Thursday, September 29, 2016

Spiced Tigernut Cookies (gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free)


Today I have a special recipe to share with you. This grain-free tigernut cookie recipe comes from a new book called The Autoimmune Fix, which I actually developed all of the recipes for! Dr. Tom O’Bryan wrote an incredible book on the current epidemic of autoimmune diseases. As a skilled functional medicine practitioner, he discusses the root causes of autoimmune disease, and in essence, all diseases. Dr. O’Bryan has spent the last few decades lecturing around the globe on how gluten contributes to disease, but now expands on that topic in his new book with the culprits and causes of autoimmunity: Genetics, exposure, and intestinal permeability.

You may be thinking, I'm fine and healthy. I don't have an autoimmune disease, though you may know someone with lupus, eczema, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, psoriasis, or celiac disease. But, did you know that you can have autoantibodies, or "messengers from the future" as Dr. Tom likes to call them, slowly degenerating part of your body without you even knowing it? And that this can go on for years and years with no symptoms or with only mild signs of autoimmunity, such as joint pain, weight gain, brain fog, gut imbalances, depression, mood disorders, and fatigue? Tom's book is essential for everyone to read because he explains, in his eloquent story-telling style, how this process happens and what you can do now to test for autoimmunity before the full-blown cascade of decline manifests in your body.  

It is estimated that there are 70 to 80 million people with autoimmunity right now in the United States. That's about 22% to 25% of our population. But only about 24 million of these people have been diagnosed. That's a whole lot of people walking around not feeling well and not knowing why! I encourage you to pick up a copy of The Autoimmune Fix to better understand, prevent, and treat both hidden autoimmunity and full-fledged autoimmune disease. 

Here is my recipe for spiced tigernut cookies, which can also be found in The Autoimmune Fix on page 276. Tigernuts are actually small tubers that are ground into a delicious flour, which is perfect for baking. Tigernut flour is high in prebiotic fibers that feed beneficial microbes in the gut. It's one thing to take a probiotic or eat fermented foods, and another to actually feed them everyday with fibers that we can't digest....but they can! Good bacteria in the gut will grow into healthy colonies with the right foods. These gut bacteria enjoy the fibers and resistant starches from tubers, root vegetables, legumes, plantains, and other plant foods, and then release, through their own digestion, short chain fatty acids (which then nourish the cells lining the gut), B vitamins, the amino acid tryptophan, and digestive enzymes to break down other parts of your meal! Beneficial gut microbes regulate immune cell function to help your immune system stay calm and not overreact (such as in autoimmunity). So each and everyday, remember you are not only nourishing your body with good foods, but also your microbial colonies that live in your gut. What have you eaten today to nourish your microbes? :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa Recipe


It's tomato season and I bet many of you are searching for more ways to preserve the tomato harvest! Last year I had a bumper crop of roma tomatoes so I created this really easy fire-roasted tomato salsa recipe as a way to preserve the harvest. I had my freezer stocked full of salsa in various sized jars that we enjoyed through the winter months. I'm really happy to finally be sharing my recipe with you. It's a mix of roasted tomatoes and other raw ingredients, creating a nutrient-packed condiment!

Roasting tomatoes under the broiler brings out a stunning, sweet caramelized flavor, which adds depth and complexity to your salsa. It also releases some of the liquid in the tomatoes so your salsa does't end up too watery.

If you are looking for other ways to preserve your tomato harvest then you might want to try my Homemade Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce recipe, or simply freeze your tomatoes whole (stems removed). I like to take whole frozen roma tomatoes and soak them in hot water for a few minutes. This allows their skins to slip right off. Then I chop them up and add them to soups and stews in the wintertime.

Enjoy this flavorful salsa recipe with homemade gluten-free Brown Rice Flour Tortillas, cooked beans or meat, guacamole, and thinly sliced fresh greens.