Top 5 Gadgets for your Kitchen

Sundays are my big prep days for the week. I take out my favorite appliances and gadgets to prepare sauces, salad dressings and anything else that I want to eat for the week. I make an extra effort to prepare a big meal for dinner so that we can plan to have leftovers for lunches. After dinner, I prep my lunches for the week and try to make sure they are all food sensitivity friendly!
 
There is nothing worse than being at work and not feeling well, rushing to the bathroom, or just wanting to curl up in bed and be a hermit. Anybody else feel me on that one?
 
Last Sunday I was thinking about all the appliances and gadgets that I use and thought I would share them with you guys!
 
So here are my favs (in no particular order):

1. Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

I got this mixer from my parents a couple years ago. It’s beautiful, lime green, and I use it almost every week. Most stand mixers (especially Kitchen Aid) will come with many mixing attachments.
 
The paddle attachment is for making standard cookie, brownie and cake mixes. I don’t make these foods too often but I do appreciate some good desserts like everyone else.
 
The hook attachment is to knead breads and pizza dough. I make these at least once a month! We don’t buy sandwich bread anymore because of all the ingredients and we don’t order pizzas because I can’t eat tomatoes, garlic or cheese so it’s best to make our own!
 
The whisk attachment is for whipping. Last year I made homemade marshmallows for 4th of July because my Dad was not able to eat regular marshmallows due to his food sensitivities. This was a fun but messy project! Maybe I will post a recipe in the future!
 
Recipes that I make using my kitchen aid stand mixer: Crusty Dutch Oven Bread
 

2. Silicon Mat

Have you ever used a silicon mat? This was another amazing gift! When I opened it on Christmas, I was expecting to see (link silicon baking mat). I wanted to put it in the oven to bake on instead of wax paper or foil. Instead I got this mat (link to my mat) and it is so much better!
 
There are ruler guides on the edges, little tips about conversions, etc.
 
I use this mat to roll out bread dough, make cookies on Christmas, and shape my pizza dough into whatever sizes that I need – personal pizzas or big pizzas! And so many other things. Definitely a keeper in my book 😊.
 
Recipes that I make using my silicon mat: Homemade Thick Crust Pizza
 

3. Immersion Blender

Last year was a big year for kitchen appliances. This immersion blender was on my list for a while! I love making soups and sauces this blender saves you from having to transport items into a blender in batches. Saves on time and clean up! Win-Win! They are not that costly either, I believe this one was only about $____
 
Recipes that I make using my immersion blender: 6-Ingredient Zucchini Pizza Bites, 5-Ingredient Cauliflower Soup
 

4. Food Processor/Blender combo

A couple years ago I bought this food processor/blender combo and it has been great! My old food processor was very small and it was hard to make a lot of things in it. My new one isn’t huge but it is big enough to make hummus, no bake bars, sauces, and other recipes!
 
Everyone knows what to do with a blender – SMOOTHIES! Smoothies are great, especially on hot days. I have also made banana ice cream and other fruit purees, but the food processor is great for these too!
 
Recipes that I make using a food processor/blender: Vegan Protein Bars – Cherry and Apricot,  
 

5. Crockpot

The crockpot is our saving grace during the work week. Making bulk meals is key so that I have leftovers to take to work throughout the week. With food sensitivities and a sensitive stomach, it is almost impossible to go out to eat or buy food from the work cafeteria. Not knowing how the food is prepared or the ingredients in them makes its hard to know how you will tolerate the meal. Usually this means that you have to spend extra time in the kitchen every day preparing food for the next day. I like to make my protein in the crockpot – pulled chicken, pork or beef and even “rotisserie” chicken. My grains and vegetables are easy to prepare but the protein is what I find takes the longest! And I am all about making things easier!
 
Recipes that I make using my crockpot: Crock-pot Whole Chicken, Crockpot Quinoa Enchilada
Save the PDF of our Top 5 Kitchen Gadgets for a Food Sensitivity Friendly Kitchen!

Products we use:


What’s your favorite kitchen appliance?

Enjoy!

