In an age of seemingly endless “gluten-free, “all-natural,” “whatever-you-want it to be” options these days, most sauces found in stores seem pretty safe for people with restrictive diets. But with Crohn’s Disease, it can be a bit trickier because there are so many foods to consider in something as complex as a sauce. Sure, the bottle may be labeled “gluten, or dairy free,” but HOW much sugar is in it? Just HOW spicy is it? The wrong amount of any of these items can send a Crohnie’s digestive track into a rage and to the bathroom for the rest of the night. That is why getting into the habit of making your own sauces and dressings is a great thing….seriously.
IT IS MUCH EASIER THAN YOU WOULD THINK
First off, it truly is much easier to make your own sauces than you realize. Visions of standing over the stove for hours or large industrial machinery in huge factories may come to mind, but that certainly is not the case. A saucepan or blender, with a handful of your personally selected ingredients are all you need.
YOU HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL
It’s all about control, isn’t it people? When dealing with Crohn’s that can seem overwhelming in almost every aspect of our lives, why not REIGN WITH POWER wherever you can get it? Take that, sauce. Ha.
IT’S A GREAT WAY TO SNEAK IN MUCH NEEDED NUTRIENTS
Sauces and dressings are often overlooked from a nutritional standpoint. In a normal world, we would probably just be worried about whether or not a sauce is delicious, or how many calories it has. But in our own world, we know differently. Excluding so many foods from our diet makes us vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies, and getting immunity boosting, anti-inflammatory foods into our diets any way we can is essential. Based on individual tolerances, foods like apple cider vinegar, garlic, ginger, turmeric, lemongrass, cinnamon or miso, are great ingredients that are consistently used in sauces. Making your own batch ensures that you are using foods and spices that have the nutrients that your body needs.
LET’S FACE IT, OUR DIETS CAN GET BLAND
When the food that we eat can seem like the enemy, sometimes our plates get pretty boring. Plain rice, a baked potato (with restrictive toppings of course,) a roasted chicken breast…again, can get old FAST. Learning how to make homemade sauces and dressings is a great way to safely mix up your menu and add great flavor. Drizzle an avocado dressing over roasted vegetables, or add an Asian garlic sauce to your chicken, and your taste buds will greatly thank you for it.
- What is your favorite sauce and/or dressing recipe with Crohn’s?
- What foods do you feel you need to avoid when making or buying sauces?
- What ingredients do you like to sneak into your sauces to make it more nutritious?
- Because raw veggies are often not an option for people with Crohn’s, what is your favorite (non- salad) way to use a sauce or dressing?
SO GIVE IT A TRY!!!
As always, if an ingredient in a recipe gives you problems, leave it out!! Ditch the cilantro or lime in recipes if it bothers you, (or try substituting it with sumac.) Try simmering sauces or using a slow cooker to allow the fibers in the foods to break down, making it easier to digest. Even with excluding certain ingredients in recipes that may bother you, your homemade sauces will add much more flavor (and vitamins) to your dishes than trying nothing at all. It is a win-win, right? Here are some of my personal favorite recipes:
* PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS MERELY AN OPINION BLOG. THE RESEARCH AND INFORMATION COVERED IN THIS BLOG IS OPEN TO PUBLIC DOMAIN FOR DISCUSSION. WE DO NOT HAVE ANY FORMAL MEDICAL BACKGROUND. WE SIMPLY WANT TO SHARE AND DISCUSS FOODS FOR THOSE WITH CROHN’S DISEASE. BECAUSE PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM CROHN’S DISEASE TOLERATE A VARIETY OF FOODS DIFFERENTLY, RECIPES OFTEN NEED SPECIFIC ALTERATIONS FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL. GET CREATIVE! LEAVE OUT THE FOODS THAT DON’T WORK FOR YOU AND USE THE FOODS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD. HAPPY COOKING!!