Pita Bread and Mexican Spread – grain-free & fructmal friendly

Pita Bread and Mexican Spread - grain-free & fructose intolerant friendlyJanet Flanner QuoteI had the final food intolerance test today for lactose and I have been skipping all day – I had no reaction at all. Again they took my breath every 1/2 hour for 3 hours and I will hear officially in a couple of weeks but I guess I have my answers already. I am not lactose intolerant but I am fructose intolerant and that sucks big time. It’s not like lactose or gluten intolerance, which are clear cut. You eliminate them from your diet and you live well. Not that either of those intolerances is easy but fructose! It is in everything healthy – fruit, vegetables, whole grains etc. It’s impossible to eliminate it – you would die from malnutrition. So you manage it.
Most people have the fructose in their food absorbed through their stomach walls and that’s the way it should be. But we strange folk can’t absorb it and so it goes on its way and the bacteria down there sees it as a foreign substance and goes crazy, causing a lot of unpleasantness. Our bodies can tolerate a little fructose not being absorbed but there is an accumulative effect over the course of a day in our systems and that is zeroed each night to start again. I have always known that I have less problems in the morning and it gets worse in the afternoon. In fact, sometimes I would eat exactly the same food in the morning and have no problems then eat it again in the afternoon and be in pain. Hence never being able to sort out what was hurting me.
This fructose intolerance thing seems to be a relatively new discovery and the internet has a lot of conflicting information about it. That probably explains why no doctor has ever identified what my problem is despite me being quite clear with them. I gave up about a year ago trying to explain to anyone else and I recently started my own investigations. It has taken about three months but I have got there. It is not the diagnosis I expected or wanted.
So tonight I cooked a fructose-intolerant-friendly meal. The grain-free thing has helped heaps because there is considerable fructose in whole grains in particular. Non-whole grains are better. So I have started back on white rice with no ill effects.
The pita bread was made from the recipe I used for the pizza base here but I have written it out again for you below. It was a big hit – crispy and tasty. The mince has no onion or garlic, which are big no-nos for us. Boo hoo!! But I used a heap of spices to add the flavour and no one complained here. This was a great meal considering it was so low in fructose and yet had all food groups. I have a challenge ahead of me – to create tasty meals that don’t hurt me. Baking is a whole different question and I will address that in another post. That part is super scary.

Pita Bread & Mexican Spread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
For the pita bread:
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 tbsp water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
For the mince:
  • 400gms/14oz minced beef
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garam marsala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Salt & pepper
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Chopped mint
For the avocado:
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 heaped tbsp creme fraiche
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper
To serve:
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • A small pot of sour cream
Method
For the pita bread:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F or 190 degrees C.
  2. In a pot, mix ⅓ cup of flour, water and 1 tbsp olive oil.
  3. Heat on low, stirring, until the mixture completely sticks together.
  4. Take off the heat and let cool.
  5. In a bowl, mix the rest of the flour, baking soda and salt.
  6. Add the egg and the rest of the oil.
  7. Add the cooled congealed mixture and knead together into a dough.
  8. Push it out into a flat, round shape on a baking tray which has been covered with baking paper.
  9. Bake until crisp on one side (around 20 minutes)and then turn over and crisp up on that side too (another 5 minutes).
  10. Remove from the oven and cut into wedges.
For the mince:
  1. Peel the carrot and courgette and chop roughly with the celery.
  2. Place in a food processor and chop small.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add all the spices. Heat to release the aromas.
  4. Add the minced vegetables and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the mince and cook until well browned.
  6. Season.
  7. Add the water and the tapioca flour dissolved in a little water.
  8. Stir to blend and thicken.
  9. Squeeze over half a lemon and mix.
  10. Remove from the heat and serve with a sprinkle of mint.
For the avocado:
  1. Mash all the ingredients together and serve with the mince, pita bread, tomatoes and sour cream.
Pita Bread and Mexican Spread - grain-free & fructose intolerant friendly Pita Bread and Mexican Spread - grain-free & fructose intolerant friendly

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Comments

  1. says

    Glad your tests are finally done. It’ll be interesting to hear what your doctor has to say when the “official” results are in, but it sounds like you’re quite clear on what to expect. It stinks about being fructose intolerant, and I don’t know the ins and outs of this (mainly what I know is what you’ve shared with us) but you’re a really creative cook – you’ll figure something out. It is astonishing how prevalent fructose is in our diets. Good luck, and thanks for a truly great looking dish.

    • says

      Thanks, John. Creativity is going to be very important now in order to satisfy my family’s needs as well as mine. I have a challenge ahead of me.

  2. says

    This looks fantastic. I’m glad you’ve done your tests, but like you say fructose is a tricky one. I once had a student on a school camp who had the tri-factor (lactose, fructose, and gluten intolerance), she said it wasn’t too bad, but tricky to find things that she could eat. I look forward to seeing the wonderful things that you’ll come up with.

    • says

      The poor girl! That would have been nigh on impossible. Already I struggle to find a variety of different foods that I can safely eat. This is going to have to be a steep learning curve.

  3. says

    That pita bread looks really good as does the entire meal. I’m so sorry to hear your news as like you say, how can you totally eliminate fructose yet still be healthy. I can’t believe you can’t have onion and garlic – I think I cook with those two ingredients every day xx

    • says

      So did I cook with onions and garlic at every meal. No wonder I had problems! The pita bread was a real hit so I’ll be using that recipe often to make different types of bread and pizza bases. It will just be a matter of exploring different possibilities.

  4. says

    Suzanne do take care of yourself the pics are inviting as always. I am sure when you are under pressure best things come out all the best !

  5. Leanne says

    hi Suzanne, my 26yr old daughters story is a mirror of yours.I thought cooking for lactose intolerance was challenging but nothing compared to fructose. To make it even more difficult she is also vegetarian.Its not be able to have garlic and onion that’s the hardest as it is in lots of foods in many forms (dried etc).There is an Indian spice called Asafoetida available in Asian and Health Food shops that has an onion flavour.We are waiting till she is on holidays to test it just in case she has a reaction.I look forward to following you and trying your recipes.Best wishes to you.

    • says

      Hi Leanne. It’s lovely to see you here. She is so lucky to have sorted it this early in her life. Eating fructose free and in fact eating a low FODMAP diet seems overwhelming at first but, not even a year later, I am quite comfortable with this way of cooking and eating. It becomes second nature to avoid the foods which cause pain.
      Being a vegetarian does make it more difficult to get enough of a balanced diet and she might want to re-think that because she can no longer have beans, which are, of course, a major source of protein for vegetarians. However, I am sure it can be done. You can infuse both onion and garlic in oil because the part we are trying to avoid doesn’t dissolve in oil. But it does leach out into water so never boil it and then remove it thinking you are safe. I use garlic-infused oil but I also mainly cook without garlic and onion but use heaps of spices, which are fine. Asafoetida is considered fine by the Monash University, which has the foremost research centre for FODMAPs in the world. So your daughter can give it a try. You will find from my recipes that I am not lactose intolerant but it is easy to substitute the dairy products with rice milk etc. Please feel free to ask me as many questions as you like. And good luck to your daughter.

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