 

Mustard

Mustard: The Magic in this Secret Sauce

Mustard Did you know mustard is a relative of cabbage, broccoli and radishes?

This family of vegetables is the Brassica family and has very potent health benefits and mustard has been one of favorites to focus on lately. I have been finding places to put ground mustard, mustard greens, and even yellow mustard on foods whenever I can. Let me tell you why!

Benefits of Mustard Greens

Mustard greens appear in the top four vegetables that are especially high in phenols. Phenols are chemical compounds that have strong inhibitory effects against the mutation of cells and formation of cancer. Other cancer fighting compounds in mustard greens are antioxidants. These substances prevent cell damage that leads to mutations in DNA and can be very dangerous to the body.

Mustard greens also has benefits directly in your liver and your blood. They are potent detoxifiers and can cleanse the liver and the blood by pulling environmental toxins from the blood stream, neutralize heavy metals and help eliminate pesticides from your body.

 

Other benefits of mustard greens:
  • High in fiber, which can help control cholesterol levels by interfering with absorption in the gut. Fiber also helps lower the amount of toxins in your digestive tract by lowering high blood pressure
  • High in vitamin K, which is a major vitamin important in bone building, blood clotting and removing calcium from places that it shouldn’t be.
  • Over 50% of your daily vitamin C in 1 cup of mustard greens, which is important in the body’s repair process. Vitamin C can help prevent cell damage, maintain healthy tissue build collagen and maintain blood vessels.

NOTE: If you are taking a blood thinner (warfarin/coumadin) talk with your doctor before consuming foods high in vitamin K.

 

Benefits of Mustard Seed

Mustard seed is used as whole seeds or ground up into a fine powder, which is what gives the mustard condiment its spicy taste.

Mustard seed, like other vegetables in the Brassica family, contain a phytonutrient called glucosinolates as well as an enzyme called myrosinase. When this phytonutrient and enzyme come together during the chopping, chewing, or grinding process they form another phytonutrient called isothiocyanates.

Glucosinolates + myrosinase = isothiocyanates

Eating high amounts of these phytonutrients have been shown in animal studies to inhibit the growth of cancer calls and protect against the formation of new cells.

This benefit only applies in the raw vegetable/spice. When heated, the myrosinase enzyme is denatured (killed off) and the vegetable does not have a chance to create isothiocyanates. For this reason, anytime I cook a vegetable in the Brassica family, I have been adding mustard powder after cooking. This readds the myrosinase enzyme back into the food so that it can work with the glucosinolates to create isothiocyanates.

Mustard seeds are also a great source of other nutrients:

  • 1 Tablespoon of Mustard powder has 25% of your daily needs of selenium. This mineral helps reduce the severity of asthma, helps prevent cancer and decreases symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
  •  There is a higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids compared to omega-6 fatty acids which is an unusual find in our food supply. Omega-3 fatty acids have numerous anti-inflammatory benefits and on average we are getting more omega-6 fats in our diets than we really need.

 

A couple of ways to start adding mustard to your day!

Sprinkle mustard seed on your cooked Brassica vegetables: cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale.

Add whole mustard seed to a coleslaw recipe.

Add some Dijon mustard to your favorite vinaigrette dressing.

Use Rachel Schultz’ recipe and mix Dijon mustard with maple syrup for a marinade on chicken

Marinade salmon fillets in Dijon mustard and white wine.

Resources:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=106

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/spices-and-herbs/194/2

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/10/17/mustard-greens-seeds-health-benefits.aspx

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/bk-1992-0506.ch001

https://draxe.com/mustard-greens-nutrition/

Roasted Almond Chocolate Ice Cream

Roasted Almond Chocolate Ice Cream

Roasted Almond Chocolate Ice CreamHappy Ice Cream Day!

I realize my last recipe post was about fudgesicles but I can’t miss an opportunity to share my Roasted Almond Chocolate Ice Cream recipe 😊 .

Brandon and I have an ongoing joke that we make the best ice cream. Okay, so we aren’t actually joking when we say this. We really do make the best ice cream.

