We still have lots of fun trying out new recipes and adapting the ones we already have, to make them gluten-free and dairy-free. The taste-testing sessions are always the best bit, but we still have some flops from time to time until we manage to get the ratios right!
Importantly, the very nature of this diet is a healthier one. As a family, we now hardly ever eat those 'high-density' foods which are higher in sugars, fats and salt per gram than the healthier home-made food that now comes out of our kitchen!
Once your knowledge of gluten-free and dairy-free cooking and baking has grown, you will be able to manage this diet very well. Your kitchen cupboards and pantry will be well stocked with all your family's favourite alternatives to gluten and dairy ingredients. Your own favourite recipe collection will be bulging in no time!
Finally, this selection of traditional, family favourite recipes, will restore your faith that 'free-from' dishes and baked goods do not compromise on taste, quality or enjoyment. It does not have to be complicated or expensive and is super delicious to make!
"Remain positive, be creative, embrace the challenge and remember it is about what you CAN eat, not what you CAN'T eat"
Just a quick note:
My recipes are mainly for those who are 'intolerant' to gluten and dairy. If you think you, or any member of your family, may be 'allergic' to these ingredients then a visit to your GP is essential, so that other more serious conditions like coeliac disease can be ruled out. This is especially important for children, who need expert nutritional advice to stay healthy.