Displaying items by tag: fructose balance

Tuesday, 18 September 2018 21:07

Coconut Sugar Encyclopedia

Are you like me?

 Do you feel like the words "COCONUT SUGAR" are everywhere?  

In your Facebook and Instragram feeds?  At your favorite restaurants and bakeries?  

What's the deal with coconut sugar?  

Can we believe all of the health claims about coconut sugar?  Is it a healthier option compared to table sugar?

I wish we were back in the 1980's when I was in elementary school and the internet did not exist.  A time when we couldn't get instant access to information that hadn't been vetted by reputable sources.  A simpler time when researching was easier and I knew everything I read had been verified, well-documented and fact-checked.  

When I was in 5th grade, let's be honest, when I was in high school; and I wanted to learn about something I would visit my local library and the collections of Encyclopedia Brittanica.  By the way, who is Brittanica?  

Anyway, if there was a topic I was interested in like coconut sugar I would open up the "C" encyclopedia and all of the information listed would be facts, not opinions or mass marketed health claims.

Today, when anyone wants to learn about a topic they most likely visit Google.  Within milliseconds we have access to lots of information and we can get this information sitting on our couches in our pj's.  Yes, there is something beautiful in this.  I love that I don't have to get in my car or even change out of my pj's.  

But, there is a downside to this accessibility.  If you search coconut sugar on Google there are 227,000,000 entries.  Yes, millions of entries.  And, these entries are not all facts.  It includes opinions, marketing health claims and yes, fake news about coconut sugar.  How are we supposed to fact check millions of entries?  Where is the truth?  Where is Brittanica when we need them?

I spent countless hours over the last few weeks researching coconut sugar attempting to sort out truth from fiction; healthy vs health claim; and authentic scientific research vs fraudulent investigations.

If I was Brittanica and could develop  a "C" encyclopedia with a coconut sugar entry this is what it would look like:


Families Balancing Fructose "C" Encyclopedia, Coconut Sugar:


What is coconut sugar?: 

Coconut sugar comes from the sap of a coconut tree similar to sap from a maple tree, the sap is boiled down to eliminate the water and it becomes a crystalline substance like what we know as table sugar. (a) (b)

Is there anything else in coconut sugar besides sugar?: 

Yes, according to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Philippines coconut sugar contains trace amounts of zinc, iron, calcium, phytonutrients and antioxidants. (d) (e) When I first read this I thought score one point for coconut sugar.  If I am going to eat a treat, why not also get the benefits of healthy nutrients.  But, the more I dug into this research the more I discovered that this health claim is just a claim.  It can not be 100% verified and hasn't been vetted by multiple research institutes.  In addition, multiple companies from multiple countries make coconut sugar and there is a complete lack of regulations.  We can not fact check every bag of coconut sugar.  We honestly don't know what is in it.  We are back to square one:  coconut sugar and table sugar are tied.

What's the deal with glycemic index and why is this important when choosing sugar?:  

According to the American Diabetes Association, "the glycemic index measures how a carbohydrate containing food raises blood glucose levels."  (f) Glucose is the main source of energy for our bodies.  If you are living with Diabetes foods that have a low glycemic index prevent blood sugar spikes, spikes in blood sugar are not good for diabetics.  Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index compared to table sugar.  So, yes coconut sugar is better for you if you have Diabetes.  A food's glycemic index does not correlate to whether a food is safe or unsafe for people living with Fructose Malabsorption.

What is inulin that is in coconut sugar?:

"Inulin is a type of soluble fiber that slows the absorption of food in the gut" and is found in coconut sugar, but not in table sugar. (a). At first you might think this is a win for coconut sugar.  It has fiber in it, and fiber is good for us, right?  Unfortunately, inulin is a high FODMAP food that can also be found in onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus and bananas.  Many people with Fructose Malabsorption discover after using the FODMAP challenge program that inulin causes gut unrest. (c) Why then would I substitute my regular table sugar for coconut sugar that has inulin in it?  I am constantly trying to balance my fructose and other FODMAP food intake and do I really want to introduce another FODMAP source in a dessert?

