Selena De Vries, RD Shares Recipe for Gluten-Free Lemon Tahini Squash Dip

Selena de Vries, RD

Selena De Vries, RD

About Selena De Vries, RD

  • Selena is a Registered Dietitian living with celiac disease who helps individuals that struggle with digestion find food freedom. At Healthbean Nutrition, Selena understands that celiac disease not only effects our physical health but also effects our emotional health. As such, Selena uses an integrative approach in the management of digestive health conditions. She offers free group support for those with celiac disease/gluten sensitivity as well as offering nutrition coaching for digestive health conditions. Services are offered both online and in the beautiful Okanagan valley.

Congratulations to Selena for her new posting as Director (BC),Canadian Celiac Association (CCA.) She brings with her more than 4 years experience in the medical field as a Registered Dietitian and hopes to put her excellent fundraising skills to use.  Thank you, Selena for stepping up to volunteer with the CCA – the national voice for people who are adversely affected by gluten!

Selena De Vries Lemon Tahini Squash DipThis is a great gluten-free, dairy-free dip that is packed full of bone building nutrients. Tahini and white beans are chock full of calcium, magnesium – two nutrients that are essential for bone health.

For individuals with celiac disease, dairy (most often, it’s the lactose in diary) is not well tolerated when first diagnosed.  This is because celiac disease damages the villi, small finger like projections that absorb nutrients, in the small intestine.  Villi also happen to produce lactAse, the enzyme needed to digest lactose.  So, when the villi are damaged, a secondary lactose sensitivity can develop.  Not to fear though, by following a strict gluten free diet, the villi grow back and tolerance to lactose can improve.

Many lactose free dairy products are on the market which is nice for convienance.  However, there are many foods that can provide bone health nutrients that is not from dairy as well.  Some examples include:

  • Tahini (sesame seeds ground into a paste)
  • Beans/legumes
  • Almonds
  • Leafy greens such as kale, spinach and collards
  • Canned fish with bones (such as canned salmon)
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Shrimp
  • Blue crab
  • Rhubarb
  • Calcium set tofu
  • Chia seeds
  • Fortified plant based milks
  • Fortified orange juice

If you are following a gluten free and dairy free diet (which is different from a lactose free diet), make sure to choose a variety of those foods above, daily.

This recipe combines some of those ingredients with super creamy squash and a pop of citrusy, lemon.  It makes the perfect accompaniment for chopped vegetables or gluten free crackers.

Lemon and Tahini Squash Dip

Serves 8.  One serving = 1/4 cup

  • 2 whole garlic cloves and 1/4 cup olive oil OR 2 tablespoon garlic infused oil + 2 tablespoon regular extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 cups cooked hubbard or butternut squash puree (canned, homemade, or frozen, cooked and mashed)*
  • 1/2 cup cannelini beans (drained and rinsed, if canned)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (about 2 lemons.  Zest is the outside skin of the fruit, grated)
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Optional: sprinkle of fresh parsley and paprika

*To roast a whole squash, place the whole thing in the oven on a pan (no peeling, no nothing required).  Roast at 375F for 45-75 minutes, until easily pricked with a fork.  The bigger the squash, the more time it will take.  Remove, let cool.  Then slice open, de-seed, and scoop the flesh out. Use the puree for dips, overnight oats, and soups.


  1.  Place all the ingredients into the food processor.  Blend until nice and creamy.

Healthbean Nutrition Celiac Disease Specialist A

Living in the Okanagan or anywhere in British Columbia? View Selena’s services or book an appointment!


  • “I contacted Selena when I still wasn’t feeling well a year after my celiac diagnosis. I’d read so much on the Internet I thought I knew everything I needed to know. I was wrong.  
  • Selena has important advice on how to do GF properly (it’s not as straightforward as I thought) and for regaining your health. She is organized, punctual, and professional.  And she has celiac disease herself , so she gets it.
  • I think a lot of us, by the time we’re diagnosed, have had more than our share of health care practitioners and may not want to bother with a dietitian.
  • Selena played a crucial role in my recovery, and I would highly recommend her, whether you’re newly diagnosed or just trying to feel better.”
  • Charlene (long-distance celiac disease client)

selena devries healthbean nutrition gluten free

  • HEALTHBEAN NUTRITION  specializes in digestive health.  We deliver easy to digest, bite-size pieces of information so our clients can, finally, achieve the healthy & happy digestive system they’ve been striving for. Learn more ...
  • HEALTHBEAN PHILOSOPHY– Selena employs elimination diets and/or a specific diets in accordance with her clients’ conditions, and only when deemed necessary.  She reserves advice about the gluten-free diet for those who require it – not those choosing to follow the diet as a lifestyle choice.  Expect clear, concise instructions on the appropriate diet for you and, maybe even some myth busting! Learn more  …

Selena knows first-hand how her undiagnosed celiac disease affected her physical and emotional health. After telling her that, “Well, you have celiac disease,” her MD suggested she, “google the diet,” and out the door she went. Sound familiar?

That’s why Selena established Healthbean Nutrition.  She is dedicating her education, personal insights and her own recovery to helping her fellow celiacs make this enormous lifestyle transition – and find  joy in eating again! Learn more …

Selena’s Road to Diagnosis

Selena De Vries RD, Celiac Disease Specialist

Selena De Vries RD, Celiac Disease Specialist

  • “When I was going through university, I was exhausted, ALL the time.  I had to drag myself out to hang out with friends, and if I had it my way I would have spent most days in bed sleeping.  It was not unknown for me to sleep 12-16 hours a day.  Call me crazy, but I related it all to the busy-ness of school.  I was even checked for anemia at one point (common with celiacs) and I was ‘fine.’  
  • The symptoms continued through school and the brain fog was undeniable.  I distinctly remember during my dietetic internship (like a medical residency except everything is nutrition based) at Kelowna General Hospital sitting in the office, charting on a patient and, literally, feeling like my brain was so fuzzy that I could barely keep my eyes from nodding off.  It was awful. 
  • Another thing I didn’t pay much attention to, was bowels.  I was always constipated.  Never the other way around. Never.  And, I also remember mentioning this to my gastroenterologist just before the endoscopy and he said ‘oh, well with your very low antibody levels and constipation, there is a very low chance that you are actually celiac but we will proceed with the endoscopy since you’re prepped and ready to go.’  
  • The piece of paper I received after the endoscopy said to follow up with my GP.  I did follow up with my GP and the report came back positive for celiac disease.  My GP said “well, you’re celiac.  But, you’re a dietitian, right, so this should be easy for you!”  
  • Perhaps I had a leg up in the nutrition part of it, but I think we all know that the gluten free diet is not a walk in the park.  And, although, I am so appreciative of the medical care I received, it did open my eyes to the lack of knowledge within the medical community when it came to celiac disease and the lack of support offered to individuals with celiac disease.  

That’s how Healthbean Nutrition was born!

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  • *Information and perspectives posted on  The Celiac Scene are intended to provide general information, without independent verification on the part of The Celiac Scene for  the accuracy of the information provided to it. The information is specifically not intended to be a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment by your physician or other health care professional. Always consult your own physician or other health care professionals about any medical questions, diagnosis, or treatment, especially before trying any diet. Healthbean Nutrition does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on any content contained herein.