Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Which fruit and vegetables can I actually eat?

Good question. Very good question.

Well, the answer depends on another question:

What is your reaction to a little bit of citric acid?

No Citric Acid
The following fruits are safe to eat no matter your reactions, as they contain mallic acid instead of citric. Unfortunately this list is rather limited...

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Blueberries
On the veg side of things it is more promising. Vicky Clarke's page gives a list of things that will be off the menu. However, several things that are ok to go for are...
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Peas, pulses and beans of all kinds (although be careful they are not in tomato juice - tomatoes do contain citric acid. Another note is that tinned varieties often add citric acid. Always read the label)
  • Potatoes (which means chips, too, although with the frozen kind be aware of added citric acid. Label reading encouraged.)
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber and courgette (zucchini)
  • Sweet peppers
  • Leeks
  • Onions and spring onions
  • Garlic
Whether you class them as a fruit or vegetable, tomatoes are a no-go zone for those avoiding citric acid. Which also means no ketchup. 
Foods That Should Under No Circumstances Be Eaten 
The main culprits here are (pretty logically) your citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, but also tomatoes; stone fruits such as cherries; and berries like raspberries and red currants are off limits if you don't want to ingest large amounts of my least favourite acid. Heed the voice of painful experience; raisins, sultanas, figs, dates...just don't go there. Other, more surprising, offenders include Jerusalem artichokes (can't say I miss those) and lettuce (cry, cry), although I am unsure about kale. I would steer clear, or at least let us know your results if anyone does try it!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Dried blueberries - an alternative to raisins

For once the title says it all.

Tesco Wholefoods Blueberries 100G

Dried. Blueberries.

They are basically like raisins, certainly smaller, maybe a bit sweeter. Definitely a great alternative.

An important note, as always, is ALWAYS CHECK THE PACKET. The ones in Morrisons nearly caught me out - they add citric acid (Why????), but the ones from Tesco, they're good to go! Other stores are likely to carry the safe ones, too, but I can only vouch for places I've been.

Healthy (Breakfast?) Cookies

As a disclaimer, I did not create this recipe.
You can find the original here on Chocolate Covered Katie
I've tweaked her ratios and doubled the amount - her cookies must be tiny because I can never get as much out of mine as she does!

It is a good go-to recipe, as peanut butter never seems to contain citric acid. Obviously don't put raisins in, but some supermarkets sell dried blueberries that work just as well (ALWAYS check the packet on these). I've also found that chopped nuts work quite nicely.

Just a side-note, bananas DO contain some citric acid, so if you're dealing with anaphylactic reactions then you'll have to use the apple version I'm listing here.

Another point is that you'll probably have to make the applesauce yourself, as bought versions tend to contain citric acid. It is pretty easy to make, I just blitz an apple in the food processor with a bit of water and you're done! (Incidentally if your food processor is a wuss like mine, or you only own a smoothie maker, you can peel the apples and boil them until soft before blending. You can also add sugar to this if you like, but I don't bother)

So, what do I need?

  • Cup oats
  • Cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp dried blueberries (CHECK THE PACKET) or white chocolate chips or chopped hazelnuts
  • Between 1 tbsp and 1/2 cup sugar, depending how sweet you want them

So, what do I do?
  1. Preheat the oven to 160. 
  2. Mix the applesauce and peanut butter, then add all other ingredients and stir, stir, stir.
  3. Spoon out into cookie shapes on a greaseproof papered baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, depending how big your cookies are.
According to Katie's estimates you should get about 24 cookies from this, but on my sizes it is more like 14!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Breakfast and Cereal Bars

I love granola bars.

Have you ever noticed, though, how many of them have raisins in?

....and those that don't have chocolate chips in instead!

Seriously, have a look next time you're in the supermarket.

So, in my travels I have come across some safe (and delicious) options. I'm not saying that this is an exhaustive list, just what I have discovered so far:

These are pretty much like the cereal. You like frosties, you'll probably like these.

Again, like the cereal, like the bar. 

These are more crunchy than chewy.
There are several safe varieties of this brand of granola bars. With the obvious exception of the 'oats and berries' bar(because of the berries!)  most of these are safe. I liked the maple syrup ones (pictured) best.

As the name suggests, these bars are rather on the chewy side...
I'm not sure it counts as a breakfast, and it certainly isn't the most nutritious snack, but as far as citric acid goes you're in the clear!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Breakfast 101 - Cereal

There are millions of different cereals in the world.  Most of them overpriced.

This means I don't tend to buy cereal an awful lot.

Lets start with the basics.

Branflakes, porridge oats, rice krispies, weetabix are all fine. As is PLAIN Special K. Beware the one with yogurt! Obviously don't put citrus fruits or berries on any of the above, but plain with milk you're good to go.

Honey puffs are also an option. A sugary, sugary option!

Or (my current favourites) we have these little guys:
Cinnamon flavoured, square shaped. What more could a girl ask for? Just don't be tempted to look at the strawberry ones they invariably have on the shelf next to them...

To sum up, most cereals seem to be ok to grab. If you don't have the problem of cocoa you'll have an even wider selection.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Pie, Pasta and Associated Problems

Now, there is nothing wrong with pasta or pie. In fact, I happen to be quite a fan of both. In theory, at least.

As usual, the actuality is a little more complicated.

Dry pasta you get in a bag has never been a problem. It is dry, they don't need to add preserving acids to it. What you put ON it is a different matter. Think about it, pretty much all pasta sauces are made of either cheese or tomato. So far, apart from doing a white garlic sauce the only recipe I have found is this pizza sauce by Vicky Clarke, which also works well on pasta.

Ready-made pastas are generally a no-go because of the sauces. You may rarely find a tuna one where the mayo used is citric acid free, but I've found these to be too few and far between to bother checking any more.

Making you own pie is probably the easier option if that is what you fancy. As long as you make sure the butter you use is safe in the crust, the gravy granules do not have citric acid or E330 listed in ingredients and the veg is all on the sage list then you are good to go!

Buying pie from the supermarket you have to check the label EVERY time. Chicken and mushroom is usually your likeliest bet to be edible. Steak pies might be ok if you are lucky. As I said, you have to check the label.

Drinks - There is a New Juice in Town!

I realize that most people would not be as excited as I was to go to Waitrose. I'm strange, I know. Anyway, while I was there I found the greatest thing...



Drum roll please...



A non-apple dilutable drink that is actually citric acid free!

Waitrose 50% apple & mango juice squash image

 Ok, it has apple in it, but it is most certainly a different flavour to all the others, Which, when you are drinking only apple on a daily basis is a wonderful thing.

Here is the previous post on the other dilutable drinks I have found so far