Friday, February 25, 2011

Foods and Products

Since soy is not an option for those of us on low sulfur diets, we are sometimes even more limited than a vegan diet in terms of making dishes with loads of dairy products and eggs. Finding suitable replacements for those has been a huge asset.

For dairy products, we largely use unsweetened coconut milk from Turtle Mountain. They also have yogurt and cultured coconut milk. Ice cream requires full fat coconut milk in cans. Make sure there are no thickeners or preservatives. You can use other nut milks, like almond milk, or rice milk. All varieties of milk should sour with about a Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 1-1/2 cups milk, which gives you "buttermilk," and some nice variations thereof.

Recommend for oils a mix of butter and coconut oil for flavor. Occasionally we still use canola oil, I would much prefer safflower, but alas, safflower isn't a GM crop and is less readily available. With oils there's really no limit, since oils never contain sulfur.

Egg replacers are varied and depend on what recipe you are using. For most baking, I have found using a lot of EnerG egg replacer is good (usually twice what is called for). For binders, ground flax seed soaked in warm water is excellent. Sometimes all that is needed is some extra starch, in which case, tapioca, potato, arrowroot or even corn starch will work fine. For moisture, applesauce or pearsauce is lovely in some cases. And combinations can be interesting. Tofu is out, alas.

Cheese is tough, but I have found vegan recipes that use ground nuts, pimentos or red bell peppers with nutritional yeast, a bit of water and a whole lot of grinding for cheesey sauce. For hard cheese, you use a similar mixture, but can add Agar Agar to it to harden it. No, it isn't cheese, for those of us who love cheese so dearly, the very thought activates our salivary glands, but it's a reminder of what cheese can mean, which is important, I think.

Which brings me to the question of whether or not nutritional yeast contains sulfur as yeast extract does. If it does, since I am sulfur sensitive, especially around chelation rounds, I have no trouble at all with it. Perhaps because I'm not using a lot of it. 1/4 cup can flavor 4-6 pounds of potatoes, so overall, the intake isn't that high. If it makes you uncomfortable, exclude it, and perhaps use a different overall seasoning. It does not seem to be responsible for raising my thiol level, which is pretty noticeable to me now after nearly two years of being on this diet.

And alas, it's hard to be without dark leafy greens and many of the vegetables that contain sulfur, but I have been exploring different ways of using varieties of lettuces, and it's surprising how versatile it can be. We also juice a lot of carrots and apples around here. And celery sticks with sunflower seed butter in them rock for a snack. Squash and sweet potatoes are enormously healthy and can be used in a diverse set of ways; eggplant is a girl's best friend when it's cooked properly; and cucumber is a great refreshing addition to all kinds of things and french artichoke is lovely with melted butter.

Suggest that you make your own chicken or beef or turkey stocks with carrots, celery and salt then strain and freeze them in pint size containers so you always have a sulfur-free variety of soup stock available to you. Obviously, contrary to common practice (even in the store bought brands) never use any onion or garlic of any sort in your stock.

Fruits are great, and most, with the exception of pineapple, are free of sulfur. There is nothing like a fruit crisp with warmed coconut milk poured over it on a cold day. Fruit offers so many options and so few limits.

Chocolate? Yes, sad. No chocolate. No coffee, either. This does not mean you must be deprived of amazing desserts, though. Some of the desserts here might be too sweet for stomachs having trouble with candida. Apologize to those out there for whom some might be too sweet. I will try to present a diversity of choices as this progresses.

For those with a hankering for some fudge, though, this might be your place. :)

Cheers!
~Miriam

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