- What are the Top 8 Allergens?
- You Say Gluten Free but You Use Oats?
- What is EoE?
- How did we know our child had it?
- What did you do for EoE?
- If I don’t have EoE but have food allergies. Can I still use your recipes?
- What allergies/food restrictions does your family have?
- Are the allergies for EoE the same for everyone?
- Why should we use your recipes?
- Are you a medical professional?
- Can the coconut in most recipes be substituted?
- Pea Protein replacement?
- Can the corn products be replaced?
- How do you replace rice allergens in your recipes?
- Are you vegan?
What are the Top 8 Allergens?
- Tree Nuts
How is Coconut classified?
In Canada, according to Food Allergies Canada, coconut is classified as a fruit not a tree nut. This may vary in your country and some may have reactions to coconut with a nut allergy. Always talk to your doctor before using and consuming coconut to see if it is suitable for you.
How is Nutmeg Classified?
In Canada, according to Food Allergies Canada, nutmeg is classified as a seed. This may vary in your country and some may have reactions to nutmeg with a nut allergy. Always talk to your doctor before using and consuming nutmeg to see if it is suitable for you.
You Say Gluten Free but You Use Oats?
In Canada, the Canadian Celiac Association cites oats as safe for Coeliacs if the oats are certified as gluten free in Canada. If they are not specifically labelled as certified gluten free. Oats may not be suitable for all coeliacs as Australia and New Zealand list is as a food not suitable for coeliacs and some people react to oats as well as wheat, barley, and rye. Always talk to your doctor before using and consuming oats to see if they are suitable for you.
What is EoE?
EoE is a chronic condition where your oesophagus reacts to certain allergens and eosinophils or white blood cells collect in your oesophagus.
The blood cells cause inflammation which can make it difficult to swallow and other symptoms can occur in different people. The allergies are cellular rather than an IgE mediated allergy (anaphylactic), can show up immediately to weeks later, so finding triggers can be extremely difficult. Symptoms can vary from person to person with EoE, as well so diagnosis can be really difficult.
There is currently no cure for EoE, only treatment and management.
For a better understanding we recommend you check out the Food Allergies of Canada website. Always consult your doctor for diagnosis, testing, and changing your diet.
How did we know our child had it?
We knew there was something going on with our child since he was born. He had major food aversions, he didn’t feed well, and took a long time to eat among many other symptoms. The older he got the longer it took him to eat a meal and the pickier he became. He experienced regular dysphagia (difficulty swallowing food) and he was not gaining weight or growing. We saw many doctors about his issues but it took a very long time to diagnose him.
The turning point for us was when our child choked on his brother’s birthday dinner and couldn’t clear it. He was still talking so we knew his airway was open but he couldn’t swallow anything, including his own spit.
We went to the hospital and the food impaction was removed from his oesophagus and we met with the paediatric GI team that day. They had done an endoscope while removing the food from blocking his throat. The pictures from the scope and biopsies that were done with it confirmed the head GI doctor’s suspicion that our child had EoE.
We finally had a diagnosis but that was only the beginning.
What did you do for EoE?
We follow our GI specialist’s treatment plan.
We started with a medication to reduce the esophageal swelling and implemented a very strict elimination diet. Our child is under excellent care by his health team. In conjunction with a GP, Paediatrician, Dietician, and GI team we have been able to get him into remission and slowly do trials for foods under the guidance of his team. The medications were removed as they were not suitable for him.
We are lucky as the allergen triggers are in the top 8 (plus mustard) for our child. Not all those with EoE have allergies in the Top 8, some are more varied, some are environmental, some require medications, and some are on elemental diets and feeding tubes.
We are lucky our child knows they can enjoy food and that we here at CutsMustard.com are doing our best to find substitutes and alternatives to make sure that our EoE child can still have similar meals and treats that their friends do.
