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Soothing Split Pea Soup

Soothing Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup is a cold weather classic. It’s a simple, savory meal or a side, satisfying and nourishing. And this split pea soup recipe is a safe option for Low FODMAPs, Paleo, and SCD diets. It’s gentle to digest and a good option for little ones struggling with FPIES. It’s an easy early food for babies and toddlers mastering utensils. My recipe goes the extra mile to include rinsing, soaking, and slow cooking the split peas – checking all the boxes for flavor and digestibility. Little work and easy to assemble, let this simmer in the background while you multi-task.

To comply with SCD, use a no sugar organic bacon like this one, and soak peas overnight. Soaking overnight will help digestibility for FPIES and low FODMAPs too. As always, organic ingredients will make a better tasting product!

Soothing Split Pea Soup
Print Recipe
A thick warming soup that makes a meal on its own - or expand for a family meal with grilled Bratwurst or sausage, hearty bread (like Kim and Jakes Gluten Free Peasant Loaf), and bright-flavor greens like arugula.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 hours 3 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 hours 3 hours
Soothing Split Pea Soup
Print Recipe
A thick warming soup that makes a meal on its own - or expand for a family meal with grilled Bratwurst or sausage, hearty bread (like Kim and Jakes Gluten Free Peasant Loaf), and bright-flavor greens like arugula.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 hours 3 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 hours 3 hours
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Rinse the dried split peas in a colander. Place in a large pot and cover with filtered water, so that peas are ~ 2 inches below surface of water. Place lid on the pot and let soak overnight.
  2. Once soaked, rinse peas through in a colander once again, and set aside.
  3. In your large pot, melt the bacon fat and add minced celery, garlic, and scallions. Saute until nearly soft, but not burnt or browned.
  4. Add finely chopped uncooked bacon and saute until bacon pieces are clear and starting to crisp slightly.
  5. Add salt, paprika, and red pepper, and combine thoroughly with minced vegetables and bacon. Then stir in the drained peas and combine once again. Keep heat on low - medium, to allow slow cooking but not browning.
  6. Add chicken broth, and turn heat to high. Bring to a near boil, then reduce to steady low simmer. Simmer for 3 hours, checking occasionally to stir ingredients and keep from sticking to bottom of pot.
  7. Adjust seasoning as desired, and stir to a thick even consistency. Peas should be mostly disintegrated into a smooth soup. Serve warm with rustic GF bread or any accompaniments as desired.
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Paleo Chocolate Chia Pudding

Paleo Chocolate Chia Pudding

Chocolate? What’s not to love? This Chocolate Chia Pudding is so easy and so good. Unsweetened plain cocoa powder is one of my favorite foods to recommend for kids. Here’s why you should let your kids enjoy it:

  • It has a good mineral profile, providing zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and copper.
  • It is rich in polyphenols, which lend antioxidant power.
  • It might even help you boost good cholesterol – that is, the high density lipoprotein (HDL) that helps cholesterol work healthfully in the body.
  • It has an array of all macronutrients too, including protein, carbs, fiber, and fats.
  • Plain cocoa powder is unsweetened and has no cane sugar – which means you can get its health benefits when you use it in all sorts of recipes.

This Chocolate Chia Pudding recipe brings together a bunch of all-good ingredients, giving you a fast easy option to store bought sugary pudding cups. Besides cocoa powder, the recipe’s chia brings the pudding texture to life while delivering its own complement of minerals (potassium, calcium,  phosphorus), omega 3 fats, protein, and fiber. Full fat canned coconut milk – another go to in many of my nutrition care plans – gives high calorie, easy to digest fats that work well for a fast-access energy boost, without sugar. These fats, called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), have an array of health benefits for heart health, weight loss, and even immune support. And good local organic honey – raw if your children are over a year old – will give antioxidants, more traces of minerals, and all the sweet you need.

For Paleo Chocolate Chia Pudding, just blend ingredients and chill – it will set in 1-3 hours. I’ve had some batches set quickly, while others take longer – in that case, I’ll add an extra spoonful of chia and give it another hour or more to set.

 

Paleo Chocolate Chia Pudding
Print Recipe
Rich and creamy, deep cocoa flavor, with soft texture of gelled chia seed. Enjoy!
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Paleo Chocolate Chia Pudding
Print Recipe
Rich and creamy, deep cocoa flavor, with soft texture of gelled chia seed. Enjoy!
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In a blender, food processor, or with hand mixer, combine all ingredients but the chia seeds. Process until texture is smooth and all ingredients are evenly blended.
  2. Fold in chia seeds, so that they are evenly distributed throughout the pudding mixture. Cover and place in refrigerator until firm.
  3. If pudding hasn't set after two hours, stir in 1 more tablespoon chia seeds and allow another hour for it to set.
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Ground Turkey Larb – Fast and Easy Kid Friendly

Ground Turkey Larb – Fast and Easy Kid Friendly

Larb (aka Laab) is a Thai dish that can be modified nicely for young eaters: It’s not too spicy (unless you up the heat), it can be fast and easy to make, and it has a good profile for protein and minerals, thanks to turkey or pork and a line up of fresh herbs. The generous garlic is a good gut health helper, with antimicrobial action and ability to bust up biofilm. Traditionally, larb is a spicy ground pork dish crafted into an aromatic salad and served with toasted rice and sticky rice. If you get a chance, enjoy it at an authentic Thai restaurant soon.

For your home table, make this fast version inspired by the real thing. Even babies learning pincer grasp feeding can enjoy it, provided they are sitting well, and have skills settling in for chewing, swallowing, along with some baby teeth. Older kids can enjoy this with brown rice, sticky rice, congee, or in lettuce wraps. It’s shown here with congee and a side of roasted zucchini.

Ground Turkey Larb - Fast and Easy Kid Friendly
Print Recipe
A simple fast savory dish that can be enjoyed across ages. Use organic ingredients for best flavor and health.
Servings Prep Time
4 adult size servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 adult size servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ground Turkey Larb - Fast and Easy Kid Friendly
Print Recipe
A simple fast savory dish that can be enjoyed across ages. Use organic ingredients for best flavor and health.
Servings Prep Time
4 adult size servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 adult size servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: adult size servings
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook on medium heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes; do not burn. Add turkey, smoked paprika, chili flakes( if hotter spice is desired, omit if not), salt, and pepper. Stir and cook until turkey is browned, about 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in tamari, and chicken broth, simmer for a minute. Then add scallions, mint, and cilantro. Cook until turkey is done, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add lime juice and stir evenly throughout the skillet.
  4. Serve with hearty lettuce leaves like butter lettuce or romaine for lettuce wraps, or over sticky rice, congee, or any side your kids like.
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Oatmeal Tigernut Cookies – GF CF AIP

Oatmeal Tigernut Cookies – GF CF AIP

Oatmeal, tigernut flour, and chia are great foods for getting different types of fiber into our diets. Fiber is what helps build diversity in our gut microbiomes – and there is growing evidence that this is pivotal for preventing food allergy. It’s possible that microbiome therapies may help correct and treat food allergy too, along with many other conditions. But how do you get picky eaters to go there?

Cookies! Here’s an easy recipe to use all three of those foods in one. Tigernut flour is easy to work with and gives baked goods a warm earthy flavor and texture. Combined with oats ground in to flour, it makes an easy texture for a nice twist on the usual oatmeal cookie that anyone can enjoy. Even kids with conditions like Crohn’s disease, food allergy, celiac, or other inflammatory bowel conditions where sweets, eggs, dairy or gluten can wreak havoc will enjoy these cookies.

Everyone needs a cookie now and then! Pack these in your kids’ lunches or enjoy as snacks. No cane sugar, no eggs, lots of fiber and minerals. If your gang can roll with (GF CF no sugar) chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or raisins, add those too. Option to leave oats whole for coarse texture, or grind oats into a fine flour in a food processor for easier digestion in tender or toddler tummies. I have a mini-size food processor in my kitchen to make this task simple and fast. Lastly, see below for why stevia is included – here’s the one I recommend. It is pure organic plant extract, no fillers, in glycerite (not alcohol).

