Bone Broth and Harmony

Tell me whatcha gonna do…when your stomach is upset?

I had this conundrum last week. Since reintroducting fructans, I’ve felt really awful, as bad as I felt before starting the FODMAP diet. I have been bloated and gassy for over 3 weeks, making it difficult to wear pants, tights, or anything remotely constricting. Last week, as I was going through this, we also had a death in the family, and we had to attend services each night. Services which were catered with non-FODMAP friendly food! I ate too much, too fast, too many “bad things”, etc. and by the end of the last night of service, I was ill. I had horrible pains in my stomach, gas/bloating/diarrhea, and none of my normal remedies were working. It was suggested to me to try bone broth as an inflammation-reducer. Let’s talk a little bit about the benefits of broth:

1. Bone broth is made up of many vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

2. The gelatin in bone broth can help with digestion, by protecting and healing the lining in the digestive systme, as well as making things easier to digest. Bone broth contains glycine and proline, both of which aid in digestion.

3. It contains glucosamine, which helps heal inflammation.

4. It’s warm and comforting on a day when you feel sick!

adapted from this article, courtesy of Yahoo.com

BONE BROTH AND HARMONY
makes 56(!!!!) oz

bbah

Ingredients:
2 lbs of soup bones, I used beef bones (see note below)
1 carrot, peeled
1 celery stalk, washed
1 bunch of parsley
2 tbsps apple cider vinegar (or just white vinegar)
1 tsp salt

Directions:
1. Add soup bones, carrot, celery, and parsley to a large dutch oven.
2. Pour vinegar over soup bones. Cover soup bones with water. You want the bones just covered by the water. I stopped measuring after I got through 8 cups of water. I’d say it’s somewhere between 10-12 cups.
3. Add in salt.
4. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer, and cover with a lid.
5. After 1 hour of simmering, remove lid and skim the “scum” off the top. You may have to do this periodically throughout the process.
6. Simmer for 4-12 hours, depending on bones and how much time you have. I simmered my broth for 8 hours.
7. Remove from heat, and let cool.
8. After cooling, remove bones, carrot, celery, and parsley. Put liquid broth in heatproof containers or jars. You can keep the broth in the fridge for 3-5 days, or freeze. I kept the large jar in my fridge, and the smaller jars in the freezer.

Bone broth can be consumed alone, or you can use it to saute vegetables, in soups, or when reheating cooked meat. I have enjoyed heating up about 6oz of broth with 1/2 tsp of salt, and consuming as a snack.

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NOTES
1. My local supermarket sells a beef “soup bone” package, but not all supermarkets are this amazing. If you prefer to use chicken, you could buy a whole roasting chicken, cook the chicken, save the bones, and use that for broth. You could also buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, remove the meat, and use the bones for broth. I prefer the “soup bone” package because it’s easier.
2. How long you cook your broth for also depends on the bones. Chicken bones need less cooking than beef bones. Some sources will tell you to cook bones for 12-48 hours! I did not have that much time to devote to this project, so I would say 4-10 hours is sufficient, but if using beef bones, err on the side of 6-10 hours.
3. Why cook so long? The longer you cook, the more the bones break down, releasing all that good stuff (amino acids, vitamins and minerals) into the broth. After refrigerating the broth, you want to check for “gel”; basically, gelatin gets released into the broth, and upon refrigerating, it turns to “gel”. Don’t worry, once you warm up the broth, the gel goes away, but that’s where all the good stuff is!
4. Why use vinegar? It helps draw the vitamins and minerals out of the bones. I used ACV, which is not entirely FODMAP-approved, but you can always use plain white vinegar.
5. When freezing jars, leave a little bit of space at the top before adding the lid. This allows for expansion in the freezer, and reduces the chances of having a jar break.

So what happened when I consumed broth? I did feel a lot better, albeit still bloated and gassy immediately after consuming. After doing research, I realized that I had kind of “flooded” my system with all this great stuff, but it might have been too much, too soon. Whoops! That being said, broth has “regulated” my system as well, so I can’t hate on it too much. If you’re new to the broth game, try consuming 4oz at a time, then stepping it up. You can consume broth daily, or just keep it around for when you’re feeling ill.

Happy Holidaze!

The holidays are here! This is my first holiday season as a FODMAP free person. Over Thanksgiving, I decided I would eat whatever I wanted without consideration for my IBS. I had the works: sausage stuffing, oatmeal bread, cranberry/apple/celery relish, and chocolate cream pie. Immediately after consuming my dessert, I got an intense migraine and my husband and I had to leave the family party. For five days after Thanksgiving, I got migraines regularly. I was achy, tired, and had stomach problems. The biggest issue was brain fog, which I got after eating every meal. At times, it would get so intense that I’d have to lay down and take a nap for an hour. I rarely nap and it’s usually a sign that there’s something wrong with me, health-wise!

Needless to say, I think I learned a valuable lesson: everything in moderation, especially if you’re on a restrictive diet! This Christmas/Hanukkah, I wanted to indulge, but be mindful of my health. I decided to try to find as many food items as I could that would be easily modified for low FODMAP needs. Without further ado, here are two great low FODMAP items to bring to your next holiday party!

Nim Nam
serves 6-8
adapted from Bojon Gourmet

nimnam

Ingredients:
750 ml vodka
1/3 c. grated fresh ginger
4 oz of ginger juice, or juice from several large ginger roots
zest and juice from one lemon
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/3-1/2 c sugar/sweetener of choice
1/2 c. boiling water
fine mesh sieve
funnel
empty 750 ml bottle

a few notes: I live by a raw juice shop that sells 4 oz ginger shots, so I was able to add that into the drink as opposed to juicing ginger root. For the sweetener, I used plain white sugar. The original recipe calls for honey, but in order to keep this low FODMAP, I omitted it. You could use coconut sugar or maple syrup, but keep in mind maple syrup may change the overall taste to something gingery-mapley.

Instructions:
1. Combine vodka, grated ginger, ginger juice, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla scrapings, and vanilla pod in a large mason jar. Screw on lid, and give several good shakes.
2. Put in refrigerator, and let steep for 24 hours. Give the jar several strong shakes every few hours.
3. After it has fully steeped, strain vodka mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl, and discard solids.
4. Put sweetener of choice in a large glass measuring cup. Add boiled water, and stir until sweetener is fully dissolved.
5. Using a funnel, pour the vodka mixture into an empty 750 ml bottle. Tightly cap the bottle and refrigerate for a few hours or until completely chilled.

nimnam2
Nim nam in process!

Mix with fizzy water, like club soda or sparkling water, and enjoy its subtly sweet, spiciness. Be sure to add only a shot into your glass! Don’t make the mistake I did: I poured it like a real drink and topped with a little bit of fizzy water. It was really strong and intense!! Next drink I have will be the other way around!

Next recipe: this GLUTEN FREE, decadent, PECAN PIE!

Coconut Chocolate Pecan Pie
serves 8-10
adapted from My Humble Kitchen

pie

Ingredients:

CRUST
2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
5 tablespoons full fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons solid coconut oil

PIE FILLING
3.5 oz dark chocolate chips
5 tablespoons of butter or solid coconut oil
2 large eggs
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. coconut sugar
7 oz. pecans

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Add unsweetened coconut, coconut milk, and coconut oil to a food processor outfitted with a “S” blade. Blend for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture is sticky.
2. Place coconut mixture in a 10″ pie plate or tart dish. Spread the coconut mixture to cover the pie dish.
3. Press the coconut down into the dish and up the sides, until it’s all well covered.
4. Using parchment paper or foil, cover the edges of pie crust while showing the middle.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool slightly.

Next, turn oven up to 375F.
6. Add chocolate chips to the bottom of the pie crust.
7. In a medium bowl, whisk the two eggs, set aside.
8. Add butter to a large saucepan, and melt over medium-low heat. Once completely melted, add coconut sugar and maple syrup. Whisk for 2-3 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes.
9. Once cooled, whisk the butter mixture with the eggs in the medium bowl. Stir in pecan pieces.
10. Pour pecan mixture over chocolate in pie crust. Bake for 22-25 minutes. Place a large cookie sheet on the rack directly under your pie pan to catch any spills that may occur.
11. Once set, remove from oven and allow to cool completely before serving.

I just served this pie at my family Christmas party and it was a huge hit! Plus, no one missed the classic pie crust; everyone kept talking about how amazing the coconut crust was. I had two pieces myself! When I find gluten free dessert that tastes amazing, there’s no stopping my need to pig out!

I also had to throw in a picture of this antipasto salad that I made to share with my family…it just looks so festive!

salad

Wishing all of you a happy, healthy holiday season! I hope you all enjoy these recipes and can bring them to your gatherings. I’d love to hear about any holiday food adaptations you’ve had to make!

Old World Sauce with a New World Diet

I wanted to cook a big family dinner this Sunday, reminiscent of my childhood, when my mom would cook a delicious, drawn out meal, usually an Italian dish. One thing that has been really difficult about going low FODMAP is not being able to eat Italian food the way I want to. I’ve experimented with sauce, and with meatballs, but it always tastes like something is missing….something specifically being garlic! This weekend, I decided to try my hand at modifying our family bolognese sauce recipe.

spaghettisauce3
the humble beginnings….

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phase 2: add the meats!

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ready to consume! look at that beautiful color!

This sauce recipe has been a part of my family for generations. My great grandmother came from Northern Italy, and brought this recipe with her. All who make it modify it a little bit, for personal tastes or food allergies. Now, it’s my turn! I made this completely low FODMAP friendly and it tastes just like the original! My great grandma would be proud!

Great Grandma’s Bolognese Sauce
Serves 10

Ingredients:
3 garlic cloves, slightly crushed
1/2 onion, cut into large pieces
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 bunch of chives, chopped
1/2 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 lb ground sirloin
1/2 lb ground Italian sausage*
1 c. water
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp dried Italian herbs
1 tsp rosemary
28 oz. can of tomato sauce
14 oz. can tomato puree
1 inch parmesan cheese rind

Instructions: Heat a large pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Heat for 2-3 minutes. Add onion pieces, stir. Add garlic and carrot. Cook for 10 minutes, remove onion and garlic pieces. Add chives and scallions. Add ground sirloin, cook until brown and crumbly, stirring frequently. Add Italian sausage, cook until no longer pink. Add garlic pieces back in. Add water, basil, salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes. Add in Italian herbs, rosemary, tomato sauce, tomato puree, and cheese rind. Bring to a low simmer and cook covered for 1-2 hours. Uncover and remove garlic pieces. Serve sauce over your favorite gluten free pasta! I made buckwheat-sweet potato gnocchi to go with the sauce, but I ate it before I could take pictures. But it seems the process pictures speak for themselves!

This sauce is best when it’s been cooked over low heat for 2-3 hours, but is quite tasty and delicious after just 1 hour of simmering.
*Italian sausage is not always low FODMAP, because it usually has garlic and/or onion in it. However, it is easy to identify and pick out of the sauce. I added it in because my husband loves it, but this recipe would be just as yummy without it.

How’s your low FODMAP life going?