Why is Gut Health Important?

I did Dr. Junger’s cleanse because I wanted to feel better.  I radically changed the way I eat because of the compelling science around gut health.  To start to understand the way our gut informs all of our health, here is a video by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, the author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, SchizophreniaThe video is an hour and a half long, so set aside some time to watch it.  I hope you find it as compelling as I do.

Peppery Cauliflower Rice with Asian Flavors

Since I went grain free I have loved playing around with cauliflower as a rice substitute.  I made this to go with some baked wild caught salmon.  Enjoy!

1 head cauliflower, removed from stalk and cut into florets
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 or 5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 or 2 carrots, peeled, julienned and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth or water
1/2 cup peas
1/4 cup wheat free tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons coconut palm syrup
1/4 cup minced cilantro (optional)

Pulse the florets in the food processor in batches until cauliflower is the size of rice, about 10 pulses per batch.  Don’t over process.
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, ginger, pepper and mushrooms and cook until onions soften, about 5 minutes.  Add cauliflower, carrots and broth.  Reduce the heat to medium low, cover pan and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the peas, tamari and syrup and simmer, with the lid off for another 5 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated.  Stir in the cilantro and serve.

Makes 6 servings

Pumpkin Bread Pudding; A Happy Accident

Bake these (pumpkins in Toronto)
I have been baking for a while and I am quite skilled.  When I went grain free it felt like all the rules went out the window.  I am starting to experiment with almond flour and coconut flour, with coconut oil and coconut palm sugar.  I took an old recipe I had for pumpkin bread and converted it.  It was not bread, it was not sliceable but it was delicious.  It was a happy accident that is Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

Grain Free Pumpkin “Bread Pudding”

Serves 6 to 8
1 3/4 cups almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 15-oz can pureed pumpkin
3/4  to 1 cup coconut palm sugar, depending on sweetness desired
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 large eggs
1/4 cup cultured coconut milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish or souffle dish.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a medium bowl, whisk to blend.  Using an electric mixer, beat pumpkin and sugar in a large bowl until blended.  Mix in oil, eggs one at a time, and cultured coconut milk.  Add the flour mixture and mix until well combined.  With a spatula, pour batter into prepared dish.

Bake until the top is firm to the touch, about 50 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes and serve warm with whipped coconut cream.  If you would like to make ahead you can reheat in a 300 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

You can serve this with Coconut Milk Whipped Cream, Coconut Ice Cream or dairy whipped cream depending on dietary preferences.

*Here is a recipe for corn free baking powder.