Tag Archives: gastroparesis

Simple, Yet Sophisticated, Single Ingredient Sorbets

What if I told you that two cool, creamy and easy fruit sorbets were just a blend away?  That’s two sorbets with no peeling, pitting or poaching required? And the best part: no ice cream maker necessary! It’s true! Simple, yet sophisticated Pear & Peach Sorbet is that easy! All you need is canned fruit halves in heavy syrup, a freezer and a food processor or sturdy blender. Fruit packed in heavy syrup is what makes this recipe work as sugar syrup doesn’t freeze completely like juice. Avoid fruit packed in juice as it will yield disappointing results.

These sorbets are nice enough to serve as is or garnish with some very finely diced candied ginger, homemade or store bought berry syrup or diced canned pears or peaches for a little flavor alliteration. No matter how you scoop or serve  them these sorbets are keepers. And by the way, I’m happily eating candied ginger again. There was a time that even those fibers bothered me. It’s so nice to have a useful old friend back in my life.

Pear & Peach Sorbet

For best flavor allow sorbet to soften for approximately 5 minutes before serving

2 15-16 ounce cans pear or peach halves in heavy syrup

Freeze unopened cans of fruit for a minimum of 8 hours. Dip unopened cans in hot water for 20 seconds to loosen filling. Pour contents into the bowl of a food processor (I used my Vitamix) tearing at the filling with a fork to break up the pieces of fruit. Puree until smooth. Transfer sorbet to a covered container and refreeze. When ready to serve, remove from the freezer and let soften for approximately 5 minutes.

Snack Time!

Who doesn’t love Lipton’s Onion Soup Dip? I certainly always have and rumor has it that’s what Julia Child made a bee-line for at a reception for the Schlesinger Library at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study which happens to house a culinary collection of 15,000 books. So I’m in good company!

I enjoy two snacks a day and consume my fair share of Greek yogurt but there is only so much Greek yogurt with honey that this girl can tolerate. Sometimes I want a crunchy, salty, savory snack…but it still needs to be healthy. My favorite afternoon snack with a half ounce of baked potato chips is Protein Powered Onion Soup Dip enriched with the protein power of Greek yogurt. This dip hits the snack spot and provides 9 grams of protein!

My proportions yield a milder onion flavor. I use fat free Greek yogurt feel free to substitute 2% Greek yogurt for a creamier dip. As always the seasoning can be adjusted up or down depending on your preferences. Not only is this great as a snack but its a great new way to enjoy an old favorite while guaranteeing there is something potentially GP-friendly at your next BBQ or get together.

Protein Powered Onion Soup Dip

Makes 2 servings

1 6 ounce cup fat free Greek yogurt

2 teaspoons onion powder (or more depending on taste)

1 teaspoon Better Than Gravy gravy mix for beef (sold in a 1 ounce envelope)

freshly ground black pepper

finely snipped chives (optional)

Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth. Enjoy with baked chips of your choice. Pictured above with Kettle Brand Baked Chips sea salt flavor.

Moist, Quick & Lemony

I love all things citrus and love cooking with buttermilk so imagine my delight when my friends at Eat Better America posted a recipe for Buttermilk Lime Tea Bread! I’ve adapted their recipe slightly by replacing the lime with lemon for a moist, simple tea bread with a light lemony flavor. Enjoy a slice as is or smear on a spoonful of seedless blackberry jam for an extra special treat. The folks at Eat Better America suggest mixing 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of zest into a tub of spreadable cream cheese.

