Tag Archives: sugar free

Chai Spiced Hot Chocolate with Whipped Coconut Cream

You can also read this recipe as well in the Amber Approved Magazine 2016 Fall Edition.

For the Chai Spiced Hot Chocolate:

This recipe is a single serve

Ingredients

1 cup of unsweetened almond milk

1.5 tablespoons of raw cacao powder

1 tablespoon of pure dark maple syrup (the darkest grade you can find)

1 teaspoon of Chai Spice (I really love The Silk Road Spice Merchant’s blend but any other garam masala will do here if you liked to make your own chai spice take 1 teaspoon each of cardamom, all spice, ground cinnamon, cloves and 2 teaspoons ginger)

1.5 tablespoons of semi sweet dairy free chocolate chips (I prefer enjoy life foods brand).

Method

 

  1. Take a small sauce pan and start to heat your almond milk over medium low heat
  2. After about 1-2 minutes add in your cacao powder, maple syrup and chai spice
  3. Whisking constantly to ensure the chocolate chips, cacao powder, maple syrup and chai spice have dissolved and the chips have melted and are well incorporated, continue heating and whisking until you’ve reached your ideal temperature.
  4. Once heated to your liking, remove pot from heat, and pour into a mug, top with coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of chai spice or cacao powder if desired (while not necessary the coconut whipped cream melts into the hot chocolate, making it even richer and creamier than before.)

 

Whipped Coconut Cream

Makes about 1-1.5 cups of whipped cream

*This recipe should be started a day in advance to accommodate the chill time of the coconut milk.

Ingredients

 

1 14-ounce can of full fat coconut milk (low fat will not do)

¼ cup of powdered coconut sugar (powdering your own coconut sugar is super easy, just toss it into a high speed blender or coffee grinder)

½ teaspoon of pure organic vanilla extract

 

Method

 

  1. Chill coconut milk overnight or for at least 8 hours prior, ensuring not to shake or tip the can to encourage the separation of the cream from the liquid.
  2. Chill a large bowl (stainless steel works best) for 10-15 minutes prior to making your whipped cream.
  3. Remove coconut milk from the fridge, being careful not to shake or tip your can and once the lid is removed, with a spoon, scrape the cream from the top of the can, into your bowl, leaving the liquid behind.
  4. With an electric mixer, start whipping your coconut cream at high speed, after about 30 seconds add in your powdered coconut sugar and vanilla, and continue whipping for another 2-3 minutes or until the cream has thickened, and soft peaks have started to form.

Spoon over your hot chocolate or any other dessert or beverage your fancy. This will keep for up to 3 days in a sealed container in the fridge.

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Photo Credit: Alexandra Borovsky 

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Churros & Johnston Canyon

After fianlly finishing all 3 of my spring semester classes, I took a deep sigh of relief and started baking and went on a nice relaxing hike…

I was also exceptionally lucky to receive the Calgary Cooks Cookbook for Christmas a couple of years back from some very good friends at the time from Una Pizza + Wine, and got to play with the Anejo recipe for their churros. Now I had never had the experience of eating a churro prior to being diagnosed celiac, but my boyfriend sure had and he LOVED them.

Now of course, the original recipe was not gluten-friendly as it was made with wheat flour but with a little ingenuity and some help from Cup 4 Cup flour, they became a absolute hit. The only modification Scott said would be made next time was to use granulated sugar over the powdered sugar which the recipe calls for.

I forsee churro’s being a household favorite from here, all that is next is to perfect a mini donut!

 

20160624_130121I was also able to go on a beautiful hike through Johnston Canyon, and up to the ink pots, which was super rad to see because I had never had the chance before to see them.

This was a stunning walk, and a fabulous day to connect with nature and decompress after a long week of final exams from my spring classes. The hike round trip took my boyfriend, Scott and myself about 3.5 hours in total, which included a short rest and snack break at the ink 20160624_132844pots.

 

We concluded our fabulous day of hiking with a stop at my favourite and most celiac friendly restarurant, The Wild Orchid Bistro, if you have not already heard of it, believe me when I say that you NEED to! Everything that is made is 100% gluten-free, yes thats right 100%, and the ginger beef is to die for. Be sure to read my restaurant review for more information on this fabulous restaurant.

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Homemade Fajita Night

Hello All, and welcome back! I hope everyone had a delightful summer, I know I did and my absence was a direct result of the beautiful weather we had here in Calgary!

So this labour day Monday, it was rather gloomy and glum in the YYC (sayonara summer), so I thought something warm and spicy would cure the rainy day blues, and it turns out that I was right!

I got adventurous and even made my own gluten-free tortillas which totally beat the dried out, store bought ones I had experienced in the past! Mexican inspired cuisine is always beautiful, bright and bursting with reds, oranges, yellows and its spicy which releases those happy endorphins so on your next glum day try these recipes!

