Pancake Day is just around the corner but for those with food allergies and intolerances, it can make you feel excluded and difficult to accommodate for.
Traditional pancakes contain three main ingredients: flour, eggs and milk. These ingredients all have associated allergies and intolerances but there are alternatives available, so it can still be a fun day for children and adults alike.
Food allergies and intolerances are becoming more commonly known globally. New laws have just passed meaning that all restaurants and takeaways across Europe must now provide information about whether their foods contain any of the 14 main food allergies.
This is great news, but we’d still recommend wearing medical ID jewellery as a way of alerting others of your allergy if you accidentally eat something that makes you ill. Allergy ID bracelets are especially important for children to minimise the risk of them eating something they’re allergic to at school or a friend’s house.
Allergy Tips from the Sufferers Themselves
Michelle Berriedale-Johnson (pictured left) of Free From Recipes Matter, a website devoted to recipes that cater to food allergies, said:
“Pancakes are a great option for those with multiple allergies as they can be made very successfully with a gluten-free flour, water, soya or any new grain or nut milks – and without eggs! Many people like to add eggs as it gives an extra richness to the pancakes but if you are already going to fill them or cover them with lemon juice and sugar, you won’t miss that richness.”
Still Fun for the Kids
Pancake Day is a firm favourite with many children. Kate from Happy Igloo (pictured right) is a mum of three, one of whom has coeliac disease, (gluten allergy) and had this to say about the struggles she faces.
“Pancake Day is a highly anticipated occasion for all ages, so I decided to make this recipe for my little boy who was diagnosed with coeliac disease at the age of 18 months. It was really important to me that he didn’t miss out or feel different in any way – these light yet substantial mini pancakes can be created in minutes.
“Toppings are key to creating delicious pancakes whether gluten-free or otherwise. Experiment with different flavour combinations to suit sweet or savoury pancakes such as seasonal berry fruits with crème fraiche, or slices of ham, mushrooms and mozzarella.”
She gave us her own gluten free recipe to try out:
225g / 8oz gluten-free plain flour
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
50g / 2oz caster sugar
1 medium egg
175ml / 6fl oz milk
25g / 1oz butter
Pinch of cinnamon, (optional)
If you or your child has a gluten allergy, normal flours will be off limits. But there are many new types available that are made from different grains that are gluten free. Brown rice flour, quinoa, millet, oat and buckwheat flour are all great alternatives with their own unique flavours.
Lactose intolerances mean milk, butter and cheese are no-go areas. Many milk substitutes are available made from plant proteins, such as soya, coconut, almond, rice, hemp or oat milk. All of these can be easily substituted in pancake batter. Dairy free butter is also available or you can use coconut oil instead.
Lauren (pictured right) from Good Hemp Food, producers of hemp seed milk and other hemp products said, “dairy-free milk can make a delicious alternative for cow’s milk in pancakes. Good Hemp milk alternative is deliciously creamy and sweet.”
Egg allergies can cause real issues for sweet treats. Egg substitutes are available from supermarkets and health stores but some people don’t like their texture. Alternatively, try a pancake recipe that doesn’t incorporate eggs at all. Mashed banana or apple puree are healthy, low cost alternatives.
If your child has a food allergy or intolerance, medical ID jewellery is a great way to inform people about their condition when you aren’t around. In an emergency situation when a child needs their EpiPen, allergy alert wristbands are essential.