Category Archives: recipe

Christmas Eve Fudge: Sugar Free, Dairy Free

Sugar Free Fudge

It’s Christmas Eve! Or if you are reading this post a little later, it will be Christmas morning. Happy holidays to all of my friends around the globe. To celebrate each and every holiday you observe, I am sharing with you my favorite, easy and simple fudge recipe. This simple fudge recipe combines the unique flavor of coconut milk with special dark chocolate, and contains no sugar whatsoever.

I’m in the midst of baking, cooking and preparing for the Christmas eve festivities. Right now I am imagining Santa Claus in his sleigh, on a cold winter night, delivering gifts to the good people of the world. His presents lie in the heart of all who spread beauty and joy everyday, and that present can deliver love and happiness all year long. Hopefully everyone will have happy holidays (and a white Christmas), and I plan on posting more before the new year.  Until then, enjoy this healthy (and extremely good), sugar free fudge.

Christmas Eve Fudge: Sugar Free, Dairy Free

12 oz (3/4 cup) full fat coconut milk
14 oz dark baking chocolate bars, unsweetened and chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. Stevia extract
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup xylitol

Slowly heat coconut milk on medium high on stove top. Add the chopped chocolate, vanilla, stevia, coconut sugar and xylitol. Melt the chocolate thoroughly.

After melted, spoon fudge batter into a glass pan. Refrigerate for four hours or overnight to firm. Cut into small pieces and serve immediately.

This is The Healthy Advocate.

Gluten Free Christmas: Honey Sand Balls Christmas Cookie Recipe, Sugar Free, Grain Free

Healthy Cookie Recipe - Honey Sand Balls

My mom makes these every year with white flour and refined sugar. They are very good, yet they don’t make me feel so great after eating them. So, I’ve decided to try and recreate this Christmas cookie recipe using gluten free, high fiber coconut flour, Stevia and xylitol. These almost taste like baked donut holes after sitting in the refrigerator for a while. Powdered xylitol covers these cookies, making it one of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes.

Most of the men in the family tend to pop these little things of joy straight into their mouths, without fully tasting it’s goodness. I tend to follow the girls of the family and nibble this cookie so that I can enjoy the taste and texture, helping to satisfy me so I won’t have to go back for more. One note about this and other Christmas cookie recipes I will be sharing the next few days is that I have only put in the amount of sweetener that I feel comfortable with at this moment in time. I’m extremely sensitive to sweets these days, so feel free to add more or less stevia than is written.

Gluten Free Honey Sandballs Recipe

2/3 cup 3/4 cup + 2 TBSP. organic coconut flour, sifted (enough to make a stiff dough)
1/4 tsp. Himalayan sea salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. Stevia extract

1 cup organic butter, cut into chunks and softened
4 eggs
2 TBSP. Honey
1 TBSP. Vanilla

Powdered Xylitol, for dusting (I powdered mine in the blender)
1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional

Sift together coconut flour, himalayan sea salt and stevia into a small bowl. Mix in the chopped pecans.

In a large bowl, beat together organic butter, honey and vanilla with an electric hand mixer. Add eggs and beat for 30 seconds.

Mix in the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Stir well to combine. Place the bowl in the freezer for 5-10 minutes (or as long as you can stand it). Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Take the dough out of the freezer and form into 2-tsp. sized balls, or whichever size you see fit. Place the balls 1 1/2″ apart on the parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until firm.

Roll cookies in powdered xylitol when still warm. Let cool for 10-20 minutes and roll again. Refrigerate over night, or eat immediately.

Makes 48 cookies.

Nutrition Information (Per Serving – 2 cookies):

102.5 calories (95 without pecans), 8.75 grams fat, 2.25 gram net carbohydrate (1.3 grams added sugar, 1.15 gram fiber), 1.7 gram protein

Nutrition Information for Original Cookies (White Flour White Sugar) – Per 2 cookies:

138 calories, 8.25 grams fat, 15 grams carbohydrate (7 grams sugar, 0.25 grams fiber), 1 gram protein

I hope you enjoyed this gluten free recipe! There will be more Christmas cookie recipes to come. Please share with me your recipes and let me know what you will be making. I plan on making these cookies, along with my grain free, gluten free stuffing. I’m thinking about also making my raw pecan pie (OK, it isn’t mine, but it is still very good!).

