Articles


Stealth Health


Photo by Chris Xaver

Food is medicine. And—depending on what you’re trying to heal/cure/deal with—food can (either help or hurt.)

This past year we’ve been dealing with health issues in our home. I am struggling with inflammation, and one of the little ones in my life is facing ADHD (which I also have) and we’re using diet as one method to help him (and me) gain focus.

I have never jumped on any sort of “fad” diet. What I have done was listen to the experts and back in the ’80s used margarine instead of butter. I bought into the notion that to lose weight I needed to eat “low fat.” After all, every medical expert I came across told us that. All of that was BI—Before the Internet.

Now, thank goodness, voices that have been struggling to break through into the mainstream are finding an outlet. I have spent more than a year studying nutrition. I’m not telling you what to do. I’m simply going to share what we’re doing to help with at least two cases of ADHD.

We are eating more fat and protein and cutting all added sugars and reducing natural sugars (that is, carbohydrates). We’re cutting as many carbs as possible while eating fats, which fuel the brain and produce satiety, and making sure we have plenty of non-starchy vegetables.

Our goal is to reduce consumption of foods that raise our glucose levels. We strive for less than 60 grams of carbohydrates a day. This is what I’m doing and is not necessarily right for you. (You’ll have to do the research and make that decision yourself.) And we are not doing this for weight loss.  

We can eat a nice meal with the skin on our salmon and get the right fats, along with a healthy salad or side vegetable.

But what happens when the 7-year-old asks for dessert? I have some ideas for you. These recipes are 100-percent approved by the 7- and 10-year-olds in my life. In fact, the youngest is about to have a birthday and has asked if I would make these cupcakes for his class party. And the cookies? Super yummy. You really have to try these. Trust me, it’s worth the risk.

Here’s the deal: Do not tell. If you don’t, no one will know they’re eating beans! If you want to decorate the cupcakes, take some stevia crystals and dye them with food coloring. You’ll just need to do this in advance so the crystals can dry thoroughly before you try to sprinkle them on top of your icing.

Recipes
Gluten- and Sugar-Free Black Bean Cupcakes
1    can black beans (14 to 15 ounces)
4    eggs
1    tablespoon vanilla
5    tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil, softened
3/4     cup sucralose or stevia
7    heaping tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1    teaspoon baking powder
1/2     teaspoon baking soda
1    pinch salt


Preheat oven to 350º. Rinse the beans for about 60 seconds to remove the “goop” and sodium. Using a food processor, puree the beans until smooth, like a butter. Add eggs, vanilla and coconut oil. Process. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.


Ladle into cupcake papers or a sprayed cupcake pan. (Makes 15.) Bake for 20 to 25 min. Check at 20 minutes, so as not to over bake. Or you can bake these in the microwave, using a non-metallic pan or cups. Bake six at a time for approximately 2 minutes 30 seconds on half-power for a “full” size microwave. Or bake for 2 minutes at full power. Once cool, top with coconut crème frosting.


Coconut Crème Frosting
4    ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil, softened (or butter if you prefer)
1    tablespoon vanilla
1/3 heaping cup stevia or sucralose
2    tablespoons milk (I used Silk almond milk)
Whip until light and fluffy and the sweetener has dissolved. I place in a zipper bag and cut off the tip to squeeze the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.


Chickpea Dough Ball Cookies
1 can (14 or 15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed well and dried with a towel
3/4 cup peanut butter (check the label to make sure there is no added sugar of any kind. You can use Sunbutter, too, if you don’t want to have peanut butter)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup stevia or sucralose
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I use sugar-free; there’s also dairy-free or vegan)
1 pinch salt


Preheat oven to 350º. Place everything except the chocolate chips in the food processor and process until smooth. Put the batter in a bowl and stir in the chocolate chips.


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wet your hands and dig in. Shape the dough into uniform balls about the size of a golf ball. Bake for 10 minutes. These will be little warm, doughy bites. They really won’t change shape much as you bake them. You can smoosh them down on the baking sheet if you like, but I prefer the ball shape. 


Chris Xaver, Ph.D., is a local TV and radio personality with three children and five grandchildren. Her healthy lifestyle show, The Sweet Life, is airing on public television stations nationwide.

 

 





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