These simple buckwheat crepes offer a wonderfully nutty flavour which goes great with sweet or savoury ingredients. Easy to prepare and quick to cook!
They can be paired really well with poached apples or pears, berry compote or just baked egg, the recipe can easily be scaled making it perfect for a large crowd.
Try adding beetroot juice to the batter to add a vivid colour for the kids.
Also referred to as galettes in Brittany, France, buckwheat crêpes have gained in popularity in large part because they’re a tasty, gluten-free alternative to a traditional crêpe.
What is buckwheat?
While most people think of buckwheat as a whole grain, it’s actually a seed that is high in both protein and fibre. It supports heart and heart health and can help prevent diabetes and digestive disorders.
Vivian is a Doctor originally from the UK and has recently relocated with her family to the States. Both Vivian’s children have suffered from severe allergies which has lead to the creation of her fantastic Blog ‘Allergy Families‘ which is an amazing resource for families who have allergies and food intolerances.
I recently caught up with Vivian to find out more about herself and her blog.
What made you start your blog?
I’ve wanted to start a blog for a long time now…. but just never found the time juggling being a GP and mum to two young kids.
It is incredible how unaware the general public and medical professionals can be with allergy. They don’t take it seriously and many medical professionals miss the diagnosis because symptoms can be so subtle and there are just no good tests for some allergies. My daughter was hospitalised and tube fed at 8 weeks of age because no doctor (including myself) recognised her symptoms as being caused by milk allergy. People thought she had reflux, then behavioural issues, because she just stopped feeding. She would cry with hunger, drink a little bit of milk then push the bottle away, arch her back and turn her head. She cried all the time and I was desperate and sleep deprived. It wasn’t until I did my own research and found a dietician with expertise in the area that she got the help she needed. Thankfully it is probably more widely recognised now, but if it was so hard for a doctor to help her own children with allergies, I can’t imagine what it is like for non-health professionals.
Since I started researching and learning about allergies, I have been able to be an advocate for my patients, friends whose children have blaringly obvious food allergies (to me anyway) but undiagnosed by their own doctors.
That’s why I started my blog – I didn’t want my help to be restricted to those who knew me. I knew that if I started a blog my reach could be much wider, and I would be able to help more people. I wanted to share my journey, tips and useful medical information I learnt along the way.
There are many things which I found out that are helpful for kids with allergies which my allergists never told me. Things like probiotics – which a lot of allergists still insist has no good evidence but I believe gut health is key to children outgrowing allergies.
Do you think being a Doctor made the process to get a diagnoses and treatment plan easier?
Yes and No. To this day I still have massive mother guilt for missing the diagnosis in my own daughter. But I had access to a network of top healthcare professionals and I’m sure my daughter’s diagnosis would be even more delayed had it not for my own contacts.
Treatment plan is another matter – I was in desperate search for things that would help my daughter outgrow her allergies. Maybe I was in denial, maybe I just did not want to spend the rest of my life constantly worrying about accidental ingestion and walking on eggshells. This was where I felt like I was up against a brick wall. No one gave me any answers. Everyone told me to just avoid the food and hope they outgrew their allergies. But I did not want to do that. So I did my own research and reading, attended all the allergy lectures to gain a better understanding. In a way, being a doctor has helped because I knew where to look for reliable information, and I had access to all the allergy training events.
What advice would you give parents who suspect their child has a food allergy or intolerance?
Trust your gut instincts – you really do know your child best. Read my blog post on subtle symptoms of allergy (http://allergyfamilies.com/food-allergies/how-to-know-my-child-has-a-food-allergy/) – it is not all lip swelling/rash/wheezing. The symptoms can be so subtle: constipation, abdominal pains, aversive feeding, diarrhoea. If you suspect your child might have an allergy – don’t stop looking for a doctor who takes you seriously! Western tests are good at picking up IgE mediated allergies (but these are really easy to spot anyway, you don’t need a test when someone’s lips swell up after eating something). But it is the non IgE allergies which are being missed all the time and it is a shame that children and their parents are suffering unnecessarily because doctors are not trained to spot these. Just because a skin prick test or blood test is negative, does not mean your child is not allergic to a food. Elimination is actually the gold standard but this should not be done without consulting a healthcare professional first.
How are your children now?
