September 5, 2016

Algae Flour Does Not Equal Eggs

Here's a little life lesson for you: No eggs is always better than eggs made from algae flour.

My adventures in EoE cooking have been both time consuming and frustrating. I've been fortunate to have a friend who is well read and great at cooking food that is both delicious and allergen-free. She stocked my freezer full of meals that really made my summer 10 times easier. (Turkey and sweet potato chili? Yes, please.)

Marshmallows were safe to eat and easily available at camp . . . if only there were an ounce of nutrition, I would have been set.
We were at camp for most meals this summer, and if I forgot to pack my lunch and dinner, I was out of luck. It probably doesn't come as a shock to many people that camp food is rarely free of eggs, soy, nuts and wheat. Our food service director did her best to come up with options, and I"m so grateful to her for that. It was tough.

She also made me a birthday cake, and it did NOT disappoint.
So on the days that I was walking out the door and had zero time to pack anything, I could throw two of these frozen meals in a bag and heat them up. It was perfect.

Dessert. Kind of.
One thing that I desperately missed was eggs. I ate eggs almost every day for breakfast. This was how I got my veggies . . . I could usually get two full servings scrambled with eggs, first thing in the morning. On top of that, nearly all gluten/dairy free food substitutes include eggs.

So the day that I found an egg substitute at the supermarket was this shining beacon of hope. It boasted the ability to replace scrambled eggs. It wasn't just an egg replacer to use in recipes; it actually replaced eggs. So without even reading the ingredients, I added it to my cart.

The next morning, I hopped out of bed with plenty of time to cook before we had to leave, because: OMELET! I was pumped. As I was preparing the "eggs" according to the package's directions, I noticed this weird odor. I thought it was coming from our dishwasher, that sometimes starts to smell like rotten food when it hasn't been cleaned in a while. It took me less than a minute to figure out that it was the faux eggs. The more I mixed, the worse it got.

I dug the package out of the garbage to see what they were made of . . . algae flour. ALGAE FLOUR! Yep, that sounds about right, because they definitely smelled like seaweed. Once it was cooked, the flavor wasn't bad . . . but the texture was slimy and the smell wasn't great.

There was another time I tried to make an omelet out of chickpea flour. It did not end well.
Epilogue: I did have another EGD last week and after 10 weeks of eliminating wheat, dairy, soy and eggs, my esophagus was free of eosiniphils. There were still signs of EoE scarring, but that was normal. It was the happiest day of my whole summer, for sure.

I started to add eggs back in this week, and if it goes well, soy comes next. No matter what happens, I'm happy to be this much closer to figuring out the cause of my EoE.
It wasn't all bad. I ate A LOT of tostadas this summer.