Posts tagged candida
Sugar free chocolate spread and caramel butter... candida friendly!

I originally made this chocolate spread this time last year when I was following my strict candida cleanse. It was a life saver when I needed a hint of chocolately sweetness, and the good fats really help curb the cravings too!

It recently came back to my mind off the back of my low carb keto experiments and through seeing friends and clients struggling with cravings when giving up sugar. Though this is not strictly keto... it could likely be adapted to be so using macadamia nuts over cashews for a super low carb alternative. If you use macadamia which are super oily, you may not need the extra coconut oil.

I have also noted below a syrup swap for stevia which would create a richer, sweeter flavour over the stevia if a strict candida friendly recipe is not necessary for you. Taste as you go and add the minimal amount to reach the optimal favour for your tastebuds.

Another little trick for sweetness (i've talked about this before) is you add vanilla bean to offset any potential bitterness of the stevia, it also creates a richer, smoother, mellower taste experince- always use a good quality vanilla bean paste or powder and not an alcohol version (vanilla extract in an alcohol base is best reserved for baked recipe where the alcohol will be cooked off).

Another option is to use  a small amount of flavour extract such as toffee or caramel, I sometimes use this brand of extracts.... so many choices! 

I have added the recipe again with the swap options for you to try.

Recipe: Sugar-Free Chocolate spread

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup 100% pure cacao chips
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 3 cups cashews (or try macadamia)
  • 1 heaped tbs vanilla powder
  • 10 drops stevia* (I use NuNaturals vanilla drops for best flavour)

Method:

Melt cacao and coconut oil and then blend with the remaining ingredints in a food processor until the cashews are ground as finely as possible and you have a smooth spread. 

*This would probably work even better with 2-3 tbs syrup as well/instead of the stevia for those not on a strict candida diet (note: I haven't tested it this way). The lowest carb syrup I have found is yacon syrup.


Another option I have more recently tried is a caramel butter spread... a thicker 'butter' using the caramel extract I mentioned above. This recipe ask uses beans to add bulk and fibre with reduced carbs and also less fat than the chocolate spread for those who prefer an alternative macro ratio. You could probably adapt the chocolate spread this way too if you used black beans- get experimental!

How to eat it?  Spead it on crackers or just scoop from the jar. I found that when I went sugar free on the candida diet I had a tendency to go too heavy on the nuts, so this recipe really helped to moderate that high fat intake but still give the same texture as nut butter... yum!.

The crackers in these photos are low carb seed crackers made in my dehydrator. They were an adaptation of these savoury crackers using a little stevia and vanilla. 

Recipe: Caramel cookie dough spread

Makes 2 heaped cups 

Ingredients: 

  • 2  cups cooked chickpeas
  • ½ cup almond, macadamia or cashew butter
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbs lucuma powder (optional for richer flavour)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • approx. 10 drops stevia (or sub syrup as above)
  • ½ tsp caramel extract*
  • pinch salt
  • handful of raw cacao nibs for crunch factor (optional) 

Method:

Blend everything together until smooth. Add a little extra coconut milk if you want a softer smoother butter.

 *other flavour extract could be substituted, the caramel in this instance helps to create more sweetness and compliment the stevia.

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Oaty yacon syrup cookies

Well my first giveaway ended last week and was a great success (in my opinion!) I loved having something to giveaway to my readers and am planning a few more giveaways in coming weeks and months... so watch this space! 

Let's get back to food! ...namely cookies!

When I was following the candida diet, I was trying to find any loophole possible to get my sweetness. Sweet tooth...me? ...never!! :-)

I researched the guidelines, talked to specialists and asked lots of questions to others who had followed a similar restricted diet. One of the sweeteners it initially appeared ok for me to consume in very limited quantities was yacon syrup. Ultimately I was advised against eating it at all during the strictest stage but it is a great alternative for those following a low sugar diet for others reasons, or phase two of the candida cleanse.

I had a play around with the syrup in making some cookies, it's a lovely thick syrup very similar to brown rice syrup and with a similar flavour also.  Since I was using a very small quantity of syrup (bumping the sweetness with stevia- but you could use a little extra syrup if you prefer) I used lots of nut butter to help give a lovely crisp/chewy texture. I've previously found that low sugar and low fat cookies tend to be quite soft and 'cakey' and this wasn't what I was going for here.