EoE treatment plans are all specific to the individual and should only be made with your own healthcare team. What works for one person is not what works for others. We cannot stress enough how important it is for anyone with EoE or who thinks they have it to get a team together that specialises in EoE treatment.
If I don’t have EoE but have food allergies. Can I still use your recipes?
Always check the ingredients in the recipes to make sure they are suitable for your allergies and possible same family allergens. Any ingredients and products we like and recommend should also always be carefully checked to make sure they are safe for you.
Remember that “may contain” statements are not required in most countries and that the same product may be made in different plants with different exposures to allergens and ingredients.
We recommend contacting the product companies directly to check that production lines are safe for you and that cross contamination isn’t an issue with that product.
What allergies/food restrictions does your family have?
We are a bigger family and have lots of allergies.
All but one of our children have allergies, some are to environmental triggers (cats, dogs, horses), medication allergies, and one anaphylactic food allergy. The IgE food allergy is to cantaloupe and unfortunately is one our child with EoE has.
We are under the care of a doctor (allergist) who is very familiar with EoE and recommended by our GI team who does the primary EoE care for us. In conjunction with the whole medical team for EoE the kids are tested regularly and under the care of their allergist.
The one child without allergies is lactose intolerant and under the care of his paediatrician and GP.
Katherine has to avoid gluten, dairy, refined sugar, and caffeine for post-viral Chronic fatigue and for post viral autonomic issues under the direction of a medical team.
For more information on allergies please consult with your doctor. The Food Allergy of Canada has more information on food allergies.
Are the allergies for EoE the same for everyone?
Every person with EoE doesn’t necessarily have the same allergies or symptoms. The spectrum of severity and allergies is very large. Some people live on an elemental diet where nutrients are broken down for those highly allergic. Others only have one allergen they have to avoid. Some triggers may be food related, others are environmental, some are never found.
EoE can have the same varying effect on those with it. There are some who need eating physio and speech therapy; others have very little on the treatment side. This is why it is so important to get a medical team together who understands EoE.
Why should we use your recipes?
The short answer —
We have been where you are and want to make your journey easier.
The long answer—
We remember how distraught we were when we first found out all the food restrictions our kids were going to have. There were lots of tears from them and us. We mourned the foods they wouldn’t have, the restaurants they would never eat at, and the celebrations they would be left out of.
It took a while to wrap our heads around what this diagnosis meant for our family and our child. It took a lot of research to find substitutions and products that worked for the Six Food Elimination Diet (SFED) and to be Top 8 allergen free. If we can save you some of that time to spend instead on other things you enjoy.
Making most things from scratch is time consuming enough, we are here to make the process quicker and easier for you. We also have done loads of trial and error on the recipes. If we can help you get dinners your kids like on the table for dinner and not have you have to make the mistakes we have with what may work and what really doesn’t.
Are you a medical professional?
No. We are a family with many food restrictions and allergies.
Always consult with your doctors about what is best for you and your health. Any treatment, diagnosis and questions about your health should be directed to them.
We started CutsMustard.com to help other families with allergies find recipes that may be suitable for them and to help take the pressure of living with allergies. We are here as a support and resource to be used with your team. Always verify meal plans with your dietician and monitor if the recipes fit your health needs with your medical team.
Can the coconut in most recipes be substituted?
Yes. We provide substitutions for various ingredients in each individual recipe in a section before the recipe.
For general coconut replacement:
Coconut oil- can be replaced by pea protein base soy free/ dairy free margarines and butters.
Coconut milk- oat milk - fuller fat, if available
Coconut cream- reduced gluten free oat milk. In a pot on the stove pour in the oat milk and slowly simmer it until reduced by ¼ -⅓ of the original volume. Watch carefully, as it can burn easily and quickly. Adding a tablespoon of cornstarch or arrowroot starch mixed into equal parts of cornstarch anoat milk and then adding it to the simmering milk. ***This will not work for coconut whipped cream.
Yoghurts that are Coconut based- try the gluten free oat based ones.
