After struggling with the discomfort of abdominal cramping, bloating, food sensitivities, diarrhoea and constipation, Coomes – a passionate cook and foodie -was diagnosed with small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which is caused by an excessive number of bacteria in the small intestine.
Although the condition is not well known in Australia, Coomes says it is estimated that up to 80 per cent of irritable bowel syndrome sufferers may actually have undiagnosed SIBO.
She was advised to restrict all grains, sugars, fermentable fibres and processed foods, but was concerned to find there were no cookbooks available for those people following a SIBO diet.
“When I was diagnosed with SIBO, I was worried about what I had left to eat,” says Coomes.
“With a little experimentation I was able to tweak some of my all-time favourite recipes so they were suitable for my new dietary restrictions.”
Coomes says her new diet, along with herbal supplements to help balance her gut bacteria, saw the discomfort of her SIBO symptoms clear up very quickly. It prompted her to compile a cookbook of more than 60 of her recipes to help others.
SIBO Family Favourites includes gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and low FODMAP recipes for pizza, chicken parmigiana and even choc-chip ice cream.
Here, Coomes shares her recipe for vegan and gluten-free Chocolate and Pomegranate Tart.
Chocolate and Pomegranate Tart
I have served this chocolate tart to die-hard chocolate fans, and they had no idea that it didn’t contain refined sugar, dairy or eggs. This tart looks heavenly and is a perfect end to a dinner party or special meal. It will keep for several days in the fridge… if it lasts that long.
1 cup macadamia nuts
2 tbs raw cacao powder
½ tsp stevia
Coconut oil for greasing
1 cup coconut milk
¼ cup raw cacao powder
½ cup honey
1 tsp vanilla powder
½ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup raw cacao powder
4 tbsp coconut milk
½ – 1 tsp stevia
½ cup pomegranate seeds
Lightly grease a large fluted loose-base pie dish with coconut oil.
Place the ingredients for the base in a food processor and blitz until well combined. Transfer into the pie dish, then using your hands, flatten out to cover the base and sides. Refrigerate until firm.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Place all of the ingredients for the filling in a food processor or blender and blitz until very smooth and creamy. Pour into the set base and return to the fridge.
Once the filling has firmed, make the topping. Mix the melted coconut oil with the cacao powder, coconut milk and stevia. Stir to combine and remove any lumps. Pour over the filling and refrigerate until set.
Remove from the fridge 10 minutes before serving and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Cut with a very sharp knife. This dessert is very rich and decadent so only thin slices are required.
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