Spinach, Cheese and Mushroom Omelette

How to Make An Omelette in a Stainless Steel Skillet (Without Using Non-Stick Spray)

Spinach, Cheese and Mushroom Omelette

When I was growing up my mother had a full set of cast-iron skillets, but those were so old-fashioned. Of course when I got into my own place I got a nice set of modern skillets.

Non-stick skillets.

I had no idea how poisonous they were but when I finally got wise to the dangers I switched right to cast-iron. I was glad that I was familiar with using them. For several decades I used mostly cast-iron skillets.

A few years ago I learned that my iron levels were higher than they should be. Maybe even dangerously high, so I retired the cast-iron and moved on to stainless steel. I've been working with them for several years now and I've just accepted the fact that food sticks.

Often. And I don't use non-stick spray, so that's not an option.

I've managed to get by with food sticking, deglazing as I go but one thing I've missed is being able to make omelettes. Even making scrambled eggs [affiliate link] is a pain since the eggs stick so hard to the pan that it has to be soaked for hours.

Nowadays I rarely have breakfast, but every once in awhile I get a craving for an omelette, and that craving came a few mornings ago after viewing someone's delicious looking omelette on Instagram.

This Spinach and Avocado Omelette is one of my favorites.

I thought surely there had to be a way to make an omelette using a stainless steel skillet without using non-stick spray. So of course I hit the Internet to see what I could find. And wonder of wonders, I learned there's a better way to cook with stainless steel!

Basically it has to do with preheating the skillet, which totally makes sense. Preheating the skillet, along with using some kind of fat like butter or bacon grease creates a non-stick surface so that the food can't stick. I am so glad to know this!

Today I tested out sauteing chuck roast in my Instant Pot (because it always sticks when I'm just trying to brown the sides of the meat) and that worked so much better! Usually I'm trying to pry the roast off the bottom of the Instant Pot insert and it keeps spinning around and around.

Here's my new method for making omelettes.

Spinach, Cheese and Mushroom Omelette

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs, lightly scrambled
  • 1 handful of spinach, sauteed in water until wilted
  • 2 mushrooms, sauteed in a small amount of butter until tender
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese
  • Salsa, if desired
  • small amount of water in a glass nearby
  1. This works best with a 10″ skillet.
  2. Have all the ingredients ready before heating the skillet.
  3. Preheat your stainless steel skillet on medium heat.
  4. Every 15 seconds or so dip your fingers into the water and flick drops of water at the skillet. You'll know it's hot enough when the drops bounce around on the skillet
  5. Reduce the heat just slightly (medium on my stove is 5, so I reduce the heat to 4), drop the butter in and stir around the whole surface of the skillet.
  6. The butter will be bubbling quickly and may even caramelize slightly.
  7. Quickly pour in the eggs and tilt the skillet from one side to the other so that the eggs cover the entire surface.
  8. Take a spatula and carefully lift one side of the eggs which are already cooked to allow raw eggs to run underneath.
  9. Repeat lifting all sides of the omelette, allowing raw egg to run underneath.
  10. Allow the eggs to cook for 30-60 seconds and then you'll want to carefully flip the omelette.
  11. Place cheese on top.
  12. Put a lid on top for about one minute.
  13. Add mushrooms and the spinach, flip over and remove to a plate.
  14. Serve with salsa on top, if desired.

As I mentioned above, this technique is working out great for other foods as well! I just make sure the stainless steel cooking utensil is hot enough for water to bounce around on it, add some grease and the sticking has been greatly reduced!

How to Make An Omelette in a Stainless Steel Skillet (Without Using Non-Stick Spray)
Author: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs, lightly scrambled
  • 1 handful of spinach, sauteed in water until wilted
  • 2 mushrooms, sauteed in a small amount of butter until tender
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese
  • Salsa, if desired
  • small amount of water in a glass nearby
Instructions
  1. This works best with a 10" skillet.
  2. Have all the ingredients ready before heating the skillet.
  3. Preheat your stainless steel skillet on medium heat.
  4. Every 15 seconds or so dip your fingers into the water and flick drops of water at the skillet. You'll know it's hot enough when the drops bounce around on the skillet
  5. Reduce the heat just slightly (medium on my stove is 5, so I reduce the heat to 4), drop the butter in and stir around the whole surface of the skillet.
  6. The butter will be bubbling quickly and may even caramelize slightly.
  7. Quickly pour in the eggs and tilt the skillet from one side to the other so that the eggs cover the entire surface.
  8. Take a spatula and carefully lift one side of the eggs which are already cooked to allow raw eggs to run underneath.
  9. Repeat lifting all sides of the omelette, allowing raw egg to run underneath.
  10. Allow the eggs to cook for 30-60 seconds and then you'll want to carefully flip the omelette.
  11. Place cheese on top.
  12. Put a lid on top for about one minute.
  13. Add mushrooms and the spinach, flip over and remove to a plate.
  14. Serve with salsa on top, if desired.