Coconut based cheeses - check for pea protein based cheeses
Coconut aminos - finding a good soy free/ coconut free/ wheat free replacement can be really tough. We recommend using rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar, salt, and a clear broth made from water, dried mushrooms, onion powder, and garlic powder. It will not replace soy sauce as a dip or on rice but it would be suitable in recipes calling for soy sauce or coconut aminos.
Pea Protein replacement?
It really depends on which products you are using. Pea protein shows up in many top 8 allergen free processed products. Below are a few things to watch out for:
Vegan butters and margarines- check coconut based ones to see if they are suitable for you.
Vegan cheeses - some products use a pea protein, opt for coconut based ones instead.
Aquafaba- sometimes a potato starch can be used in recipes.
Can the corn products be replaced?
There are products that can be used to replace things like :
Cornstarch — use arrowroot, if it is safe for you.
Corn nibs - omit in recipes where they are added, like soups.
Corn based products, and products that may cause an allergic reaction are everywhere for someone with a corn allergy. Everything from how the fruit is ripened, what sugars are used, to what meats can be used based on the feed to some animals can all be things people with severe corn allergies need to consider.
We highly recommend following blogs and Instagram recipes made by those who have corn allergies, too. They understand the magnitude of what having a corn allergy means and can help guide you better than we can. Living with a corn allergy can be extremely tough.
How do you replace rice allergens in your recipes?
We suggest switching the
Noodles, Rice based - in pasta recipes to corn or lentil based ones if they are suitable for you.
Rice- itself to gluten free quinoa, if it is safe for you.
Rice Vinegar/Wine- apple cider vinegar, spirit vinegar, or another "safe for you" vinegar. Rice wines can be omitted.
Beyond these few substitutions we recommend checking out blogs or instagram recipes by others who are also rice free.
Are you vegan?
We don’t hold to a strict vegan diet but other than actual meat in certain recipes our food is usually suitable for vegans. There is more to veganism than just not putting animal products in foods and buying products that are not made from animals. Many people are vegan due to health issues and allergies, as well as wanting to protect animals from harmful practises.
If you are making recipes for someone who is vegan, please take time to ask why they are vegan and why they follow this lifestyle. Ask them what brands they recommend and use regularly so you know they are safe for them. I
It is also important to remember that animal products can be used in places we don’t think about. Here at CutsMustard.com we use products that are animal free and animal cruelty free whenever we can. Here are a few things you need to consider when buying vegan friendly products to use in your cooking and baking:
- Use items that are certified Vegan. Just because the product label doesn’t list an animal product it may still not be suitable for vegans. It may contain ingredients tested on animals or be processed with animal parts or in a way that is harmful to animals.
- Sugar- refined sugar in North America and some countries is bleached using a process that uses bone char. To ensure your sugar is vegan research needs to be done on the brand. Contact them to confirm it is safe for your needs. Organic sugar is usually not made with bone char and in the EU sugar is not to be refined with it. In parts of Canada some companies use it in specific plants. Some batches of a brand may contain bone char while others don’t. Candy is something that is not using vegan friendly sugar.
- Dyes and chemical ingredients- when using food safe dyes we prefer to opt for naturally flavoured ones. We often use spinach powder, beet powder, turmeric,etc. or specifically vegan dyes as they are free from animal testing or made from animals.
- Sprinkles and shellac- most people don’t realise that candies and baking sprinkles can contain shellac, which comes from crushed beetles.
- Honey- it is made from an animal and is debated by some as okay, it is best to omit it. Replace it with maple syrup, date sugar/pureed dates, or vegan honey (dandelion honey)
- Figs- this is another ingredient under debate. It is best to check before adding it to a dish, if you are making it for a friend who is vegan.
Being a vegan is more than just not eating meat and animal products. There is a lot of thought that goes into why someone is vegan as well as planning for their diet. It is always best to consult with a registered dietician and doctor for proper nutrition, vitamin, and protein planning on a vegan diet.