For the TLDR version, just look at the numbered questions; though I’d really appreciate it if you could read the descriptions to better understand my situation.
1 What are the potential benefits for hair (scalp) and skin?
While not the only reasons, the benefits to skin and hair are the main reasons that I would consider the Paleo diet. I’m not in anyway in need of weight loss or anything such as that.
I have long suffered from skin conditions ranging from acne, rosacea, and for the past two years scalp inflammation. Since, I took up a “healthier” diet I’ve noticed some improvement in these areas but never to the extent where I wanted it. It was only on the days where I either fasted completely (except for drinking water) or avoided all sugars that I noticed the redness in my cheeks being almost entirely gone. Of course, I felt terrible these days since (I’m assuming) my body hadn’t had time to adjust to the changes, but it makes me feel as though Paleo or some diet that at least eliminates sugars may be right for me.
As far as hair goes, for the past two years I’ve noticed that I’ve been significantly receding. I tried to treat the loss with the typical treatments (Propecia, shampoos, etc.), but it didn’t seem to work so I just figured I had a weird type of genetic hair loss that couldn’t be treated. However, recently I’ve been thinking that the hair loss may not be (or may not be entirely) caused by genetics but rather due to inflammation as the skin in the receded or thinning areas is red and bumpy as hell. Seems to get worse the more sugar, yogurt, and bread I eat. I know there are bald Paleos out there, but does anyone think that my hair loss may be being caused by a treatable inflammatory problem? Are there potential benefits in regards to skin and hair that would make the Paleo diet worth pursuing for me?
BTW, as far as genetic hair loss goes, there are a few mostly bald guys on my dad’s side of the family, but it took them until they were in their 50s and 60s to get there. I’m a 22 year old male and at my rate I’m gonna have to start shaving it all off at thirty. At very least it seems way too early to be typical MPB alone.
2 Does it really mean giving up all sugars?
Not that I mind. I just want to know for sure if it’s necessary and possible before I remove all sugars (including fruit) and end up in the hospital or something because it turned out that my body actually needed it.
3 I need something to eat on break at work; what are my options with a Paleo diet?
I work a very physical job and I need to eat on my break. Usually I drink a yogurt protein drink, but I know that wouldn’t be an option. I was thinking about keeping cooked turkey patties in a cooler. Any other options?
4 Two months until I can start the diet; what should I do in the mean time?
With the type of work I do I can’t be readjusting my body and working at the same time (well, it’d be really difficult); I’m planning to take two weeks off in January to go Paleo cold turkey. Is there anything I can to in the mean time to maybe start transitioning or help my scalp and skin conditions?
Ma újult erővel vagyok itt veletek. Sokat ötleteltünk, mivel is lepjünk meg titeket a sok “száraz” írásom mellett.
Mit szólnátok ha ezek után rendszeresen jelentkeznék ínycsiklandó és 100%-ban egészséges receptekkel, amiket ti magatok is egyszerűen el tudtok készíteni otthon, minden bonyodalom és komolyabb főzési tudomány nélkül?
Nekem nagyon tetszett, hiszen a finom ételek-italok hmmm nyamiiii
Vágjunk is bele! Ma kezdésnek kettő receptet is kaptok tőlem, csak hogy biztosan szuperül induljon a napotok!
Kezdjük a reggel egyik elhagyhatatlan kellékével, a KÁVÉVAL!
This article is for anyone who is looking for greater success in overcoming carbohydrate dependency. With such access to a variety of refined carbohydrates, we’re easily enticed into over-consuming them. Diet is a good test of will and is more challenging than ever to maintain.
Carbohydrates in small infrequent quantities are perfectly ok but in our current society multiple factors have lead us to become a culture that is simply hooked. Even fruit isn’t innocent anymore because it has been selectively bred to be the sweetest it possibly can and we’re able to easily provide ourselves with access to it through agriculture, regardless of the season. Grains and syrups are slipped into every product because of how cheap and available they are. The production of ketones as a result of very minimal carbs (under 20grams per day) demonstrates to us that we’ve adapted to survive periods of time with very few carbs, if any at all. Our preagricultural ancestors likely consumed carbohydrates infrequently and intermittently. Low carb and high fat is completely safe.
