Muffin Alternative by Emma Cockrell.

Many clients with Nutritionhelp come with a number of food sensitivities, and this is not surprising when we understand how intestinal yeast impacts the digestive tract. Intestinal yeasts – including Candida albicans – feed on sugars in the diet, so the typical Western diet provides it with an absolute feast. Combine with this the release of stored sugars in the stress response, and the wiping out of beneficial bacteria, which should keep gut yeasts in check, by antibiotics, and you have a recipe for Candida overgrowth. Other medications and hormone treatments such as the Pill and HRT, further disrupt the delicate balance of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract.

Once Candida is encouraged, it changes to its fungal form, putting out ‘legs’ or hyphae, which can burrow into the gut lining, causing inflammation and leading to gaps in the intestinal membrane. This is commonly known as ‘leaky gut’ These spaces allow partially digested food to pass into the bloodstream, where the immune system recognises them as foreign particles, and thus, over time, sets up an immune ‘allergic’ response. A number of other factors can lead to leaky gut, but it is common for Candida to be involved at some point.

So there are potentially two types of food reaction:

1. A gastrointestinal reaction, caused by the presence of food in the damaged digestive tract. This might result in digestive complaints such as diarrhoea, pain, bloating or IBS.
2. An immune response following eating a culprit food, which may result in symptoms such as a headache, a panic attack, depression or anxiety, increased fatigue or aches and pains.

The starting place with these type of reactions is to get intestinal yeast under control, removing the main cause of the gaps in the digestive tract wall. A nutrient-rich diet, a supplement programme to include key nutrients to support gut health, and avoiding foods which encourage yeast are all part of the Nutritionhelp protocol to kill off Candida.

However, in the meantime, many clients still have to cope with a limited diet due to a number of food sensitivities. This may affect what vegetables can be tolerated, how well meat or seeds can be digested, and may make their grain options very low, in addition to avoiding all gluten and dairy.

Erica White’s Beat Fatigue Cookbook (2014) covers a basic yeast-free and sugar-free protocol and recipes to bring Candida under control, and also includes a great many recipes which are specifically designed for clients with a number of limitations in their diets, and this can be a fantastic resource. These meal and baking ideas offer a comprehensive starting-place from which you can experiment, and this week I did just that.

Following a Skype conversation with a client who is struggling with limited foods due to a number of food sensitivities, I produced a brown rice flour muffin, using just the simple ingredients she could manage. This may not compare with a high street coffee shop muffin, but I was pretty pleased with the result. This makes a helpful ‘bun’ which I would spread with sunflower seed cream, and use as a breakfast meal, but can be eaten as a snack at any time. The inclusion of cooked carrot helps to keep the ‘muffins’ moist. Keep them in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.

Emma’s Carrot Muffins


1 large carrot- 170g, finely chopped (well scrubbed if organic, otherwise peeled)
1 mug of brown rice flour
3 level dessert spoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 egg
1/2 -1 teaspoon of dried ginger – optional

Place the chopped carrot in a small pan with an inch of water. Add a lid, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, until carrot is well cooked. Check water doesn’t boil dry. When carrot is soft, remove from the heat, pour off any remaining liquid into a jug (there shouldn’t be much left). Mash the carrot with 1 tablespoon of the cooking water, using the back of a fork or a potato masher – or a food processor. When carrot is well mashed stir in the olive oil and the brown rice flour, and dried ginger if using, and mix well. Then stir in a beaten egg. This should form a sticky, stiff batter. Place spoonfuls, about the size of a small satsuma, on a greased baking tray and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20-30 minutes, until golden. spread with seed butter and top with some pure ground vanilla.


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