Browse Month by February 2016
Desserts

Koko Dairy Free strawberry and banana ice cream

Koko Dairy Free Strawberry and banana ice cream - A Free From Life

Koko dairy free strawberry and banana ice cream - A Free From Life

My son loves Koko Dairy Free coconut milk and occasionally, I buy the chocolate flavoured version. We hadn’t tried the other flavours though, so when I was sent some from the lovely people at Koko, I decided to do something a little different.

This light and creamy dessert combines coconut strawberry milk with fresh banana for a delicious dairy free alternative to ice cream.

I even made this without an ice cream maker and yes, it does require a bit of attention, but it’s possible and turns out, in my opinion, just as good.

Koko dairy free strawberry and banana ice cream - A Free From Life

 

Koko Dairy Free Strawberry and banana ice cream - A Free From Life
Coconut, strawberry and banana dairy free ice cream
Print Recipe
An easy, no churn vegan ice cream that makes a tasty, creamy dessert
Servings
8-10
Servings
8-10
Koko Dairy Free Strawberry and banana ice cream - A Free From Life
Coconut, strawberry and banana dairy free ice cream
Print Recipe
An easy, no churn vegan ice cream that makes a tasty, creamy dessert
Servings
8-10
Servings
8-10
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Pour the strawberry milk in to a large lidded container and place in the freezer. Take out at half hour intervals and whisk.
  2. Whizz a chopped banana in a food processor until smooth. Add the frozen coconut milk and whizz again until fully incorporated.
  3. Return the strawberry/banana mix back to the lidded container and freeze until required.
  4. Allow to defrost a little before scooping out and serving.
Recipe Notes

The nice thing about Koko Dairy Free milk is that the coconut flavour is subtle, not overpowering. The milk is clean and fresh to taste and the fact they add calcium is a bonus and peace of mind when raising a dairy free child.

Free From Farmhouse
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Travelling with 5

In-flight special meal request that made my gluten and dairy intolerant son ill

Airlines traveller's guide to In-Flight Meals - A Free From Life

Why we always have problems ordering a special meal when we fly

Airlines traveller's guide to In-Flight Meals - A Free From Life

If I’ve said this once, I’ll say it a thousand times again and will keep saying it until such a time that things change. Why can’t airlines get it right when it comes to catering for food intolerances?

We’ve just been abroad and flew with Ryanair and whilst I detest this airline because the ‘cheap’ flights come at a cost of sitting in the middle or back of the aircraft, having no room to store your luggage in the overhead locker because you didn’t get on early enough and not being able to get any food because they’ve sold out by the time they get to you, what I do prefer is that you have a menu, with a key, so that you can choose something suitable for your dietary needs (if they have it, that is).

The non low cost airlines might provide you with a sandwich if it’s a short haul flight, or a full meal if you’re going further afield, but apart from guessing what will be the best option for you (do I go gluten free and hope it’s got no dairy in it, or do I go low lactose and hope it’s also gluten free?), you have no way of knowing what food you will be presented with.

This ‘letter’ to British Airways highlights our recent experience and it’s not an isolated incident. Unfortunately, something like this happens every time we travel.

