Do you have a favorite vegan and sugar-free banana bread recipe yet? Or are you like me, who pins and saves hundreds of different recipes from all over the web, continuously tinkering around with them?
Either way, I ask you not to miss on this healthyish no added sugar banana bread version. It’s vegan and wheat-free, and the mix of oats, ground nuts and whole-grain spelt flour makes it a perfect guilt-free breakfast treat. The real magic happens before the baking though. I don’t just add the mashed raw banana to the batter. Instead I allow the banana to bath and caramelize in a knob of hot coconut oil first! Caramelized banana for the win!
If I had a proper excuse, I’d probably try to play it. But I don’t have one. This recipe has been hiding in my digital drawer for way too long. But today this buttery beauty is finally being released into your wheat-free, sugar-free kitchen.
To be honest, I’d always favor one of these tartlets over any kind of traditional cake. The spelt flour crust reminds of buttery shortbread. Hidden underneath it’s crisp chocolate top is a creamy layer of homemade caramel that will knock of even the biggest cake lover off her socks. And did I mention that you can easily turn it into a lactose-free or vegan treat if you like?
A short note on the video: I was very fortunate to spend some time with the amazing team at Kitchen Stories, who created this beautiful recipe video with me. The video is in German, but I hope you’ll enjoy it anyways, at least for it’s instructional purpose. 😉
2 days of action, a team of 5, tons of equipment and dirty dishes, exhausted bodies and happy eyes. Not much to add to a very successful shooting. Except for, you are darn sexy dear Kitchen Stories team! Ole, Clarissa, Pei, Artur und Joni, may I take you for wife, husband and production team? 😃
In case you are wondering why I’m so overly exciting about all of this, let me explain a common challenge most food bloggers encounter at some point of their blogging routine. So taking images of food is difficult, but with some exercise this can actually be done in no time. Showing some life and action i.e. showing a hand is a little more advanced – cut to weirdly bend arms of a blogger who would actually try to hold a spoon while taking a photo at the same time. But then there are recipe videos. You need light, a camera, someone who holds that f*ing camera, someone who has the slightest idea to present food from the right angle, as well as some talent to put this all together into a video that actually makes sense…
Let’s say it comes in quite handy to suddenly have all of these things above waiting in front of your doorsteps.
Unfortunately, just like the intro video, my recipe videos are only available in German for now, but I’d like to share them with you nonetheless. Hopefully I’ll find some time to add Englisch subtitles at some point. Let me know if you want to help me on this 😊
But don’t fret, there is still a written version for you to test out immediately. Enjoy this Turkish street food staple at home! Thank you Kitchen Stories for making my recipes look so darn delicious!
P.s. Don’t forget to give me a thumbs up on my video below and head over to my friends at Kitchen Stories for hundreds of recipe ideas and how-to videos on about everything: kitchenstories.io
Damn it! One by one my kitchen appliances were starting to bite the dust. I’ve come to ask myself if this is me or some universal force trying to tell me that I should step away from gadgets all together. Two broken blenders were more than enough to push me over the edge. I was convinced that I wouldn’t get myself another blender, ever. Of course, this and other New Year’s resolutions ultimately failed. The homemade pesto, bulletproof coffee and warm soup fanatic in me wouldn’t overcome this loss. Or to put it differently, without a blender I’d need to retire from blogging all together.
I still doubt the necessity of most other gadgets though. Let’s consider the exemplary ice-cream machine. The idea to make our own sugar-free ice cream whenever we want sounds fantastic at first. But then winter kicks in early and the tool disappears somewhere in storage for some 9 months or more. Not the kind of tool I like to spend my money on to be honest.
But what if the object of desire is no ordinary gadget after all? What if it has the potential to be a companion for life? A tool made from elegant wood, with an indestructible stainless-steel roller. A gadget propelled by your own body power rather than nuclear power from the socket. A helper for your everyday needs and beautiful to look at!
