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A blog about all things allergen-free and delicious

Entries in food allergies (39)


Recipe: Nourishing Bone Broth 

Here is my own personal recipe for a deeply nourishing bone broth, which can be used as a rich base for any soup or for any recipe that calls for broth or stock.  It is a perfect start to the GAPS Diet (see an introduction to GAPS).  Make sure to use the highest quality ingredients available. 

If you are new to making bone broths, I recommend trying it at least once from the perspective that you are making medicine for you and your family. This is much more than a food, this truly is powerful medicine!



2 lbs. organic chicken or grass fed beef bones
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Filtered water, to cover
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
Sea salt, to taste


2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped



  1. Add the bones to the pressure cooker and add the vinegar or lemon juice and enough water to cover the bones completely.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, and put on lid and lock in place. Turn heat to high and wait for it to pressurize.
  3. When pot pressurizes, turn heat down to medium and cook for 1-1 ½ hours.
  4. Depressurize cooker, and remove all bones and bay leaf from pot, making sure that all marrow and soft tissues are off the bones before you discard them.
  5. Blend broth with an immersion blender, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any bits of bone.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The broth is now ready to be made into a soup/stew, or to be used as is. Store in freezer in an airtight container for up to one month.


SLOW COOKER Directions


Place everything in a large slow cooker / crock pot and cover with filtered water. Cook for 4-6 hours before using, starting on high for 1 hour, then reducing the heat to low. You can keep this going for 3-5 days if you continually scoop out the broth and replace what you take with filtered water. This method allows the bones to really cook down.


• This recipe can also be made without a pressure cooker, in a regular stock pot. Cook several hours, until marrow and soft tissues release from bones.
• Can also use lamb bones or fish bones.
• Use high collagen joints like knuckles, necks, and feet.
• Use as a soup base, cooking liquid for grains or beans, or to make sauces like gravies (thicken with a roux).
• Season the bone broth and serve as a first course to enhance digestion.
• Other herbs, spices, or vegetables can be added to the broth depending on the desired flavor.
• Season with salt and sip throughout the day if you need a boost in energy or are not feeling well. The broth is both energizing and calming.


About Brooke

Brooke Kaufman is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant who creates customized meal plans for her clients with multiple food allergies and intolerances, and for those who are on the GAPS diet. She enjoys helping people eat nourishing food that is easy to prepare and tastes delicious. She believes that having food allergies and intolerances can be a positive challenge that inspires creativity, and brings a higher level of awareness when it comes to what you put in your body. Brooke believes that when we deeply nourish ourselves inside and out, we can attain optimal health…which includes healing our damaged and inflamed digestive systems.

Brooke received her nutrition education at Bauman College, and has learned through her own personal experience with food intolerances, she also works as a cleanse coach for Cleanse Organic, a 28-day, guided whole food based cleansing program.


Find her at:  Balance Within Nutrition


Healing the Gut with GAPS – An Introduction

What is the GAPS diet?

The GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet is a gut-healing protocol developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to help heal her son’s autism, and later to help hundreds of other children with multiple food allergies and many overlapping psychological and immune disorders.

She discovered the SCD Diet (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and changed it slightly to fit the needs of her patients. It was actually her patients who coined the term “GAP Syndrome” or simply “GAPS”. The diet that she prescribed for them became known as the GAPS Diet.

More Than One Condition - Always

In her book titled “Gut and Psychology Syndrome”, Dr. Campbell-McBride describes how after years of working with children in her Cambridge clinic, she hardly ever met a child who presented with only one condition.

“Every child has two, three or more of these health problems at once. For example, a child would present with allergies; at the same time the parents would describe a couple of asthmatic episodes and eczema and then would talk about their child’s extreme clumsiness (dyspraxia) and learning problems.…many autistic children have severe allergies, asthma, eczema, dyspraxia and dyslexia.”

Gut First

She further illustrates how the underlying condition of all of these disorders lies in the digestive system. She feels that the gut must be healed if any of the symptoms are going to be fully addressed.

Here’s the thing: knowledge about the connection between gut health and brain health is still not in the mainstream. Interesting, huh?