My daughter is 8 and she was allergic to milk, egg and peanut. She has outgrown all these now. My son is 6, and was allergic to milk, egg, wheat, kiwi, peanut, walnut, pecan, cod, lemons and now ‘just’ allergic to milk, peanut, walnut, pecans. He is currently on the milk ladder where I am introducing boiled milk at small increments to see if he can tolerate it, and he appears to be starting to grow out of his milk allergy too (touch wood)!
What’s been your biggest learning curve?
Broadening my mind and horizon to what I didn’t know. Before my kids, I was a pretty narrow minded doctor who would laugh at anything holistic or complementary (e.g. homeopathy) because the scientific evidence for these are weak. However, mainstream medicine failed me when I needed it. I was not able to help my daughter and it was so frustrating for me as a doctor. The more I read, the more I realised that the gut is central to a lot of diseases. And actually, focusing on ‘allergy’ without assessing gut health is treating surface symptoms without the root cause, I became more open minded through my own research and reading; I realised that, actually, integrative medicine is the best way to practise medicine. Now I use nutrition and natural remedies in combination with mainstream medicine.
What are you favourite gut boosting foods?
Fermented foods because they contain enzymes to help us digest the food, probiotics and prebiotics
Bone broth – there is a reason why this gem is found in culinary traditions around the world – it contains amino acids and collagen which is healing for the gut.
Fibre – a high fibre diet supports the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut, and if probiotic supplement is not supported by a high fibre intake, the expensive bacteria wouldn’t survive in your gut anyway. Children do need calories to grow, however, so be careful to balance this as most high fibre foods are not calorific.
Find out more about Vivian and her blog here (sign-up to her newsletter to receive her weekly tips): www.allergyfamilies.com
In an oven or over a grill, char the onion, bulb of garlic and ginger - I normally put it on a top rack in the oven and put on full heat grill. The onion and garlic will char first - remove these, and let the ginger char slightly. Let it cool down, and remove the completely burnt bits.
In a pan, roast the cloves, star anise, cinnamon, black peppercorns - low heat, this brings out their flavor. When cooled, place into a spice bag (you can get these in asian supermarkets, or make them yourself from muslin/cheese cloth. If you don't mind the odd bit of peppercorn in your soup, you can also just drop these loose into the pan.
Parboil the bones - in a pan, put the bones in and cover with just enough water, and bring to boil with lid on. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain and wash all the impurities that have come out in the boil with water.
Put parboiled, cleaned bones back in the pan, put in 18 cups of water. add the spice bag (or just drop the spices in loose).
Bring back to boil. Then switch to low heat and leave on stove for at least 8 but up to 24 hours ( I normally do 10, by that time you really start to see the broth turning cloudy which indicates all the amino acids, collagen being boiled into the soup).
You can make bone broth using any vegetables but I like to add herbs that are good for the digestion/gut to give it even more goodness:
Cloves - great for digestion, and rich in antioxidants (fights tissue and free radical damage)
Black peppercorn - again fabulous for digestion and also increases bioavailability of lots of nutrients, helping the body to absorb them
Star anise - anti fungal, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant
Cinnamon - anti-inflammatory (helps body repair any inflamed or damaged tissue), improves insulin sensitivity, reduces heart disease
Casey-Lee is a qualified Nutritionist, Naturopath and mother to another little Gracie, based in Brisbane, Australia. I just love her outlook to food and we adore her delicious recipes. All Casey-Lee’s recipes are Gluten, Dairy and refined sugar-free which makes them a fantastic resource for families who have food allergies and/or intolerances and are looking to transition to a more wholesome way of eating.
I recently caught up with Casey-Lee to find out more about herself and Live Love Nourish.
How has becoming a mother affected your outlook on food?
As a Nutritionist and Naturopath my outlook on food has always been of an understanding and respect for how much food can impact our health and the way we feel on a daily basis. Now as a mum I have an even greater respect (and real experience) for the influence food has on our children’s development, behaviour and ability to thrive. Becoming a mother has also made me become much more time-efficient in the kitchen with a great appreciation for making recipes that are not only kid-friendly but time-friendly too as well as embracing a messy kitchen!
What lead you to become a qualified nutritionist and naturopath?
Growing up I always had an interest in natural health and was lucky enough to be surrounded by a family interested in healthy living also. Becoming qualified meant I could share my passion for helping others to live a healthier and happier life.
Why are all your recipes Gluten, Dairy and refined-sugar free?
