Rich, creamy, and filling…you have to try this delicious, easy-to-make sugar-free chocolate chia seed pudding recipe!
Make it the night before and store it in the fridge for a ready-to-go breakfast. Easy peasy.
Looking for a great afternoon snack this will hit the spot without the afternoon sugar crash. Um yes, please!
Chia seeds will keep you feeling full until dinner and quell your sugar cravings without being harmful to your health.
All About Chia Seeds
If you haven’t already heard, chia seeds are being touted as one of the most nutritious, powerful “superfoods” on the planet.
They are an excellent source of fiber, loaded with antioxidants, full of protein and the richest natural source of Omega-3.
The chia seed, (Salvia hispanica L.), is a tiny seed with a lot of muscle. Each seed contains roughly 34% oil, 25% dietary fiber and 20% protein. The remainder of the seed is composed of important trace minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and iron.
Most of the oil within the tiny whole chia seed is heart-healthy ALA Omega – 3 and easily digestible.
They are easy to eat, tiny whole grain that can be consumed in many ways and by people of all ages.
Chia Seed powerful health-building benefits:
Super-energizing for increased endurance and sustained energy
Improves cardiovascular health
Stabilizes blood sugar
Reduces cravings for sweets and junk foods
Improved mental focus and concentration
High-quality protein promotes lean muscle mass
An ideal superfood
Super-hydration and electrolyte balance
Supports healthy elimination and detoxification
There is no need to grind up chia seeds in order to eat them. Sprinkle them on cereal, sandwiches, salad, soup, smoothies, cottage cheese, oatmeal or just about any other food.
Their taste is so mild that it hardly affects the flavor of the food it is being added to.
They have a shelf life of over 5 years because of their high concentration of antioxidants that keeps them from getting rancid.
The chia seed has been around for a long time. It was a staple of the Aztec diet.
Warriors relied upon the seed for nourishment during battle. It is hydrophilic, or water-loving and can hold up to ten times its weight in water, aiding in hydration.
They’re great for your health and are an easy way to make everything you eat more nutritious.
Do yourself a favor and give chia seeds and this chocolate chia seed pudding recipe a try!
Melt coconut oil on low heat or in a glass bowl in a microwave for 20-30 seconds watching closely so it doesn’t get too hot. Let cool a bit if it does get too hot.
Powder the erythritol if you have granular or use already powdered erythritol or monk fruit.
In the bowl with the coconut oil stir in carob or cocoa powder, powdered erythritol and vanilla flavor.
Use a silicone candy mold (I like this one or this you these fun ones) to make chips or other shapes desired or use a small sheet pan lined with parchment paper and spread the carob mixture out into a thin layer.
Place in the fridge or freezer until hardened.
Remove pieces from mold or break into small bite-sized pieces if using a sheet pan.
Store in the fridge to keep them from getting soft or melting.
Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.”
Our gut plays a huge role in our overall health
And while this may not be 100% true for every disease in every person, more and more research shows that our gut (digestive system) has a bigger role in many diseases than we used to think.
And we’re not just talking about heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, IBD, etc. We’re talking about all kinds of issues like allergies, pain, mood disorders, and nutrient deficiencies.
There are a lot of reasons for this. Our gut is the portal to the outside world. It’s here where we take in disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites. We also take in nutrients (and toxins) through our gut. The nutrients we ingest and absorb are the building blocks of every single part of our body.
We’re just learning the connections between our gut and other areas of our body, like our brain (have you heard of “the gut-brain axis”). Not just our gut per se; but, its friendly resident microbes too. These guys also have newly discovered roles in our gut health and overall health.
So, let’s talk about the roles that our gut and our gut microbes play in our overall health. Then I’ll give you tips to improve your gut health naturally.
Our gut’s role in our overall health
Our gut’s main role is as a barrier. To let things in that should get in, and to keep things out that should stay out. Think of “absorption” of nutrients as things we want to let in; and “elimination” of waste as things we want to pass right through and out.
This seemingly simple role is super-complex! And it can break down in so many places.
For one thing, our guts can “leak.” Yes, like a long tube with holes in it, it can allow things to get into our bloodstream/bodies that can wreak havoc (bacteria, undigested food, and toxins).
You name it, whatever you put into your mouth can be absorbed by your gut and get into your bloodstream, even if it’s not supposed to. And when your gut wall gets irritated, it can “leak.”
When this happens, you get inflammation, which is a starting point for many diseases that don’t seem linked to the gut but have a sneaky connection there.
FUN FACT: About 70% of our immune system lives in and around our gut.
A healthy gut is not a leaky gut. It maintains its barrier and shuttles things through to be eliminated. Maintaining a healthy gut barrier is the first pillar of gut health.
The second main part of your gut are the billions of friendly health-promoting microbes. Gut microbes help us digest and absorb nutrients.
They fight off disease-causing microbes, make some vitamins for us, and have all kinds of other health benefits, like mental health benefits, reducing inflammation, and stabilizing blood sugar.
So, keeping your gut microbes happy is the second pillar of gut health!
How to improve gut health
There are a lot of natural ways to improve gut health.
Let’s start with what to stop. It’s always best to eliminate the cause, so let’s stop giving our guts junk to deal with.
How about eliminating added sugars, processed foods, and alcohol? Try that for a few weeks, and you may be amazed at how much better your body (and gut) feels.
You may also want to eliminate other gut irritants. Dairy and grains contain common compounds known to irritate some people’s guts. Sometimes you only need to eliminate them for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference for your health.
By eating nutrient-dense foods, we allow ample macro- and micro-nutrients into our gut to maximize the chance for absorption.
These nutrients help our bodies build and repair our gut, and every other body part as well. Some of the most nutrient-dense foods include dark leafy greens, colorful fruits and veggies, liver, and fish.
The second pillar of gut health is our microbes.
By ingesting probiotic-rich foods and drinks, we can help to replenish our gut microbes. These are found in fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Make these a part of your daily diet.
Want to make your own fermented recipe that’s easy, delicious and is healthy for your gut? Check out the recipe below.
Whole foods are full of gut-friendly fiber. Not eating enough fiber increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Fiber plays lots of roles in our gut, including whisking away some of those pesky bad bacteria and toxins so they can be eliminated. Fiber also helps to feed the friendly resident microbes that help us absorb and digest our food better. What foods have a lot of fiber? Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and even cacao.
And don’t forget the extremely important lifestyle factors like getting enough sleep, dealing with stress, and getting the right amount (and intensity) of exercise for you. It’s easy to forget some of the simple, but key links there are between what we do with our bodies and how well they function.
In a nutshell
The function of your gut is key to your overall health. There are two pillars of gut health: maintaining a good barrier and maintaining healthy gut microbes.
The main way to improve both of these naturally is by eating nutrient-dense whole foods. Foods filled with nutrition, probiotics, and fiber. And eliminating common gut irritants like added sugar, processed foods, alcohol, dairy, and grains.
Here’s a recipe to help nourish and support your gut health:
When you go on the Candida diet and start making your health a top priority you might realize that your favorite snacks are no longer suitable for your new lifestyle. Fear not! There are SO many delicious sugar-free snack ideas that are tasty, nutrient-dense and totally guilt-free.
I remember feeling so discouraged after learning about all the foods I had to avoid when starting the Candida diet. All the crazy emotions from sadness to anger arose when I knew I had to get off of sugar plus I felt so overwhelmed when it came to figuring out what I was going to eat.
This was back when the internet was very new and Candida information was hard to come by. Fast forward 20+ years and now there’s an overload of information on the interwebs and it can make your head spin! My goal is to help make things easier and less stressful for you.
