Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Recipe of the month – March
Simple (gluten free) Irish Soda Bread Recipe

This recipe can be found on page 200 of the book “Is Food Making You Sick? The Strictly Low Histamine Diet” by James L. Gibb

Soda bread (Irish: arán sóide, Scots: fardel) is a quickly-made bread traditional to many cuisines; most famously, Irish and Scots. It gets its English name from the fact that it’s made using sodium bicarbonate (otherwise known as baking soda) as a leavening agent, instead of yeast. The ingredients of traditional soda bread are flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. The buttermilk in the dough contains lactic acid, which reacts with the baking soda to form tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide. If you use non-dairy buttermilk (see below) the ascorbic acid or tartaric acid has the same effect.

Ingredients

500g (17.5 ounces) plain, all-purpose gluten free flour, plus a little extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon bicarb soda (baking soda)
1/2 teaspoon salt
310ml (10 fluid ounces) buttermilk [see below]
rice bran oil spray

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 200° C (400° F). Grease a baking tray with rice bran oil spray.
  • Sift flour, bicarb soda and salt into a mixing bowl. Make a hollow in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk.
  • With a wooden spoon, gently stir the ingredients until they are well mixed and form a soft dough.
  • Wet your hands with cold water to stop the dough from sticking to them. Scrape the dough together with your fingers, then tip it out onto a clean surface such as a large wooden chopping board, sprinkled lightly with flour. Lightly knead it until it is smooth and shape it into a sphere.
  • Put dough on baking tray and flatten it a little to form a round, domed loaf about 19 cm (7.5 inches) in diameter.
  • Take a sharp knife and cut a deep cross in the top, slicing half-way down into the dough. Sprinkle extra flour over the top.
  • Place tray in preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the loaf has risen well, the top is brown and the bread sounds hollow when you tap it. If it seems undercooked, give it another 3–5 minutes in the oven and then test again.
  • When baked, remove loaf from oven and place on a wire rack. Allow it to cool thoroughly before cutting slices.

Serve as an accompaniment to soups and stews.
Use bread on the day it is baked. Soda bread is delicious when fresh, but becomes stale quite rapidly. If this happens, simply  toast it. It is best stored sliced, in the freezer.
Serves: 8

Buttermilk

Uncultured Dairy Buttermilk
In the USA, cultured, thick milk is commonly called ‘buttermilk’—however that is something of a misnomer. True buttermilk is made by churning fresh cream to separate out the fat solids. The result is butter on the one hand, and low-fat milk on the other.
Buttermilk is more easily digestible than whole milk and has less fat. It is also preferred, by many cooks, for baking—especially for pancakes. People on a low histamine diet should avoid cultured products, but if you cannot buy true buttermilk at your grocery store, what’s the solution? Some cookbooks suggest adding lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk to create buttermilk; however neither of these additives is safe for HIT sufferers.
Another alternative is to whisk together 1 cup skim milk with one and three-quarters tablespoons of cream of tartar. Allow the milk to rest at room temperature for 5-10 minutes and stir before you use it.

Recipe for uncultured dairy buttermilk:

  • Pour 2 cups of fresh dairy cream into the bowl of your food processor (or 4 cups if you have a machine with at least 11-cup capacity). Leave the rest in the refrigerator.
  • Begin processing and watch closely as the cream thickens and whips. It may take quite some time. Gradually the cream will start to look less pale. When you see it breaking into tiny yellowish lumps, proceed with caution until you can see that the cream has definitely separated into cloudy buttermilk and clumps of yellow butter.
  • Place a strainer over a chilled bowl and pour through the contents of the processor, scraping out any sticky butter particles with a rubber spatula. Repeat the entire procedure with the other half of the cream. You now have around 2 cups of buttermilk!
  • Pour the strained buttermilk into a storage container and store it  in the refrigerator.

You also have about a cup of unsalted butter. Your strainer will be filled with small lumps of it.

  • Turn the contents out into a bowl and work the butter into one big lump with a strong wooden spoon. Drain off as much liquid as possible and continue working the butter. As the butterfat comes together it will turn into a smooth, shiny mass.
  • When no more liquid emerges, pat the butter dry with paper towels, place it into an airtight container and refrigerate it.

Recipe for dairy free buttermilk:

  • 1 tablespoon L-ascorbic acid powder or Cream of Tartar (or less, according to your taste).
  • sufficient non-dairy, non-soy milk (e.g. almond, brown rice or coconut) to make up to 1 cup

Place ascorbic acid powder or Cream of Tartar in a measuring cup. Add enough non-dairy milk of your choice to make up to one cup. Whisk to combine.
Allow mixture to rest for 5-10 minutes before using. The acid adds a flavor reminiscent of buttermilk.

