The Can-Do Candida Diet
Can-Do Candida © Isabelle Burden 2013 All rights reserved

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Candida Diet Chocolate Chip Cookies: A Chip off the Old Block


The chocolate chip cookie is one of those foods whose appearance is just as iconic as its flavor.  Just a glance or a whiff in the air calls to mind images of idealistic childhood (the one you had, or perhaps, the one you wished for): little cartoon girls and boys standing on stools attempting to sneak one of these iconic morsels out of a ceramic jar before dinner without their mother noticing.  Maybe there’s a golden retriever waiting for crumbs to fall, maybe mother is wearing an apron and vacuuming the living room in heels...or maybe not.  

Even growing up as I did in a family of artists, unorthodox as we were in so many of our habits and traditions, I remember visiting my Nana and stirring a bowl of sweet, buttery cookie dough.     


It’s food like this that you miss on a candida diet.  More than the taste of any one particular cookie or cake or candy, you miss the memories that are nestled therein.  You miss the feelings that those foods bring back to you.  You miss the sense that a cookie could mean so much more than calories: it could mean comfort. 

I am posting this recipe from Berlin, a city that is thousands of miles away from the one in which I grew up, and now I am struggling to pull words together in my native language just as a few hours ago I struggled to find them in another.  I am looking back on my American childhood with a perspective that is, here in Germany, utterly foreign.  Like a child I have to learn again how to communicate with others, and to make sure that I have what I need to take care of myself, not only physically but mentally. 

It is not easy to feel this difference, and it is not comfortable to be so aware of the distance while feeling so powerless to bridge it.    

What I am learning here, however, is to take steps forward; to look and to listen and then to place the sole of my foot before my fear.  I am exploring a parallel world while finding a respect and a love for the culture that shaped me, as well as an understanding of what for me constitutes “home”.

With all that in mind, here is my recipe for a nostalgic classic, from my kitchen to yours:  


Ingredients:

1 ¾ cups almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
1 tbsp flax seed meal
½ tsp salt
tsp baking soda
¼ tsp cream of tartar
2 eggs
2 ½ tsp liquid stevia
2 ½ tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp salted butter, melted and browned
2 tbsp half and half
cup chopped stevia chocolate chunks (I used Coco Polo 70%)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

In a large bowl, add the almond flour, coconut flour, flax seed meal, salt, baking soda, and tartar.  Stir to combine.

In a medium sized bowl, beat together two eggs.  To the beaten eggs, add liquid stevia, vanilla, and half and half.  Stir to integrate. 

To this mixture of liquids, add the browned butter.  You can make this by melting butter in a saucepan on the stovetop, slowly.  Watch it carefully and keep the heat low, allowing the butter to brown slightly without burning.  It should turn a light amber color: about 6 minutes give or take. 

Add the liquid ingredients into the dry mixture, and stir until the dough becomes sticky and thick.  Add the chocolate chunks and stir with a folding motion until they are evenly distributed throughout. 

On a greased baking sheet, shape your cookies.  Each cookie should be about two teaspoons worth of dough.  If you like gooey cookies, make them thicker (mine are about ¼ - ½ an inch thick at their middle point). 

Place in the oven for 15 minutes, turning the baking sheet halfway through to ensure that they bake evenly.  Makes 10-12 cookies.  

These cookies are best straight out of the oven, but if there are leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container for up to five days.

Serving suggestion: share these cookies with someone you love.  
Here’s to old memories, new adventures, and happy baking!  


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pork Fried “Rice” for the Candida Diet


It seemed about time to put the desserts on hold and offer a candida can-do take on a savory standby: the stir-fry. 

I made this grain-free fried "rice" for my family dinner last weekend and what can I say but that it was a huge hit.  Take out the starch and sugars from the white rice and this dinner is a lean, mean, feeding machine.  Plus, it’s easy to make in a large batch, or to prepare ahead of time in components to make a weeknight meal easier.    


The secret to this Chinese-inspired candida diet dinner?  Cauliflower.  Simply pulse raw cauliflower florets until they break down to rice-like grains, pat them dry with paper towel, and throw them into the stir-fry pan: simple, healthy, and my family didn’t miss the rice at all.  

This recipe holds the key to achieving the right levels of Asian seasoning in the marriage of garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and Bragg liquid aminos, while just a touch of stevia brings that sweetness we love in our chinese takeout sauces.  For anyone who is unfamiliar with this last product, I believe it is a must-have condiment for any candida kitchen.  It makes an excellent taste replacement for traditional soy sauce, and can be found at most health or whole food purveyors.  You can even order it on Amazon if there isn’t a seller nearby. 

