Maple Squash Muffins

Fall is here which means apple pie, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin muffins. If you struggle with histamine intolerance certain spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice may be contributing to your symptoms. Cinnamon is a big trigger for me. So how do we make squash muffins or pumpkin pie tasty without these spices? I use some darker sweeteners like dark maple syrup, molasses and vanilla to get complex flavors without the spices. This combination brings a wonderful warming taste to these squash muffins without the added histamine. You can also add a pinch of cardamom which is a very nice low histamine spice. Adding veggies to baked goods is also a great way to get kids to eat more veggies too. These muffins are loaded with vitamin A, omega 3’s, fiber, B vitamins and good monounsaturated fats.

Also, I couldn’t resist this spatula at Target this past weekend, #squashgoals put me in the mood for some squash muffins. I love a good pun. So let’s meet our #squashgoals (hehe) with some amazing Maple Squash Muffins!

For more anti-inflammatory, low-histamine and gluten free recipes check out The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook, available now.

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Maple Squash Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Total Time: 45 minutes

Active Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1C mashed buttercup or butternut squash or pumpkin

1/2C extra light virgin olive oil

1/2C dark maple syrup

1 Tbs molasses

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs (or can substitute 2 Tbs ground flax or ground chia seed mixed with 6 Tbs water)

2C all purpose GF flour blend

1/2C all purpose oats

1 Tbs chia seed

1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2C plant milk (I like oat milk)

Garnish: sugar in the raw or maple sugar

Directions:

  1. Prepare and cook squash or for a quick way simply purchase pureed frozen butternut squash and defrost. If cooking from whole squash, remove flesh from skin and mash well with a fork until smooth.

  2. In a large bowl combine squash, olive oil, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla extract, eggs. Mix until well combined.

  3. In a blender combine oats and chia seed and blend until smooth.

  4. Add ground oats/chia seed and GF all purpose flour blend and baking powder to wet ingredients. Then add 1 1/2C milk and stir until combined. The oats and chia seed absorb more liquid to you will finds this thickens upon standing.

  5. Grease muffin tins or line with paper wrappers. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Garnish with a pinch of sugar in the raw if desired.

  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes depending on the size of your muffins. Use a toothpick inserted in the middle to check for doneness, it will come out clean when cooked through. Let cool completely and remove from muffin tins. These muffins freeze great and are delicious with a drizzle of maple butter on top.

    (The muffins in the paper liners took 30 minutes, the large muffins in the tins took 25 minutes)

Homemade Gluten Free Herb Crackers

I made another batch of these cracker today and thought I should share this delicious and easy recipe. I know that I had struggled for years to find a really tasty, filling, and satisfying GF cracker so I thought I would make my own! It is easy to modify and add in different herbs, spices, garlic and to make them sweet try a little maple syrup and vanilla (this tastes like a graham cracker). It only takes 15 minutes to make the dough and cut up the little cracker squares. I like to use a pizza cutter to help make easy cuts. Don’t forget to separate the crackers before baking and prick pretty little fork holes in the top! Today I added basil, oregano, garlic and chia seeds for some extra nutrients. The oat base creates a nice wholesome flavor with added fiber and B vitamins.

Below is the recipe for Oat Crackers from The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook.

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Oat Crackers

Serves 6

Active Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes 

Ingredients: 

1 ½ C oat flour (grind up 2C of oats in food processor)

1/3 C gluten free flour mix

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp baking powder 

herbs of choice minced: parsley, chives, thyme, rosemary (1 Tbs total)

3 Tbs olive oil

¼ C water

1 Tbs olive oil

 

Directions:

1.   Combine oat flour, gluten free flour, salt, baking powder, herbs, olive oil and water in a bowl. Add a little extra water if dough is too dry. Knead together lightly for 1-2 minutes. 

2.  On a baking sheet lay down parchment paper. Drizzle 1 Tbs of olive oil on the parchment paper. 

3.  Place dough on parchment paper and roll out to a 1/4 inch thickness. 

4.  Using a pizza cutter slice into 1 and a ½  inch squares and cut off the rough edges. Separate pieces a little for baking.

5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes until crispy. 

*To make plain simply leave out the herbs or try adding garlic to make a nice garlicky cracker everyone will enjoy. These crackers will keep in a sealed container for about 1 week.

Try cooking something new today!

