A Cook in the Baking

Here at TRUFFLEicious/Wiltshire Artisans we know all about the small food business, not because we have done a couple of baking courses & think we know it all, but because over the years, (about 40), to be precise, we have done it. Several times. I am definitely a cook in the baking.

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A chocolate treat

We have never been, or wanted to be a large food business, small & exclusive, I think are the words that describes us best. Circumstances prevailed, when it was not always possible to continue those businesses, but never the less our passion for food & creativity has led us down different paths, over the years.

Learning the basics of cookery, like most girls in my youth (this was 40 yrs ago), from my mother, I had various jobs in kitchens during the school holidays where I learnt even more about food & my passion was born.

Leaving school, my teachers thought I was bound for Art College, but it was not to be “out to work & earn some money” my father told me and so off I went. The Lady Magazine, a publication which still exists today, was the key to my short term future.

“Cook required for small family of 5. Large Rectory in the rural Cotswold’s. Simple daily cooking & some entertaining at weekends”. Putting pen to paper, (no e-mails in those days,) I applied & two weeks later I was installed in my first proper cooking job. I thoroughly enjoyed the 5 years I spent here, the family were lovely, I had a cosy little cottage in the grounds & learnt a lot – about people & food.

During my time at the Rectory I was introduced to many interesting people, made even more fascinating because my cookery skills were in demand. I made steak & kidney pies for local pubs, cakes for cafe’s & cooked dinner parties for friends of my employer. One particular lady, the grand-daughter of a famous composer, lived in a beautiful Elizabethan Manor House. Finding times difficult, she started a bed a breakfast business for visiting Americans. Dinner in the evening was becoming a necessity, my services were needed on an ad hoc basis, a cottage became available on her estate, & the rest, as they say, is history.

cooking, history, small business, food, changing world
A Cook in the baking

Farm Cottage was started from my kitchen in rural Gloucestershire. Having obtained a list of names from my landlady I set about creating a mail shot. This was hard work in the pre-internet years. I hand wrote menus on vellum paper, stapled them into booklets and popped them into 25 large envelopes. I then sat back & waited for the phone to ring & ring it did.

Read more of my journey, in a later post on this site.

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A menu from the past

Bread, a Low fodmap Diet no no?

The one thing I would miss on a Low Fodmap Diet would be bread. I love bread, any type of bread. It is said that bread is the staff of life & for me, its certainly true. I am not talking sliced white, wholemeal or fluffy processed baps, I’m talking rustic, nutty granary bread baked by a local baker [I hate the term Artisan] or home made, not the mass produced items, found in Supermarkets. Give me a metre of a proper french stick, a large lump of Sourdough or a Stilton & Walnut Loaf, together with some tangy cheese or home made pate with a side of olives, some crunchy homegrown lettuce, ripe juicy tomatoes & I am in heaven. Of course, I would also like a large glass of red or white, depending on the season, to wash it all down.

Bread, is one of the things I found, caused me great discomfort. A pair of jeans would feel quite comfortable, until I ate some bread. One slice of toast in the morning would have me thinking I had put on half a kilo in 5 mins. So, I decided to experiment with my own recipe Spelt bread. Although Spelt is not Gluten Free, it is lower in Gluten than other flours, due to the fact that it has a different molecular make up, to the gluten contained in modern wheat. Spelt is higher in fibre than most forms of wheat, its naturally occurring gluten is more water soluble, is degraded by heat & easily broken down, by the kneading action of bread making, which makes it easier to digest.

gluten, linseeds, low foodmap, bread, spelt
Home made Low Gluten Spelt & Rye Rolls

Although not suitable for Celiacs, I have found this bread, which I now make every day, is perfect for me. In addition Spelt has more vitamins than wholewheat flour. I vary the changes with this bread to which I also add a vegetable, carrot one day or beetroot the next. Seeds are another favourite.

As well as bread I also make my own pastry with Spelt & Rye flours. Pastry is very easy to make in a food processor or mixer. It takes about the same amount of time, that it takes to fight your way into a shop bought packet of pastry. You can make up a large batch of pastry, weigh it into portions & freeze. You can be sure that your homemade pastry or bread is full of natural ingredients & does not contain any additives, preservatives or large amounts of sugar and salt.

food, bread, pastry, rye, spelt, low fodmap diet,
A vegetarian feast

As I have said in a previous blog Food, what can I eat. You have to experiment & discover what is right for you. If you cook healthy home made food from fresh natural ingredients, you can be sure you are not intolerant to the vast array of “extras” which are added to today’s unnaturally processed foods. But, that’s another story.

Low Fodmap diet, Food avoidance

The low FodMap diet & food avoidance. To be honest this is quite a mine field, as the foods which cause problems in some of us, may not cause discomfort in others.  I have also found, I may be able to eat some foods for a period of time & then POW it comes back & bites me on the bum, quite literally, well not bites, but causes my rear end & tum great discomfort.

