It’s pumpkin season and the temperatures are feeling more like fall here in Los Angeles! It’s getting me in the mood for all things pumpkin! I know this is the hardest time of the year to be mindful of what we are putting into our bodies. I have changed my diet from eating gluten and sugar, to eating a gluten-free, and sugar-free diet. It sounds really boring and probably gross. You’re right it could be horrible tasting and trust me I have tried it all! Or, it can be super yummy if you have the right recipe. I have spent hours in my kitchen, AKA laboratory, coming up with delicious recipes for you. I want to discuss the importance of eating less sugar and maybe even jumping onto the sugar-free wagon like I have.
Sugar is the number one used drug and it robs us from living a vibrant and healthy life. Sugar can cause gain weight, crash energy, brain fog, anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, cancer, inflammation, chronic diseases, migraines, and the list goes on and on. Sugar is in most things. Instead of throwing food into your basket start reading the labels. You will be surprised how many foods have sugar in it. It would be easy if it was labeled just “sugar” but they come in sneaky names that do not appear like sugar.
Here is a list of the most popular names to look out for: Barley Malt, Beet Sugar, Corn Syrup, Caramel, Date Sugar, Dextran, Dextrose, Diatase, Ethyl Maltrol, Fructose, Glucose, Lactose, Maltodextrin, Sorbital, Sorghum Syrup, Sucrose.
If you are thinking of cutting out sugar do it in a kind way. I tell my clients to start with swapping out refined sugars for unrefined sugars such as Coconut Sugar, Maple Syrup, Honey or Brown Rice Syrup. Unrefined means it is in its pure state and has not been processed as much. It still tastes like sugar and has more nutrients. It’s important to eat unrefined sugars in moderation since it’s still sugar. I would start here for a bit, and then start trying out the sugar-free options.
If you are dealing with Candida, leaky gut, diabetes, auto-immune issues, etc. then sugar-free is the only way to go. I have been playing with several types of sugar-free sweeteners and find that Stevia and Monk Fruit are the best options. They are natural and contain no sugar. They taste very sweet. Look on Amazon or your local health food store for different types of Stevia and Monk Fruit. Start including it in your baking and cooking. See what you like better. I find that I like Monk Fruit in some things and Stevia in others. It’s all up to you and what you like.
I have found positive changes in my life by getting rid of sugar. It’s an emotional process to eliminate it from your diet. With any drug it takes time to detox it out of your life. It does not happen overnight. If you mess up and go for the sugar its ok. Pick yourself back up, breath and keep trying. It’s all about making new habits and once you do, sugar will not even taste good to you again. Trust me !! The good weighs out the bad. I have more energy, my inflammation has gone away, leaner body and people tell me I am glowing and look happier!
I want to share with you today my favorite gluten-free Pumpkin Spice Muffins. There is an option to make it sugar-free or to use unrefined sugar. These are guilt free treats!! They are also filled with lots of protein and super foods if you add the optional chia seeds and hemp seeds. They are good to grab as a quick breakfast, snack or post workout.
I have included a bonus recipe for your four-legged friends, a gluten-free Pumpkin Biscuit. I don’t know about your fur baby, but mine want my muffins and they give me the mad stare down as I eat them. Why should they miss out on all this pumpkin fun!! My dogs go nuts over them.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Muffins
1 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup hazelnut flour or almond flour.
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice ( *could use cinnamon if you don’t have pumpkin spice. Its less of the pumpkin flavor but still yummy)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
*Sugar free : 1/4 cup monk fruit or 10 drops of stevia or use unrefined sugar
*Unrefined sugar 1/2 cup coconut sugar, 1/2 cup maple syrup
* Optional add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, and hemp seeds. Adds more protein and super foods.
* Optional add dark chocolate chips. I make half of them with and the other half without.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Blend eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, coconut oil (make sure coconut oil is in liquid form)
In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients and then add to wet ingredients and blend.
Use a hand-held mixer or a standing mixer.
Add to muffin pans. I like to use muffin liners so I don’t deal with it sticking to surface. If you want a bread instead. Pour into a bread pan.
This is when I add chocolate chips to half of them. I just push the chips into the uncooked muffin. I don’t eat sugar but my family likes it.
Bake at 15-25 minutes it depends on your oven and size of muffin. I like to check it after 15 min to see how it’s doing.
Makes 12-14 large muffins or 30 mini muffins.
Let cool and enjoy!!
Gluten-free Pumpkin Biscuits for dogs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of grain free flour such as: Coconut flour, Almond flour .
1/2 cup non dairy milk. I used coconut milk.
DIRECTIONS:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Blend eggs and pumpkin together, add the dry ingredients to it.
The dough will be in little crumbles. Roll onto floured surface and cut into desired shape.
Bake for 20 minutes for a softer biscuit. For a hard biscuit flip it over and bake another 15 min.
*Makes about 10 dog bones. If using a smaller shape can be 20 treats.
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