SIBO-Friendly Sous Vide Egg Bites

If you’ve walked into Starbucks at any point in 2017, you might have noticed that they’re now serving Sous Vide Egg Bites. They come in two varieties: Bacon Gruyère and Roasted Red Pepper. As a gluten-free girl, I was excited to see these, and when I actually tried them, I FLIPPED. I began to crave them every day and proclaimed to Loren that our next kitchen gadget would have to be a sous vide. Here’s a pic from my instagram where I celebrate the gloriousness of the Starbucks version. (I’ll admit that I’m not generally the biggest Starbucks fan. When I go in there, it’s usually because I’m in an airport, which is why it took me a while to learn about these egg bites — but I started going out of my way to go there once I found these!!)

sous vide egg bites

This year started out a bit hectic — I quit my full-time job at the hospital and stepped down from a leadership role at my start-up, resolving to completely dive into my self-employed endeavor. The whole first half of the year flew by so quickly, and then suddenly it was July, and I’d never followed through on my vow to buy a sous vide machine and replicate these little yummy bites! I’d even been talking with the talented Nicole Ruiz Hudson over at Nibbling Gypsy about all of her gorgeous sous vide recipes, but I just wasn’t pulling the trigger to get my own. Luckily, just in time for the beginning of ‘funemployment’ kitchen experimentation, Amazon had a flash sale that highlighted the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker. It revitalized my egg bite-creating dreams, and I finally got my hands on one. 

Sous Vide

First things first: what does sous vide mean? Sous vide is a form of cooking that involves submerging a contained food item into a water bath and cooking it at a precise temperature for a set period of time. The ability to maintain a consistent SIBO-friendly Sous Vide Egg bitestemperature allows for even cooking and splendid results, especially for protein dishes. Eggs, in particular, are pretty finicky if you’re hoping for a very specific texture or level of ‘doneness’. The magic wand, of sorts, sits clamped to the edge of the bath (I used my big stock pot) and heats the water to the precise temperature you need.

What do I mean by ‘contained food’? I mean that you’re not dunking a steak directly into a water bath and boiling it to death — that would be gross. Rather, the food you’re cooking is contained in either jars (as we’ll demonstrate today with the sous vide egg bites), BPA-free cook safe plastic bags like these, or silicone bags like these. Today, it’s all about single-serving breakfast and replicating the silky consistency of the Starbucks creation — all within the guidelines of the SIBO diet.

SIBO-friendly

Next question: what makes these sous vide egg bites SIBO-friendly? SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) requires quite a few dietary restrictions, including very limited dairy. Specifically, only cheese that’s been aged for at least one month is permissible (along with only homemade, plain yogurt), and in limited quantities. (If you’re unfamiliar with my SIBO saga, check out this post, which explains what SIBO is, how I think I got it, and the signs and symptoms — which include a lot of overlap with IBS).

I did a little googling to see if I could find some recipes to serve as my jumping off point, and what I found was a whole lot of cream cheese, cottage cheese, and heavy cream. None of these could go into my version of sous vide egg bites, so I had to get creative. As I’ve done with other egg recipes like my Easy Veggie Frittata and my Paleo Bacon Veggie Muffins, I substituted full fat coconut milk for the heavy cream.

frittata

Kitchen Alchemy: Guesswork in ‘Substitution Land’

In considering what to exchange for the cottage cheese and cream cheese, I was kind of at a loss. No aged cheese has that same creamy consistency, so I was worried about how my bites would match up. I decided to try something weird: avocado oil mayonnaise. I say weird, because one of the two main ingredients in mayonnaise is egg, which kind of makes including it a little repetitive. I was unsure when I decided to try it, so I only included 2 tbs for the whole batch. I love how they turned out, but I’m honestly not sure if adding the mayo really had a substantial impact. In my next batch, I’m going to test it out — half the batch with mayo, half without, and I’ll report back my findings with an addendum to this post. 

Intuitive Cooking

I love recipes where there’s little to no measuring, and where creativity can take the dish in any direction. I like to call this kind of cooking intuitive cooking, because you’re trusting yourself in the kitchen, rather than chaining yourself to every tiny detail in a recipe that doesn’t require it. This is a perfect example of a recipe that allows for lots of variation. Include the bacon, or don’t. Add in cooked shrimp or shredded pork instead. Choose whatever cheese floats your boat. Or leave out the cheese entirely. Chop up some veggies for a quick sauté, and throw them in. Add fresh herbs, dried spices, salsa, or hot sauce to the egg mixture. Anything that suits your fancy!

