Tahini Banana Bread

I’ve made this banana bread every single week (okay, sometimes 2x per week) since I started my SIBO healing protocol. It’s free of all the things: gluten, grains, sugar, dairy and even nuts. But it’s delicious!

I knew this recipe was good enough to share when I found my mom sneaking a piece while I was visiting last weekend. My mom is always supportive of my healthified recipes but she 100% prefers the “real thing” (and is someone who’s great about enjoying in moderation! go Mom!). So her stamp of approval on this banana bread convinced me that it wasn’t just good enough for me during my gut healing protocol, but a yummy breakfast recipe for all!

This one’s for you Mama! I expect a loaf waiting next time I visit ;)

Tahini Banana Bread - Emily Nachazel.JPG

Tahini Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ripe banana (about 3 medium bananas)

  • 4 eggs

  • 3/4 cup tahini

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • Pinch sea salt

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • Splash apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a bread loaf pan with parchment paper.

  2. Add bananas, eggs, tahini, coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt to your blender or food processor and blend until combined.

  3. Add baking powder and apple cider vinegar, and again blend until combined.

  4. Pour batter into greased loaf pan.

  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean.

Note: the bread will puff up in the oven and look beautiful, but will likely fall as it cools. The photo above was taken after it cooled.. not the most BEAUTIFUL LOAF but hey there’s no flour, nuts, grains, sugar, etc etc. Trust me… it will still taste delicious.

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These recipes have saved me

First, thank you for all the sweet responses to last week's blog post on my gut health history - it's incredible how many of you have experienced similar symptoms and/or are going through similar healing protocols.

Next week I'll be diving into the strategies (food, supplements and lifestyle changes) I've tried in the past to help relieve my IBS (and then SIBO) symptoms. If you have specific questions, feel free to leave them as comments on the first blog post and I'll do my best to address them in this series!

But for this week I wanted to share a few delicious recipes that have been LIFE SAVERS for me the last couple of weeks as I've been deep in my own healing protocol. Below I've linked some of the recipes I've created to fit within my current SIBO-healing diet, as well as some external gut-healing recipes that I've found along the way.

If you're going through a similar healing protocol, hopefully these recipes will fit within your plan! And if you're not on any specific protocol, these recipes are wonderful, gut friendly options to work into your regular cooking (and baking) routine.

These recipes in particular have been on repeat for me:

Tahini Matcha Latte - When I heard I could have tahini (and matcha) on my protocol, I let out an audible sigh of relief. I blend up this energizing drink most mornings - the tahini gives it a distinct flavor that I actually prefer to my tried-and-true Superpowers Coconut Matcha Latte.

Chestnut Flour Banana Muffins - Chestnut flour is a new ingredient for me and OMG I LOVE IT! It's nutty and sweet, but doesn't feel as dense as an almond or other nut flour. Even my family approved of these muffins - they're that good! I'll be making them (and experimenting more with chestnut flour) even after this protocol is over.

Strawberry Rhubarb Gummies - In addition to Tahini Fudge (recipe coming soon!), these gummies have been my after meal "treats." Sweet, chewy and busting with strawberry flavor, they're perfect for these warmer summer months. The gummies are gut friendly thanks to gelatin, which helps heal the lining of your gut, fight inflammation and support healthy hair, nails and skin. You can easily swap in any berry for the strawberry rhubarb mixture - I've made these with blueberries, raspberries and cherries too!

And here are a few more gut-healing recipe ideas:

Like I've mentioned before, I'm focusing on what I CAN have during this restricted diet, instead of all the things I can't (or shouldn't) eat. And it's been fun trying new recipes and getting creative in the kitchen!

Whether you're on a specific protocol or not, I'd love to hear about your favorite gut-friendly recipe!

Leave a comment below and let us all know (and please include a link if the recipe can be found online!!)

Strawberry Rhubarb Gummies

Sweet, chewy and bursting with strawberry flavor, these gummies are a perfect treat for the warmer months. Unlike traditional gummy candies, which are mostly filled with sugar or high fructose corn syrup, food dyes and “natural flavors” (which, are usually not so natural), these gummies are actually gut healing thanks to the ingredient that helps them set: gelatin.

Maybe you’ve heard of collagen - it’s trending right now in the health world. Gelatin is similar to collagen - it’s actually made from it (and in case you didn’t know, both are made from animal parts including skin, bones and tissue, so if you’re vegan or vegetarian, these superfoods may not be for you).

The gelatinous quality of gelatin that makes it useful for gummies, desserts and more is also what makes it beneficial when we consume it. Gelatin is slower to digest, meaning it moves through the GI tract further and coats the small intestine, which helps heal the gut. It also contains protein and amino acids like glycine that strengthen the gut lining and therefore lower inflammation in the body.

Additionally, the sticky, glue-like quality of gelatin can support the formation of strong cartilage or connective tissues, which is why it and collagen are touted as beauty and youth superfoods (think younger, more supple skin and joints).

Especially if you’re dealing with gut issues like me, gelatin is an awesome food to work into your diet to support your healing efforts. And if you don’t have gut issues? Well I suggest trying out these gummies anyways because they’re mega delicious and FUN!

Strawberry Rhubarb Gummies - Emily Nachazel.JPG

Strawberry Rhubarb Gummies

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint strawberries, stems removed and sliced

  • 3 stalks rhubarb, chopped

  • 2 tbsp full fat coconut milk (ideally one with no guar gum, like the one I’ve linked)

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 1/4 cup gelatin (important to use a quality source of gelatin, I’ve linked the brand I mostly use!)

