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

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Blueberry Pie for the Candida Diet


Nothing says gather ‘round like a warm, homemade pie. 

I’m sure you can already tell from my earlier post on Blueberry Muffins that I have quite the affinity for these little purple (yes, they are actually purple) fruits.  This happens to be incredibly convenient because blueberries have one of the lowest sugar levels of any fruit.  So if chocolate isn’t hitting the spot and you’re looking for a more refreshing candida-proof treat, blueberries are a pretty good pick. 


My fridge has had a big, blinking NO VACANCY sign up for the past two months.  You can always tell how much pressure I’ve been under by how many Tupperware containers of baked goods I have in my refrigerator (or freezer) at any given moment.  I get on a kick and soon enough my whole fridge is a city of reused takeout boxes stuffed to the brim with muffins and brownies and the like.  When I can’t remove the water pitcher without triggering a collapse, I decide it’s about time to pull out the old knitting needles and give the kitchen a break. 

As human beings, we are constantly undergoing a series of changes, both physical and emotional, and the more self-aware we are, the more it can seem like an added chore to try and process the things we’re experiencing. 

That’s why it always helps to have an outlet.  For me it’s baking (and writing), but the right stress reliever can be anything. 

Give yourself the time to slow down.  Allow yourself to feel fully focused on something purely out of pleasure, not obligation.  I find the hardest part for me is not jumping down my own throat for not being “productive”. 

Fact is, if you’re working on your own happiness, you’re doing good work.  You can’t help others if you don’t first help yourself. 

Take the candida diet for example.  It’s a huge commitment to your health and wellness to make the shift to no sugar, but it can be so rewarding.  So to everyone who is reading this, who is following the diet by the book or just making an effort to try and get healthy: I understand that it can feel like hard work, but it’s good work. 

I hope my recipes help make your effort a little easier, and your journey to health and happiness a little sweeter.  Now, without further adieu, I present my recipe for Can-Do blueberry pie.


This recipe makes one 9-inch pie. 

Ingredients:

For the crust:

2 ¼ cups almond flour
1 tsp salt
2 packets stevia, such as truevia
1 stick salted butter
½ tsp vanilla

Follow the ingredients as laid out in the Can-Do Candida recipe for Perfect Piecrust.

For the filling:

6 cups Maine blueberries (can be found frozen, if not fresh)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp stevia
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp chia seed
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp salted butter
1 tbsp coconut flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine 6 cups of Maine blueberries with lemon juice, vanilla, stevia, nutmeg, cinnamon, chia seeds, and salt.  Toss the berries lightly, either with your hands or using a kitchen utensil and a gentle folding motion, to coat the berries with the ingredients.  Be careful not to burst or damage the berries. 

In a large pan over medium heat, melt the salted butter.   To the melted butter, add the coated berries and coconut flour.  Over medium to low heat, cook this mixture on the stovetop for 5 minutes to soften the berries and allow the pie filling to thicken.

Pour this mixture of softened berries into the pre-baked pie shell.  I recommend covering the exposed crust with tinfoil if you don’t want it to burn.  

Bake the pie for 40 minutes.

Candida Alert:  It is possible to have too much of a good thing.  While blueberries are a low-sugar fruit, fruit sugars do make an impact when it comes to feeding yeast in your system.  Be aware that in consuming a large portion of blueberries, you are putting an amount of sugar in your system that is not negligible.  That being said, life is short, so enjoy yourself according to your best judgment. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Candida Diet Zucchini Muffins: Squash for Sweater Weather


It’s officially sweater weather where I am, and I don’t know about you, but when the air gets that autumnal chill I start jonesing for sweet and spiced baked goods: muffins, pies – anything full of cinnamon and nutmeg that is soft and warm and, well, sugary. 

These zucchini muffins are my candida diet answer to that sugary comfort we can’t help but crave when the weather turns nippy.  Since this recipe is gluten-free, sugar-free, and sweetened with stevia, it’s a guilt-free way to enjoy a classic breakfast or afternoon treat - not to mention baking in a warm kitchen is an excellent way to keep everyone cozy and entertained once the weather starts to turn. 

candida diet zucchini muffins

When I made these muffins they were destined for the breakfast table, and with a balance of vegetable fiber and protein-packed flours, they’re almost a meal in themselves. 

The use of cardamom in this recipe is optional.  I added it for its lovely floral flavor and I find it elevates the other spices and gives the muffins a slightly exotic dimension, but take care to use it sparingly as it can quickly become overpowering. 

As you can see from the photograph below, I used a rough shred on my zucchini.  If you would like the squash to disappear more into your batter use a fine shred, which I have noted in the recipe. 


Ingredients:

1 ½ cups almond flour
1 cup coconut flour
½ cup hazelnut flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
3 tsps cinnamon
Optional: pinch (and I do mean a pinch, this spice has a strong flavor) of cardamom
¼ tsp baking soda
4 eggs
½ cup milk
12 tbsps (1 ¼ sticks) salted butter, melted
2 tbsps Greek yogurt
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 tsps liquid stevia
2 tsps 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 salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom (if you so choose), 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 (think of it as playing with play-doh, and shape your ideal muffin before it bakes).  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, September 3, 2013

Candida Diet Piecrust: A Good Pie is Hard to Find...Unless You Use This Recipe


Pies are an easy and delicious way to feed many mouths for little effort, and with a little kitchen magic I’ve made them a candida can-do.  And since a good crust recipe is the starting point for any pie, I want to share mine. 

The following is my incredibly easy recipe for the perfect candida diet piecrust: beautiful food starts with the basics.  With only five ingredients you get a buttery, toasty crust with just the right balance of salt and sweet to complement any filling you want to pair with it. 


Here is what you will need to make one 9-inch piecrust:

Ingredients:

2 ¼ cups almond flour
1 tsp salt
2 packets stevia, such as truevia
½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
½ tsp vanilla extract


In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and stevia and mix them together thoroughly.  Add the melted butter and vanilla extract and stir until all ingredients are evenly incorporated. 

Transfer the piecrust dough to your pie pan.  Use your hands to gently push the dough across the bottom of the pan and up the sides until it reaches the desired height.  The crust should be about ¼-inch thick in the pan. 

I recommend prebaking the crust for 5-10 minutes in a 350-degree oven to really bring out a toasted, brown-butter flavor in the almond flour, but this step is optional. 

This recipe is incredibly easy – almost impossible to mess up – and so, so delicious and versatile.  The mild, buttery flavor of the almond flour is a perfect balance for any fruit, custard, or cream filling.  So go forth and explore the world of can-do pie!