 

Homemade ice cream trumps store bought ice cream any day.

Not that ice cream is something we should be eating all the time but the more affordable brands are full of unnecessary ingredients.

Blue Bunny label

Exhibit A. Blue Bunny Chocolate Ice Cream Label

 

There is definitely a good reason to look at ingredient labels and spend a little more money for a higher quality product.

Haagen Dazs labelExhibit B. Haagen Dazs Chocolate Ice Cream Label

 

Did you know that carrageenan is a thickener derived from seaweed? Sounds harmless, right? Well, some animal studies have linked exposure to carrageenan to stomach ulcers and GI cancer. Other peer reviewed studies show that it causes inflammation, which is the root cause of many serious diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

 

So, if you want to drop $5 on a pint of ice cream feel free to do so, otherwise make your own and save a bundle 😊

 

Roasted Almond Chocolate Ice Cream
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 2 C milk
  • 2 C heavy cream
  • ¾ C cane sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ C cocoa powder
  • ½ C roasted almonds, chopped
Instructions
  1. Make sure ice cream bowl is in the freezer at least 24 hours before making ice cream.
  2. Pour milk, cream, sugar, vanilla and cocoa powder in a bowl and whisk until well combined.
  3. Set up ice cream maker and pull ice cream bowl out of the freezer. Pour ice cream mixture into bowl and turn oil.
  4. Let the machine run for about 15 minutes until soft serve consistency.
  5. Add chopped almonds and run for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Transfer ice cream to a storage container and freeze until solid. Enjoy!
Notes
Nutrition information is not provided due alterations that can be made to accommodate food sensitivities.

 

Alternatives:
Sugar – cane sugar, beet sugar, blonde coconut sugar, brown coconut sugar would be great with chocolate ice cream!
Milk/Cream – full fat coconut milk
Cocoa – carob powder – or leave it out for vanilla ice cream!

 


Products we use:

Here is a great dairy-free recipe to make with this product: Honeydew sorbet


What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Enjoy!

Eggs as Functional Food

Eggs as a Functional Food – Why They Should Be Part of Your Diet

Eggs as Functional Food

Eggs can be a delicious and nutritious part of a healthy diet. In fact, if your diet allows, I would argue that they should be a regular part of your healthy diet. In moderation, of course.

Let’s talk about eggs as a functional food. A functional food is a food that has positive effects on health beyond basic nutrition.

 

First, What Are the Basics?

Eggs are in expensive and a moderate source of calories that provide significant nutrition. Here’s the breakdown for 1 large egg (or about 50g).

nutrition facts eggs

This nutrition label shows that eggs are a good source of protein and unsaturated fat and contain no carbohydrates. Despite this facts, eggs get a lot of grief for their high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol. We used to think there was a link between egg consumption and increased risk of heart disease, now it appears that research is unclear but that eggs can be part of a healthy diet.

 

Fast forward to present time:

Now we know, for most of the population, dietary cholesterol, like in eggs, has very little effect on blood cholesterol levels and heart disease. When buying eggs, we now can buy omega-3 enriched eggs from chickens that have been fed a diet high in flax seed. One omega-3 enriched egg has the equivalent of about 400-450mg of omega-3 fats (a combination of DHA and EPA). The correct dose for you is dependent on your age, size, and health status but this is a good place to start.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids have great anti-inflammatory capabilities which is important because so many of today’s diseases are rooted in inflammation. Omega-3’s can reduce the risk and symptoms of diseases like heart attack, stroke, several forms of cancer and various autoimmune diseases.

 

 

What Are the Other Advantages to Eating Eggs?

Some of the important components found in eggs are zinc, biotin, carotenoids, lecithin and choline many of which are deficient in our SAD diet (standard American diet). Let’s break these down to understand their roles in preventing chronic and infectious diseases through their antimicrobial, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant and anti-hypertensive properties.

 

Lecithin is an important component of the cells in our body. It plays a direct role in antioxidant activity by decreasing damage to our cell membranes by reactive oxygen species, like free radicals, which are responsible for many diseases including cancer, inflammatory joint diseases (arthritis), diabetes, and most degenerative diseases.