See you again tomorrow for another holiday recipe!

This is The Healthy Advocate.

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, please share with any of the social networking sites below. It will be your holiday gift to me! Thank you.

Countdown to Christmas: Day One – Healthy Almond Flour Holiday Cookies!

Healthy Holiday Almond Flour Cookies

These cookies are my all time favorite healthy holiday recipe. They are adapted from a recipe from Healthy Indulgences and use protein rich almond flour, fat burning coconut oil and sweet raw honey. The sugar from the honey comes to around 2 grams per cookie, and this natural sugar is bound by the fats from the almonds and coconut oil which greatly decrease their impacts on blood sugar. You can try and omit the honey for a completely sugar free cookie, but you will need to replace the same amount of liquid with something sticky and smooth (and increase the stevia or xylitol to make up for it).

Let cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes.

These cookies will be very soft once you take the pan out of the oven, so don’t remove until at least 10 minutes after cooling or they will crumble. I suggest cooling them in the refrigerator over night in a sealed container as they become crispy and so good. Your guests, family and friends will love these cookies and everyone will be asking for the recipe. Trust me. Try them, won’t you?

Healthy Almond Flour Holiday Cookies

3/4 cup fine almond flour (grind almonds in a blender or food processor)
1/4 cup coconut meal (dried coconut pulsed in the blender or food processor)
1/8 tsp. Stevia Extract
2 TBSP. Xylitol, or Coconut Sugar
1/8 tsp. Himalayan Sea Salt
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
Pinch of Baking Powder

2 TBSP. Raw Honey
2 TBSP. Melted Coconut Oil, or organic butter

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Create a double boiler with a smaller bowl and melt coconut oil (or butter) and raw honey together until smooth. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well until a sticky dough forms.

Measure 2 tsp. of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly damp your fingers and flatten the balls of dough into cookie rounds. Place the cookie sheet into a preheated oven at 250 degrees fahrenheit. Bake for 10-12 minutes–avoid burning. Take out; cookies will be soft. Let cool for 10 minutes and cool further for a couple of hours in the refrigerator.

Makes one dozen cookies.

There will be more Christmas cookie recipes with pictures, and many more healthy holiday recipes, so stay tuned!

This is The Healthy Advocate.

Gluten Free Dressing (Corn Free) with THE BEST Low Carb, Grain Free Mock “Cornbread” (Nutrition Information Included)

Gluten Free, Corn Free, Grain Free Thanksgiving Dressing

This post is a participation in The Nourishing Gourmet’s Healthy Food Carnival: Whole Foods for the Holidays!

After giving up grains, corn and gluten to aid in elevating my health, I found it quite hard to resist the offers from my friends and family members of the traditional cornbread stuffing at Thanksgiving. So far I’ve been compromising by having a little every holiday, since I never eat corn at any other day. I have just found, however, that I do not need to compromise anymore!

The other day I was on a mission. I had to make a gluten free stuffing recipe for a grain free, gluten free Thanksgiving. It had to taste EXACTLY like the original. I had to make the cornbread first, that I knew. That’s going to be a bit difficult. Wait, I asked myself, could almond flour work? It might, but on its own? I love using coconut flour for everything, so what about a combination of the two? Will it, could it? I put everything together and got the perfect mock cornbread for my gluten free dressing. This tastes like cornbread, but it has virtually no insulin-spiking carbohydrates (this cornbread has 99% less carbohydrates than traditional cornbread!), it’s high in protein and fiber and is fairly easy to put together. Thanks to The LowCarbist for the inspiration for this recipe!