I can read your minds and they’re thinking: “Great, but what do I do with the other 3 cups of buttermilk in the quart because that’s the only way it’s sold?”. I’m one step ahead of you on that one! I plan on using the remaining buttermilk in Buttermilk Chive Mashed Potatoes-simply stir buttermilk and some very finely snipped chives (only if you think you can tolerate them), salt, pepper and just a touch of butter (again, whatever you can tolerate) into a batch of mashed potatoes. Next, I’m going to make Buttermilk “Fried” Chicken followed by Impromptu Buttermilk Ranch Sauce (for dipping oven fries and dressing baked potatoes) by mixing buttermilk, some fat free Greek yogurt, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a sprinkling of my favorite all-purpose seasoning Penzey’s Mural of Flavor…add some freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano for even more savory flavor. Finally, because I know the little mouse I’m married to will polish off the tea bread faster than it took to bake it, I’ll be making Raspberry Filled Chocolate Layer Cake (such a keeper!). Any questions? Go get cooking!

Low-fat Lemon Buttermilk Tea Bread

Makes 16 servings

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons finely grate lemon peel

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9×5 inch pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Mix flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl mix egg, buttermilk, oil, lemon peel and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice until well blended. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir until just moistened (there may be some lumps). Spread mixture in prepared pan.

Bake 50-60 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Meanwhile, mix remaining lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Brush mixture over the top of the warm bread then cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, remove bread from pan and cool an additional hour. When completely cool, wrap in plastic wrap. This bread is best served the next day.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: Based on 16 slices

130 calories, 4 grams fat, o grams fiber, 2 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrate

Helpful Hints: For dark or non-stick pans reduce the oven to 325 degrees to prevent too much darkening. Also, remember, a plastic or metal washable ruler makes portioning a snap. This recipe makes 16 slices-keep yourself honest by measuring out the slices before you enjoy.

Mmm Milkshake!

Like a good GPer I eat several small meals a day…six to be exact. Yes, it’s a hassle and requires planning but I find it’s the easiest way for me to fulfill my nutritional needs as well as ward off unpleasant shifts in blood sugar. Most recently (and at least three times a week!) my last meal of the day has been a No Ice Cream Frozen Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Milkshake inspired by a recipe I found at The Kitchn  Anyone following on Twitter during my hiatus got a Retweet I was so excited to share it. By the way, keep an eye on the Twitter feed…sometimes there are a few gems there.  Back to the milkshake! It is YUMMY, easy and satisfying…and for anyone looking for packages of discounted bruised bananas in my neighborhood…I’ve already been there and you’re out of luck because they’re all in my freezer! Cool, creamy and just a tad bit savory thanks to the salted peanut butter this milkshake is “Hubster Approved” so it appeals to everyone.

Originally, I made the milkshake as published (click on the link above for the original version) then streamlined it a bit. My version is as follows:

Frozen Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Milkshake

Makes one modest milkshake but I usually double it for Hubby & I.

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 tablespoon peanut butter (Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted-just salt and peanuts)

1 frozen banana*

1 square Lindt 85% Extra Dark chocolate**

Place all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth and creamy.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

263 Calories, 14.15 grams Fat, 5.1 grams Fiber, 6.1 grams Protein, 33 grams Carbohydrate

A few of the variations I’ve tried include:

Substituting unsweetened chocolate almond milk.

Adding a small container of baby food prunes for an extra serving of fruit, some additional sweetness or for their “magical properties”.

Substituting a squeeze of chocolate syrup when I was out of chocolate squares.

Adding a 1/2-1 scoop of whey protein isolate to make it an “I’m too hot and tired to cook dinner” milkshake. It does contain protein, carbohydrates and healthy fat plus at least two servings of fruit depending on how big the banana is and if you add some baby food prunes.

*Based on a medium banana (7-7 7/8″)

**1/10th of a 3.5 oz bar=50 Calories, 4.5 grams Fat, <1 gram Fiber, 1 gram Protein, 2 grams Carbohydrate)

Goin’ Green Plus My Video Debut…

Anyone with Gastroparesis is aware of how “carb-centic” and potentially sugar-fueled a GP-friendly life can be. Pair that with a diet devoid of whole grains and  light on fresh fruit and veggie vitamins and its enough to make you throw your hands up in frustration…at least that’s the way I feel sometimes. My weeks “on hiatus” have been a time of gently pressing my GP boundaries and finding ways of maximizing my nutrition in every bite while minimizing sugar and processed foods. Don’t worry I haven’t become a complete kill-joy! There are still treats and sweets after all nutritional needs are met. Life’s short! I still save room for dessert!

