We have always enjoyed going to markets and food fairs, but when your children have multiple food allergies, these events can be more stress than it is worth. Life continues to change, and we have started gaining confidence eating out with our children now. We are still very very careful concerning cross contamination, especially with life threatening allergies such as dairy, egg and most nuts.
Our recent discovery is that Food Trucks can offer a number of foods that are actually safe for our children! The benefits of food trucks is that they only cook and serve a limited number of dishes. Often these trucks are owner operated and have a personal connection with their food. These are some of the foods we have successfully eaten whilst avoiding traces of dairy, eggs, nuts, citrus and soy:
- Vegan donuts - one son loved the jam filled ones, while the other loved cinnamon dusted ones
- Deep fried calamari
- Vegan chocolate
- Greek donuts drizzled with honey (Loukamades)
- Frozen mango icecreams
Every food truck is different however. We have come across many donut and loukamade trucks that use egg in their recipes. One calamari vendor used prepackaged products that contained dairy. Vegan vendors can be a high risk when it comes to nuts. Each stall has to be assessed on an individual basis - stand and watch first to see what food they serve. Is cross contamination a risk? Then ask the owner concerning your specific allergens. If they are unsure, it is not worth the risk. We always bring enough food for our children, but anything we can safely buy is a bonus.
One food that I have thought would be safe is the deep fried spiralised potatoes. However, when I've gone to the markets, they sprinkle all sorts of flavourings over their potatoes, and the risk of cheddar powder floating over to our potato was too high.
So, today, hubby is away for the weekend and my sons were so wonderful in getting themselves ready on their own, that I decided they really deserved a treat. I was honestly surprised how easy it is to do! The main trick is to tilt the knife at an angle and take it slowly. As the potato rotates on the chopping board the knife will begin making its way down the potato. I used a mixture of olive oil and sunflower oil. Heat the oil on Medium heat until a plain skewer produces lots of bubbles when the tip is placed in the oil. Leave at least 2cm at the top of the pot to allow for bubbling oil. The result looked and tasted great! "Awesome" according to my eight year old. So why not give it a try? I used small sized potatoes - you could even try other vegetables like carrots, zuchinni or sweet potato. I am sure they would all be delicious! The best part though is being able to provide a treat for my kids so they don't miss out.