 

Eggs are one of few food sources that contain high concentrations of choline. This vitamin-like nutrient is important for chemical messengers in our brain, called neurotransmitters, and plays an essential role in normal brain development. They are important for far more than just our brain. Choline also plays a role in fat metabolism could lead to fatty liver in someone who is choline deficient. The American Medical Association has recently voted to include choline in prenatal vitamins to reduce the risk of birth defects.

 

Carotenoids are pigments that give egg yolk its natural yellow color. Your body cannot make the carotenoids in eggs and relies on dietary intake. Other places to get carotenoids are vegetables. This makes egg consumption especially important for those people who consume low amounts of vegetables. Carotenoids help improve vision and reduce the risk of macular degeneration and age-related cataracts. I always remember my grandpa telling me to eat carrots if I wanted to keep my eye sight 😊. I guess I could have also eaten more eggs!

 

Over 300 different enzymes in the body rely on zinc to complete their chemical reactions. It is also very important in the structure of proteins and cell walls. If zinc is deficient, these processes can’t take place. It is estimated that 2 billion people worldwide have a milder zinc deficiency. This is also important because zinc interacts with many other nutrients like copper, calcium, folate and iron.

 

Don’t eat your eggs raw.  Eggs are a great source of biotin – they provide approx. ¼ of the recommended intake for the day. There is an enzyme in egg whites, avidin, that binds to the biotin in eggs and does not allow your body to absorb it. Trust me, you want to reach your biotin intake because they play an important role in metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and fat. It also plays a major role in the health of our hair, skin and nails.

 

Looking for ways to incorporate more eggs into your diet? 

Try adding eggs to your chicken fried rice or make my favorite breakfast: a poached egg with grits

 

Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4303863/

https://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/vitamins/fish-oil-and-omega-3/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7619452

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726758/

Homemade fudgesicles

Dairy Free Fudgesicles – customize your own!

Homemade fudgesicles

Now that its summer we all want ice cream, right?

I always thought I hated chocolate ice cream but one thing I love is fudgesicles in the summer time! Who am I kidding, how could I hate chocolate ice cream?

Brandon and I keep hearing the ice cream truck pass by our house but I swear it makes sure that we are not outside because we are usually outside most days of the week and he never drives by when we want him too!

This weekend I got creative and tailored a standard fudgesicle recipe to my food sensitivity results and then I got to thinking. How can I make this even more customize-able!? I want everyone to be able to eat fudgesicles if their heart desires.

what your heart desires

And fudgesicles make me happy.

 

But I guess, I do like other desserts too – like this sorbet 🙂

Dairy Free Fudgesicles
 
These fudgesicles are super chocolaty and perfect for a hot summer day!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • ½ C cocoa powder or carob powder
  • ¾ C allowed granulated sweetener
  • 2 Tbsp allowed liquid sweetener
  • 1 tsp flavor extract
  • 2 C allowed milk
Instructions
  1. In a pot, whisk together the granulated sugar and cocoa or carob powder.
  2. Add the liquid sweetener and flavor of your choice.
  3. Turn the stove on medium heat and pour in your milk.
  4. Whisk until chocolate and sugar are dissolved. The mixture does not have to boil but the heat helps it dissolve better.
  5. Pour into popsicle molds.
  6. Place in freezer until solid.
  7. Enjoy!
Notes
Nutrition information is not provided due alterations that can be made to accommodate food sensitivities.

 

Alternatives:
Milk: whole fat coconut milk or 2% or whole cow’s milk – you need some fat!
Granulated sweetener: cane sugar, blonde coconut sugar, beet sugar
Liquid sweetener: corn syrup, brown rice syrup, honey, maple syrup, cassava syrup, coconut nectar, homemade simple syrup – I use this recipe to make my simple syrup
Chocolate: you can also use carob powder for a caffeine free version!
Flavor Extract: vanilla, almond, mint would all be great flavors – I would use ½ tsp if you use mint because it is strong.


