Let's Have Our Cake and Eat it, too

Low-carb, whole food, snack suggestions.

So how about a snack which won’t cause you to strangle anyone—including yourself?

I declare that we can have our cake and eat it too!

I follow a low-carb, nutrient-dense whole foods diet AND I enjoy my treats as much as anyone. So, what do I do when I want something sweet and I want to keep it healthy?

(image from an Instagram post by sarcasm_only)

I might:

  • make a kombucha cocktail: one part booch to two parts seltzer and a sprinkle of stevia; just sweet enough to satisfy and amazingly refreshing. Kombucha has naturally-occurring probiotics to assist your gut in boosting immunity—for the win. Use store-bought or homemade booch. Be sure the seltzer is free of artificial sweeteners and that the stevia is free of fillers.

  • skip the booch and go for straight seltzer, flavored or not, and add stevia to that. In its pure form, stevia is an herb and will not raise your blood sugar levels—and it may help balance blood pressure. Herbs are powerful; they are truly nature’s pharmacy.

  • have almond or cashew butter with celery or apple. I don’t actually digest apple well—and they are higher in sugars—so I'll stick with celery, but either way, this is a well-rounded snack with any of the true nut butters. Peanut is not a true nut and is frequently contaminated with a mold called aflatoxin, so I avoid it. Almonds support skin, brain, and heart health, so when we add veggies/fruits, it's a win-win for sure!

  • coconut butter is also tasty as a spread—try it with a piece of dark chocolate if you're feeling it! Coconut butter is also called coconut manna. Coconuts contain a bevy of healthy fats for long-lasting, stable energy.

And, finally, when I really want something special, I might make a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, mugcake. The recipe is below—I hope you play around with it and enjoy it as much as I do.

Wait--what’s in it? My daughter asked me, as I proffered the mug.

It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, I began.

I didn’t ask what isn’t in it; I want to know what is.

Ah. Point taken.

It’s a cake. Mixed in a mug. Baked in a mug. Super simple. I make it with coconut flour, coconut oil, some stevia, and an egg. It’s rich. It’s sweet. And there’s room in the recipe for almost anything you can dream of—I like to add cocoa nibs for texture. If I’m feeling really extravagant, I’ll add dark chocolate bits. The sky’s the limit, so to speak.

Mugcakes are all over the internet—mixes are in stores now. But I don’t want the overly sweet, gluten-filled versions made with dairy milk. My body prefers to avoid those ingredients—and I question their use generally because of the toxins rampant in our food supply. So. I make my own. And I'm willing to share--definitely big enough for two.

If you don’t have the more specialty ingredients on hand, gather them up as you visit different stores and try it when you can. Please let me know what you think—and what additions you make.

As far as the actual baking: if I’m being conscientious I will plan for the 20 minutes it takes in the toaster oven; if I’m not, I will bung it in the microwave—yes, we still have one—punch in 3 minutes and then vacate the room to avoid the EMFs being emitted while the machine is on (I tested it; it’s off the charts).


Helen’s “What’s In It?” Mugcake

Set toaster oven to 350 degrees (or use a microwave).

In oven and microwave-safe mug, whisk together dry ingredients:

· 2 Tbsp coconut flour

· 1 Tbsp carob or cocoa powder

· 1/8 tsp baking powder

· 1/8 tsp baking soda

· Pinch (or 2) of sea salt

· A scant 1/8 tsp powdered stevia (if using liquid, add a dropperful with liquids below)

Add wet ingredients to dry:

· 1 egg

· 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil or butter (melted)

· 2-4 Tbsp unsweetened, non-dairy milk of choice (I prefer canned coconut milk)

Mix thoroughly (watch out for pockets of dry).

Bake 20-25 minutes in a toaster oven until it bounces back when touched and has risen up the sides of the mug--possibly higher. It’s amazing to witness!

Or microwave 2-3 minutes.

I suggest being flexible with the measurements: Adjust the amounts to create a typical cake batter consistency and taste.

Now you’ve tried it “plain”, it’s time to experiment with different flavours. Go vanilla! Go spicy! Add cardamom. Cinnamon. Add a tsp of cocoa nibs, freshly-ground flax seeds, nuts and/or “clean” chocolate. It is an amazingly versatile recipe.

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