Let’s consider a day of eating that most people don’t look twice at. You have cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and pasta for dinner. In this day you will be consuming around 300g of carbs and that doesn’t included additional snacks, fruits, sauces, etc. It’s very easy to go overboard on carbs with popular, convenient meal options.
The information in this article is useful for those wishing to lose weight. It’s much easier to over-consume sugar than it is to over-consume fat. If you get this aspect of your diet right, the rest will come along easily. Those who are having trouble sticking to a ketogenic diet will also benefit for similar reasons. The cravings on keto are challenging and any help with that is going to assist you with goal attainment. Additionally there are countless anecdotes on the internet for health improvements regarding auto-immune issues, epilepsy, inflammation and diabetes.
Altering the Habit Loop
Charles Duhigg outlines in his book “The Power of Habit” that most of our actions come from a habit loop consisting of three elements, CUE>ROUTINE>REWARD. We tend to do most things automatically to reduce decision making throughout the day. Many of these loops are necessary to automate mundane tasks such as brushing our teeth. However, companies are more than aware of such a mechanism and have actively used it to sell more products. Overweight people are over-consumers and their habit loop has been hijacked.
A common example of habit might be the following; Craving for specific food (Cue) > Driving to the store and making the purchase (Routine) > Consuming the specific food (Reward). The cue is what initiates the loop and that cue manifests as a feeling, sensation or craving. Our mind will go on autopilot until we’ve completed the loop. It’s incredibly difficult to consistently fight the habit you’ve developed every time your urge occurs. This is why so many people fail diet-related endeavors.
To change the habit we need to change the behaviour, the routine. The cue and reward are so built in that they cannot be removed. What can change however is what you do once the cue presents itself. It needs to be something that is stimulating and releases a good feeling in your brain. It’s something you have to do each time the cue occurs. You are replacing the behaviour which alters the habit.
So each time you feel a craving for carbs you could replace it with cooking and eating a steak. This way you’ve changed the behaviour while the loop still plays out. You’ve turned the loop into Craving>Cooking>Eating. Over time the new habit loop becomes automated and is no longer ruining your goal. It’s the same habit loop with a new behaviour.
Avoiding substitute foods such as sugar free chocolate and diet soda is useful because including them only delays your cravings rather than allowing you to reduce them. Over time your palette will adjusts and cravings will subside naturally. Otherwise you are keeping yourself in a state where you’re tempted to eat sweet things constantly while your brain never actually gets the fix of sugar. It’s a good idea to reduce your dependency rather than reinforce it.
On the other hand it might be what it takes for you to succeed on a carb-less lifestyle. You have the ability to eat more like others and blend into social situations better. You can take care of an urge while still having consumed few carbs. You will be decreasing the likelihood of eating the real thing and therefor sticking to your goal.
Whether you should use sweetener or not is dependent on what you define as your goal. People have success with and without the substitutes. To try both, start by eliminating carbohydrates and using substitute sweeteners for 30 days. Slowly decrease your use of sweeteners until the 30th day and from there continue without.
Remain satiated throughout the day with high fat foods. A high fat meal will fill you up in a smaller quantity and leave you feeling full for longer. Always have the right foods on hand ready to eat and cook at a moments notice if you feel a craving for carbs. Your preparation will greatly impact your success.
Plan your meals in advance and remove any consumables from your home that would ruin your goal. Planning ahead what you’re going to eat in any situation will be essential. If you’re eating out, look up the menu online or call them before you arrive. If you’re staying away from home make sure you can get access to the things you need. Consider taking your own food, what the closest supermarket stocks, what time it closes, the cooking facilities you will have access to, etc. Improvisation will be necessary at times, accept this.
Cravings for specific carbohydrates will diminish over time. The cravings will come back but will be less frequent. In reality, this is a challenge and requires significant will to succeed.
I’m not completely against carbohydrates and I believe the macronutrient is beneficial when implemented strategically. I take issue with the overconsumption enabled by cravings. We’re acting based on impulse rather than selecting foods for optimal health. I believe that this is ultimately leading to the diet-related health issues we see today.
It’s no secret that we love bowl meals! Just give me my food in a bowl, and I’m happy! These caesar turkey burger bowls are really the perfect bowl meal though, and you will love the Paleo and Whole30 compliant caesar dressing.
