Adaptation: Chocolate crepes with coconut ice-cream and fresh strawberries

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(gluten free, dairy free recipe)

It should by now be obvious to regular readers of this blog that I am a great advocate of eating with awareness. For me this involves commitments to the following principles whenever possible: local, organic, ethical. And if I’m going to be honest with you, it’s a complete pain in the arse most of the time. Shopping is difficult given most commonly available foods fit approximately none of the above criteria. Considerble willpower is required to not just cram tidbits of desirable rubbish into your trolley, subsequently to be crammed into your mouth. Cooking takes up quite a lot of time and although I love it, there are many times as a working mother I would like NOT to have to walk in the door at the end of the day and spend the next four hours cooking and cleaning. So you know what? I’m not floating around in a cloud of self-righteous glory blissfully procuring whole foods that my rosy cheeked little angels consume with trills of delight. I’m working damn hard at doing the right thing by the environment and the global community in which I live, and even harder at doing right by my kids. Because I’m their mum and the choices I make impact directly on them.

You may have noticed a slightly tetchy tone to this post. This is because I am a little aggravated at the moment. I recently consulted with a beautiful naturopath about my daughter Heide, who has been experiencing some health and behavioral problems that have frankly been breaking my heart. To cut a long story short, it was suggested that I trial Heide on a period of gluten and dairy free eating for a while. My aggravated response to this advice arises from a number of factors. First of all, the consultation made me aware of some things I had really been doing wrong in relation to her diet. Now I don’t want to hear any defensive statements about mothers bearing too much guilt over their children’s health and behavior etc etc. It’s not about guilt, it’s about taking responsibility and as parents we are absolutely responsible for what we feed our children. You can’t raise a child on bread (even if it is homemade) and milk (no matter how raw and organic it may be). Secondly, I now have to wind back the results of my laziness and change the dietary habits of a strong willed 5 year old girl. And last, but by no means least, my entire pattern of procuring and preparing food has had to change and I feel like a stranger in a foreign land. For the first time in my life I am having to cook to a restricted diet.

I don’t want to do this. I am struggling to find a new routine to my culinary life. I haven’t yet got my head around the suite of things I can buy that are both gluten and dairy free, and the fact that I can’t send any nuts to school adds a whole other layer of complexity. I am pissed at the (few) people who have unhelpfully suggested this whole thing is simply a fad but deeply grateful to all the folk who have come forward to share recipes, ideas and general support. I received a recipe book in the mail from a friend today, a small gesture that almost had me weeping with gratitude. Food is a core component of my identity and to experience such a fundamental shift is a challenge. Adaptation has been required. I don’t know if these changes will be permanent or not, although I suspect some dietary patterns will require long term modification. I do know that I have a different child in my house these days: an increasingly rosy-cheeked, well rested and vibrant little girl. And you know what? I’ll happily take responsibility for that, too.

 

Gluten free / dairy free chocolate crepes with coconut ice cream

(For the crepes):

  • 1 cup of all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Approximately 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp cocoa

Whisk all the ingredients well. I gather not all gluten free flours are created equal – the one I used was very lumpy and it took quite a bit of whisking and resting to get the lumps out. Lightly grease a non stick pan with oil (I used coconut oil which I’m quickly becoming addicted to) and pour in about quarter of a cup of mix. Swirl the mixture around the pan to achieve delicious crepeyness and cook until set on the bottom. Flip very gently – the lack of gluten makes them less elastic of course – and finishing cooking. Roll the crepes with coconut ice cream and sliced strawberries.

(For the ice cream)

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar
  • 2 tins of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup dessicated coconut (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Rig up a large bowl over a pan of simmering water. You need to add the egg yolks and sugar and get whisking them over gentle heat quickly before the sugar cooks the yolks. Whisk for about 5 minutes until thick, pale and custard like. Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions. This makes quite a hard, icy ice cream. You might want to remove it from the fridge just prior to serving.

 

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