Encyclopedia Coconut Sugar Conclusion:

Coconut sugar is not a healthier option for me.  Coconut sugar contains inulin.

Table sugar does not contain inulin.  

Table sugar is sucrose.  Sucrose is 50% glucose and 50% fructose.  This is a fact.  And, glucose is like a spaceship transporting fructose across the gut barrier.  Glucose is FM's friend. (g)

When eating a treat I am eating it because it is a treat, it is special, and I have spent the rest of the day or week making healthy choices.

Sugar is sugar.  Coconut sugar and table sugar have very similar calorie amounts.  Let's get rid of the myth that some sugars are healthier than other sugars.  Sugar is sugar.

Michael Pollan sums it up in his book In Defense of Food: “If you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a strong indication it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat”   Table sugar companies do not market their product with a health claim.  

Go ahead, enjoy an occasional treat made with real sugar if that works for your body.  I know my gut enjoys an occasional square of dark chocolate or a piece of my daughter's homemade cake.






(a) Washington post article

(b) Wikipedia article on coconut sugar

(c) What is Inulin and is it a FODMAP? 

(d) Food and Nutrition Research Institute 

(e) Medical News Today 

(f) American Diabetes Association

(g) FBF Cliff Notes on Sugar Digestion

Published in FBF Blog

When you have Fructose Malabsorption you can still bake.  Use real ingredients that work for your body and limit your daily fructose load to 15 grams.  We like to use real sugar because it has an equal amount of fructose and glucose.  Glucose is like a spaceship helping to transport the fructose in your gut.  

Everyone with Fructose Malabsorption has their own unique gut and gut voice. It is best to make a list of what feels good and what doesn’t, listen to your gut voice, and remember it is all about the daily balance.  If your body doesn't like gluten than use gluten free flour.  If your body doesn't like butter or milk, find a substitute.  When you bake for yourself you can control all of the ingredients. 

Sometimes you just have to eat a piece of cake!  And, half the fun in eating cake is creating something you love and you know works for your unique gut.




This article is by Grace Sorem, age 11.

I really like to bake.  Cupcake Wars and Cake Wars are two of my favorite shows because I enjoy learning from them and how the bakers are challenged both on taste and presentation.  For my 5th grade graduation present I received "The Cake Bible" which is a recipe book all about cakes.  My parents and grandparents also gave me cake decorating tools and a fancy cake plate.  My favorite ingredients are chocolate and lemon.  Last week for my grandparents I invented a new cake combination.  I made a yellow butter cake.  In the middle of the two layers I added a raspberry coulis with a hint of lemon.  My frosting was a lemon buttercream that I created all by myself.  My grandpa, that loves cakes, told me that it was, "one of the top 3 cakes he had ever tried in his life."  He also told me that his decision had nothing to do with me being his granddaughter.  My mom says my cake is, "heavenly".  My dad doesn't really eat cake and he had two pieces.  My brother likes to be my assistant baker so he can taste test everything.  We have an inside joke in our family where we say to each other, "I need to have another taste of that to make sure it isn't poisonous".  We love to taste test as we are baking!  The next cake I am going to try baking is a chocolate cake with a graham cracker crust in the middle and a marshmallow frosting, topped with crushed graham crackers and a chocolate drizzle.


Cake Ingredients from The Cake Bible, page 39:

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Rodelle vanilla
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

Cake Directions from The Cake Bible, page 39:

  1. "Prepare two 9 inch cake pans.  
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the yolks. 1/2 cup milk and vanilla.
  4. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients on low for 30 seconds.  
  5. Add the butter and remaining 1/2 cup milk.  Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.  
  6. Increase to medium speed and beat for 90 seconds.
  7. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition.
  8. Divide the batter into the two pans and bake for 25-30 minutes."

Raspberry Coulis Ingredients and Directions from Grace:

  1. In a medium sauce pan combine 4 cups raspberries, 1/2 cup sugar and 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice over medium heat for 10 minutes.  
  2. Break the raspberries down as you stir it.
  3. Let cool.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting and Directions from Grace:

Combine 2 sticks butter (at room temperature) with 4 cups powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.  Using an electric mixer beat on medium high until light and fluffy.