Dear British Airways,
We’ve been here before haven’t we? In fact, this is the third time now: the last three times we’ve taken a flight to go on holiday.
Our requests are simple, but they don’t seem to meet the criteria for importance. Let me say it again though, my son is dairy and gluten intolerant. The pairing of these two intolerances is where the problem lies. As I have said before in my letters of complaint, we are unable to order him a suitable meal when we fly.
Like most other airlines, you offer a low lactose option or a gluten free meal, but no option for both. On our first long haul flight two years ago, I rang customer services prior to flying in order to explain the predicament. I told the operator my son was only 5-years old, so was there an option that would suit him (meaning, something age-appropriate). Unfortunately, this was miss-interpreted and he ended up with a child’s meal, containing macaroni cheese, a yoghurt and a chocolate biscuit.
On our flight home, I ordered him a gluten free meal, which came with yoghurt and some other dairy-containing breakfast items. Since then, I’ve tried a vegan meal (salad sandwich and vegetable pasta) and a low-lactose meal.
The low-lactose meal, which in itself is a risk as it may not be completely dairy free, caused my son to be sick four times. Whilst I can’t prove that the meal made him ill, he was the only one who ate it, no one else was sick and the poor boy had to endure a ten-hour flight to America feeling rotten. On the return flight, I was worried about him eating anything at all, but the crew to their credit were wonderful and managed to put together some chicken and bacon, with salad and a gluten free bread roll.
What do I do next time we fly though, as I feel like we have run out of options?
I’m afraid I’ve lost faith in the catering system of your flights. I don’t want to put my son in the position where he might get ill and I don’t want to risk ordering a meal when I don’t know what is in it: I was amazed to discover that the crew is not given details of the ingredients of the special meals ordered. They have the allergy information for all the other food on board, but not those. Surely, this is crucial information that both the crew and consumer needs.
British Airways, we may be in the minority, but please listen to these requests. Many people have multiple food intolerances: gluten and dairy in particular being a common pairing. If only you could provide more information regarding on-flight meal offerings, it would allow us to make informed choices about which special request meal to choose.
Food intolerances are not life threatening, but they can cause a great deal of discomfort for an individual, should they consume something that their bodies cannot deal with. My son, to his credit, did not complain one bit about feeling sick and vomiting on our latest flight. That’s why I’m complaining on his behalf and I will continue to do so every time we fly until hopefully someone will get the message.

What do you think? Time for a change?

Health

Sugar fasting and eating healthily for Lent

Green Smoothie - A Free From Life

Although I try to be healthy most of the year round, every Lent, I make a special effort. As a Catholic, growing up we were always asked to give something up for Lent. It’s supposed to be a period of reflection and prayer in preparation for Easter, one of the most important dates in the Catholic church.

Most people have heard of Lent even if they don’t celebrate or participate in it. Traditionally, Shrove Tuesday was the day when people used up their larder ingredients in preparation for the fasting period of Lent. That’s how we came to have pancakes on this day, because it’s an easy way to use up butter, eggs, milk and flour.

For me, Lent is a period of time, with a beginning and an end. That means I can discipline myself that little bit more, to make sure I don’t waiver from my goals. I give up sugar and I eat as cleanly and as healthy as I can.

The first time I did this, it was difficult, but since then, I’ve included less and less sugar into my diet, so each time I do it, it gets that bit easier. This is my third year and I’m keeping to this little tradition I’ve started because over the course of the year, a little bit of sugar does creep back in to my diet.

That’s fine though, I’m not beating myself up about it. If I fancy a cherry and almond slice from Costa then I’ll have it, but during Lent, there will be nothing like that.

I’ve started my week on a soup and smoothie cleanse. The soup is my simple leek and swede recipe and I made a big batch of it at the beginning of the week to see me through.

Gluten, dairy and nightshade free soup

The smoothie is apple, cucumber, celery and spinach, topped up with coconut water.

Green Smoothie - A Free From Life

Breakfast has been my overnight oats, with some banana and almond butter stirred in to make it extra filling.

Overnight oats - A Free From Life

 

Snacks have been mixed nuts and I’ve had a meal in the evening with the rest of the family.

I won’t carry on eating like this until the 24th March, when Lent is officially over, but I will keep you informed about what I add to my diet and how I get on.

Giving up sugar is easier than giving up coffee.

For me that is anyway. I once gave up coffee for Lent and found it ever so hard. Even though I only have one coffee a day, it’s kind of like my one vice and if I’m giving up sugar, I think I will keep my morning coffee as something to look forward to. I just won’t be having a sweet treat to go with it that’s all.

Have you given up anything for Lent?