Bragg liquid aminos is a soy-based product (so if you have a soy allergy, this one isn’t for you) that also contains essential amino acids that aid in the synthesis of proteins in the body.  Bragg’s product is also non-fermented, which is key for the candida diet. 

With flavorful chunks of organic ground pork, this dish feels rich and filling enough to pass for the original, or at the very least, take its place in your candida diet.  If the pork is a concern, you could try replacing it with ground turkey or chicken, or sub it with extra veggies for a meat-free version.  Personally, I like to have meat every now and then, though the majority of my meals remain vegetarian. 

This pork fried “rice” is also delicious when eaten cold, say, right out of a repurposed takeout carton the morning after a night out.  This dish is the perfect, balanced replacement for those greasy Chinese food cravings, and guess what, no grains, no GMOs, and no guilt!               

Ingredients:

For the pork:

Canola oil (or other vegetable oil) to coat pan
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 ¼ tsp minced fresh ginger
Organic, ground pork (about 2 lbs in this recipe)
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp Bragg liquid aminos

Place a large skillet on the stovetop over medium heat.  Coat the bottom with canola oil.  To the hot oil, add the garlic and ginger.  Sauté these until the garlic begins to soften (about 1-2 minutes).  Add the ground pork, and immediately add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the sesame oil and the liquid aminos over the cooking pork.  Using a wooden spatula, break the meat into small pieces. 

Cook over medium-low heat until the meat begins to brown, stirring frequently to avoid burning. 

Once the pork is cooked, turn off the stovetop and transfer the meat to a clean plate.  Place this in reserve for now. 


For the stir-fry sauce:

2 tbsp. Bragg liquid aminos
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
¼ tsp liquid stevia

In a small bowl or mug, combine the ingredients.  Set this aside for now.


For the stir-fry:

3 eggs
½ tsp. Braggs liquid aminos
Canola oil to coat pan
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
½ cup finely chopped carrots
½ cup frozen garden peas
1 cup chopped scallions
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp Bragg liquid aminos
3 cups cauliflower “rice” (raw cauliflower florets pulsed in the food processor)
Prepared pork
Stir-fry sauce
1 cup mung bean sprouts

In a separate bowl, beat the three eggs together with ½ tsp of Bragg liquid aminos, salt, and pepper.  Set this aside for now. 

Place the pan used to cook the pork over medium heat and coat the bottom with oil.
To the hot oil, add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute.  Add the carrots.  Sauté carrots in oil about 4-5 minutes.  Add the peas, sauté another 3 minutes.  Add the chopped scallions.  Salt and pepper the vegetables, stirring in the sesame oil and liquid aminos. 

To the vegetable mixture, add the cauliflower “rice”.  Sauté this a few minutes, integrating the cauliflower with the other flavors, then add the cooked pork back into the pan.  Add the stir-fry sauce and mix all ingredients together.  Add the egg mixture into the middle of the pan, and scramble them into your “fried rice”. 

Lastly, add the bean sprouts.  These only need a few seconds to cook as they should stay crunchy. 

Serve hot and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.




Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins for the Candida Diet: New Year’s Revolutions


It’s no coincidence that for Can-Do Candida’s first recipe of 2014 we’re revisiting an old favorite.  So often in the clamor of the cheering crowds and the thrilling anxiety of the final countdown, it can be hard to focus on the reality of what it means when a new year dawns. 

For me, New Years’ Eve has never brought the clean start I expect from it, and as I grow older, I realize that I can accept that more and more. 

I used to set resolutions and make wishes – some of which would come true and some of which wouldn’t – and at 11:59 I would stare down the clock, afraid of missing a second of the possibilities (and always, for some inexplicable reason, just a little afraid the world might end at midnight). 

And inevitably, it seemed, I would end up just where I am now.  A mere week into a yet untarnished year, and already those same patterns and problems are rearing their ugly heads. 

Why, I wanted to ask, why always the same old thing? 

If you’re like me, maybe you begin to doubt that you will ever put an end to these cycles.  

Don’t give up.  Look Closer. 

Look at what you have done;
count all the little victories and watch them add up to a list longer than the losses;
realize the love in your life, and love yourself all the more because love invites love;
take care of your body and speak nicely to it, because it will respond with vitality;
stare your past in the face and don’t give up, because things are moving forward even when they appear stagnant, and immovable as stones. 

The New Year isn’t about erasing what we don’t like in our past, but embracing it, incorporating it into our present selves to make us more aware of our surroundings, more enriched in our lives, and more complete in our beings. 

But maybe you didn’t come looking for ponderous thoughts, and you just came to find a delicious candida diet recipe.  Well, read on to find just the ticket to starting your 2014 diet off right.

 
These chocolate morsels are a richer version of the Zucchini Muffin recipe we posted last season.  Warm, soft, and full of cocoa, these baked bites are the perfect accompaniment to winter mornings or below-freezing afternoons.   

To turn these muffins into healthy lightly-sweet cupcakes, try frosting them with Can-Do Candida's Cream Cheese Icing recipe.  

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup almond flour
1 cup coconut flour
½ cup hazelnut flour
cup cocoa powder
1 ¼ tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
3 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp baking soda
4 eggs
½ cup milk
12 tbsp (1 ¼ sticks) salted butter, melted
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp liquid stevia
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
4 cups finely shredded zucchini
½ cup chopped walnuts



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

In a large bowl, combine the almond, coconut, and hazelnut flours.  Add the cocoa powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking soda. 

In a medium-sized bowl, beat four eggs.  To the beaten eggs add milk, melted butter, Greek yogurt, vanilla, and liquid stevia.  Whisk the wet ingredients together to ensure they are well mixed.  Once these ingredients are evenly blended (don’t worry about remaining small lumps of yogurt) whisk in the lemon juice and lemon zest. 

Add the finely shredded zucchini to the wet mixture and stir a few times to coat the zucchini. 

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to thoroughly combine into a thick, sticky batter.  Lastly, add the chopped walnuts and fold them into the batter to evenly distribute them throughout. 

Scoop the muffins into a parchment cup-lined muffin tray, using your hands to shape the batter in the cups.  This recipe makes a dozen muffins. 

Bake the muffins for 30 minutes or until the tops appear golden brown at the edges.

Serve plain or toasted and buttered.  Keep these muffins in the refrigerator, or store in the freezer and defrost as needed.  


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Candida Diet Eggnog: Happy Healthy Holidays


Think eggnog is too complicated for your anti-candida Christmas?  Think again.  This quick and easy recipe can be made in 20 minutes or less, and is easy to multiply for bigger parties.  

Coconut milk keeps this eggnog as rich and creamy as the original, without the dairy.  



It’s important to keep dairy to a selective minimum on the candida diet, as milk and milk products do have high levels of natural sugar that can aggravate candida.  For many, dairy also has inflammatory properties that can add to the systemic reaction that candida causes, and worsen candidiasis symptoms.  

So if you’re looking to skip the pain and gain the flavor, try this non-dairy ‘nog sweetened only with stevia. 

Candida Alert: While liquor is a traditional ingredient in eggnog, many alcohols, particularly dark drinks like bourbon or rum, have high concentrations of sugars that will feed candida.  So if you do choose to get festive with your eggnog, be aware that you might have to deal with health consequences beyond your typical hangover.   

Ingredients:

3 egg yolks
1 ¼ cups coconut milk
1 ¼ cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp vanilla stevia (or 1 tsp. each vanilla extract and liquid stevia)
¾ tsp nutmeg
tsp cinnamon
Dash of clove
Pinch of salt

Makes: 4-6 servings

In a large, heat-safe bowl, whisk three egg yolks. 

In a saucepan on the stove, combine the coconut milk and almond milk.  Turn the stove to low-medium heat.  Slowly raise the temperature of the milk mixture until the milk steams but does not simmer. 

Add the spices and stevia and allow these to cook in the milk.

The next step of the process is called tempering: slowly adding a hot ingredient to a heat-fragile one to avoid instantaneous cooking. 

Once the spiced milk has been heating on the stovetop for about 6-8 minutes, slowly begin to add this milk to the yolks, whisking the yolks as you do so.  Begin by adding in little more than a tablespoon of milk, then a few more, then a few more, once the yolks have been tempered into the mixture. 

If further cooking is desired for safety reasons, you may return the tempered eggnog to the saucepan for a few minutes (less than five) but cook over low heat only, and be aware that you may encounter some solids, which may need to be strained out later using cheesecloth.  

Chill the mixture overnight for maximum flavor.  Serve cold.  Happy Holidays!