Saturday, 27 July 2013

'Free From' family cooking ...what we are trying to do

We have put our daughter on a gluten free diet casein free (dairy free) diet for health reasons.    We decided if she had to give up stuff, then the rest of the family would do it too

When we started looking into this diet we discovered there were two ways to go, we could either buy ready made products that were often expensive, tasteless and full of other nasties or we could learn how to cook differently as a family.  Cooking ourselves also meant we could reduce if not remove sugar and artificial preservatives and other rubbish from our daughter's diet.

We are still eating carbs. We are drawn to the paleo ethos of avoiding grains, eating lots of unprocessed meat, nuts, fruit, vegetables etc.  Lots of recipes here will be paleo.  However we do still eat certain grains and lots of ingredients that a pure paleo would not tolerate so some recipes wont work for paleos.

We like to use natural fats believing hard fats to be the most stable for cooking - butter / ghee / coconut oil.  We also use olive oil, ideally for cold dishes and salad dressings.  We don't use sunflower and vegetable oils at home as they get an increasingly bad press but its personal preference and most recipes are flexible in that respect. 

The recipes here are indexed according to whether they contain dairy (our children can tolerate goats products but we mark alternatives where possible).  We also look at whether they contain yeast and sugar.  Lots of recipes are suitable for people following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or GAPS Protocol.

Whilst the recipes may help various health conditions the important thing for us is that they also taste great and our children will eat them! 

Like all parents our time is precious and we ideally look for recipes that can be made quickly, or are simple enough to be made at the same time as building a lego aeroplane, or can be made in bulk and frozen. 

We eat organic when we find it and can afford it.  We try to get ingredients locally and plan to list good suppliers in the North West.    However all ingrediants should be available at most supermarkets. 

It is easy to get evangical about food (as a lot of websites do!) but we dont want this blog to make people to feel bad about what they are eating - we still buy the ready made products now and again, especially if we have to be away from home.   We have to be 'free from' gluten and cows dairy all the time.  For everything else we go for the 80/20 rule.  If 80% of our diet is 'free from' artificial colours, preservatives, other nasties and sugar then the odd treat is fine. 

Hope you find some recipes you like and please tell us of any recipes or suppliers you think we should add to the site! 

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