Since I announced that my family is on the GAPS Diet I have gotten a lot of emails, comments, and questions around town. What do we eat? Do we really like it? Can we share some meal plans?
We eat everything that does not contain a starch or complex carbohydrates, which leaves all of the most nutritionally desirable foods on our menu. No, we don't eat sugar. But we do eat honey. No, we don't drink milk but we love our yogurt (we look forward to putting raw milk back on our menu). No potatoes, yes squash. Those are about the most complicated aspects of it. Yes, we love, love, love it and some of us (mostly my eight-year old) never want to go back. And yes, of course I can share some meal plans with you.
GAPS is wonderful food, whether you follow the diet or not. At the very least GAPS food can provide a nice nutrient-packed break from grain- and sugar-heavy meals now and then.
This morning was a normal GAPS breakfast for us. I made scones and we ate them with yogurt with berries. The Yogurt is cultured for 24 hours, using the same method I shared with you here, but simply leaving it undisturbed in the warmth for 24 hours. It is a touch more sour and a bit thinner in texture, but we all still love it. I added a pinch of stevia and a handful of frozen blueberries.
The scones were a fairly well modified version of a recipe I found in this cookbook for Apricot Orange Scones. I used freshly ground soaked almonds ("almond flour") mixed with coconut flour. They taste like marzipan and contain only 1 Tb. of honey and a small handful of dried apricots for sweetness. I could eat them all day.
In fact, I think I will.
Here are some meal suggestions from our home:
Eggs with cheese, avocado, (sugar- and additive-free) sausage, and greens
Muffins or scones baked with almond flour, coconut flour, or other nut/seed flours
Yogurt with fruit and nuts
Smoothies (include avocado or cashews for a protein and healthy fat boost)
Quiche with a nut crust
Our favorite stand-by lunch these days is what we call "snack lunch": mountains of raw vegetables served with sliced meats (sugar- and additive-free – we eat Organic Valley turkey and ham and roast beef) and cheese.
Celery and carrots with Apple Dip (Apple dip is from the Specific Carbohydrate book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle and contains nut butter, a drop of honey, cinnamon, and minced apples. My kids go bonkers for this.)
Leftover stews and soups.
Meat and veggie or nut butter sandwiches on what we call "Jennifer's Yummy Bread". The recipe was shared by a friend and we're a little obsessed. It make a light, fluffy flatbread for wraps and sandwiches. To make it, separate four eggs and whip the whites until stiff. Grind 1 C of seeds or nuts (sunflower, almond, etc.) in the blender until it is flour. Add a pinch of salt and a dab of honey, combine with yolks, then fold in the whites. Spread onto parchment and bake at 350 until lightly browned and puffy. Remove from oven, allow to rest for five minutes, then slice and eat.
See entire list above. Mostly we snack on red peppers, cucumbers, cheese, and homemade crackers.
Homemade Jerkey is a fabulous snack too.
Stew, soup, and other slow-cooked bone broth fare. Bone broth is a critical ingredient in the diet for healthy teeth, bones, and digestion. I think it is absolutely the most magical thing that comes out of my kitchen. I use it to simmer veggies and cook meat. We have at least one broth-based meal per day.
Put bones in a pot (all the scraps from a roasted chicken, for example). Cover with water and add 3 Tb apple cider vinegar. Sit for 1 hour. Add stock veggies: onion, garlic, ginger, carrots, celery, etc. (I keep a zip bag in the freezer where I put carrot ends and the outer layers of onions, celeriac peels, etc. Then I just add all of it to the pot). Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook covered on very low heat. Leave on heat for 12 – 24 hours for small bones (chicken, fish), 24 – 48 hours for large (cut beef or venison bones). Turn off heat, cool, and strain. I don't mean to freak you out but I also add chicken feet to this. I know. It's over the top. But they contain vital minerals and after we dealt with early childhood tooth decay we decided it was totally worth it. I'll take a creepy looking pot of stock on my stove over crumbling teeth any day. Just don't let your guests peek into the pot.
Other dinner ideas include:
Shepard's Pie (with pureed buttered cauliflower for the top)
Hamburgers, sauteed vegetables, and homemade sauerkraut
Roasted vegetables and roasted meats
Chili (with white beans and venison or beef)
Stir fry (mountains of sauteed broccoli, pea pods, and red peppers with chicken left over from a previous meal)
"Rainbow Soup" (chicken soup with a rainbow of vegetables)
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For our family GAPS is nourishing, nutrient packed, easy to prepare and easy to digest. I can't imagine a better plan for us than this. Oh, and I've lost seven pounds on accident by eating this way. We're all feeling fantastic.
If you are wanting more information, here are two great resources: