Sorry, this entry is only available in German.
Don’t be fooled. This is not your ordinary baked potato. Just speaking of ‘Kumpir’ (pronounced koompeer) is like diving deep into the sunday-cravings of just about every Turk living close to the Bosphorus. Heading out to grab a Kumpir on any given weekend is the equivalent of Berliners going out to a club on Sundays. It’s just something you do. No questions asked. What’s more, a week without just doesn’t feel right. Especially now with all the political turmoil going on, grabbing a Kumpir feels like taking one last bite of normality.
For those of you who haven’t heard of Kumpir yet, it is a massive baked potato drowned in sauces, overflowing with all kinds of processed salads, sausages and cheese. Yes another one of those bummers for us FODMAPers. The good news, it couldn’t be easier to turn this dish into some full-blown, low FODMAP deliciousness. You can top it off with everything that makes you purr with delight. Following a first ‘healthy’ kumpir recipe in my cookbook, I thought I’d share another winning combo with you today!…
During the past two years I slowly completed my transformation from typical German “Butterbrot” or ‘sandwich-for-breakfast-girl’ to ‘full-blooded-oatmeal-lover’. You should know that oatmeal or porridge, were never a big thing in Germany while I was growing up. Only slowly are they gaining some attention, ever since we dropped the German “Haferschleim” or ‘oat slime’ moniker and started switching to the more appealing English ‘oatmeal’. Imagine somebody offering you oat slime! Gross!
Anyways, time’s are a changin’ and I’ve become a real sucker for the oats. A piping hot bowl of oatmeal for breakfast keeps me satisfied for hours and I love it’s soothing effect on my tummy. My favourite fructose friendly version even made it into my cookbook: Creamy oatmeal with raspberries, cardamom, black sesame and a dollop of ghee! Incredible!
But seeing as steaming superfood compositions don’t go well with the currently rising temperatures here in Turkey, I had to think of something else. Instead of turning my favourite breakfast into a mushy overnight version, I wanted to create something with a nice crunch. This is how silky oats with raspberry and wintery spices, evolved into sugar free toasted muesli, bathing in ice-cold raspberry-oat-milk. I wouldn’t even go as far as calling this an actual recipe because this summer breakfast is so easily assembled! But hey, enjoy! …
It’s not always easy. People like you and me, are surrounded by endless menus, we run around supermarkets for hours, but in the end we still end up going home hungry and annoyed. “Do we really need to add onions, wheat, tomatoes, sugar, honey and dates to every freaking dish?” According to research, “every third German suffers from fructose malabsorption”, so do I really need to argue with the waiter when all I need to know is exactly what they put in the that dressing? Whoever came up with fructose malabsorption, must have loved complaining. After all, it’s what really comes naturally to us (sarcastic undertone), isn’t it?…
Words cannot describe. I’ve been bursting with excitement for a year, but find myself at a loss for words, now that the day has come, to raise the curtain and share my secret with you.
Countless times I imagined, what this moment of getting the big news out there would feel like. And now, I can finally present to you, what I’ve been putting so much heart into, what’s kept me awake at night and also gained me a few extra pounds.
But let’s start from the beginning. Sometime at the tail end of 2013 I wrote an email, asking for a free promo-code to download an app on fructose malabsorption to review it on my blog. At that time Fructopia was a mere six months old.
I received the code, tested the app and gave it a dismal rating, prompting me to write and share a detailed review. And then? Well, the people in charge of the app were actually delighted! Um, what? That’s right. They were delighted and wanted to talk to me.
And that was pretty much how we closed the deal. Let me dance a little dance, while I overdose on fructose, waiting for the symptoms to confirm this is real. …
Seeing lettuce heads hanging low, mere pale shadows of their former selves, while all the iridescent and plump berries have retired to the freezers emphasizes the writing on the wall: Winter in Turkey has arrived. Not only are the temperatures dropping, so is the availability of fructose free fruits and veggies. But don’t despair, there are still some fructose friendly gems around just waiting to be turned into warming soups and stews, hearty casseroles and fondues. All we need to do, is to switch our focus from green to white: Wake up dear celery roots and parsnips! These days we require more nutrients and energy to keep us warm than during any other time of the year. …
These days, when opening my browser I’m looking at around 20 open tabs. Each one of them contains beautifully written blog posts and stunning recipes that I’d like to try, tinker around with and cook as often as needed for them to be presentable right here to you, yes you. Basically, I am constantly thinking about cooking, discovering new ingredients and food in general. Then I check my weekly schedule, trying to find time slots to take plans into action and continue working on the tasks I failed to complete due to my current workload. Sigh. Right now I work every single day. By work I mean working for other people, doing jobs that lead nowhere, that don’t lighten up my hard, that don’t make me want to work all through the night to finish and present to the world.
