Chocolate is Love.
At least that’s what our brains think.
See, when we eat chocolate, a whole cascade of happy chemicals and hormones get triggered, making us feel a bit high, happy, relaxed and excited all at the same time.
Kinda like love.
Cacao contains a delicious mix of natural chemicals that make us feel darned close to giddy in love:
Phenylethylamine is often called the “love drug,” that has heightening physiological effects… fatty acids called cannabinoids (yes, relatives of those found in pot), make you feel relaxed and intoxicated, and all of this leads to a release of the pleasure-producing hormones dopamine and serotonin.
Top it all off with a dose of sugar normally found in our cocoa treats, and you’ve got a world-class super drug.
With all of these happy high chemicals coming in legal, cheap, bite-sized nuggets, it’s amazing we aren’t all on the streets collecting pop bottles and turning tricks to get another fix! (Too much? Ok, maybe just collecting pop bottles…)
Luckily, the amounts of these mind-altering chemicals found in chocolate are relatively small compared with other drugs like marijuana, ecstasy, and morphine.
Our modern brains are used to the amounts and effects of the pleasure-inducing chemicals released by our coffee, tea, cocoa, and energy drinks, and we can only produce so much dopamine.
When we eat a ton of chocolate and release a bunch of dopamine, our bodies immediately seek balance by shutting down the hormone production. This leads to desensitization to both dopamine and chocolate’s effects over time.
Which makes me think we should all be living slightly cleaner lives with less caffeine, sugar and other “happy drugs” so that we can really enjoy the effects of chocolate more!
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CACAO
Humans weren’t the first culinary smarties to figure out that cacao seeds were edible.
We learned it from watching monkeys.
Found in pods growing in South American rain forests, cacao seeds are covered with a slimy, slightly-sweet gel, sort of like leechee fruit.
Monkeys and people cracked open the pods, sucked on the fruit and spat out the seeds.
The raw seeds inside were bitter and pretty gross, so few animals or humans ate them, even though they were high in fat.
Carrying these seeds along their migrations caused the cacao trees to spread throughout South America and Central America.
But what happened next in chocolate’s history took a stroke of luck: someone realized that when you fermented and then roasted those seeds before eating them, the bitter flavor diminished and the ambrosia-like aroma of chocolate began to tickle their noses.
Once fermented and roasted, those bitter cacao beans begin to smell like melting chocolate. Grind the seeds, add some sugar, cinnamon, and chili pepper, and you’ve got a Water of the Gods, or cacao agua.
I’ve visited a rainforest cacao plantation in Costa Rica and watched the traditional methods for making cacao agua, as well as tasting the fruits, and learning about the lifecycle of this magical food.
Until you can get yourself down to Central America to experience this for yourself, I’ve created a few healthy, delicious cacao (raw cocoa bean) recipes to enjoy with your Valentine, or any time!
Date Night: Cacao Nibs in Dates
4 Medjool dates, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
1 tablespoon almond butter
Scoop ½ teaspoon into each half of the pitted dates. Sprinkle with cacao nibs and gently press in with your finger so the nibs stick. Serve to your loved one on Date Night!
Whether you’re serving them to a Goddess, or you ARE a goddess, these raw cacao truffles are super easy, delicious, and won’t tax your culinary skills. In short, you can show off in the kitchen without trying too hard.
Raw Cacao Goddess Truffles: Raw Cacao Truffles Recipes
2 cups raw nuts (I used 1 cup each almonds and cashews)
½ cup pitted Medjool dates
pinch sea salt
4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
optional: coconut flour, cacao powder, cinnamon for rolling truffles
Combine all (except optional coconut flour, etc) in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are well ground and mixed with the dates.
Using a tablespoon or a small ice cream scooper, scoop the mixture into your hand and form into truffle balls.
You can now roll in coconut flour or other decorations, or eat raw.
Serve as is, or crumbled on banana slices.
WHY I USE RAW CACAO
As you may have noticed, these recipes call for raw cacao, which is different from baking chocolate, chocolate chips, and all products made with dutched or processed chocolate. The health benefits of raw cacao are pretty awesome, and you can make a lot of easy treats with it.
And for me, healthy + delicious = perfect.
BUT, you have to buy the right kind of cacao to get the most benefits and avoid the toxins found in conventional cacao production. Certified Organic Raw Cacao is an excellent source of antioxidants. It it’s NOT Certified Organic Raw Cacao, then you are also eating a lot of chemicals from irradiation and spraying of chemicals which are standard practice in growing cacao beans.
