Broccoli Soup with Turmeric

Recipe of the month: SEPTEMBER

‘Is Food Making You Sick?’ contains more than 150 strictly low histamine, low histidine, low oxalate and antihistamine recipes.

Broccoli Soup with Turmeric

(Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
Makes 4 servings

When our bodies do not produce sufficient quantities of daomine oxidase enzymes (DAO), we can become histamine intolerant. The intestinal mucosa is where much of the body’s DAO is produced. By protecting the intestinal mucosa, we may help boost our natural production of DAO.

Broccoli is a member of the brassica family of vegetables. Vegetables in the brassica family contain sulforaphane, a chemical that stimulates the body’s natural ability to fight cancer and protects the mucosa of the small intestine.

Turmeric is a golden spice that contains the powerful anti-inflammatory compound curcumin. Studies have shown that curcumin not only possesses pain relieving properties, but also has a protective effect on the intestinal mucosa. Curcurmin’s absorption is greatly increased when it is eaten with piperine, a compound found in black pepper.

Nigella sativa, also known as black cumin or black seed, has anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, and anti-histamine properties.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon rice bran oil
1 small white onion, diced (1/2 cup)
1 stalk celery, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 large head of broccoli with stems removed and cut into florets
1 bay leaf
5 cups vegetable stock
1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1/8 teaspoon ground nigella ‘blackseed’
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup cream (or 1 small chayote – Sechium edule – chopped,  if you wish to have creamy soup with fewer calories)
1/2 tsp amchoor powder

Method:

1. In a large saucepan with a lid, warm the oil over a medium heat. Add diced onions and celery. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until soft. This should take 3 to 5 minutes.

2. During the last 1 to 2 minutes of the cooking process, add garlic and turmeric. Turn down the heat to low and continue to cook, while stirring frequently so that the garlic and turmeric will not burn.

3. Add vegetable stock, broccoli florets, bay leaf, black pepper, ginger, blackseed and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover pot with lid and cook over medium-low heat until broccoli is tender. This should take 25 to 30 minutes. (If you are using chayote, now’s the time to add it.)

4. When the broccoli is cooked to tenderness, remove saucepan from heat and add cream. Puree soup with a stick blender (or in a bench-top blender) until it is smooth and creamy. Taste the soup and add more salt if you think it’s needed.

5. Pour hot soup into bowls and garnish with a dash of cream, a pinch of black pepper and a sprinkling of amchoor powder. Serve immediately.

 

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Mango Chutney with Blackseeds

mango chutney with blackseedsRecipe of the month – August

‘Mango Chutney with Blackseeds’ is a delicious, thick relish that can be served as an accompaniment to main meals. Blackseeds are one of nature’s ‘superfoods’.
This recipe uses only low-histamine ingredients, as listed in the book “Is Food Making You Sick?”

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 green mangoes, peeled and diced.
  • 1 cup sugar (white or raw)
  • 2 tablespoon rice bran oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of blackseeds (nigella sativa)
  • 1/4 teaspoon prepared wasabi (vinegar-free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, dry roasted. (Or use coriander powder)
  • a small knob of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Slightly heat the oil in a large skillet that can be fitted with a lid.  Add the blackseeds and stir to roast lightly.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Cover skillet with the lid and simmer on a low heat for around 10 minutes, until ingredients are soft. Stir occasionally.
  4. Allow to cool, then use within 2 days.
  5. Keep refrigerated.
  6. If you make a large batch, divide into serving-size portions in small plastic containers. Freeze them separately  and defrost when ready to use them.
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Baked eggs with herbs

eggs en cocotteRecipe of the Month – July

Baked eggs with herbs (low histamine recipe)

From Page 151 of “Is Food Making You Sick?”

Ingredients

  • 8 free-range pastured eggs
  • 160ml (1/2 cup) thick, whipped cream of your choice [page 97], [page 102]
  • 2 green salad onions or spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • rice bran oil
  • toasted bread [“Breads” on page 193], sliced into fingers, to serve
  • butter or other HIT-friendly spread for the toast

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush the insides of eight 125ml (1/2-cup) capacity ovenproof ramekins with rice bran oil.
  • Break an egg into each ramekin.
  • Pour the cream onto the eggs, sharing it evenly among ramekins. Sprinkle the chopped vegetables over the top and season with salt and pepper.
  • Set ramekins on a baking tray in the oven, and cook for 10 minutes or until eggs are set according to your preference.
  • Serve hot, accompanied by buttered toast fingers.
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Recipe: Apple Caramel

apple-caramelRecipe of the Month – June
Apple Caramel

Pure vanilla and artificial vanilla are listed as high in histamine, so people with histamine intolerance have to look for substitutes.

