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.
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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!

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Oat Milk

Avoiding Dairy Milk

Many people avoid dairy products. They might do so for health reasons, for ethical reasons, or because it’s unavailable.
The ethical argument is strong. Calves born on dairy farms are taken from their mothers when they are one day old and fed milk replacements so that the mothers’ milk can be sold for use by humans. The mothers can be heard calling for their babies for up to several weeks. On average an equal number of male and female calves are born to dairy cows. Male calves are usually killed when they are about five days old. Cows stop producing milk unless they give birth every year.

If you wish to avoid dairy products but enjoy milk’s creaminess and versatility, you can drink nutritious alternatives such as rice milk or oat milk. These milks are suitable for people with Histamine Intolerance. They can even be made inexpensively in your own home. Here, for example, is a recipe for “quick oat milk”. It’s lactose-free, and celiac-friendly.

Quick Oat Milk Recipe

This quick and easy recipe yields a milk that is rather thinner than ‘Slow Oat Milk’. It can be thickened by either the addition of a little finely ground oat bran, or by cooking the rolled oats before you make the milk.

Note: you will also need a blender and a fine sieve or cheese cloth.

Put the oats in a large bowl and add enough water to just cover them. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Drain the oats and pour into blender. Add 3 cups of water and sweetener or additional flavorings if desired. If you wish, you may add more or less water, depending on the consistency you prefer.
Blend until the oats have completely disintegrated into a creamy liquid.
Strain the milk through a fine sieve or cheese cloth (this is optional). Homemade oat milk keeps for a few days under refrigeration, but while standing it may separate, so make sure you shake or stir it before using.

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Cauliflower – the versatile vegetable

CauliflowerCauliflower – it’s better than you think

We decided to write about cauliflower in this post because:

  • it’s permitted on the Strictly Low Histamine Diet
  • it’s one of the vegetables that’s so easy to hate if it’s prepared wrongly
  • it’s good for you
  • lately, people have been coming up with inventive ways to make it actually delicious.
  • it’s very low in Calories, which is useful for people who want to lose weight

Wikipedia tells us that cauliflower (Brassica oleracea) originated in the Northeast Mediterranean. “Cauliflower is an annual plant that reproduces by seed. Typically, only the head is eaten – the edible white flesh sometimes called “curd” (similar appearance to cheese curd).”Purple cauliflower

There are four major groups of cauliflower:

  • Italian, which includes white, Romanesco, various brown, green, purple, and yellow cultivars. This type is the ancestral form from which the others were derived.
  • Northern European annuals, which include Erfurt and Snowball.
  • Northwest European biennial, which include Angers and Roscoff.
  • Asian, a tropical type used in China and India. It includes Early Benaras and Early Patna.

Fractal cauliflowerDid you know that there are hundreds of historic and current commercial varieties of cauliflower used around the world? Or that cauliflower comes in colors other than creamy white? The other colors of cauliflower include:

  • Orange, whose beautiful color is provided by beta-carotene, a provitamin A compound. Cultivars include ‘Cheddar’ and ‘Orange Bouquet’.
  • Green, which is also known as “broccoflower”. This comes in the normal cloud-shaped head (curd) or in a fractal spiral curd called “Romanesco Broccoli”. Varieties of the cloud-shaped green cauliflower include ‘Alverda’, ‘Green Goddess’ and ‘Vorda’. Romanesco varieties include ‘Minaret’ and ‘Veronica’.
  • Purple, whose stunning color is given to it by anthocyanins, plant pigments that are found in other plants, including red cabbage, red plums and red grapes. Varieties include ‘Graffiti’ and ‘Purple Cape’.

How to keep the Nutrients in Cauliflower

Cauliflower heads can be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed, pickled, or eaten raw. According to Wikipedia, “Boiling reduces the levels of cauliflower compounds, with losses of 20–30% after five minutes, 40–50% after ten minutes, and 75% after thirty minutes.” However, other preparation methods, such as steaming, microwaving, and stir frying, have no significant effect on the compounds.”