“And then she jumps to her feet to dance her little happy dance!” – This is me, everytime I look at this little fellow. It was love at first sight! This buddy here is definitely still an insider’s tip, on it’s way to becoming a mandatory household item everywhere. …
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?…
Sometimes I just can’t resist: “Have you read this amazing book yet? Did you see those adorable plates? Have I told you about my latest interview on this inspiring blog called exPress-o?” There are times, when I feel like sending out one tweet, one instagram post after another to share all the exciting finds and news with you and the rest of the world. But then my bad conscience kicks in: “Deniz, don’t you think one Facebook post per day is enough? You shouldn’t spam people like that!” “Yeah, okay, but, have you seen this cute stracciatella mug?!”
Instead of burying my most recent discoveries in your never-ending Facebook streams, I’ve decided toadd this monthly update on my favorites to my blog posts. One post containing several things to improve your fructose free life and add some beauty! 🙂 Enjoy!…
Last year, during my initial phase of going gluten free I reflected not only on my wheat consumption but also on my diet in general. I figured that I was consuming a lot more dairy here in Istanbul than I used to do back in Berlin. Since moving here I had yoghurt for breakfast every single morning, drank many, many café lattes and ate lots of salads topped with loads of feta cheese. Everybody knows, too much of anything is never good, so I felt the urge to put a halt on this. In the back of my head I developed this thought that just maybe I could hit two birds with one stone: Going gluten and dairy free at the same time. I mean, why not? I was about to change my diet completely anyway, right?
Some of you might break out in hysterical laughter right now and I can’t even blame you.
Little did I now, how time consuming and sometimes frustrating it would be to go gluten free. This process once again put all my previously acquired eating habits into question (see Unlearning snacking). Cutting out dairy as well was just as naive as believing in sticking to one’s New Year’s resolution. …
Traveling is not easy, when suffering from fructose malabsorption. Of course I know that. Still, so far I haven’t starved when hopping on a plane. Usually there is the standard “chicken or pasta” choice. Most of the time I go for the chicken to eat the meat at least. When I’m lucky they serve rice with it or a salad without dressing. I peck around in those tiny serving dishes and eat whatever my body tolerates. This time however, I didn’t want to leave things up to chance. I checked the special menus offered by SWISS in advance. I wasn’t expecting to find a menu low in fructose, that would have been somewhat of a revolution. Instead I opted for a gluten-free meal for my journey from Istanbul to Berlin.
“Let us know your desired special meal when booking your flight or contact one of the SWISS agents a minimum of 24 hours prior to departure.” swiss.com
This is the moment when customer service traveling with fructose malabsorption turn into a nightmare.
Why make it easy for the customer to order his or her special needs meal by providing an online form just for this single purpose, when the whole procedure can be turned into an outright hassle for all involved. SWISS must have thought the same. I was offered the choice between calling some computer assisted hotline or filling out an email form with non-related, trivial subjects to choose from. I chose the latter. A big mistake. Apparently SWISS was not able to process their service mails during the four days prior to my flight. I asked about my special meal order at check-in. Negative. What had I expected. Hence, I relied on the “chicken or pasta”-strategy. Mistake number two. On board we got served cake and pasta, meaning an abundance and “no-way-out” supply of wheat, sugar, tomatoes and onions. Nice. Not even pecking around for the good bits was going to get me out of this one. We asked the stewardess if they had any other gluten-free snack, which she denied. But, surprisingly she offered me an apple or a banana from the crew catering. I guess I was really lucky to have her as a stewardess. I wouldn’t have been too surprised if the other crew members wouldn’t have offered me the same. This banana saved me for the rest of the journey. To make matters worse we arrived late in Zurich, didn’t have time to stop for a snack in between flights and on our connecting flight they served, yay, sandwiches. Thank you SWISS, enjoy your meal yourself.
The lesson is clear: Firstly, do not expect too much service, not even from SWISS. Secondly, don’t rely on others when it comes to food. Thirdly, I will definitely take care of my food myself for the upcoming flight back. Any recommendations for healthy, easy to carry-on food on the go?
My personal proofreader for the written English language just returned from his trip to Switzerland, so let’s continue my recount on going gluten free. From my post last week you already know why I made the decision in the first place. Still you may be asking yourselves what this change actually meant. How did it change my eating habits? How did it affect daily life and more importantly, did it actually make a difference? Did the experiment meet my expectations?…
In my last post I hinted to the fact that I quit eating gluten a few weeks ago. For some of you this might not come as a surprise, for others this may actually be a big one. That‘s why, before elaborating on what it actually felt like going cold turkey, I‘d like to start by sharing my reasons for making this decision in the first place. Or let‘s just say, why it took me so long to do so.
