Lower-histamine Carob Almond Fudge Recipe (Chocolate Substitute)

Okay, so carob doesn’t taste like chocolate.  But it does taste amazing, and its color, flavor, and texture will satisfy you in a similar way – and without all the problems that chocolate causes as a major migraine trigger.  If you’re not sensitive to lectins, oxalates, or maple syrup, this treat may be for you.

Carob is the powdered flour of the locust bean, which is a great source of riboflavin and B6, especially.  It’s also high in calcium, copper, potassium and manganese – all supportive to those with migraine. Unlike chocolate, it contains zero caffeine.  It appears that one potential reason why chocolate is such a migraine trigger is because it contains phenylethylamine. The phenylethylamine will compete with histamine for its degradation, leading to an overall higher histamine load.  Carob is also free of theobromine, theophylline, tyramine, anandamide, and oxalic acid.

Carob is made through a fermentation process, however, which is why I am calling this a “lower histamine” recipe.  While this dessert will certainly add less to your histamine load than eating chocolate will (by a long shot), those who are stuck in chronic migraine and brain fog should probably hold off on making this recipe until they have stabilized more on the SimplyWell Protocol.  Those who only have migraine once in awhile are very unlikely to be triggered by this fudge.

What’s great about these little bites aside from the fact they are delicious, is that they are packed with good fats (butter and coconut oil) that will feed your healthy gut flora.  Carob is naturally sweet, so you’ll notice the small amount of added maple syrup in this recipe.  It’s texture is sublime, and it’s easy to make! So, on to the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup butter (or more coconut oil if you’re vegan)
  • 1/2 cup creamy natural almond butter (roasted or raw are both fine)
  • 3/4 cup carob powder, sifted
  • 5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon2 pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Directions:

  1. Line a very small loaf pan (4″ x 8″) with plastic wrap for easy removal.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth.
  3. With a spatula, scoop the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth out.
  4. Freeze for about 20 minutes, or until solid.
  5. Slice into squares or pour into a mould and enjoy! Store leftovers in a container in the freezer as it melts quickly at room temperature.

This recipe has been adapted from a recipe found here at Oh She Glows

Wholesome Sesame Flax Crackers

Recently a good friend of mine have been supporting each other to plan meals and healthy snacks for the week ahead, then cook and prep them together while we help to watch eachother’s kids.  We feel more connected in community and we share the efficiency of childcare and cleanup.  Then for the rest of the week, we just reach in the fridge or freezer and pull out food that takes only moments to make.

I know personally that when dealing with histamine intolerance it can be hard to find healthy snacks, and inbetween meals is one of the most vulnerable times because when our blood sugar is low its easy to cave in to eating food that triggers migraine.  Many snacks are also sweet.  So our challenge was to create some healthy savory snacks.

We chose to make these crackers as a healthy base on which to spread all kinds of yummy sauces and nut cheeses.  While these crackers are not particularly glamorous on their own, they are an amazing substrate on which to put other stuff.  And they’re super healthy.  The flax seeds contain important glutamate scavengers, the sesame seeds offer calcium and magnesium, and the sunflower seeds offer copper and B6.  Perfect!

These crackers are easy to make if you have a dehydrator.  This week I’ve enjoyed pairing them up with cheese-free pesto and almond cheese.  I like to double this recipe so I have many on hand for the entire week.

Basic Raw Cracker Recipe

2 cups ground flax seeds (blend in blender)
2/3 cup whole flax seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Italian spices (fresh or dry oregano, thyme, basil, parsley, chive, etc)
2 2/3 cup water
1 1/3 cups sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds

Mix everything together in a mixing bowl.

Line two dehydrator trays with parchment paper or teflex sheets. Spread batter evenly on two trays using the back of a spoon.

Start dehydrating the crackers. I generally dehydrate everything at 120 degrees for the first hour, then I reduce the temperature to 105 degrees for the remainder of the cooking time.

Score the crackers. Once the crackers are starting to harden up (four hours later?), use a knife to score the crackers along wherever you want the crackers to separate. (This will make them easier to break later on.)

Remove paper or teflex. Once the crackers are holding their shape together very well (8 hours in the dehydrator?), break them apart along the score lines. Remove the parchment or teflex sheets and place the crackers directly on the dehydrator tray.

Finish dehydrating. Some people like their crackers a bit moist. I like this particular recipe to be very dry. If you plan on keeping them for a few weeks or more in storage, then you must ensure that there is no moisture left.

The original recipe from Rawtarian can be found here. She also has many other cracker recipes that are a bit more jazzy.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.simplywell.info/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Marya.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Marya Gendron is a biodynamic craniosacral therapist, health coach, and wellness researcher. She specializes in chronic migraine headache relief and alleviation of brain fog, indigestion, and histamine intolerance through plant-based solutions.

The SimplyWell Protocol is available here, or you can book a consultation with Marya.
Learn more about Marya’s healing journey here.
[/author_info] [/author]

 

Low Histamine Rainbow Succotash Breakfast Recipe

I’ve found a delicious, healthy breakfast that my whole family loves eating.  It’s very easy to prepare and it gets me started off on the right foot because this dish offers lots of healthy fats to support my lymphatic system and loads me up with minerals and prebiotics (resistant starch in the beans, arabinogalactans in the carrots).  The sulfur in the cabbage supports sulfation detoxification pathways, and the potassium and magnesium in the kale support electrolyte balance.

What makes this dish more than just healthy but boring steamed vegetables is the corn and the fat.  The corn adds a lovely sweet flavor that balances our the greens – and the ghee, olive oil, seasonings and the beans make this meal very filling, flavorful, and satisfying.

If you prepare the kale, carrots, corn, and cabbage ahead of time – chopping and grating them finely as pictured below, then spinning them in a salad spinner – this meal can be made very quickly. I make large amounts of this mixture and keep them in a big bag in the fridge.  Then I just sautee the garlic in ghee, throw in the veggie mixture, add the black beans for reheating in the side of the pan, and dish up in a matter of minutes.

I also like to sprinkle this dish with some mild New Mexico chile (since my histamine isn’t so high anymore).  If you are very sensitive to histamine, you could use paprika instead.  It’s the spicy capsaicin in the seeds of chillis that triggers migraine, not the sweet meat of mild chilli or peppers.  Alternately, if you cannot handle any chilli at all, use lots of black pepper, as this helps raise blood pressure.

I use both ghee and olive oil in this dish to get the benefits of both.  Fat helps the vitamins and minerals in cooked vegetables to become more bioavailable.  The butyric acid in the ghee will help feed healthy gut bacteria, and the Omega-3 fatty acids will help lower inflammation.  The olive oil drizzled on top afterwards will help to reduce histamine and raise diamine oxidase.

My husband likes to put a fried egg or two on top of his.  The choline in egg yolks is excellent for raising methylation. Remember to load on the salt, we need it!

Ingredients for 2 Meals of Succotash:

3 cloves of chopped fresh garlic, sauteed in
3 T of clarified butter/ghee
4 cups of prepared chopped cabbage, kale, grated carrot, and frozen or fresh corn
2 cups of black beans
chilli, pepper, paprika, and salt to taste
drizzle of olive oil
garnish with cilantro, avocado
2 fried eggs (optional)
Squeeze of lemon or lime (optional)

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.simplywell.info/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Marya.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Marya Gendron is a biodynamic craniosacral therapist, health coach, and wellness researcher. She specializes in chronic migraine headache relief and alleviation of brain fog, indigestion, and histamine intolerance through plant-based solutions.

The SimplyWell Protocol is available here, or you can book a consultation with Marya.
Learn more about Marya’s healing journey here.
[/author_info] [/author]

Three Incredible Cheese-free Pesto Recipes

I frequently get asked for help with recipe ideas for sauces and dressings to spruce up low-histamine foods, so I wanted to offer these pesto recipes up for your consideration. Eating low-histamine needn’t be bland! I found these amazing pesto recipes in my friend Helen Spieth’s “Guided Fall Cleanse and Nutritional Program”, which she does twice a year out of Portland, OR. I wanted to feature and highlight these different versions of pesto because pesto is a great way to get olive oil into your diet.  As you may know, olive oil is high in oleic acid and has been shown to decrease histamine load, especially in the lymphatic system.  It also increases the enzyme DAO (which breaks down histamine), so I recommend people get a lot of olive oil in their diet (cold-pressed organic virgin of course!).

Directions: combine all ingredients except oil in a food processor and pulse until well combined.  Add a little extra olive oil to get it going.  While the machine is running, slowly drizzle in the oil until the desired consistency is achieved, adding more if necessary.  Put in jars and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Cleansing Pesto

2 cups basil
1 bunch cilantro
2 cups parsley
2 cups soaked sprouted almonds skins removed
3-4 garlic cloves
3/4-1 cup olive oil
1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp salt

Spinach Lemon Basil Pesto

1.5 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemons (2-3)
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
3-4 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Lemon Dill Pesto

1 bunch fresh dill
4-5 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
1-2 tsp lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.simplywell.info/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Marya.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Marya Gendron is a biodynamic craniosacral therapist, health coach, and wellness researcher. She specializes in chronic migraine headache relief and alleviation of brain fog, indigestion, and histamine intolerance through plant-based solutions.

The SimplyWell Protocol is available here, or you can book a consultation with Marya.
Learn more about Marya’s healing journey here.
[/author_info] [/author]

Easy Tangy Herbed Cashew “Chevre”

This cashew chevre recipe is one that I adapted from other recipes online which contained histamine-triggering ingredients like apple cider vinegar and nutritional yeast.  This version is free of those trigger ingredients, and tastes similar to the almond “feta” recipe, but is much less labor intensive because it requires no straining of the excess liquid, and no baking.

2 cups cashews, soaked for 3-6 hours and drained
2 clove garlic
1/3 cup of lemon juice (juice from 2 lemons)
1/8 t lemon zest
2 t salt
3 T refined coconut oil (so there is no coconut flavor)
3 T virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water

Directions: After soaking and draining your cashews, blend cashews and all other ingredients at high speed until very creamy and smooth. Scrape the mixture out of the blender into a bowl and keep covered in the fridge overnight.  Prior to serving, scoop the desired amount out of the bowl and roll it into a log or roll shape across your favorite blend of fresh chopped herbs.  You can use chive, rosemary, parsley, basil, thyme, black pepper, or oregano.  I also like to roll (or sprinkle) mine with sweet roasted paprika powder, which imparts an amazing smoky flavur and, unlike other chillis, is generally not a histamine trigger.

If you a prefer a milder, less tangy, less salty version of this soft “cheese”, adjust ratios to make more of a sour cream like cheese using, for example, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1.5 t salt, and 1 clove garlic instead of the above quantities.  For sour cream, you don’t have to chill it or roll it in herbs.

Another alternative is to mix the chopped fresh herbs into cheese mixture.

This cheese is excellent over tacos, on rice chips, or spread onto vegetables.

Enjoy!

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.simplywell.info/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Marya.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Marya Gendron is a biodynamic craniosacral therapist, health coach, and wellness researcher. She specializes in chronic migraine headache relief and alleviation of brain fog, indigestion, and histamine intolerance through plant-based solutions.

The SimplyWell Protocol is available here, or you can book a consultation with Marya.
Learn more about Marya’s healing journey here.
[/author_info] [/author]

Savory Indian Prebiotic Lentil Dosa Wraps

The recipe below is a wonderful Indian flatbread that is delicious, savory, and incredibly satisfying for those of us who are avoiding wheat and gluten.  It is also a perfect dish for those of us wanting to improve gut health through prebiotics – since the resistant starch in the rice and lentils of this dosa batter will feed the friendly gut bacteria, thus lowering inflammation.  Lentils are an excellent source of iron!!

I have used a variety of different types of lentils to make this batter – from French green lentils to the little red lentils.  My personal favorite is the traditional yellow dal lentils that can be found in Indian markets and organic in some health food stores.

While this flatbread becomes more flavorful and fluffy the longer the batter is fermented, for our purposes in making a low-histamine wrap we will not ferment it as long.  It is sufficient to soak the rice and lentil batter covered on the counter for 3-4 hours until the grains have softened up for a smooth batter. For those who only get migraines once in awhile, it should be fine to keep the remaining dosa batter in the fridge overnight and use the next day, since the level of fermentation at that point is nowhere near as problematic as other foods that have been fermented for longer time periods.

These dosas are great used as a wrap for traditional Indian fillings like potato curry, but also good filled with any number of other savory ingredients for which you would normally use a flour tortilla.

Prebiotic Dosa Batter Recipe

1.5 cups of lentils (you can use a mixture of channa dal, red lentils, green lentils, or urad dal – or any of these alone)
2 cups of rice (basmati, jasmine, or parboiled rice)
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (optional)
1/2 t salt

Blend ingredients in a powerful blender such as a Vitamix at high speed until the grains have turned into a fine flour.  Add water gradually until the batter forms a paste, similar in consistency to crepe batter – or as desired, depending on how thick you want the dosa.  I perfer a thin crisp dosa made with a thinnner batter. (Alternately, you can soak your grains until the water runs clear and then blend the soaked grains in water to make the desired consistency).

Let batter mixture sit covered on the counter for about 4 hours in the blender, then blend again for a few minutes to make the batter extra smooth.  You can also leave the batter in the fridge for up to 8 hours before blending.  If you are highly sensitive to fermented foods and get very frequent migraines, err on the side of cooking with a fresher batter.

Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat with ghee or a high-heat cooking oil like coconut or grapeseed oil.  Pour a ladleful of batter into the pan and spread it into a circular shape.  You can add herbs sprinkled into the batter at this point if you prefer. Cook on medium-high heat until the batter bubbles or is crisp brown on the other side, then flip and cook the other side for a few seconds until lightly browned.

Eat hot and enjoy!

Another version of this recipe can be found here.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.simplywell.info/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Marya.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Marya Gendron is a biodynamic craniosacral therapist, health coach, and wellness researcher. She specializes in chronic migraine headache relief and alleviation of brain fog, indigestion, and histamine intolerance through plant-based solutions.

The SimplyWell Protocol is available here, or you can book a consultation with Marya.
Learn more about Marya’s healing journey here.
[/author_info] [/author]

 

 

Creamy, Decadent, Low-histamine Ranch Dressing Recipe

People often write to me asking me about what they can eat in the way of healthy sauces and dresssings while on a low histamine diet, so I thought I’d share this amazing “ranch” dressing with you. A friend of mine brought this delicious and creamy dressing to my house the other night and I found it easy to adapt to make it low-histamine.  All I did was switch out the vinegar for lemon juice and the date for maple syrup!  Fresh dill is one of my favorite flavors so I’m happy to share this with you!

 

3/4 cup filtered water
1 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1 tsp maple syrup
1 teaspoon minced garlic
 (1 clove)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder, plus more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons Herbamare or salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onions, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill, plus more to taste

Throw the water, drained cashews, lemon juice, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic, red onion, and Herbamare into your blender, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth and creamy.Stir in the fresh herbs, and add more to taste.

The original recipe can be found here!

Enjoy! And stay tuned for more recipes!