Raspberry-Ginger Power Muffins

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It’s time to celebrate, for berries have reentered my life! I’ve been avoiding berries due to their high acidity—but I recently flipped through Dropping Acid: The Reflux Cookbook and Cure and noticed that raspberries have a pH of 4.2. This is just above the cutoff of 4.0, under which foods are very abrasive to the throat. As long as I feel healthy, raspberries are on the menu!

For my first berry-burst recipe, I baked healthy muffins that work for breakfast, a snack, or dessert. They’re moist and sweet with a hint of spice in the background from the ginger. I tried this recipe twice, and I’m on the fence about whether to add a bit more sugar. I decided against it since these are a breakfast for me, rather than a dessert. But an extra tablespoon of brown sugar is welcome here.

I call these power muffins because they’re made with quinoa, oat flour, and bananas. Thus, they have more protein and nutrients than muffins made with wheat flour. They’re also gluten free! These freeze and refrigerate well, so I like to make a batch in anticipation of a busy week.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/3 cups oat flour (gluten-free if desired)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a standard cupcake pan with paper liners, or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Rinse the quinoa under cool water, rubbing it with your fingers to remove the bitter coating. Mix with 1 cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Drop the heat to a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Move quinoa into a bowl in the fridge to cool.
  3. Mix the oat flour, baking powder, salt, and ground ginger in a small bowl.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the bananas, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, applesauce, and fresh ginger until well blended. Mash any remaining large banana chunks with a fork.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until incorporated.
  6. Stir in 1 cup of cooked quinoa (you will have some left over) and the raspberries.
  7. Add a heaping 1/4 cup of batter to each cupcake liner. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. IMG_4681
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for at least 1 hour. If you used paper liners, allow the muffins to cool completely before trying to unpeel the liners.
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Lemon-Pistachio Biscotti (The Leftovers Club)

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Cooking with lemons in The Low-Acid Kitchen—this is a first! I’m pleased to have learned that citrus zest is a safe flavoring option for GERD sufferers. It’s fragrant and tasty without that problematic acidity.

On a side note, I am continually surprised at how few resources exist for those managing heartburn without medication. I rely on the Dropping Acid blog, so I tried to mix it up by searching for a different source that mentions heartburn and citrus zest. I couldn’t find anything! Thanks to Dr. Koufman for providing a solution for people who don’t want to take medicine to stop acid reflux.

But back to the cookies. These biscotti are fun to make—a bit of kneading makes me feel like a real baker. The lemon smells fantastic, and it pairs well with honey and pistachios to make a crumbly, low-fat cookie. It would be great dipped in coffee, but I recommend camomile tea as a stomach-friendly biscotti moistener.

Biscotti are baked twice to make them extra crunchy. This also means they stay fresh longer than regular cookies. I ate a few of these and mailed the rest to Laura at Pink Cake Plate for The Leftovers Club! She sent me a box of oatmeal-pumpkin cookies that were moist, frosted, and beyond incredible.

If you bake too much, The Leftovers Club may be for you. New members are welcome! Click below to see what everyone else baked this month.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 heaping tsp lemon zest (from about 1/2 a lemon)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted, shelled pistachios

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, stir the sugar, oil, egg, honey, zest, and vanilla until well combined.
  3. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches until the mixture forms a dough. Stir in the pistachios. IMG_4743
  4. Flour your hands and knead the dough in the bowl a few times. Reincorporate any pistachios that fall out.
  5. Shape the dough into a log about 5 inches long and 3 inches wide. Transfer the log to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes at 350. Transfer it to a wire rack and let it cool for 15 minutes. IMG_4747
  6. With a serrated knife, cut 1/2-inch slices from the cooled log. DO NOT use a sawing motion; this will cause the cookies to break apart. Instead, hold the edges of the loaf with your fingers and push down firmly with the knife.
  7. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the cookies and bake until golden, 5 to 10 more minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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Makes 10. Adapted from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/honey-pistachio-biscotti-recipe/index.html

Mostly Egg White Scramble

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When my sister-in-law gave me a dozen eggs fresh from her backyard chickens, I knew I’d be having hot breakfasts all week. I don’t normally buy organic, cage-free eggs, and I’m sure the ones I get in the grocery store haven’t been laid in the last couple of days! So this was a treat.

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I haven’t made eggs often since starting the reflux diet. I used to put a lot of black pepper on my eggs, and it took time to adjust to not having that. This egg scramble uses dried Italian herbs, mushrooms, and spinach to make up for the lack of pepper. It’s been a couple of months, so by now my tongue is used to not having that spicy kick.

Since low-fat meals are an important part of eating for heartburn, I made breakfast with 3 eggs but only 1 egg yolk. This is a good compromise between a full-yolk dish (too much fat) and an all-whites dish (not as tasty, and unappealing in appearance). These cooked eggs are less yellow than normal ones, but I didn’t notice a difference in taste.

I did notice a difference in the home-grown eggs! The whites were less runny than usual; these eggs really stay together after you crack them. They would be ideal for poaching or for cooking sunny-side up.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup packed baby spinach
  • 3 eggs
  • splash of plain soy milk or skim milk
  • sea salt
  • dried basil, oregano, and thyme (or Italian seasoning)

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add cooking spray and the mushrooms and saute until they brown and shrink, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add spinach and a few drops of water, and stir until wilted.
  3. In a small bowl, beat 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites. (Discard the 2 extra egg yolks.) Add a splash of milk, salt to taste, and a few shakes each of basil, oregano, and thyme.
  4. Drop heat to low in the skillet and add the eggs. Allow one side to set, and then scramble with a spatula. Cook to desired consistency.
  5. Serve on whole-grain toast or with a side of melon.

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Serves 1. Adapted from http://www.refluxcookbookblog.com/2011/05/01/the-good-egg-omelets-for-acid-reflux/

Black Bean & Cilantro Soup with Croutons

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I can’t believe how fantastic this soup was, and on my first try! Tex-Mex food has been out of the question for the past few months because onions, garlic, and hot peppers are bad for reflux. This recipe uses over a cup of fresh herbs for flavor and brightness in place of those items. And it’s rave-worthy! I may quit my job and make a living selling jars of Paula’s Fabulous, Fat-Free Soup.

I included small amounts of cumin, onion powder, and roasted pepper here, but you can leave some of them out if they bother you. The herbs are the star in this dish.

I made croutons to top this soup instead of high-fat cheese or avocado. I had some beautiful Italian bread left over from my husband’s takeout, and it crisped up perfectly in the oven. Of course, a small sprinkle of sharp cheddar would be great, too, if you have some.

This recipe is a way to use up wilted herbs. My cilantro and parsley were damp and limp in their paper towels, but once they hit the soup, that didn’t matter. It feels great to utilize the stems, too, instead of shoving them down the garbage disposal.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 15.5-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup piquillo or roasted red peppers, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 cup cilantro (leaves and stems)
  • 1/2 cup parsley (leaves and stems)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup corn (fresh is preferable)
  • sea salt
  • extra cilantro (for garnish)
FOR THE CROUTONS:
  • 1 cup cubed stale bread per person (gluten free if desired)
  • cooking spray

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all soup ingredients except corn and salt in a large pot (not nonstick). Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Drop heat to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove the pot from heat and discard the bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup (carefully!). IMG_4502
  4. Add corn, cover, and return to a boil.
  5. Remove the lid, add salt to taste, and simmer for 10 to 15 for minutes, until soup reaches your desired consistency.
  6. To make croutons, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bread into cubes and spread on a baking sheet. Spray the cubers well with cooking spray. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.

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Serves 3 to 4. Adapted from Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet & Cure

Almond Butter Cereal Bars

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I ran out of the jumbo marshmallows that were left over from summer camping trips, and my sweet tooth has been unsatisfied ever since. When this puffed millet cereal was gifted to my cabinet, I decided to try a healthier version of Rice Krispies treats.

This millet cereal is nuttier than Rice Krispies. I combined it with honey, vanilla, and almond butter instead of the fake-sugar marshmallows. Dried apricots add chewy bursts of sweetness to the mix. (I’ve been missing dried fruit, which is very acidic. Luckily, the Dropping Acid blog discovered that Turkish apricots are alkaline enough for refluxers to eat regularly!)

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These bars are sweet, salty, and deliciously carby. They’re pretty healthy as dessert goes, but almond butter does have high fat content, so be sure not to eat the whole pan. (It would be easy to do!) Also, I recommend keeping these in the fridge to help them stay together—they aren’t as sticky as Rice Krispies treats.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup sweetened, salted almond butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups puffed millet cereal
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried Turkish apricots (preservative-free)

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring the first 3 ingredients to a boil in a small pan. Once boiling, remove from heat and stir in vanilla until mixture is smooth.
  2. Put millet cereal in a large bowl, add liquids, and stir until cereal is well coated. Add apricots and stir to distribute.
  3. Pour the mixture into an 8×8, parchment-lined pan sprayed with cooking spray. Use wet fingers to press the mixture very tightly into the pan and to flatten the top.
  4. Refrigerate until firm (about 2 hours), cut, and enjoy!
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