Products:


Enjoy!

fudgesicle

Comparing Milks and Making Your Own Milk Alternatives

June is national dairy month so in the spirit of this month let’s take a look at the different milk options that are available. This is a big conversation with my food sensitivity clients and we really try to make milk out of pretty much anything! Even if you are not a milk drinker per say (like me) it is always nice to have a type of milk around for smoothies, baking and cereals.

Before we started getting creative and blending up everything into milks we only had cow’s milk, well I guess goats milk too but that is not very common.

 

Cow’s Milk

Cow’s milk comes in many varieties: whole, 2%, 1%, skim (fat-free) and lactose-free. The component that makes each of them different is their fat content and therefore the calories as well.

Each type of cow’s milk has the same protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals however, choosing fat-free milk will affect the absorption of some of the vitamins that require fat (vitamins A, D, E and K).

Lactose-free milk is processed in a way that breaks down the lactose sugar that is found naturally in milk. It still has all of the nutrients listed above. About 65% of the population is lactose intolerant, meaning they do not make adequate amounts of the enzyme, lactase, to break down the milk sugar. Symptoms of a lactose intolerance include abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, nausea, and diarrhea 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming a lactose-containing product. For these people, lactose-free milk would be a great option.

 

Soy Milk

Soy milk is made from soybeans and water. It is a plant-based milk and therefore it is free of cholesterol and very low in saturated fat. It is naturally lactose free.

Soy is a controversial topic because of its estrogenic effects but the current thought is that it is still ok in moderate doses. I would limit to 1 serving of non-GMO organic soy per day but I have heard others say 2-3 servings per day.

Too much soy can be a problem for those with thyroid conditions and may prove harmful for women with a history of estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer. Other than that, moderate consumption of soy products are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and can be part of a heart healthy diet.

There is a great recipe from Rasa Malaysia (hint: its only soybeans + water)

 

Don’t have time to make your own? Here are a couple brands that I recommend to make your lives easier 😊. They are all made from whole, organic non-gmo soybeans and water.

  • Westsoy organic unsweetened soy milk
  • Edensoy organic unsweetened soy milk
  • Pacific organic unsweetened soy milk

 

Almond Milk

Almond milk made from almonds and water. It is lower in calories than most other milks and also free of saturated fat. It is naturally lactose free.

Even though whole almonds are a good source of protein, almond milk is not a good source of protein or calcium.

Store bought almond milk often contains carrageenan, a thickener and emulsifier. Some studies have linked carrageenan to increased inflammation in the body and often stomach problems.

Since it is not recommended to buy the cartons of almond milk at the store, here is a very simple recipe from Danette May to make your own!

 

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is made from unsulfured, unsweetened coconut meat and water. It is a plant-based milk however, it does contain more fat than other milk alternatives. It is naturally lactose free.

The type of fat found in coconut milk is medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which have gained in popularity over the past several years.

Just like other store bought milk alternatives, coconut milk often contains added thickeners and other ingredients like carrageenan which has its negative effects.

Making your own coconut milk is as easy as 1-2… that’s it! Wellness Mama has a great recipe that I use!

If you choose to skim off the fat from your coconut milk you can make it into a wonderful coconut whipped cream for dessert.

 

Rice Milk

Rice milk is made from rice and water. It has very little protein and fat but is higher in carbohydrates than the milk alternatives discussed above.

This is a good choice for those who are lactose intolerant and/or have allergies to milk, soy, or nuts.

Rice does contain higher levels of arsenic that is taken up from the soil while it is growing. Because of this it is not recommended to rely on only rice and rice products. Be sure to focus on consuming a variety of other grains throughout your day.

As with other store bought milks, you can expect to see added thickeners and preservatives to improve shelf life and consistency. For this reason it is best to make your own and it is very easy!

Money Saving Mom  has a great recipe that helps you plan ahead so that you don’t have to cook rice every time you want to make your milk!

 

Other Milk Alternatives

If none of those sounds appetizing or work with your food sensitivities here are 9 other milks that you can make at home!