Eating one of these muffins is considered a purple or blue XP Action, and can be substituted for one of your per-chapter XP Actions accordingly. If you are keeping a record of game events, this may be recorded as “player consumed a lemon blueberry muffin.”
In Immersive and Techno genres, where purple and blue actions are not in genre, it is not possible to directly consume one of these muffins during play without the consent of the group. However, you may intently observe a muffin for what feels like a suitable interval or freeze up while regarding a muffin until something/someone snaps you out of that fugue; if the muffin remains practically available at that point, you may and must then consume it, claiming a red XP Action either way. This can be recorded as, e.g., “after intense observation, player failed to consume a lemon blueberry muffin.”
If you plan to make these muffins available during a Fairy Tale or Road of Trials game, you may double the suggested lemon zest before baking. If you do so, eating them in play will qualify as a gold (Suffer) Adversity action. This is not because the muffins will be awful or that eating them will become a cruel and terrible fate; rather, they will be extremely lemony, which is not only yellow but a traditional symbol of adversity.
Even if you leave the muffins out until they grow moldy, consuming one will not under any circumstances become a viable substitute for a green XP Action. My regrets for the loss of “full-spectrum gourmet verisimilitude.”
¼ cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
¾ cup sorghum flour
cup sweet rice flour
¼ cup expandex or tapioca flour
¼ cup almond flour
1 tbsp potato flour
1 tbsp psyllium husk powder
5-7 tbsp brown sugar
½ tbsp baking powder
2.5 tbsp almond flour
5 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp apple pie spice
1.5 tsp oil
+ water until it becomes spreadable
2 tbsp flax
1 tbsp chia
3 tbsp hot water
3 tbsp lemon soda water or additional hot water
13 tbsp lemon soda water or regular water
5 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
Zest, one lemon
2 egg yolks (see below)
2 egg whites, whisked to stiff peaks
In some order:
assemble flax gel ingredients and leave to become gel,
gather dry ingredients,
gather streusel ingredients,
gather crunchy topping ingredients, and
preheat oven to 350.
Then, gather liquid ingredients.
When adding the egg yolks to liquid ingredients, put the egg whites in a stand mixer.
Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks.
Remove them from the mixer, put them in a bowl.
Mix liquid ingredients, dry ingredients, and flax gel until thoroughly mixed.
Remove stand mixer bowl from machine.
Fold egg whites into mix (diligently).
Fold blueberries into mix (diligently or casually).
Prep your muffin tin as appropriate. (I use a silicone muffin thing that doesn’t really need muffin papers or greasing.)
Use a tablespoon to put roughly two medium-sized dollops into each of 12 muffin cups.
Spread the crunchy topping on top.
Bake for one hour in my oven. If you do not have access to my oven then it is possible that 40 minutes in your own will suffice. Bake until a tester comes out clean, basically.
If you fail for some reason but have still invested time in this recipe, collect 5 group XP at the beginning of the following session.
This is normally recorded as a mystic action, e.g., a Ritual, particularly if the muffins were burned.
If this recipe succeeds, you may gather 1 emotion XP each time another player consumes a muffin during the game. This falls under the same limit (one emotion XP per 15 minutes/scene) as your normal emotion XP; however, you are free to decide when in the consumption of each particular muffin to trigger this effect.
If I had to sum up 2018 so far in only two words, I think I’d have to go with “crazy busy.” Usually I start my monthly favorites/life recaps by saying how quickly the month has flown by, but it honestly feels like New Year’s was forever ago! I suppose that’s what happens when you’ve flown back to grad school, started your second semester, started teaching your second college class, survived your first blizzard and a experienced whole bunch of other hijinks in the same month!
So what’s been happening behind the scenes of Casey the College Celiac so far this year? Keep reading to find out which brand of gluten free tea I’ve become obsessed with, how I survived my first blizzard and what goodies you can expect to see on the blog this February.
What I’m Eating
Bowls and bowls of homemade gluten free dips and sauces! If you saw my Creamy White Bean Beet Hummus recipe a few weeks ago and haven’t tried it yet, this is your reminder to jump on the homemade hummus train ASAP. I’ve also been addicted to BBQ sauce (love this one from True Made Foods), ketchup (so random but so good!) and my vegan cheese sauce. If you need an epic dip for Superbowl Sunday, the recipes and sauces I’ve listed above are definite winners!