Enjoy!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Carrot Salad with Mango Horseradish Vinaigrette

Carrot saladRecipe of the Month – February
Carrot Salad with Mango Horseradish Vinaigrette

Low histamine, gluten-free, vegan-friendly.
Servings: 4
Total Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 450g (1 pound) carrots, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 finely sliced green spring onions (salad onions)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated horseradish (or frozen and recently defrosted in the refrigerator)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh green mango juice (or frozen and recently defrosted in the refrigerator)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Grate the carrots in a food processor. Set aside.
  • In a salad bowl, combine the grated horseradish, green mango juice, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Add the carrots, fresh parsley and spring onions (scallions) and toss well.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes: Adjust the amount of honey according to your taste.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Spiced Green Tea with Apple

apple-teaRecipe of the Month – January

Happy New Year! Why not drink a toast to the new year with a cup of delicious ‘Spiced Green Tea with Apple’. It’s vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and Paleo-friendly. This recipe makes 4 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 4½ cups pure water
  • 1 large apple, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice (pimento) seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder or a 5cm (2-inch) piece of fresh turmeric, peeled and roughly sliced
  • 5cm (2 inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and roughly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons rice bran oil
  • ½ teaspoon nigella blackseed
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 green tea bags
  • ½ tablespoon amchoor powder or 1 tablespoon fresh green mango juice (you can vary this according to your taste)

Instructions:

1. Place water, apple slices, pimentos, turmeric, ginger, oil, blackseed and black pepper in a saucepan. Mix well, then place on the stove at a medium to high heat and bring to a boil.

2. When the mixture is boiling , turn down the heat and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes. Then stir in the green tea bags and let the mixture simmer for another three or four minutes until the tea infuses through it.

3. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Take out the green tea bags and stir in maple syrup, honey and amchoor powder or green mango juice. Add a small amount at first, then taste and adjust to your preference.

4. Strain tea into a teapot or other heat-proof container with a spout. Pour into serving cups.

Notes:

  • The leftover strained apples and ginger make a tasty hot snack.
  • Keep Spiced Green Tea with Apple covered and refrigerated. Consume it within a couple of days or freeze it to enjoy later.
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Low Histamine Christmas Pudding

Recipe of the month: DECEMBER
Low Histamine Christmas Pudding

Low Histamine Christmas Pudding – without dried fruit.

It’s impossible to make a traditional Christmas pudding when you’re avoiding dried fruits. You can, nonetheless, ‘have your cake and eat it’.
You need not be deprived of pudding just because you are on a Strictly Low Histamine diet. Make this delicious steamed golden syrup pudding, specially modified for people with HIT. The original version was a great favourite with my own mother and grandmother.

Ingredients

4 oz. (110g or 1/2 cup) sugar
2 free-range, pastured eggs
4 oz. (110g  or 1/2 cup) butter or palm-oil-free vegetable shortening, melted
4 oz. (110g  or 1 cup) all-purpose plain gluten-free flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1.5 oz. (40ml)  oat milk, brown rice milk or dairy milk
½ teaspoon natural, alcohol-free, oil-based vanilla extract
5 oz. (140g) golden syrup
rice bran oil spray or other vegetable oil spray

Equipment

Electric mixer with bowl
Another bowl
A sieve
A spatula
A steamed-pudding tin/mold, with a lid that can be fastened on securely
A large cooking pot with a lid
A wire rack that fits in the bottom of the cooking pot

Instructions

  • Sift together into a bowl the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Crack the eggs into the bowl of an electric mixer, add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and creamy.
  • Pour in the milk and butter and continue beating until they are well blended.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a spatula, fold in the vanilla essence and the sifted dry ingredients from the other bowl, to make a batter.
  • Spray the inside of the pudding tin with oil and pour in the golden syrup.
  • Pour the pudding batter into the tin and fasten the lid.
  • Put the wire rack inside the large cooking pot. Cover it with water, place it on the stove-top and bring the water to the boil.
  • Lower the steamed pudding tin into the pot, so that it sits on the wire rack.
  • Put the lid on the pot, reduce the heat to a simmer and boil the pudding for an hour and a half.
  • While it is cooking, lift the lid of the pot occasionally to check the water level. If water has boiled away, add more boiling water to keep the level up.
  • After the cooking time has elapsed, lift out the pudding tin. Immediately invert it on a serving dish and lift away the tin from the pudding.
  • Serve drizzled with maple syrup, low-histamine custard, more golden syrup or coconut cream.

Decorate with a sprig of plastic holly for a festive look.

The pudding can be re-heated later if it is not to be eaten straight away, but do remove it from the tin while it is hot.

Wishing you a happy, healthy Festive Season!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather