Growing up, I was hardly what you would call “healthy.” But over time, I figured out how to make food I loved as a kid as delicious, nutritious recipes. As a kid, my meals usually progressed from a bowlful of sugar-infused Lucky Charms for breakfast to salt-laced over-processed Campbell’s chicken noodle soup for lunch only to end in canned vegetables and breaded fish sticks with gobs of ketchup for dinner. But over time, I figured out how to make food I loved as a kid as delicious, nutritious recipes.
Although I gratefully never had a weight problem, my nutrient-deprived diet left me with a whole host of health problems, most of which showed up on my skin and in my gut. My health journey, in fact, was prompted by my desire to be free of the horrible skin conditions from which I suffered.
For those who grew up with me, it would be no surprise to them to find out that my favourite foods still include chocolate ice cream, pizza, peanut butter cookies, rich hot chocolate and cheesy nacho dip. What would surprise them, however, is that all of these foods are packed with nutrients and are free of gluten, dairy and refined sugars.
I love to share these healthy and delicious recipes with my cleanse customers because when they first see the list of foods they need to avoid during the cleanse, they become easily overwhelmed and some react the way they would if they found a close friend was dying. Or, in this case, multiple friends! These recipes remind them that there is no need for mourning when you embark on a cleanse or when you seek to adopt a better diet.
If you need some hope for “life after gluten, dairy and sugar”, let these healthy and delicious recipes be food for your soul AND your body!
1. Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream
I love me some chocolate ice cream but I don’t eat dairy and the non-dairy ice-creams can get really pricey. I was so grateful to find this super-easy, inexpensive recipe on detoxinista.com. Simply mix the ingredients in a blender, refrigerate the blend and then use an ice-cream maker to transform it into ice-cream!
- 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk (be sure to use a brand that is BPA-free)
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup, for vegans)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Note: I always use maple syrup – not because I am against eating honey but because I am a true Ontarian and, in my opinion, maple syrup is God’s greatest gift as a sweetener! If you are cleansing, you can cut down on the maple syrup or use this as a very occasional treat.
I have to be honest, of all the things that I miss about my previous life, wood-fired thin crust pizza has got to be the thing I miss most. I’m convinced that this will be what God serves me when I get to heaven. It doesn’t get much better than that!
But, while I’m still here on earth, my body can neither tolerate the gluten nor the cheese, so I’ve looked for alternatives. I’m really not a fan of gluten-free bread and gluten-free pizza dough is no better to me. I have found, however, that I quite like a well-made cauliflower crust pizza. This recipe on detoxinista.com is a great one!
To that, I add some homemade pizza sauce, cashew feta, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, spinach, tomatoes, red onion and maybe some grilled chicken. Now THAT is worth leaving gluten and dairy for! The added benefits of no stomach pain, sleepiness or inflammation are pretty great too!
3. Peanut Butter Cookies
Peanut butter cookies are awesome because they are the easiest thing in the world to make gluten-free. They actually don’t require any flour at all! Flourless peanut butter cookie recipes abound, but I tend to like ones that are also egg-free. I can tolerate eggs in small amounts, but I feel better without them. So, here is a recipe I use for flourless, egg-free peanut butter cookies:
- 1 cup unsalted, creamy natural peanut butter
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons warm water, whisked together, set for 15 minutes) – you can also just use a regular egg
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or maple syrup (you know which one I choose!)
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
You can use almond butter instead of peanut butter – or use half and half. I like the taste of peanut butter, but almond butter is less likely to make me gassy.
4. Steamy, Creamy, Frothing Hot Chocolate
This “hot chocolate” recipe is literally how I start my day, every day. I never need to figure out what I’m going to eat for breakfast and, when I travel, I bring all the ingredients and the Vitamix with me so I never have to eat the sub-par food laid out as the hotel’s free breakfast offerings.
Try this recipe for yourself and see if it’s not the best hot chocolate ever!
- 1 – 1.5 cups almond milk (I make my own which is super simple to do – just google for the recipe)
- 3 medjool dates, pitted*
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp cacao butter pieces
- 1 tsp – 1Tbsp of MCT oil (start with a little and work up)
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Dash of salt
Add ingredients to a Vitamix and process on the soup setting (or on highest speed until heated and steaming). When it’s done, you’ll have the creamiest, yummiest hot chocolate you’ve ever had, filling you until lunch and giving you lots of clean energy!
*If you are cleansing and/or suspect you have a big problem with candida, try cutting this down to 1 date or use stevia as a sweetener.
5. Cheesy Nacho Dip
Every time I’ve done a workshop about cleansing, I try to make and serve this dip. After my guests are halfway through eating it, I say to them “by the way, this is entirely dairy-free”. It’s fun to watch the amazement on the faces of even the most passionate cheese-lovers. It’s just that good! And, better yet, you don’t feel bloated after eating it – just nutritiously satisfied!
So, you see, there is life after gluten, sugar and dairy! The next step for a healthy lifestyle is to complete a full cleanse with me. Not only will I guide you through the whole process, I will share with you recipes and meal ideas that will take the stress out of the process. My 30-day cleanse program, prepared with the help of a holistic nutritionist, is offered free of charge to my customers who have all the cleanse products they need.
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