Try this when you get a chance and let me know what you think in the comments!

 

 

 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Using Bone Broth and Intermittent Fasting to Lose Weight

 

One of my goals for 2017 was to lose 20 pounds. Since transitioning off of GAPS a couple of years ago (I have remained gluten-free) I have gained back thirty pounds. I was up to 202 pounds and was hating my reflection, and not wanting to buy larger clothing.

Substituting Broth for Meals

The first thing I did to help facilitate weight loss was to start moving back to eating from the full GAPS list of foods and drinking broth was high on the priority list. I had gotten completely out of the habit and I was so determined to stay on track that I decided to create the 30-Day Broth Challenge!

I started out by adding just one cup of broth each day. Within two to three weeks, I noticed changes in my body as aches and pains reduced or disappeared. Over the course of this year I have moved from having one cup of broth daily with no change to meals or foods, to replacing breakfast with one cup of broth, eventually skipping breakfast and getting back into intermittent fasting and drinking broth for lunch.

Bright Line Eating

I discovered Bright Line Eating and tried the BLE “weight loss” plan for a short period of time. I can relate to much of what Dr. Susan says and I LOVED that her plan assigns food portions and offers a list of predetermined foods and amounts to eat, rather than requiring one to track calories. There are some hard and fast rules, one of them being no sugar of any kind and no flour of any kind (even coconut flour [affiliate link], almond flour [affiliate link], etc.). The meal plan consisted of the following:

Breakfast

  • 1 protein
  • 1 breakfast grain
  • 1 fruit

Lunch

  • 1 protein
  • 6 ounces low carbohydrate vegetables
  • 1 fruit
  • 1 fat

Dinner

  • 1 protein
  • 6 ounces low carbohydrate vegetables
  • 8 ounces lettuce
  • 1 fat

As an example of servings, 1 protein could be 2 eggs [affiliate link] or 4 ounces of meat or 1 ounce of nut butter.

After a few days on that plan I felt desperately hungry, to the point I felt like crying, couldn't stop thinking about food and couldn't stop complaining. Eventually I decided to track what I was eating in My Fitness Pal and discovered why I was so, so hungry… some days due to my food choices I was getting less than 700 calories. In addition, the fruit/carbohydrates were causing me problems.

Since I hadn't yet fully committed to eating full GAPS, I decided to try this combination for breakfast:

  • 1 protein = 1 cup Greek full fat yogurt
  • 1 breakfast grain = 1 ounce steel cut oats soaked overnight in the yogurt
  • 1 fruit = 6 ounces blueberries

Within two hours I was ravenous. While it felt decadent to have oatmeal again, after trying this combination on three subsequent Saturdays I had to admit that this was just too many carbohydrates.

I've long known that my body doesn't tolerate carbohydrates well. Two pieces of fruit a day is too much fruit for me. I have to be careful about fruit, it is one of the foods that cause me to start on a binge. It's easier to just NOT eat fruit, than to try to control the cravings. I have come to the conclusion and am still in the process of accepting that there are just some foods that I can't (should not) eat, because they set me up with hunger and cravings that are difficult to control (possibly indicating food allergies).

I am grateful for my experience with Bright Line Eating because it enabled me to ease into tracking my food intake using My Fitness Pal.

Ketogenic Diet

From there I decided to look into the Ketogenic Diet. My friend Renee mentioned that it was working very well for her and she was not feeling hungry even though she was restricting her diet.

I had definitely felt that my fat intake was too low on the BLE weight loss plan and thought, now that's something I can get on board with, lots of fat.

I found this site Ruled.me which offers a 30-Day meal plan (pay what you feel it's worth from $0 up) and I was sorely disappointed to see that Ketogenic Diet followers recommend restricting calories which means you can't just gorge yourself on high fat foods all day long. Bummer. This guy recommends that women stay under 1600 calories a day. Double bummer.

Intermittent Fasting

Not only was I going to have to track my food, but I had to accept that fact that I was going to have to pay close attention to my carbohydrate intake.

I was still intermittent fasting and learned from my intermittent fasting mentor Jennifer Dages' that her weight loss would stall unless she stayed under 30 grams carbohydrates.

By the way, Jennifer's challenge begins in September, click here to join in: 30-Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge

Since I started keeping my carbohydrates low, combined with substituting broth for meals and intermittent fasting, I have lost 19 pounds. I have almost accomplished my goal and I am going to extend that to losing 30 pounds by the end of this year. The weight has been lost over a period of three months. If I could stay in ketosis for more than 3-4 days at a time (I have a hard time staying low on my carbohydrates on the weekends while I'm home), I feel confident I would lose weight more steadily. In the meantime, I'm happy that I seem to have a handle on what works for my body.

