As part of LoveFood week, the lovely Laura Clempson from Cupcakes for Clara (@cupcakes4clara) talk about food allergies that affect her children and give helpful advice and a recipe that sounds delicious! I want to thank Laura for taking part and telling us her story.
I have two kids. They each have three allergies. Dairy, soya, and eggs.
We discovered their allergies when they were each about eight weeks old (they are three, and one now), and it was a tough job to get the doctors to even believe us. It started with colic, then screaming, tummy aches, projectile vomiting, and then nappies full of blood. We knew something wasn’t right, but the doctors kept insisting it was a virus. Numerous tests later, and a couple of nights in hospital, I suggested it could be a dairy allergy. It was agreed that it might be, and as I was breastfeeding the answer was for me to cut all dairy from my diet. And I mean all – even traces. And you know what, within a few days their symptoms disappeared. The soya and egg allergies appeared after that, but once I cut them out we had our happy contented babies back.
So, I (the only one in the family with no allergies) went dairy, soya, egg, and nut free for two years – one year whilst feeding each baby. I struggled to find anything safe to eat at first, but we soon found our way, and it became second nature. We learnt that…
- Oat milk is great in tea, as long as you add a bit of sugar. Rice milk not so much.
- Bananas make the perfect substitute for eggs in cake. As long as you like bananas! If not apple or apricot puree work too.
- Soya is in EVERYTHING. That is a tough one to avoid, especially eating out. Ask places if they use rapeseed oil instead – a lot do.
- You should never believe people when they say food is ‘allergy free’. I once had a friend insist that the meal was dairy free, and when I enquired what was in it she said ‘cheese – but that’s not dairy is it?’
- Going without chocolate is so tough but…
Through trial and error we have come up with a fantastic dairy, soya, and egg free chocolate cake recipe. And the kids LOVE it – I think it makes them feel a bit more normal. Want to hear it?
12 chocolate cupcakes:
200g self-raising flour
200g caster sugar
200g sunflower spread
2 level teaspoons of baking powder
200g fruit puree
2 tablespoons 100% cocoa powder
Mix until nice & fluffy. Divide into 12 cake cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 150ºC. Voila!
We found How To Cook for Food Allergies by Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne super helpful, and is a must for anyone with allergies. Happy baking!