Excellent breakfasting solution


Blimey, times have really changed in the seven years or so since I have started following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Back then, even being coeliac was considered a bit niche, so when I described the regime I was following to people they’d often just look at me, agog, at all the things I avoid eating (rightly so, quite frankly).

These days, though, ‘free from’ goodies are positively mainstream and I only have to say the words ‘restricted diet’ to a waiter for them to send the chef over to talk through exactly what I can and can’t eat and . So really it’s never been a better time to be in the special needs food camp in terms of tolerance and understanding from the wider world. But I still don’t know anyone else at all following the SCD, which is partly why I wrote this piece for the Telegraph last week about it:

So if you are reading this and also following the SCD I would really love to hear from you about your experiences on the diet. If you are a new subscriber: welcome! And I would  love to hear from you too. Are you following the SCD? Or are you cutting down on certain foods for another reason? Or maybe you are doing something else altogether, but I’d love to know more about your experiences with cooking and eating, so please do get in touch.

I also thought this would be a good moment to tell you about a really important part of the SCD, and that is homemade yoghurt, which I wrote about recently on my guest blog at woman&home

When most of the significant carbohydrates were taken away from my life, I faced many challenges, but by far the biggest was breakfast! Seriously, have you ever tried eating breakfast without carbs?

For ages, my rather unsustainable solution was just to avoid breakfast altogether. Then, at the weekends when I had more time, I remembered the joy of omelettes; the best protein fix ever. And, perhaps most joyously of all, I learned how to make gorgeously puffy pancakes using almond flour, served with warm cinnamon honey instead of maple syrup.

And because – honestly – I couldn’t be fagged, I just ignored the fact that a big part of the SCD is homemade yoghurt. If you make this correctly (according to the SCD recipe) over 24 hours, the yoghurt has a concentration of 3 billion cfu/ml. So just 250 ml of yoghurt contains more than 700 billion beneficial bacteria. To put that into context, that’s about 50 times more than that a typical 15 billion capsule. So eating this yoghurt every day really helps to correct the balance of bacteria types in the gut by eliminating the food supply of the undesirable bacteria and repopulating the gut with beneficial bacteria. Obviously, I am following this diet to cure colitis – but I think everybody could do with a blast of beneficial bacteria, couldn’t they? It’s also cheaper than buying probiotics, and curiously satisfying to grow your own breakfast.

And actually, if you have a yoghurt maker, the basic process is very simple. I started off using a yoghurt maker from Lakeland but the problem with that is that there is no temperature control. As this is a precision process, and a really important part of my diet, I wanted to be sure I was getting it right. So I ended up getting this TANIKA one from Japan  because it has a digital temperature control. It’s not cheap, but since I eat yoghurt every day, I broke the overall price into price-per-bowl and decided I could justify it.

Then once I’d mastered the yoghurt, I started toasting my own granola (without any grains, obviously). So breakfast is now a bowl of yoghurt, my amazing nutty granola, raisins and blue/other berries/banana/apple with a squirt of honey. Which is not too shabby at all considering I used to have nothing at all for breakfast. I’ve gone from breakfast rags to breakfast riches, in fact.

DIY grain-free granola

 You need a couple of handfuls each of the following:

Almonds, Brazil nuts, pecans

Sesame, sunflower pumpkin and poppy seeds.

Roughly chop the nuts then put them plus the seeds into a large frying pan and dry fry on a medium heat, tossing every so often, until they are deliciously toasted, which takes 5-10 minutes. Once cooled, add some raisins. This will keep in a sealed box for up to two weeks – if it lasts that long, that is.

Beneficial bacteria blast yoghurt

You need:

Enough milk to fill your yoghurt maker. I use full fat organic milk, but you can use semi-skimmed too.

Some commercial yoghurt to use as a ‘starter’. I use Woodland yogurt as per the SCD yoghurt instructions, which recommend only starter cultures with lactobacillus bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, and S. thermophilus.

First, heat the milk to boiling point then simmer for two minutes to kill the existing bacteria, stirring all the time to avoid burning. Sterilise your yoghurt maker container, sieve and spoon by pouring boiled water on it. After two minutes, cover the pan to prevent airborne bacteria and dust contamination and cool the milk to below 110F (body temperature). You can speed this up by standing the pan in cold water in the sink.

