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For most of her life, Lindsay Maitland Hunt never had to worry about what she could and couldn’t eat. It wasn’t until the recipe developer and cookbook writer was in the midst of writing her first cookbook, “Healthyish,” that she found herself plagued with a slew of symptoms, forced to take a molotov cocktail of pills to try to treat her symptoms. She soon discovered that these unlikely symptoms were caused by a gut imbalance—and she set to work figuring out how she could change her diet and overall health to ultimately make her feel better.

Related Reading: How to Keep Yourself Calm, Well-Fed, and Healthy Right Now

Her research into the science behind gut health led her to write a new cookbook: “Help Yourself.” The book, which is out in August and can be pre-ordered now, is geared toward those who have similar gut issues, but written and presented in a way that’s not complicated or filled with overwhelming, indecipherable scientific jargon. The science is clearly laid out in easy-to-digest terms, with Lindsay illuminating how our gut affects both our physical and emotional health—from stress to sleep—and she outlines a combination of guidelines, habits, and strategies aimed at eating—with those gut microbes in mind. 

Help Yourself: A Guide to Gut Health for People Who Love Delicious Food, $28 on Amazon

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The cookbook is filled with 125 gut-friendly recipes—ones that still boast plenty of flavor and creativity. Expect the likes of spiced lamb meatballs; egg, bacon, and kale breakfast tacos; and chocolate-dipped peanut butter, miso, and date caramels. Lindsay hopes that anyone can pick up this book and find a satisfying recipe—not just those who suffer from chronic symptoms. The recipes lend themselves well to anyone who simply wants to reduce their sugar intake, eat more plants, or is just looking for dishes that actually make their body feel good.

USA Pan Bakeware Aluminized Steel Loaf Pan, $14.99 on Amazon

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Ahead, Lindsay shares a recipe for her magic seed-and-nut bread, a great alternative for those who are perhaps tired of sourdough or simply need a grain-free alternative. The crunchy, textured bread is filled with a mix of pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, chia seeds, almond and quinoa flour, and maple syrup. Although there’s no yeast, the bread still has to sit out for a few hours, but then it can be baked. It emerges crusty, ready to be smeared with room temperature butter and fruity jam.

Excerpted from HELP YOURSELF © 2020 by Lindsay Maitland Hunt. Photography © 2020 by Linda Pugliese. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. 

Magic Seed-and-Nut Bread Recipe

When I started changing what I ate, one of my go-to breakfasts—thick, buttered toast with jam—was no longer available to me. Enter Sarah Britton’s recipe for The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread, which she published on her blog, My New Roots. With the first bite, I felt a sense of relief—Finally, I thought, I can eat breakfast in a way that feels like breakfast again. In the end, I adapted the recipe quite a bit to a loaf that’s based on nuts and seeds alone, swapping in almond flour and quinoa flour for the oats called for in Britton’s original recipe. Psyllium seed husk is the key to getting a breadlike consistency without egg, flour, or gluten-free substitutes.

Magic Seed-and-Nut Bread

Makes: 1 loaf
  • 1 cup raw hulled sunflower seeds (4.75 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds (4.2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup flaxseeds (3.25 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds (2.25 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup psyllium seed husk (1.5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (2.1 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour (2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds (1.4 ounces)
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1½ cups water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup or pure maple syrup
  • Your favorite toast toppings, for serving
  1. Oil an 81/2-inch by 41/2-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup of the pumpkin seeds, the flaxseeds, almonds, psyllium seed husk, almond flour, quinoa flour, chia seeds, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the water, oil, and brown rice syrup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is well mixed and fully soaked. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth it into an even layer, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds. Let sit at room temperature for 4 hours or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  4. Thirty minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 350°F with a rack in the center position.
  5. Bake the loaf for 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes, rotating the pan front to back once, until the loaf is dark golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan, then turn the loaf out onto a cutting board and slice it into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Toast each slice individually to eat.
  6. To Store: Freeze in a ziptop freezer bag for up to 2 months. (You can leave it at room temperature for a day or two, but since seeds can go rancid quickly, I recommend freezing it after any longer than this.)

Header image by Linda Pugliese.

Amy Schulman is an associate editor at Chowhound. She is decidedly pro-chocolate.
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