Crohn’s Disease is an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Inflammation can be controlled through medications recommended by your gastroenterologist and following an anti-inflammatory diet pattern can also be beneficial for someone’s health. Today’s blog will highlight anti-inflammatory foods with Crohn’s Disease Diet Recipes.
Symptoms of Crohn’s can include fatigue, malnutrition, diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain. All of which can affect your daily routine and disrupt your quality of life. No one diet will work for everyone, which is why it’s important to work with an IBD focused dietitian to determine your unique needs and to help improve tolerance to foods.
For people with crohn’s disease it’s important to remember that everyone’s food journey will look different.
When you work with the Crohn’s and Colitis Dietitians, we like to focus on two things.
1. Choosing foods that can help decrease the risk of inflammation and lessen your chance of future flare.
2. Pick foods that fit into your lifestyle and improve your quality of life.
Our overall way of eating can help decrease gastrointestinal symptoms, and help reduce the risk of complications like malnutrition, weight loss, and nutrient deficiencies. So, today, we are sharing recipes that are beneficial for your gut bacteria for people with Crohn’s Disease.
6 Crohn’s Disease Diet Recipes
Easy Salmon Bowl
Salmon is rich in the healthy fat, omega 3! Finding ways to add more omega-3 fatty acids is one of the main nutrition goals to support people with Crohn’s. A higher intake of omega-3 foods is associated with lower levels of CRP (one marker of inflammation) (1).
Omega 3s can be found in fatty fish like salmon, trout, and mackerel, as well as walnuts, flaxseed, and leafy greens.
- 1/2 cup Edamame
- 1 Cucumber
- 1-2 Carrots
- 1 Bell Pepper
- 1 Avocado
- Lemon juice
- 1/2 Red onion
- Avocado oil
- Sesame Seeds and green onions to garnish(optional)
- Desired seasonings (see instructions below)
- Cook rice according to directions on package and preheat oven to 425F.
- Season salmon with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Sprinkle each piece of salmon with ¼ tsp paprika. Optional: garlic powder and chili powder add a lot of flavor to this dish and can also be used if tolerated. Note: use desired amount of salmon for who you are cooking for. Salmon serving size is 3-4 ounces.
- Lightly oil a pan with avocado oil to prevent the salmon from sticking and place in oven for about 15 minutes.
- While the salmon and rice are cooking, prepare vegetables. Slice cucumber into coins, cut carrots into matchsticks, slice red onion, slice bell peppers, and thaw edamame (if using frozen). Note: sauteeing the peppers, onions, edamame, and carrots to a softer texture can help make them easier to digest. Peeling the cucumber may also be required for some people with IBD.
- Mash avocado in a small bowl and add 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until you are ready to build your salmon bowl!
- Build the bowl how you like! I like to have ½-¾ cup of rice at the bottom of the bowl, place salmon on top, and add at least 1 cup of vegetables to the bowl. Top with avocado mash, sesame seeds, and green onions.
Oats are full of soluble fiber! Soluble fiber can be helpful in bulking up stool which in turn can help decrease diarrhea. Baked oats are versatile and many add-ins like blueberries, chocolate chips and walnuts can be added to recipes to help keep things fresh!
We particularly like this Snickers flavored oats recipe from Plantyou! (2).
Easily make this recipe gluten free by using gluten free oats!
Smoothie recipes are a great way to start your day and increase antioxidants in the diet! Blending or pureeing fruits and vegetables is a helpful way to improve tolerance to them. Blending foods do this by taking the work away from your gastrointestinal tract making it more easy to digest and absorb.
- 1 scoop of protein powder (we like Owyn – for OWYN you can use code CNC15 for 15% off)
- 1 banana
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 Tbsp. ground flax
- 1 Tbsp. nut butter of choice
- ¾-1 cup soy milk
- 1 Tbsp. cacao nibs
- A few drops of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon
- Blend all ingredients together in a high powered blender and top with additional cacao nibs (optional).