Sunflower seed milk

pecan milk

oat milk

banana milk

cashew milk

hemp seed milk

flax milk

hazelnut milk

pea milk

 

Resources:

My dietetic degree

https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/lactose-intolerance

https://www.healthyeating.org/Milk-Dairy/Nutrients-in-Milk-Cheese-Yogurt/Nutrients-in-Milk.aspx

http://www.pcrm.org/health/cancer-resources/ask/ask-the-expert-soy

https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/food-safety/is-carrageenan-safe/

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Oatmeal Breakfast CookiesI’ve always struggled with finding a quick and easy breakfast that fits with my food sensitivities. Then I came across these cookies, made some modifications to meet my food sensitivities and BAM – my oatmeal breakfast cookies were born 😊.

I started making these cookies a couple of years ago and got my whole family hooked – I even gave them out as Christmas presents! Oh the life of a poor post grad… Those were the days when it was acceptable to give cookies for family Christmas presents.

These past couple of weeks on the new job have been great…and busy! I love my cancer patients and survivors about a healthy diet but I am so glad to keep my private practice and continue my work with food sensitivity clients.

With my busy schedule of work during the day and food sensitivity clients in the evenings and weekends I am always looking for quick, healthy meals. I had forgotten about these cookies until recently and I’m excited to bring them back and share with all of you.


Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
 
These cookies are great frozen!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Ingredients
  • 1.5 C whole rolled oats
  • 1 C unsulfured, unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • ¾ C coarsely chopped allowed nuts OR ½ C nuts + ¼ C LEAP friendly chocolate chips
  • ½ C allowed dried fruit
  • 1 C unsweetened applesauce OR 3 ripe mashed bananas
  • ¼ C coconut oil or other mild allowed oil
  • 1 Tbsp allowed liquid sweetener
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place parchment paper on large cookie sheet.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl then add all the wet ingredients. Mix well until combined.
  4. Form cookies – about 2 tablespoons each – onto the cookie sheet.
  5. You can place them all on one pan because they do not spread so keep them close together.
  6. Bake about 25 minutes until golden brown then cool completely on the pan.
Notes
Nutrition information is not provided due alterations that can be made to accommodate food sensitivities.

 

Alternatives:
The chia seeds and cinnamon are optional. Leave them out if you have not added this into your diet or do not know if it is a potential trigger food.

Allowed nuts – chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, or sliced almonds might be good options
Allowed dried fruit – banana chips, chopped unsulfured apricot, dried cranberries, dried blueberries
Allowed liquid sweetener – maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, corn syrup, tapioca syrup


Products:


What do you eat for breakfast?

Enjoy!

Grain-free, Egg-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Grain-free, Egg-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Grain-free, Egg-free Chocolate Chip CookiesWe have finally arrived in sunny Arizona! Here is a picture that I took on our drive. Wegrain-free, egg-free choc chip cookies took a wrong turn and ended up on 50+ miles of switchback road through the mountains. It was getting dark so this was not a fun part! We made a short stop to let our cars cool down and this was the view that we had :).

Isn’t it pretty!

Yesterday I put my kitchen gadgets away and got organized so naturally the first thing I did this morning was bake chocolate chip cookies (isn’t that what anyone else would do?).
 
This drive was not easy – 27 hours total! We split it up over 3 days but sitting for so long really tested my patience… and my hip flexors. I brought a couple healthy snacks like pistachios, dried apricots and corn nuts.
Side note: Yes, I know corn nuts are not healthy. 

http://www.feelgoodrd.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Safe-Snacks-for-road-trip.png


Meals were difficult because on road trips you’re expected to eat fast food, right? I brought food with me but that only lasted so long. I tried to pick the best foods for me which consisted of hamburgers, French fries and unsweetened ice tea. Based on my food sensitivities, that was the best option. I know that I can handle bread, beef and potatoes. The frying oil was questionable but all went well!
 
Some may ask why didn’t I get a salad? And the answer is that I have a lot of foods that cause my IBS to flare up, several of them are the proverbial “healthy” foods. There are so many ingredients in a salad, not to mention the dressing. At a minimum there is lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrots. Then you add salad dressing, which is an oil, vinegar, and a boat load of spices – which typically includes garlic. In this short list, I am sensitive to tomato, carrots and garlic. These are some of my biggest triggers so I went the safe route and ate a hamburger and French fries.
 