My weekday goals:

  • Stay under 1650 calories
  • Stay under 30 grams carbohydrates
  • Eat around 90 grams protein
  • Skip breakfast or have bullet-proof coffee [affiliate link] using ghee and full fat cream (200-250 calories)
  • Lunch: 1-2 cups bone broth plus 1 tablespoon chicken fat (200 calories)
  • Dinner: Meat and salad or vegetables (This is when I eat the bulk of my calories, 700-1200)

I have been trying to stick with the same eating plan on the weekend days, but it is hard since I am at home. I have tried eating breakfast on the weekends, but it always end up causing me to feel hungry throughout the day. It seems I just do best if I skip breakfast, have a small lunch with the bulk of my calories for dinner.

Some things to note:

  • I am losing weight even though I eat really late at night, usually around 10pm and as late as midnight
  • I don't wake in the middle of the night hungry, I'm sure eating really late plays a part but I think the low carbohydrates also factor in
  • Hunger pangs while staying below 30 grams carbohydrates are really easy to manage
  • Food cravings completely disappear when I stop eating certain foods (for example, potatoes, corn, rice, dairy)
  • It seems like I sleep a lot better when I stay low on my carbohydrates (meaning I fall to sleep easily, stay asleep and more often than not do not have to wake up during the night to urinate)
  • I seem to need to stay under 30 grams of carbohydrates to have steady weight loss
  • It takes about four days of staying under 30-50 grams carbohydrates to see weight loss
  • Even though I can't stick to my goals on the weekends, my weight stays pretty steady and I might even see a drop in my weight after a high carbohydrate “cheat” day

Would you like to try the 30-Day Broth Challenge or the 30-Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge (or both?) click on the links below to join, they are both free.

Start with baby steps, drink just one cup of broth every day! Click here to join us for the September 30-Day Broth Challenge

Click here to join the 30-Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge

 

 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Chocolate Chips (Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free) & a GAPS Friendly Option

Simple Honey-Sweetened Chocolate (and GAPS Chocolate Chips!)
GAPS Friendly Honey [affiliate link] Sweetened Chocolate Chunks

Chocolate… most women would rather give up just about anything but chocolate. So first of all, if you're on the GAPS Diet, yes, we can have chocolate, once digestive symptoms have calmed. Awesome, yes?! Click here for my collection of GAPS Legal chocolate recipes: 20+ Delicious Chocolate Recipes

When I was recipe testing for my friend Jessica Espinoza's e-book The Splendid Scoop I tried Our Nourishing Roots' Simple Honey-Sweetened Chocolate and was very pleased with how they tasted in ice cream. If you need to stick strictly to GAPS with no deviations (most people cheat a tiny bit once in awhile) then this recipe will be your best bet. With regards to how these chips hold up for baking, the author says in the comments, “They melt a little more than regular chocolate chips when I made chocolate chip cookies, perhaps because they aren’t a uniform size? But then when they cooled they hardened up again like normal.”

Another option, which is something I've been meaning to try is using Baker's unsweetened baking chocolate in place of chocolate chips. Typically cookie batter is pretty sweet so I think we could get by with chopping a few squares of Baker's into chunks and using in place of chocolate chips. I have tried using these chunks in my favorite chocolate shake and I can't tell I'm using unsweetened chocolate and I love the chunks! Let me know if you try this in cookies.

If you want to make honey-sweetened chocolate chips to use in trail mix Gutsy's Chocolate Drops will work perfectly.

Two honorable mentions if you don't have to be super strict on GAPS and can cheat just a little (the stevia, erithrytol and tapioca flour are not GAPS legal):

And last but not least, there is a new commercially produced chocolate chip but it uses stevia and erithrytol to sweeten: Lily's Dark Chocolate Chips. Stevia and erithrytol are not strictly GAPS legal but some people use them without adverse effects.

Don't forget to snag your copy of Chocolate Treats which is Volume 4 in the Baker's Dozen Coconut Flour Baked Goods series featuring chocolate and coconut flour [affiliate link]. You'll get 13 baked goods, plus 11 bonus recipes. Get yours today!

Chocolate Treats

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Dandelion Seeds

Seasonal Allergies and Asthma ::GONE:: Thanks to Gut Healing

Dandelion SeedsThe first time I remember having a problem with allergies was in the 8th grade. I thought I had a cold, but one of my teachers told me he thought it was more likely allergies.

My paternal grandparents moved from Missouri to Arizona in the late 1930s because of my grandmother's severe asthma and allergies. My Grandma Shanley was into herbs and eating healthy long before I was born. They say these things tend to run in families and it appeared I had inherited at least the allergies part.