I must confess I usually don‘t bother staying up to date on fructose malabsorption as there are rarely exciting new findings. But once in while I go back to checking on lists and books and what experts have had to say on the topic to see whether I am remembering things correctly or simply to nurture my “I‘m actually lucky that fructose is bad for me, because it‘s just a bunch of crap anyway” attitude.
Recently I joined a Facebook group full of amazing people, all dealing with their individual daily ups and downs as a result of fructose malabsorption. Everybody is really helpful and speaking frankly about symptoms and experiences. And trust me, nothing is more encouraging and helpful than reading the stories of fellow fructose malabsorptioners. Most of the members in this group are living in Australia where people seem to be more familiar with FM and the food industry seems to have adapted to peoples’ needs already. Unlike Germany or Turkey. Closely following the group discussions I wondered why most of the group members follow a gluten-free diet without being gluten intolerant. I never quite understood why someone would burden themselves with even more food restrictions than necessary. All my German books on FM consider wheat and other grains to be on the safe side, so the FM couldn‘t be the reason for this could it? Since being diagnosed with FM I started to cut out fructose as found in fruits, vegetables, sweets and processed foods from my diet, but otherwise continued to eat bread, pasta and other doughy things like I was used to do. I never really questioned that there was something wrong with this or that or that the information at hand might not even be tried and true. I‘m imagining those of you who are familiar with the FODMAP diet shaking their heads in utter disgust right about now.
What can I say, other than it took me a while to figure out that most of the group members follow this so called FODMAP diet. The FODMAP diet was originally designed for people suffering from irritable bowl syndrome (IBS), but parts of its guidelines are also recommended to people suffering from FM. After all there can‘t be so much wrong about it if so many Australians follow it so I decided to dig a little deeper. The FODMAP diet divides foods that should be avoided into five different categories: excess fructose, lactose, fructans, galactans and polyols. The food groups that should be cancelled out when suffering from FM are fructose (no surprise there) and fructans. A term I hadn‘t come across so far. The fructose group includes foods like honey, apples, pears etc. Foods I haven‘t touched in years anyway. So again, no surprises there. The other category, the fructans, felt the same at first, except for one thing. Guess what, wheat. I blinked a few times, but it was still there. A list stating that wheat is out.
At first I was kind of shocked, because, like I said, I was eating wheat products all the time. But suddenly all fell into place. The whole thing started to come together and make sense to me at last. It finally understood, why so many of you are eating gluten free. And even more important it finally offered an explanation as to why, no matter what I ate or how much, by the end of the day I would still look like seven months pregnant. Even though I’m on top of things most of the time when it comes to the known symptoms such as constant fatigue, flatulence, headaches, sugar cravings, bad breath … the bloating still showed up on a daily basis and I didn‘t know why. But now I had a lead at last. I didn’t need to think any further, whether to follow up on a gluten-free diet or not.
Here is what Sue Shepards advises to minimize symptoms, when suffering from fructose malabsorption:
- Avoid foods that contain excess fructose: honey, apples, mango, pear, watermelon, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup solids
- Avoid dietary sources of fructans: artichokes (globe), artichokes (Jerusalem), asparagus, beetroot, chicory, dandelion leaves, garlic (in large amounts), leek, onion (brown, white, Spanish, onion powder), radicchio lettuce, spring onion (white part), wheat (in large amounts), rye (in large amounts), inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides.
- Reduce the fructose load
Source: Sue Shepherd
That’s how the whole gluten-free experiment got going. It’s been 8 weeks now since I cancelled out all sorts of wheat products from my daily diet, which is no easy task living in Turkey. Here everything is served with tons of fresh bread, people eat a soup thickened with flour with every meal and mix orzo noodles in rice. Food life has definitely become more challenging. But everybody is like “Tell me about it!” right now, I guess. =)
If you want to hear more about my gluten-free journey, the kind of dietary changes I made and the withdrawal syndromes I never expected to suffer from, stay tuned. More about this in my next post.
P.S. Are you guys eating gluten-free already? If not, have you considered doing so?