Way more tea than I drank in the rest of my life…and I can blame thank my younger sister for my new tea addiction. For Christmas, my sister surprised me by gifting by a huge variety box of caffeine-free gluten free tea from Bigelow. She did extensive research to find a celiac-safe tea brand (is she an awesome sis or what!?!), and so far, so good. I’m especially loving Bigelow’s Lemon Ginger tea, which has added probiotics. Perfect for this cold Minnesota weather (more on that below…)
Alll the roasted veggies (especially winter squash and Brussels sprouts!). I never have a problem eating my veggies, but roasted vegetables have been especially crave-worthy this winter. Partly because I finally got the courage to try acorn squash for the first time (I’ve had a horrible reaction to butternut squash, so trying new veggies can be a bit scary, as silly as it sounds!) and absolutely loved it. Even better, my tummy loves it too. So, I’ve been supplementing my usual zucchini with spaghetti squash, acorn squash and roasted Brussels sprouts, and I’ve been one happy girl!
What I’m Doing
Gettin’ back into the groove with grad school. After a long, relaxing and blissfully low-key winter break at home, I flew back to Mankato on January 3. Since then, I’ve been in full-on school mode. I’m taking 9 grad school credits (3 more than last semester) as well as teaching English 101 and volunteering at a local assisted living home, so to say my schedule is full is an understatement. I’m trying to be more intentional about scheduling social breaks this semester and putting less pressure on myself to be the “perfect teacher.” Not sure how I’m doing yet, but even baby steps are progress!
Surviving my first ever blizzard…OMG, y’all. This California college grad was totally out of her element when Mankato got its first big winter storm a few weeks ago. We ended up getting over a foot of snow in some parts of town and the entire university and city bus system shut down for the day. I definitely felt more frazzled/anxious than I expected while walking around town the next day and seeing nothing but mountains of white, but I survived. Here’s to hoping that will be the worst storm of this winter.
Writing ‘till my fingers (or my brain) give out. I know it sounds obvious that, when you’re earning an MFA in Creative Writing, you should expect to do a lot of writing. I don’t think I fully realized just how much time I would need to dedicate to creative writing each week, though, until this semester. I’ve already done more writing in the past few weeks than I did all of last semester (yay for prioritizing) and I’m also enjoying creative writing more than I have in a long time. It’s definitely challenging at times (okay, most of the time) to balance creative writing with writing for my class assignments and writing for the blog, but I’m taking it week by week. If there are weeks when I’m less present on the blog or on social media, know that I’ll be back soon but was just juggling too many balls that day. Grace and flexibility are always appreciated – not only from my (online and offline) friends, but also from myself.
What I’m Planning
An epic pistachio recipe comin’ in hot next week! I’m honestly so excited to share the recipe for a pistachio pizza next week. It’s part of a recipe contest I’m entering (all the deets will be in the actual post), and the pizza turned out so good, I ate it for dinner three nights straight…and then proceeded to eat the leftover pesto with dinner the two days immediately after. It’ll be another healthy, gluten free and vegan pizza recipe, so prepare yourself for some major allergy friendly foodporn soon.
Galentine’s Day with some awesome gals in my MFA program. One of my friends had the awesome idea of getting a bunch of MFA girls together for a joint Valentine’s Day celebration, and I’m really looking forward to a low-key and relaxing night the weekend after Valentine’s Day. I may or may not bring some of my White Bean Beet Hummus to the party…
Staying honest about my self care, sleep and socializing needs. The weekend before last, I volunteered and did errands all Friday, made social plans for most of Saturday and had a blast chatting and homework partying with a couple of new friends. This past weekend, I slept in on Friday, dedicated most of the weekend to food prep, homework and writing, didn’t socialize at all except via text and when I bumped into a fellow MFA-er at the gym. And you know what? Both weekends gave me exactly what I needed…just in different ways.
I’m the kind of person who survives on inertia. As long as I keep go-go-going, I won’t notice how tired I really am. As you can probably guess, though, that kind of mindset often results in one heck of an epic burn out. This semester, I’m trying to be more flexible. Yes, I want to increase my friend dates and social adventures…but my body also needs more self care than the average Joe’s, and that’s just a reality I have to accept.
If February is anything like this past month, it will also be crazy busy and full of surprises. However, if I keep embracing the same mindset of balance and self care, I know I’ll kick booty just as hard this month as in January. Add in some more delicious gluten free eats and friend dates, (hopefully subtract some snow), and February will make me one happy girl!
What are some of your favorite eats and activities from January? Have you ever gone through a blizzard? Tell me some fun facts about your 2018 so far in the comments!
I haven’t made a main dish in a while so today on the blog a super easy, vegan recipe comprising Roasted Peppers and Silken Tofu in Tomato Sauce. This dish makes very quickly (the tomato sauce is the only component that requires a tiny bit of effort) and, once fully assembled, needs as little as 15 minutes in the oven.
An additional advantage is its versatility – this dish can be enjoyed with rice or pasta, quinoa if you want more protein and less calories, or even a slice of bread – it works well either as a main or side dish, or a quick bite between meals.
I used silken tofu as opposed to the more popular, regular tofu, because I wanted to enjoy this dish over a couple of days and, unlike regular tofu, silken tofu doesn’t get tough and rubbery when left to cool. Silken tofu is actually completely fabulous – it’s silky smooth, soft and fluffy, with a melt-in-your- mouth effect, which is just gorgeous in this recipe. Silken tofu is a bit like cheese, except it doesn’t melt – it tastes fantastic with the sweet peppers and the rich tomato sauce.
A word of caution when using silken tofu – it is very delicate and will crumble easily so do not be tempted to press it and take care when cutting it – I used a melon baller (not very expertly:) to create round shapes but you can simply cut it into cubes or large chunks.
As for the peppers, just use a sweet variety of your choice. I used pointed red peppers, which are very sweet, plus a few mini peppers (mainly to add more colour to my dish), but red or orange bell peppers would be fine too.
I am bringing these Roasted Peppers and Silken Tofu in Tomato Sauce to #CookBlogShare, which I have the pleasure of hosting this week – if you’ve got a recipe this is the place to show it off! Also sharing with Recipe of the Week.
Quick, easy and real tasty, this burger salad with pesto is the best way to eat a clean and satisfying Paleo + Whole30 lunch or dinner! It is also one of our favorite ways to meal prep. You’re really going to enjoy the dairy-free pesto with this Paleo + Whole30 burger salad.
New blog post! Besides being Celiac Awareness Month, May was also the first month I was back in Colorado, so you could say that I was doubly excited for May to arrive. It already feels like forever since I was teaching English 101 in Mankato, Minnesota, but I’m sure the new school year will be starting before I know it.
So why not make the summer feel a bit longer than usual by focusing on all the epic eats, activities and plans I have mapped out for summer 2018? You know the deal…keep reading to find out the brand of healthy rice crispy treats that legit tastes like childhood, when I’ll be flying out to the first annual Gluten Free Teen Summit in Orlando, Florida, why I’ve been quiet on the blog lately (hello computer issues) and more!
What I’m Eating:
All the Whole Foods hot bar feasts. Because Mankato is such a small town, there isn’t a Whole Foods Market nearby (unless you drive almost two hours to the Twin Cities), so I arrived in Colorado Springs pretty dang hungry for some Whole Foods goodness. I may or may not have spent $17 on the hot bar last week…and eaten those Whole Foods goodies with some added veggies and avocado for four nights straight. What can I say besides that I’m addicted?
Some super creamy and dreamy gluten free and vegan hummus made in nearby Boulder! I won a variety of Blue Moose hummus on Instagram a few weeks ago, and have been diggin’ their hummus ever since. Right now, I’m making my way through their beet hummus. Slightly sweet, bright pink and very delicious! (I also might have been just as excited about the adorable shirt they sent as their hummus).
PF Chang’s gluten free menu. I’d eaten at PF Chang’s a few times before, but I had always gone with the GF street noodles (which are pretty dang tasty). This last time, I split the GF Ginger Chicken with Broccoli and GF Chang’s Spicy Chicken with my mom and OMG. The spicy chicken transported me back to my pre-celiac Chinese food days, and I ate the leftovers for two days straight afterward. Addicted? I think so!