For instance, take the luscious avocado, one of the foods the Low FodMap diet suggests one avoids, or at least, consumes only a small amount. [1/4 is recommended]. For years I have happily eaten these, without any ill effects, whole avocados, not just a quarter, but recently my gut is saying NO.  Who knows, in a few weeks, I may be able to tolerate them again, but for the time being, I shall live without one of my favourite foods. As I have mentioned before, this diet is a process of elimination, with nothing appearing to be a constant.

Onions are another food avoidance which the Low FodMap diet pin points. I, personally found brown onions were very problem causing, along with garlic. However, after experimenting, red onions, being milder in taste, proved to be OK causing me no IBS symptoms. Onions & garlic along with chives & leeks belong to the Lily family & are noted for the sulphur compounds they contain.  These vegetables become sweeter when they are cooked. I have not been able to find a garlic substitute, as yet, but in my recipe below, adding some well chosen spices give a tasty kick to a simple soup.

Below is my recipe for a lovely green soup, with a good depth of flavour. The soup can be served hot, but is equally flavoursome served cold. If you can tolerate dairy, stir in a spoonful of natural Greek Yoghurt & decorate with chives.   Enjoy.

Potato & Spinach Soup.  Gluten Free, Dairy Free. V. Low Fodmap.  Serves 4.

2. Tbspns Rapeseed Oil

1, Red Onion, peeled & finely chopped.

1 Stick of Celery, finely sliced.

Carrot, chopped

1 Red Chilli, Chopped

250g Bag Fresh Spinach, Washed

1 Tspn Fenugreek seeds

1 Tspn Ground Corriander

Seasoning.

1/2 Tspn Fresh Grated Nutmeg

1.5 Ltrs Homemade Veg Stock.   (If using a commercial stock cube of powder make sure it does not contain powdered onion or garlic).

METHOD.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the veg, except the spinach & cook covered, until the veg is soft. about 10mins.

Add the Fenugreek & Corriander, fry, uncovered for a further 5 mins.

Add the spinach & pour over the stock. Bring to the boil & simmer for 30 mins or until the veg are tender.  Blitz with a hand blender, add nutmeg & adjust seasoning.

Serve with some homemade Rye & Spelt rolls, sprinkled with Linseeds.

gluten, linseeds, low foodmap, bread, spelt
Home made Low Gluten Spelt & Rye Rolls

Thank you for reading. In my next blog I will be exploring homemade V processed foods in a Low FodMap diet.

 

 

 

 

 

Fodmap foods

The Fodmap diet day 4

OK guys. Low Foodmap foods, do you know which they are?  Have you already identified foods that give you uncomfortable bloating, wind & possibly pain?  Yesterday, I shared with you some of the foods I have noticed, over a period of time, cause me problems. Today, I am listing a few “Safe Foods”, in my next blog I will deal with foods to avoid. Please remember, these will vary from person to person & only through trail & error can you identify which applies to you.

In my previous blog Food, what can I eat. I posted a photo of my homemade gluten/dairy free cake & asked “can you eat this on a Low Fodmap Diet”?  The answer is as inconcise as this diet itself.  Whilst it does not contain any gluten, dairy, additives, preservatives, artificial colours or flavourings it does contain sugar [carbohydrate] SUGAR  . All sugars are categorised as monosaccharides, disaccherides or polysaccharides & are a source of chemical energy for living organisms, including humans.  I think you can probably work out the answer, if you have read my previous blogs on this subject. Sugar occurs naturally in whole foods, but is often added to processed foods to increase the flavour. As to much refined sugar in bad for our health, in general, try replacing it with natural sweetners such as some “Safe Food” Fruits.

SAFE FOODS ( This is not an exhaustive list). 

  • Bean Sprouts, Carrot, Cucumber, Endive, Ginger, Green Beans, Kale, Olives, Parsnips, Red Peppers, Chives, Tomatoes, Courgettes.
  • Blueberries, Grapefruit, Kiwi, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Papaya, Passion fruit, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Strawberries.
  • White Potatoes, Turnip, Swede, White Rice.
  • Proteins: Meat, Poultry, Fish & Seafood, Eggs.
  • Fats: Coconut Oil, Lard, Olive oil, Homemade Mayonnaise
  • Fresh Herbs, Salt/Pepper, Spices except those containing onion/garlic powder. Balsamic, Red wine & cider vinegar. Seaweed, Sundried Tomatoes.
  • Water, All teas {No milk} Homemade soups using safe ingredients.
kale, red peppers, low fodmap foods, diet, food groups,
Eat Me

That’s it for today guys. Please follow my blog & leave any comments you feel are appropriate. See you next time, with info on foods to avoid.

Food, what can I eat.

The Low Fodmap diet. Day 3.