I really believe in the benefits of eating a whole-foods diet (avoiding processed and packaged food as much as possible). When you stick to fresh and whole food you naturally eliminate the processed sources of gluten, dairy and sugar and instead begin to cook with real food ingredients that love your body back. As I teach in my 8 week online program, I also believe in tuning in to your body to find a diet that best works for you and your body’s unique needs. For me that means cutting out gluten, dairy and refined sugar. My recipes are all 100% free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar catering for anyone looking to embrace a whole-foods way of eating as well as to support anyone with food sensitivities and special dietary requirements.
Can you tell us a bit about Live Love Nourish and the philosophy behind it?
Live Love Nourish is an online health website that specialises in sharing healthy, simple and real food recipes (all free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar) as well as practical nutrition and lifestyle advice and the Live Love Nourish signature 8 week program. I believe health requires a holistic approach and we feel our best when we live true to ourselves, have love for ourself and others and nourish our body. Hence, the philosophy behind LLN is to “live the real you, love truly and deeply and nourish from the inside out”.
What’s your favourite family meal?
This changes week-to- week! At the moment, I’m loving my healthy version of “fish and chips;” crispy skin salmon with homemade sweet potato chips seasoned with spices and served with an avocado dipping sauce. My toddler Gracie loves this too.
What advice would you give to families navigating special dietary requirements?
Navigating special dietary requirements can be a little challenging at first but here are some tips I hope help you along your way to better health:
Keep it simple. Use simple ingredients.
Stick to whole and real foods, as close to their natural state as possible
Avoid packaged food as much as possible (this is what can often complicate the process with having to read and interpret labels)
Stick for fresh food as much as you can
Try new recipes and ingredients you haven’t cooked with before
Get your kids involved in the kitchen. The more involvement they have with food, the better their relationship with food will become and the more willing they will be to trying new foods
Start with a well-stocked pantry and fridge. Having healthy options on hand makes meal time easier
Plan ahead. Plan your week of meals on the weekend prior. This will help to reduce food stress at meal times
Be kind on yourself. Allow a little extra time and space at first. Seek support where you can.
If you are looking for help with what to stock in a healthy, gluten, dairy and sugar free kitchen, the Live Love Nourish Pantry Detox e-book is currently on sale for AU$5. The e-book includes an extensive list of ingredients to stock, healthy swaps and alternatives and money-saving tips.
As a friend of Healing Gracie’s Gut receive a $50 discount off The Live Love Nourish 8 Week Online Program using the code NOURISH at the checkout. The program is an online guide to help you live a healthier and happier life and includes 8 weeks of meal plans all done for you, (all free from gluten, dairy and sugar) shoppings lists, nutritional guides and support to develop a healthy relationship with food.
After hearing how much Gracie loved the Live Love Nourish ‘free from’ banana bread Casey-Lee is kindly sharing this amazing recipe. The Live Love Nourish Banana Bread is free from gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, eggs and sugar!
We’ve been on Chef Steps again (one of my husbands favourite websites!) after making the appletouille which was a huge hit I wanted to make something that was AIP compliant but also the whole family could enjoy.
As anyone on AIP knows you have to cut out all nightshades, which means no tomato sauce, so we’ve come up with our own version which is just as delicious.
Roasted Root Vegetable Ratatouille with Nomato Sauce
Founded by Mum of three boys Skye Abrahams, Packed is a Melbourne business supplying real food lunchboxes to children in pre-school to grade 3.
Launching in February, Packed only uses the best quality local produce and organic wherever possible. A new menu is prepared each term based on seasonal ingredients and no additives, preservatives or refined sugar are ever used.
I caught up with Skye recently to find out more about herself and Packed.
How did the idea for Packed come about?
Packed has come about as a combination of a life-long passion for health and food, and noticing a gap in the market for truly healthy, sustainable lunchboxes. Packed will target Melbourne schools that either don’t have a tuckshop, or only have unhealthy options. I hear many parents complaining about the greasy corner milkbar without a single gluten free option and not a vegetable in sight. Parents deserve a day or two off the lunchbox treadmill, and the quality of their children’s lunches shouldn’t have to suffer in order to achieve this.
Will you be offering special dietary requirement options?
Yes! All our lunches are refined sugar free and free from additives including preservatives, colours and flavours. We also have plenty of gluten and dairy free options available.
What does “sustainability” mean to Packed and why should parents care?