You can have this cornbread on its own, or make this gluten free dressing recipe and serve alongside with Elana Amsterdam’s gluten free herb gravy. Or you can just make both for your amazing gluten free Thanksgiving. Thank goodness for the internet and the amazing sources of culinary knowledge out there today, making it easy for all whole food, organic health nuts like us when finding alternatives to old favorites.

Gluten Free, Grain Free Dressing

For the Mock “Cornbread”

1/2 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 TBSP. Xylitol or Sugar Alternative
2 eggs
2-4 TBSP. Almond or Coconut Milk
1/4 cup Organic Sour Cream
2 TBSP. Melted Butter (I didn’t use any, but it will help the taste)
A pinch of Turmeric for color (optional)

Mix the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, salt and xylitol together in a medium bowl. Add the sour cream, eggs, and melted butter. Mix well until a runny batter forms. If the batter is too stiff, add a couple of TBSP. of almond/coconut milk to the mixture, or maybe another egg (1 TBSP. at a time).

Pour into a well greased 8 inch baking pan. Bake in a 375 degrees preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until firm (insert a fork into the center and make sure it comes out clean).

Let cool for a couple of hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Information (per 1/8th of recipe):

Protein: 3.75 g – Net Carbohydrates: 1.75 g – Fat: 7 g – Calories: 109

For the Gluten Free Dressing:

“Cornbread” recipe, crumbled
2 stalks organic celery, diced
1/2 onion, diced or cut according to preference
1/2-1 tsp. Celtic Himalayan Sea salt, depending on taste
1 1/2 tsp. powdered sage (or more–I like a strong sage)
Grinds of Pepper
1/2 cup of organic, free range chicken broth
1 egg

Mix the crumbled cornbread together with the salt, pepper and sage. Throw in the celery and onion and combine well. Add the chicken broth and mix thoroughly. Add more than written if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste preference. Add the egg to the mixture and mix well.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, or until set Keep an eye on this while it cooks..

Nutrition Information (Per 1/6th of recipe)

Protein: 6 g! – Net Carbohydrates: 3 g – Fat: 10 g – Calories: 166

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For my sugar free, gluten free Thanksgiving, I will be making my own pumpkin pie with the amazing crust by Kelly over at The Spunky Coconut. I will also be making sweet potatoes, sugar free cranberry sauce, mashed cauliflower and a raw green salad to start off the feast. But more so, I will be giving thanks for the things in my life thus far. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Other Gluten Free Thanksgiving Blogs You Might Be Interested In:

Elana’s Pantry – Gluten Free Thanksgiving 2010
Gluten Free Girl – Gluten Free Thanksgiving 2010
My Artful Life – Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

Raw Pecan Pie Power Bar

Raw Pecan Pie Power Bar

This recipe is part of Pennywise Platter Thursday at the Nourishing Gourmet

I am loving the weather the past two days. Cold, cloudy and a bit rainy–it feels like winter in Texas. Now I love sunlight for its wonderful healing abilities which promote growth and life on this planet, but sometimes you just need a break from so much heat. Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved cold and rainy days, and this day is one of them.

The weather has put me in the mood for holiday cooking, or for this recipe, uncooking. Pecans remind me of Christmas every time I eat them, and they certainly did this afternoon when I put together this raw pecan pie power bar recipe.  Let me tell you, this bar tastes SO much like pecan pie, it’s ridiculous. You won’t believe how good this raw recipe is until you try it.

This nutritious bar is packed full of satiating good fat with anti-inflammatory properties to boot. They are sweetened with dates, a dried fruit. The fat and protein from the pecans will lower the glycemic index of the dates, which are quite high on their own, so use this bar as a good post-work out “pick me up”.

Raw Pecan Pie Power Bar

1/4 cup pecans, soaked and dried*
2 TBSP. dried unsweetened coconut
Pinch of Celtic Himalayan Sea Salt optional
2 soft Medjool dates, soaked for 10 minutes.