Sundays for me are preferably spent relaxing and in most cases also cooking ahead. Even though I do not meticulously plan out my meals for the upcoming week, I still like to be prepared. Prepared in terms of knowing that sometimes it can be difficult for people like us to quickly whip up a healthy and filling meal. That is why on Sundays I usually cook up a batch of buckwheat, potatoes or millet, or all of the above, to store in the fridge. That way I have a fructose friendly and gluten free base on hand to ready a nice meal. This is particularly convenient when I’m running late and still need to pack lunch rather than returning home on an empty stomach.
Speaking of planning ahead it is about time I share this recipe for gluten free millet patties with you. While millet has become one of my favorite gluten-free super foods, these millet patties are quite the perfect all-rounder. Due to their subtle taste they go well with almost everything: Have them with eggs and salmon for brunch like I did, with a spicy yoghurt dip for lunch or with a salad for dinner. They taste equally good warm and cold, that’s why they also make a great take away snack. Be warned though, this recipe is a bit time consuming. Then again, Sundays are usually more slow-paced anyway, right? Plus, in my opinion it’s even more rewarding to treat yourself to a nice meal you’ve worked hard on. ;) So make a batch of millet patties and grab whatever else your heart desires on the side and enjoy a cozy, well-deserved Sunday brunch!
P.S. I created a Facebook page to share my posts as well as interesting research finds. Only four more to crack the 100, so go ahead and share some likes! :)
With my eyes wandering back and forth between my calendar, my weather app and my window to the world outside, I do not know whether to be happy or sad. Sunday will be the first day of December and also the first Advent. Time to light the first candle and open the first small package on the Advent calendar. It should be freezing cold and grey outside, but it isn’t. And there should be small, wooden houses all over the city, selling wooden toys, woolen socks, hot wine punch and candied almonds, but there aren’t any of those around here either. Even though I won’t miss the corresponding ice-cold temperatures, I will sure miss the evenings spent at the German Christmas markets. To make up for their absence I made this batch of homemade, fructose free candied almonds. Perfect for a cozy first Advent Sunday at home.
Enjoy Christmas baking and the first Advent weekend!
If you take a closer look at my recipe list you might assume I have quite a sweet tooth. Sorry to disappoint you. Though it is true, I used to be a sugar addict, eating lots of sweets up until I was diagnosed with FM. Beyond any doubt, it is my fructose malabsorption I blame most for my sugar cravings. And believe me, I’m more than happy the cravings have finally ceased. Most of the dishes I cook at home are actually more on the savory side and I would always prefer a piece of fenugreek-goat-cheese on a slice of whole spelt bread over a cup of Häagen-Dazs ice cream. I’ve become a savory girl through and through. To prove that, in my future posts I want to share some more recipes catering to our savory cravings. Today’s recipe features one of my favorite winter foods, namely celery root or celeriac. Celeriac is a good substitute for grainy side dishes, as it is quite filling. Besides its health benefits I like the mild and slightly nutty flavor of this magic root. So let’s kick off the celery root season with some easy to prepare celeriac fries and an oriental spiced yoghurt dip!
Last week I was eating myself through several spelt products to test my personal level of tolerance. What can I say? I’ve fallen in love with it. I didn’t experience any side effects no matter what sort of spelt product I was eating. What’s more, spelt or “Dinkel” in German is a very popular grain here in Germany. That is why you can find a gazillion spelt products in almost any supermarket and, even better, freshly baked spelt bread at any bakery that sells quality bread. Wohoo!
Nonetheless, even in Germany it is difficult to come by a spelt dessert that is low in fructose. Time to step up to the oven again. This recipe for blueberry spelt tartlets already landed in my inbox a while ago. I fell in love with this recipe at first sight. It sounded too delicious, too easy, too tolerable for us fructose malabsorptioners. Too good to be true? Without a pack of whole grain spelt flour at hand I was going to have to wait a while before I could have my first go at baking with spelt. As soon as I did, this recipe turned out to be just like I had imagined. Thank you Carole for this wonderful recipe! …
So far Berlin has been treating us with grey skies and proper fall showers. A wonderful excuse to stay at home, sit by the window with a blanket, your favorite mug in your hand, sipping on a hot drink warming you from the inside. For now the space in my mug is reserved for turmeric milk. Naturally sweet and spicy at the same time.