If you’re wondering, here are some health benefits of raw cacao:
Magnesium: Cacao beans are a great source of this mineral (270 milligrams per 100 grams), which is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in our bodies, including muscle and nerve function, and is a muscle relaxant associated with feelings of calmness.
Sulphur: Cacao is also high in sulfur, which helps grow strong nails and hair.
Fiber: A chocolate bar doesn’t offer any fiber, but if you eat raw cacao, you’ll get 9 grams per ounce!
Iron: An ounce of the raw cacao beans or nibs (crushed beans) contains six per cent of your recommended daily iron intake.
Antioxidants: Raw cocoa powder tops the antioxidant list with almost four times the amount of antioxidants as Goji Berries. But be careful! You may be sensitive to the caffeine effects on your nervous system, so take it easy on this stimulant.
Here are 2 compounds in cacao that you might want to be careful of:
Theobromine: which makes up 1-2% of the cacao bean and, like caffeine, is a nervous system stimulant that dilates the blood vessels — much like caffeine. This is what makes chocolate unsafe for dogs, and causes uncomfortable sensations for sensitive humans.
Phenylethylamine (PEA): While our bodies also produce PEA (an adrenal-related chemical) when we’re excited, it causes our pulse to quicken. While this makes some of us feel alert and excited, it can have an uncomfortable effect on people who are sensitive and wanting to lower their heart rate.
With all this in mind, choose the healthiest chocolate for you and your loved ones, and enjoy the natural high of the food of the gods.
These and other Toxic 6-Free chocolate delights are all Cravings Cleanse approved!
Join me for an 8-week exploration & healing journey to get your cravings, taste-buds, hormones, and waistline back in alignment.
I couldn’t budge my muffin top…
My belly would bloat up all the time…
I was addicted to sugar and caffeine…
I was too tired to fight for what I wanted in life…
…and what I wanted was hidden by clouds, kind of indistinct and hard to define.
(new career – but what? new relationship – but who with, and was I worthy? creative time for me – what medium?)
When I heal my body, (again + again)
I still find that my belly’s health is a big part of the process.
I talk a lot about the four root causes of cravings, and that the first place to look at any craving,
at any health issue, is in our guts.
Your gut is the seat of your health + your intuition:
* it’s where your immune system is either built healthfully, or falling apart
* how well you digest your food impacts your energy, mood, nutritional cravings, and “elimination” (aka pooping)
* 95 percent of the body’s serotonin is in your gut – that’s one of your feel good, relaxed hormone
* neurons in the gut generate as much dopamine as those in the head (for help with sleep, mood, pleasure + attention)
* we store emotional trauma, sexual fears + hurts, and injuries to our childhood safety in our gut
Your gut is your second brain.
It’s also your intuitive, feeling brain.
It’s where we make a lot of our life decisions from,
because we need to feel good + strong in this part of our body to go after the things we desire.
(ever make a gut decision, feel nervous knots or have butterflies in your stomach before a big event?)
But when it’s bloated, covered in layers of extra stress-induced fat,
in pain, or just uncomfortable all the time…
you just can’t connect to your intuition, or feel strong about your decisions.
You will be tired, want to hide, or cover the pain with emotionally craved foods.
That’s why one of the first areas we heal in the Cravings Cleanse is the gut.
To feel and see a real shift in your body, energy, and mindset (and life!)
we need to heal our guts and take out the foods (I call them the Toxic 6)
that hurt our digestion and cause a real disconnect between the brain in your head
and the brain in your belly.
Foods that help the belly heal are:
1. easy to digest – Toxic 6-free, fiber rich, but not hard on an impaired digestive system
2. nutrient + enzyme rich – contain healing ingredients like L-glutamine, Omega-3s, probiotics, and enzymes
3. tasty – if they don’t taste good, we won’t eat them, will we?
4. and non-inflammatory – foods that won’t cause damage, leaky holes in your gut, or poor digestion
They are also free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn, sugar, and caffeine…AKA the Toxic 6,
which cause leaky gut, bloating, fatigue, bacterial overgrowth, and brain fog.
And as I have seen over the years in person experience and working with thousands of clients,
when your gut is sick, your brain, intuition, confidence, and energy all take a hit.
That’s why I include so much information on gut health in
my programs like the Cravings Cleanse & Mindset Makeover.