In my 20s, my allergies started to get really bad at certain times. I'd sneeze and sneeze for hours. My nose itched and ran. I tried over the counter meds, but they only stopped the sneezing and runny nose temporarily. As soon as they wore off, the allergy attack would continue.

In 2001, I caught a cold that turned into bronchitis, which turned into pneumonia. I had never been so sick in my whole life, bedridden for a month, so sick and weak that I couldn't even sit at a computer. We had just moved 50 miles from my job, but I was afraid to leave the city, so we stayed in our old place for another month. Thankfully we owned both places. When I was finally able to get out of bed, I didn't have the energy required to work a half day (JUST sitting at a computer!) and then drive for an hour. Thank goodness my friend who lived close to my job was kind enough to allow me to stop over and take a nap before starting on my way home.

It took awhile for me to recover but eventually, I regained my strength. I was so happy when I could walk through the store pushing a cart, instead of needing to ride in one of the motorized shopping carts!

But I had two lingering symptoms from my bout with pneumonia. One was that after just a few hours in a lying down position my back would stiffen painfully and I had to get out of bed and sit somewhere until the stiffness went away.

The other problem was my breathing. I couldn't seem to catch my breath. My doctor was concerned and insisted that I see an asthma-allergy specialist. The specialist found that I was allergic to almost everything he'd tested me for, and diagnosed me with asthma. I burst into tears, and I can still remember him saying to me, “Ma'am, why are you crying? Of all the diseases if I could choose one it would be asthma because it is easily controlled with medication.”

That didn't help much.

I left with five prescriptions. Two steroids, to be used at the same time, an inhaler, a nasal spray, and allergy medication. I hated the whole idea of being on prescription medications. The cost, the nuisance of having to pick up the prescription every month, carrying them with me everywhere I went, the time it took to use them just to keep breathing normally. I wanted it to be over, but I also wanted to breathe without gasping.

After some time, maybe a year, the specialist helped me taper off one of the steroid medications. I had never taken the allergy medication or nasal spray on a daily basis, but I did need to use them 2-3 times a month as we live in the desert and there is dust everywhere.

In December 2009 I started on my gut healing journey – to help my husband. I was amazed at the results. The stiff back completely resolved within two weeks (as did my horribly aching feet, read more in my 6-month update). I was so thrilled as I'm one that needs my sleep and for years I couldn't be in bed for more than 7 hours without the horrible stiffening pain. I also love to read before going to sleep to relax; it was horrible to have to give that up. But after just a short time on GAPS, I was finally able to catch up on my sleep!!

I was very hopeful that I could get off the asthma medications. After a couple of months on full GAPS, I tried to taper off, but my body and my gut apparently weren't ready. I did the GAPS Introduction Diet for one month in March 2010. I was a little scared to try tapering off my medication again and wanted to give my gut more time to heal. In August I started to slowly taper off the medication, and by September I was completely off the asthma medication.

I was OFF asthma medication after having used it for 9+ years! What a relief to be free!

The allergies continued to cause me some grief for a period. I remember we still had our dairy goats and they would get the dust all kicked up in the milking parlor and sometimes I'd have to take Allegra and use the nasal spray to calm down my sinuses.I can't remember exactly when but a couple of years ago I had a stuffy nose and it was so uncomfortable, and that was when I realized that my allergies are pretty much non-existent.

I can't remember exactly when but a couple of years ago I had a stuffy nose and it was so uncomfortable! That was when I realized this was the first time in a long time that my nose had been stuffed up! It's amazing to be able to breathe through your nose!!

Several of my coworkers have problems with allergies, and sometimes they are sneezing and coughing and stuffed up, and I feel sorry for them because I hate to see people suffer. But it does help me to remember what I went through, and why I'm glad I took the plunge to work on healing my gut.

This is why I want to make sure you know about the Gut Health Super Bundle which has been put together by my affiliate partners at Ultimate Bundles.

Super Gut Health Bundle

The Gut Health Super Bundle focuses narrowly on gut health and includes 16 e-books, 5 e-courses, 3 videos and The Gut Healing Summit. Sure we're doing GAPS, but Dr. Natasha encourages us to find the cherries for our individual cakes. The combined value of the resources in the bundle is over $695, but you get everything for just $29.97 (93% savings). Remember you don't have to download or use every single resource, you can definitely pick and choose. AND, Ultimate Bundles wants you to be happy so if you buy and don't like the bundle, you can get your money back.

I've put together a post here to highlight my 7 favorite products, plus the two bonuses available (sometimes I buy the bundle JUST for the bonuses).

The bonuses in this bundle are a $20 gift card from Get Kombucha and two 16.9 ounce packages of broth from Kettle & Fire Bone Broth.

Here's the short list of the products I've mentioned at my post (value $295):

  • Heal Your Gut Summit ($99)
  • Gut Healing Starter Pack from Health, Home & Happiness ($75)
  • Beyond Grain & Dairy (my e-book!) ($24.97)
  • Broth for Breakfast and Every Meal of the Day ($19)
  • How to Heal a Broken Gut ($27)
  • 14-Day Gut Reset ($10)
  • Lacto-Fermentation Mini e-course ($40)

Buy Now
Check it out here: Gut Health Super Bundle

Fine Print:

  • The Gut Health Super Bundle before it expires on Monday, March 27th at 11:59 PM EST!
  • As with all Ultimate Bundles products, the Super Gut Health Bundle comes with a 30-day no-hassle guarantee. If you buy the bundle and realize it’s not a perfect fit for you, no problem, just contact customer service, and your money will be fully refunded.
  • If you wish to buy a bundle as a gift, buy it now and contact Ultimate Bundles customer service and they'll transfer the bundle for you.
  • Worried you won’t know where to start with all the resources in the bundle? Don’t be! Inside the bundle you’ll find a handy Getting Started Guide so you can take action right away.

Click here to get your copy now!

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Mint Chocolate Chip Coconut Milkshare

Mint Chocolate Chip Coconut Milkshake

Mint Chocolate Chip Coconut Milkshare

This shake was inspired by my friend Jessica Espinoza and 20 Dishes: Junk Food Made Real: Copycat Shamrock Shake® :: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free

When I saw her email come through on Friday, (totally appropriate for St. Patrick's Day, I might add), I thought, “Mmm, that looks so good! I want to try that!” Well, as you know, I have a hard time following a recipe perfectly plus I love to improvise, so mine is slightly different, plus it includes chocolate “chips”!

I recently became an affiliate for Dr. Axe's Bone Broth Protein, and they sent me a sample of the Bone Broth Collagen. I have to say I was a teensy bit apprehensive about using it, as it has a flavor to it, similar to broth. However, I could not detect it in this shake and in fact, I think it added a “malt” flavor. I love the old-fashioned malt powder that we used to put in shakes and malts when I was a kid. I'm kind of excited to think I can have that again. I'll let you know if I try another one.

Mint Chocolate Chip Coconut Milkshake

Serves 2.

  1. Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate is pure cacao and chocolate is allowed on GAPS, in case you are wondering.
  2. If you have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix you use larger chunks of the chocolate squares; otherwise, you can use a grater to shave the squares into small pieces, or use a sharp knife to shave off bits.
  3. Place everything in the blender and mix until smooth.

Mint Chocolate Chip Coconut Milkshake
Author: 
Serves: 2
 
Perfect for St. Patrick's Day.
Ingredients
  • 1 can or 14 ounces coconut milk
  • 1 handful of spinach leaves
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons honey or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla [affiliate link] extract
  • 1 cup of ice cubes
  • 1 scoop Dr. Axe's Bone Broth Collagen
  • 2 squares Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate, shaved or chopped into small pieces
  • 4 spearmint leaves or to taste (you could also use 3 drops food safe Peppermint essential oil or 1 teaspoon mint extract)
Instructions
  1. Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate is pure cacao and chocolate is allowed on GAPS, in case you are wondering.
  2. If you have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix you can use larger chunks of the chocolate squares; otherwise, you can use a grater to shave the squares into small pieces or use a sharp knife to shave off bits.
  3. Place everything in the blender and mix until smooth. You should still see minuscule bits of the unsweetened chocolate.

 

 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Creamy Zucchini Soup

GAPS Soups Round Up

Creamy Zucchini Soup
Creamy Zucchini Soup from GAPS Diet Journey

If you are just looking into GAPS, you're going to find that soups are a key element to your success on the diet. I've rounded up some soups recipes to try. A few of them are not GAPS legal as written, but I've notated that when necessary.

Creamy Sauerkraut Stew from Naomi of Almost Bananas (To make GAPS legal: Use coconut cream [affiliate link] or properly fermented sour cream or dripped kefir)

sauerkraut stew

Easy Borscht from Naomi of Almost Bananas (To make GAPS legal: Omit the potatoes or use turnips)

How to Make Healing Broth and Stock at Traditional Cooking School (affiliate link)

Cod fish and Mushroom Soup from GAPS Diet Journey

Cod Fish and Mushroom Soup

 

Mexican Meatball Soup with Butternut Squash from Linda of The Organic Kitchen (This is a gorgeous soup and a great way to use butternut squash.)

