I used to snack on almonds, cheese, and grapes. They taste great alone or all together, but I have accepted that, for me, this treat is no more. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other tasty snacks though – I just have to figure out what they are!
When I first cut out so many foods, I found myself snacking primarily on carrots. Then, I found sunflower seeds. I thought I had truly found the answer to my snacking needs. Sunflower seeds were crunchy and transportable, didn’t require any preparation time, provided me with protein to keep me going, and tasted yummy. I even found Sunbutter which I used as a replacement for almond butter in many recipes since it met my food-allergic child’s needs. I found that I was snacking on some form of sunflower seeds much of the time until another migraine came. Although I thought this one was due to an abundance of fragrance present in the air at a department store during a shopping trip, I stepped back to consider what I had eaten as well. I had been loyal to my changed diet, so I didn’t think this was the issue. However, a low-grade headache lingered for awhile, so I tried to figure out what had changed to cause the pain. The only thing I could figure out was the drastic increase in my consumption of sunflower seeds. I had never bothered to research whether these contained a significant level of tyramine or not. Now, I know, and I want you to know too – they do.
Initially, I felt discouraged, but hunger and the desire to avoid pain prompted my search for something else. I found several recipes for quinoa snacks, and it doesn’t appear that quinoa has high levels of tyramine. However, the information I could find was minimal. I decided to give it a try, and I have not had migraines after eating quinoa despite eating larger portions during my trial. I sometimes still eat small portions of almonds or sunflower seeds, but I limit myself to the amount that seems to work for me. With all of the other foods I have cut out, I can tolerate occasional small portions of some foods that I still really want to eat.
One really awesome snack recipe that I use is for quinoa crackers. I don’t know why this happens, but these crackers end up tasting buttery even though there isn’t a dairy product in them. I have thoughts of buttered popcorn as I snack. The only change I have had to make to this recipe is to add an additional 2 tablespoons of water to form the dough ball. I mill my own quinoa flour because I have been unable to find a product that is not cross-contaminated with peanuts and cashews. After all, a food allergy requires complete elimination, while a food intolerance that causes migraines may or may not.
Another great option for quinoa crackers (shown below) was originally inspired from Wendy Polisi’s recipe. I replaced some of the ingredients with others that would be less likely to trigger my migraines, and I changed the baking procedure slightly. Eaten alone or with a salad, these crackers are a treat! And…..they smell like pizza while they are baking due to the use of garlic and thyme:) I haven’t figured out what to do about pizza on this diet, so I appreciate this sensation greatly.
1 cup milled flax
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
1 tsp. thyme (optional)
1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and cooked in 2 cups of water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 identical baking sheets with sides
- In a bowl, mix flax, water, salt, garlic powder, and thyme.
- Add olive oil and cooked quinoa and blend well.
- Place the dough on a large parchment-lined baking sheet with sides.
- With fingertips, flatten the dough to the edges of the pan.
- Slide the dough and parchment off the pan onto the counter. Cover with plastic wrap and gently even out the dough thickness with a rolling pin.
- Slide the dough and parchment back onto the baking sheet and carefully remove the plastic wrap.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until the parchment paper easily pulls away and the dough is cooked but not crisp.
- Place the remaining baking sheet upside down on top of the sheet with the dough.
- Holding both sheets together with hot pads, flip the pans over so that the dough transfers to the colder sheet.
- Carefully remove the parchment. Use a knife or spatula to ease the dough off of the parchment if necessary.
- Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into cracker-sized pieces.
- Bake for an additional 40 minutes until the crackers are crispy but not burned. Depending on your oven, more or less baking time may be required at this point. However, it is easy to overbake these crackers resulting in a slight burn-like taste.
- If the crackers lose their crispness during storage, reheat in a toaster or oven until crispy. If you have a dehydrator, you could dry at 110 degrees for an hour or two.