Past members have totally changed their gut health with the Cravings Cleanse:
“This is the easiest Cleanse I’ve ever done! I’ve tried to get off sugar, caffeine and alcohol before, but this time I’ve been successful! I’m feeling energized, less joint pain, and my gut is happy and thinner – finally. The weight is dropping off, and I’m feeling a lot better. My husband isn’t officially doing the cleanse, and he’s feeling really good! He wants to do this every 6 months.” Aliza from NYC
“I have more energy! My digestion is way better, and I’m not constipated anymore. I’m noticing smoother skin. I have my family eating with me! that is huge…” Serena, Grapevine, CA
Your experience of yourself and the world will be strained and
based on old fears when your gut is in knots, constipated, impaired, or uncomfortable all the time.
It’s time to heal your gut, and feel the energy, strength, and intuitive knowing that your body is capable of:
* remove the Toxic 6, one of the cornerstones of my upcoming Cravings Cleanse 8-week program
* add the foods and supplements that will begin to heal the matrix of your intestines + improve your digestion
* get clear on how past events + traumas have been stuck in your body and how processing them, seeing them, and loving yourself are an important part of your healing journey
We can’t just look at food or emotion as we create the body and life we crave.
Foods and emotions can be either toxic or healing.
Are you ready to find out which foods and emotions have been keeping your belly stuck?
Cravings Cleanse + Mindset Makeover — What if you could spend 8 weeks supported by a beautiful circle of health seekers who are creating their best health + best lives with Alex? What would your life, body, and days feel like if you had the health, confidence, and energy you truly crave? Enrollment is now open, spots are limited. Learn more here.
Eggnog is one of my favorite holiday treats – but now that I know I’m egg-sensitive, I had to put on my thinking-chef’s hat
and get creative in the kitchen -
which I love doing!
I used some leftover, naturally sweet garnet yams as the base. This thickened the smoothie, and added great fiber.
I’ve been feeling very “featherweight” lately, which is one of my cravings types (I’m a dual type, also Fire Brand, or Pitta)
and wanted to add some spices that would help me feel warm and comfy.
Earth Mama/Papa types can add some ginger to this recipe to help them feel more energized and uplifted!
Eggless Nog Smoothie Recipe:
12 ounces unsweetened almond or coconut milk
½ cup water
1 cup cooked sweet potato (peeled)
2-3 pitted Medjool dates (the big juicy ones) cut in half
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in the blender.
Blend, pour, sip and smile!
Holiday food should be pretty. So this dish rocks.
Especially if you’ve discovered that you have to cut out a ton of foods to get or stay healthy.
We just discovered that our family has to avoid gluten + eggs + soy (me and the boy), whey from milk (me), and corn (the kid).
So, yeah. That’s a lot of ingredients we’ll be avoiding!
BUT, I always loved a good challenge, especially in the kitchen.
AND, one way to ensure optimism + resilience is to look at the cupboard as half full, and expect the best, rather than getting depressed + overwhelmed by saying goodbye to certain ingredients.
I’m putting on my big girl panties, looking on the bright side, and putting all my energy into making delicious, nourishing foods that everyone can enjoy at the table.
One of the first places to start is with super easy, super tasty, no-fail recipes:
Ok, so most hummus is already gluten-dairy-soy-corn-free, but when I saw a picture of this gorgeous dip, I couldn’t resist making it in hopes of livening up the impending Christmas table.
Ruby Red Beet Hummus
- 1 medium beet (1 cooked a whole bunch at once to have for later)
- 15-ounce BPA-FREE can (1 3/4 cup) of garbanzao beans, drained
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tiny pinch cayenne
- 1 dash paprika
- 2tablespoons lemon juice
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
How to make the best hummus ever:
First, roast the beets: Preheat oven to 400F. Clean, scrub, and cut off the stems and root end. Loosely wrap individually in foil, place on a roasting pan. Roast for 50-60 min. They’re ready when a knife can be easily inserted.
(might as well wrap a head of garlic and roast that, too – I mean, who can ever get enough roasted garlic?)
While you’re waiting, take a nap or watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix.
When the beets are done, slip the outer peel off. Your hands will get red, but you’ll look pretty bad a$$.
Combine all ingredients into a food processor. Add water or additional olive oil until desired consistency. You want this to be creamy + smooth.
Add salt and pepper, about 1/2 teaspoon at a time.
Serve with gluten-free crackers, yo! Or just eat it with a spoon, like I did.