Grace's Directions for Assembling the Cake:

  1. Bake the cakes and let them cool.
  2. While the cakes are baking make the coulis and let it cool.
  3. When the cakes and coulis are cool add the coulis in between the two cake layers.
  4. Make the buttercream frosting and cover the entire cake.

Grace's Tips:

  1. Make sure you use real lemon juice.  I have tried using lemon extract and it tastes like chemicals.  We use a Zulay citrus squeezer to squeeze the lemons.  It is a lot easier.
  2. Have fun decorating the top of the cake.  I added raspberries in the shape of a heart.
  3. Let the butter come to room temperature by itself.  If you use the microwave it changes the butter and the cake isn't as good.
  4. I like to decorate my cake on a cake stand so I do not need to transfer it again.
  5. I always listen to music when I bake.  It makes it super fun.
  6. My grandmother likes to mostly eat gluten free.  We discovered a great gluten free flour mix that tastes divine in baked products.  Mix 24 oz brown rice flour, 24 ox white rice flour, 24 oz sweet rice flour, 20 oz tapioca flour and 2.5 tablespoons Xanthum Gum in a large container.  When baking equally substitute this mix cup for cup if a recipe calls for regular flour.

Here is a picture of my cake:


This is a great quote for people who love to bake and for people who love to eat cake!


Saturday, 28 April 2018 12:28

FODMAP: a closer look

FODMAP:  a closer look

When I was diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorption 10+ years ago a low FODMAP diet didn’t have the notoriety of today.  Low FODMAP recipe books did not exist. Apps dedicated to tracking a low FODMAP diet were not readily available. A low FODMAP diet was not the standard protocol, and patients didn’t have access to the technology we do today with misleading information.  

In 2008 after my diagnosis my doctor and dietitian advised me to limit my daily fructose load to less than 15 grams per day, avoid all man-made highly processed products, steer clear of all man-made sweeteners that are high in fructose, keep a food journal, and most importantly eat a diverse diet of real whole foods.  A low FODMAP diet was never suggested to me.

Now in 2018, ten years later, I am thriving.  My gut is not yelling at me. I do not go to bed so bloated that I look 3 months pregnant. I have a ton of energy and am happy.  

Yes, there still are limitations in my life.  We rarely go out to eat, and when we do we search out a local, chef driven restaurant committed to using real whole food ingredients.  Most of the items in our grocery cart are not convenience items. My cart is filled with whole foods found in the perimeter of the store.  In addition to weekly runs to the grocery store we visit our local bakery, Breadsmith, at least twice a week to purchase fresh baguettes and sandwich bread.   A fair amount of my time is spent meal planning and cooking. I still get very nervous when eating at a friend’s house; worried that I might eat something that doesn’t agree with me.  But, I can live with these limitations because I feel so much better than I did when I was first diagnosed. I know what doesn’t work for me. I have an answer and I know how to treat my intolerance by eating real whole food.

When I started my website adventure in the fall of 2017, I didn’t realize how different my journey to gut health would be compared to people who are diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorption today.  When I was diagnosed only two books were available at my local bookstore about Fructose Malabsorption and neither mentioned the low FODMAP diet. When I originally googled Fructose Malabsorption, hardly any websites were dedicated to Fructose Malabsorption and suggested diets.  The only websites I could find were rare medical journals. I didn’t even own a phone and had no idea what an app was.

Honestly, I feel lucky.  My only sources of information were my dietitian and my doctor.  I knew my body couldn’t process high amounts of fructose and I knew how to simply eliminate that from my diet.  I didn’t have incessant food product marketing, fad diets and debunked health claims clouding my understanding of how to treat myself.

So here I am trying to help people with Fructose Malabsorption, trying to connect with others who have children like I do who live with Fructose Malabsorption.  And, I am faced with this new reality: access to information on our phones and computers trumps visiting a medical professional.

Given this new reality, I want to understand what it is like to get diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorption today.  What are the hot topics? Where do people look for help? What diet is most suggested?