Healthy rice crispy treats. I don’t know how they do it, but I was transported back to elementary school lunches as soon as I bit into Made Good’s vanilla crispy square (that I received for free from Mambo Sprouts and in my monthly gluten free Love with Food subscription box —> GLUTEN-FREE MONTH-TO-MONTH PLAN *affiliate link FYI*). The crispy square smells like the sweetest sugar cookie you’ve ever baked, and the texture is perfectly light and crunchy. The coolest part? Besides being free of the top 8 allergens, Made Good’s crispy squares also contain one serving of vegetables…and no one would even be able to tell!
What I’m Doing/Loving:
Road trippin’ from Mankato, Minnesota to Colorado Springs, CO with my daddy as copilot! Since this was my first long drive, my dad flew down to keep me company and do part (correction: a lot) of the driving. I wouldn’t call it the most relaxing or enjoyable road trip ever, but I made it home safe for the summer and that’s all that matters.
My new, shorter hair! I got around eight inches of hair cut as soon as I rolled into Colorado, and I’m loving how much lighter my whole head feels. Nothing like a low-maintenance makeover to kick off the summer.
Soaking up as much Colorado summer as I can. I was extremely scared to stumble across Mankato, Minnesota’s weather radar and see that it was getting up to 98 this last week. No thank you! I’ll enjoy Colorado’s 70s as long as I can. The gorgeous scenery for walking and hiking doesn’t hurt either. If there’s something I have to do this summer while I’m in Colorado Springs, be sure to tell me in the comments. I appreciate any and all ideas!
Reading as many good mystery books and psychological thrillers as I can get my hands on. As soon as school lets out every summer, the library is always my first stop. So far, my two favorite books of this summer are Close to Home by Clara Hunter and Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey. On the nonfiction side, I also fell in love with An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A Memoir by Elizabeth McCracken. If you’ve ever lost someone you loved or haven’t known what to say to someone who’s grieving, this book will definitely resonate with you.
What I’m Planning:
Lots of lesson planning! As some of my family and friends know, I’ll be teaching a slightly different version of English 101 next year as part of my teaching assistantship at Minnesota State University, Mankato. That means I have a lot of lessons to create…so please send some creative and motivated vibes your way! For the teachers out there, any lesson planning tips? I’d LOVE to hear them!
Celebrating the return of my computer. The graphics of my computer suddenly went psycho last Wednesday night, and after I took it to the Apple store, they determined that it needed a trip to the computer hospital for a tune up. In the end, they had to replace the display and the logic board…and by the surprised look on the guy’s face who brought back my computer, replacing half a computer doesn’t happen every day. What can I say? When it I do it, I do it well. (And thank goodness for warranties).
Sharing some epic gluten free eats (sneak peak above!) and probiotics very soon. While tons of people are prepping their “summer bodies,” I’m working on a round up of gluten free sweets…I guess that’s just how I (cinnamon) roll. The products featured in the round up will be healthier than your traditional gluten free desserts, though, so they are winning treats for everyone! Plus, watch my Instagram for a review of a new probiotic I’m trying out.
Preparing for the first annual Gluten Free Teen Summit in Orlando, Florida! I talk about the summit in more detail here, so I’ll just say that my presentation is in the works and I’m equally excited, terrified and still in shock that I’m actually attending as a speaker. A full recap of the summit will be happening in early July (since the summit itself is in late June), so keep your eyes peeled.
Monthly Favorites: The Bottom Line
It blows my mind that Celiac Awareness Month and May are already over, but I’m feeling super grateful that I still have a lot of summer – and a lot of delicious gluten free food, family time and adventures – still to come. Because of my computer issues, I’ve been much quieter on the blog and social media than I planned…but the shall-we-say “forced vacation time” from constant access to technology has only made even more excited to share some more gluten free tips, tricks, recipes and adventures this June!
*I received free samples of some of the gluten free desserts listed below (Nui Foods, Absolutely Gluten Free, TruWomen, and Color Kitchen). However, all views and opinions are my own – and I only feature products I really love!*
When I hear the word “summer,” I always picture family hikes, cut-off jean shorts and, of course, cold desserts like ice cream. This summer, though, I thought I’d share some of the healthier dessert options I’ve been trying – and loving – this summer.
