How to Eat More Foods You Love on a Lectin Free Diet
I planted a vegetable garden back in May before I started reading The Plant Paradox. I planted what every BLT, spaghetti, and pizza-loving American plants: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, summer squashes, and herbs.
Then I read the book and stared in sadness at the “vegetables” on the No list. The ones that were full of lectins making me sick in the first place. I had sad visions of my gorgeous red tomatoes shriveling on the vine, never to be consumed. I pictured the squashes growing to the size of baseball bats and the cucumbers bursting into fertilizer and/or rabbit food.
Luckily, these tragic images didn’t come to fruition because I also read the part about the method for destroying lectin content in things like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, rice, beans, and pseudo-grains, like quinoa. So far, I’ve had success in adding these things back into my diet occasionally, and it’s all thanks to that kitchen gadget your grandmother once told you was a necessity, but you weren’t listening, because you were distracted by a TV infomercial for a pan that literally only makes pancakes.
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The Pressure Cooker
Get $10.00 off this model–use coupon code LECTINFREEMAMA at the Instant Pot Online Store.
That’s right–the pressure cooker is back in style, baby. Get ready for some inter-generational fun as you bust it out to make your favorite dishes once again (and your grandma’s old favorites that you tried to turn into “fast food”).
The good news is the newest pressure cookers are not your grandma’s pressure cookers. Most of them are a 6, 7, 8, 9, even 10-in-1 kitchen appliance that replaces all of the following: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, cake/egg maker, sauté/searing pan, steamer, warmer and sterilizer.
Yes, you read that correctly. You can get rid of your yogurt maker now. (Don’t worry. we all had a stupid thing on our registry. Mine was a veggie and dip serving platter, which I can now replace with a pressure cooker.)
Comparison: Stovetop vs. Pressure Cooker
Take a look at these two photos.
One is a stock photo of delicious looking black beans and rice made on the regular ol’ stove. The other is black beans and rice I made in my pressure cooker on the brightest green plate you ever saw. I’m betting they tasted pretty much the same (j/k, mine were obviously better). The difference in these two photos is what happens several hours after you eat it.
If you are particularly sensitive to lectins, which everyone is, to some extent (depending on how healthy your gut lining is), you could experience anything from mild gas and bloating to extreme gas, night sweats, hives, stomach pain, headaches, and any number of “flare-ups.”
One of the only good things about my particular malady (whatever it is), is that I can be a one-woman experiment. I react strongly to beans. I once thought I was being so good by getting a vegetarian burrito bowl at Chipotle with only white rice, black beans, guacamole and lettuce. My body paid for that one for the next 24 hours.
Since beans are a no-go for me, I bravely (or stupidly) made black beans and rice in the pressure cooker for my first experimental dish. I added lime juice, cumin, oil, and some seeded and peeled green chilies, cooked it up, and then cautiously ate it for dinner and waited… Minor bloating ensued, and I thought oh here we go.
But that was it. No other symptoms. IT REALLY WORKED.
I know–anecdotal evidence is not reliable evidence. But there are studies that show pressure cooking does a better and more efficient job of decreasing the concentration of anti-nutrients and improving digestibility of proteins than boiling.
Pressure Cook YOUR Way
Everyone is different. And my gut has come a long way since that Chipotle burrito bowl. But if you’d like to get some variety back in your diet, a pressure cooker would be a great investment. You can experiment as much or as little as you like, but keep it to once a week at first. You don’t want to undo all of the good things you’ve gained from Phase 2. Plus, you want to know exactly what’s affecting you if you do have a flare-up of symptoms.
What’s the Best Pressure Cooker?
The most popular model, and the one I use in my home kitchen is the Instant Pot Duo 60 7-in-1 cooker, pictured below. It’s the #1 selling kitchen item on Amazon Prime, with 5-star reviews. I bought mine and two days later pressure cooked a whole pastured chicken to perfection, with no adverse reactions. I’ve rarely been so excited about a kitchen gadget.
The next most popular pressure cooker is simply another version of the Instant Pot–the Instant Pot LUX60 V3 6 Qt 6-in-1 cooker, pictured below. At $79.00, this one is the most budget-friendly and a great place to start.
If you’re the go-big-or-go-home type, the Duo Plus 9-in-1 (6 quart) functions additionally as a yogurt maker and egg cooker. I kind of wish I had just gone with this one for the hard-boiled egg aspect.
Special Deal for my Readers
A pressure cooker is a wonderful investment for those who are on a journey to heal their bodies with the right foods. With a pressure cooker, you can expand the list of foods that are nutritious, delicious, and low lectin. I hope you get the opportunity to cook with one of these. I’ve been busy these last few days creating some wonderful pressure cooked recipes for you to try!