Last summer I found out I was intolerant to eggs and dairy, along with gluten – which can make breakfast a more challenging meal than it used to be (especially when going out for brunch!). I’ve also been eating a Paleo-ish diet for about a year now to help reduce systemic inflammation (Lyme causes chronic inflammation, which then leads to a host of other symptoms), and have found that my body feels much better when I eat grain free; I occasionally eat a little bit of rice or corn, and sometimes sprouted quinoa and buckwheat, but I try to keep my grain consumption to a maximum of one meal per day.
So, when you don’t eat grains, what do you eat? LOTS of vegetables & fruit, as well as protein and good fats. I have found bumping up my protein and fat intake at each meal has helped my energy levels, especially at breakfast. Up until a year or so ago, I used to only eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast; now I can’t imagine surviving the morning on just that! I find I feel SO much better if I eat a breakfast that has a good balance of protein, carbs and healthy fats, and don’t get hungry until lunch time.
Unfortunately, cutting out eggs has taken away a great protein/fat source, so I’ve had to get a little more creative with breakfast. I’ve had to rethink what I eat at breakfast, and nowadays I often will eat soup or leftover dinner as my breakfast (yes, its weird at first but you get used to it!). However, there are still days that I crave something a bit more traditional, and this is where starchy vegetables and vegan protein powder (as an extra boost of protein) come in handy.
I just tried this recipe for Vegan & Paleo Sweet Potato Muffins, and have become obsessed! Not only do they taste like pumpkin pie, but the texture is amazing for something that has no gluten or eggs to hold them together. The secret seems to be Psyllium Husk powder; most people think of this fiber-rich seed husk as a laxative, but it is a great thickening agent and can act as a binder in gluten free and egg free baking. When added to water, Psyllium Husk powder turns gelatinous – similar to mixing ground flax (or chia) seeds with water, which is also known as a “flax egg.”
So here are a few delicious gluten free and egg free recipes that feature Psyllium Husk as a binder:
- Changes I made:
- I use 2/3 the amount of dates and no palm sugar, and still find these sweet enough
- Substitute almond butter for coconut butter
- Use Psyllium Husk powder (you can buy them in Husk form as well, but I haven’t tried this)
- Adding orange zest and chopped pecans is delicious! For a desert-like option, you could put a single chocolate chip in the center of each muffin 🙂
- To boost the protein content, I subbed 3 of the 6T of coconut flour for vegan protein powder. I use Unflavored Plant Fusion – its not Paleo, but I tolerate it well and is made from quality ingredients, which is definitely a concern when you dive into the world of Protein Powders
- If you are feeling lazy, I imagine you could sub canned pumpkin for the sweet potato with good results
- I haven’t tried these yet, but the recipe is very similar to the Sweet Potato Muffins, so imagine they will be great!
- Not strictly grain free, although it is fairly easy to make it that way if you choose. Some ideas to make it Paleo-friendly:
- Sub different nuts/seeds for the oats
- Sub 1 cup of coconut flour and 1/2 cup of almonds for the oats
- I like to made a loaf, cut it into slices and freeze it; then I just toast a slice in the toaster and add some butter or ghee!
Have you cooked with Psyllium Husks? Do you have any favorite binders you use in gluten free and egg free cooking?