Cajun Spice Rub:

this is a recipe that goes phenomenally with chicken but also with shrimp and pork, this will help blacken your chicken and veggies for your fajitas! This will make a fair amount of rub, this is not a single use recipe!

2 tbs ground black pepper
2 tbs white ground pepper
2 teaspoons of dry ground mustard
2 tbs of paprika
2 tsp sea salt
1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on your love of spice increase or decrease this!)
2 tbs dried thyme

combine all spices in a bowl or mason jar and mix together!

Fajitas:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (this was enough for my mom and I plus a little left overs) rub these with the cajun rub, and allow to sit in the fridge with the rub for at least 30 minutes.
Sweet Bell Peppers (I like red, yellow and orange mixed) sliced
1/2 yellow onion sliced
Sour Cream
Grated Cheddar Cheese
Gluten-free tortillas (recipe below) or buy store bought, Udis makes a decent one

Take a cast iron skillet and warm to medium-high with a little oil in the pan (I used canola but camelina or another oil with a higher smoke point will do, once hot add your chicken and fry until a crust begins to form, and the flip to do the other side. Afterwards remove from stovetop and place in a oven, preheated to 350 degrees and allow to cook through (about 5-8 minutes)

In the mean time, heat another pan with a little oil in the bottom (I like my cast iron grill pan for this) and add your sliced bell pepper and onions, sprinkle with a teaspoon of your cajun spice and being to cook on medium heat until he bell peppers have begun to cook through and the onions are turning golden-brown.

once the chicken is done cooking, remove from the oven, tent with foil and allow to rest for a few minutes. After allowing to rest, slice the chicken and serve over the bell pepper and onion mixture.

Serve with sour cream, grated cheddar and salsa or pico de gallo if you wish! Load up your tortillas and enjoy!

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Tortilla recipe:

This is a standard recipe that seemed to be similar from blogger-blogger all the way to the food network (flour, fat, water and salt) so I added some of my own favourite cooking ingredients like Alberta’s own, highwood crossings organic, gluten-free, all-purpose flour blend and and coconut oil instead of shortening or butter (as many recipes called for both)! For my first foray into tortillas i thought they worked out pretty good, although I still plan to experiment!

2 cups of all purpose gluten free flour
4 tablespoons of coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of warm water (I used almost the whole cup, however too much water as I found out will create paste not dough!)

In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt and coconut oil together until the texture becomes mealy and then a little at a time add the warm water through the opening on the food processor lid and pulse and add water until a dough ball forms (like I mentioned before, you may need a little, or a lot to achieve the right consistency so pour slowly, you can always add more but can’t take water out!) . Line a plate or tray with plastic wrap and divide dough into 6-8 balls, cover and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

***TIP: plastic wrap is a gluten-free cooks BFF, it allows us to place it on a surface and roll it without it sticking as plastic wrap is the stickiest of gluten-free doughs kryptonite. This is a tip to remember when making pies, cinnamon buns, or any other gluten-free dough that a rolling pin will be required for!

Afterwards roll out tortillas or as I like to do place in a tortilla press lined with plastic wrap until thin. preheat a griddle or a non stick skillet on medium-high heat, you do not have to grease your cooking surface. Cook tortillas until bubbles form and brown, Do not overcook the tortillas because they could become crispy and won’t be soft enough to fold.

I hoped you enjoyed this spicy, cold weather inspired meal! Check in next week for my weekly recipe creation!

Candida Friendly Buckwheat “buttermilk” Pancakes with Strawberries

On my candida diet i am allowed one serving of fruit per day, this is something most easily incorporated into my breakfasts so I decided to brighten these soft and light buckwheat pancakes with strawberries however i am sure sautéed apple, or warm blueberries etc. would all be suitable.

For the strawberry topping: (for one serving) about 1 cup of fresh organic strawberries, sliced ( you can use frozen but ensure they are plain and unsweetened) 1/2 lemon juiced and the zest Add ingredients to a small sauce pan over medium heat and sauté until strawberries are beginning to break down and are natural juices have created a “syrup” IMG_5726

For the “buttermilk” Combine 1 and 1/4 cup of almond milk with 1tbsp plus 1/2 teaspoon of pure, raw apple cider vinegar stir and set aside for five minutes.

For the pancakes: 

1 cup of organic buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon of gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of ground pink himalayan sea salts
1 teaspoon of raw green stevia
1 teaspoon of the silk road chai spice OR cinnamon (this gives the pancakes a nice flavour)
1/2 teaspoon of alcohol and sugar free vanilla extract (be careful of both, they like to hide in most brands)
1 large organic, egg
the buttermilk mixture
Coconut oil for the griddle

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together until just combined (remember gluten free batters can become tough if over mixed so be wary of this) and with a ladle pour over a hot griddle that has been preheated to 350° Fahrenheit, cooking on the first side until the bubble have all popped, flip and cook for a few minutes more.