Optional Add Ins:
1 TBSP. Freshly ground Flaxseed
1 tsp. protein powder
1/2 tsp. coconut oil

Place the pecans in a food processor along with the coconut and sea salt. Pulse until a course pecan flour is made. Add the dates and any additional ingredients if desired. Pulse until a dough forms.

Shape the dough into a bar. Refrigerate or freeze until firm.

Makes 1 bar.
*Soaking nuts and seeds improves digestibility as well as increases nutritional availability. This is an optional step, if you prefer.
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Stores already have all of their holiday merchandise out already. I love the holiday season! In the car this morning I was listening to a “LUX Radio Theater” movie from the 1940s. Can you guess what it was? I’ll tell you anyway – The Miracle on 34th Street. I believe it’s safe to say that I’m already in the holiday spirit. It’s something I look forward to all year long.

Hopefully this raw recipe will inspire you to get into the spirit also. Even if it doesn’t, it’s still a nourishing way to provide energy and satiation. It is small, but will keep your stomach satisfied for a couple of hours. It’s also a fairly simple recipe, and requires little time to prepare. Your taste buds, and your health, will thank you for making this.

Until next time, this is The Healthy Advocate.

If you enjoyed this raw recipe and my post, please share with others with the icons below. Thank you!

Have a Healthy Halloween

These have been sitting on my desk for the past two weeks, putting me in the Halloween spirit.

Halloween conjures a feeling of magic, wonder and and a desire to  unlock ancient mysteries within. This holiday, based upon the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain (pronounced sowen) is deeply rooted in lore, magic and spirits. It has nothing to do with candy or sweets, but is a day to honor the dead and to commune with those who have passed before us.

This also marked the beginning of a new year in the Celtic holiday. Old events were now history, and it was time to make goals for the coming year, to welcome new possibilities and adventure. Today I am somewhat honoring these old beliefs by cleaning my house and starting new ventures and challenges. Today really does feel as if it is time to start making changes and new goals, and I am excited for all the wonderful possibilites which await me.

I made my own Halloween candy today. Rather than buying processed sugar candy, which will quickly accumulate into a lot of plastic trash, I opted for a sugar free (and sweet free) peanut butter cup candy recipe. It’s almost like a Reece’s, but much healthier and SO much better. I used organic peanut butter in this recipe, but you can feel free to use any nut butter of your choosing (I totally recommend Almond Butter!).

Healthy Halloween Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cups

Homemade Healthy Peanut Butter Cups Halloween Candy

1/2 cup liquid coconut oil (you can use half melted butter)
1/2 cup cocoa or carob powder
1 TBSP. Honey or 1/4 tsp. Powdered Stevia (to taste)

3/4 cup Organic Peanut Butter
1/4 cup cream cheese or sour cream
1/3 cup Xylitol, powdered
1/4 tsp. Powdered Stevia Extract
2 TBSP. Organic Butter, melted

Mix the melted coconut oil (and butter, if using) with the cocoa powder and sweeteners, if using. Set aside. Grease candy molds with olive oil and freeze for about 10 minutes. After freezing, place 1/2 tsp. or so in the candy molds and spread around to make a shell. Freeze until solid.

Mix together peanut butter, cream cheese, sweeteners and butter together in a small bowl. Place 1/2-1 tsp. of peanut butter mixture into the frozen chocolate shells. Cover the peanut butter with more melted chocolate and freeze.

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I didn’t sweeten some of these, because I’m really not doing that well with sweetened items any more. After being off of them for a few weeks now, the slightest taste of something sweet makes me a bit sick to my stomach. You can use as much of the sweetners as you would like to get it to your level of sweeteness.  I used these pumpkin ice cube trays as my candy molds, but paper cupcake liners are more traditional for these type of candies.

Pumpkin Ice Cube Trays

Another thing I did for Halloween was wake up to a nice Halloween breakfast. Actually, I woke up to make the nice Halloween breakfast, but I still enjoyed it.  I made pumpkin waffles for my sister, who isn’t a grain free, gluten free type of person like me, but still enjoys eating healthy. I made these waffles with organic soaked whole wheat pastry flour and wheat bran. Soaking these grains improves their digestibility and nutritional availability, so I almost never make an exception when cooking grains.