This is a great cooling recipe for Firebrand cravings types if you add a 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, a traditional hummus ingredient (AKA Pitta in Ayurveda). The cooked beet is good for Featherweight cravings types, and this recipe is great for Earth Mamas, but go light on the added drizzle of olive oil.
Don’t know your Cravings Type? Take my quiz and get your free Cravings Type Report here:
Happy Holidays, all! Eat to be happy + healthy…xo, Alex
not just about yourself, but about the world and people around you and how you feel in your body - isn’t that the big goal?
That’s why I love to cook, especially for other people, and that’s why I’ve been studying positive psychology.
It’s all about what helps us flourish – not just feel “fine.”
What I’ve learned so far may not seem totally earth shaking to you, but it has made me think hard about what I do with my time, and why.
And it’s all coming down to one thing:
Other People Matter.
Happiness and contentment aren’t about how much money you make. In fact, after our basic needs are covered (in the USofA, that’s about $50-60K a year), we don’t feel a lot happier when we make more money. We just think more money, more stuff, or having the right stuff will make us feel better about ourselves.
The one thing that makes us happy, if you’re rich or poor?
Having strong, connected relationships. Having people you can share your wins and your troubles with.
In short: we crave connection. We crave being with other people who love us. It’s a basic human need.
Well, one of my favorite things to do with other people is share good, delicious, healthy food. Making it together, talking while we cook, planning the meal, and savoring the delicious aromas and flavors – that is jus what life is all about.
So I want to share my new favorite recipe with you – a pumpkin soup, baked right in the pumpkin.
Pumpkins are wonderfully round, sweet, and immediately make me feel cozy.
They’re also super healthy! The health benefits of pumpkins or winter squash are long:
Considered an energetic tonic and a warming food, pumpkins and winter squash are medicinal for the spleen, stomach, large intestines and lungs. It improves energy and blood circulation, and is high in beta-carotene, which is good for eye health. Rich in vitamins A, C and potassium + magnesium, pumpkins are high in carotenoids and have anti-carcinogenic properties.
So this recipe is healthy, easy, fun to make, and really fun to eat with someone you love. Go be happy, love.
Pumpkin Soup Baked In A Pumpkin
For this pumpkin soup recipe, you’ll need:
1 pumpkin (edible and sweet)
2-3 tablespoons grass-fed butter, olive oil or coconut oil
1 yellow onion
2-3 cups stock or broth (vegan, chicken, etc)
The pumpkin I was growing in my back yard was carried off by what I can only assume was a whole gang of New York City squirrels – so I had to buy one from the local farmers’ market.
I chose a 3 lb. “Sugar Pie,” which is sweeter than the standard carving pumpkin you see around Halloween. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Carve the top of the pumpkin just like you would for a jack-o-lantern. Scoop out the seeds and stringy guts, and save the seeds to salt and bake later.
Do not leave the pumpkin seeds baking for too long while you talk on the phone to a friend like I did. Please set a timer.
Use 1-2 Tablespoons real butter, ghee, or coconut oil to coat the inside and outside of the pumpkin. Scatter a couple pinches of salt around the inside, and don’t forget the bottom of the pumpkin lid!
Chop a yellow onion into large dice.
You could do this step first, and carve the pumpkin while the onions are cooking to save time.
Brown the onions over medium heat for 8-10 minutes with 1 Tablespoon butter, ghee or coconut oil.
Fill the pumpkin with cooked onions.
Pour home made vegetable or chicken broth (or stock) over the onions, filling up the pumpkin to about 1-inch from the top.
If the broth is unsalted, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir well.
Place the pumpkin lid back on, and place the entire pumpkin into the oven.
Bake for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, checking to test for doneness. You’ll want the inside of the pumpkin to be spoon-ably soft.
Remove from the oven and gently remove the top.
Use a towel to grasp the stem, as the pumpkin will emit hot steam when you open it. Have your spoons at the ready…
Eat that soup straight from the pumpkin!
I like placing it on the table amongst the family and allowing everyone to take a spoonful from the pumpkin before scooping servings out to individual bowls.
There’s just something really fun about eating soup directly from a pumpkin.
Make sure that everyone gets a bowl-full of stock, onions and cooked chunks of sweet pumpkin.
PMS make you crave chocolate and sugar?
What if you could ease your PMS with something you probably throw away every day?
I love discovering new ways to use what I already have, especially when it means finding a use for something I would normally throw out.