Here are some regional flavor combinations to try out: 

  • Mexican: add cumin, cilantro, cotija cheese (use anejo if you’re sticking to SIBO rules), and a few tablespoons of salsa (only green onion if you’re sticking to SIBO rules). Grease the jars with avocado oil.
  • Italian: add fresh chopped parsley and oregano, parmesan and/or Romano, and few squeezes of tomato paste. Grease the jars with garlic-infused EVOO.
  • French: add bleu cheese, bacon, and green onion. Grease the jars with butter or ghee.
  • Persian: (borrowed from a fellow experimenter) add boiled shrimp, chopped dates, and turmeric. (skip the dates if you’re sticking to SIBO rules). 
  • ‘MERICA: add aged cheddar cheese, bacon, and breakfast sausage (use ground pork and spices if you’re sticking to SIBO rules).

The flavor experiments could continue forever! In my first go at this, I wanted to try to get as close to my original muse (the Gruyère bacon bites at Starbucks) as possible. But I couldn’t resist trying a couple of different cheeses, since I wasn’t sure how long Gruyère is aged, and I didn’t want to take the chance. I also greased half of the jars with bacon grease and the other half with garlic infused EVOO. Both were delicious, but I think I preferred the EVOO.

SIBO-friendly sous vide egg bites

Important Sous Vide Cooking Tips:

  1. Do not tighten the lids too much (do a “two-finger tighten”). Pressure builds as the eggs cook, and if the jars are too tightly sealed, you might have an exploded glass mess on your hands.
  2. Blend the egg mixture in a blender or food processor. Hand mixing won’t get you the silky, uniform consistency you want.
  3. Depending on the size of your jars and how much room you leave at the top, they might float in your water bath. If you find that your jars are floating, place a heavy plate or a big pot on top of them in the water to weigh them down. You can also try stacking them to keep them in place. Another option is to put something at the bottom of the pot (I saw a suggestion for inverted coffee mugs) and placing your jars atop them, so that they’re higher up in the bath and slightly breaching the surface.
  4. Grease the jars for your egg bites. It will make clean up much easier.

Supplies needed: 

  1. Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker
  2. 10-12 4 oz mason jars (you could also use bigger jars and only fill partially — that will definitely cause floating)
  3. A pot or tub large enough to fit the wand and all of the jars (I used a 2 gallon stock pot but only filled the liquid to the “min” line on my wand cooker)
  4. Food processor or blender
  5. Cheese grater (if using cheese)
SIBO-friendly Sous Vide Egg Bites
Serves 10
Set the sous vide to 172° F before beginning your prep. It takes longer for the machine to get to temperature than it does to get this recipe ready to go.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pack cooked bacon (7-10 pieces)
  2. 12 pastured eggs
  3. 2/3 cup coconut milk
  4. 2 tbs avocado oil mayonnaise
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1/2 tsp pepper
  7. EITHER 1 cup grated parmesan or Romano
  8. OR 1/2 cup aged bleu cheese
Instructions
  1. Set the Anova to 172° F in the water bath
  2. Place the bacon on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and broil in the oven until crispy (usually 10 minutes, but keep an eye on it so you don't burn it)
  3. Add the eggs, coconut milk, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender and mix on low until it's smooth and homogenous
  4. Grease 10-12 4 oz jars with either bacon grease or an oil of your choosing (I did half with garlic infused EVOO).
  5. Evenly distribute crumbled bacon in each jar
  6. Evenly distribute the cheese of your choosing in each jar
  7. If your blender or food processor doesn't have a pitcher spout, transfer the egg mixture to a spouted measuring cup and evenly distribute among all of the jars
  8. Screw on the lids (but not too tightly, see the cooking tips above this recipe for more detail)
  9. Once the water bath is up to the proper temperature, use tongs to carefully submerge your jars into the water bath
  10. Set the Anova timer for 50 minutes
  11. Remove using the tongs
  12. Use either a dish towel or oven mits to open if the jars are hot
  13. If not eating right away, allow the jars to cool before refrigerating
  14. Eat them right from the jar or slide a butter knife around the perimeter and turn over onto a plate to slide out your egg bite
Notes
  1. Cook the bacon to a pretty full crisp. On my first try, I cooked it exactly how I like to eat it on its own, and I found that it was too chewy in the recipe. On my second round, I cooked it longer and crumbled it into smaller pieces instead of using half pieces as Starbucks does. I liked it this way best.
Cultivated Wellbeing http://cultivatedwellbeing.com/

To reheat your egg bites, either:

  • Microwave for 30-45 seconds
  • Get a 140° F bath going with your Anova wand and submerge for 15 minute
  • Toast in the oven broiler for 5 minutes (ovens vary, keep your eye on it for this method to avoid burning)

FTC DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. All opinions are my own.