These pumpkin waffles turned out pretty awesome, if I do say so myself, as I broke my grain-free rule just for today to eat them. I reasoned that because I soaked them, and because pastry flour is lower in gluten than other types of flours, I would enjoy it this Halloween morning.

Soaked Whole Grain Pumpkin Waffle

Soaked Pumpkin Waffles for a Halloween Breakfast

1 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
3/4 cup almond milk, OR homemade coconut milk (WITHOUT guar gum)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (you could also use butternut squash)
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil (or half coconut oil, half melted butter)
1 egg + 1 egg white

1 TBSP. grain free baking powder
1/2 tsp. Celtic Himalayan Sea Salt
1/4 tsp. Stevia + 2 TBSP. Xylitol
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/4 tsp. ginger
-1/8 tsp. allspice
-1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Soak pastry flour and wheat bran overnight with almond milk. You could add a TBSP. of lemon juice or whey, but it isn’t crucial to increasing nutrition availability.

In the morning, stir in the pumpkin, followed by the eggs and melted coconut oil. Once combined, stir in the baking powder, salt, stevia, xylitol and spices. Mix well.

Greese your waffle iron well. Preheat the waffle iron, and when ready, add 1/2-3/4 cup of the lumpy batter to the iron. Spread out a bit and close. Cook for exactly 7 minutes. The waiting is the most important step.

Take out the waffle with a spatual and enjoy! Top with melted organic butter, whipped cream, berries or pure maple syrup.

Makes 3 large, Belgian waffles.

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10 Ways to Make Halloween Healthy

1. Make your own candy, like the recipe I have for you above. This will allow you to add your own amount of your favorite sweetener. When cooking healthy you have to make adjustments, especially for candy. However I believe that this candy will get me through the holiday (and quite a few days after that!).

2. Go to a pumpkin patch festival, over at PickYourOwn.org, you can find local pumpkin patches. Go there on Halloween to see if they are having a Fall Festival. Many times they are, and you can also pick up a pumpkin while your at it!. I carved one today. Don’t you love it?

Can't wait to see what it will look like with a candle inside!

3. Give out organic candy to trick or treaters. Sugar is sugar, but at least your not exposing little bodies to dangerous pesticides and chemical additives. Organic candy should be made from real sugar, whether it’s sugar cane, honey or brown rice syrup.  Sweeteners like Sucralose or high fructose corn syrup have no place in organic food.

4. Give out small toys to trick or treaters. Your local party supply shop should have small party favors at a really inexpensive price. Give out the toys along with the candy, so that children won’t feel left out when other fellow goblins, witches and ghosts go to your door and get organic sugar confections. Try to give out more toys than you do candy, though, to lessen the amount of sugar you give to them.

5. Walk throughout your neighborhood on Halloween to see the happenings this night. If you are trick or treating with your kids, keep the car at home and walk throughout your whole neighborhood. This will give you exercise while having fun at the same time.

6. Get back to your pagan roots and write down goals you desire to accomplish next year. I’m not asking you to convert, but look towards new beginnings. Clean your house if you like. We could both be doing that together!

7. Watch Halloween movies with your family instead of trick or treating. This might be a stretch for some kids, or pretty easy for others. Get scared tonight by watching the original Halloween. Watch old classics like White Zombie (I fell in love with this movie the other day when it came on TCM), Nosferatu (silent flick about Count Dracula–cool film) and The Mystery of the Wax Museum. I LOVE classic films, and I especially like watching these types of films during the Halloween season. I’m finishing Nosferatu on my iPod right now, with The Mystery of the Wax Museum following right behind. Watch Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown for some good Disney fun.