Nothing is ever going to taste like vanilla, but there are condiments that can add a sweet ‘zing’ to dishes without the histamine.  Apple caramel is one of these.

Ingredients:

1 liter (approx. 4 cups) of pure, fresh apple juice

Instructions:

  • Pour apple juice into a large saucepan. Place pan over a high heat and bring it to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until the liquid decreases in quantity and turns a darker color. This could take between 30-60 minutes depending on the saucepan’s size and how hot it gets.
  • After the first 10 minutes of simmering, make certain you check it frequently to ensure it does not scorch or burn.
    To find out how thick it’s getting, simply stir it with a wooden spoon. The longer it cooks, the thicker the apple caramel will become.
  • When you think it is ready, test it by scooping out a small spoonful, dropping it into a small, chilled bowl or saucer and waiting until it cools down. If it has ‘syrupy’ qualities, it’s ready.  If you want it thicker, cook a little longer.
  • Wearing protective oven mitts, carefully pour this very hot mixture gradually into a ceramic jar or bowl, cover with a lid and  store in the refrigerator.
  • It may have hardened by the time you wish to use it, but if you leave it at room temperature for a while, or place the jar inside a bowl of boiling water, it will melt rapidly.

Use apple caramel as a natural food coloring and flavoring.

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Wheat free savory breakfast muffins

savory muffinsRecipe of the month – May

Wheat free savory breakfast muffins

(Page 133 Is Food Making You Sick?)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain flour with permitted ingredients
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal or fine polenta
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup parmesan substitute [page 110]
  • 1/4 cup fresh ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini (courgette)
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives and parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup sweet corn

 Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 180º C (350º F) and oil the cups of a muffin tray.
  • Beat together the polenta or cornmeal and flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the ricotta, oil and eggs.
  • Add the flour mixture and remaining ingredients. Stir well until all ingredients are combined
  • With a spoon, dollop the mixture evenly into the muffin tray cups and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool in muffin tray for about 5 minutes before sliding a knife blade around the muffins to loosen them from the tray. Do not leave them cooling too long, or they might stick.
  • Turn them out and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack, or eat them warm.
  • These savory gluten free muffins are suitable to freeze. To serve, simply reheat in a microwave.
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Candied Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Recipe of the Month – April

Candied Sweet PotatoesCandied Sweet Potatoes

A delicious, low histamine recipe from the book “Is Food Making You Sick?“. Gluten-free and vegan.

Ingredients

  • 100g (2 pounds) sweet potatoes or yams, preferably with yellow or orange flesh
  • 1/3 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter or HIT-friendly vegetable oil (e.g. rice bran oil)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Scrub sweet potatoes, but do not peel. Place potatoes in 3 liter (3 quart) saucepan. Add enough water just to cover.
  • Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Drain, then cool slightly.
  • Remove sweet potato skins. Cut potatoes into 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick  slices.
  • Heat remaining ingredients in 10-inch frypan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly. Add potatoes. Gently stir until glazed and hot.
  • Cool completely before storing in an airtight plastic container in the refrigerator. To store for more than three days, freeze.
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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!

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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.

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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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How to make your own soap-free skin cleansers.

In the last post we discussed using soap-free cleansers to soothe itching skin. Here, as promised, are some recipes for soap-free skin cleansers you can make at home.

Soothing Skin Cleanser

Fragrant rosewater adds a luxurious touch to this gentle cleanser. Never use essential oils on your skin – despite being all-natural, they can cause phototoxicity and irritation. All perfumes can be irritants to people with HIT, even natural rose, so if you find it’s a problem for you, substitute distilled water or boiled and cooled water. Natural rosewater is, nonetheless, very beneficial to the skin.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil
  • 2 tablespoons rosewater
  • 1 tablespoon soapwort extract [1] (available from online stores, cosmetics stores and Amazon)
  • 5-10 drops coconut oil
  • 3-5 drops or 1 capsule vitamin E oil (optional)

Instructions:

  • Mix all ingredients together and store in container with tight fitting lid.
  • To use: wet face, apply in small circles and rub in for 30 seconds, wash off with warm water.
  • The water and oil may separate, so shake the container well before use.

*[1] Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) is a useful and pretty plant, easily grown in the garden. You can buy it here.