Grilled Peach, Macadamia Nut Cream & Basil Pizza

The garden is finally in and some of our summery produce is arriving. The Northeast has been excessively cold this year and our spring has been quite delayed. Peaches were finally in season at the grocery store this week and I couldn’t wait to make something succulent and summery. Grilled peaches came to mind on a creamy macadamia nut cream with a flatbread crust. Savory and sweet combined. I pre-make flatbreads that can be used for pizza crusts, as tortillas or even a flatbread. They can be frozen to pull out for a quick meal. The recipe for a garlic flatbread can also be found in The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook. This recipe is dairy free, vegan, low-histamine, anti-inflammatory, low in sugar and delicious!

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Grilled Peach, Macadamia Nut Cream & Basil Pizza

Recipe makes 4 pizzas

Active Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Flatbread crusts:

2 1/2C 1:1 all purpose GF flour mix or 1C white rice flour, 1C tapioca flour, 1/2C brown rice flour and 1/2 tsp xantham gum

pinch of salt

3 Tbs extra light olive oil + 2 Tbs for cooking

1/2C water (use more or less so the dough comes together into a firm ball)

  1. To make the crusts, mix flour, salt, 3 Tbs extra light olive oil and water. Add more or less water to make a firm ball.

  2. Preheat a medium skillet over low-medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Break the dough into 4 balls. Press ball out into a flat tortilla shape about 1/3 inch thick on a board floured with tapioca flour. I use a pot lid to cut out a perfect circle from the dough.

  3. Add flatbread to pan, cook about 2-3 minutes or until slightly golden brown and drizzle top of the flatbread with olive oil before flipping. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side. Let cool on a plate and repeat with the remaining dough. Set aside. If you have extras these freeze well in a gallon freezer bag.

Macadamia Nut Cream Filling

1C macadamia nuts or cashews or sunflower seeds (soaked for 1 hour in water and drained)

pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 lemon juiced

3-4 Tbs water

  1. In a food processor combine soaked and drained nuts or seeds, a pinch of salt, vanilla extract and lemon juice and 3-4 Tbs water as needed to thin out cream. Puree until smooth and set aside.

Toppings:

2 peaches sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces

1/4C fresh basil leaves (that have been chopped)

1/4C fresh peach jam, thinned with 2-3 Tbs water

  1. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat. Put sliced peaches on for 3 minutes and flip and cook for 3 minutes more. Remove and set aside.

To Assemble:

  1. Take 1 flatbread and top with a few spoonfuls of macadamia nut cream and grilled peaches. Drizzle a few spoonfuls of the thinned out peach jam over the top and garnish with fresh basil.

Got questions or comments? Feel free to contact me through the Contact page!

Cauliflower Steak with Coconut Rice, Roasted Green Beans and Scallions

I was dreaming of cauliflower today. It is so hard to just eat a little when it is roasted! This easy anti-inflammatory, low-histamine, vegan lunch or dinner is easy to make and delicious. I especially love the deeply roasted scallions as they come out as little scallion chips…. yum! Cauliflower is a nutrition superstar as it is rich in vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants sulphorane and glucosinolates which may help to reduce the risk of cancer and may help decrease the risk of heart disease.

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Cauliflower Steak with Coconut Rice, Roasted Green Beans and Scallions

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

For the rice:

1C short grain brown rice

1/2C coconut cream solids (from 1 can of canned coconut cream, just don’t add the liquid from the can)

pinch of salt

1 3/4C water

For the veggies:

1 large cauliflower sliced across into cauliflower steaks

Seasoning for cauliflower: 1 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, pinch of salt, 2 Tbs diced scallions

1C green beans

1 bunch scallions (cleaned and cut in half, longways)

2 Tbs olive oil

pinch of salt

Toppings: 1/4C roasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:

  1. Put all of the rice ingredients into a medium pot. Heat over high heat until it comes to a boil then reduce to low to simmer rice until it is cooked. Stir occasionally, this will take about 40 minutes.

  2. While rice is cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle large sheet pan with olive oil and lay cauliflower on the pan, scallions and green beans. Sprinkle cumin, turmeric, diced scallions, garlic and a pinch of salt over the cauliflower. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on green beans and scallions. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the top of all of the veggies. Roast for 30-40 minutes until everything is golden brown, turning once about halfway through cooking.

  3. When everything is golden and rice is cooked, add rice to plate with cauliflower steak, green beans, and scallion chips and top with roasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

    This meal freezes very well, simply make separate portions of all components and then reheat for a quick lunch.