8. Cook a healthy Halloween dinner with foods like squash, pumpkin, vegetables, sweet potatoes, walnuts, cranberries and any other fall foods. This isn’t only a warming Halloween feast, but it is a great meal for the Autumn months. Limit your amount of carbohydrates through these foods, however, if suffering from blood sugar issues.

9. Go to a haunted house. Now I’m not one to do this, but if you’re up to it, then go for it! Heck, it gets you out of the house as well as a good amount of exercise. In fact, you might even get some interval cardio going on during your visit, as monsters take small breaks before scaring you again, catapulting your body into quick movement (aka–“get me the heck out of here!”).

10. Eat a candy a day if you do go trick or treating. When I was a child, I would still have half a large pumpkin left over with candy still in there up until Easter. I ate only one small piece of candy a day to save as much as I could as long as I could. Little did I know that I was keeping my sugar intake low but enjoying myself at the same time. Savor your candy (or your child’s candy, 😉 ) so that you only need one to two pieces a day. I can imagine there are people who gorge on sugar and candy, but I know you’re not one of them. Teaching children to do this as well helps keep their bodies strong, which is crucial for the growing periods.

I hope you enjoy a safe, healthy and Happy Halloween! Listen to some Halloween music tonight when it’s dark, have your own party with a pumpkin lighting (and pumpkin carols!–remember “It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”?) and be healthy at the same time.

This is The Healthy Advocate.

Raw, Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream: Part I

Homemade, Vegan Raw Ice Cream

This recipe is part of Penny Wise Platter Thursday over at The Nourishing Gourmet

This raw, vegan  ice cream recipe was my go-to summer concotion this year, inspired by the recipes of the raw food diet. I’m not 100% raw (although I am about 85-90% these days), but I enjoyed this vegan dessert very much when I was still doing sweets.

Right now I’m enjoying my raw green smoothies about 3-4 times a week. This provides sweetness. However I am still drinking my tea unsweet and not indulging in any sweet desserts. I’m only “breaking” my rule on my green smoothies to get more raw greens in my body. I will cut down , though, and start making large salads for lunch and dinner to get the same amount of raw vegetables without the sweet taste.

For those who like to enjoy their sweets moderately, then this vegan ice cream is for you. I still want to work it out so that it is *perfect*, but so far, it’s still good. You can use carob instead of the cocoa, if you desire, to have that malty, chocoalty taste without the caffeine or oxaletes presented in the cocoa. This ice cream recipe is nutritious and satisfying. Make it for yourself and find out.

Raw Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

1 cup homemade coconut milk
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 tsp. Guar Gum (vegan version) OR 1 Organic Egg Yolk
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2 tsp. chia seeds, soaked in 1/4 cup water
2 TBSP. cocoa or carob powder
1 Medium avocado
1 small banana
1/8-1/4 tsp. pure stevia extract
1/8 cup xylitol or coconut sugar
1-2 tbsp. raw honey (if omitting, increase xylitol/coconut sugar to 1/4 cup, or to desired sweeteness)
Cinnamon
100% dark chocolate bar, broken into chunks (optional)

Blend coconut milk, almond milk, guar gum or egg yolk and vanilla together for about 20 seconds in blender. Add chia seeds and blend well until seeds are broken down and mixture is emulsified.

Add cocoa powder, avocado, banana and sweeteners. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds or more to make sure everything is well blended and broken down.

Freeze in ice cream maker and make according to manufactures directions. Or, freeze in a plastic container and blend in blender every 2 hours. Thaw for 30 minutes before serving, or until soft. Garnish with cinnamon (to lower blood sugar levels and increase antioxidants) and/or dark chocolate chunks.
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I like to blend in cinnamon to this ice cream to help bring down my blood sugar after ingesting the sugar from the banana or the honey (which I rarely add). Experiment with this recipe and see if it works for you. You might need to adjust the sweetness to your level of taste. Test taste it before freezing to make sure.

Until next time, this is The Healthy Advocate.

By the way, if you like this recipe, please share below using the social media icons. Tweet it, stumble it and show your friends on Facebook. Thank you!