GastroChef – Grain Free Gastronomy

Grain/sugar/gluten-Free Living! (SCD/Paleo/GAPS friendly)

Raw -Vegan- Lasagne

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Let me start off the first post of the new year by wishing you all a very happy and prosperous new year.  Now that is out of the way, lets get back to some quality food for all you grain-free / SCD followers. For today’s post i decided to create a “quasi-vegan” raw lasagne. In the past, I had experimented with some Raw and vegan cooking here on GastroChef.org, as well as some cheeses at home (not posted). However, there are a few aspects to the vegan diet that I need to alter in order to adhere to more digestively friendly dishes, thus my “quasi-vegan” label.

For instance, many pesto’s and cheese’s use pine nuts as part of the base. While this ingredient is legal on the SCD diet I like to limit its intake as they are quite hard to digest and may cause some stomach upset with those still trying to get their digestive system back on track. A great alternative to these is walnuts!

The second ingredient I avoid using is agave nectar to sweeten foods. If you do any standard internet search on whether or not agave is good for you, there is bound to be hundreds if not thousands of websites saying different things. As a scientist I will tell you the facts and leave whether you use it, in your capable hands. It should be noted though agave is one product out there that the science world has regarded as a product where “marketing has triumphed over actual scientific fact”… which is a sad sad outcome for what is actually quite an unhealthy product  (Ooops! I just put my own opinion! Ignore readers! Ignore!)

AGAVE NECTAR FACTS

1. Agave is low on the glycemic index  – This is due to the fact that it is made up mainly by fructose and has one of the highest commercial level of fructose aside from buying pure fructose. Depending on the company, plant and extraction process the level of fructose tends to vary from ~50% to 90%. Fructose is quite low on the glycemic index compared to other sugars like glucose, however please head my caveats**.

**High levels of fructose have been clinically shown to trigger fructose malabsorption, metabolic syndrome, hypertriglyceridemia, decreased glucose tolerance, hyperinsulinemia and accelerated uric acid formation **

2. Commercially sold Agave Nectar has not been shown in any clinical trial to provide health benefits.

3. Agave nectar is still pasteurized and heavily processed. While pasteurization does ensure our foods are free of bacterial products and contaminants, the heat will inactivate and denature most beneficial vitamins and minerals if present. Sweeteners such as honey can be used raw and unpasteurized due to inherit anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties secreted by the bees, additionally sweeteners such as honey contain many organic and inorganic nutrients, vitamins and enzyme factors to aid in digestion and health.

Ok there you have it, my rant is over, i will try my best to write an article in the future with a more layman’s scientific perspective on Agave Nectar.  For today’s recipe I would advise you to make this dish in the morning or the day before you plan to serve! It’s not complicated but holds so much better when it has a few hours to chill! So go ahead! Experiment with some raw cooking and you may be surprised by the incredible flavors that come out of this dish.

-GC

PDF —->Raw Vegan Lasagna <—- PDF

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