Blueberry Lavendar Granita with Lavendar Simple Syrup
This guest post is by Danielle from Fresh4Five.
In 2010, my youngest son Grady was diagnosed with a severe dairy intolerance. Almost immediately after weaning him and making the switch to whole cows milk, we noticed a huge change in is behavior. He was very irritable, having severe diarrhea, and he couldn’t sleep at night because of his terrible cough and congestion. In the beginning, we thought he was sick with a cold or flu, but somehow or another we put together it was happening after drinking milk. Grady is my third child and he is the fussiest. Things were starting to make sense, how clingy he was; never off my hip, and eczema that covered most of his body.
Right away, we took dairy products out of his diet and quickly thereafter, we removed soy. It turns out, that soy and dairy proteins are quite similar and often people who are allergic or sensitive to dairy are also sensitive to soy. Grady’s list of sensitivities has grown since the dairy and soy diagnosis and we also avoid nuts, gluten, latex fruit and red dye.
When we were with the pediatrician and listing all of Grady’s symptoms, it occurred to me that I myself had all of the same things. I had asthma, embarrassing eczema that plagued me all my life. I had stomach issues, undergoing far too many tests as a child but remaining undiagnosed. In my 20’s I was diagnosed with IBS and sent home with some pills. It never occurred to me until having Grady that my diet could be the problem. I decided to take out dairy and soy myself and it was life changing! I had suffered for years and all I had to do was not eat dairy? I then went on to do an elimination challenge and I also avoid gluten, latex fruit and nuts but dairy is by far my most severe intolerance.
I have fully immersed myself into this world of living dairy-free. I did not want Grady to feel left out because he could not eat the same things as everyone else, so I set out to learn how to cook and bake with healthy dairy-free substitutes. Although there are a few things to learn when it comes to cooking meals dairy free, like using oils instead of butter and no cheese, it was the easier thing to do. It’s the sweet stuff that caused the greatest learning curve for me. Most recipes call for butter at least, some also wanting milk, or butter milk, whipped cream or yogurt; and then there is the ice cream to consider. I had to find a replacement for that sweet cold treat on hot summer days. With an ice cream maker I am able to make delicious creamy replacements with coconut milk or fruit based sorbets; but there is another fun dish to make – granita.
Granita can be made with any fruit, but today I am sharing the incredible flavor combination of blueberries and lavender. Blueberry and lavender go together like dairy-free milk and cookies; the lavender brings out an amazing sophisticated flavor from the blueberries. This simple dessert becomes the perfect finishing touch to a grown up dinner party and yet my kids happily gobbled it up like a healthy summer time slushy. This worked quite nicely in the push pop containers that I used in making my grain-free, vegan Strawberry Shortcake.
How has food changed your life?
Blueberry Lavender Granita
1 batch of cooled lavender simple syrup (see recipe below)
2.5 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tsp lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping sides once.
Pour mixture evenly into a 9×13 baking dish and set in freezer uncovered. Let freeze for 2 hours. Then, using a fork, scrape over the entire surface, return to freezer for another hour and then scrape again with a fork, repeat for a total of 4 hours of freezing time. Serve immediately or cover and serve at a later time.
Lavender Simple Syrup
1 tbsp lavender flowers
1 cup water
½ cup pure maple syrup
In a small sauce pan combine the lavender and water and bring to a boil. Add the maple syrup and return mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain out the lavender flowers with fine strainer or cheese cloth, store in a sealed container in the fridge.
Danielle Rouse is the creative energy behind the allergy friendly recipe blog, Fresh4Five. This mother of three has a passion for nutrition and cooking with fresh and wholesome ingredients. Danielle has become and expert at developing recipes to meet the complex dietary needs of her family. Fresh4Five hosts an array of family friendly recipes that are free of Gluten, Dairy, Soy, and Nuts. Danielle also offers a growing collection of recipes, specifically tailored for celebrating allergy-free birthday parties for children.