Serve pancakes with the warm strawberry sauce, and if you like add some shredded unsweetened coconut, or drizzle raw almond butter overtop for some added healthy fats.

Candida Diaries: The Kill Phase

So some food for thought, its not just about getting back on the horse so much as it is about making the effort to not fall off again. We are human and somedays life is not perfect and we slip…for myself I was having a terrible headache (die off symptom no. 1) and I had some bread, now this is not the worst thing I could have done however afterwards I felt flushed, and uncomfortable both emotionally and physically. I felt badly as I let my body down but I know better than to dwell on the past so I picked myself back up and trudged along on my candida diet.

This week was considerably better, after eliminating for the last two weeks I finally begun to ditch my headache and the nausea that went along with it, and being on the diet became a tad more natural. In my day to day life I am refined sugar free and mostly dairy free but cutting out ALL of it, was something my body noticed almost immediately. My gut punished me for depriving it of the things it craves the most, sugar, dairy, and corn.

The past two weeks I have been taking a probiotic and a magnesium supplement as well as a active B vitamin complex to help support my systems while they are adapting and healing. This week I got the results back from my food sensitivity testing and I am also cutting out eggs…this was moderate to high and this will last for around 90 days. And I will also continue to live dairy free for at least the next two months. However despite their dominance in my current diet, like gluten-free it will soon become second nature to not eat, or want these things and eliminating these will help my bloating, gas and nausea that I frequently feel.

My energy was so-so last week, but I am beginning to notice an improvement…my body is in a state of healing and is still under siege so I am not entirely surprised that I am still tired as my resources are going to war in my gut where a lot of my energy and happy hormones are produced.

I have set goals with my nutritionist to stay motivated and remember why I am doing this: to be the best possible version of myself, to  not just feel good but to feel amazing, to be able to get off my anti-depressants and feel human again. These will be at the forefront of our sessions, motivation is key.

We also discussed things i would like to celebrate and I chose the accomplishment of staying away from sugars and dairy, as well as alcohol…these are not easy when your favourite restaurant serves both. This week I will begin the kill phase, and will be taking a series of natural anti-fungals (garlic, cinnamon etc.) and we shall see how my body tolerates these. I began taking them today, this will help to kill off the candida from my gut and will help to promote healthy gut flora. I am taking two probiotics now, which will hopefully begin to help outnumber the candida.

I will be sure to update you on my life sans eggs…this one will be more difficult than dairy as all my pancakes etc. require them. It is time for myself to play around with substitutes. Remember if you have any questions regarding my candida cleanse or who to consult here in Calgary, feel free to give me a shout.

The Candida Diaries

A little over two years ago, had someone told me I was going to go on a candida cleanse, I would have laughed at them and made a snarky comment about hippies and you cannot forget the beloved #YOLO.

Now two years after being diagnosed with celiac disease and I am open to more dietary change, at first cutting out gluten was hard enough and it was probably not until 6 months after my diagnoses that I finally cut out gluten for good. The thought of being further restricted scared me to death, and therefor I ignored my gut pains and pushed through enjoying everything (except gluten) that my heart desired.

However I finally threw my hands up, exasperated by my bloating amongst other “plumbing” issues and with the inspiration of a knowledgable friend I took the second leap in my journey to better health and decided to get myself tested for food sensitivities and candida. And while I am still awaiting the results, i have been cutting out foods that feed candida (under the care of my Holistic Nutritionist) and it has not been easy.

So I have decided to make a record of my experiences over the next few months, after all it is not an easy thing cutting out sugar (and that includes natural, unrefined sugars), anything leavened (no yeast=no bread), cutting back on my fruit intake and cutting out alcohol and coffee. Hopefully by venting here, I might actually buckle down and stick this out the for the long run.

It has been two weeks and my die off symptoms have been brutal, and that is without the anti-fungals.I have been experiencing headaches, and just a general feeling of dis-ease. However this is normal and will hopefully not last too much longer…or so I hope. My key is to remember why I am doing this and why it is important to me. Hopefully with a healthy gut, I will have improved quality of life (it sucks always feeling gassy and bloated), it may help level out my hormones (this cortisol belly is killing me) and perhaps will help me with my overall physical fitness (healthy inside, healthy outside.)

Anyways, should you have any questions regarding my experience, please feel free to contact me. Over the course of this diet I will try and post my own candida “friendly” recipes and insights. Cheers and thank you for reading.

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