I really didn’t want to create a take away option that put a further strain on the environment. We’re early days at Packed, so we’re currently operating using Greenmark compostable packaging, but the plan is to operate using a fleet of stainless steel lunchboxes that we collect and wash each day from school (watch this space!). Parents are more time poor than ever before, with many families having both parents working. It’s easy to see why readily packaged foods are so popular. I want to provide a convenient option that eliminates packaging entirely. Many schools are promoting “nude food”, so it’s great to be able to supply a lunch that is in line with this philosophy.
What’s your approach to feeding a growing family?
In a nutshell: Just eat real food. I have overcome some serious fussy eating in our family (think plain carbs only). I find consistently offering a broad, healthy, colourful spread of food and discussing the benefits of various food with the children has really helped broaden their palate. We also talk about the detrimental affects too much sugar and “fake food” full of numbers can have on our body. I notice behavioural side effects following high amounts of sugar and especially artificial colours, so I always use that as an opportunity to talk about how that food made them feel. I don’t like to demonise any food, so I try not to get too uptight about what the boys might eat at a party or a friend’s house, but educating them on the benefits of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins and having these foods at the centre of their diet is my mandate.
What’s your boys favourite lunch?
They all have different favourites! The older two love fresh fruit, especially berries. I craved raspberries during pregnancy and it’s easy to see where that came from! I caught one of them trading pocket money for the youngest’s left over egg and lettuce sandwich, so that is evidently a current fave! My youngest loves a hot meal, so in the cooler months I send leftovers in a thermos for him. I’m hoping to be out at schools with a pot of warm soup as part of our “Packed” lunch service in the winter months!
What’s the one food you couldn’t live without?
Another tricky one! I’m going to say avocado. How good are avocados?! Fortunately, all three of my boys like avocado, so that is a super easy lunch if I’m short on time. So full of vitamins and healthy fats to fill them up. I remember travelling overseas when my youngest had just started solids. Not wanting to rely on packet food, but not having access to a kitchen, bubs enjoyed many a mashed avo, mashed banana, natural yoghurt, or squashed peach!
Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with cold water at least twice their volume. Set aside to soak overnight.
The next day, drain the chickpeas well and combine them with the onion, garlic, parsley, and coriander. For the best results, use a meat grinder for the next part. Put the chickpea mixture once through the machine, set to its finest setting, then pass it through the machine for a second time. If you don't have a meat grinder, use a food processor. Blitz the mix in batches, pulsing each for 30 to 40 seconds, until it is finely chopped, but not mushy or pasty, and holds itself together.
Once processed, add the spices, baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt, flour, and water. Mix well by hand until smooth and uniform. Cover the mixture and leave it in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or until ready to use
Fill a deep, heavy-bottomed medium saucepan with enough oil to come 6-7 cm up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil to 176C.
With wet hands, press 1 tablespoon of the mixture in the palm of your hand to form a patty or a ball the size of a small walnut, about a scant 1 ounce (you can also use a wet ice-cream scoop for this).
Sprinkle the balls evenly with sesame seeds and deep-fry them in batches for 4 minutes, until well browned and cooked through. It is important they really dry out on the inside, so make sure they get enough time in the oil. Drain in a colander lined with paper towels and serve at once.
Serve with tahina Sauce, pickled turnips, humous and fresh vegetables.
If you have time weigh each falafel out to 43gms
I would like to give a very warm welcome to the lovely Georgia Harding from Well Nourished. Georgia is a Naturopath with over 20 years experience living in sunny Queensland with her two lovely children and husband.
As a background, I stumbled across Georgia, via her Well Nourished Lunchbox Facebook group (which has amassed a huge following!) and swiftly purchased her Well Nourished Lunchbox e-book which has now become a firm favourite in our household.
Fun question to start with! What was the last book you read?
Con Iggulden Conqueror Series – a series of five books that basically tell the life story of Genghis Khan, they were brilliant. The most fascinating part for me is learning how the Mongols survived trekking the harshest climate consuming mostly milk (from their horses and goats), dried meat and root vegetables (while they lasted) and when desperate, they nicked an artery and drank the blood of their mares. Even the heaviest reads come back to food for me – ha ha!
What was your inspiration for starting Well Nourished?
Definitely my kids. I really wanted to help families to feed their kids well. The predictions for the long term health and wellbeing of this generation is pretty dire. Starting my website was my way of sharing my experience as a Naturopath and my passion for making whole foods utterly delicious to make a difference.
How have your own health problems shaped the way you eat?
