Sunday, March 27, 2011

Banana Spring Rolls!

Well, the day that I never thought would come has indeed come. My beautiful little B is refusing her bananas, the cooked ones that is. She will eat them uncooked (she has one or two small slices each day) but any more than her "alloted" one or two slices will give her issues for days--- severe diarrhea, mucous diapers, reflux, the whole nine. So we are stuck! She has a limited amount of safe foods and with her refusing to eat many of them lately, I think it is time to dust off the measuring cups and go back to the drawing board. . . er, cutting board rather. . . once more. So tonight I bring you the first of several new variations-- banana spring rolls!!! (These are similar to Turon, a dish from the Philippines).

Pseudo Spring Roll Wrappers
3/4 cup Millet flour (sorghum or masa should also be fine)
1/2 cup Coconut flour (again, sorghum, millet or masa should also be fine)
1 5/8 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder or baking soda or arrowroot

Mix all dry ingredients together well. Add water and mix until no lumps remain in the batter. Batter will be very thing-- it will almost seem too thin. Set aside to rest for 15-20 minutes. 

While batter is resting, heat a skillet to med low-low heat. Be sure that your skillet is free of imperfection (no nicks, no peeling, etc). Have a wet but not dripping linen towel on hand. Other tools: a spatula safe for the skillet and a silicone basting brush.  I also prepared several squares of damp paper towels (you will place these between the wrappers when stacking them on a plate). Have a plate ready for the wrappers to cool on.

Once you are set up and ready to go, wipe the skillet with the wet kitchen towel until the "sizzling" sound reduces (you will still hear it, it will just be quieter). Set the towel aside. take the basting brush and begin "painting" batter on the skillet. If the batter doesn't cover completely, no worries, just go over it again. You want to make thin, even layers of batter (when wrapper has cooked, you should be able to see through it). The wrappers don't take long at all to cook; once you notice the wrapper "drying" in the skillet, gently pick it up with the spatula and flip it over. Once fully cooked on each side (will be white not brown!) place on top of a damp paper towel square on your plate. Scrape any leftover wrapper off of the pan so that your pan is clean again and start over. One batch should make at least 8-10 wrappers roughly the size of small soft tacos.  As you set the finished wrappers aside, be sure to layer the damp paper towels in between each. Cover them once completed-- you want them to be soft and pliable for the banana wrapping!!!!

Banana Rolls!
8-10 of the wrappers from above
2 large ripe bananas (be sure to use the light brown speckled ones!!!)
2 Tbsp of oil (I used canola with some and then used half and half of canola and coconut for some others)
1 cup of coconut sugar (brown sugar or maple sugar would also work quite nicely)
Shredded coconut OR quinoa flakes OR oats (all optional, I used the coconut flakes)

Cut each banana lengthwise in half and then cut each length into thirds. Wrap banana chunks (as B calls them!) in the following manner: place banana in the lower end of the wrapper. Sprinkle your sugar of choice over top of the banana (use your own discretion). Roll up the bananas like a burrito, rolling once, closing the ends in, and then completing the roll. Wet your fingers with water and dab the rolls gently to seal the ends and all seams. PREPARE ALL ROLLS IN ADVANCE OF THE COOKING!!!! Grab a pair of tongs and set aside! 

Heat the oil on low heat (especially if you are using coconut oil). Once heated, place a banana roll in the oil (with tongs!). Cook on both sides and remove from the skillet once nicely browned. If you use coconut oil, it will brown a bit darker. Roll each roll in coconut flakes (or quinoa flakes or oats) if desired and set aside on parchment paper. Repeat with all rolls. 

You can serve them just like this, but if your little one is like B and needs the banana to be fully cooked, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, line up the little rolls on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes, uncovered. I knew they were cooked when the bananas felt mushy inside of the rolls (I pressed the rolls gently). These are a sweet treat, so serving them with ice cream or even by themselves would make a lovely treat or dessert. 

Enjoy! Indulge! There will be more recipes to come-- hopefully ones that are slightly healthier!!! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mama Will Never Let You Fall

B has been fairly enamored with climbing up and down the stairs lately, normal for her age right? Sadly, she inherited her mama's clumsiness, so we keep a careful eye on her and walk behind her when she climbs. Yesterday, she looked back and smiled at me as we went up the stairs and said, "Mama will never let you fall."

I have been telling her this since she was tiny, whenever she seemed nervous about climbing higher on the playground, riding in the sling as we were running towards the train (ahh, sweet memories), or walking through the snow. Even when she was very little and we couldn't figure out what was wrong, I always told her, "Mama will help you. Mama will figure this out." I always wanted her to feel safe, to know that I would be there to help her if anything went wrong, to catch her so she wouldn't fall.

We have had a blissfully happy break from food trials since the peanut butter fail and now that birthday celebrations, visits from company, and important doctor appointments have come and gone, it is time to get back on the horse again and try. Try something new. Try and figure out new ways for food to be accepted by her body and her emerging picky toddler tastes. Try and not hold my breath too much and over analyze. . . And most of all, to be there to catch her and to keep her from falling.