Like any good hippie I’ve been composting my eggshells for years, knowing that returning the minerals from the shells to my potted plants nourishes the soil.
But wait – why don’t I use the rich calcium from those same shells for my bones and health?
Several studies show that “chicken eggshell calcium is a useful way to enrich human bone strength.”
But the more I looked into the benefits of calcium on our health, the more excited I got. It seems that calcium mal-absorption and osteoporosis are at epidemic levels, as is our addiction to sugar.
And since sugar’s high acidity actually causes our body to leach calcium from our bones to balance our blood pH levels, it’s even more important that we get enough calcium, and stop draining it with poor diet choices, to protect our bones.
How can we protect our bones and naturally reduce our sugar cravings?
1,000-1,500 mg of calcium a day can help reduce and even eliminate many symptoms of PMS, including “hypocalcemia,” a hormone-induced state that makes it harder for our female bodies to absorb calcium.
Estrogen, the chief female sex hormone, can lower the absorption of calcium from the intestines by inhibiting the activities of the parathyroid hormone. Which means we need even more calcium, and balanced hormones during our cycle to help our body get the calcium we need.
And I’ve just discovered that eggshell calcium, that is calcium made from powdered egg shells, are a wonderful source of the mineral to answer this problem.
Since eggs are so cheap (get it “cheep”) using your otherwise discarded eggshells as a calcium supplement seems like a great way to help keep your bones strong and your PMS symptoms (including cravings) low.
In addition to making strong bones and teeth, calcium is critical in the release of neurotransmitters, chemicals that serve as messengers between cells within the nervous system, which means when you have enough calcium in your body, your brain and moods are healthier!
1/2 teaspoon of chicken eggshell calcium contains roughly 90% of your daily recommended calcium intake, or 1,000-1,500 mg.
And since most dairy products have an acidic effect on the body, and just can’t be digested by most adult humans, getting enough calcium from cheese isn’t possible.
Yes, greens like kale and bok choy are good sources of calcium too, but many of us are walking around without sufficient calcium stores in our bones, and it’s high time we did something about it.
Here’s a safe, easy way to make your own eggshell calcium at home:
Wash your eggs before cracking them for normal use, and save the shells until you have 1 dozen empty shells.
Place the shells in a pot with enough water to cover and place over high heat.
Boil the eggshells for 10 minutes to kill any bacteria. This is very important to eliminate any salmonella.
Drain the eggshells in a fine meshed strainer or colander.
Place strained eggshells on a cookie sheet and bake at 200F for at least 30 minutes to dry completely.
Place the dried shells in a clean coffee or spice grinder and pulverize to a powder.
Keep your new eggshell calcium in an airtight jar and take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon a day for 1,000-1,500 mg of easily absorbable and cheap calcium.
I tried adding the powdered calcium to my Green & Clean Protein smoothies at breakfast, but it made it more a CRUNCHY than a SMOOTHIE.
So I recommend just adding the 1/2 – 1 teaspoon to 1/2 cup of water and slurping it down. Easy!
Resilience is your ability to adapt to and handle stress and adversity. When you feel resilient, you own your confidence.
It’s the bones of your life and character that keep you upright and alive.
It’s the skills and mindset that keep you moving positively forward, with hope and a sense of humor, gosh darnit.
There are 4 factors which develop and sustain your resilience:
- You know how to make realistic plans and are capable of taking the steps to follow through on them
- A positive self-concept and confidence in your abilities
- Communication and problem-solving skills
- The ability to manage strong impulses and feelings
These are the mental steps you can take to feel your strength and abilities every day.
But what about your body?
How strong do you feel in your physical self?
How are your bones doing, holding up your frame and moving you boldly through life?
We don’t just need confidence, we need calcium.
Chicken Eggshell Calcium Study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23607686
I’m SO psyched. iTunes released my new podcast show today!
It’s called the Crave Cast: Cravings Whisperer and Women, Food & Desire
I’ll be sharing my best stuff on cravings, health, nutrition, gut health, body confidence, the beauty of our desires, where they come from, and what they really mean. I’ve got a killer line up of expert interviews to share as well.
I’ve heard from lots of you that you want to know about sleep, sugar, and gut health, so I’m covering all those in the next couple of weeks!
Please click the link below here to subscribe for free and help me get this great show out into the ears of more people who need this support!
First, click here: http://alexandrajamieson.com/itunes
Then, click “View in iTunes”
Once iTunes opens, click the next blue button that says SUBSCRIBE and you’re all set!
