Having recently received a diagnosis of possible IBS, now it’s the time to understand what to eat and what not.
To figure out what to put in my plate, I am doing a series of home-made case-crossover studies on myself. Which is, I try a food, register my reactions over a few days, then I try to leave everything else unchanged but the elimination of that specific food, and I record again my reactions.
So far I discovered that I am disturbed by bran and whole seeds but that I can eat gluten if fermented with sourdough and, even better, if coming from heritage wheat.
I have also found out that it is not lactose that disturbs me most in milk but it is instead casein, a quite interesting protein that is receiving some extra attention lately. So I am having my coffee black with sugar these days and living without my beloved cheese, with the only exception of buffala mozzarella, the only cheese I found so far that does not give me much problems – probably because of its high water content?
Interestingly, in one of my home-made case-crossover experiments, I have found that my symptoms improve if I do eat my sourdough bread made from sifted/white heritage wheat. This surprised me, but I surely don’t complain. There must be some good bacteria who is happily fed by properly sifted and fermented heritage wheat and these good bacteria can contrast the bad ones that are likely responsible for my IBS symptoms.
But I am trying not to overload my system with gluten, quite successfully combining my highly digestible wheat bakes with even more highly digestible wheat-free bakes and cooking.
These gnocchi are a good example of what I eat lately when I am not savoring my heritage wheat sourdoughs. They are very easy to make but it is good if you get some helping hands, since they take time. Time well spent, taking care of yourself and using your hands to create something delicious and healthy.
GLUTEN-FREE GNOCCHI di patate
500 g potatoes with peel (organic potatoes are a good choice)
150 g gluten-free basic mix* plus more if needed and for dusting
*I have used my own IBS-friendly mix (which I hope to be able to share soon), but any good ready-made mix will work.
1. Boil the potatoes with their peel in abundant salted water until they are tender but not soggy (the peel should not break).
2. Drain the water and peel the potatoes while still warm.
3. Pass the potatoes through a potato press.
4. Combine the pressed potatoes with the GF mix in a large bowl and obtain a firm dough. If you feel that the dough is too watery, add more GF mix.
5. Let rest the dough under a kitchen towel for about 20 minutes.
6. Take a small piece of dough at a time and roll it in a long sausage-like log.
7. Cut small pieces from the log (long like the tip of your thumb) and pass them over a fork to give some texture (better for the sauce). Before passing them over the fork I actually make them round, the fork passage will make them cylindrical again. I also use my “rigagnocchi” instead of a fork.
8. Let the gnocchi rest in a heavily dusted (with the GF mix) tray while you complete the shaping.
9. Throw the gnocchi in salted boiling water and let them cook for 2-3 minutes, until they float on top of the water, and remove with a skimmer before they start loosing their shape.
10. Serve immediately with your favorite sauce. We love them with a simple tomato and basil pasta sauce.
NOTE: The uncooked gnocchi can keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days in a heavily dusted box with lid.