We have been lucky in the scheme of things-- she may have 20 fails at this point but she also has 13 safe foods. She may have had shock reactions to some foods, but many failed foods have been pulled in time and left much less damage in the wake of a reaction. I have been able to nurse her with a very easy elimination diet. She has even finally accepted the Splash, 6-8 oz a day. Her weight is awesome, even though her height percentiles are slowly creeping downwards. Fails are still a very big reality for us, however, and we haven't seen a change in fails vs. passes since we started solids now over 18 months ago, in severity or in frequency. As she gets older, I stop and wonder if I will be able to catch her every time she "falls" and has a reaction. I feel as if we have reached an age where we need to begin teaching her how to help catch herself and to help keep herself safe.

I like offering "yes"es with "no"es. We keep things simple--- "That food will make your tummy hurt; THIS food will be yummy for you!" For crumbs found on the floor-- "Those are for the birds; THIS food is for you!" But the reality creeps in--- I know I can't keep her from the unsafe foods forever and with playgroups, preschool and hopefully one day siblings down the road, we need to find ways to give her tools to cope with this reality, whether it be permanent or temporary.

When I worked as a therapist, that was my mantra: "Give them tools." I always focused my sessions on tools that could help my patients cope with everyday life and relationships, whether they stayed institutionalized for most of their lives, went on to group homes, or were able to live independently in their communities. It is my goal to approach B's FPIES with the same concept-- give her tools to not just survive but thrive, with or without reactions, with or without lists of safe and unsafe. So slowly and in age appropriate ways, we will begin introducing the concept of how to tell mama/daddy when her tummy feels funny, reinforcing who is safe to take food from, and how to tell mama/daddy if she eats something she isn't supposed to (this being the biggest new thing to work on).

With FPIES, I don't feel like there is a way to truly "win," but I do believe there is a way to catch my girl, to not let her fall, and to help her not only grow, but thrive, in the face of this pointless disorder. With these tools, I hope to give her more time to be herself and less time to be a child overshadowed by a diagnosis. FPIES, you will not define us. And I, her mama, will not let you make her fall.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baby B's Burger Delight

We have officially embarked upon true toddler pickiness and boy oh boy does it STINK! So I need to get back to the drawing board and come up with some more creative offerings. Here is the first of (hopefully) many to follow. She climbed up to the table herself when my back was turned (still working on dinner) and started gobbling it up right away. I call it a success. At least for tonight. . . ;) Enjoy the recipe!

Baby B's Burger Delight
(makes 3 small patties, about 3-4” in diameter each)

1 fillet of white fish
¼ c hemp seeds
2 Tbsp flour (I used masa, but I bet sorghum or millet flours would work nicely)
2 Tbsp quinoa flakes
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp honey

Defrost, rinse and pat dry the white fish. Cut into small pieces. Set aside. Measure ¼ cup hemp seeds (roasted or unroasted) and pulverize in food processor. Once completely ground, add whitefish pieces to food processor gradually and blend well. Once all pieces are ground in the food processor, it should resemble tuna salad. Add in remaining ingredients, mixing well between additions with the food processor. Remove mixture from processor once well blended and place in bowl. Set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp safe oil in a skillet on medium heat. Divide fish mixture into thirds and form a patty with each third (will be very moist but able to be loosely formed-- again, think juicy tuna salad). Pan fry each patty, turning to ensure that each side becomes golden brown. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees farenheit. Once heated, bake patties in oven for 15-20 minutes (if browning too much, cover pan with foil). Turn as needed. Serve alone or on a safe bread/roll, or with lemon wedges.

*** Notes: The most important ingredients are the hemp seeds and fish. You can eliminate the rest of the ingredients and still create a nice fish patty, just add a safe oil, arrowroot, or honey to create a better binding effect, if needed. If hemp is not safe, grinding up any seed to use in its place should work well. It would be interesting to try this recipe with poultry, pork, beef, or lamb.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Alright everyone-- I have been a complete and total blogging slacker! It was B's birthday and I finessed my hippo cake (!!!). Was so proud! I used the valentine's day cupcake recipe BUT instead of using just millet, I used half millet and half sorghum for the base cake flour. Came out beautifully and VERY cake like-- think pound cake. I will post pics soon!

Also, new recipes will be on the horizon but this week I get to host a fabulous FPES mama and her darling LO as we take a jaunt to Jersey for an appointment at the Pediatric Center of Rare and Complex Disease. I am hoping this consult brings us some answers and direction in further improving our everyday life with the beast we know as FPIES. We will be having some tests done to determine her potential reactivity to dairy/whey/casein and if she shows no reactivity, we will be pursuing a (gasp!) dairy trial toward the end of April or beginning of May! Maybe there will be an actual safe common FPIES trigger for us. . .

Keep posted, keep baking and help keep hope alive! Don't forget to support the FPIES United family Fund!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Media blitz!

FPIES families are spreading the word! Check out these great stories that made the news!

There will be an interview on Good Morning America, Tuesday March 15 2011! Please watch, please support!