Kasha Krunch: A Healthy Homemade Cereal [Recipe]

So last week I went on a bit of a rant about cold cereal. I said that basically all cold cereal is garbage. And what I meant by that was that almost everything you can get in a box from the center aisles of the grocery store is … garbage (or TRAY-ISH, as my Texan grandmother likes to say). 

Of course there’s the obvious stuff: the sugar cereals like Lucky Charms, Cocoa Pebbles, or my personal college-era favorite, Reese’s Puffs. But don’t be fooled by the “high fiber,” “heart-healthy” cereals like Chex, Cherios, or Kashi Go Lean either. Sure these cereals are higher in fiber and lower in sugar than kids’ cereals, but those are basically candy. Better-than-candy does not = good. It equals less bad. And honestly, only very slightly so. Cereals that have gone through an extrusion process to turn the grain into an “o,” flake, puff, pebble, pop, whatever shape, contain proteins that are now denatured and potentially neurotoxic.

“… All Part of a Balanced Breakfast”

Remember the cereal commercials from the 80’s and 90’s that ended with “… all part of a balanced breakfast” and then showed you what an “ideal” breakfast looked like? Let’s talk about what’s in that picture. Extruded cereal puffs, milk, 2 pieces of toast with a pad of butter, fruit, and a glass of orange juice. Put a different way, that’s a picture of sugar, sugar, sugar, a little fat, and a glass of sugar. Wow! If I ate that, I’d never make it out of the house! Who said this was a balanced breakfast? I’d venture to say that most people don’t eat toast with their cereal, so let’s take that out. But we still have a whole lotta empty carbs, calories, and sugar with very little nutrient-density to show for it. 

healthy homemade cereal

Check out this super retro picture I found of another childhood favorite. image sourced from thefeedingdoctor.com through Creative Commons

Enter: Kasha Krunch – a Healthy Homemade Cereal

Two years ago, I gave this cereal as Christmas gifts to my friends and family — it was super cute in big mason jars with ribbons and labels. While getting through airport security with it was a bit of a challenge, the end result was my mom begging me to make more for her the next time she came to visit. Needless to say, it’s a winning recipe. It goes great with milk or yogurt — add fresh berries for some extra phytonutrients — but it’s also a perfect trail snack. Just stick it in a baggie and eat it by the handful. 

Kasha Krunch

Kasha (another name for buckwheat groats) is a pseudocereal, which means it’s more of a seed than a grain. It’s gluten-free, higher in protein than cereal grains (like wheat, oats, and rice), and is considered an “ancient grain” having avoided the selective breeding of big agriculture. It’s pretty much the same food as it was a hundred years ago.

I do feel obligated to say that if you’re strictly Paleo or sticking to a low-carb plan, this cereal might not be for you — pseudocereals are a debated topic in the Paleo community, but I think most strict followers don’t eat them. This isn’t a strictly Paleo or low-carb site, but since I do share recipes in those categories regularly, I felt the need to point that out.

Moving on!  Here’s the recipe.

  • http://cultivatedwellbeing.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Kasha1-150x150.jpg)">
    Kasha Krunch
    Yields 6
    Write a review
    Print
    Prep Time
    3 min
    Cook Time
    40 min
    Total Time
    34 min
    http://cultivatedwellbeing.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Kasha1-150x150.jpg)">
    Prep Time
    3 min
    Cook Time
    40 min
    Total Time
    34 min
    Ingredients
    1. 3 cups raw buckwheat groats (Click to buy a CWB fave)
    2. ½ cup raw almond butter (click to buy a CWB fave)
    3. ½ cup chopped raw pecans
    4. ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
    5. 2 tablespoons REAL maple syrup or raw honey (optional)
    6. ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    7. pinch of sea salt
    8. ½ cup unsweetened dried fruit of your choice (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
    2. Spread raw buckwheat groats across a large cookie sheet and bake for about 40 minutes, shuffling them around about halfway through, until slightly golden
    3. Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl as best you can
    4. Immediately out of the oven, stir in warm toasted groats into the bowl until everything is evenly distributed (the heat from the groats will soften the nut butter and allow it to coat everything nicely)
    5. Let cool to room temperature
    6. Place in a tightly sealed glass storage container and store in the fridge
    Notes
    1. This recipe is super versatile -- you can switch out almond butter for your favorite nut butter, trade the seeds and nuts for other varieties, and play with the amount of maple syrup you use to vary the sweetness. Enjoy Kasha Krunch with milk, yogurt, or as a dry snack.
    Cultivated Wellbeing http://cultivatedwellbeing.com/
     