Romanesco CauliflowerWonderful Ways with Cauliflower

Maybe your Mom always used to serve up cauliflower looking like a white, watery, blob on the plate, but these days there are a lot of great ways to use this versatile food, such as

  • cauliflower “rice”
  • cauliflower”steaks”
  • vegan “cauliflower cheese”
  • creamy, savory cauliflower whip
  • cauliflower salad
  • cauliflower soup
  • roasted cauliflower
  • cauliflower dip
  • mashed cauliflower
  • white sauce made out of cauliflower
  • and even cauliflower chocolate pudding!

There are loads of ideas on the internet – just type “cauliflower recipes” into your search engine. Make sure you check the other ingredients and if there’s anything histamine-unfriendly in there, either leave it out or substitute a similar, histamine-friendly ingredient.

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Home Made Hair Conditioner for Itchy Scalps

home made hair conditionerHome-Made Hair Conditioner

If you’re histamine intolerant, one of your symptoms could be an itchy scalp.  Commercial hair products may contain ingredients such as fragrances, which can irritate sensitive skin and make itchy scalps worse. So why not make your own fragrance-free, natural hair conditioner? It’s actually a lot of fun.

This recipe comes courtesy of www.easy-aromatherapy-recipes.com. To make the hair conditioner you will need a ‘carrier oil’ to suit your hair type. If you find that this formula makes your hair feel greasy, then use grapeseed oil as your carrier oil and reduce the amount. Note: Avocado oil should only make up to 10% of your total oil hair care blend because it leaves a waxy residue that’s very hard to wash out.

  • Normal Hair:     Jojoba Oil, Olive Oil or Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Dry, Damaged or Frizzy Hair:     Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, Olive Oil, Shea Butter or Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Oily Hair:     Grapeseed Oil or Jojoba Oil
  • Thinning Hair:     Olive Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, Castor Oil, Grapeseed Oil
  • Dandruff:    Sesame Oil, Virgin Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Castor Oil, Olive Oil

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) carrier oil for your hair type (see above)
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vegetable glycerin
  • 1 tablespoon (8g) emulsifying wax
  • 1/2 tsp (1.5ml) Vitamin E (or 2 capsules)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) distilled water
  • 5 drops grapefruit seed extract

Instructions:

  • Stir together the oil, emulsifying wax and glycerin in the top part of a double boiler, warming slowly over a low heat until the wax is melted. Remove from heat and pour in the Vitamin E.
  • In a separate pot on the stove or in the microwave, gently warm the water or herbal infusion just until lukewarm. Do NOT skip this step or your conditioner will separate later on.
  • Slowly pour the water/herbal infusion into the oil mixture, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Let the mixture cool a little so the essential oils don’t evaporate too quickly when you add them.
  • Don’t worry if it doesn’t thicken immediately – it thickens as it cools down to room temperature.
  • Stir in the essential oil and the grapefruit seed extract. Pour the natural hair conditioner into a clean, sterilized 8oz (250ml) dark glass or PET plastic bottle and allow it to cool before putting the lid on.
  • Shake the bottle occasionally as the conditioner cools to prevent the ingredients from separating. Store in a cool, dark place.
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Green Mango Juice

Green-mangoesGreen Mango Juice

The juice of unripe mangos is a boon to histamine intolerance sufferers. You don’t realize how important to cooking are the zesty tang and acidic properties of vinegar and lemon juice, until you miss them. Fortunately the juice of green mangos makes a good substitute.
It’s not widely available in stores, however; so if you cannot obtain it, you can substitute either amchoor or the juice of unripe/tart apples, mixed with a pinch of ascorbic acid powder.
To make your own green mango juice, buy unripe mangos and process them in a blender, then strain them through muslin to remove the pulp.
To store, freeze the juice in ice cube trays so that you can defrost as much as required in small amounts.

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