I’ve mentioned before that Jonathan has been struggling with eczema. Our pediatrician suspected food allergies, although he was not old enough to test. Then in the last few months Jonathan has had several incidents with severe hives and welts, mostly after eating, but not always. At his 9 month well-check last week our pediatrician said it was time to get him tested. Then 2 hours later he had another episode of hives and welts after eating—so scary. Thank goodness for Benadryl.
Off to the allergist we went. Jonathan tested positive for allergies to not 1, not 2, but 5 major allergens. Wheat, Soy, Tree nuts (tested for Macadamia and Almonds), Peanuts, and Egg (even though we don’t eat eggs they tested to check). The allergist said to stop feeding him all of these foods (we hadn’t yet given him any nuts), and that I also needed to stop eating all of these foods because I am still nursing Jonathan. Pretty much anything said after that went straight out the window. I was so overwhelmed. Jonathan’s tiredness + major hives and welts all over his back = a total meltdown. The doctor left (she said I looked like I had my hands full—um, yes but…), and I just stood there and cried. Yikes!
Now that I’ve had a few days to collect myself and talk with friends whose kids also suffer from allergies I’m feeling a little bit better. It’s still totally overwhelming and also completely unknown. We have an appointment with a different doctor/practice next week and Irving is coming to the appointment with us. We hope to get a lot of answers—I’ll come prepared with questions this time!—and hopefully can get a sense of which of these allergies are severe and which might just be sensitivities (and maybe even which ones he can grow out of, fingers crossed). I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime I’ve been going back to the drawing board to come up with foods that check all the right boxes. I feel like I did when I first became vegan, learning the ropes again. Thankfully I live near a Whole Foods and a natural foods co-op so “free” foods are a lot easier to come by—I’m looking at you delicious cupcakes! I’m trying to eat a lot of whole foods—veggies, rice, fruits—and also being mindful of protein. This is the first time as a vegan I’ve ever been concerned about protein intake—c’mon—no tofu, nuts, or seitan?—although I know with a balance of whole foods it will be fine.
In the absence of my BFFs Almond and Soy Milk, one of my newest allergen free creations is this creamy dreamy Coconut Hemp Milk. And no, I will never spell it “mylk.” Just no. The sweetness of the coconut plus the nuttiness of the hemp blend together to make a rich, creamy milk that is great for drinking straight out of the glass, for baking, morning smoothies, and in my Hippie Breakfast Bowl. So good—I might actually like it better (don’t tell Soy and Almond). Plus homemade milk means no gross stabilizers or “bonus” ingredients. Just good-for-you whole foods. I’ll be making a fresh batch tomorrow—you should too!
Coconut Hemp Milk
½ c hemp hearts
½ c shredded coconut
5-6 c water, depending on how creamy you want the final product
3 dates, pitted —OR— 2-3T maple syrup
½ t vanilla extract
½ t cinnamon
dash of salt
Place all ingredients into your blender (I have a Vitamix, although I believe a lower powered blender would work just fine). Blend, turning the speed up to high, for a few minutes, watching as the milk gets whiter and creamier, with no obvious chunks of date remaining. Once it is creamy, strain it into a nut milk bag or a strainer lined with a piece of cheesecloth over a pitcher (I’ve got a recipe for the leftover pulp coming up!). Store milk in the refrigerator for a few days, shaking before each serving as the milk will settles. Enjoy!
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