Spaghetti Squash with Garlic Alfredo Sauce
Spaghetti squash season is here! Which is perfect for people with Crohn’s Disease because it is so well tolerated and easy to digest. It’s also a great source of fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C! Pro tip: microwave the spaghetti squash for 2-3 minutes to make it easier to cut!
The Minimalist Baker has a variety of recipes featuring spaghetti squash. This creamy vegan alfredo sauce is perfect for newer cooks as it contains less than 10 ingredients. The Minimalist Baker has a wide variety of Crohn’s Disease diet recipes.
Check it out, here! (3).
Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplants are a great source of antioxidants! Learn more about them and tips for this recipe from our blog post here. Vegan eggplant parm can be a great recipe to add to your kitchen if you’re looking to incorporate more vegetables to support your gut health.
- 1 eggplant
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 tsp arrowroot starch
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1-3 tbsp nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk or soy milk
- Slice eggplant into thin rounds. Arrange eggplant on a plate and sprinkle with salt. Add a paper towel on top and something heavy over to remove excess moisture. This helps to improve the taste
- Let the eggplant sit for 10-15 minutes and preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Prepare three stations for dipping the eggplant
- Bowl 1: almond or soy milk + arrowroot in one bowl
- Bowl 2: rice flour in bowl + salt
- Bowl 3: almond flour + oregano + nutritional yeast
- Dip eggplant slices in flour, then almond milk mixture, then almond flour mixture
- Arrange on the baking sheet and pop in oven to bake for a total of 30-40 minutes
- Heat a pan with olive oil on medium-low heat
- Place each eggplant on pan to cook in olive oil until desired crispiness, flipping when finished
- Serve with pasta, zucchini noodles or as a side dish
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
Green beans are a great source of fiber (with ~3 grams/cup) and low in FODMAPs (if following a low FODMAP diet). If you have IBD and looking to improve your tolerance to green beans, boiling and baking them can make them easier to tolerate. Use the recipe below or see our past blog for more.
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 pound green beans (rinsed, trimmed and cut in half)
- Black pepper & sea salt to taste
- 1 shallot (minced), you can substitute onion here
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp almond or gluten free flour
- ¾ cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup unsweetened plain almond or soy milk
- ½ cup crispy onion topping (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add some salt and green beans. Cook for 7 minutes.
- Drain the water and place the green beans in an ice water bath.
- For Sauce: In a large skillet over low to medium heat, add olive oil, shallots and garlic. Saute and season with salt and pepper for 3 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes more or until lightly browned.
- Sprinkle in flour of choice and coat evenly over the mixture.
- After 2 minutes, add in the vegetable broth.
- Add almond or soy milk next.Bring the mixture to a simmer then reduce heat to low and let it thicken for 5 minutes more.
- Remove from heat and add half of the crispy onion topping and mix.
- Place in a pan for baking and top with remaining crispy onions.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
Don’t forget, everyone’s food journey is different and even if you don’t feel all of these recipes will work for you right now, it doesn’t mean that they won’t ever. Crohn’s friendly foods can look different throughout your illness. If you need further support in your IBD journey and are not sure where to start, schedule a free discovery call today!
Are you looking for more Crohn’s Disease diet recipes and information on IBD where you can learn at your own pace? We have an IBD Library for that! It’s like Google, but for IBD! Sign up now, here!
- Barbalho, S. M., Goulart, R. de A., Quesada, K., Bechara, M. D., & de Carvalho, A. de C. A. (2016). Inflammatory bowel disease: Can omega-3 fatty acids really help?. Annals of gastroenterology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4700845/
- Bodrug, C. (2023, February 7). Vegan baked oats (snickers flavor). PlantYou. https://plantyou.com/vegan-baked-oats-snickers-flavor/
- Shultz, D. (2022, October 11). Spaghetti squash pasta with garlicky alfredo sauce. Minimalist Baker. https://minimalistbaker.com/spaghetti-squash-pasta-with-garlicky-alfredo-sauce/#wprm-recipe-container-71016