Snow Day!

Oh, hello snow! It was only a matter of time before we got hit with a good storm this year. In fact, we got thunder-snow with whipping wind, lightening and rumbles of thunder. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

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Since we were all trapped indoors and businesses were closed, it was the perfect time to make some comfort foods. For whatever reason, meatloaf has been on my brain. I picked up some grass-fed ground beef, used whatever veggies I had on-hand and threw together a delicious meatloaf dinner. Of course, this cozied-up, snowy day wouldn’t be complete without some chocolaty brownies.

The brownie recipe I used is from a recent post by The Roasted Root. They are dairy-free, flourless, and the base is made from chickpeas. Very similar to a black bean brownie, actually. What gave me the idea to make these was the lonely can of chickpeas that has been sitting in my cabinet from before I tried the Ketogenic Diet. Now that I have incorporated beans back into my diet, they might as well be use up in a dessert!

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Since I am eating no to very low sugar, I decided to use Swerve in place of coconut sugar. Swerve is a sugar substitute that has very little to no effect on your blood sugar. It also doesn’t have that bitter taste that other sugar subs can have. It replaces regular sugar 1:1 in recipes, but I find it to be very sweet tasting and usually will cut it in half. That’s what I did for this recipe.

Though they came out a little flat (humph), they were still delicious! Not sure if there is something wrong with my oven, but nothing seems to be rising well lately. Could be that the temperature isn’t exact anymore. Finicky things sometimes, aren’t they?

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Chocolate Chickpea Brownies ~ slightly modified
Yields 16

1 (15.5 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed well
2 eggs
1/3 cup Swerve (2/3 cup for sweeter brownies)
1/3 cup cacao powder
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Optional: chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips (I didn’t have any this time, but they’d be excellent additions)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and grease lightly.

Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender, except for the nuts or chocolate chips if using, and blend until you have a thick, smooth batter. Stir in the nuts or chips.

Pour batter into baking pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the center of the brownies have set. Be sure to not over bake, a toothpick will not come out clean in the middle which is normal.

Remove brownies from oven and place on cooling rack. Allow them to fully cool before cutting. Serve on their own or with a drizzle of nut butter, like I did, to make them extra decadent. Enjoy!

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I’d be lying if I said I didn’t eat that whole stack. These chocolaty brownies were exactly what I was looking for on this snowy day. The chickpeas add protein and fiber, cacao has antioxidants, and they’re completely sugar-free. Who says comfort food can’t be good for you?

For the original recipe, please head over to The Roasted Root, and don’t forget to check out more of Julia’s recipes.

xx Tammy

Savory Oatmeal Bowl

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Does anyone else get overwhelmed/over-stimulated by social media? Or maybe finding yourself just checking your phone so many times a day for absolutely no reason? Sometimes scrolling through all these feeds make my head spin. I have to stop and ask myself, “Why am I even looking at this?” We all know nothing has changed in the last 5 minutes, yet, somehow it becomes strangely addictive. I think I am due for a media detox.

Speaking of detox, the candida diet is not working out for me right now. I’ve come to realize that maybe this is just not the right time no matter how hard I try to “get it together.” I am beyond distracted, unfocused, forgetful, and blatantly unprepared all the time lately. I have about 30-something unread emails (and counting!) and a full schedule that feels almost impossible to edit. I don’t know if I need to slow down, or catch up, or what.

What I do know, is that my day always starts off without a hitch. Mornings are my favorite time of the day. I enjoy them. I live for them. Mornings are a fresh start.
Every.
Single.
Day.
There is something about the stillness and quiet before the world around me wakes up that makes me feel at ease. It’s peaceful and consistent. Each day I rise, exercise, hydrate, and eat a nutrient-packed breakfast. This is the one meal of the day where I am completely present.

Savory Oatmeal Bowl

1/2 cup Gluten-free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1 cup water
1 tbsp flaxseed meal
1-2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
1 cup packed organic baby spinach
1 pasture raised egg
2 slices Wellshire Sugar free Turkey Bacon
Salt & Pepper

Boil one cup of water in a small pot. Add oats and simmer on medium heat till cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add more water if needed depending on your desired consistency. Remove from heat and stir in collagen peptides, flaxseed meal, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

While the oats are cooking, heat a medium pan over medium heat. Cook turkey bacon to desired crispness. I like my bacon crispy. Sometimes I’ll take the faster route and microwave it. I know, I know, not the best preparation method.

In the same pan over medium heat, cook the egg in a little extra virgin olive oil or real butter: sunny-side up, over-easy, over-hard, scrambled, whatever you fancy. I love runny yolk so my go-to style is over-easy.

To assemble: Place a cup of baby spinach in a shallow bowl, pour oatmeal over the spinach, top with egg and either place bacon strips in the side or crumble over the top. Season with salt and pepper.

Breathe.
Be Present.
Be grateful.
Savor every single bite.
Be thankful for each new morning and time to reset.

Now, where’s my coffee?

Coconut & Almond Balls

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Holy sugar-laden weekend, folks! After indulging in a giant peanut butter cookie, handfuls of Craisins, dark chocolate squares, Reese’s Mini’s, York Peppermint Patties, and Hardcore Sweet Cupcake balls, I am officially sugared out! I’ve been doing really well this past month rocking the candida diet without having any cravings for sugar at all. Then, last Thursday I was staying overnight at a friend’s house watching her adorable pups for five days. I don’t know about you, but it takes me a few nights to adjust when sleeping in a new place. This, of course, threw me out of my routine, and I wasn’t feeling well rested. For me, tired = sugar cravings. Not to mention it was cold and rainy, which right there, makes you want to curl up with a blanket and shove a giant bowl of carbohydrates in your face. Am I right? I totally caved.

Monday morning rolls around, I’m now home ready to get back into yeast-free living. I know that these sugar pangs are going to be tough to avoid, so I come prepared making Coconut & Almond Balls. These little fat bombs are the perfect way to squash a craving. On average, we crave sugar because we are not eating enough healthy fats. Not only is this little snack nutrient dense, coconut and almonds are naturally sweet foods. You get taste without spiking glucose. Eating only 3 of these satisfies my hunger and kicks a craving to the curb. Less is more, I love that!

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Coconut & Almond Balls
Modified from The Candida Diet

Yields about 30

1 cup almond butter, unsweetened
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 unsweetened, shredded coconut
4 tbsp full fat coconut milk
4 tbsp coconut oil

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend till mixed together.

If you don’t have a good-sized food processor like me, add all the ingredients to a medium bowl. Using clean hands, combine ingredients together. The mix will be crumbly.

Still using your hands, press and roll together bite sized balls and place onto cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. When finished rolling, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Store in air tight container and keep refrigerated.

These also freeze well. I like to keep them in the freezer and take a few out at a time when the mood strikes. I know you’ll be savoring these delicious bites with or without having to dodge a craving. Enjoy!

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I am super thankful these Coconut & Almond Balls helped ward off my desire for all things sugar. Within a few days I started to feel like myself again: well rested and well fed. My seasonal allergies have subsided as well. No more sinus pressure! Yay! I am feeling great and my body is certainly thanking me for treating it right.

Do you notice a need for sugar when you’re tired or sleep deprived? Do you have any tricks to fight off cravings? Post in comments. 🙂

Have a happy, healthy weekend!!