Eat for your Health!

Pea and Basil Pesto with Rice Noodles and Zucchini

It has been quite a crazy few weeks! I am happy to be back to recipe creation mode after a great trip to California. I love making different pestos since it provides so much flavor and is a great way to concentrate some really healthy anti-inflammatory foods! This latest variation was my attempt to boost some protein in my pesto sauce. Peas are a great source of protein, providing 8g in 1C. Peas are also a good source of fiber, vitamin K, manganese, vitamin B1 and some vitamin C and also available at almost any grocery store.

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Pesto is so versatile. You can use any blend of nuts or seeds, add in many different veggies and other herbs. Try adding in kale or Swiss chard for another hidden veggie boost. Try this for your next quick dinner. This recipe from start to finish is only 20 minutes.

Pea and Basil Pesto

Time: 20 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1C cooked peas (can be from frozen)

1/3C extra virgin olive oil

1 clove of garlic

1/4C pumpkin seeds, cashews or sunflower seeds

2 Tbs water (if needed to thin out the sauce)

pinch of salt

1C fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until well combined and smooth.

  2. Meanwhile cook gluten free noodles according to package directions and sautée or steam zucchini, broccoli, or asparagus.

  3. Serve sauce over veggies and gluten free pasta.

Variation: Try using this pesto spread on bread or in a wrap instead of hummus for a vegetarian sandwich! Load up the wrap with grilled veggies and micro greens to make a filling anti-inflammatory lunch!

Eat for your Health!

Safe, Quick and Easy Travel Foods


Do you want some low-histamine, anti-inflammatory hot foods to eat when traveling or a healthy anti-inflammatory staple option to grab on the go? I will be traveling to the Natural Products Expo West this March so while I was deciding what travel foods to bring I thought you would enjoy a post about safe travel foods that actually give you some nutrients and keep you full.  Travel food is such a hard thing not only for someone following a low-histamine diet (when everything should be mostly fresh) but for everyone! 

Here are a few staple snacks that I love!!

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Favorite Snacks

Freeze dried fruit from Trader Joe’s, dehydrated beets from Trader Joe’s (yes I am a fan) and I love these Mary’s Gone Crackers the Real Thin Crackers. Other freeze dried fruits and crackers or sweet potato chips will also be good light staples for snacking on the plane. You still get all of your vitamins and minerals from freeze dried fruits so this is a better choice than dried. Beets are one of the most concentrated antioxidant sources so these are super for boosting your antioxidants when on the go. The Terra chips that have root vegetables and beets are great too!

Make Your Own Low-Histamine, Anti-Inflammatory Ramen

Make Your Own Low-Histamine, Anti-Inflammatory Ramen

Make Your Own Ramen

I was so excited to find these millet and brown rice ramen noodles by Lotus Foods that provide 8g of protein and are gluten free and the best part is there is no high histamine seasoning included. This is so exciting since you just have to get boiling water which is available everywhere and a medium-large coffee cup or large bowl to make your own low-histamine, anti-inflammatory ramen for on the go.

I like to use a freeze dried vegetable like peas (which has some protein!!) and add some dried minced garlic and onion for flavor and a pinch or salt. Voila a filling delicious anti-inflammatory meal on the go!

Make Your Own Oatmeal Packets

Make Your Own Oatmeal Packets

Make Your Own Oatmeal Packets

Don’t waste money on instant oatmeal packets, make your own! This staple is for anyone traveling (or even just rushing to work in the morning) that’s ready quickly and easy to make.  Combine freeze dried fruit, I usually pick blueberries, chia seeds, a pinch of sugar in the raw, maple sugar or coconut sugar, oats (all purpose) and boiling hot water for an amazing morning oatmeal which can travel. 

Hopefully these quick to prep, healthy foods will help you on your next busy day or trip!

If you are looking for more ideas pre-order a copy of The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook today! Coming out 2.5.2019.

Eat for your health!

Resolution #1: Eat More Plants & A Mediterranean diet Base


Big News! The Mediterranean Diet was named the top diet for 2019 by the US World News and World Report. Need help following A Mediterranean Diet?

The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook can help! The Book is based on foods commonly found in the Mediterranean Diet, which are also low in histamine and anti-inflammatory.

