Food allergies on the rise…

A very interesting article from fyi living…enjoy!

Food allergies on the rise




Don’t cry over spilt milk… unless its Goat’s Milk…

Small boy is allergic to cow’s dairy, but he is also allergic to soya, which would be most people’s first thought for an alternative. Before we resorted to rice milk (which looks like its just that cloudy water you get when you rinse rice), we tried Goat’s milk first- and we are glad we did. He loves the creamy milk, it causes him no allergic problems, and we can get milk, cheese and yogurt from normal supermarkets and even chocolate (see Billy Goat Stuff).

We are already converts to goat’s milk for small boy, but I was pleased to read the following from natural health practitioner Philip Weeks, extolling the virtues of choosing goat’s milk over cow’s milk, even if you have no medical need…

Many people are intolerant to cows milk which can cause all kinds of health complaints such as;

  • Headaches, migraines
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Joint pains
  • Overproduction of mucous
  • Skin problems, such as Acne and especially Eczema
  • Stomach pains, especially in infants

I have seen numerous patients’ health improve when cutting out cow dairy. However it can be initially a little challenging to think of alternatives. There are many substitutes, such as rice milk, oat milk, soya milk and even soya cheese. Although many people have yet to discover the health benefits of goats milk.

Many traditional cultures rely on goats milk to provide important sustenance and when looking at its nutritional benefits its easy to see why.

  • Goats milk is highly digestible, meaning that you will absorb more of the nutrients
  • Not mucous producing in the same way cow milk is Has a high % of calcium, 13% more than cows
  • Very rich in niacin which is important for good circulation and mental health
  • High in Selenium, a powerful antioxidant and anti cancer nutrient

So what are you waiting for…

Philip Weeks is an expert on natural medicine, a master herbalist and traditional acupuncturist. Now, aged only 31, Philip has a new baby boy, born in May this year.  He has an interest in natural health approaches for children, and in natural birth approaches.  He saw first hand how natural approaches could encourage not only a better pregnancy and birth but also a health baby.

Cheeky Chocolatey Dandelion & Burdock Cake

other brands of soft drink are available

I love Dandelion and Burdock. And I love chocolate. So an allergy friendly cake that combines the two? Perfect.

This is a quick and easy cake to make (I make it with 3 and 5 year old helpers) and is very moist. And chocolatey. Enjoy!


• 225g/8oz gluten/wheat free flour
• 225g/8oz caster sugar
• 1 tsp gluten free bicarbonate of soda
• 100g/3½oz mini marshmallows
• 65g/2¼oz dairy/soya free vegetable spread/butter substitute (eg So Good)
• 3 tbsp cocoa powder
• 200ml/7fl oz dandelion and burdock drink
• 100g/3½fl oz full fat goat’s milk or goat’s yogurt
• Egg-substitute (or xanthan gum) equivalent to 2 free-range eggs

Preparation method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line a 30cm/12in baking tin.
2. Sift the flour, sugar and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl, then add the marshmallows.
3. Meanwhile, heat the butter, cocoa powder and dandelion and burdock in a saucepan until boiling.
4. Pour the yummy chocolatey/dandelion and burdocky mixture onto the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Mix in the goat’s milk/yogurt and egg substitute.
5. Pour the cake batter into the cake tin and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the sides of the cake are coming away from the sides of the cake tin and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. (Tip, try and make sure any marshmallows at the top are covered as otherwise they can burn)

Adapted from an original recipe by Simon Rimmer on Something for the Weekend

Image courtesy of TheGiantVermin on

Chocolate? Allergy Friendly?

When you are allergic to soya, it’s pretty hard to find chocolate that is soya-free, but it can be done. However, if you are allergic to dairy you have no chance…

Last year I stumbled across Billy Goat Stuff- a fantabulous site selling hand made chocolate made from Goat’s Milk.

You can either buy bars, or shapes, and it’s pretty tasty too. Billy Goat Stuff is free from  Nuts, Soya, Cow’s Dairy, Eggs, Wheat and Gluten, which makes it a winner in our book!

Blood tests may not be reliable in diagnosing allergies

A US study  has found that, particularly in children who also suffer from eczema, the normal IgE blood tests that are performed to test for sensitivity may be misleading and may show a reaction where the food can actually be tolerated.

Certainly this seems to be the case with our own situation, and our new specialist tells us that allergy diagnoses should only be made with all the history and facts, not relying just on a blood test.



Christmas Caramel Shortcake- normal and allergy version

Christmas is a great excuse to cook (and eat) some deliciously bad for you treats and this is my absolute favourite. As my Gran is now 88 next birthday I had to learn how to cook them myself (and 112 miles round trip is a bit far!) and if I can do it anyone can. Just ask my husband (who does all the cooking in our house).

I am actually posting two versions here. The first is the traditional version and the second is my own variation especially for my small son. We found out earlier this year that he suffers from multiple allergies after a severe reaction to a peanut. At latest count he is also allergic (ranging from mild to moderate) to dairy, wheat, nuts, eggs and soya. As a result, the second version is probably less tasty, but is wheat free, gluten free, dairy free, soya free and egg free. Believe me, a rare occurence!

Caramel Slice

For the shortbread base, combine 4 oz butter, 2 oz caster sugar and 6 oz self raising flour in a bowl. With your hands. Believe me there is no point trying to use a spoon. It is pointless. Just get your hands in and scrunch. When it is mixed through, and don’t worry it will be crumbly, press it out into a square (or rather rectangle) shallow baking tray. Mine is about 6 inches by 10 inches. Pat it down in the tray so it fills evenly and to the corners. Don’t squash it to within an inch of its life, just so that it sits comfortably. Bake in a medium oven (Gas Mark 4/ 175C) for 15 to 20 mins until golden brown. Allow to cool.

For the caramel, melt 4 oz butter in a pan and add 4oz caster sugar, 2 tablespoons of golden syrup and half a tin of condensed milk. Keep on a moderate heat and stir CONTINUOUSLY for 5-10 minutes. This does get a bit boring, but try and have something interesting on the telly. You will know when it is ready because it will change colour slightly- it starts off quite yellowy and will turn a darker, more golden colour. Pour over the cooled biscuit base and leave to set. Somewhere level.

Finally, once the caramel has cooled, melt 6oz of chocolate (plain or milk are good. Never tried it with white, but if that’s your thing, feel free) and pour over the top. Try and wait until it sets before slicing and chomping.

Allergy alternative

The main problems with an allergy alternative are the caramel and the chocolate. Both contain milk and chocolate normally contains soya lecithin. As a result this is more chocolate covered shortcake than caramel slice, but who’s complaining? Note that all the ingredients I use can be found in main supermarkets. Because I shop in supermarkets.

The biscuit base follows the same scrunching method as above but uses 4 oz of So Good dairy/soya/gluten free margarine, 4 oz of caster sugar, 6 oz of rice flour and1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder. The extra sugar is to combat the more savoury flavour of the rice flour. Cook at Gas Mark 4/175C for 20 minutes. It won’t go proper golden brown, but will singe slightly at the top.

When cool, mix 1 tablespoon of golden syrup with as much cocoa powder as you like to taste. Note this is proper cocoa, not drinking chocolate. Drizzle the runny chocolate over the biscuit and put in the fridge (or a really cold place) to encourage setting. Slice and serve.

Merry Christmas!

[originally published on]