Tuesday 30 September 2014

update: children's healing journey 18 months on

Progress update: 18 months on for the children,

2 years on for me

children 2014

The twists and turns of healing just astonish me... I would never have thought we would have had such a dramatic turn around in our diets over the last 2 years. When I look back and read about where we started and then the progress just over a year ago, I am so excited to share with you how far we have all come...

Here are the previous posts to give you a history:


My children grew up eating a very small selection of foods... initially just rice and lamb, then they were able to tolerate celery, choko, chicken, potato. We used Nuttelex and Sunflower oil for cooking. Luckily so many things can be made using those ingredients and you can find all the recipes in my first couple of books.

When we started biomed we were able to add in some moderate salicylates - cucumber and carrot mainly. But we got stuck, I could never increase from one quantity a day... any more and they reacted. So I decided to try adding in small amounts of healing foods (which is discussed in detail in the above posts). The progress was exciting but again we got stuck...

So we decided to try homeopathy. This was not a quick fix, it has been challenging but we have seen amazing healing. I think this has been the key for us.

I continued trying to increase the children's tolerance to foods and we began seeing success!

I wanted to keep adding more healing foods:


We cooked everything in broth... to cook rice pasta, I would add a cup of broth to the cooking water; to make savoury mince, I would add broth instead of water; to make sushi rice I would add a cup of broth to the cooking water


We continued to cook all meat in ghee. Tallow was added and we now cook all roast veg in that. Coconut oil is used extensively in baking.


Slowly the kids were introduced to cookies and cakes baked with nut flours and coconut flour. The cookies were very well received by all. My girls loved the cakes, but my son was very attached to his egg free rice based cupcakes. I was really pleased when he eventually (after many many efforts of sampling) he declared he liked them and refused to eat the rice based baking... yay!


We don't use Kefir and fermented drinks often anymore, but we do eat sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables. My girls and I enjoy them very much, my little man not so much... one day he will join in :)


They tolerate everything now... slow cooked meats, all manner of fruit and vegetables. They even eat tomato several times a week... Very exciting!


We had major issues with all the groups of FODMAPS. So these were the last foods to try. At first I added leeks to our broth when cooking... then when that was tolerated, I added them to meals where broth was used, eg casserole, soup, bolognaise. Then I started adding in Brussels sprouts to meat balls, casseroles, bolognaise. Now I add lentils to dishes as well.

With fruits, we started with low fodmap ones and now have progressed to include the others too. They are so excited that this month we introduced apple with success. Started with a tiny piece, now they have a whole one each day. (Last time we challenged apple, we landed in hospital for a week)


Healing started slowly but about a year in, it jumped into top gear and progress was really fast. In the early days we would have a tiny portion once a week, then every three days, then every second day, then daily. Once ok, we would do another food.


We are coeliacs, so we avoid all gluten.
We choose to avoid soy and corn. I have challenged corn a couple of times for the children and it has always been a very big fail.
We avoid cane sugar - we use coconut sugar and rice syrup as sweeteners.
We minimise grains but still enjoy them every so often. They are no longer an every day food. I use buckwheat and quinoa often.
We avoid beef - still causes bleeding bowels.

So what does our menu plan look like now:


lamb meatballs and toast
(bread is homemade multi seed buckwheat and rice loaf)

scrambled eggs

LUNCH (school)

one protein portion:
sushi made with broth cooked brown and white rice and cucumber
sausage roll
chicken schnitzel
buckwheat pizza with tomato passata and lamb mince

selection of rockmelon, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, kiwifruit, banana, apple

bliss ball (dates and coconut)
berry custard (coconut custard cooked with strawberries)
chocolate yogo (homemade yummo)
cinnamon coconut cookies
chocolate cake or vanilla cupcake


spaghetti bolognaise
slow roasted lamb with lots of veg
roast chicken with lots of veg and Yorkshire pudding
meatballs and pasta
chicken schnitzel and chips
chicken and vegetable casserole
stir fry



All baking is grain free and made with either coconut flour or nut meals and recipes can be found in my Grain Free and School Lunchbox books.

chocolate from Loving Earth
chocolate cake with frosting
vanilla coconut cupcakes
macadamia cupcakes
jelly jubes (pomegranate juice and gelatin)
bliss balls
coconut icecream (plain or fruit flavoured)
ice blocks (coconut water and fruit)
potato chips

It has been a crazy healing journey and each path has been important, even when I felt it was not the right path, each taught me so much and introduced me to lovely women who have been my support network. So take each step as it comes, give something a try and if it isn't right for your family, jump back up and try something else. We are all different and what works for one, will not work for all. Good luck on your journey xo