Does Insanity Lie In the Gut?

In 1807, the Father of modern psychiatry, French psychiatrist Phillipe Pinel concluded:

“The primary seat of insanity generally is in the region of the stomach and intestines.”

Dr. Pinel had been working with mental patients for many years, yet his knowledge has been virtually ignored by modern psychiatry. Dr. Campbell-McBride refers to Pinel’s work when she discusses that digestive symptoms begin at the time of weaning and when formula is introduced at infancy. Symptoms then increase as more and more foods are introduced to the already compromised digestive system.

As a nutritionist, and as someone who has used this diet to heal her own gut, this is very interesting to me. The success of this diet shows us how much more education is needed around how to care for our own health and the health of our children. What did our ancestor’s diets look like before modern “conveniences” existed like infant formula, pasteurized dairy or refined grains? Every traditional diet contains fermented foods…what are the fermented foods that your ancestors used to maintain good health year round?

The Purpose: Heal & Seal

The purpose of the GAPS protocol is to “heal and seal” the inflamed and irritated digestive system. There is an intro phase to the GAPS protocol that can last as long as one needs in order heal the gut. Fermented foods and a probiotic supplement aid in the colonization of good bacteria in the gut; while vegetable juice is used to help the body to eliminate toxins. The second phase of the GAPS protocol is a systematic re-introduction of foods that are on the list of GAPS approved foods, which includes vegetables, fruits, legumes, gluten-free grains, and fermented dairy products. If there are symptoms present when a food is reintroduced, then you go back to the intro diet until symptoms subside and another food can be “tested”.

Six-Stage Protocol (to Follow Diligently)

There are six stages of the GAPS diet. This is not a quick-fix, by any means. The diet takes time and dedication. If you don’t follow the healing protocol carefully and diligently then you won’t get the full benefit. You must remove all starches and grains, and purchase a very high quality probiotic supplement. You must also maintain a constant supply of bone broth/soup, which is time consuming (much less time consuming if you have a pressure cooker!) but which is a key ingredient for success. It can also take a good amount of time to heal the gut, since in many cases the damage has been done over a period of many years, although immediate improvement in many symptoms may be noticed on the GAPS diet.

What You Can Eat & Why

In the GAPS intro diet meats and fish, eggs and non-starchy vegetables are allowed. Bone, meat and fish stock soups are the staple of the intro part of the diet. They are soothing and healing for the inflamed gut lining and help aid in digestion. Probiotic foods are also very important during the intro and full GAPS diet, such as raw sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables. Raw egg yolks can be added to soup if no egg allergy exists.  This provides excellent nourishment and protein.

After the intro phase of the diet, fermented dairy like homemade kefir and whey, yogurt and sour cream are gradually added if there is no adverse reaction and you are not allergic to dairy. Homemade ghee is also gradually added into the diet, again, if not allergic to dairy.  We can find alternatives for dairy allergies.

What to Avoid

  • All grains and anything made from these grains (both gluten-containing and gluten-free grains): wheat, rye, rice, oats, corn, barley, millet, spelt, quinoa, buckwheat, etc.
  • All starchy vegetables and anything made out of them: potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, parsnips, cassava, arrowroot, etc.
  • Sugar and anything that contains sugar.
  • Starchy beans and peas: soybeans, mung beans, garbanzo beans, bean sprouts, fava beans.
  • Lactose and anything that contains it: milk, dried milk of any type, commercially produced yogurt, buttermilk and sour cream, processed foods with added lactose.

There is a cookbook that goes along with the informational book that is excellent if you are going to be taking on the GAPS diet and are determined to heal your and/or you child’s gut. The intro diet is pretty straight-forward (though challenging!), but as you begin to heal the gut and are able to introduce more foods back into the diet, you may want to get the cookbook which I personally found to be a valuable resource.

Get Started with Bone Broth

If you aren’t ready to dive into the full diet, get started by changing a few habits (like giving up soda, or better, all processed sugar) and adding foods from the allowed list.

