Dear Readers, In honour of an impending Valentine’s Day, I…
Meet my mom!
One doesn’t actually have to suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease to fight it like the dickens, which is what this fine lady does, so she is one of my favourite IBD Warriors. I also call her a Food-As-Medicine Pioneer because when I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s over 20 years ago, this fierce and proactive mom of mine tirelessly researched ways to help me heal through diet.
I’m thrilled to have her guest post here. She’s sharing the recipe for these yummy marshmallows done three ways — vanilla, toasted coconut, and raspberry. These have quickly become a family fave. But first here are some poignant words from her perspective as a mom of a daughter with Crohn’s.
It’s difficult to know where to start since Martine has come a long way since her diagnosis, but I can tell you that I will never forget the devastation of hearing that my beautiful 15-year-old daughter had a serious, life-threatening, chronic disease for which, the doctors told us, “there is no known cause or cure.”
Remembering how very quickly things can spiral out of control is terrifying. The time was short between Martine’s initial diagnosis and a life-threatening hospitalization when the doctors told us she needed to have her entire colon removed…provided she even pulled through that horrendous flare.
Martine wanted desperately to be like all her friends — carefree and “normal,” but being a seriously, chronically ill teenager made that virtually impossible. My husband and I watched, our hearts breaking, wishing we as her parents could suffer instead of Martine who was enduring so much pain and uncertainty.
Today I focus on how far Martine has come by using food as medicine and taking control of her health and life. I give special thanks to the late Elaine Gottschall, the author of Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet, who was so very helpful and encouraging to our family in the early days of using food as medicine.
We are so proud of the way Martine is bringing awareness to the fact that what one eats really does matter and makes a difference in controlling the symptoms of IBD. She is living proof of how food helps to heal.
Those years of struggling for Martine to regain her health taught our entire family many valuable lessons, one of which is to enjoy food no matter the restrictions because the possibilities are truly amazing when eating real, nutritious, and whole ingredients!
On that positive note, here’s a little something sweet for you to enjoy. Something that is “Martine-friendly,” as we say in our family.
For the plain vanilla variation, simply omit coating with toasted coconut. And for the raspberry variation, see the recipe here.
Marshmallows (Paleo, AIP)
Inspired by The Urban Poser
Author: Barbara Partridge
- 1 c honey
- ½ c filtered water
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp. gelatin, plus 4 tbsp. water
- ½ tsp vanilla powder (If not following AIP, you can use 1 tsp vanilla extract.)
- ¾ c lightly toasted coconut
- Prepare an 8x8 pan by greasing with coconut oil and dusting arrowroot starch on the bottom and sides. Alternatively, grease and line with parchment paper. That is, grease and lay one sheet; grease and lay the second sheet. Lightly grease again and dust with arrowroot. Using a pastry brush makes this easy. The sides of the parchment will extend out over the edge of the pan for easy removal of marshmallows.
- Combine the honey, ½ c filtered water, and ¼ tsp of sea salt in a medium sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. You want the mixture to be bubbling very gently during the 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. (I don't use a candy thermometer, but the temperature should be around 240 if you choose to use one.)
- Bloom the gelatin during the last 5 minutes of the simmer time. In a small bowl sprinkle the 2 tbsp. gelatin over the 4 tbsp. water. Stir and allow to soften for 5 minutes.
- Remove the honey mixture from the heat at the 10-minute mark and stir in softened gelatin to dissolve completely. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes. If using vanilla extract, stir in at this point.
- Transfer mixture to a free-standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on high for 5-7 minutes, until thick and white. Add vanilla powder during the last minute or two.
- Pour into prepared 8x8 pan and smooth with a spatula or the back of a tablespoon. Sprinkle with 1-2 tbsp. of toasted coconut (or omit this step if making the plain vanilla variation) and allow to set for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight, before cutting. Do not refrigerate.
- To cut into squares, turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife greased with a tiny bit of coconut oil, cut in long strips and then into squares. If making the toasted coconut variation, then in a medium bowl, toss with remaining toasted coconut to cover all sides. For plain vanilla variation, toss with arrowroot flour to very lightly coat all sides.
- To cut into shapes, prepare a cookie sheet as in Step 1. Spread the mixture to about 1.5 inches thick. Allow to set and cut into shapes using a cookie cutter dusted with arrowroot flour.