     FTC DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I only link to products that I USE and LOVE. All opinions are my own.

 

Grain-Free Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Editor’s note: This recipe is now one of many pumpkin recipes I compiled into one glorious eBook: 10 Delicious Pumpkin Recipes for the Vegan and Vegetarian Foodie. Download your free copy now!

DOWNLOAD IT NOW


Are you ready for the ultimate Christmas morning breakfast? Or any other day you have time for homemade pancakes?? (By the way, these also refrigerate quite nicely if you wanted to double or triple the recipe and eat them for a few mornings in a row without all the dirty dishes.)

Seriously, I don’t like to brag (yes I kind of do…), but these pancakes are THE BOMB. Full disclosure, the inspiration came from a totally legit, fully intact, awesome recipe by Gina Matsoukas at RunningtotheKitchen.com. But I believe I’ve taken these puppies to the next level and created a heaven-in-your-mouth AWESOME pumpkin pie pancake recipe that is free of grains and processed sugar, and packed with easily digestible protein, good-for-you spices, and DELICIOUSNESS. (Hint: toasted pecans play a big role in the over-the-top-ness of this recipe!)grainfreepancake

I’m not kidding when I say that these very well may be the best pancakes I’ve ever made, and that includes any box mixes, gluten-free, grain-free, or otherwise. I can’t wait to experiment further with other flavors and combination once I get over my pumpkin craze for the season. And when I do, believe me, you’ll be the first to know (well, second after Loren).

Ingredients (makes about 8 pancakes, enough for 2 people)

  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 2 tbs coconut flour
  • 1 tbs ground flax seed
  • (optional) 2-3 tbs hydrolyzed gelatin like this.*
  • 3 good cranks of the grinder of sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tbs cinnamon**
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp clove
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 whole pasture eggs
  • ¾ cup raw pecan pieces
  • 2 tablespoons pure grade B maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ghee*** or coconut oil for cooking pancakes

*I like this gelatin because:

  1. it’s from grass-fed cows
  2. it’s easy to digest
  3. it’s great for muscle growth, bone health, and immune function
  4. it won’t gel and make your pancakes weird

**I use ceylon cinnamon because I use it in a lot of recipes, including my morning coffee every once in a while, and studies have shown that too much cassia cinnamon can cause liver damage. I don’t think I overdo the cinnamon, but you never know…

***I use ghee because I’m not strictly paleo. I like the flavor of butter with my pancakes, but the lactose and casein in regular butter and I don’t get along very well. I prefer to use ghee so I can have the best of both worlds. Plus, if you’re using ghee from a grass-fed cow, you’re getting a good dose of CLA, an important part of a healthy diet, especially if you’re trying to trim down or maintain a healthy weight.

Directions:

  1. Heat your non-stick skillet large pan over medium heat and wait for it to warm up before adding your raw pecan pieces
  2. Allow them to heat up, creating a nice, non-burnt pecan aroma before you add in a little ghee to coat them and a dash of salt
  3. Once they are lightly toasted, remove from pan and set aside and lower the heat on the burner
  4. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and the wet ingredients in a smaller one, beating the wet until fully incorporated
  5. Add the wet to the dry, mixing well to create a nice thick batter
  6. Add a good, heaping tablespoon or so of ghee to the pan and turn the heat back up to medium-high
  7. Using a ¼ measuring cup or large spoon, scoop batter onto pan and cook on each side for a few minutes until browned. Feel free to keep adding more ghee as you do more batches until the batter runs out.

gfpumpkinpancake

Don’t forget to download your very own FREE copy of my homage to pumpkin: 10 Delicious Pumpkin Recipes for the Vegan and Vegetarian Foodie. Download your free copy now!

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