Here is my own personal recipe for a deeply nourishing bone broth, which can be used as a rich base for any soup. Bone broth is a key part of the GAPS diet. Give it a try, and enjoy!


To learn more about Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and the GAPS diet, please visit the official GAPS website.

For a full list of foods to avoid, see the book:  Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia by Natasha Campbell-McBride


About Brooke

Brooke Kaufman is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant who creates customized meal plans for her clients with multiple food allergies and intolerances, and for those who are on the GAPS diet. She enjoys helping people eat nourishing food that is easy to prepare and tastes delicious. She believes that having food allergies and intolerances can be a positive challenge that inspires creativity, and brings a higher level of awareness when it comes to what you put in your body. Brooke believes that when we deeply nourish ourselves inside and out, we can attain optimal health…which includes healing our damaged and inflamed digestive systems.

Brooke received her nutrition education at Bauman College, and has learned through her own personal experience with food intolerances, she also works as a cleanse coach for Cleanse Organic, a 28-day, guided whole food based cleansing program.

Find her at:  Balance Within Nutrition


Hidden Allergens Abound in Supplements & Medication

updated 9/30/2013

Your doctor tells you to get a digestive enzyme, vitamin/mineral or a probiotic at your local health food store.  You pick one up, take it and have an allergic reaction.  Oddly, many supplements, even digestive enzymes are made or processed with top allergens like wheat, soy or dairy (even egg and yeast).   Corn syrup is another highly allergic substance that is in many cough syrups and other medications.  Corn can also be processed with wheat, so those with celiac and gluten allergies need to be aware of this.  Even supplement companies that label their products as “free” of the top allergens may not be taking proper precautions during processing.  Trace amounts can affect you, especially if you are highly sensitive / allergic to a food or have celiac disease.

Those of us who need supplementation to combat malabsorption need to be especially careful.  For me personally, supplementation has been one of the most difficult areas of cross-contamination to uncover.

Take these steps to help uncover hidden allergens that may affect you:

  1. Ask your doctor if the supplement contains your allergens.  Make sure you have a complete list of allergens and that you review it with your doctor EVERY time your physician prescribes something for you. 
  2. Review the ingredient list on the bottle yourself. Look for trigger words like "starch" which can be derived from corn and rice (which could be cross-contaminated with gluten), wheat (contains gluten) as well as gluten-free items like potato, tapioca.
  3. Before you purchase, call the company to see if the supplement was processed with your particular allergen(s). 
  4. If a medication, have the pharmacist keep a list of your allergens on file and review it with them prior to ordering the prescription. 
  5. If the medication is new, ask the pharmacist to get a statement from the medication company that none of your allergens are processed in their facility.
  6. Contact your doctor if your research shows that the supplement or medication may contain an allergen on your list and ask your doctor to work with you to find something that will work for you.
  7. Even medical grade supplements can pose a problem.  If you have a reaction to a particular supplement, contact your doctor immediately to let them know.  The only way to help solve this problem is by partnering with your prescribing physician, communicating through them how medications and supplements are affecting you, and finding dedicatrd facilities. 

There are supplement companies who produce their supplements in a dedicated facility.  Klaire Labs, for instance, is a dedicated dairy-free & gluten-free facility and one of the only places that I’ve found to get a dairy-free probiotic, and supplements that consistently work safely.  Their probiotics are very pricey, but their other supplements are quite reasonable and effective.



Also, here is a fantastic article from a pharmacist that breaks down the different ingredients in medicatons that could affect people who are allergic to gluten and who have celiac disease. it also breaks down some of the fillers, what they are made of and why, including other allergens like corn, soy, tapioca, and dairy, as well as substances that are derived from tar and chemicals.  The one thing this article does not address is the cross contamination of normally considered gluten-free items like corn and rice. Sometimes these grains can be processed with gluten-based grains, and there are people who are allergic / sensitive to them.

I've been hearing rumors of studies that have been done on the amount of gluten in specific supplements, but I have not found links to these studies yet, nor studies on other allergens in medication.  We'll post when we do, and if you find any, please share them with The Tender Foodie - I'll check them out and give a shout out to the community if they are viable.



Recipe: Chimichurri Steak Salad


Our House

Our house in not air-conditioned, so during the sweltering days of summer, I resist spending hours cooking over a hot stove. This is a very fast recipe that can be made indoors or out, over the grill. It came to me out of convenience: I had a few chimichurri-marinated steak kabobs and a sliced vegetable pack from my local market and simply put it all together. Much of the flavor of the dish comes from the chimichurri sauce, and the balsamic-glazed grilled vegetables add a nice piquancy. If you can find the vegetable pre-sliced (I bought mine at Trader Joe’s), and marinated steak kabobs, by all means take the shortcut. Dinner will be ready that much sooner! If you want to make the dish from scratch, it doesn’t take much longer, and it tastes elegant enough to serve to company. Best of all, it’s naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free and nut-free and perfect for your TenderFoodie!

© Kyra Bussanich, 2012

Serves 2 hungry TenderFoodies!


Chimichurri sauce (recipe to follow)
8 ounces steak bits
8 ounces washed lettuce or salad mix
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
½ red onion, sliced
4 ounces sliced crimini mushrooms
½ bunch (about 12 spears) baby asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

Chimichurri sauce (recipe from

1/2 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons (packed) fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt


Put it Together


Add all ingredients to a food processor bowl fitted with a blade. Puree until uniform in texture (should not be a paste, but rather have some lumps and texture to it).

Place the chimichurri and the steak bits in a plastic bag, seal the end and squish the meat around to coat it with the chimichurri sauce. Meanwhile, wash and slice the vegetables and divide the salad between 2 plates. Set the salad aside. On the stove top or grill, heat a large sauté pan with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the mushrooms and red onion slices, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat until the edges of the mushrooms and onions start to caramelize and the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and the balsamic vinegar and sauté until the asparagus is tender, about 3 more minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside. Pour the chimichurri sauce and steak bits into the pan and sauté until the steak is done to your tastes, about 2 minutes.

Add the vegetables to the steak and toss to coat the veggies in the remnants of the chimichurri sauce, and divide the contents of the pan over the two salad plates.



About Kyra

Kyra Bussanich is the owner of Crave Bake Shop, and the first gluten-free winner of the Food Network's Famed, "Cupcakes Wars".  Kyra graduated with honors from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu patisserie program, which gave her a solid foundation of knowledge about classical French baking techniques which she was able to apply toward baking gluten-free.  Kyra was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder when she was 20 years old. Part of staying healthy meant switching to a gluten-free diet, avoiding all wheat and overly processed foods. Whenever possible, she uses local ingredients, and serves customers with multiple allergies, as well.


Back to School Shopping for a Tender Foodie's Lunch


YIKES!  It’s August and it’s already time for back to school shopping.  Got pencils, notebooks, glue sticks?  Got any ideas for what to pack for school lunches, especially for a Tender Foodie?  I do.

Here’s the deal: I’m all for those adorable little gadgets and  Bento boxes with food arranged into creative scenes from the latest episode of Spiderman®  - you know, the ones made out of intricately-sliced red peppers and black beans and celery strands fashioned into a spider web.  But, the first few weeks of school are so HECTIC – who has time?  Take the pressure off and try some of these new, healthy and allergy-friendly alternatives in convenient small portions for kids of any age.  Yes, they cost a bit more and perhaps you might not put these in your kids’ lunches/snacks every day, but that also makes them a nice treat every once in a while. 

(See Notes on Potential Allergens at the end of the Article).



Let go of the stress and start experiencing a little Bliss.  Fruit Bliss’ ™ soft, dried and unsulphured (preservative-free) Turkish apricots come in a mini 1.76 package.  Moist but not sticky, they’re packed with iron and fiber.  They’re Certified Vegan and Non GMO Project Verified and just plain delish!  The mini apricots are sold at 39 Whole Foods stores across the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as many natural food stores from Maine down to Florida.  Want some now?  Use coupon code 10FRUIT for 10% off any order online.