A low FODMAP diet appears to be the most suggested diet when diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorption.  There are 100+ books on store shelves about FODMAP diets. Google FODMAP and you could spend a lifetime looking at all of the websites.  And, let’s be honest-we all look to the internet for health advice.

So, what is FODMAP?  FODMAP is an acronym for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols-a mouthful!   Basically, FODMAPS are foods that aren’t well absorbed in the small intestine, pass into the colon and undergo fermentation by bacteria.  Please understand this is a natural process. Fermentation by bacteria should happen in your colon and is good for you. Everyone should eat FODMAP foods.  They are high in fiber and contain vital nutrients. We know now that bacteria lives in our gut for a reason and is important to having a healthy gut.

Why then is a low FODMAP diet suggested?  Who invented the FODMAP diet and why?

A team at Monash University in Australia led by Dr Peter Gibson and Dr Sue Shepherd developed the low FODMAP diet.  Dr Gibson, Dr Shepherd and their partners knew that FODMAP foods caused fermentation in the gut. Their theory was that if a patient reduced FODMAP foods, then consequently they would have less fermentation and less symptoms.  Their original patients felt better and had less symptoms. The low FODMAP diet was born! This is where social media, food product marketing and debunked medical claims found on the internet took a great idea and altered it.

I am definitely NOT advocating against the FODMAP diet.  What I am advocating for is to use this diet the way it was meant to be used.  In actuality, it wasn’t a diet when Monash University introduced the low FODMAP concept.  It was a diagnostic tool used to help patients with IBS regain a healthy gut. There are 3 phases of the low FODMAP diet, not one.

  1. A low FODMAP phase where you limit your FODMAP foods for 2-6 weeks under the care of a medical professional.  
  2. A re-challenge phase where you slowly re-introduce foods and journal your symptoms.  This phase takes 6-8 weeks and assistance from a medical professional is suggested.
  3. The third phase is an adapted FODMAP diet program.  Your medical professional will create a lifestyle diet for you that is diverse and includes tolerable FODMAP foods.   


The FODMAP concept is not a diet.  It is a tool to help you settle your gut and determine what works for YOU and doesn’t work for YOU!.  It is not a 100% lifestyle change. Each of has a unique gut biome, and the goal of this concept is to listen to your gut and figure out what makes you unique.

So why are people living a low FODMAP diet lifestyle?  

I think there are multiple reasons for this.  

  1. When we have known what it is like to have IBS and not to have IBS it is scary to think about eating something that might not agree with you and make you feel sick again.  The concept of reintroducing food can be daunting.
  2. I also think the wealth of information, albeit fake information on the internet, is pushing people to try the FODMAP diet without understanding the original concept.  
  3. And, since all of us our guilty of using the internet to diagnose and treat ourselves we are not searching out relationships with medical professionals who can help us.

Why not stay on a low FODMAP diet for ever?  What are the consequences?

If you eliminate FODMAPS you are eliminating many real whole foods that are beneficial to our health.  FODMAPS are needed to maintain a healthy bacterial population in our colons. They promote healthy bowel movements, decrease the risk of colorectal cancer, and reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In addition researchers at Monash University (where the FODMAP concept was born) recommend, “that a low FODMAP diet be followed strictly for just two to six weeks...and not be followed as a permanent diet for life” (www.fodmapguru.com).  The originators of the FODMAP concept do not suggest a long term low FODMAP diet.

Truly, I can see a lot of benefits from the 3 phase FODMAP approach.  What took me years to determine regarding my unique gut could have been discovered in a matter of a few months if I had known of and adopted the FODMAP concept.  For example, I learned after a lot of trial and error and food journaling that sugar alcohols, like sorbitol don’t work for me.

If you choose to follow the low FODMAP concept, then consult a trained doctor and/or dietitian who can guide you along your food journey.  Thriving with Fructose Malabsorption is possible. It takes time to understand your gut’s voice, but it is worth it.



"Monash University:  The 3 phases of the low FODMAP diet"

"Kismet health:  Why this is not a long-term solution to your digestive issues"

"Fodmap Guru:  Should You Stay on a low FODMAP diet permanently?"