When it’s cooled, mix ¼ cup of your starter yoghurt with half a cup of cooled milk and mix into a smooth paste. Then add the rest of the milk, put the lid on and switch your yoghurt maker on. The Yoghurt maker needs to be 100 to 110F and you need to leave it for 24 hours so the starter culture multiplies and consumes the milk to produce your good bacteria packed yoghurt. After 24 hours, put it in the fridge where the bacteria will remain active for two weeks.

And if that has piqued your curiosity, you can read more about SCD yoghurt here 




9 thoughts on “Excellent breakfasting solution

  1. I saw your piece in the Telegraph and as my grand daughter has just gone gluten free I am interested in what you have say – also you have a very engaging writing style. You have my sympathy as I love bread. Yours, Ann

    1. Dear Ann, Ooh I love bread too, so so much. But I’ve had to park that love and detach myself from the yearnings and, somehow, I have managed not to have a slice of bread for seven years, which I never, ever thought I would say. But let the records show: I never, ever mind other people eating bread around me, in fact I support and enable it and even actually make it from scratch sometimes, for my husband and son. But I hope your grand daughter is managing OK with her gluten free lifestyle. I’m sure you may have noticed this already but all the recipes on here are gluten free and I highly recommend the almond flour pancakes if ever she is staying over and you feel like whipping out a gluten free surprise. Thanks for your message.

  2. If you think your diet is restricting, try not being able to eat anything at all! Nada. Nil by mouth. I can’t even imagine how hard it would be! http://www.nzherald.co.nz/health-wellbeing/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501238&objectid=11558385. I have tried the FODMAP diet as I have IBS, and found it did help, although I have gradually reintroduced the foods I came off, and have found that I am fine, so far. The SCD seems to be fairly similar, and it’s always great to get new recipe ideas!

    1. Wow, thanks for upping my gratitude levels for what I can eat even further Trudy! Yikes, frankly. And that’s great that you found the FODMAP diet helpful – I have spoken to lots of other people who have too. And yes, I’m always looking for new recipe ideas too, and I hope some of mine tickle your fancy…

  3. I found your blog from the Telegraph artical.
    I have experienced digestive problems for the last three years, with little help from the medical profession. Following reading your blog I am reducing carbs and removing bread from my diet to see how things go.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Hi Brian, Thanks for your comment and I am so glad to hear that my experience may have inspired you although sorry to hear that you’ve had little help from the medical profession. I did have to plough my own furrow a bit as far as treating my colitis with diet went, but it was helpful to have a medical diagnosis in the first place and I wonder if you have a sense of the what the underlying cause of your digestive problems might be. I also, for what it is worth, found it immensely helpful to have the help and guidance of the naturopath who helped me master the SCD so I hope you can find some kind of support with the dietary changes you make – but mainly I hope that they make a positive difference!

  4. I don’t have a yogurt maker and have used a slow cooker but found a flask easier to use. Of course I’m unable to control the temperature and find that the yogurt is of the right consistency after 6 hours. I do strain it to get a Greek type yogurt consistency. I take a tablespoonful of the whey each day and find that I no longer suffer from reflux.

  5. Hi there,

    I found your blog through my Aunty who read your article in the Telegraph. I was diagnosed with UC a year ago and currently I’m not on medication nor following a diet but as of today I’m starting the SCD.

    I wanted to get in touch and thank you for your blog, it looks really great and I can’t wait to try out some of your recipes and I also wanted to ask you about the Tanika yoghurt maker. Your link didn’t work for me and I wanted to check that it was this one: http://www.amazon.co.uk/TANICA-Yogurt-maker-temperature-Amazake-natto-YM-1200-NB/dp/B002SV0BL2

    If so, I’ll order it today on your recommendation 🙂

    With love,


    1. Hi Caroline and thanks for your message and I’m so pleased to hear that you are going to give the SCD a go – good for you! And yes, this is the yoghurt maker I have – I highly recommend it as you can control the temperature and time very precisely, which is really important for the SCD yoghurt. But don’t forget that you need to get a transformer as well because it runs on a Japanese voltage – I think I found mine on Amazon too. Wishing you lots of luck with getting the SCD show on the road – really hope my recipes help you on the way (and help to remind you that life can still be happy and delicious). Keep me posted! Tory

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *