Two amateur cooks explore the world of cooking for a Crohn's and Colitis diet

On numerous occasions, Marnina has declared that soufflés are her favorite food.  Soufflés combine some of her favorite aspects of food: a savory dish that is soft, easy to digest, has cinnamon (one of her favorite spices!), and is just fun to eat because of its multi-layered nature. The ingredients are almost always on-hand (who doesn’t stock their freezer full of cheese blintzes?!?), and the aroma that wafts out of the kitchen during the baking process is heavenly.  The soufflé is like an omelet on puffed-up steroids (PUN INTENDED 🙂 ); it has an egg base, and while the base provides the flavor, the beaten eggs provide the ‘lift’ during the cooking process.

The base can be made with many types of ingredients, such as cheese, jam, and/or fruits, and there is usually nothing IBD-unfriendly about a soufflé, unless a jam or fruit has seeds (or if you have problems with dairy).  Thanks to the almost pudding-like consistency of soufflés, they are low-residue, food designed to reduce the frequency and volume of stools.  As we noted previously, Marnina follows a low-residue diet, which is similar to a low fiber diet, but typically includes restrictions on foods that increase bowel activity, such as …. Prune juice.  A low-residue diet limits the amount of undigested materials that pass through one’s large intestine and lessens stool bulk [1], which will (hopefully!) limit the number of times that Marnina runs to the bathroom!  As you might have guessed, all the ingredients in the blintz soufflé are low fiber and low residue.

When following a low-residue diet, be sure to read food labels carefully.  Foods you might not expect can be high in fiber. For example, while Marnina was shopping for a granola bar that she could take on a trip to Philadelphia last week, she noticed that most of the granola bars now have added fiber, including her previously favorite granola bar, Special K bars.  She usually looks for foods that have no more than 1-2 gram of fiber in a serving, and unfortunately, the ever-inventive people at the Kellogg Company decided to add fiber to their granola bars.

Fiber is naturally found in beans, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, but in recent years it has been added to everything from ice cream to sugary breakfast cereals.  Many of these products come from isolated or functional fiber – ingredients with names like inulin, maltodextrin and polydextrose.[2]  Much of the fiber added to the newest wave of fortified foods is soluble and comes from inulin, a plant compound commonly extracted from chicory root that can make low-fat foods taste creamier and add sweetness.[2] Ideally people should eat naturally fiber-rich foods because they contain a mix of different fibers as well as important vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.  Obviously, if you are not on a low-fiber diet, you should get your fiber from natural sources first, and then use foods with added fiber to boost you to the recommended intake level.  The problem is that certain foods with added fiber are inherently less healthy foods since they often come with lots of calories, sugar, salt, or fat.

There are very few granola bars out there that have less than 2 grams of fiber, and for those with IBD, this presents a problem.  Marnina and I are on a journey to find an IBD-friendly granola bar – we will keep you updated on our findings!  If you have any suggestions please let us know!

Blintz Soufflé

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 12 frozen cheese blintzes
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup orange juice or 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • cinnamon

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).
2. Melt butter in a 9×13 inch pan.
3. Line blintzes in one layer in the pan.
4. In a bowl, beat eggs. Add sour cream, sugar, vanilla, and orange juice.
5. Pour egg mixture over the blintzes.
6. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
7. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Serve with sour cream or apple sauce.

Recipe taken from http://kosherfood.about.com/od/dairymaindishes/r/blintzsouffle.htm

[1] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/low-fiber-diet/my00744
[2] http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/fiber-todays-it-ingredient

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