meatball-soup

Egg-citing Egg Drop Soup from Linda of The Organic Kitchen

Cold Beet Soup from Mary at Just Take a Bite

Creamy Squash and Apple Soup from Raia of Raia's Recipes

Yellow Crookneck Squash & Pea Soup from GAPS Diet Journey

Yellow Crookneck Squash and Pea Soup

5 Ways to Make Broth More Exciting from Traditional Cooking School (affiliate link)

Low Carb Chicken Soup from Maya of Wholesome Yum

Wholesome Yum Low Carb Chicken Soup

Slow Cooker Taco Soup from Trisha of Intoxicated on Life

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

One Hour Oxtail Soup from Lisa at Lisa's Counter Culture

The Best Part of Thanksgiving – Turkey Stock from GAPS Diet Journey

Turkey Stock

9 Ways to Get Broth In from Traditional Cooking School (affiliate link)

Sage and Sausage Cauliflower Soup from Raia of Raia's Recipes

Raia's Recipe Sausage Soup

Creamy Coconut Lentil Soup from Jessica of Delicious Obsessions

Turkey Vegetable Soup from GAPS Diet Journey

Turkey Vegetable Soup

Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak Soup from Mary at Just Take a Bite

Crockpot Philly Cheese Steak Soup from Just Take a Bite

Perpetual Stock or Broth from Traditional Cooking School (affiliate link)

Meatball Soup from Starlene at GAPS Diet Journey

Meatball Soup

Slow Cooker Navy Bean Soup from Trisha of Intoxicated on Life

Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce Soup from Starlene at GAPS Diet Journey

Spaghetti Soup Slow Cooker

GAPS Intro Chicken Enchilada Soup from Jaclyn at The Family That Heals Together

Yummy Cheeseburger Soup from Patty at Loving Our Guts

Loving Our Guts Yummy Cheeseburger Soup

Can I Eat Gelatin Instead of Broth and Still Get Benefits? Traditional Cooking School (affiliate link)

David's Best Chicken Soup from GAPS Diet Journey

Easy Delicious Pot of Soup

Cream of Portabella Mushroom Soup from Jessica of Delicious Obsessions

Delicious Obsessions Cream of Portobello Mushroom Soup

Leek and Beet Tops Soup from GAPS Diet Journey

Leek & Beet Top Soup

Got Greens Soup from Lisa at Lisa's Counter Culture

Got Greens Soup from Lisa's Counter Culture

My affiliate partners in broth and soup

Can't make your own broth right now? Try Bare Bones Broth:
Bone Broth Delivered

The Gelatin Secret

The Gelatin Secret 

Beyond Broth

Beyond Broth: Nourishing Homemade Paleo Soups

Loving Our Guts' Broth Elixir of LifeBroth: Elixir of Life

Winter Soups Community Cookbook

Winter Soups

Butter Your Broth e-book

Butter Your Broth

Dr. Kellyann's Bone Broth Diet: Lose Up to 15 Pounds, 4 Inches–and Your Wrinkles!–in Just 21 Days

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Soup Socks

Soup Socks Review – Save Time When Making Bone Broth or Stock

Soup SocksI actually bought these Soup Socks two years ago. I cannot believe I've had these time savers tucked away in my kitchen, just sitting there!!

Since leading the first 30-Day Broth Challenge in January, I've continued to make broth every weekend. When I miss having my daily broth, it is extremely apparent. After just two or three days the joints in my hands begin to ache. Pain relief is quite an incentive to drink broth regularly! I recall experiencing discomfort in my hands for much of 2016, but I had grown accustomed to it, taking it in stride and dealing with it.

A couple of weeks ago I was looking for something in my kitchen and came across the Soup Socks. I thought… OH! I should try these! So the very next weekend when I made broth I used two socks. I had roasted two chickens and having removed the meat was putting the carcasses into the Instant Pot. I had one carcass in there when I remembered I wanted to try the Soup Socks. So I bagged up the second carcass which was already in pieces and used a second sock for the vegetables. Since the manufacturer claims they are reusable, I tied a loose knot in the top of each sock.

When I make broth I use a big slotted spoon (it's huge and at least 50 years old, it was from my Grandpa's Fish and Chips restaurant he owned when I was a little girl) to scoop all the meat and bones and vegetables out of the pot and place on a cookie sheet to cool.

After a few minutes, I'll grab my tongs and start picking through everything and putting the vegetables aside to use for blending into the broth during the week (this creates an amazingly delicious creamy tasting broth).

Sorting Chicken Meat

But with the Soup Socks, I can simply grab hold of the top of the bag (I use the tongs to grasp the knot, then twist up a couple of times like I'm twirling spaghetti onto a fork) and place in the strainer.

Vegetables in Soup Sock

Before, the vegetables would be covered with bits and pieces of skin and other unappetizing bits.

Vegetables Sans Soup Sock

But now, with the protection of the Soup Sock, not only is it simple and easy to sort out the vegetables, but the bits and pieces are on the outside of the sock. Now, if you are doing strict GAPS, you should be taking all those bits and pieces and blending right into the broth to get all the goodness. I usually freeze the bones and extra bits to make bone broth at a later time.