I know, you guys were probably expecting the follow up on my journey of going gluten free. Unfortunately you will have to wait a couple of days more, as I’m not finished writing yet. There is so much to tell you. So, sorry for keeping you in the waiting line. Speaking of waiting lines, you should listen to this beautiful song by Zero 7.
To make waiting a little more enjoyable, I want to share this delicious, cream cheesy recipe with you. As mentioned before, I turned 30 in the middle of my gluten-free experiment. And I consider myself a really lucky girl that my boyfriend spent a full afternoon in the kitchen to create this fructose friendly, gluten free, creamy beauty for me. I took me a few days to finish it as nobody dared to eat up my special birthday treat. To be honest, I wasn’t too sad about having it all for myself. …
It took me a while to realize that Spring in Turkey doesn’t last as long as it does in Germany. The fresh, locally grown strawberries at the fresh food markets disappeared just as quickly as they had appeared a few weeks earlier, leaving me little to no time to come up with all the nice strawberry-containing recipes I wanted to try and share with you. Which makes me a bit sad, as strawberries are one of the few fruits I can handle pretty well. But the good thing is, they will be back next year and meanwhile I will be concentrating on other seasonal fruits low in fructose. Enter, Apricots. Naturally low in fructose, an essential part in Turkish (dessert) cuisine and the perfect cast for the grand finale of my oatmeal cookie trilogy. Today, sun kissed apricots, crunchy, salty pistachios and a full-bodied cereal mix will be turned into aromatic Oatmeal-Muesli-Cookies. You could almost call it a tribute to my German-Turkish roots. ;)…
As I’m sitting here writing this post there is a plate of freshly baked oatmeal coconut cookies resting next to my laptop, begging to be devoured. Today it felt hard motivating myself to write. Before I sat down I quickly threw together those seven ingredients listed below, turning them into yet another batch of oatmeal coconut cookies, just to eat one of the freshly baked cookies straight out of the oven. I can‘t think of a better way to get into cookie mode. Also, when I tested this recipe a week ago I myself was a little surprised how delicious these cookies actually turned out to be. Therefore I needed some kind of reassurance that these cookies weren‘t too good to be true or rather just a stroke of luck. ;)
I found this recipe on Crash Test Mummy. It was the only recipe I found for oatmeal cookies low in fructose that looked worth giving it a try. Crash Test Mummy calls them ANZAC Cookies. Most of you native English speaking readers have probably heard this term before, but for me ANZAC didn’t ring a bell. It was only after a short search via Wikipedia that I found out what the abbreviation stands for “Australian and New Zealand Army Corps” and that this type of cookies are usually baked around the end of April to celebrate ANZAC Day and remember the fallen troops during World War I. I made those cookies because the recipe sounded delicious. Only now, when re-reading the same Wikipedia article did I notice that the same troops fought in a city called Gallipoli, which is called Çanakkale today and lies, guess what, in Turkey. I love coincidences. …
To be honest, I am not the only one reconsidering our initial, resistance-free plunge into the Turkish eating culture, after having arrived in the land of milk and honey (see also “Unlearning Snacking“). More recently my boyfriend has also been doubting his reacquired snacking habits. A long time ago he drastically cut down his own sugar consumption out of consideration for me suffering from fructose malabsorption and surely as a result of my never ending lectures on the negative aspects of fructose consumption. But our numerous sugar slips during the past weeks are finally coming into effect. As soon as we get close to a supermarket there is this faint voice to my left asking “Uhm, I wonder if they have those amazing Coco-Star chocolate bars. I didn’t have any sweet treat today. One surely couldn’t do much harm”. A classical case of back-on-the-addiction-sugar-cravings I’d say. Even his attempt to do better by going for the organic, soaked in honey, oatmeal cookie instead of the chocolate bar cannot negate my previously made diagnosis. The only positive outcome of this recent sugar-slip is, that somehow I wasn’t able to get those ‘forbidden’, crunchy and chewy oatmeal cookies out of my head. I was craving to have one of those cookies, but of course one being low in fructose. After browsing millions of oatmeal-cookie recipes on Pinterest I was left with no alternative. Because of that and well aware of my intent to strictly follow a fructose-free diet once again, without compromising on taste or variety, I resulted to not one, but three different recipes for oatmeal-cookies that are low in fructose. Call me nerd. …
