Heal Your Digestive Issues with this Cozy Eggplant Curry + Cardamom Spiced Quinoa
REAL TALK — Currently 70% of Americans are experiencing some form of digestive distress, so I know I’m not alone when I post about this topic.
Lately it seems as though every one of my clients, family members and friends is struggling with some sort of uncomfortable gut condition, issue or symptom ranging from bloat, indigestion, heart burn, cramps, IBS, SIBO, to food allergies and sensitivities.
So what is behind this trend? And how can we alleviate these digestive issues to feel our best and live our best lives? Let’s break it down.
WHAT’S CAUSING OUR DIGESTIVE ISSUES?
One of the biggest culprits is refined cooking and vegetable oils (such as canola, rapeseed, vegetable, palm, safflower, etc.), which remain in a lot of packaged foods and restaurants (because they’re cheap to cook with).
These oils are boiled, bleached, deodorized and refined, then used as preservatives to keep food shelf-stable or baked goods soft.
The major problem with consuming these processed oils is that they congest our livers and gallbladders, which neutralizes the bile needed to break down fats and produce stomach acid. Without adequate stomach acid we’re not able to digest foods well (especially those containing gluten and dairy) resulting in chronic inflammation, heart burn, indigestion, acid reflux, bloat, elimination issues (constipation or diarrhea), weight gain, high blood sugar, and food intolerances/allergies.
HOW TO ALLEVIATE DIGESTIVE ISSUES WITHOUT GIVING UP A BUNCH OF FOOD OR EATING OUT
Did I just read your mind? Trust, I’ve wondered that before too, but there is a way.
Instead of just focusing on removing foods with processed oils (which is extremely helpful to do but might also be overwhelming at first) you can also begin to incorporate more foods into your diet that boost bile and stomach acid production.
Foods That Boost Bile + Stomach Acid Production to Alleviate Digestive Issues
Foods That Boost Bile Include —
- + beets
- + apples
- + high quality, organic, unrefined + extra-virgin coconut and olive oil
- + artichokes
- + celery (aka why celery juice is all the rage RN)
- + leafy greens
- + fennel
- + fenugreek
Foods That Boost Stomach Acid Include —
- + ginger
- + cumin
- + coriander
- + cardamom
- + fennel
ESPECIALLY WHEN ALL USED TOGETHER…
EASY + DELICIOUS RECIPES TO BOOST BILE + STOMACH ACID PRODUCTION AND ALLEVIATE DIGESTIVE ISSUES
So now that you have some ideas of foods you can add into your diet to aid in bile + stomach acid production –– which will ultimately help you digest and break down food properly, alleviating symptoms like heart burn, nausea, indigestion, cramping, gas, bloating — I’m going to give you a recipe to incorporate them all easily and deliciously.
Enter in this Cozy Eggplant Curry with Cardamom Spiced Quinoa. Not only does it include bile-boosting coconut oil and stomach-acid producing spices to promote optimal digestion, but it also derives it’s creaminess from coconut milk instead of dairy (a common digestive trigger) and incorporates bone broth to help seal your intestinal lining (preventing more food sensitivities or reactions).
It’s also the perfect thing to make during this snow storm (if you’re experiencing one), as it’s warm, cozy and will last you all week if you’re snowed in.
Incorporating a variety of real, whole foods and spices (like those listed above) while working to avoid inflammatory oils can go a long way in helping you heal digestive issues and boost gut health. I especially like to pair these practices with a high quality probiotic (this one is my hands down fave), stress-reducing techniques (stress has a major impact on your digestion) and cycle-syncing practices (rotating a variety of foods based on hormonal needs keeps your gut microbiome healthy and nourished) for optimal digestive and gut health.
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Cozy Eggplant Chickpea Curry with Cardamom Spiced Quinoa
This nourishing + cozy dish includes bile-boosting + stomach-acid producing ingredients to help you optimize digestion + gut health.
For The Quinoa --
- 1 cup sprouted quinoa (helps with digestion but can also use regular)
- 2 cups bone broth
- 3 whole cardamom pods
- Optional -- 1-2 star anise, whole
For The Curry --
- 2 large eggplants (or 3-4 small) peeled and diced
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and chopped
- 3 tsp coriander spice
- 3 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp fennel
- fresh black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 large, 28 oz can chickpeas (or 2 15 oz cans) rinsed and drained. I prefer Eden Organics, which pressure cooks the beans to help with digestion
- 2 cans full-fat coconut milk (look for a brand without guar gum, as it can impact digestion)
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- Optional coconut yogurt to top
- Bring two cups bone broth + 1 cup quinoa to a bowl in a stovetop pot, then cover and reduce to simmer, placing the whole cardamom pods and star anise on top. Let simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, then keep covered to steam an additional 10 minutes before you fluff with a fork. Remove pods and star anise before serving.
- While quinoa is cooking melt coconut oil in large stovetop pot, then add in diced onion and cook 5-10 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent.
- Add in garlic and ginger and cook for one minute, then add in all other spices and cook an additional 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
- Add tomato paste and stir another 2-3 minutes, then add in peeled and chopped eggplant and do the same.
- Toss in chickpeas and coconut milk and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20-30 minutes, until eggplant is cooked through. You can also add in more bone broth to thin the sauce if preferred.
- When finished cooking add in 1 cup chopped cilantro and use the rest to garnish. Serve with the quinoa and option to top with coconut yogurt or a squeeze of fresh lime.
- Makes awesome leftovers for up to a week in the fridge.
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