I’ve always eaten pretty well, I was very lucky to be raised by a very health conscious mum. I’ve been seriously ill twice in my lifetime and I suppose this has actually forced me to look beyond food to heal. On both occasions stress, unresolved grief and pushing myself beyond reasonable limits contributed a lot to my health decline. Eating well comes very naturally, I love cooking – but managing my stress, putting myself first occasionally is a work in progress!
Has your philosophy on food changed since having children?
I suppose I’ve been forced to loosen up a bit. I found with my first child I was very strict around food which was okay when she was little but when she began school and socialising with other kids I had to back of a lot in order for her to develop a healthy relationship with food. Kids are human, it’s normal for them to want what others have so I feed my family very well when I’m in charge, but at parties and sleep overs, they make their own choices (with my guidance and ongoing food education of course). When they don’t make good choices, we talk about how they feel and now my daughter is 12 (and has gorged herself on junk plenty of times) she is now very aware of how food makes her feel and I’m so proud of how she is able to make very healthy choices these days. Paves the way for her being able to self regulate as an adult.
What top 3 tips would you give to families looking to transition to a more wholesome way of eating?
Start slowly, choose one meal or food group and focus on that. Fill your pantry and fridge with mostly whole foods so there is less temptation to choose processed meals and snacks.
Talk to your kids (and spouse) about the importance of making changes and how eating whole food helps their body and brain to be stronger, smarter etc;
Get them involved, ask for their feedback and support. Encourage them to help you when shopping and cooking – kids who feel they have had some involvement in their meal are way more likely to eat it.
What advice would you give to parents whose children have food intolerances/allergies but are going through a fussy eating stage?
All kids will go through a fussy stage at some point. It’s important to never give in to it and substitute a healthy whole food with nutritionally void food (because ‘something is better than nothing’). I understand that it is tough, but in my experience preventing food fussiness is easier than reversing it and if you give in once, your kids learn that they choose (where as you choose what and when, they choose how much). I have a whole library of information and strategies written on this topic which I’m hoping to release this year.
What’s your go-to family meal?
We eat such a varied diet – the upside of having a compulsively creative cook in charge!! If I’m feeling lazy though it will be some kind of simply cooked protein and a big salad.
What exciting things have you got lined up in 2017?
My website is in the process of being rebranded and rebuilt. I’m also developing an online library (of mostly podcasts) to help busy parents to raise food loving kids (and banish food fussiness). I’ve teamed up with a fabulous psychotherapist to share this fabulous info with loads of actionable strategies to really get kids eating and loving whole foods like my own do. Also a small pictorial cookbook of easy, whole food recipes that even little kids can cook from. Busy year!!
Please note as an affiliate of Well Nourished I will receive a small commission from the sale of each e-book that is made via my website. This helps to cover some of the running costs with maintaining my blog and also go towards some of Gracie’s medical expenses.
To make the wrappers, measure the flour into a large bowl and add the salt. Stir to combine. Pour in the hot water and mix it until it comes together to form a rough dough. Turn it out onto a work surface and knead it for a minute or two until it forms a smooth, pliable but stiff dough. Add a tiny splash more water if the dough is too dry or crumbly. Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave it to sit for half an hour.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, put all of the filling ingredients into a food processor and pulse it a few times until it’s all quite finely chopped and evenly combined.
Once the dough is rested place it on a lightly floured surface and roll it out as thinly as you can while still keeping it strong enough to hold the filling. Cut eight to ten circles, 3 to 3 1/2 inches in diameter (I used the top of a pint glass and the size worked quite well) from the flattened dough.
Working one at a time put a heaped tsp of the filling into the centre of a wrapper. Wet one half of edge of the filling side of the circle and gently fold it in half around the filling. Carefully fold along one side of the semi circle so that the front is crimped onto a flat back. Press the crimps to the flat back to seal the dumpling and very gently plump it out at the bottom so that it can sit up right. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.
Pour about 2 cups of water into a large wok with a bamboo steamer. Place it over high heat and bring the water to simmer. Gently place the gyoza's into the steamer, cover with the lid. Leave to steam for 6-8 minutes and then gently remove the gyoza with a spoon.
If you want them a bit crisp, heat up the remaining 2 tsp of oil in a large frying pan and place the cooked gyoza in. Let cook on one side for about 4 or 5 minutes until they’re crispy and golden, and then flip them over to brown on the other side. Repeat until they’ve crisped up to your liking.
Server with extra coconut amino's for dipping sauce.