I’m back. Six weeks have gone by with our new Turkish life keeping me too busy to prepare my next post. So here it goes, just in time for our two month Istanbul anniversary. Let’s see, what have we been up to during these past couple weeks? Well, the first five weeks we spent unpacking and packing our stuff, moving from one part of the city to another and enjoying the endless hospitality of our local friends. We were, and still are, incredibly lucky to have such amazing Turkish friends, who made it possible for us to stay with them, while looking for and eventually finding a place of our own. Three weeks ago we moved into our own flat and let me tell you, it’s beautiful! It’s located in the center of the city and the rent is pretty cheap compared to the horrendous rents elsewhere in this city. We have a view of the Golden Horn and three roosters that live in front of our window, adding a rural touch to our surroundings. Yes, I’m still talking about Istanbul, home to over 15 million people. And finally, two weeks after moving in, our friend by the name of Internet decided to join us. So we have been busy catching up with our families and friends abroad and reviewing new Turkish vocabulary on Memrise (I love this tool!). We also welcomed our first guests from Germany to our new home. Together we embarked on trips to the Asian side of Istanbul and to Bursa, home to the classical Turkish dish called Iskender Kebap. We rode the Bosphorus ferries and fell silent in stunning buildings and mosques, while frequently sipping on Turkish tea, enjoying a rare low-fructose Mojito (the secret ingredient: Jasmine tea!) and discovering Yoghurt-Rice-Soup.
Another recent pastime of ours has been the gradual filling up of our supply cabinet and gigantic fridge, getting me in the mood to attempt some new recipes. The first recipe I’m about to share with you is a recipe for a low-fructose quiche, which I prepared last Sunday for our house-warming/thank you brunch. While my boyfriend cooked an incredibly delicious chili-con-carne, I wanted to serve something without meat, low in fructose and easy to prepare, which lead me to a quiche.
To save me some time, I decided to go for yufka (phyllo) dough instead of regular quiche dough. Yufka is used widely in Turkish cuisine and is easy to find as everybody here seems to love it. To make sure I got the quality stuff, I decided not to buy just any yufka dough from the supermarket. Instead, I turned to my local Yufkaci, a professional yufka maker, who sells nothing other than fresh yufka and the occasional tray of baklava. The sheets I got there were so thin and fresh, they had to be handled with ultimate care. They were so big, that each sheet yielded for two layers of my quiche.
However, the special ingredient in this quiche wasn’t yufka. Enter nettle. In case you are wondering if I’m seriously talking about the stingy leaves that grow almost everywhere, yes, I sure am. Nettle can currently be found in every farmer’s market in Istanbul so I couldn’t resist buying it and figuring our how to implement it in my cooking. The good news is, once it’s cooked in plenty of hot water the sting is gone. The second good news is that it’s full of magnesium, calcium, iron, vitamin A und C (it contains about 7 times more vitamin C than oranges) and contains an adequate amount of protein. Are you ready for a delicious nettle beetroot quiche ? Here you go!
Recipe: Nettle beetroot quiche (fructose friendly)*
Prep time 20 minutes, baking time 45 minutes
(*please note: I developed this recipe before I went gluten-free, this quiche contains wheat.)
6 sheets of yufka (Phyllo dough, use gluten free if available)
about 4-5 Tbsp Butter (should be enough to thoroughly grease the pan and yufka sheets)
1 bunch of fresh, washed nettle (use gloves for washing)
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 cooked, peeled beetroot (I usually buy fresh beet root and cook it as it is in hot water for about 15 minutes)
1 handful of crumbled, fresh feta cheese
4 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
Preheat your oven to 350° F. Bring a big pot of water to boil, add a pinch of salt and plunge the bunch of nettle in. Blanch for 45 seconds, strain through a colander and quickly rinse off with cold water. Let it drain.