Food, what can I eat? Now that is the question. When I first started researching The Low Fodmap diet, after a quick glance, I wondered just what I could eat. Digging deeper, I discovered it was a case of noshing less, of what I had been eating & tweaking a few things here & there.  I have always been a healthy eater, consuming salads, veg & pulses by the kilo in one sitting. BAD MOVE. I need to cut down or remove a few of these bloat producing veggies from my diet.

The Low Fodmap diet is all about removing from your diet [for a period of time], foods which you know cause you discomfort.  You then start eating the foods suggested by the research which has been carried out the “Safe Foods. This method allows you to see if your symptoms persist, ease or disappear. Gradually, you then reintroducing foods back into your diet from the suggested Fodmap food group list.

There are several things to observe, before embarking on the low Fodmap diet.

  • You should consult you doctor first to ensure you do not have any prevailing medical conditions.
  • Unless you are knowledgeable as to what a “healthy, nutritious diet ” consists of, you should consult a dietitian to ensure you are eating enough carbohydrates, protein, vegetables, vitamins & minerals, etc to keep your body healthy.
  • Beware of were you gather your information from.  A Google search has provided me with numerous sites dealing with Low Fodmap lists, of foods which are considered “OK to Eat” & those to “Avoid” many seem to contradict each other & sometimes even themselves on their lists.

As an example of the above, it is generally thought that lactose found in milk & dairy products, is thought to be a sugar to be avoided when starting the Low Fodmap diet. However, on the same chart, two of the foods on the “safe” chart are butter & cream, both of which are made with milk!   Check your information carefully. A good place to start is with NHS.UK 

food, mushrooms, bloating, ibs. low fodmap
Stuff me.

Some of the foods I have discovered on my Low Fodmap diet experiment so far are:

  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes but Sweet Potatoes seem OK
  • Onions (White)
  • Garlic
  • Beetroot
  • Lentils
  • Asparagus
  • Fruit Juices
  • Couscous
  • Dried Apricots
  • Brocolli

Should you eat the cake in the photo above on the Low Fodmap diet?  Find out the answer tomorrow.

Whats it all about

The Low Fodmap Diet.

So, what is it all about?  FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccarides & Polyols.

Fermentable: Carbohydrates. are the sugars which are easily fermented in your digestive system. They include all of the short chains of sugar molecules mentioned below:

Oligosaccharides:  Carbohydrates. Are a saccharide polymer containing a small number of monosaccharides [simple sugars] which can have many different functions. Being Non digestible food ingredients, they selectively stimulate the growth of prebiotic bacteria in the colon. We cannot digest and absorb these.

Disaccharides: Carbohydrates. Double sugars Formed when two monosaccharides are joined together & a molecule of water is removed from the structure. [hydrolysis].   Three common examples being sucrose, lactose [discomfort causing sugar] & maltrose.

Monosaccarides:  The most basic form of Carbohydrates. Any of the class of sugars, that cannot be hydrolysed to give a simpler sugar. Some have a sweet taste examples include glucose [dextrose], fructose & galactose.

Polyols:  Sugar free sweeteners. Carbohydrates, but not sugars. Used volume for volume in the same amount as sugar is used. Unlike aspartame , saccharin & sucralose which are used in very small amounts.  They are included in a variety of foods we consume each day.

The low Fodmap diet was developed in Australia at Monach University by gastroenterology professor Peter Gibson and Dietician Sue Shepherd & has been adapted for the UK by reserchers at Kings College London.

Now you all understand the meanings of the catchy acronym. Tomorrow we will be investigating some of the low Fodmap foods & the care you should take when embarking on this diet.

ipp
Bloating Brocolli

If you have been. Thank you for reading. Until Tomorrow.

References:

Dr Sarah Brewer.

shepherdworks.com

Kings College. London

The wake up call. Day One

My wake up call this morning, a cup of black tea. For today’s day one of twenty eight, in which I embark on my low Fodmap diet.

After suffering from severe bloating for more years than I care to remember I have decided to try, by a series of exclusions, to try & find out which particular food groups have the most effect on my condition.

low fodmap, diet, ibs, food groups
You can alter the set of the sails, but you can’t alter the direction of the wind!

Visiting my doctor, she decided to take a precautionary course of action, referring me to the hospital for an Ultrasound Scan, to rule out Ovarian Cancer [close family history], which can, in some cases, mimic IBS. Luckly, my results came back normal. It was time to talk about IBS. Having explained that I had identified various foods, which caused me a lot of discomfort, she asked me if I had heard of the Low Fodmap diet. I hadn’t. However, having studied Nutrition & Food Science at University some years ago, my curiosity was aroused & there dear reader, this blog was born. After some in-depth research & consulting my long redundant books on complex & alcohol sugars I have decided to share my findings with you.

I will be charting my progress, telling you what foods I have avoided & later, what I have reintroduced. As we go along I will be also giving you recipes to hopefully inspire you into trying The Low Fodmap diet for yourself.

Low fodmap, diet, protein, ibs, bloating
Tonight Dinner. Tuna Steak, Salad & white rice, Dressed with herbs & a little Olive oil.