"A FODMAP Diet Update:  Craze or Credible?"

"The Dietary Fibers-FODMAPs Controversy"

"All About SIBO:  Small Intestinal Overgrowth"

Andrea Hardy RD explains why a low FODMAP diet can harm your gut.




Published in FBF Blog
Tuesday, 17 April 2018 00:50

Primavera Pasta

Pasta Primavera:


  • ½ box favorite noodles
  • 2 cups asparagus, cut into 1 inch slices 
  • extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 yellow or red pepper, cut into julienne strips
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small red onion, chopped (or 1 tbsp onion powder)
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½  cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper (or more if you like a little more kick)
  • 4 chicken breasts boiled and shredded
  • ¼ cup sliced fresh basil or Litehouse Basil
  • ½ shredded parmesan cheese 
  • 1 large bunch super greens



  1. Cook pasta according to directions.  Add asparagus for last two minutes of cooking time.  Drain pasta and asparagus and set aside.
  2. In a large fry pan saute yellow or red pepper, mushrooms, onion and garlic for 5 minutes in EVOO.  Add broth, whipping cream, salt and crushed pepper.  Bring to a slight boil and cook until thick.
  3. Add chicken, basil, parmesan cheese, and pasta mixture to fry pan.  Stir on low for 5-8 minutes until well combined and sauce is absorbed.
  4. Serve with your favorite super greens on the side.



  1. If you are short on time use a shredded rotisserie chicken.  We prefer to make our own version of rotisserie like chicken
  2. This dish is best if you allow time for all of the flavors to combine and for the sauce to become absorbed.
  3. If you are using onion powder add it when you add the whipping cream and broth.  This will prevent the powder from browning.
  4. You can substitute rice for the noodles and make this recipe gluten free.  
  5. I also use this recipe to clean out fresh vegetables from my fridge.  Sometimes I add zucchini, spinach, peas, and green beans.  




Grace and I have discovered that it is really hard to find safe granola bars at the grocery store.  Most are made with honey, molasses or other man-made commercial sweeteners that are high in fructose.  We have sampled at least a dozen recipes over the last year trying to perfect the perfect granola bar recipe.  It finally occurred to me that I needed to create a simple syrup with sugar and water to replicate the quality of honey, molasses or a high fructose syrup; an ingredient that would help the granola bar ingredients stick together.  I also found this great pan on Amazon and used parchment squares.  You can make individual granola bar bites and clean-up is very easy.  Grace and her friends can make this recipe by themselves and even her friends without Fructose Malabsorption love these.


  • 6 tablespoons real peanut butter made without sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2/3 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup coarsely ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a small saucepan combine sugar and water over medium heat.  Simple syrup is ready when all the sugar is dissolved, the liquid is clear and the outer ring is starting to bubble.
  3. Let the syrup cool for 5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl add the peanut butter.  Stir in only 2/3 cooled syrup into the bowl that has the peanut butter in it.  The peanut butter will melt a little.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and stir.
  6. Add one large tablespoon to the middle of each parchment square and press into pan.
  7. Bake for 17-20 minutes.
  8. Let cool for 10 minutes and enjoy!



  1. You need to make more simple syrup than the recipe calls for.  For example, in this recipe you only use 2/3 cup syrup but you need to start with 3/4 cup sugar and water because the water can evaporate.
  2. I love this new pan I purchased it online.  Grace and I are going to try making homemade marshmallows and lemon candies with it next time.







Saturday, 14 April 2018 14:42

Grace's Favorite Products and Recipes

Hi, My name is Grace. I am 11 years old living with Fructose Malabsorption.  It is hard when my friends and family can have a product and I can’t have it.  My mom and I have done a lot research to find products that I can have, recipes that are like products I can't have, and bakeries that make treats with real sugar.  Here are some of my favorites:


1. Wrigley's DoubleMint Perfectly Sweet Gum:

It is super hard to find gum that I can have and that doesn't taste bad.  We found this one on Amazon.  I love Amazon!  Wrigley's DoubleMint Perfectly Sweet Gum is made with just sugar, no high fructose syrup and no sorbitol or xylitol.  My mom and I try not to eat sorbitol and xylitol.