Whether you’re looking for healthy dessert ideas for your kids, need gluten free snacks that taste as decadent as dessert or are just trying to eat a little less sugar, these gluten free, paleo and vegan desserts are exactly what your summer menu needs.
1. Banana ice cream or healthy dessert smoothies.
As long-time readers of Casey the College Celiac already know, I’m all about making healthy dessert smoothies. Some personal favorites of mine are my Superfood Chocolate Smoothie Bowl and Veggie-Packed Blueberry Pie Smoothie Bowl. My secret weapon for making healthy smoothies that taste like dessert is, ironically, adding zucchini or squash into the blender! You can’t taste those veggies at all, and they boost the nutrition, thickness and creaminess of your smoothie. Talk about a win win!
Meanwhile, I also love whipping up banana ice cream, which can be as simple as blended frozen bananas with your choice of milk. You can add whatever flavors and toppings you want – ranging from cacao powder to cookies to spinach to popcorn, like I did here – and create a more “ice cream” consistency by using coconut milk (for that killer creaminess) and reducing the amount of liquid.
2. Keto cookies that are low in sugar and carbs, but high in crumbly, rich flavor.
If you’re following a paleo diet or need to eat low sugar, finding delicious store-bought cookies can be challenging. So when Nui Foods reached out to me about their low carb and low sugar cookies, I couldn’t say no.
Nui Foods’ cookies come in four varieties: Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle, Peanut Butter and Double Chocolate Cookie. The best part? They all have less than two grams of sugar and four grams of carbs…and they still manage to taste finger-lickin’ good.
I’ll admit that when I first opened up the Double Chocolate Cookie package, I was surprised at how crumbly the cookies were. I’m usually a crunchy or chewy cookie kind of gal, so I wasn’t an immediate fan. However, the rich chocolate flavor won me over, and I have a feeling that all of these cookies will disappear just as quickly. I love it when I can find a “healthy dessert” (in this case, one with lower sugar and carbs, though these paleo cookies do have plenty of healthy fats) that tastes just as decadent as old favorites.
3. Homemade bliss balls made with whatever fruits, flours and mix-ins you have on hand.
Homemade energy balls are some of my favorite healthy vegan desserts to make because they’re so easy and versatile. You can follow energy ball recipes like I have on my recipe page, ranging from Chunky Banana Bread Energy Balls to Dye-Free Taste the Rainbow Bliss Balls. However, once you’ve gotten the hang of the ratio of wet/sticky to dry/crunchy ingredients, you can really whip up energy balls with whatever you have on hand.
Craving brownies? Try making a healthier version of brownie energy ball with dates, cacao powder, chocolate and maybe even sweet potato or avocado for an extra fudgy factor. Want some pumpkin pie? Mix together pumpkin purée, pumpkin spice, gluten free flour, vanilla extract and some rice cereal for that crust-like crunch. Your imagination – and kitchen ingredients – are really the limit when it comes to energy balls. If you need inspiration, there are also thousands of decadent energy ball dessert recipes on Pinterest for you to experiment with.
4. Loaded up yogurt parfaits with goodies like blondie brittle and fruit.
Craving ice cream and a chocolate brownie for dessert? If you want a lighter version, you might try swapping that dessert out for a gluten free parfait loaded with vegan coconut yogurt, bananas, berries and Absolutely Gluten Free’s Blondie Crunch. These chocolate-studded blondie pieces offer all the sugary, chocolatey goodness of a typical blondie in thin, crunchy bites, and just a couple of pieces can transform yogurt into a creamy, healthier dessert.
You can also experiment with additional toppings like cacao powder, nut butters, chocolate chips or a homemade healthy chocolate shell (just cacao powder + coconut oil) to turn this gluten free yogurt parfait into your new favorite dessert!
5. Rice cakes or tortillas upgraded into dessert with fruit, nut butter and spices.
I know rice cakes and tortillas have a reputation for being tasteless and boring, but they can actually be your secret weapon for making a healthy dessert alternative that still satisfies your sweet tooth. Rice cakes can taste downright moan-worthy when you top them with Nutella or nut butter, warmed berries and crunchy toppings like chia seeds, granola or cacao nibs.