Thursday 25 September 2014

Grain Free Gingerbread Cookies

Grain Free Gingerbread Cookies

This is our favourite cookie creation yet... perfect light crunch (not too hard for little teeth). Use to create your gingerbread house this Christmas!!

gingerbread cookies


4T coconut flour
180g tapioca starch
60g coconut sugar
100g coconut oil
60g rice malt syrup
1 egg (50-60g)
2t ground ginger
1t bicarb soda


Blitz coconut sugar in Thermomix bowl, 1 minute, speed 9
Add remaining ingredients and mix 30 seconds, speed 4
Scrape down and mix another 10 seconds, speed 4 if necessary

Remove from the bowl and place on a lined chopping board, knead together into a ball with your hands

Roll and press into small discs/circles, place on lined baking tray
They will spread slightly

Bake 180 degrees Celsius for 15 - 20 minutes until golden
Cool on trays

Store in air tight container in pantry

choc chip cookie


Use 2t cinnamon instead of the ginger for a cinnamon cookie (my favourite!)
Use 2t vanilla instead of the ginger for a plain cookie
Omit the ginger and use one of the above variations and add half a block of chopped chocolate to the mix for a choc chip cookie (we use Loving Earth Creamy Mylk Chocolate)

Grain Free Chocolate Cake with Frosting

Beautiful Birthday Celebration Cake

Free from gluten, grains, nuts, refined sugar

strawberry chocolate celebration cake

For the chocolate cake:


5 eggs
130g honey or rice malt syrup
70g coconut oil
3T coconut flour
2T raw cacao
1/2t bicarb soda


Line a 20 cm cake tin with baking paper and grease well

Put all ingredients into your Thermomix bowl and combine 20 sec speed 5

Do not be alarmed that this is indeed a very runny batter... if it was normal gluten free flour it would never work, but coconut flour absorbs A LOT of liquid, so it will all be ok when baked...

Pour into cake tin

Bake for 30 mins 180 degrees celcius until puffed and when pressed gently in the centre, springs back

Remove from the tin carefully and cool on rack

Now you are ready to ice

To make the Frosting:


80g palm shortening (I use this organic brand from iHerb)
55g ghee
200g honey or rice malt syrup
2t vanilla extract
2T coconut flour
2T raw cacao

Add all ingredients to Thermomix bowl, mix 30 seconds speed 6
Scrape down and repeat until smooth

It will be soft and creamy like buttercream frosting and will be firm once in the fridge.

Icing the cake:

cutting cake in half

When the cake is completely cold, using a serrated knife, cut the cake in half... I do this by turning the cake slowly and cutting just slightly into it until all the cake has a small cut around it. Then move your knife through the cake and complete the cut through the centre. This helps get two even halves.

If you find this too difficult, you could make two cakes as per recipe above and ice them together. I do this when I need a bigger taller cake.

video - cutting cake in half

Spread half this mix onto the first layer of your cake

Place on top layer of cake, then spread remaining frosting mix over the entire cake

If desired, cover the top with sliced strawberries, or decorate as desired

strawberries on choc cake

Place in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours for the frosting to firm up

cut profile of cake

Great birthday cake for children too... Decorate however you like

bday cake

You can use the frosting to ice anything... on donuts, between cookies, whatever takes your fancy!

iced choc donuts

Thursday 4 September 2014

CO-OP September 2014

CO-OP - September 2014

I am able to purchase many items at bulk prices and would like to share these savings with you... so last year I started a CO-OP... Orders are made quarterly and you are able to order goods of your choice, which you then pick up from me in Peakhurst, Sydney. Apologies I am not able to offer postage at this stage.
There are all sorts of grains, flours, baking aids etc... suitable for grain free folk and those on RPAH Elimination / Failsafe Diet.

Please email kerstenskitchen@gmail.com for an order form

Some procedure policies:

Orders will only be processed when received on an Order Form
Orders must be received by the deadline for that period, no late orders can be accepted
Orders must be paid for when ordering by direct deposit
If monies are not received your order will not be processed
There will be a handling fee 10% of total order to help cover the freight
Once your order has been processed it cannot be cancelled and refunds are not available
If any items ordered are unavailable or out of stock, monies will be refunded

Please note this is not a profitable exercise for my business, this is just an opportunity to help you source bulk ingredients.

*If there is something you are unable to source yourself and would like me to look into adding to the list, please let me know.


This order will be done on Tuesday 16 September 2014
Please get your orders emailed and payments done by Friday 12 September 2014