Here are a few of my favorite snacks that will work perfectly for you if you’re on the Candida diet, going sugar-free, or if you’re just wanting to eat healthier:
Easy and delicious sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free Candida diet snacks:
There can be so much confusion and frustration related to what to eat on the Candida diet. My hope is that these ideas will help give you some relief, hope and maybe even some excitement to try new foods!
Instead of looking at the diet as what you can’t eat, let’s shift this thought into the amazing amount of yummy things you can eat. These foods are going to boost your nutrition while being satisfying and delicious.
Everyone has different tastes and preferences when it comes to food so you’ll need to make choices that agree with you.
Deprivation, stress and overwhelm should not be a part of your plan when it comes to getting healthier be it the Candida diet or any other change you’re making with your food plan
These snacks will work for you if you are wanting to avoid the health-damaging effects of refined sugar, want to shed some excess “lb’s”, want to lower inflammation, and just want to feel better overall.
The Candida diet also forces you to get creative in the kitchen like never before.
Experiment with new ideas and you’ll be shocked by what you discover. Some of my all-time favorite recipes came from the creative discoveries I made when I finally chose to change my life and put my health first for once by ditching sugar for good.
When you start the Candida diet it can be very overwhelming so it’s important to take it step-by-step.
This way you will have a better chance of kicking your Candida overgrowth to the curb! To help you create success with your eating plan you will need quality tools and appliances in your kitchen. That’s why today I’m sharing with you 10 of the best appliances and tools to have in your kitchen. I have these in my kitchen and I know they will help you gain confidence in your cooking while helping you create delicious and healthy recipes you’ll love.
Click on the pictures below to read more about each tool or appliance. Let’s get to it!
1. MAGIC BULLET OR NUTRI-BULLET
WHY YOU SHOULD OWN IT:
When you’re really hungry, and you want to whip up something fast this is what you want to have at the ready. I’ve had mine for more than 15 years now (can’t remember exactly, it’s been a looong time!) and I’ve used it almost daily since I got it. You can make smoothies in it, chop nuts, blend eggs, make salsa, make sauces, salad dressings and more! It’s so convenient to use and clean and the price is right. You’ll need to decide if you want the Magic Bullet which is smaller and less expensive or the larger, higher-powered Nutri-Bullet. Either one will work and is a must for anyone wanting to eat healthier.
WHY YOU SHOULD OWN IT:
Ask anybody that is on the health bandwagon and they will tell you that having a Vitamix in their appliance arsenal is a must. It is definitely an investment, but the rewards are great. The Vitamix has impressive power and will last a long time even with a lot of use. It can handle the toughest of vegetables and can grind coffee beans, nuts and seeds. Another feature that is amazing is that it makes hot soups without turning on your stove. It also makes the most healthy and delicious frozen treats (no sugar added!) in minutes. The warranty is excellent and ranges from 5-10 years depending on the model you choose. Tip: if a Vitamix isn’t in your budget check on your local FB marketplace or Craigslist for great deals.
3. MASTICATING JUICER
WHY YOU SHOULD OWN IT:
Juicing has been around for a long time and has been up and down in its popularity, but it’s stood the test of time in the benefits it offers. Having a quality juicer (if you use it!) will be a boon to your health in so many ways. I absolutely love having a 16 oz juice in the morning before breakfast, it boosts my energy like nothing else.
I recommend purchasing a masticating juicer because it juices slowly and without heat that can destroy the nutrient and enzymes in the fruits and vegetables. Choose one that has good reviews and the highest quality you can afford, you can find good ones at a great price too.
This is the juicer I got, and it is working fine for me. You may want to check out this juicer or this one depending on your needs and budget. I’ve owned a Breville juicer and I don’t recommend The Juice Fountain since it’s not masticating and the pulp is quite wet so you’re not getting the full amount of juice from the fruit and vegetables. I also owned a Champion which is an excellent brand but I just found it clunky and messy to use so I didn’t use it. You want to purchase one that is easy to use so you’ll use it!
