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Gluten-free, Sugar-free Raspberry Muffins

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutrition and Natural Health
on November 29, 2012



We’ve been experimenting with quite a few sugar free, gluten-free, yeast-free breads and desserts. We have had some victories and a few disappointments, but I wanted to share them with you. This is an adaptation to our Blueberry Muffin recipe posted last week – see here. For anyone with yeast overgrowth or even just some yeast issues, these will help starve that yeast and get it eliminated from your body. Often times we don’t even realize we have yeast and the possibility that they might have taken control of our intestinal flora. Do you have lots of bloating after eating? Probably yeast. Can’t lose weight even though you’re starving yourself? Probably yeast. We have to starve it by eliminating ALL sugar and yeast from our diets. Other things need to be eliminated too, but these are the main culprits. To say it's difficult to find a sugar-free, gluten-free, and YEAST-free bread is an understatement. Let me know if you do. We've experimented with a few recipes and found some we really liked. I will be posting those recipes very soon.

Now, just a short note about these recipes. They are adapted from a book called "The Joy of Gluten-free, Sugar-free Baking" and I highly recommend the book. However, I suddenly realized with my last two recipe attempts, the authors are WEIGHING their dry ingredients. For instance, one recipe says 1 cup (4 oz/113 grams)! Well, I've been baking since I was a kid and one cup to me is 8 ounces in a dry measuring cup - so totally NOT 4 oz! So I decided to actually weigh the flour this time at 85 grams and I think they turned out better than the last batch. Which, really if you think about it, each "flour" has a different weight - it's a bit different than using all purpose flour which stays the same. The almond flour I purchased and is available in most grocery stores, but for the pecan flour, I simply ground up raw organic pecans in the spice grinder. And seriously? If you don't have yeast issues or aren't worried about the glycemic load, you could use sugar in these recipes. Hmmm - and did you notice? There are NO oils or fats added? The fats are naturally derived from the nuts - and they are the healthy fats!


¾ cups (3 oz/85 grams) pecan flour
¾ cup (3 oz/85 grams almond flour
½ cup Stevia in the Raw Extract (we were able to find this at Russ's! One of our least health-oriented grocery stores.)
1/3 cup hemp seeds
1/3 cup organic dried coconut
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 eggs (approximately 3.5 oz/99 grams)
½ cup (4 oz/113 grams) unsweetened coconut milk
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 packet NuStevia
½ to 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (I put them in still frozen)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 9 to 10 muffin cups with paper liners. I like to spray them with olive oil spray (optional). Mix the pecan flour, almond flour, Stevia in the Raw, hemp seeds, coconut, baking powder and salt until well blended. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon juice, and NuStevia until well blended.  Add the egg mixture to the bowl with the flour mixture and stir with a large spoon for 1 to 2 minutes. I’ve found that this is an important step to get the correct consistency of the batter. I even set my timer for 2 minutes after I pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture but I’m a little OCD-ish. Fold the raspberries into the batter – gently of course. Again, no need to thaw them out first - easy and fast.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and the cups should be just about full. They don’t rise much if at all.  Place the muffin pan on a cookie sheet and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Test them with a toothpick and if it comes out clean, they’re ready. I like to then set them out on a wire rack for cooling. Well, truthfully, I like to pull a really hot one out and slather it with butter and eat it right then - my reward.

We liked these a lot and Warren took a few to work with him today.  I will do a nutritional analysis, but just knowing that I’m using nut “flour” (and we use organic raw nuts), NO sugar, and coconut milk – the amount of fiber and protein has to be high. The raspberries of course were not sweetened – so more goodness for you.

Let me know if you try these and how they turned out. If you have any questions, let me know!

Thanks for listening!

Ann McIntire Wooledge, RN, CCAP

Why you should trade your Lipitor for an avocado!

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutrition and Natural Health
on January 22, 2011

When I was around 42 years old, 100 pounds, and still barely 5 feet tall, for the first time ever I had my cholesterol levels tested in a routine annual exam. Well - they came back VERY bad and at that time I was eating your normal meat, cheese, and veggie diet and staying at the same weight for about 20 years and a size 4. I knew I had to stay away from sugar, potatoes, bread and white rice as much as possible because I always gained weight if I ate those things. No advanced nutritional science here - I just knew my body and my body told me it couldn't metabolize those things and every ounce I ate would end up as pounds on my hips and thighs. Well, to be honest, I didn't really know anything about the word "metabolize" at that time - I just simply gained weight - enough said.


The doctor at that time was amazed that not only was my LDL (bad stuff) very high, my triglycerides were also very high (very not good). But my HDL's  (the good guys) at that time were quite high and probably because I walked every day. He decided and I agreed I didn't need to take any medicine for it - yet. Of course, the statins such as Lipitor weren't quite as routinely given back then.  The point I want to get across is at that time they were teaching low-fat, low calorie diets to lower cholesterol. I was in nursing school and needed to do a teaching presentation for my speech class and decided to make that my subject. So, I studied everything I could find to teach others what they should eat to keep their cholesterol down. All of my research from your routine medical research journals to the registered dietitions' comments told me I could and should eat bagels because they are "low fat", and yes, I could eat those low-fat cookies even though they had an amazing amount of grams of sugar in them. Hey, I was excited - I could now eat things I thought I couldn't!! Everything I read said as long as the fat content (ANY fat) was low, regardless of the sugar or starch content, would be okay and, in fact, good. 

Follow me here a year later as I gained 30 pounds (that's a lot on a 5' frame), probably in less than a year and my cholesterol, of course, didn't go down at all. I continued this way for many years (about 20 years) until I realized on my own that this wasn't working (apparently I'm not such a quick learner.) That's when I started looking at less meat, no white stuff, more veggies and fruits and I slowly transitioned into mostly raw for one summer (which I blogged about here) and I quickly lost those 20 pounds, easily and I certainly didn't eat any less. We ate huge salads almost every day. 

Well, now the prevailing wisdom and recommendations have turned their course and the medical establishment has decided that maybe those weren't such good recommendations. They still haven't learned or are convinced that proper nutrition can in fact heal the body without pharmaceutical medications, but studies such as the one here will help convince them. Now the rest of us who knew it already can sit back and just say "we told ya' so!"  I routinely eat one avocado a day if I can find them for less than $1.50 each and I can now - thank you Trader Joe's!! Mainly because I just love them, and I knew the fat in them was good fat so I wasn't counting fat calories. Luckily Warren doesn't like avocado's - I don't like to share and besides we can only afford one avocado addict in this family.

Thank you Canadian Medical Association! Take a copy of the abstract from the original study linked to below the next time you go to your doctor - or better yet before getting that prescription refilled. Absolutely don't, of course, go off any medications without first discussing it with your doctor - but now you have something he or she might actually listen to.

ADDENDUM: October 29, 2012:

I ate an avocado for breakfast this morning - totally filling, satisfying and good. I decided to look once again at the nutritional values in eating just one. Here is a link where all of that is broken down quite extensively and clearly. The article that is linked below is about the incredible value of increasing "monounsaturated" fats into your diet to increase the good cholesterol (HDL). Avocado's are FULL of monosaturated fats.

And below is the clinical study proving that including monounsaturated fats into your diet is a very good thing.

Thanks for listening!


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