2.  Smartie Pops:

I like to share Smartie Pops with my friends.  We always keep them at my house and pack them if we are going somewhere like a movie.



3.  Homemade Peanut Butter Cups:

These are really good and I like to eat them frozen.



4.  Chocolate Candy Cookies:

My friend, Stella, and I like to bake together.  This is one of our favorites.



5. Chocolate Peanut Butter Gooey Goodness Granola Bars:

I can't usually have any granola bars from the grocery store because of honey and other fake sweeteners.



6. Angel Food Minnesota Bakery:

Angel Food Bakery is my favorite place to get donuts.  There is a second location at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport.  I got to have one on the way to Florida.  My favorite flavor is chocolate sprinkles.



7. Sprinkles Cupcakes in Chicago:

We went to Chicago and visited Sprinkles Cupcakes because they are made with real sugar.  Sprinkles Cupcakes is on Cupcake Wars.



8. Breadsmith Bakery:

I love everything at Breadsmith.  



Grace's additional blog articles:


Grace's Passion For Baking: Yellow Butter Cake With Raspberry Coulis and Lemon Buttercream


Grace's First Article: What to do when you go to birthday and team parties







Published in FBF Blog
Friday, 13 April 2018 03:04

An Apple A Day, Is Not The Fructose Way


We have all heard that old adage, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away”.  This phrase became popular in the 1860’s in Wales. The Welsh people inherently knew without scientific backing that eating foods like apples that are rich in fiber, nutrients and vitamins were the key to good health.  In the 21st century we now know a lot more about what specific nutrients and vitamins are found in each type of food group; and how consuming certain nutrients and vitamins can reduce our risk of a multitude of diseases.  Apples are packed with antioxidants, dietary fiber and flavanoids which have been proven to reduce the risk of cancer, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. In addition apples are bursting with vitamins C and B which can prevent immune and cardiovascular disease.  Apples are truly a superfood.

But, what about people living with Fructose Malabsorption?  Apples have 7.4 grams of fructose and 3 grams of glucose making them not particularly safe for people like us.  Fruits, like apples, with higher fructose loads compared to glucose loads can wreak havoc on our guts causing a fructose volcano-not good!  In addition apples contain sorbitol or sugar alcohol. Sorbitol is not a disease reducing nutrient like a vitamin; Sorbitol is a sweetner. It is similar to fructose in how it is absorbed in our body and has been shown to be a problem for people who have Fructose Malabsorption.  

Our family chooses to live by a different motto, “An apple a day, is not the fructose way”.  Yes, apples are superfoods; however, there are other superfoods with lower fructose amounts that are healthier for people living with Fructose Malabsorption.  Cantaloupe, cranberries, pineapple, oranges, strawberries and grapefruit are the safest fruits to eat because they contain 5 or less grams of fructose. All of these fruits contain important vitamins and nutrients like apples and are known to prevent disease.  We also choose to eat a lot of fresh vegetables which have even lower fructose amounts and provide the same powerful health benefits.


I am not advocating for you to eliminate apples entirely from your diet.  Afterall, my website is named “Families Balancing Fructose”. If you love apples like my daughter, Grace, it is ok to eat a few apple slices occasionally.  The key to making this a healthy choice for you is to balance your other choices that day, limit your fructose loads, choose fruits and vegetables that have a higher glucose amount, and avoid all man-made highly processed sweeteners.  In my article on sugar digestion I explain this idea in depth: why you should understand how fructose is processed in your body and how to balance your daily fructose intake similar to an old fashioned teeter totter.


You should also limit your intake of apple juice and applesauce if you have Fructose Malabsorption.  Both tend to have higher amounts of fructose and less of those important disease fighting nutrients. Be aware of hidden apple juice.  Apple juice can be used to sweeten many products including deli meat, bacon and frozen “organic” french fries.

If apples are one of your favorites then enjoy them occasionally.  It’s all about balance; living each day with intentional safe eating habits; and an intentional pursuit of joy and healthy living.


For more information on Welsh folk sayings check out Wikipedia.

Medical News Today explains the health benefits of apples.

Some people who suffer from Fructose Malabsorption also have a difficult time digesting naturally occurring sugar alcohols like sorbitol and mannitol. Here is a link to an interesting article. 


Published in FBF Blog
Tuesday, 10 April 2018 19:15

Simply Balanced Breadcrumbs

We like to use Simply Balanced Organic Breadcrumbs when making two of Jack and Grace's favorite recipes: Mom's Oven Chicken and Baked Tilapia.  Target Corporation makes the Simply Balanced Breadcrumbs and a gluten free version, too.


Published in Products

This is a great dinner if you only have 30 minutes to put a meal on the table.



Braised Potatoes:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound new or fingerling potatoes cut in half
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • 4 tilapia filets
  • 3/4 cup Simply Balanced Bread Crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese


  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste



  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. In a large oven ready skillet, over medium-high heat, saute′ potatoes and onions with olive oil and butter for 8 minutes.
  3. Add chicken broth and spices to skillet and stir.
  4. Cover skillet with a lid and place in the oven.  Roast for 12-18 minutes depending on size of potato. Add more spices if preferred.
  5. While potatoes are roasting place tilapia filets on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon olive oil on filets.  In a small bowl combine breadcrumbs, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper and remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.  Spoon breadcrumb mixture onto fish. Cook for 8-10 minutes depending on size of filet.
  6. When the fish is finished sprinkle parmesan cheese on filets.
  7. On a separate cookie sheet drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on asparagus.  Roast for 6-8 minutes in the same oven as the potatoes and fish.



  1. I use Reynolds Kitchens Cookie Baking Sheets, Pre-Cut Parchment Paper.  It makes clean-up a breeze.
  2. We prefer Simply Balanced Breadcrumbs.  Target also makes a gluten free brand.
  3. You could also add the zest from one lemon to the tilapia.
  4. All items can be cooked in the same 425 degree oven.


These are the breadcrumbs we prefer.


I use Reynolds Kitchens Cookie Baking Sheets, Pre-Cut Parchment Paper.  


Published in Quick, Easy, Healthy
Tuesday, 10 April 2018 18:34

Jack and Grace's Favorite Stir Fry Recipe

I have tried many stir fry recipes over the last 10 years and this is Jack and Grace's favorite.  It is a little sweet and a little spicy, just like Grace.  The recipe I use is actually just the sauce portion of the recipe.  I switch up the protein and vegetable source every time I make it.  Typically, I make stir fry when I need to use up left over fresh vegetables.  This time it was green beans, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms and bell pepper.  I have never put green beans in the recipe and really loved it.  It may become a staple.  You can make this entire meal in under 30 minutes if you use Grain Trust Steamed Rice.  It only takes a few minutes in your microwave to steam.



  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • protein source
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • fresh vegetables
  • 1.5 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil



  1. In a small bowl combine soy sauce through crushed red pepper flakes.
  2. In a large skillet over a medium-high temperature heat 1 tablespoon canola oil; and cook protein source until done, remove and set-aside.
  3. Add second tablespoon canola oil, cook garlic for 1 minute, add vegetables, and cook until the begin to soften (3-5 minutes).
  4. Add sauce and protein to vegetables and cook for a few more minutes.
  5. In a small bowl mix together cornstarch and water.  Add to the skillet, mix in and allow sauce to thicken.
  6. Drizzle with sesame oil before serving.
  7. Serve over rice.


  1. I own a Fuzzy-Logic rick cooker.  It turns out perfectly each time.  The rice is a little sticky and holds its shape.  
  2. You can choose vegetables that work for your family's diet or do what I do sometimes and clean out the vegetable drawer in my fridge.
  3. This recipe would make a great FODMAP challenge recipe due to the garlic.  Try this with other safe foods and in your food journal write down how your gut feels.  For more information on FODAMPS refer to: FODMAP, A Closer Look.



Recipe inspired by Ellie Krieger.

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