Vegetables in Soup Sock

I have used one sock twice in the Instant Pot (under high pressure) and have washed it with plans to use it a third time. So far it is holding up just fine. Since I'll be making broth every weekend for probably the entire year, I'll be able to see just how many times I can reuse one soup sock.

They are fairly inexpensive (about one dollar each when you buy 9 at a time) and I understand that some people toss them after one use. However, they do proclaim to be reusable and I'd like to recycle them.

To wash the Soup Sock, I just rinse it in warm soapy dishwater and pick off any little bits and pieces that are stuck to it. Pour a little dish soap and scrub it gently in your hands. Be sure to rinse several times with clean water to remove all the soap. Then lay the Soup Sock on a clean dish towel and roll it up and press so that it's almost dry. Then I hang it in my kitchen to allow it to air dry. You could also put it on a clothesline outside to get some sunshine.

Have you ever tried soup socks? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

 

 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Are Instant Pots GAPS-Friendly?

Can I Use the Instant Pot on GAPS?

This is a question that comes up a lot, so I thought I would address it.

Let's begin with Dr. Natasha's official response regarding pressure cookers:

Question: “What are your thoughts about using an old-fashioned pressure cooker to expedite preparation of meat stocks?

Dr. Natasha's answer: “I don’t recommend pressure cooker, as it destroys food to a degree. It is better to cook food slowly on lower heat.”

Notice exactly what Dr. Natasha says: “I don't recommend pressure cooker, as it destroys food to a degree.”

She doesn't actually say, “It is illegal to use a ‘pressure cooker' on GAPS.” I recognize that she is suggesting cooking food slowly on lower heat as the recommended alternative.

Instant Pot “It's a Pressure Cooker” (NOPE, it's more than that)

The beauty about the Instant Pot is that you can use it to replace several appliances in your kitchen. If you feel strongly about interpreting Dr. Natasha's response as saying Instant Pots are illegal and should not be used, you can still use the 7-in-1 Instant Pot in six other ways.

#2 Replace your slow cooker

Yesterday I pressure cooked a batch of Roasted Chicken Meat Stock Broth on high for two hours, strained out the broth, then put the bones and bits back into the Instant Pot to slow cook overnight. I was playing around with the timer and discovered that I can slow cook for up to 20 hours, and then the Instant Pot automatically goes to warm and stays there for 10 hours (that's on automatic warm, it can be set to manually stay on warm for 99 hours).

You may or may not have heard that some ceramic based inserts are being found to contain lead? No worries there with the Instant Pot since the insert is stainless steel.

You can use your Instant Pot to do the slow cooking the Dr. Natasha recommends.

#3 Replace your yogurt maker

You're making your own yogurt using raw milk, right? Because GAPS yogurt needs to be made in a specific way in order to be “legal”.

The 7 in 1 Instant Pot has a yogurt setting and you can set it for the recommended fermenting time for GAPS yogurt of 24 to 29 hours. Actually, I discovered you can set it for up to 99 1/2 hours on the yogurt setting.

If you need more information on making your own, here's a blog post from my friend Patty from Loving Our Guts who can tell you more about it: How to Make GAPS Yogurt.

“So for GAPS yogurt, the recommendation is to ferment it for 24 to 29 hours. This will eliminate enough of the lactose to prevent digestive problems and yet leave a trace behind for keeping the colony of beneficial bacteria alive until it is consumed. In just a cup of properly prepared GAPS Yogurt (236ml) you’ll get 708 Billion beneficial bacteria. (source) That is a lot of beneficial bacteria. Bio-Kult Probiotic, for example, has just 2 billion CFU (cell forming units).

“Since it takes 24-29 hours to make this yogurt it may be tempting to make up a whole bunch at once and then dole it out over time. This isn’t such a great idea, however. The beneficial bacteria in yogurt don’t last very long and after 2 weeks have nearly all died. You can only expect GAPS yogurt to last 3-4 weeks in the fridge at the most but past 2 weeks it isn’t really a probiotic food, just a lactose-free dairy food.

If you're interested in reading about making yogurt in your Instant Pot, go to this post at Team Yogurt.

#4 Replace your vegetable steamer (and no more worries about burning veggies on the stove top)

In doing a bit of research, I discovered that the steamer feature does use some pressure in the steam mode when the lid is engaged. The way around this is to use the special glass lid with a vent hole that fits the Instant Pot insert.

In my kitchen, I have two different lids, both have vent holes, and they fit my Instant Pot insert so I don't think there's a need to buy a special lid (if you have one that fits already). Of course, you'll leave the big pressure cooker lid sitting on the counter when you use a different steaming lid.