In the meantime, melt butter. Grease your quiche pan thoroughly with butter and place the first layer of yufka. Grease the sheet of yufka and place the next sheet on top. Continue until you have six layers of yufka. Grease the last sheet of yufka with butter and place sliced garlic on top of it. I didn’t even bother to sauté the garlic.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, 1/2 tsp. salt, fresh pepper, the cream and milk. Squeeze out the remaining water from the nettle and sprinkle evenly on top of the yufka sheets. Then, gently pour the egg mixture over it. Slice the beetroot, and place carefully on top of the mixture. Finish by sprinkling some crumbled Feta cheese on top. Transfer the quiche into the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until the quiche is puffy and the center is set. Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Goes well with a nice green salad and fresh parsley.
Today is our 12th day here in Istanbul. Because our language course did not start yet, it still feels like being on vacation. We get up late, stroll from cafe to cafe, sit in the sun, do some sightseeing here and there while try to immerse ourselves in this fascinating culture. Since arriving in Istanbul, the only thing I actually “cooked” for myself was a salad. The rest of the time we have been going out for breakfasts, lunches and dinners (usually skipping one or the other). The food you get at restaurants (called “restoran” or “lokanta”) here is just too good and we love to discover and taste all the new dishes and flavors. And, so far I’m doing pretty well with the Turkish food. It looks like the Turkish cuisine is much easier to handle when suffering from fructose malabsorption compared to the German cuisine. I haven’t experienced extreme stomach pain or other symptoms here yet. Knock on wood.
However, after eleven days I’m starting to miss cooking and baking at home. Not because I miss pasta dishes or other foods I used to cook in Berlin, but simply for the sake of cooking. As we have yet to find a flat of our own and are still staying with good friends, who are being the best hosts ever, it probably will take a few more weeks until I pick up cooking regularly at home again.
That’s why today I’m sharing a recipe for a really nice tea cake with you, which I made two days before leaving for Istanbul. Yes, call me crazy. Don’t ask me why I made the effort to bake a cake instead of packing my bags and tidying up the flat. I guess I needed an outlet for the pre-moving stress or wanted to empty out the pantry. Who knows.
However, I’m happy I gave this fructose friendly cake with orange and ricotta a shot. It turned out to be really tasty. It was very moist and full of flavor….
Finally, we have arrived in Istanbul! The place we will be calling home for the next six months or longer, we’ll see. Right now, we don’t know what expects us, what experiences await us. But who wants to know everything in advance anyway? What we weren’t expecting: waterfall like rain showers. Thank you for this warm welcome Istanbul! But it’s exactly the excuse you need to withdraw into the cozy kitchen and cook something nice and heartwarming. …
Last week was my last day at work here in Berlin. I gave up the comfort of being permanently employed to dive into a new adventure. In no less than 18 days we will move to Istanbul! “Yeah, woohoo or yippieh” doesn’t nearly describe how excited I am about this move. But that’s not what this post is about. In any case, I am sure this new adventure will find more than one mention in future posts as I will be sure to let you know about our plans and non-plans for our new life in Istanbul. …
It’s time for the first fructose free recipe!
Baking never aroused much enthusiasm in me. I do like cakes and cookies, but I could never get much out of the process itself. I always felt that a cake took ages to bake and that the funny smell of baking would spread through the entire flat, clinging to my clothes and hair for days. Yuck. And cleaning up the whole mess, the butter, the flour, the eggslime that seems to be in every single corner. No thank you. Cooking on the other hand, oh yeah! I love standing in front of numerous pots and pans and can’t wait for flavors and smells to unfold. So it wasn’t much of a tragedy for me when I found out about my fructose malabsorption. In terms of baking my diagnosis just served as another good reason not to bake. …
Before I knew about my fructose malabsorption, breakfast was something I only thought about after a long night out to sooth my stomach. I usually skipped breakfast and couldn’t wait for lunch time to indulge into hearty portions of pasta, pizza or whatever was on the lunch menu. If I bothered having breakfast I usually grabbed a sandwich at a bakery that was near my office or university. I’m not talking about the kind of mayonnaise dripping sandwiches topped with a half kilo of turkey like most of my American friends are used to. Nope. I’m talking about a simple “belegtes Brötchen”, that’s what we call our sandwiches in Germany. Nothing too unhealthy or heavy, just a bunch of useless carbohydrates. However, by lunch time I often felt hungrier than the times I hadn’t had any breakfast at all. Of course weekends were a different story, but that makes for only 2 out of 7 days a week, right? Either way, I just couldn’t get hold of a healthy breakfast routine. But since I had to throw everything I’ve learned about nutrition (including my personal preferences and eating habits) over board after getting my test results, breakfast was one thing I had to tackle as well….