A Chili Recipe for the GAPS Diet

I was excited to make this chili as I hadn’t had it for years! For a long time, I have been following the GAPS Protocol and didn’t want to take the time to properly prepare the navy beans needed for this recipe. Even now that I can tolerate more foods, I tend to avoid chili because most chilis are made from beans stored in a can, which should be avoided if possible. However, this homemade chili was well worth the effort because of how delicious it was - and how many meals it made!

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This recipe uses GAPS Legal navy beans. Navy beans are GAPS legal because they have a lower amount of starch content compared to other beans. They are legal on full GAPS. These beans have also been soaked and sprouted for easier and better digestion. (Learn more about properly preparing grains here!)

This chili is a great way to get in the healing meat stock that should be part of your every day diet since it contains meat stock as the liquid.

In my opinion, one of the things that makes chili chili is tomatoes! But some people who have a leaky gut are sensitive to nightshades, which includes tomatoes. If that’s you, this is a recipe to look forward to in the future once you have healed your gut. 

There are many great toppings for chili and I’m sure you have your favorites! Some suggestions are sour cream or yogurt, cheese, bacon or cracklings (see recipe for making cracklings here) green onions, avocado.

This is a hearty meal that’s easy to make in large batches and then frozen for later use. I’m looking forward to enjoying this chili on many cool fall and winter evenings.

Ingredients for Chili

  • 6 cups of sprouted navy beans

  • 6 Large Tomatoes

  • Onion

  • Garlic

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef, you could substitute any ground protein

  • ½ Jalepeno

  • 2 tbsp Lard

  • 4 cups chicken stock

  • 7 oz Tomato Paste (make sure it is canned in glass, never in metal!)

  • 2 tsp Salt

  • 1 tsp Paprika

  • ¼ tsp Chili Powder

  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper

  • 1 tsp Cumin

  • Chili Peppers (two shakes)

Directions for Chili

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Sprout your beans 48 hours in advance. To sprout your beans, soak them in filtered water overnight. In the morning, rinse them. Leave them on the counter in the sunlight with a cover to keep the bugs away and rinse every twelve hours. Drain them completely before you rinse them or you will get mold. Once they sprout, they’re done. Rinse them for a final time. Make sure they are well drained. Put the lid back on the bowl and put the beans into the fridge.

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Add 6 cups of sprouted navy beans to a large pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1.5 hours. The beans will foam as they cook. You can skim the foam and the extra bean pods off of the top if you’d like. Just be sure not to scoop out any of your good sprouted beans!

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While the beans cook, start your tomatoes stewing and breaking down. Add an inch of water to a stock pot. Remove the cores of the tomatoes. Roughly chop the tomatoes. You don’t have to be very precise since eventually they will cook down and eventually be smashed. Add 1 tsp salt.

Once the beans are softened (but not soft as they will cook longer with the rest of the chili) drain them and set them aside with a lid over the pot to keep them warm.

Melt two tbsp of lard into a cast iron skillet. Add more fat as needed. 

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Once lard is melted, add ground beef and onion. Cook until beef is browned. Add in garlic and jalapeno.

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Add beef mixture to bean pot. Add in spices. Add in stewed tomatoes, stock, and tomato paste. Mix gently. Add a teaspoon of salt and ½ tsp pepper.

Return to the stove and let simmer for about an hour so that the flavors meld together.

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Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!