Last year around this time, I'd cut back significantly on refined sugars and flours after doing several cleanses, feeling amazing afterward, and understanding my body well enough to know that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, lots of greens, in other words, nutrient dense created optimal health for me.
Nonetheless, I gave in to the platters of cookies and holiday cheer. I indulged and subsequently spent the following weeks very, very ill. After seeing my doctor, having tests performed, etc. the outcome was a few options including a trial sugar free and gluten free diet.
Knowing how powerfully our bodies respond to what we put into them, I ditched the sugar first. There was a glint of light suddenly shining in my life and it didn't give me a migraine. Then a couple months later I stopped eating gluten. The light started to shine more brightly, like holy explosion, inner body bright!
It took a while to adjust to a gluten and sugar free diet (I'm also vegetarian who leans toward vegan, so this was a chore, but I took it as a welcome challenge to explore new ways of eating if it meant not being sick every day.)
I check labels thoroughly, am the "annoying" person at a restaurant (don't worry, I tip well,) and revamped my pantry. My family has been along for the ride and actually now that we're in the swing of things (I cook 2-3 meals a day) everyone's fed and content. The best part is the light, it's shining right on me and I feel great.
I'm anticipating I might need an extra bite of willpower this holiday season, so I devised several recipes to satisfy my sweet tooth. I will post them over the next few weeks. First up, cupcakes.
6 dates and boiling water
1 medium ripe banana – sliced into coins and warmed for about 30 seconds or until slightly mushy. (micro/stove top)
2 Tablespoons plain yogurt
4 Tablespoons applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 heaping Tablespoons coconut oil or butter - melted
½ cup coconut-almond milk (or your preference)
A pinch of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup brown rice flour (the finer the better)
1 Tablespoons coconut flour
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
Put dates in a small saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Let them soak for about 5 minutes. Then using an immersion blender (or regular blender) mix. Let cool.
In a bowl mix banana (mash or blend,) yogurt, applesauce, vanilla, eggs, butter, and milk. Add date puree.
Add dry ingredients. Mix it up, again!
Place in 12 silicon or paper cupcake wrappers or grease the wells of a cupcake pan thoroughly. Fill. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Watch toward the end.
Use coconut frosting and coat in shredded coconut. Garnish with items such as fresh berries, or for a green and red theme: pistachios and cranberries (check the label, these often have sugar, some are fruit juice sweetened, but I don't tolerate this well.) I kept them in the fridge for a few days and they were a-ok.
*I have tried these with flax eggs without great results. Next time I make them, I will try egg-replacer and keep you posted on how they turn out.