How do you celebrate completed your Dairy Allergy Treatment? With Vanilla Bean Ice Cream of course!
This Monday, we celebrated Xander’s first completed week of OIT, Oral Immunotherapy, specifically for his dairy allergy.
The goal of oral immunotherapy is to provide a long-term solution for people who have food allergies to egg, milk, peanut and/or wheat. Since Xander has allergies to all 4 (but first 3 are deadly), we are starting 1 at a time and dairy is first on the list to tackle. At the end of this 5 to 6 month program, he should be able to consume any of the challenged foods with no allergic reactions. The program does this by introducing pre-measured doses of allergen in a solution over a period of 3 to 4 months, progressing to small doses of the food for an additional 2 to 3 months. This then results in tolerance to these foods allowing the patient to consume egg milk, peanut or wheat without any adverse reactions.
Our first visit for oral immunotherapy was a full 8 hour process that started with breathing tests & standard check up to make sure he was stable. They then established a line in his vein for emergency epinephrine if needed, and we were praying that it wouldn’t have to be used. Then came his first dose of a very small amount of diluted milk.
Although he was incredibly excited for this moment, and in fact he was MORE excited about it then I was, he was also incredibly anxious. When the nurse first went to give it to him, he pulled away and then forced his tense little body to take it. I could only imagine what was going through his mind. For 8 years, he’s known that even trace amounts of dairy could kill him and now he’s going to ingest it all day long. That must have been scary for him (it sure was for me just watching). He did great though and over the next 7 hours, Xander was given multiple doses of very small amounts of diluted milk every 15 minutes.
In between was merely waiting, watching and breathing tests. He tried to get comfortable and play some games but there was never enough time to really get into it before being interrupted to take another dose. Hence the “thumbs down”.
Our day 1 was successful and worked up to 6ml of diluted dairy. This is the dose I have been giving him two times a day at home until our weekly follow-ups when we may or may not have that amount increased. Xander’s Oral immunotherapy is complete when the previously allergy causing food can be freely included in the diet. To maintain tolerance the food must be eaten daily, which will include a trip to Andy’s Frozen Custard from time to time at his request.
UNTIL THEN, we are sticking with dairy free products. And to be honest, this challenge isn’t because we want to incorporate dairy into our diet, it’s really because dairy is so prominent and hard to avoid (especially cross contamination) that we want to create a little safety net JUST IN CASE he comes into contact with it. Before he has gone into anaphylaxis, but after this, we are hoping we can at least avoid that reaction to dairy. Plus, it opens up a world of a little less isolation. Who doesn’t want to see their kid be included?
All this talk of dairy inspired me a little to stick with what I know and create a dairy free ice cream that was amazing! I’ve made simple fruit ice cream made with frozen berries, and tried a few recipes but this by far had me most pleased. I wouldn’t need to buy ice cream ever again if it always tasted like this! Feel free to use our own mix in, but if you like vanilla with swirls of cherry and chocolate, then this is for you.
- 1 Vanilla Bean pod ( or 2 tsp. vanilla extract)
- 2 14-oz cans Coconut Milk (not light)
- 1 TB Arrowroot powder
- 3 TB. agave (or raw honey)
- 1 TB. coconut oil
- Dash pink Himalayan sea salt
- 3 C. sweet cherries (frozen works great)
- 3 TB. agave
- 1/2 C. water
- 1 tsp. arrowroot powder
- 1/2 C. Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks
- Carefully cut open bean pod and scrape to collect seeds. Tap seeds into medium pot.
- In a small bowl, whisk together arrowroot powder (1 TB) with 1/4 C. coconut milk until blended. Add to pot with vanilla seeds then mix in remaining coconut milk, 3 TB agave, coconut oil and dash of salt.
- Cook over medium high, stirring often and bring to a slight boil. It should start to thicken a little. Remove from heat, stir for another 2 minutes.
- Cool slightly then transfer to airtight container and chill overnight.
- Start making your cherry compote.
- In a small saucepan, whisk water and arrowroot powder together. Once blended, add in agave and cherries.
- Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer approximately 10 minutes. This will thicken a little as well.
- Remove from heat.
- Cool slightly then refrigerate until needed.
- Pour chilled coconut milk base into prepared ice-cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions. Approximately half way through, add in half or all cherry compote and 1/2 C. chocolate chunks and allow to finish cycle.
- Transfer to air tight container and freeze.
Arrowroot powder will help prevent ice crystals from forming. *If you do not have an ice cream maker, simply add mix-ins to coconut base and transfer to an air-tight freezer container. **Allow at least 5 minutes of thaw time before serving.