Healthy Cheese Board

Healthy Cheese Board

Let’s talk about dairy …

There’s no question that dairy doesn’t work for everyone. Some people are allergic to or intolerant of the proteins in dairy, while others are highly sensitive to lactose, the sugar in dairy.

According to Chris Kresser, Functional Medicine Doctor, why dairy benefits some people and causes problems for others boils down to the health of the gut.

“If someone has compromised intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut”, it’s more likely that their immune system will respond to potentially allergenic components in milk such as alpha- and beta-casein, casomorphin and butyrophillin.

This is especially true for people who are gluten intolerant, because it has been shown that milk proteins commonly cross-react with gluten. Put another way, if you react to gluten, it’s more likely that you’ll also react to milk.

Along these same lines, people with small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) – which is one of the major causes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – may be more likely to react to milk because the bacteria in their small intestine aggressively ferments lactose, the sugar in milk, causing gas, bloating and other G.I. symptoms.” Read more HERE.

If you’re not sure where you stand with dairy, the best approach is to remove it for 30 days and then reintroduce and see what happens. Elimination/reintroduction is still the gold-standard for determining sensitivity to a particular food.

If you are lactose intolerant, there’s good new … You may be able to enjoy some dairy since many types of cheese naturally have very low or non-measurable amounts of lactose.

Soft cheeses tend to have more lactose than hard cheeses. In addition, as cheese ages, it loses even more moisture, therefore the longer a cheese has been aged, the less lactose will remain in the final product.

Here’s a list of cheese types that are aged for long periods of time and are likely to have very small or non-measurable levels of lactose:

  • Cheddar (aged 12+ months)
  • Swiss (ages 14+ months
  • Gouda (aged 18+ months)
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano (aged 12 to 24 months)
  • Grana Padano (aged 12 to 20 months)
  • Mimolette (aged 22 months)
  • Romano (aged 3 to 4 years)

Give this fresh and delicious cheese board a try. Feel free to select cheeses that work well for your body.

Healthy Cheese Board

ITEMS:
3 cheeses of your choice
Grapes, green
Cucumber, sliced
Walnuts & almonds, raw
Olives, green
Bosc pear, sliced

INSTRUCTIONS:

Grab a glass of wine and let your inner artist have fun with laying out these foods on a wood board or large platter. Don’t forget to brag about your food art when company arrives ?

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“Spaghetti” with Ricotta & Cherry Tomatoes (Gluten & Grain Free, Low-Carb)

“Spaghetti” with Ricotta & Cherry Tomatoes (Gluten & Grain Free, Low-Carb)

After my recent trip to Italy, I’ve been feeling even more inspired to create healthier gluten free versions of some great Italian spaghetti dishes. AND this time around, I decided to experiment with one of my favourite cheeses growing up – ricotta!

I don’t consume dairy on a regular basis, but when I come across fresh, high-quality cheeses (like the ricotta cheese from Quality Cheese in Woodbridge) it’s an absolute MUST have!

There are a few ricotta inspired recipes I’ve been itching to try, but I wanted to start with this one since you can still find fresh tomatoes and basil in stores.

So, if you tolerate dairy well and are looking for a flavourful whole food “spaghetti” dish to try, I definitely recommend this one. It’s low carb, gluten & grain free!

"Spaghetti" with Ricotta & Cherry Tomatoes (Gluten & Grain Free, Low-Carb)

“Spaghetti” with Ricotta & Cherry Tomatoes

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3)
1 large spaghetti squash
8 oz fresh ricotta cheese
15 cherry tomatoes (quartered)
10 fresh basil leaves (finely chopped)
2 garlic cloves (crushed, whole)
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise and remove seeds with spoon. Bake at 400 for 30-40 min (first 10 min bake with flesh down, then turn so skin is down for remaining time). Fork should pierce skin easily when squash is cooked. Use a fork to scrape out the strands of squash when done.
Note: Cooking time varies depending on the size of the squash. Check regularly to avoid overcooking the squash. You want the noodles to be ‘al dente’.

2. When spaghetti squash is close to done, heat olive oil in saucepan and add garlic, tomatoes and salt.

3. Cook for a few minutes until tomatoes soften and garlic begins to brown and then remove garlic cloves.

4. Add ricotta cheese and 1 cup of hot water to tomato sauce and stir. Let reduce for a few minutes.

5. Add spaghetti squash to saucepan. Toss and cook for 2 more minutes.

6. Remove from heat, toss in basil and serve.

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