'Pumpkin pie cheesecake' (AIP, Paleo, low FODMAP)
My good lord this is such a treat. Being restricted to an AIP and low FODMAP diet means desserts are virtually non existent. If you're like me, you've probably scoured the internet for days in the hope that someone somewhere has replicated every flavour of Ben and Jerry's and adapted them to suit your dietary requirements. But the truth is, they haven't. I actually couldn't find any low FODMAP and AIP compliant desserts that I could tolerate at all until fairly recently. Now I have a whole repertoire to share with you lucky people. I'll also be recreating some classic British puds so stay tuned for those.
This dish is somewhere in between a pumpkin pie and a cheesecake and it tastes so damn good. The base is just like a classic cheesecake base and the filling is sweet and almost caramel like with hints of spice. It keeps really well and tastes even better the next day when its had a good while to set in the fridge. This is AIP compliant with an adaptation for low FODMAP.
Before you begin you will need:
A food processor
A 15 inch loose bottom cake tin
7 of my gingernut biscuits for your base
For the base
7 gingernut biscuits
3 dessert spoons of melted coconut oil
For the topping
2 packed cups of baked, soft sweet potato for AIP or 2 packed cups of roasted soft sweet squash for low FODMAP ( I like coquina best as this can be incredibly sweet)
1 cup of tiger nut milk (or any lactose free milk you can tolerate)
2 dessert spoons of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of gelatin
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
A pinch of ground cloves
To make the base, place the gingernut biscuits in a bowl and give them a good bash with the end of a rolling pin. Keep breaking them up until you are left with a bowl of crumbs. Add the melted coconut oil and stir thoroughly ensuring the crumbs are lightly coated in the oil. Pour the crumb mixture into your cake tin and press firmly to form an even base layer. Place this in the fridge to set for 40 minutes.
To make your pumpkin pie layer, add your cooked potato or squash to your food processor with the ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Add your tigernut milk to a saucepan and sprinkle your gelatin powder evenly over the surface. Allow this to bloom (let the gelatin go translucent as it absorbs the milk). Turn the heat to medium and stir gently ensuring there are no clumps of gelatin. Once the milk is beginning to simmer, remove it from the heat. It should be slightly thickened and creamy. Add the milk mix to your blender with your potato/squash and then add your maple syrup.
Blend the mixture together until fully incorporated and you have a thick creamy liquid. Taste the mix and add extra maple syrup if you want it sweeter.
Remove your cheesecake base from the fridge and pour the mixture on top. Place this in the fridge for a minimum of four hours to set.
This will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
Braised red cabbage (Paleo, AIP, low FODMAP)
I stopped eating cabbage on the assumption that this would be a massive FODMAP no no. After all green cabbage has the power to bring even the strongest digestive system to it's knees and I never really liked it that much anyway. I did however enjoy a nice braised red cabbage, there's something very autumnal and warming about it when combined with oils and spices. I decided to check it out on my Monash FODMAP app and low and behold, red cabbage is low in FODMAP's. Anything new that I can add to my limited repertoire excites me immensely, so I set about making up for lost time with this beautiful vegetable.
As a a cruciferous vegetable, red cabbage is loaded with antioxidants, rich in fibre, and packed with essential minerals such as calcium, iron and potassium.
Aside from the nutrient count, it tastes delicious and the vibrant purple makes any plate look beautiful.
Serves 4 small side portions or 2 large sides.
1 medium sized red cabbage cored and finely sliced.
4 rashers of bacon, sliced into strips.
Half a leek for AIP or the tops of two leeks (green parts only) for low FODMAP, finely chopped.
1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh ginger. Ginger soothes and calms digestive complaints, is rich in magnesium, potassium and copper and is a potent anti-inflammatory.
The juice of half a large lemon
1 heaped teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
A good pinch of sea salt
Add the olive oil to a heavy casserole dish and turn the heat to medium. Add your bacon strips and cook until they just start to crisp around the edges. Once they are cooked, remove them from the pan and keep to one side. Add your sliced leeks, salt and ginger to the oil and cook until they soften and the flavours infuse - about 5 minutes. Once the leek is soft, add your coconut oil and let it melt. Add your sliced cabbage and stir at a medium heat coating it in all the oils and flavours from the pan. let this sizzle for about ten minutes, stirring regularly to ensure nothing sticks to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and add the lemon juice, bacon and cinnamon. Put the lid on and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes stirring at regular intervals.
This makes a great addition to your Sunday roast if you are able to resist eating the whole lot straight from the pan.
Gingernuts (Paleo, AIP, low FODMAP)
These were the very first treat I made myself when I launched into my low FODMAP, AIP diet and I was shocked by how well they turned out. I'd begun to believe that treats and desserts made using alternative ingredients were either doomed to fail or taste like some form of toxic sludge. My first experience of this was way back when I was on my superfood kick and I simply blended an avocado with some raw cacao powder and expected a superfood miracle to occur. I savoured every second of my first mouthful expecting it to taste just like the chocolate mousse I so enjoyed in my childhood. With every spoonful I fervently tried to convince myself that it did. My husband however didn't even try to play along. He just outright declared it disgusting and made a bee line for the bin.
But we are back with the trusty tigernut for this recipe as it is yet to let me down. These biscuits are warm and spicy and perfectly crunchy. They taste like the real deal so you can enjoy them without forever being reminded that you are on a restricted diet.
Makes 14 gingernuts
1 level cup of tigernut flour (please see below for my favourite brand)
1/3 of a cup of arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
A pinch of salt
Just shy of half a cup of melted coconut oil
Two dessert spoons of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of gelatin powder. I have included below the brand that I use.
2 dessert spoons of ground ginger (This will give them a warm kick, add more if you like them really spicy)
1 heaped teaspoon of cinnamon
A pinch of ground cloves
Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees or 180 for fan assisted.
Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking parchment.
Start by adding all your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and throughly combine. You want to make sure the spices are evenly spread throughout the flour.
In a separate bowl add your maple syrup to your melted coconut oil and stir to combine. Sprinkle your gelatine powder over the surface of the liquid and whisk immediately with a fork to ensure thoroughly combined with the liquids. You do not want this to solidify.
Pour your liquids into your dry mix and fold together. I fold slowly in a figure of eight whilst turning the bowl to ensure everything is completely combined. You should start to see a dough form. Use your hands to form small balls of dough, slightly smaller than a golf ball. Place these onto the baking sheet and use your hands to press them into biscuit shapes. They will spread slightly when cooking so leave some space between each biscuit.
Put these in the middle of your oven and bake for 15 minutes. After this time they will be starting to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool and firm up.
Dunk in a nice cold glass of tigernut milk :)
Tiger nut milk (lactose free, AIP, low FODMAP, Paleo)
Ah, tiger nut milk. Sweet, creamy, nutritious and tummy friendly. This is so easy to make and very versatile in its uses. It's great to sweeten desserts, in tea, added to sauces or just on it's own over ice with a pinch of cinnamon. You just need a nice biscuit to dunk. You can add additional sweeteners to taste, however it's so naturally sweet it's ready to devour as it is. Tigernuts are naturally gluten and lactose free and perfect for those intolerant to nuts or coconut.
To make your milk you will need a blender and a nut milk bag - I have posted a link below to the one I use.
1 cup of tiger nuts (see link below to my favourite brand)
4 cups of water
Place the tigernuts in an airtight container and cover with water. You want the water level to be a good couple of inches above the tigernuts. Pop this into the fridge and allow the nuts to soak for 24 hours. This softens them so they are easy to blend. After 24 hours, strain the tigernuts in a colander and rinse with water. Transfer them to your blender and add the water. Blitz until the tigernuts are obliterated to a powdery pulp and your blender is full of creamy milky goodness. Pour the contents of your blender into the nut milk bag whilst holding over a large bowl or jug. Squeeze the pulp to get out any remaining milk.
This is ready to use straight away. Alternatively you can store it in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to three days.
What are tiger nuts?
Several months into my strict AIP, low FODMAP adventure and I was on the prowl for something that would satisfy my sweet tooth. You may have noticed already that AIP desserts tend to have one thing in common. The coconut. Coconut flour, coconut milk, coconut chips, creamed coconut....and any other coco-nutty variation on this you can think of. I dove head first into a variety of coconut based kitchen experiments. I used the flour for baking, added the milk to soups and smoothies and devoured thick coconut yoghurts. And I hurt. Not only did my stomach ache but my brain joined in as my emotions ran riot. As if my elimination wasn't already strict enough, I could not tolerate coconut either. Coconut oil is another story however, requiring no enzymes for digestion. But the fibre from the flesh and meat just doesn't work for me. There it was. In one fell swoop I had wiped out the vast majority of AIP desserts. I searched in vain for other substitute flours but if they were AIP compliant they weren't FODMAP friendly and vice versa. Then I stumbled across the humble tigernut. A food claimed to be hypo-allergenic, low FODMAP, AIP and choc full of awesome health benefits. How had I not heard of these before? And where could I find them? All I knew was I needed some immediately.
What are they?
Well for starters they are not a nut. Nor are they affiliated in any way with the nether regions of a large wild feline. No Tigers are harmed in the harvesting of these gems. They are in fact vegetable. A small starchy root commonly found is Africa and Spain, and a plentiful source of food for our paleolithic ancestors. They are also a delicious, sweet, almond-esque revelation that reduced me to tears of impeding dessert joy.
What are the health stats?
These tiny sweet morsels are packed to the rafters with valuable nutrients and health enhancing properties:
A rich source of resistant starch. A pre biotic that helps feed and support your good gut bacteria. It also enhances production of butyrate, a potent anti inflammatory which has been linked to reducing rates of colon cancer.
Rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, reducing oxidative stress.
Loaded with fibre, leaving you feeling fuller for longer and aiding weight loss. These little roots pack more fibre than most fruits and vegetables.
Exhibit antibacterial properties
Excellent source of protein for non meat eaters.
Rich in essential minerals - magnesium, iron , potassium and calcium.
A great source of healthy fats, similar in composition to olive oil.
How do I eat them?
Nuts - You can buy packets of these peeled and ready to go, and you can snack on them as you would nuts. I have posted a link at the bottom for my favourite brand.
Milk - In Spain, tigernuts are traditionally made into a milk called 'horchata de chufa'. This is a beautiful, creamy, naturally sweet milk perfect for those who cannot tolerate lactose or are on an AIP or low FODMAP diet where other milk alternatives are scarce. If you have some tiger nuts then the milk is so easy to make yourself at home. You just need a good blender and a nut milk bag. I will be posting a recipe for this shortly.
Flour - You can buy tiger nut flour easily online to use in your baking. There are two types of flour and the best is the finer, more powdery version. The slightly denser flour can sometimes have an almost gritty texture which works well in biscuits but not so well in breads and cakes.
In the coming weeks I will be posting a few recipes using tigernuts so you can create delicious AIP, low FODMAP treats too!
A word of caution. These little roots do pack a lot of fibre. Although they tout a lot of benefits for the digestive system, introduce them slowly if you have a sensitive tum. Try a few at a time for a couple of days and build up gradually to test your threshold. Don't guzzle them like your knocking back the popcorn as you may experience a bit of bloating while you adjust.
This blog tells an ongoing story about me and my journey back to health and happiness. A boho soul always looking for my next European adventure. I am a Coeliac, Yogi, paleo advocate, dreamer, Bon jovi connoisseur, sun worshipper, snuggly jumper wearer and wife to my lovely Paulie.