Refreshing Skin Cleanser

This mixture cleans and refreshes your skin. It does not dry out the skin and it leaves no residue. The baking soda has a gentle exfoliant action and the aloe soothes and heals.

Ingredients for basic skin cleanser:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon aloe vera gel
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable glycerin
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (to thicken)

Optional additives:

2 tablespoons witch hazel
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 tsp calendula extract
1 teaspoon chamomile extract
1 teaspoon green tea extract
1 teaspoon ginger extract
15 drops coconut oil
15 drops almond oil

Instructions:

  • Mix together your chosen ingredients.
  • To thicken use 1/2 tsp xanthan gum whizzed in with a blender.
  • When all is well-blended, pour the mixture into a clean bottle and seal with an airtight lid.
  • Label the bottle.
  • Store in refrigerator to prolong shelf life.
  • To use, simply rub it over your skin, then rinse off with warm water and pat dry with a soft towel.

Exfoliant Skin Cleanser

This skin-care recipe uses Fuller’s Earth, which is available from cosmetic stores online. Amazon also sells it – see our shop on this website.
Fuller’s Earth is an amazingly useful substance.  Scroll down to find out more about it! If you cannot find Fuller’s Earth, you can substitute Kaolin Clay, French Green Clay or Rhassoul Clay.

Ingredients:

  • 3 parts wheat bran
  • 1 part ground rice
  • 1 part ground oats
  • 1 part dried lemon peel
  • 1 part organic cane sugar
  • 1 part Fuller’s Earth
  • a few drops of glycerin or honey
  • water

Instructions:

  • Place all the dry ingredients (the first 6 ingredients) into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour mixture into an airtight container and keep it cool and dry until you are ready to use it.
  • To prepare mixture for use, shake the container then place a small amount of it into a clean, dry ceramic bowl.
  • Add enough water (a few drops) to make a thick paste. Stir with a spoon until water is absorbed evenly.
  • Mix in a few drops of glycerin or honey, according to your preference.
  • Apply mixture to damp skin and gently rub in a circular motion.
  • Rinse it off with warm water and pat dry with a soft towel.

When all’s said and done, your itching skin symptoms will, over time, fade or even disappear  if you continue to follow the Strictly Low Histamine Diet and keep your skin free of harsh chemicals, soap and artificial perfumes.

The next post will have recipes for home-made shampoos and conditioners, so drop in later if you’d like to see them.


 About Fuller’s Earth

According to Wikipedia (article retrieved 28.7.14) ‘Fuller’s Earth is any clay material that has the capability to decolorize oil or other liquids without chemical treatment. Fuller’s Earth typically consists of palygorskite (attapulgite) or bentonite. Modern uses of Fuller’s earth include absorbents for oil, grease, and animal waste and as a carrier for pesticides and fertilizers. Minor uses include filtering, clarifying, and decolorizing; and as filler in paint, plaster, adhesives, and pharmaceuticals.

‘The name reflects the historic use of the material for cleaning or “fulling” wool by textile workers called “fullers”. In past centuries, fullers kneaded fuller’s earth and water into woollen cloth to absorb lanolin, oils, and other greasy impurities as part of the cloth finishing process. Fuller’s Earth is also sometimes referred to as ‘bleaching clay’, probably because fulling whitened the cloth.’

Uses

‘In addition to its original use in the fulling of raw fibers, Fuller’s Earth is now utilized in a number of industries. Most important applications make use of the minerals’ natural absorbent properties in products sold as absorbents or filters.

‘Medicine: Fuller’s Earth is used (with activated charcoal) in the treatment of paraquat poisoning to prevent the progression to pulmonary fibrosis.

‘Decontamination: Fuller’s Earth is used by military and civil emergency service personnel to decontaminate the clothing and equipment of servicemen and CBRN (Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear) responders who have been contaminated with chemical agents.

‘Personal care: Fuller’s Earth has been used in the Indian subcontinent as a face pack and cleanser for thousands of years, and is known as also known as ‘Multani Mitti Clay’ – that is, mud from Multan. It has been used as an ingredient in powdered, “dry” shampoos, and is an important ingredient in many face packs. Fuller’s Earth was also sold in pharmacies until recently for compressing pills and cleaning hats and fabrics.

‘Cleaning Agent: In the Indian subcontinent, it has been used for centuries to clean marble. As a good absorbent, it removes the surface of dust, dirt, impurities and stains and replenishes the shine of the marble. It has been used numerous times to clean one of the most spectacular buildings in the white marble, that of the Taj Mahal, in Agra, India with positive results.’

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