Eat Happy, Be Healthy!
As I am writing this I am curled up on my couch drinking green tea, the wind is blowing gusts and the fire is flickering. There is so much cozy going on right now, and I love it! The last couple days I have been making delicious soups and skillet cornbread. There is just something so comforting about cornbread when it is baked in a cast iron skillet. Am I right?
So let me tell you, this is not your typical cornbread! It is a golden delight, perfectly paired with any fall soup or stew. Most cornbread recipes include refined wheat or gluten-free flours and are loaded with sugar or sweeteners. Not the ideal combo when it comes to nourishing a good gut microbiome. My recipe uses old fashioned rolled oats and grated apple instead to keep it nice and moist. This swap not only increases the fiber content but also increases the nutrition density as well. Both oats and apples are rich in soluble fiber, while the corn flours are rich in insoluble fiber. This balance is wonderful for digestive health, increasing stool bulk, speeding up transit time, and feeding good gut bacteria. It also helps increase satiety, keeping you full for longer. Plus, the apple (along with the honey) adds a light but healthy sweetness. Apples are also a rich source of polyphenols, powerful anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that act as prebiotics. As with all my recipes, it's gluten-free too (and happens to be dairy free as well) making it a wonderful side dish to share with friends and family. To make this recipe I suggest visiting the BULK section of your local co-op to stock up on the different flours and oats.
Are you ready to get your fall cozy on? Then whirl up this delicious cornbread in less than 45 minutes. No bowls required, just a high speed blender and a cast iron skillet. And if you don't have one, then use a 9x13" glass baking pan instead.
Whole Grain Harvest Cornbread
1 cup milk (any kind)
1 medium apple, grated with peel
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup raw local honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
½ cup cornmeal/Masa Harina
½ cup fine corn flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and oil or butter a 12” cast iron skillet. I like to melt a pat of butter in the skillet before pouring in the batter. Place the first seven ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth (I use a BlendTec). Then add the rolled oats, and once again blend until smooth. Add both the cornmeal and corn flour and pulse until evenly combined. Finally, add the tablespoon of baking powder and pulse a few times until evenly dispersed.
Transfer the mixture into the oiled/buttered cast iron skillet and place into the preheated oven. Bake until golden brown for 25-30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool 15 minutes before cutting with a knife.
Serve warm with a pat of butter. You can easily reheat a slice in the microwave for 30 seconds or alternatively pan-fry a slice in butter.
Note: This recipe is moderately high in fructose due to the honey and apple content. To reduce the fructose content, swap the honey for maple syrup. Then each serving is considered low FODMAP.
What are your favorite fall foods?
Lemon Curry Four Bean Salad
This refreshing take on a bean salad is a perfect addition to your summer meals. Rich in protein and fiber, it will keep you full and satisfied. Plus, the prebiotic fibers will keep your gut bugs humming with joy. Unfortunately, individuals with SIBO/IBS may NOT tolerate this recipe well due to the high prebiotic content. This bean salad keeps well, and improves in flavor the longer it sits. If you cannot tolerate onion, add in diced bell pepper or cucumber for the crunch factor. Plus, you can easily replace the clove of garlic with a tsp of finely chopped fresh oregano for spice, or simply omit.
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Juice and zest of 1 lemon (plus more lemon juice prior to serving)
2 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon yellow curry powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
Fresh ground pepper
½ large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 ½ cups frozen green beans, thawed
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can great northern beans
Generous handful finely chopped cilantro/basil/parsley
In a large bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice & zest, curry powder, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper, until the honey and salt are dissolved. Stir in the chopped onion and garlic and allow to marinate in dressing.
Meanwhile, measure out about 1 ½ cup of frozen green beans and briefly thaw in microwave. Alternatively, leave out at room temp until thawed. Cut the green beans into smaller pieces using kitchen shears. Transfer to bowl. Drain and rinse the canned beans, and transfer to the bowl. Mix all the ingredients together, sprinkle in the chopped fresh herb of choice, and stir until combined. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
When ready to serve, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over each serving and enjoy!
Chickpea flatbread is something super satisfying and comes together super quick and easy. Although very similar to farinata (or socca), it has one very important additional ingredient, baking powder. This addition gives the flatbread, a lighter more bread like texture. You can serve this flatbread as a gluten-free bread alternative without the added refined starches and binders often used in gluten-free baking. Plus the garbanzo bean flour is really cheap and great if you are watching your food budget. So here you go! This is one of my favorite hacks for a bread alternative, that is lower in carbohydrates (18g), high in protein (7g), and high in fiber (8g). The Maldon's sea salt flakes, definitely takes it up a notch and is not required....BUT I personally think it's a necessary garnish for the full flatbread experience.
Chickpea Skillet Flatbread
Makes 1 Serving
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Generous pinch salt
Fresh ground pepper
Herbs to taste (I like oregano and rosemary)
1/4 cup water
Butter (or olive oil)
Maldon's Sea Salt Flakes
In a small bowl mix together the garbanzo bean flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and herbs until incorporated. Then add 1/4 cup water and mix with a spoon until most lumps are gone (doesn't have to be perfectly smooth).
Meanwhile, heat a small cast iron skillet over medium. Once hot reduce to medium low and add a generous pat of butter, evenly coat the bottom, and pour in your garbanzo bean mixture. Tilt the pan to evenly distribute the mixture across the bottom. Sprinkle with Maldon's salt and cook until set about 3-5 minutes.
Using a large spatula flip the "pancake" over, all the while carefully slipping in another pat of butter. Then cook another minute. Voila! You are done!
Cut up the flatbread into quarters, and enjoy as part of your meal. I like it with soup, as a side to a salad, or simply topped with tomato slices and avocado.
Note: Instead of making 1 larger "pancake", you can also make a few smaller ones. It's up to you!
Let me know how you enjoy this chickpea flatbread at home!
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.