For kids old enough to operate a microwave in their cafeteria, try Cocomama™ Quinoa Cereals in Banana Cinnamon, Wild Blueberry and Orange Cranberry flavors.  Simply tear open the BPA-free pouch and warm slightly for 20 seconds and 

wah-lah – it’s quinoa! That means scrumptious gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and vegetarian organic quinoa sweetened with light coconut milk and other yummy ingredients.  Unlike oatmeal, which can transform into glue in a matter of minutes, kids will love the consistent texture with no extra lumps, bumps or worse - drippiness. Cocomama™  is currently available in 28 Whole Foods in the North Atlantic Regionand launching this month with Whole Foods nationally, as well as Wegman’s stores in September.  

Just as easy, go online to purchase 6-packs for $21 (10% discount over retail).  The convenience and peace of mind knowing your child is having a nutritious  protein-rich food when you need a quick addition to the lunch box makes it worth it.  Plus, shipping for ANY order is always $3.99, so stock up.  


purely elizabeth™

Recently, purely elizabeth™ created mini packs of their fabulous ancient grain granolas.  Gluten-free certified, soy-free, no refined sugar and made with organic ingredients whenever possible, the 2 oz. bag mini bags even serve as their own bowl.  Just pour in milk or a dairy-free alternative  or ok, don’t;  I am  all for pouring it straight into your mouth.  My fave is the Pumpkin Fig, but just as yummy are the Cranberry Pecan, Blueberry Hemp and Original flavor.  A case of 8 bags is $22.  Try packing a tall container (I love a Ball canning jar) of yogurt with alternate layers of frozen fruit to keep it cold till lunchtime.  Your kids can add the granola on top for an instant yogurt parfait! 


Simple Squares™

If your Tender Foodie can enjoy nuts, try a Simple Squares™snack bar.  Choose from 4 flavors: Cinnamon Clove, Sage, Rosemary or Coconut.  Each kosher bar is infused with organic herbs and contains unsweetened coconut, organic nuts, 

organic honey, organic vanilla and a touch of sea salt.  Made of “unfired fare™” to maintain the integrity of the nutrient rich bars, the sweet treats contain just 10 grams of sugar (must be the lovely organic honey) and a whopping 10% daily value of iron and 6 grams of protein.  Now, that’s a satisfying snack that’s also good for your kids.  Sold in natural food stores, via or simply visit the Simple Squares™  website, and use the coupon code GFD to get 10% off of these nutritious sweets!


Notes on potential allergens:


Fruit Bliss™ products are produced in a facility that processes soy, milk, egg, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts.  

Cocomama™ products are not manufactured in a gluten-free facility, but the line is cleaned thoroughly and each batch is tested to 10 pmm. The products are gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free, but are not necessarily peanut or tree nut-free since that is not part of their testing process.

Purely elizabeth™ granolas are certified vegan by Vegan Action, certified gluten-free by GFCO and are non-GMO Project Verified. 

Simple Squares™ are certified gluten-free and are soy and dairy-free with no refined sugars. Simple Squares packaging states “Good manufacturing practices are used to segregate ingredientsin a facility that processes other products, which may contain peanuts, tree nuts, wheat (gluten), milk, soy and/or eggs."


About Melanie

Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLPMelanie Potock is speech language pathologist who specializes in feeding.  Her work brings her into the homes and schools of her clients, kids, who for various reasons have difficulty with food or with eating. She works with kids and their parents to develop effective strategies that help children become “more adventurous eaters”.  At least 50% of her clients have food allergies or intolerances, and for them, “adventurous eating” takes on a special meaning.  Melanie is also the author of Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids” and the executive producer of “Dancing in the Kitchen.”


More Posts From Melanie

Why Children with Autism are Often Picky Eaters

Review:  The Magic of the BellyFull Kit (From the Hopeful Company)

The 12 Days of Christmas -- My Favorite Lunchtime Things (Part 1)

Tips to Help Your Food Allergic Child Belong During the Holidays

How to Talk Turkey (and Food Allergies) at Thanksgiving

How Can Parents Feel Less Stress with a Food Allergic Child in School?

Follow Your Gut:  What's Eating My Daughter's Stomach? (Part I)