Oatmeal Tigernut Flour Cookies
Print Recipe
Soft, chewy, oat-y cookies that work with all kinds of elimination diets. See amazon links above for hard to find ingredients.
Servings Prep Time
12-15 cookies 20 minutes
Passive Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12-15 cookies 20 minutes
Passive Time
20 minutes
Oatmeal Tigernut Flour Cookies
Print Recipe
Soft, chewy, oat-y cookies that work with all kinds of elimination diets. See amazon links above for hard to find ingredients.
Servings Prep Time
12-15 cookies 20 minutes
Passive Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12-15 cookies 20 minutes
Passive Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a baking sheet with coconut oil. Lay a piece of baking parchment on top. Set aside to soak for at least five minutes, or til other ingredients are ready.
  2. Place the chia seeds in a cup or small bowl. Add the water, so that chia seeds are covered. Press any that stick to sides of cup or bowl down into the water with a spoon or spatula, so they can soak. Set aside.
  3. Measure 1/4 gluten free oats and place in a food processor. Process into a fine flour. Use this in your dry ingredient mixture. Make sure it measures 1/4 cup when ground.
  4. In a medium size bowl, mix together dry ingredients: Tigernut flour, oat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Blend til evenly combined.
  5. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients: Melted coconut oil, vanilla, honey, and stevia drops (why stevia? See note below!). Mix with electric mixer or whisk with a fork or whisk until these are evenly blended. Then add the soaked chia seeds. Stir until all are evenly blended.
  6. Stir wet ingredients into dry, and combine all till evenly mixed. If you are adding chocolate chips, nuts, or raisins, stir these in now.
  7. Place on baking sheet, bake x 15-20 minutes, til slightly browned on bottoms and tops. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

White chia seeds have a higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids than black chia seeds - which have more protein than the white ones. The omega-3 fatty acids can have a bitter taste, hence the extra help from stevia in this recipe. If you want to go for the slightly bigger protein boost, use black chia seeds instead - they will look like poppy seeds in your final product, which some picky eaters may object to ("what are THOSE? I don't like 'bits'"). They white ones will disappear!

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What Is Congee and Why Should Your Kids Eat It?

What Is Congee and Why Should Your Kids Eat It?

What is congee, and why do I recommend it to my clients? Congee is a great way to ease a delicate gut and evolving biome toward diversity and improved digestion. Long revered as a salve for digestion in Traditional Chinese Medicine (earliest reference dates back to about 1000 BC), congee is a low cost, versatile, delicious food that’s easy to add your weekly recipe staples. I am a huge fan and here is why:

  • Congee starts with rice – the main ingredient – and is cooked with much more liquid than usual (such as bone broth or chicken stock). It is also simmered much longer, until the texture is like porridge. This makes it very easy to digest.
  • When the body isn’t preoccupied with digesting complex meals, it can better absorb nutrients.
  • This can be incredibly healing for children who are coping with reflux, loose stool, gas, and leaky gut – even kids who are moving off of elimination diets due to FPIES, a condition which often strictly avoids rice. Congee however is more digestible, and may work well.
  • Since the rice grains absorb a high volume of collagen-rich liquid during the cooking process, the porridge is hydrating and nourishing to the lining of the GI tract.    
  • Congee works as a savory dish or a sweet soother. Use it as a breakfast porridge: Just omit the garlic from the recipe. Stir in raisins, which you can soften as well by microwaving with water for 1 minute before adding to congee. 

Typical congee recipes use long grain rice and animal protein based broths in a slow cooked method, and need hours for the starches in the rice to break down and absorb the cooking liquid. I recently discovered an Instant Pot recipe which cuts the cooking time down considerably. Try it and share your comments below!

Instant Pot Congee
Print Recipe
You will need an Instant Pot for this version of congee. Bonus - that means it cooks in 20-30 minutes instead of 2-4 hours with traditional stove top simmering (which is also great, just slower). Use organic ingredients, and don't forget to rinse and drain the rice before cooking.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30 minutes
Instant Pot Congee
Print Recipe
You will need an Instant Pot for this version of congee. Bonus - that means it cooks in 20-30 minutes instead of 2-4 hours with traditional stove top simmering (which is also great, just slower). Use organic ingredients, and don't forget to rinse and drain the rice before cooking.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30 minutes
Ingredients
For Savory Congee...
For Breakfast Congee...
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Rinse rice under cool water.
  2. Combine all ingredients in the Instant Pot, except honey or maple syrup. Add that to taste after cooking, if you are making a breakfast congee.
  3. Close and lock the lid. S
  4. Set the pressure cook / manual setting on high for 30 minutes.
  5. When ready to serve, add in any extras you like: For savory congee, try minced scallions, minced cilantro, or minced pork or chicken. For breakfast congee, try raisins (cooked with the congee or added after), berries, bananas, maple syrup, or honey.
Recipe Notes

For traditional stovetop cooking, place all ingredients with rinsed rice in a large pot on stove. Cover rice with broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to steady simmer and add liquid throughout the next two hours, whenever the liquid cooks down to expose the rice. Stir to keep from sticking to bottom of pot.

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