This weekend was super busy for me – you too?!
Yeah, thought so.
School started (for both my son and me) and I’m busy putting together a big launch plan for my book, Women, Food & Desire, which comes out 1/6/15.
And healthy food can (even in my house) feel like a chore when we have so much going on.
And yes – I still crave sugar when things get hectic, but I don’t feel good when I eat it – headaches, brain fog, bacterial overgrowth.
So my sweets need to come from real food that doesn’t drain me.
I know when I have simple, healthy foods on hand, I can juggle the kid, work, and friend time much better.
So, I’m getting back to my food roots as we move into fall –
simple, humble, whole grain, brown rice.
I like to make a pot of brown rice and use it as an easy side dish or quick lunch.
Plus, whole grains help me keep sugar cravings at bay.
Well, when you get enough complex carbohydrates, and chew them well, your body and brain get the energy they need, in a slow drip over the day.
So make up a pot of brown rice (or quinoa for the grain-averse) and use it 7 ways this week!
Simple pot of brown rice:
3 cups short grain brown rice
Rinse rice in 2 changes of water.
Put into a pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches.
Bring to a boil over high heat.
Lower head to low, and cover.
Simmer for 40 minutes.
Turn heat off and let sit for 20 minutes.
This allows the steam to keep cooking the rice.
7 quick recipes that re-use brown rice:
- sushi roll up
wrap a ¼ cup of rice in a sheet of nori paper with a few shredded carrots and enjoy the hand held treat
- brown rice pudding with cinnamon
warm rice in a small pot with coconut milk, a few organic raisins and some cinnamon
- stir fry with greens
heat rice in a pan with coconut oil and chopped bok choy, sprinkle with soy-free soy sauce, ‘coconut aminos’ or tamari
- miso stew
heat 2 cups of water with 1 cup of rice, and whisk in 1 tablespoon chickpea miso for a quick soy-free soup
- rice salad
toss leftover rice with your favorite salad dressing for a side dish
- rice pasta
heat 2 cups rice with a little olive oil and 1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce and add favorite pasta veggies
- rice balls with sesame seeds
roll ¼ cup rice on a plate with ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds and 1/2 teaspoons sea salt – yummy little rice balls!
As with every meal, give a little gratitude for your simple, whole-grain meal.
Research shows that gratitude practices, even a tiny “thanks for the grub!” over your miso stew, helps you feel more optimistic, lowers stress, and increases your happiness.
I know I’m grateful for my grains,
And I’m grateful for you, my online “clan of the crave bears” –
Have a beautiful week,
and enjoy your rice!
P.S. chewing your grains is super important, especially if you suspect leaky gut or have any bloating or tummy issues. Chewing until your grains are almost liquid helps your body digest them better – and we want happy bellies!
We all love sweet – it’s normal, natural, and very human. I like sugar so much growing up that I had 12 cavities by the age of 12 – yikes! (You’re welcome, Dr. Dentist!) In fact, liking sweet flavors is the only taste preference human babies are born with. Every other taste we develop is learned, so you’re super-natural, sweet tooth baby! BUT (there’s always a BUT, right?) you may be off sugar while detoxing or cleansing…
(like in my 8-week Cravings Cleanse, starting 9/23!)
So what do you do, especially in those first few days, when sugar cravings strike?
Answer with a naturally sweet dessert of course! This baked banana recipe is just like the Bananas Foster my New Orleans-loving Dad likes to make -without the extra sugar and ice cream! I adapted this recipe to work for all 3 cravings types, so wether you’re Firebrand, FeatherWeight or Earth Mama (or Earth Papa), you can enjoy the simple flavors and spices to help answer your sweet tooth calling:
Sugar-Free Baked Bananas Foster!
- 2 bananas*, peeled and split in half long
- Juice of 1 orange* about 1/4 cup
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cardomom
- 2 tablespoons organic raisins
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Arrange split bananas in a baking dish, side by side. In a mixing bowl, combine milk, orange juice and spices. Whisk well and pour over bananas.
- Scatter raisins on top.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until beginning to brown.
- Carefully scoop bananas onto plates or bowls and spoon the sauce from the baking dish over each portion.
*Firebrand Fix: Use 2 pitted apricots instead of bananas. *Earth Mama Swap: Use 2 pitted peaches instead of bananas, and use apple juice instead of orange juice.