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?
Right, sometimes we need to let off that steam. But judging from experience that rarely makes things any better. So let’s try to look at it this way: Aren’t we actually kind of lucky? Lucky to be able to ask until we know every single ingredient, to read all the labels there are and make lists with foods we tolerate well? It’s most definitely not convenient, but we are not hamstrung either.
Why am I bringing this up now, you may ask? Because there is a small, fructose free fairy, 5 years of age, who grew dear to my heart during the past weeks even though we haven’t ever met. But ever since her mom posted a picture of her with one of my recipes, Emmi has become my secret ally in dealing with fructose malabsorption. :)
Since “meeting” Emmi, I can’t stop thinking about all this complaining we do all the time. It occurred to me that if we grown-ups already grow desperate on fructose malabsorption from time to time, how utterly hard does this have to be for a cute little angel, who doesn’t even decide on her own when and where she eats? Who can’t quite explain to herself why she is in pain again? A child, who would rather just read a book with mom instead of wondering, why all the other kids can enjoy sweet desserts, while she can’t. And how gut-wrenching must this be for all you parents out there, who have to be the bad cop, day in day out, while also making sure your little ones don’t feel deprived of childhood joys.
Dear parents, I don’t envy you!
Dear Emmi, I know it’s not fair that you are not allowed to eat whatever you want. But trust me, your tummy is really happy that you’re taking good care of it! You are doing great! And you have an awesome mom by your side, to help you as much as she can!
So let’s stop with the complaining for once and celebrate summer with a new fructose free recipe instead. Grab all the strawberries you can get your hands on and enjoy these delicious strawberry-raspberry-tartelettes I made especially for you, my fructose free princesses and princes.
Love, Deniz and the pink fructose guard
P.S. Ok, seeing that this cake is still missing some fructose-free fruit gums and Elsa decoration, maybe your kids won’t be jumping with joy, but I’ll work on that, promise! :)
Recipe: Strawberry-Raspberry-Tartelettes or Princess-Tartelettes for Emmi (gluten free, fructose free)
These tartelettes might look like a light treat, but the silky curd and nutty crust is actually quite filling. I only ate half of one tartelette at a time and saved the rest for later. If you don’t tolerate raspberries too well, try strawberries only, a mix of strawberries and rhubarb or this lemon curd. Ingredient excursion: According to my favorite app on this topic 100 g of strawberries have 0,15 g of excess fructose. An amount most people should tolerate without major issues. Hemp holds a reputation as a healing plant all around the world. The seeds have a light and nutty taste to it and are supposed to benefit your guts.
Sugar Free Strawberry-Raspberry-Curd
Prep time: 45 minutes + cooling time You need quite a few bowls for this recipe. If you happen to have a friend with you in the kitchen make sure to involve her/him. This makes things a lot easier. Choose whatever strawberry/raspberry you prefer and tolerate. I used half-half. If you like it less sour, add more strawberries. You’ll probably end up with more berry juice than you need. Simply mix it with soda to turn it into a nice summer drink.
300 g strawberries and raspberries
1 tablespoon fructose free corn-sugar
50 ml water
100 ml strawberry-raspberry-juice (see above)
Juice of one lemon
6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup (50 g) fructose free corn-sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground vanilla
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
Add strawberries and raspberries to a small pot add corn-sugar and let sit for 30 minutes.
Add water and let simmer for 15 minutes until berries start to break down. Strain through a fine sieve and save the syrup.
Place a finely meshed strainer on top and set aside. Measure 100 ml of the strained berry syrup.
In a small saucepan melt butter, berry syrup, corn-sugar and vanilla, stirring occasionally. As soon as the butter is melted, take off heat. In another bowl, mix together the eggs and yolks. Slowly pour in the butter mixture, whisking constantly. If possible get a helping hand to pour the mixture in for you, so you can focus on whisking.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat again. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens. It usually happens quickly in about 2-3 minutes. Sometimes it might take a little longer. Don’t mind tiny bits of cooked egg whites that might appear, that’s normal. Immediately strain the thickened curd through the prepared strainer. Scrape the curd through the strainer to get most of it through. Wipe the spatula clean, then use it to scrape the berry curd off the bottom of the strainer and into the bowl.
Stir the curd frequently to let the steam out and let cool for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to serve. In the meantime prepare the pie crust.
Pro tip: Leftover curds also make great addition to your bowl of granola! Hemp-Oat-Crust
(Makes 2 tartelettes about 12 cm in size) Prep time: 40 minutes
80 g shelled hemp seeds
70 g fine oats
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons rice malt syrup
2-4 tablespoons water
Grease two tartelette tins (about 12 cm in size) with coconut oil. If the coconut oil is solid, place it in a pot with hot water or slowly heat it in a small pan.
Place hemp seeds, oats, coconut oil, rice malt syrup and 2 tablespoons of water in your food processor. Pulse a few times until dough starts to come together. Slowly add more water if it is too dry. Press the dough into prepared tins. Make sure to form a rim for the curd to stay in place.
Place into your freezer for 10 minutes. Preheat your oven to 180° C.
Cover your tartelettes with a piece of parchment paper and add rice or dried beans on top. This prevents the dough from puffing up while baking. Bake for 15-20 minutes until gold in color. Keep an eye on the tartelettes for the last 10 minutes. Every oven is different and we don’t want to burn the pies.
Once done, remove the parchment paper and let cool completely. Take out of the tin and add prepared curd. Serve immediately or store in fridge until you are ready to dive in.
Pro tip: Don’t throw your rice/bean weights away. You can reuse them for your next tartelettes, and the next, and the other next…