I made two versions, a plain one and then a second batch with some cocoa mixed through a a drizzle of raw cacao liquid on top. Both were yummy! You may want to add a little extra syrup to the choc version to help bind  the fry ingredients but also because for me a chocolate treat automatically wants to be a little sweeter (that's my personable taste!)

I loved the fact these cookies were so 'substantial' (if you know what I mean), no messing with these bad boys! The'll kick mid afternoon cravings right into touch.

Recipe: Oaty yacon cookies

Makes approx 10-12 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups oats
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 3 tbs nut butter
  • ½ an avocado- mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 heaped tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbs carob or 2 tbs cocoa (optional)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbs yacon syrup
  • 10 drops pure stevia (or approx ¼ tsp powder)
  • ½ cup chopped nuts/seeds/cacoa nibs- optional
  • Decoration- 3 tbs melted cacao with 4 drops stevia mixed in.

Method:

Melt the coconut oil, nut butter, yacon, vanilla extract and salt in a medium saucepan over a low-medium heat. You’ll need to whisk a little to break up and blend the nut butter.

Add all remaining Ingredients and turn off the heat. Mix well to coat evenly and make sure the mashed avocado is evenly mixed through.

Scoop dollops of the mix and flatten into round cookies on a lined baking sheet. Bake at 180C for approx 15 minutes until slighly golden. If desired drizzle with a little melted cacao and allow to set.

Will store in an airtight container for a 1 week. These cookies are more crisp when fresh then become a chewy oaty cookie in the following days.

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me in these places:

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Health Coaching News! Plus... Vanilla and cinnamon 'secret ingredient' oatmeal

I have some more news... and a recipe. Actually I have loads of recipes, its more the issue of sitting down to type up the posts.

First exciting news....LOOOK!!

IIN certificate.jpg

I have my mid-way certificate with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and can formally begin my health coaching!

I am still taking on new clients at my 'student' prices (check out the coaching tab at the top)  so feel free to download my 'FULL COACHING GUIDE' and get in touch for a complimentary discovery session. Could one conversation change your life?

In other news, I am mid way through my candida diet (check out this post for an intro). It's strange as I am really missing fruit and sweet vegetables but not as in I 'crave' it, but simply as in I miss the experience of enjoying it. I really miss fruit on my porridge, a fruity dessert (dessert simply does not exist at the moment!) or a simple banana as a pre-workout boost. 

This way of eating just requires a little more planning ahead and thinking outside the box when it comes to snacks and breakfasts. Oh and yes, I am still eating far too much nut butter (see previous post for that issue also!) Many people seem to loose weight when they begin a candida diet as so many of the 'naughty foods' are eliminated and the food options are so restrictive compared to normal habits... but no that's not the case with me and my nut butter thing going on!

At first breakfast was the biggie for me, as I am simply not a savoury breakfast kind of girl and I missed my oatmeal fix... so I have come up with super yummy breakfast oatmeal concoction that thought i'd share it with you today!

Great for you sugar free lot out there or anyone who fancies something a little wild and different...go on you know you're curious!

This was actually based on my pear carrot and ginger oatmeal... and following that I pushed the boudaries a little more each time I made a bowl aiming to increase the veg to oatmeal ratio and see what I could get away with. Ok I admit, I have an odd sense of adventure :-)   I also tried this with grated courgette which worked a treat in a chocolatey bowl (unless you like green porridge)  but since I can't have these varieties of veg at the moment (too much sugar for candida) I had to think of an alternative!

Cauliflower! I actually used it in this baked oatmeal so it was an obvious choice, and since it's so pale it blends perfectly with the oats.  Make sure you process it finely, that way it will cook quickly and blend in most smoothly. I also like to use a thicker nut milk (or you regular choice plus a tsp of nut butter) for optimal creaminess. You can sub a sweeter of choice for the stevia if desired.

Recipe: Vanilla and cinnamon 'secret ingredient' oatmeal

Serves 1 

Ingredients: 

  • Approx ½ cup oats*
  • 1 cup finely grated cauliflower*
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean powder (or ½ extract)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup non dairy milk (more for a thinner consistency)
  • 1 tsp cashew or almond butter (optional for extra creaminess)
  • 3 drops stevia or 1tbs syrup of choice 

Method: 

Add all ingredients to a small pan over a medium heat on the stove, bring to the boil and simmer for approx, 5 minutes until cooked and the consistency you prefer. 