With the help of my Vitamix and inspiration from Victoria Boutenko’s book Green for Life (which I found completely by accident at the bookstore) I’ve been enjoying two Green Smoothies a day! Now before you tune out, it wasn’t until I read Victoria’s book and visited her website Raw Family that I realized I just might be able to tolerate an adapted* Green Smoothie. I was especially pleased to learn that a Green Smoothie, didn’t need to be thick or lumpy.  My Green Smoothies are actually quite thin-thinner than fruit nectar, V-8 vegetable juice or tomato juice. The website has a section of Victoria’s Green Smoothie recipes and a 15 Green Smoothies in 3 Minutes video with recipes. Some Green Smoothies are as simple as peaches, spinach and water.  In fact, I use the term “sipper” interchangeably with “smoothie” because I take one out during each of my snacks (mid-morning and mid-afternoon), insert a straw and simply sip until its gone.

Anyone who has been following the blog knows I’m a baby steps kinda gal who looks more than just a couple of times before she leaps. About a year ago, I started by juicing my fruits, roots and veggies. When Hubby surprised me with a Valentine’s Vitamix I started to puree a handful or two of greens with my juice and eventually graduated to a completely pureed Green Smoothie. Remember, no where is it written that you must jump into the deep end of the pool on your first day. There is absolutely nothing wrong with dipping your big toe in before wading in gradually from the shallow end. I’m still a huge fan of juicing. Having said that the normal caveat applies. My Green Smoothie works for me. I am in no way advocating that this is appropriate for everyone with Gastroparesis. You know your tolerances best and your judgement is still your best guide.

I was so excited to share my Green Smoothie with you as well as a few of the little tricks I’ve learned along the way (like minimizing the very unappealing foam that can form on the top of Green Smoothies) I’ve made a video! So come on, let’s make a Green Smoothie!

*A Vitamix is capable of pureeing a concrete block but I’m still careful about what I include in my Green Smoothies. I avoid really fibrous items and learned my lesson when I threw in half of a peeled orange because I was too lazy to put it through the juicer.  I was nauseous for a day and a half  because of the citrus fiber. Lesson learned! Victoria’s recipes are only a guideline for me.


Fast, Fresh, Hot, Yeast and Dairy-free Squash Herb Bread

UPDATED 4/4/11

Originally, I suggested that this recipe could be baked gluten-free because it was originally published as a gluten-free recipe.  Since posting, two readers have encountered difficulties baking this bread gluten-free.  I’ve updated the recipe by removing the gluten-free suggestions.  My apologies for any disappointing results anyone may have experienced.

The title of this post basically sums up today’s recipe!  I’ve had this stashed away ever since I became “fascinated” by Gillian McKeith and her BBC show You Are What You Eat.  Actually, if truth be told, she kind of frightened me and some of her food combinations and recipes were a bit strange but I always agreed with her opinion that no one became unhealthy by eating too many fruits and veggies.

Unfortunately for those of us with Gastroparesis, getting our fruits and veggies can be a challenge.  While I was searching my recipe archives (digging through the pile of pages printed off the Internet that are precariously piled on the corner of my desk).  I came across this recipe I’ve named Squash Herb Bread and adapted from You Are What You Eat.  I thought it would be a perfect way to combine some veggie vitamins with hot, freshly baked bread.

This yeast-less recipe is very similar to an Irish Soda Bread which relies on the chemical reaction of a leavening agent to make the bread rise. It was originally written as a gluten-free recipe but only specified “gluten-free flour”.  I baked it with traditional white, all-purpose flour and substituted canned pumpkin for roasted butternut squash because, although I have some in the freezer, I felt that most people were more likely to have a can of pumpkin in the pantry.