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January is the season for resolutions and is a nice time to start new healthy habits. The goal is to find some healthy habits that you can maintain throughout the year. One of my favorite resolutions is to Eat More Plants. We know that fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds are rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber. Plants are the basis for an anti-inflammatory diet because the phytonutrients in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains decrease inflammation in the body. Plant rich diets have been shown to decrease inflammation, reduce high blood pressure, and reduce the risk for heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Along with phytonutrients, plants give you a healthy dose of fiber to help reduce cholesterol and keep your colon healthy.

So how can we make and keep our resolution to eat more plants? Below is a sample meal plan to help you on your way! The plan below will get you 10-11 servings of veggies and/or fruits in a day!

Goal: Eat 9-11 servings of fruits and vegetables per day

(A serving size equals - 1/2 cup cooked vegetables, or 1 cup raw vegetables, or 2 cups of leafy greens)

Breakfast:

Choose a smoothie! Use 2C of fruit and 1/2C veggies like spinach or even carrots. Use a plant based milk and protein powder or add chia seed and flax seed for protein and good fats and fiber. (2.5 servings fruits/veggies)

1C Sweet potato hash with eggs (2 servings veggies)

Egg sandwich with arugula, sautéed onions and avocado + 1 apple (2 servings fruit/veggies)

Lunch:

4C salad with greens and chopped veggies and 4oz lean protein + 1C berries (4 servings fruit/veggies)

Vegetable soup with beans (2C) + 1 serving whole grain crackers + 1 mango (3 servings fruits/veggies)

Rice noodles with veggies (1C) + pesto + 1 apple (3 servings fruits/veggies)

Snack: (1-2 servings fruit/veggies per choice below)

Veggies and hummus

Freeze dried fruit

Fruit with nut/seed butter

Sweet potato chips (a bit of a cheat I know!)

Dinner:

1C roasted brussel sprouts, 4oz salmon, 1C cauliflower rice (4 servings veggies)

Turkey meatballs with 2C spaghetti squash and sauce (4 servings veggies)

Chicken and veggie stirfry (2C veggies) over brown rice (4 servings veggie)

Tip: use starchy veggie replacements like spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles instead of pasta or riced cauliflower instead of rice to help boost your veggie servings even more!

Hopefully this plan helps to give you some ideas of how to get more plant foods in your day! Pre-order a copy of The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook today!

Eat for your health!

Sources:

1) Anti-inflammatory effects of plant-based foods and of their constituents. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19685439

2) A plant-based diet for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5466941/

3)https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/02/health/mediterranean-best-diet-2019/index.html

Immune Boosting Foods

It is that time of year. The sniffles, coughs and fevers from getting the cold or flu. The body is designed to fight off infections by our powerful immune system. Stress, lack of sleep, poor food choices and certain medical conditions can make our immune systems not work as well so we will discuss some foods that can help your body fight off the next infection.

Ingredients for Immune Health this Winter

Eat foods with Probiotics which are found in yogurt, keifer and kimchi. It has been found that probiotics may boost your immune system. A large part of our immune system is housed in our gut so take care of it! Eat a probiotic rich food daily. For those of you with histamine issues probiotic foods are usually off the menu! You can use a probiotic supplement instead. Choose a supplement with bifidobacterium infantis which doesn’t promote histamine production in the gut. Eat foods with good prebiotic fibers to take care of your gut as well like asparagus, oats, beans & sweet potatoes.

Eat foods with Zinc which is found in chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and dark meats. Zinc has been shown to reduce cold duration and is important for keeping your immune system in top shape.

Eat foods with Vitamin C which is important for keeping your immune system strong and may help decrease the duration of your cold. Use peppers for a  lower sugar option which actually provides more vitamin C per cup than oranges.

Eat foods with Flavonoids which are the phytochemicals found in berries, tea and even dark chocolate. These flavonoids keep the immune system strong and may even reduce the risk of getting a cold or other upper respiratory infections.

Eat functional foods like elderberry syrup and honey. Elderberry syrup has been shown to prevent flu infection and can reduce flu duration. Honey is a natural immune system booster and a natural antibacterial food.

For the whole video clip and more info click the link below!


https://www.mychamplainvalley.com/news/local-news/keeping-your-immune-system-healthy/1668573023

Immune Boosting Mocktail

 

Makes 4 servings

 

1C V8 fusion blueberry pomegranate juice or another berry juice

1 orange cut into slices

1 liter of club soda

 

1.     Freeze the juice into ice cubes (at least 2 hours or overnight)

2.     In glasses place juice cubes, top off with club soda and garnish with oranges.