4. FOOD DEHYDRATOR
WHY YOU SHOULD OWN IT:
If you’re trying to change how you eat and how you cook, then I recommend purchasing a food dehydrator. I was all gung-ho about it when I first got it because I wanted to make dried fruit but I ended up using it for quite a few other things and am glad it’s in my pantry for when I crave these crackers and it’s needed for when you soak your nuts (to get rid of those pesky enzyme inhibitors) and want to crisp them back up again. My husband is also a beef jerky fan and makes his own with the help of this dehydrator. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one do to the job. If you do a lot of dehydrating then you’ll need to look for a larger one with more trays like this Excalibur which is an excellent quality brand. I own this Nesco one and it works great and fits my needs.
WHY YOU SHOULD OWN IT:
This tool has become very popular in the last few years and for good reason. For those of us that are food conscious and don’t eat wheat, we miss pasta! This is a good alternative, although not the same thing, it does quench the desire for some type of “pasta” type dish. Use it to spiralize zucchini, cucumber, sweet potatoes and more for fun and delicious meals. There are a couple of types that may fit depending on your specific needs. I actually have both! This larger size spiralizer is for heavier duty use and comes with a large variety of blades for different sizes and shapes. This handheld one surprisingly works quite well for zucchini and cucumbers and doesn’t take up a lot of space in your cabinets.
6. INSTANT POT or POWER PRESSURE COOKER XL
WHY YOU SHOULD OWN IT:
This one appliance can do more for your cooking than almost anything else. Its versatility is impressive and makes cooking so much easier. I own the Power Pressure Cooker XL and I use it for pressure cooking and it also has a crockpot feature. I use it to make bone broth, chili, meats, and casseroles. It’s an impressive appliance that will take the stress out of cooking.
WHY YOU SHOULD OWN IT:
If you’re not ready for or just aren’t sure about an Instant Pot, then be sure to have a crockpot in your kitchen. Yes, most people own one, but they usually get stuck in the back of your cabinet and not used enough! If you don’t have one then invest in one since they are really reasonably priced. You can throw a bunch of healthy ingredients in it in the morning and then have a wonderful smelling house all day and stress-free dinner time. I love doing that and the food always tastes amazing.
8. FOOD PROCESSOR
WHY YOU SHOULD OWN IT:
A food processor is great to have to make so many healthy things including pesto, dips like hummus, and healthy treats. It’s easy to use and will save a lot of time in the kitchen. I have a Cuisinart and although it’s not my most used appliance I wouldn’t want to be without it because it makes my favorite Almond Energy Balls!
9. SALAD SPINNER
WHY YOU SHOULD OWN IT:
I don’t know about you, but I get lazy when it comes to cleaning vegetables like lettuce. A salad spinner is so handy to have and makes it simple to just toss, rinse, spin and eat. It is handy for washing all types of veggies too. Don’t forget to use a veggie wash! I use this brand of veggie wash because it’s organic and it works.
10. TOOLS: LEMON JUICER, GARLIC PRESS, JAR SCRAPER
WHY YOU SHOULD OWN THEM:
Okay, I must admit that I just recently purchased these items and I absolutely love them! I don’t know why I waited so long but sometimes things just go that way. Now when I want fresh lemon on my salad or on my cooked greens I just load up my lemon squeezer and it’s done and without making a mess with using multiple tools and having those darned seeds falling in my food. It’s really easy to clean which also love. My old garlic press went kaput a few years ago and for reasons unknown, I hadn’t replaced it until a couple of months ago and I missed it! The jar scraper was an impulse purchase but come to find out it’s wonderful to get the last bit of mustard or healthy mayo out of the jar. Plus it can be helpful to get the last drop of your smoothie out of your Vitamix!
What is the kitchen appliance that you couldn’t be without while on the Candida diet?
Best Kitchen Appliances and Tools for Candida Diet Warriors from Amazon – The top Kitchen Appliances and Tools for Candida Diet warriors to help make eating healthy much easier!