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Iodine-free baking


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Abra

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 08:33 PM

My husband is a thyroid cancer patient, which means that periodically he has to do an iodine-free diet for two weeks. This is VERY restrictive, and makes baking a huge challenge. Every bite he eats has to be prepared at home, no restaurants, almost no canned or processed foods. Since iodized or sea salt, bleached flour, and dough conditioners are verboten, all bread has to be home-baked. No dairy products at all, including butter. No egg yolks. No soy. No brown sugar or molasses. No chocolate, except cocoa powder. And there are more restrictions, but these are the baking challenges.

So I've been playing around with baking for him, and here are two really successful treats I've made


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On the top is the remains of a cinnamon bread he's been eating for breakfast. The little tartlets are made with a lard pastry (home made lard), and nutmeg-simmered apples. I made a crumb topping with flour, sugar, sesame seeds, and walnut oil, then decided to put a layer of that under the apple layer, as well as on top. I haven't tasted them, but he pronounced them delicious, so I'm happy.

#2 Trishiad

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 08:37 PM

you're a good woman!

#3 chefpeon

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 09:15 PM

Shel is so lucky he has you!

Man, I thought wheat-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and fat-free were tough......
iodine-free? One isn't quite sure how much iodine can be so prevalent in common foods!
Yipes. Double yipes!

How's he doing? I hope you all are OK!!! :wub:

#4 Patrick S

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 07:48 AM

God job adapting to some difficult constraints!

Oh, and it all looks delicious too!
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#5 jgarner53

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 11:30 AM

Wow - who knew there was iodine in all those common foods? Butter? How does it get there?

You are a good, good woman.
"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner
buttercream pastries

#6 Abra

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 11:40 AM

It's funny, but no one seems to know how iodine gets into dairy products. Some theories are: washing udders with iodine-containing disinfectant, washing milking machines with same, or iodine introduced into feed supplies. I suppose that salt licks aren't made with iodized salt, but I'm not even sure of that.

I'm not sure if there's any call for iodine-free baked goods out there in pastry chef land, but if there is, I'll be happy to share what I know.

#7 Fernwood

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 12:46 PM

It's funny, but no one seems to know how iodine gets into dairy products.  Some theories are: washing udders with iodine-containing disinfectant, washing milking machines with same, or iodine introduced into feed supplies.  I suppose that salt licks aren't made with iodized salt, but I'm not even sure of that.

I'm not sure if there's any call for iodine-free baked goods out there in pastry chef land, but if there is, I'll be happy to share what I know.

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I'm just speculating based on general biology knowledge but, since iodine is a necessary nutrient for humans, I suspect it is necessary for other mammals and, therefore, there is probably enough in cow's milk to meet the needs of calves. Whether that is enough to be too much for your husband's situation I have no idea. As you have suggested, there may be other sources of added iodine in commercial dairy products.
Just thinking about it... Fern

#8 Patrick S

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 01:10 PM

It's funny, but no one seems to know how iodine gets into dairy products.  Some theories are: washing udders with iodine-containing disinfectant, washing milking machines with same, or iodine introduced into feed supplies. 

View Post


Well, some of it is present naturally in soils and trasmitted to cows who graze on grasses growing in those soils. I don't know about the relative contributions of each of these sources to dairy iodine though.
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#9 kthull

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 01:25 PM

As always, well done Abra!

#10 Abra

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 05:56 PM

Just for you, Kevin, I'll add that I couldn't use Whey Low because of the lactose. Bummer. And hey, the maple syrup is not bad, just as an off topic aside.

#11 Sarah Phillips

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 07:44 AM

So I've been playing around with baking for him, and here are two really successful treats I've made

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Abra,

BRAVO! Good for you....and, my best wishes for you and your husband.

Edited by Sarah Phillips, 12 March 2005 - 07:45 AM.

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

#12 YoChefGregg

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 03:54 PM

How are you and your husband doing?
I had my thyroid removed just over a year ago.
I can certainly feel your pain.
Best wishes for a full recovery.
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Water Boils Roughly
Cold Eggs Coagulating
Egg Salad On Rye
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Gregg Robinson

#13 Abra

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 04:39 PM

Thanks for the good wishes! We're doing ok. This is a really hard month, but it will be April before too long, and life will get more normal again. It's the third time he's had to do this treatment, so we're unfortunately sort of pros at it.

It's so hard to bake without brown sugar!

#14 JustKay

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 01:31 AM

Those look good Abra. You are indeed a good wife. Best wishes to your DH.