Combining this handful of simple ingredients results in a golden, saffron-hued, rustic loaf of hot, savory bread that can be enjoyed hot out of the oven or toasted later…both with the added bonus of veggie vitamins.

Squash Herb Bread

This yeast-less bread baking technique is very similar to an Irish Soda Bread which relies on a leavening agent to rise.  The leavening agent in this case is baking powder.

Serves 8

1 1/2 cups roasted, mashed butternut squash (I used canned pumpkin)

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon herb seasoning (I used Italian Herb Mix)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 375 400 degrees.  Combine ingredients with a large spoon in a large bowl. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead until soft and spongy adding a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.  Do not over knead. Form into a round loaf approximately 6 inches in diameter.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and cut a cross in the top with a sharp knife that has been dipped in flour.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Remove loaf with oven mitts and carefully tap the bottom.  It should sound hollow.  If it doesn’t, return the bread to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.  Cut into wedges and enjoy.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

159 calories, 3.8 grams fat, 2.2 grams fiber, 27.6 grams carbohydrate, 3.7 grams protein

Confession Time…

Bless me, fellow GPers, for I have strayed!  It’s been about a month since the Vitamix entered my life and I’ve been indulging “off diet”.  There have been dalliances with berries, onions, peas and greens other than spinach…and I’m not the least bit repentant!  My instruments of debauchery: Vitamix blender, fine mesh strainer, rubber scraper and ice cube trays. Would you like to hear more?  Discontinue reading now lest you be lured into similar mischief!  You’ve been warned.

All kidding aside, as I have mentioned a few times already, I was told that all baby food is considered acceptable for Gastroparesis because it’s pureed and strained.  So, why can’t I make my own pureed and strained fruits and veggies, season them according to my taste and press them through a fine, mesh strainer for further peace of mind?  With that in mind I have been enjoying Fresh Strawberry Puree and Five Berry Puree poured over my daily plain Activia yogurt and I’ve even taken some berry puree with me to pour over frozen yogurt at Red Mango (my favorite frozen yogurt spot).  I’ve also been indulging in cups of pureed veggie soup including Spring Pea & Lettuce Soup with my dinner.

I’m in no way advocating that these recipes are appropriate for everyone.  Remember, if in doubt, just leave it out.  You know your tolerances best and your personal judgment is still your best guide.

Fresh Strawberry Puree/Five Berry Puree

Perfectly portioned for individual servings of yogurt (just defrost one or two cubes) or dropping into smoothies (no need to defrost).

2 pounds fresh strawberries, washed and hulled or

frozen mixed berries, defrosted (I used a bag of mixed berries containing cherries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries and augmented with a bag strawberries from Trader Joe’s)

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Puree berries thoroughly and press through a fine mesh strainer.  Stir in a squeeze of fresh, strained lemon juice.  Spoon puree into ice cube trays (2 lbs of strawberries fill approximately two 12 count trays generously).  Freeze then pop out puree cubes and store in a Ziploc bag.

Spring Pea & Lettuce Soup

Adapted from Epicurious.com.  Makes 6 Servings of 2/3 cup each

To put things into perspective, a 3.5 ounce serving of Gerber 2nd Foods peas contains 45 calories, o grams fat, 3 grams of fiber, 8 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of protein.

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 head Romaine lettuce (approximately 1 pound) including dark green outer leaves, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced

10 ounces frozen baby peas, rinsed

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cups water

3/4 teaspoon salt

pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

fresh lemon juice

Spray the interior of a large soup pot with cooking spray, add olive oil and saute onion until soft (approximately 5 minutes).  Add garlic and saute an additional minute.  Stir in lettuce and cook until wilted (approximately 3 minutes).  Add peas, broth, water, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.  The lettuce should be very wilted and the peas should look “puckered”.   Stir in dill during the last minute of cooking.  Puree thoroughly then press through a fine, mesh strainer before returning to the pot.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Season each serving with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

77.6 calories, 2 grams fat, 3.5 grams fiber, 10.4 grams carbohydrate, 3.26 grams protein