I like using the Instant Pot to steam vegetables while I have a roast in the oven. I can pretty much forget about it, since I can set the timer to steam my vegetables for the amount of time I wish, then the Instant Pot automatically switches to warm mode. If I am making steamed vegetables on the stove top, and happen to forget about them, the water could boil away and start burning (ask me how I know).

#5 Sauté Foods

If you're doing Intro wait until you get to Stage 4 before you sauté. Otherwise, you can sauté (brown) meats in the same pot as you'll be cooking them. For example, if you're making a beef stew you can sauté the pieces of meat in a little fat before adding the rest of the ingredients.

#6 Porridge/Rice Cooker

You won't be making rice or typical grain-based porridge on GAPS, but here are a few recipes to help you use your Instant Pot to make porridge while on GAPS. The first recipe is actually an Instant Pot recipe, and will cook your porridge in just eight minutes so it does use pressure. If you wish to avoid pressure, I would suggest making these recipes using the slow cooker setting. I would try the recipe during the day first, and keep an eye on it to see how long it will take. Check after 4 hours, then 8 hours, etc. When you know how long it takes, you can then set your Instant Pot to cook your porridge overnight using the slow cooker option.

 #7 Warmer

I've mentioned the warming feature of the Instant Pot. I actually haven't used the manual warmer yet, and that's mostly because it hadn't sunk into my head, that “warmer” is one of the features! I will definitely consider using this option when I need to warm up leftovers.

Does Pressure Cooking Destroy Food?

The next thing I want to talk about: does pressure cooking really destroy food? If you were paying attention, the question asked mentioned “old fashioned pressure cookers“. The Instant Pot is not your mother's pressure cooker.

My mother owned and used a pressure cooker. The old fashioned kind. I can remember it rattling and hissing. Hers was actually made from aluminum! I bought my first pressure cooker in my 30s, but it was stainless steel as I already knew about the dangers of cooking in aluminum.

So, does pressure cooking really destroy food? Well, according to a report in the Journal of Food Science, an investigation was performed to learn how much Vitamin C was retained in broccoli when cooking by various methods.

Guess what? Boiling and steaming caused losses of 34% (boiling) and 22% (steaming). So the retention respectively for each method: 66% and 78%.

Microwaving (I'm not going into microwaving here, but I can say I don't own one of the things and haven't for over a decade) and pressure cooking had more than 90% retention.

“Boiling, steaming, microwaving, pressure cooking, and the combined use of pressure and microwaves were the cooking methods investigated. Boiling and steaming caused significant vitamin C losses, 34% and 22%, respectively, while with the other treatments more than 90% retention was observed.” Source: Wiley Online Library

While the retention amount isn't huge, it does point toward pressure cooking actually being less damaging to food. I think that people equate home pressure cooking with commercial pressure cooking… think canned green beans. Or canned spinach. Ugh.

If you are interested to read a few more opinions, here are a few more articles on the topic:

We Do a Lot of Cooking on GAPS, Give Yourself a Little Break

Hopefully I have soothed some of your concerns about using the Instant Pot.

Being on GAPS isn't easy, there's a LOT of cooking, and a LOT of dishes. My husband and I have lived the life of eating out and eating fast food. There are a lot less dishes to clean when you eat out a lot.

GAPS produces a lot of work.

Even if pressure cooking DID damage food “to a degree” wouldn't it be worth it to regain some of time by needing to babysit food cooking on the stove? Time we could be spending with our families. The dishes will always be there, but the Instant Pot can even help in that regard, if you're sauteing. 😀

You Shouldn't Be on GAPS Forever

Finally, one day you won't be doing the GAPS Diet. Dr. Natasha does not recommend staying on it indefinitely. I personally have discovered that I feel better sticking with the full GAPS list of foods, but eventually, it will be okay to lighten up a bit on the restrictions. So maybe you'll feel okay to use the pressure cooking option of your Instant Pot then.

Crushing on the Instant Pot

Hopefully, I have soothed some of your concerns about using the Instant Pot. Even if you don't want to use the pressure cooking part, there are so many other ways to cook with it. You might clear some space in your kitchen cupboards!

My Instant Pot has a home right on my counter top because I use it quite often.One of the best parts is that you can truly set it and forget it. Slow cookers have advertised that for years, but the Instant Pot goes a step further because you can customize the time you wish to cook, and it automatically goes to the warm feature. Can you tell I love that feature?

When I made that broth I mentioned earlier? The one that I pressured cooked for two hours? Well, I didn't get back to taking care of it until six hours later. The Instant Pot just kept it warm. And really, it's not just “warm” but hot enough that there is no chance the food is going to spoil. And after it slow cooked for eight hours… it was another six hours on “warm” before I got it strained and chilled and in the fridge.

The more I use my Instant Pot, the more I love it. If you're ready to use one, check it out at Amazon:

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

 

I'd love to hear from you in the comments. Do you have an Instant Pot? Do you want one?

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.