Serve immediately with toppings if desired... some food toppings are chia, nuts, or berries (I'm envious!)

*Note: you could increase the ratio of the oats to cauliflower if you wish just in case it’s to much to your liking!

... a generous sprinkle of chia and extra cinnamon on top!

... a generous sprinkle of chia and extra cinnamon on top!

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me in these places:

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
I can't stop eating nut butter! (a recipe and other news)

Seriously, I can't stop eating nut butter!! 

Okay, let's backtrack a little. You may remember this post where I talked about digestion and different ways in which foods can help us, I also briefly mentioned I've been having a few issues myself. Well the issues have persisted and two weeks ago I finally decide to do something about it since my own attempts weren't coming to much. I saw a kinesiologist who, after performing an array of muscle testing, advised that amongst a few other mineral imbalances I had candida issues. The dreaded sugarfree diet ensued…

So for the last two weeks I have been on a strict anti-candida diet. No sugar of any kind. No fruit of any kind. No sweet vegetables of any kind.

So what have I actually been eating? Lots of greens, beans and pulses, some porridge (minus the fruit)… AND a ridiculous amount of nut butter!!

I never truly appreciated the idea that fat helps crowd out sugar cravings, but that's exactly what seems to have taken place. I made the 'mistake' of making a couple of sweet nut butter concoctions… they were so good I literally consumed a whole jar last weekend ;-/

I'm hoping this is just an adjustment phase and that once I've got my head around things a little bit more and have come up with other recipes to snack on and substitute the foods I miss then it will become easier.

I had two main concerns in beginning this diet:

1- In running Wholeplus I always test the recipe batches as I produce them and not being able to test any of the mixture for 4+ weeks is going to be extremely tricky indeed. But i'll find a way.

2- I didn't want to have a boring recipe blog for the next month as sweet and fruity things are always up there on the agenda from me and a month of savouries wasn't necessarily my idea of fun for you lot.

So I have an idea...

Starting from April I will be hosting a guest-post slot once a week to bring you recipes from others in the healthy nutrition field. I will update you more about this in a few days time so keep your eyes peeled.  I also have a few extra recipes up my sleeve that i haven't yet blogged.

In other news, I have been loaned a juicer to test and review for the blog… much excitement here as I've been in talks with Tribest UK for a number of weeks since I was very keen to get involved with the whole juicing game. I will be posting a full review and recipes shortly, you may have already seen a few pics crop up on my Instagram if you follow me there.

Lastly, I didn't want to leave without giving you a little recipe or two…

These are both candida friendly AND entire-human-population-friendly recipes as they are so simple and so good! One lesson I've learned so far on the candida diet is that when stevia is your only option for sweetness, use cinnamon and vanilla spices very liberally as they help to balance the taste of the stevia and also naturally give the impression of sweetness themselves so make for the perfect option when creating lightly sweet treats. Cashews also have a subtle creamy sweetness so made the perfect base for these butters. 

Make these and you'll appreciate exactly why I can't stop eating nut-butter. You have been warned :-)

P.s If anyone has been on the candida diet or has any tips for me… be sure to throw them my way!!  

vanilla spread 1a.jpg

Recipe: Vanilla and cinnamon cashew butter

Makes 1 jar

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 3 cups cashews (soak the cashews unless you have a high powered processor)*
  • 2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 drops stevia*

Method:

Melt the coconut oil and then blend with the remaining ingredints in a food processor until the cashews are ground very finely and you have a silky smooth spread.


Recipe: Chocolate cashew spread

Makes 1 jar

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup cacao liquor chips
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 3 cups cashews*
  • 1 heaped tbs vanilla powder
  • 10 drops stevia*

Method:

Melt cacao and coconut oil and then blend with the remining ingredints in a food processor until the cashews are ground as finely as possible and you have a smooth spread. 


Notes:

* This would probably work well and be even smoother with 1-2 tbs syrup instead of the stevia for those not on a candida diet (not tested).

* I have a very powerful food processor that blitzed the cashews as they were, but you may have more success and a creamier result by soaking the cashews for a few hours first and discarding the soaking water before proceeding with the recipe. Note- the resulting butter may be a little less thick and would be advisable to keep in the fridge due to the slight water content potentially affecting the shelf life.

 

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me in these places:

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF