Chocolate Banana Bread

Chocolate Banana Bread...nom nom!

Chocolate Banana Bread: Gluten-free, low FODMAP and delicious!

This recipe dates back to the days when I taught cooking classes with children, so it’s been around a long time! It was upgraded to be chocolate, then gluten-free. It’s a delicious treat for breakfast or dessert, keeps well and is simply delicious. It’s also high in fiber and has a good amount of protein, calcium, and iron, especially if you use teff or sorghum flour.

Wet ingredients:

2 medium-sized ripe bananas
1/3 cup olive oil

2 omega-3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup Greek style yogurt or lactose free, flavored or unflavored


2/3 cup sorghum, teff or rice flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup cornstarch or arrowroot
1/2 tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional (omit if on the FODMAP elimination phase)

To flour the pan:

  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 X 5 bread pan, and then dust with the cocoa/sugar mix. Reserve any extra for a topping.

Put the peeled, ripe bananas in a plastic sealable bag, seal it and squish the bananas until mostly smooth (this step is perfect for little helpers!). When done, squeeze the contents into a medium-sized bowl. Add in the rest of the wet ingredients and stir well. Mix dry ingredients together, then combine wet and dry and mix thoroughly. Stir in walnuts.

Add batter to prepared pan and bake about 60 min or until a toothpick comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining sugar if desired.

Serves 12.

Low FODMAP note—both banana and cocoa have fructans. However, if you stick to one slice, the quantity falls within the allowed amount—but don’t have the nuts, too!

Easy Cheesy Egg Bake: Low Fodmap

egg bake

We’ve got a lot of basil growing wild right now, and I’m having a Ehlers-Danlos aka joint hypermobility flare. The brief EDS PSA–almost everyone with EDS has GI disorders, and 15% have Celiac and some have Crohn’s so there’s a lot of crossover with the usual crowd on my website. When my ligaments get lax, my prep time in the kitchen needs to get shortened. So this recipe involves only about 5 min prep time, which may be helpful for a range of busy people. Know anyone who falls in that category? 😉

Egg bake photo

Easy Cheesy Egg Bake

(low FODMAP, vegetarian, dairy-free option, SCD option)

Serves 4


  • 6 eggs
  • 1- 12 oz can roasted red peppers, sliced or chopped
  • 1-2.25 can sliced black olives (or canned mushrooms)
  • ½ cup fresh basil, loosely packed
  • 1 TBSP scallion greens, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella or Jack cheese, dairy-free if needed
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8X8 glass pan. Open the can of peppers and black olives and drain in a strainer while prepping the other parts. Whisk the eggs for a minute, stir in the basil, scallions, cheese, drained veggies, spices. Pour into greased pan. Bake at 350 for 40 min or until done.

Low FODMAP note: Cento peppers roasted red peppers are easy to find–they are at Wegman’s or Whole Foods. Or, of course, you can always use fresh or frozen peppers.

SCD legal variation, choose an SCD legal cheese and check cans for starches.

October G-Free Newsletter

Halloween toys as treats
Halloween toy treats

Halloween candy lists are out for 2019. As many of you know, sometimes candies that are normally GF are not gluten-free when they are in holiday shapes. But those of you who have been reading for a while know my feelings on Halloween candy—skip it, and go for toys! It’s more inclusive, and you’re less likely to eat the leftovers.

HuffPo has a GF bread roundup. Is your favorite there? Maybe your new favorite will be.

ghost-shaped meringues
Spooky Meringues

Looking for a fun recipe? Spooky meringues are a staple around here. Meringues are a regular here because they’re simple…. And I appreciate that they are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, low FODMAP, gastroparesis friendly, GERD friendly…and delicious! The recipe is here for the bunnies, just draw a squiggle instead of a bunny. ?

Interesting research

Why get relatives screened for Celiac? Because they’re more likely to have it, even without symptoms. 44.4% had Celiac, 28% with no symptoms.

Isn’t this fascinating–> different probiotics may be able to suppress or even reverse food allergies. Granted, studies are currently only in mice, but it’s still a neat and encouraging concept.

