chocolate zucchini muffins
crohn's disease, Food, Uncategorized

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

If you are trying to avoid nuts, dairy, grain and/or gluten, these muffins are for you! The chocolate-y delights are also a sweet option if you are looking to cut down on sugar. I am trying to avoid all of the above because I am having some Crohn’s Disease symptoms. In fact, I am writing this blog as I come off a 5-day liquid diet (I now fully understand the feeling of being “hangry”).

As always, there is a positive that comes out of every bout of inflammation. This current flare-up has encouraged me to take my gluten-free diet to the next level by also avoiding grain, starch, sugar, and processed foods. Yes, I am basically going to be eating like a cave man (Eh-em, cave woman). Even though I am already avoiding most processed foods, this is going to be a challenge. I love sugar, rice, potatoes, and tofu, all of which I will have to give up.

chocolate zucchini muffins

The chocolate zucchini muffins are my way of slowly learning to bake within the parameters of my new diet. This recipe comes from a cookbook called Against All Grain by Danielle Walker. The muffins have cacao powder and dairy-free chocolate chips, so they are not completely free of processed foods. However, it is a good start if you want to slowly start cutting out grain, gluten, and dairy. Baby steps.

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

This recipe is from Against All Grain by Danielle Walker.
SERVES: 1 dozen

PREP TIME: 15 mins

COOK TIME: 25 mins TOTAL TIME: 40 mins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, for greasing
  • 3/4 cup zucchini, shredded
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with baking cups or grease with coconut oil.
  2. Place the shredded zucchini on a tray lined with a paper towel to drain some of the moisture while you prepare the batter.
  3. Place the eggs, maple syrup, and applesauce in the stand-mixer and mix on medium speed until combined.
  4. Add the coconut flour, cacao powder, arrowroot powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt and mix again on medium speed until combined.
  5. Wrap the paper towel around the zucchini and give it a light squeeze to remove excess moisture and fold it into the batter along with 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each 2/3 of the way full. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips on top. Bake for 22-25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then on a wire rack until completely cool.

You may also be interested in “Less Lactose, More Probiotics: How to Make Homemade Yogurt” and “7 Indian Spices With Incredible Digestive Benefits.”

crohn's disease, Food, Uncategorized

Less Lactose, More Probiotics: How to Make Homemade Yogurt

Yogurt is one of the oldest foods known to man. Derived from milk, the creamy substance is packed with proteins, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fats, and probiotics (live bacteria and yeasts that help keep your gut healthy). Without a doubt, yogurt is a super food for anyone with digestive issues. The problem is many of us with Inflammatory Bowel Disease can’t eat commercialized yogurt because of the presence of lactose. Even commercialized Greek yogurt that has been strained multiple times still has some lactose left in it.

Have no fear! You can make yogurt at home that is virtually lactose-free. It’s called “true yogurt” because the lactose is digested by the bacterial culture and further lactose digestion is not required by intestinal cells (Breaking the Vicious Cycle). This pure form of yogurt comes out tart and tasty. Homemade yogurt can be an extremely beneficial food to help heal inflammation associated with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Making yogurt at home is super simple and requires only a few ingredients and products. The fermentation process takes 24 hours, so be sure you have the time before starting this recipe. In this blog I will be making the 24 Hour SCD™ yogurt. In just one cup of this yogurt, you’ll get 708 billion beneficial bacteria which is about 50 times more than a typical probiotic supplement.

Homemade Yogurt Ingredients

  1.  Whole milk, 2%, or skim. Whole milk makes the tastiest yogurt. If you’re on the SCD diet, you will need to get a 100% grass-fed, no grain milk.

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2. Large pot 

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3. Electric Yogurt Making Kit. This recipe calls for a Yogourmet kit which includes a yogurt maker, yogurt starter,  and thermometer. Any electric yogurt maker will work, though.

Homemade yogurt

How to Make Homemade Yogurt

This recipe comes from the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall. I encourage you to buy this book if you’re interested in learning about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). This diet has shown to drastically reduce inflammation in the gut and improve the quality of life for Crohn’s Disease patients.

  1.  In a large pot, bring one quart (or liter) of milk to a simmer (180 F) and remove from heat. Stir often to prevent scorching and sticking.
  2. Cover and cool until milk reaches 120 F. You can speed up this process by placing the pot in ice water.
  3. Remove about one-half cup of cooled milk and mix in the yogurt starter powder to make a paste. Stir until there are no clumps.
  4. Mix the paste into the cooled milk and stir thoroughly.
  5. Pour the milk into the Yogourmet container and close the lid tightly.
  6. Fill the Yogourmet yogurt maker with water and place the closed container inside the yogurt maker. The water should come to just about an inch from the top of the yogurt maker once the container is placed inside.
  7. Make sure the yogurt maker is on and allow the fermentation process to begin! Set a timer for 24 hours. This time frame allows all lactose to be completely digested.
  8. After 24 hours, remove the container and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
  9. Scoop into a bowl and serve with honey drizzle or fresh fruit.

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The yogurt won’t be as thick as commercial yogurt because all the lactose has been digested by the bacteria. This yogurt should be much easier to digest for IBD patients, however it isn’t for everyone. It is a good idea to experiment by eating just a spoonful of it to see how your gut reacts.

Enjoy!

Huge thank you to Michelle and John Burtch for teaching me this recipe and introducing me to the SCD diet.

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You may also be interested in: “5 Ways to Use Indian Digestive Spices in Your Kitchen” and “8 Yoga poses for Bloating, Cramping, and Gas.”