Confessions of being Lactose Intolerant // And Vanilla + Coconut Muffins + Lemon Syrup


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First of all, my thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by the tragedy in Boston. Much love and strength. 

I am a Lactose Intolerant.
I’ve been diagnosed lactose intolerant since I was very little. Growing up with this intolerance to lactose wasn’t easy, particularly because lactose-free products and non-dairy milk alternatives were simply not accessible on those days. {Fortunately now there is a range of lactose-free and non-dairy milk alternatives mostly everywhere! And that certainly makes life a little bit easier for me.} 

Have you or any in your family ever had or have problems with lactose or dairy products?

Well, as a child, my organism had the worth reaction to milk and yogurt, and I used to feel terrible having to try the famous chocolate milk, I felt ill. It made me feel sad having to say ‘No’ to every person that offered me yogurt, a glass of milk or piece of chocolate. Some people felt offended and thought that I was been rude or fanciful about food, so I had to explain my ‘lactose intolerance condition’ every time this happened. It was only fair.
And so while I was growing up I try yogurt and milk again. I wanted to be able to enjoy these foods as the rest of my friends, but every attempt was unsuccessful. My body had a significant allergic reaction to lactose {rash, fever, itching, in addition to digestive discomfort} It was clear that these symptoms would continue for a long... long time.

My mother was always worried about my intolerance to lactose. Also, worried about me getting enough calcium. She started looking for an alternative option. Vegetables and fruits that could be ‘in some way’ a substitute of calcium. She would increase the quantity of leafy greens and vegetables. And little by little she started combining some vegetables with small amounts of cheese since it wasn’t clear if I would have the same allergic reaction to cheese as well. Fortunately, I didn’t have any adverse reaction to cheese!  That was a relief!  

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However, years of experimentation made me more conscious about lactose and dairy milk products, but not all dairy have the same impact in my body. I learned that I was not intolerant to butter or  cheese {although I still keep my cheese intake low} I've also learned that dairy is not essential to survive or be healthy! Living with this intolerance to lactose have been kind of challenging and occasionally inconvenient, but at the same time have been easy to manage. Once I determined  my limits and how much lactose and dairy my body could handle.

I still not able to tolerate regular milk or flavoured yogurt, but since my body is in constant change, I've also started experiencing a little progress too. Now there are some food that I’m able to eat. Sour cream, ricotta, sometimes plain yogurt, my beloved dulce de leche and ‘once in a while’ ice cream with regular milk. But always keeping the intake of these products small. Otherwise, my body would not respond very well! 
And since there are fabulous substitutes to regular milk. Almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, rice milk. Amazing, no! Any type of cooking or baking is becoming more easy. I will start sharing some lactose-free and non- dairy milk alternatives recipes in the blog. Today, Vanilla-Coconut  Muffins with Lemon Syrup! These are delightful and friendly for lactose and non- lactose intolerance people too.
If you suspect that you may be lactose intolerant or have problems with dairy products, you can read this article here. It explains about the symptoms and other foods that can be linked to lactose intolerance.

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Vanilla + Coconut Muffins + Lemon Syrup 
Makes 9 regular size muffins 
The batter consistency is a bit different, and the amount of coconut milk you need  for the batter will depend on how thick your almond butter is. I used a thick almond butter that I made at home. So increase the quantity of milk gradually, you might need less than 3/4 cup. Also I'd suggest using paper muffin cups, since these can stick easily even with a non-stick pan. If you don't have paper cups make sure to grease your muffin pan very well.

1 Medium egg
1/2 C. Almond butter
2 Tbsp. Honey
2  tsp. vanilla essence 
1/8 tsp. Stevia {or you can use soft brown sugar to your taste}
1/4 tsp. Baking soda
1/4 tsp. Baking powder
Pinch of Salt
2 Tbsp. Coconut flour
3/4 C. Coconut milk

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, add almond butter, egg, honey, vanilla essence and stevia or sugar. Mix these ingredients until creamy. Then add coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and stir using a wooden spoon and adding coconut milk gradually. Until everything is combined. Divide mixture among muffin paper cups, about 3/4 full.Bake at 180C/ 355F for 12-15 minutes. Let them cool completely. 
Pour about 2-3 Tbsp. lemon syrup over each muffin and sprinkle with lemon zest. Arrange muffins on a serving plate, place in the fridge and leave to set  for 30- 40 minutes and serve.

Lemon Syrup

1/4 C. Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 C. Soft brown sugar

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add lemon and sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cook until sugar has dissolved and consistency becomes slightly thick. Let cool completely. 

Recipe adapted from the spunkycoconut blog