Date and Pecan Muffins

  • No Grain or Gluten
  • No ‘Free Sugar’

These muffins have an amazing taste and texture!

I don’t like the phrase ‘sugar free’ when recipes still contain natural sugar ingredients. It’s important to know what sugar we need to limit in our diet to only 25g a day – free sugar.

Free sugar is defined by the World Health Organisation as follows;

‘Free sugars include monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods and beverages by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates’

So, the sugar in these muffins is NOT free sugar (this is good!), and will be easily digested by people with compromised digestive systems. Also, it’s important to recognise the nutrition content of ingredients in food; bananas and dates in these muffins will provide important vitamins and minerals that you won’t get from free sugars.

Make sure your bananas have black spots – this means they are ripe and the starch has turned to sugar.  My bananas were so ripe they were black (and fermenting, judging by the slightly alcoholic smell of the mix).

Serve with your favourite nut butter or a big dollop of natural yogurt.

Ingredients:

Makes 12 muffins

  • 2 cups ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup pecans (you can use walnuts), chopped/crushed
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (160 fan oven).
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground almonds, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pecans.
  3. In a food processor, combine dates, bananas, eggs and oil.
  4. Combine the dry and wet mixtures
  5. Spoon mixture into muffin tins lined with paper cases – fill to the top (I didn’t).
  6. Top with banana slices and chia seeds (exclude for SCD).
  7. Bake for  25 minutes – toothpick should come out clean.

SCD Lifestyle

About a month ago I realised I was waking up nearly every morning feeling terrible again – pain in my abdomen mostly.  So I decided to start on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) AGAIN!  It has been a feature in my life for the last 14 years.

I joined a Facebook group for the diet, one run from the USA (SCD Group).  However, I found the USA group focussed a lot on whether or not they could eat certain packaged foods, which for us in the UK was a non-issue.  In the UK we have strict labelling laws where the producer must list everything that has gone into making the product, whereas in the US things are added and not labelled.  A huge number of the members hadn’t even heard about the Breaking the Vicious Cycle book which I found quite frustrating – I know it’s my issue but I don’t understand how someone can plan to go on a diet and not have done their research! In addition, I noticed that a lot of the posts in the US group were just about finding ‘legal’ ways to recreate the bad food that probably contributed to them having IBD in the first place; pizza, cakes and breads, and identifying supplements that could help them.  For me, this is so far away from the point of SCD.  The diet is trying to bring people back to eating proper wholesome foods and getting nourishment from that food, and some people seem to miss that point.

After about a week, a notice went up from one of the members to say he was starting a UK group – this was great news!

The UK group (UKSCD) started up and I joined immediately. The atmosphere is totally different to the US group – more like a family.  We don’t have the issue with labelling, so most of the time is spent providing support and encouragement to those starting out, or going through a bad patch, figuring out whether a mystery ingredient is legal or not, and swapping recipes for what I consider normal wholesome food.

A month on, and I’m still feeling motivated to continue with this diet.  I think being part of a group of people that help each other, motivates me.  I can’t help and advise people if I am not walking the talk, so I need to be strong.

I will admit that I am not 100% strict.  If I’m out with friends then I’m happy to go with the flow if there isn’t a good alternative.  I make the conscious decision to deal with the consequences, and until recently that worked out fine.  However, last weekend consisted of three nights pushing the boundaries and now I’m paying the price.  The interesting thing is that I am feeling the effects in a much more intense way than I did before.  It seems my body has decided it really doesn’t want this bad food and is really letting me know.