Now back to cookies!
Our pantry is sparse right now but I managed to alter a recipe from The Food Fanatic to meet my food sensitivities as well as my clients.

Grain-free, Egg-free Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • ¼ C coconut oil (solid)
  • ¼ C allowed liquid sweetener
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 5 Tbsp coconut flour
  • ¼ C almond flour
  • ¼ allowed chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together solid coconut oil, allowed liquid sweetener, vanilla and salt.
  3. Add baking soda, coconut flour, almond flour and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chip cookies.
  4. Let cookie dough sit for 5-10 minutes so that coconut flour can absorb the moisture.
  5. Place cookie dough on prepared baking sheet in 1.5-2 tsp portions. Using your finger, spread out the cookie dough (they don’t spread like traditional cookies)
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before moving to cooling rack. These cookies will be soft right out but as they cool they become chewy and delicious.
Notes
Nutrition information is not provided due alterations that can be made to accommodate food sensitivities.

 

Alternatives:
Allowed liquid sweetener – honey, maple syrup, rice bran syrup, tapioca syrup, corn syrup
Almond flour – try cassava flour or make your own sunflower seed flour


Products:


What is your favorite sensitivity-friendly cookie recipe?

Enjoy!

10 Food Sensitivity Safe Snacks For Your Next Road Trip

10 Food Sensitivity Safe Snacks For Your Next Road Trip

Are you getting ready to travel soon or do you spend a lot of time on the road? When I went through my food sensitivity diet it was my biggest struggle. I was on the road ALL THE TIME and had to pack every little thing that I was going to eat. Then, I’ll admit, I got lazy so the question was: what were food sensitivity safe snacks for my road trips??

 

Fast forward a couple years…

 

Brandon and I were on a road trip and my first thought was to pack any food that I had an interest in eating so that we didn’t have to stop at a grocery store. On our way home I had already eaten everything so now I was stuck. I was back to thinking… what were food sensitivity safe snacks for my road trips??

Sometimes we want to be like everyone else and buy food at the gas station or convenient store and forget about our food sensitivities (IBS in my case). Am I right?!

During this trip I spent some time looking around the gas station and taking pictures of every food that I could find that had minimal ingredients. The other criteria was that the ingredients were on the MRT Food Sensitivity blood test.

I’m going to warn you now…

NOT ALL THESE ARE HEALTHY FOODS!

But hear me out… on a road trip I would rather eat unhealthy food (like fritos) and not deal with a stomach ache, feel like I need to rush to the bathroom, etc. I would make that choice any day rather than eat the healthy food that makes me feel miserable!

Below I listed all the foods that I found on my search and their ingredients so you don’t think I’m crazy 😊. They have no preservatives or additives.

 

Gas Station/convenient store10 Food Sensitivity Safe Snack Foods For Your Next Road Trip

Fritos Original – Ingredients: corn, corn oil, salt. No preservatives.

Blue Diamond Whole Natural Almonds – Ingredients: almonds

David Original Sunflower Seeds – Ingredients: sunflower seeds, salt

Banana – Ingredients: banana (obviously!)

Orange – Ingredients: orange (again, duh!)

Wonderful Roasted and Salted Pistachios – Ingredients: pistachios, salt

Original Skinny Pop Popcorn – Ingredients:  popcorn, sunflower oil, salt

Corn Nuts – Ingredients: corn, corn oil, salt

 

If your friends/family like to stop at Starbucks on your road trips you can still get a snack there too!

Starbucks

That’s it Bar – Ingredients: apple, blueberry. These bars come in a ton of flavors that are all just apple + another fruit so if blueberries don’t work for you then maybe another bar will.

Moon cheese – Ingredients: cheddar cheese. These come in 2 other flavors but cheddar is the only flavor that we test for on the MRT food sensitivity test.

 

Major take away: The plainer the better.

Never buy something with an additional flavor because it will most likely have additional preservatives for anti-caking and possibly food dyes to make them visually appealing.

 

I hope this little list helps you on your next road trip! If you find any other foods I would love to hear about them. I am always looking for new recommendations for clients to make their lives easier and as normal as possible while still feeling their best!

 

What is your favorite road trip snack?

Apricot Cherry Vegan Protein Bars

Vegan Protein Bars – Cherry and Apricot

Apricot Cherry Vegan Protein BarsAfter my month long hiatus I’m coming at you with some pretty amazing vegan protein bars. This month has been busy and I have not had much time to try new recipes or even cook much!
 

So many things that happened this month:

  1. WE’RE MOVING! I accepted a great job in Phoenix, AZ as an Integrative Dietitian. I will be working at an Integrative Oncology Center associated with MD Anderson. *Pinch me!*
  2. I became a consultant for Beautycounter. This company blew me away when I learned about them! They are growing fast and making a huge splash in the beauty industry. They have high standards for their products. One thing I loved was that they placed 1500 chemicals on a Never List. This is a list of chemicals they will never use because of their harmful or potentially harmful effects on the body. (More on this later I’m sure!)
  3. I recently came back from a trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It was a blast but talk about a challenge for those us of with IBS! I was sick with stomach pains for a good part of the trip but I tried not to let that interfere with the fun. My food sensitivity test results allowed me to make smart choices. It was difficult when I didn’t know the ingredients in meals and sometimes it was hard to avoid. Nevertheless, I have a new love for cassava/yucca because that’s what I ate most of the time. I’m excited to experiment with it now that I’m home and make some awesome recipes!
 
Whew! That was a lot but now I’m back and getting back into the swing of things 😊
 
Okay so back to these amazing vegan protein bars that I touched on early. I wish I could claim this recipe but I have adapted it from Lindsay Cotter at her blog: Cotter Crunch. She specializes in healthy, gluten free cooking and has some pretty amazing recipes!
 
I try to post recipes that contain ingredients found on our food sensitivity blood test – there are 120 different foods so we try to stick with that. This recipes veers off a little. The one extra ingredient that is not tested is chia seeds. They add 6 grams of protein to the batch and some healthy fats but if you can’t have them then take them out! I will list them as optional in the recipe below.
If the recipe doesn’t 100% work for your food sensitivities make sure to scroll all the way down. I try to make my recipes very general so that they work for everyone. There are so many substitutions that can be made for this recipe so that it works for you!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cherry Apricot Vegan Protein Bars
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1-15oz can whole chickpeas (rinsed and dried)
  • ½ C rolled oats
  • ⅓ C dried apricots (sulfite free if necessary)
  • ⅓ C dried cherries
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 4 Tbsp allowed liquid sweetener - see substitutions for ideas
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ⅔ C allowed milk - see substitutions for ideas
  • dash of cinnamon (optional)
  • dash of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a food processor (or blender) combine oats, chia seeds and apricots. Blend until chopped. Empty contents into mixing bowl.
  3. In same food processor (or blender) add chickpeas. Blend until finely chopped (not pureed).
  4. Add chickpea meal to same mixing bowl.
  5. Mix in allowed sweetener, allowed milk, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, dried cherries. Batter will be very wet.
  6. Pour batter into greased 9x9 pan and spread out to even mixture.
  7. Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes or until edges are golden brown and center is no longer soft.
Notes
Nutrition information is not provided due alterations that can be made to accommodate food sensitivities.

Vegan Protein Bar

Alternatives:
Oats – you can substitute with any rolled grain like quinoa flakes, barley flakes, rye flakes, spelt flakes, wheat flakes.
Dried fruit – this can also be other dried fruit. Dried apples, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, etc
Liquid sweetener – the recipe originally calls for 100% maple syrup or honey but if you cannot have either of these you can also use rice bran syrup, coconut nectar, corn syrup, cassava syrup
Allowed milk – this can be cow’s milk, any nut milk, oat milk, soy milk, etc

 

 


Products:


What’s your favorite homemade bar?

Enjoy!