Ah, the new cross-contamination study…I have so many thoughts. First, food anxiety is real. It’s a problem. I see it in clients, and I experience it, too. It’s no fun to get sick when eating out, or with friends. And study after study has shown that people with Celiac often have incomplete healing from intestinal damage. And then there’s a new study showing that it’s safe to be less concerned with casual contact and cross contamination at home. It’s a very small study, and that’s been a major concern. It addresses components (toasters, pasta water, etc.) when the real question is, what would the implication be for a real person over a typical day? The study contradicts all of the major Celiac orgs and what I’ve seen with clients over the years. I’m really curious to see if/when it’s repeated, and I have very mixed feelings. And, of course, if people are getting all the “allowed” contamination at home, what happens when they inevitably go out?

Bottom line:

  1. This is a very small study
  2. The test methods seem to be inadequate (my background isn’t in this arena)
  3. People with Celiac can only tolerate trace amounts of gluten. It’s often easier to control contamination at home than out.
  4. I absolutely agree with study authors in articles saying this study means that people should feel safe traveling without bringing their own pots and pans and utensils with them as they travel. I have rarely encountered clients who do that, and if this study provides peace of mind on that front, great.
  5. As summed up by Dr.Fasano from the Center for Celiac research: interesting, but it’s not enough to change any of the current guidelines at this point.

I look forward to more research on this as it comes out…and will keep you all posted.

And re: food fears, there’s a great post here from Kate Scarlata on food fears.

A new study on the AIP diet shows that it helps IBD (Crohn’s & UC). This is great news! The AIP is a very restrictive diet that removes grains, sugars, nuts, seeds, eggs, nightshade veggies, beans, and more. But…the rates of improvement were about the same as studies that were less restrictive, which is disappointing. It’s possible it helped people who had more severe damage. But the study doesn’t try to separate the effect of unlimited RD support, a health coach and a community focused on stress reduction better sleep, etc. and attributes all the positive changes in quality of life to diet change, which isn’t reasonable.

Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Wellcoach in Fairfax, VA.  She helps people with a range of dietary issues, including Celiac Disease, digestive issues, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals and feeling great!  Email or call 571-271-8742.

Be My G-Free Valentine

I hope you’re having a good, and cozy Wintertime. Here are some g-free resources I wanted to share:

A Valentines’ Day Candy list from CDF

Check your shelves for Applegate Farms BBQ lunchmeat—there’s barley malt in some products labeled gluten-free. And, of course some people just assume that because a company is good with GF for some products that others will be…and this can be a problem when ingredient formulations change!

NY Times did a nice review on the gut microbiome and health. It does likely play a large role in Celiac, although that isn’t discussed in this article.

Sourdough bread—it’s not gluten-free. It just isn’t. unless you make it with non-gluten grains. No matter who shares this on the interwebs, it’s just not true, so don’t fall for it!

Here’s a nice list of DC metro restaurants that are dedicated GF.

Are you ready for winter snowstorms? Meaning, do you have 3-5 days of shelf-stable g-free foods if you need them in case of a storm? I’ve got a list here. Hopefully, you’ll never need it, but it’s good to have on hand.

Be my (oatmeal)

I love oatmeal. Maybe a bit too much. Oatmeal doesn’t love me back, unfortunately. But most people with Celiac can eat purity protocol oats without a problem. There are a ton of recipes for overnight oats out there, and I often have clients ask for a recipe that is really easy. So here you go!

Overnight Oatmeal
  • ¾ cup old fashioned purity protocol oats
  • 1 cup milk (moo milk, lactose free, almond milk, whatever)
  • ¼ cup fruit—I usually use berries
  • Flavor—I use a splash of vanilla and a few sprinkles of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
  • Nuts/seeds—optional—walnuts, almonds, chia, flax, etc.

Directions—add oats to a heat proof container. Add liquid and whatever flavors and fruit on top. Allow to soak 6 hours or overnight. Eat at room temp or reheat.

I generally make 2-3 for my husband at a time and mix up the flavors through the week so he doesn’t get bored. I tend to use ball jars because they work well for this.

Fodmap friendly—use ½ cup oats, ¾ cup lactose free milk and allowed fruit for the elimination phase.