  • 2-3 tsp honey (optional, omit if you’re on any specific protocol like low FODMAP, SCD, etc)

Directions:

  1. Add strawberries and rhubarb to a small saucepan over medium heat. Let cook until everything has broken down (about 10-15 minutes). Let mix cool for a few minutes.

  2. Pour the fruit mixture into your high speed blender or food processor. Add in the coconut milk, vanilla and honey (if using) and blend until smooth.

  3. Let mixture cool for a few minutes, then add the gelatin to the blender and blend again until smooth. Immediately pour into a 9 x 9 inch baking dish and refrigerate until the mixture is set (30 - 45 minutes). Slice into squares or other fun shapes and enjoy immediately. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Have you USED gelatin before?

If so, what did you make? If not, are you open to trying this gut-healing superfood? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Chestnut Flour Banana Muffins

I’ve always been a creative baker and treat maker. When I was younger, I’d swap whole wheat flour for white and double down on the amount of chocolate chips a recipe called for, following my intuition to make things healthier AND tastier.

In more recent years, I’ve gotten even more inventive: whipping up gluten free (and veggie packed) muffins, coming up with a homemade chocolate that’s got zero refined sugars or butter, and perfecting a (dairy free) ice cream with a base of avocados. To say adapting yummy goodies to specific diets is one of my gifts would be correct.

Well the last few weeks have provided me with plenty an opportunity to once again get creative in the kitchen. As I write this, I’m in the middle of pretty intense SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) healing protocol. In addition to a handful of supplements, I’m following a very specific (very restrictive) diet for 30-40 days. Basically I can eat animal protein, eggs, and a small handful of fruits and veggies, all cooked. No grains, no dairy, no nuts or seeds (except chestnuts and sesame seeds), no sugar, no beans, no chocolate or cacao, no sweet potatoes.

Instead of focusing on all the things I can’t eat, I’m choosing to instead focus on everything I CAN enjoy, and using this as an opportunity to have fun with new recipes and ingredients.

My nutritionist sent me a recipe for a chestnut flour banana bread. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out (especially with NO nuts or other flour or sweetener) so I was pleasantly surprised when the bread was not just edible, but it was DELICIOUS!

Why chestnut flour? Compared to most other nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, etc), chestnuts have a low fat and oil content. Technically they’re considered both a nut and a fruit. They contain a good about of fiber, which can help keep things moving along your digestive tract.

I made a few tweaks to the recipe from my nutritionist and these muffins were born. I knew they were a hit when even my family approved! I’ll be making these muffins even after my SIBO diet is over… they’re really that good, especially when slathered with the Strawberry Banana Compote recipe that I’ve also included below.

Chestnut+Flour+Banana+Muffins+-+Emily+Nachazel.jpg

Chestnut Flour Banana Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ripe banana (about 3 medium bananas)

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (I used full fat)

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

  • 1 1/2 cups chestnut flour

  • 1 tbsp baking powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line your muffin tin (12 muffins).

  2. Add bananas, coconut milk, coconut oil, eggs cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt to your blender or food processor and blend until combined.

  3. Add baking powder and chestnut, and again blend until combined.

  4. Pour batter into greased muffin tin.

  5. Bake for 15—17 minutes, or until the muffins just start to brown and toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Enjoy warm, slathered with more coconut oil, butter (if you can do dairy) or a spoonful of the Strawberry Banana Compote below.

Strawberry Banana Compote

Ingredients:

  • 1 small banana, sliced

  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced

  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut oil

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • Dash cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add cut fruit and stir to coat evenly with the oil.

  2. Cook until strawberries have started to break down, about 10-12 minutes. Add vanilla and cinnamon. Serve warm atop muffins or store in an airtight container. Compote would be delicious stirred into yogurt bowls or spooned onto ice cream, slathered on toast or eaten on it’s own.

Strawberry+Banana+Compote+-+Emily+Nachazel.jpg

Have you ever baked with alternate flours like almond, coconut or chestnut?

Which has been your favorite? I'm happy to share mine is now chestnut!

Simple Veggie Frittata

A frittata is such a versatile dish - it’s simple enough to whip up for breakfast or brunch, but elegant enough to serve for dinner, and leftovers are amazing for packed lunches (yay for meal prep!).

Eggs are a wonderful source of protein and healthy fats, and, unlike so many other animal products, you can find high quality eggs at an affordable price, especially when shopping at your local farmer’s market or co-op!

I created this easy frittata as a quick meal to use up leftover veggies you may have lurking in your fridge. Veggies that probably wouldn’t have been eaten otherwise, either because you’re tired of eating them plain or there’s just not enough leftover from a meal to serve as a side dish. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand, and any herbs and spices too (both fresh and dried work here).

Simple Veggie Frittata - Emily Nachazel.JPG

Simple Veggie Frittata

Ingredients:

  • 10 large eggs, whites and yolks separated

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 cups cooked veggies, chopped into small pieces (I used sweet potato and broccoli but the possibilities are endless! Use what you have on hand)

  • Fresh or dried herbs, optional (I used about ½ tsp of rosemary, basil and oregano)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add in yolks and whisk until combined. Add in salt and pepper.

  3. Melt the coconut oil in a 10-inch nonstick, oven safe skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and season with additional salt and pepper. Cook until browned.

  4. Add cooked veggies to the skillet and stir to coat with oil and garlic.

  5. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Make sure that the vegetables are evenly distributed in the mix. Sprinkle fresh or dried herbs on top.

  6. Let everything cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the edges of the eggs are set but the center is still wobbly when you move the pan.

  7. Transfer the skillet into the preheated oven and cook for another 7 to 10 minutes, until the frittata has set completely.

This recipe was inspired by the Superhuman Frittata from Go with Your Gut. I highly recommend this cookbook for lots of delicious, easy + gut-friendly recipes!