Meanwhile, like I show with my Strawberry Chunky Monkey Quesadilla, you can also give tortillas a dessert twist with jams, nut butter, fruit and chocolate. If you want a healthy dessert that really tastes anything but, you might even top the warm dessert quesadilla with some homemade banana ice cream. Crispy and creamy, warm and cold, tart and sweet…that combo is the best of both worlds, I’d say!
6. Gluten free protein bars that happen to taste like dessert.
I’ll admit it: I’m a snack bar addict. I usually snack on at least a couple a day, and I love finding new healthy protein bars to try…which is where Truwomen’s vegan protein bars come in. Besides being certified gluten free, these energy bars are also vegan, non-GMO and made with nutrient-dense ingredients like cassava flour and brown rice protein.
Not to mention that they legit taste like dessert, coming in flavors like Oh Oh Cookie Dough, Daydreaming About Donuts, Zamn Good Zesty Lemon and Smother Fudger Peanut Butter. (Drooling yet? I know I am!) Compared to other gluten free protein bars I’ve tried, Truwomen’s has a sweet outer coating that really makes the snack bars taste like some glazed treat.
The lemon flavor is my surprise favorite so far, too, as it tastes super refreshing and lemony without any of the artificial flavors often found in lemon bars. It may sound a little strange to call a healthy protein bar “dessert,” but when they taste as rich and fudgy as these do, your dessert cravings will definitely be fulfilled.
7. Fruit dressed up and frozen with my super easy chocolate shell and extra toppings.
If you need a healthy vegan dessert that screams “summer,” frozen fruit dipped in homemade superfood shells is a super easy and tasty option. You can use whatever fruits you have on hand (I bet fresh, thinly sliced cantaloupe would be just as delicious) and my chocolate shell “recipe” is really as simple as mixing your choice of superfood powder with a little coconut oil. Cover your fruit with the sauce, pop it in the freezer and the coconut oil will solidify into a crunchy shell!
For extra sweetness and crunch, you can add toppings like chia seeds, granola, crushed up gluten free cookies, etc. like I did with my Superfood Berry Banana Bites. Who says eating fruit as dessert has to be bland or boring?
8. Cakes and cupcakes that look like the rainbow…but are dye-free!
The last treat I’m talking about today is one of the least “healthy” in terms of sugar, but I think it’s a great example of how you can still shop for high-quality ingredients when you want a more “traditional” dessert. What makes these gluten free red velvet cupcakes so special? There isn’t a drop of food dye in them!
In fact, they’re made from a mix by Color Kitchen, which uses natural ingredients like beets, turmeric and spirulina to color their baked goods. All Color Kitchen mixes are gluten free (obviously), non-GMO and made with plant-based ingredients. I paired my red velvet cupcakes with a homemade vanilla frosting (just butter, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract!) but you could easily make a dairy free or vegan frosting.
This was my first time making anything red velvet, but my whole family was thrilled with how these cupcakes came out! I topped them with homemade vanilla frosting, and they disappeared fast. Even the gluten-eaters in the family loved these cupcakes, describing them as moist, fluffy and subtly sweet without being sugary. My gluten-lovin’ sister was especially addicted to these cupcakes, raving about how insanely awesome it was to be able to enjoy a red velvet (cup)cake without any artificial aftertaste. It seems like Color Kitchen baking mixes are only available in stores on the West coast for right now, but I already know my family will be keeping their eyes peeled for this gluten free red velvet cake mix.
The Bottom Line
I’ve gone through periods where I didn’t eat dessert or any sweets whatsoever. (Read more about how I learned to stop being afraid of food here). Nowadays, I eat some kind of dessert every night, and I don’t feel guilty for indulging in a sugary cookie or a cake made with oil and refined sugar. However, I also love finding ways to satisfy my sweet tooth while eating a little healthier of ingredients…which is why all eight of these healthy dessert recipes land on my plate (or bowl) very often.
As a gluten free food blogger, my goal isn’t to promote a certain kind of eating. I’m not a medical or nutritional professional; I’m just a twenty-something with celiac disease who loves food. Instead, I hope that by sharing what products and recipes work for me, I’ll give you some new delicious, healthy (and not-so-healthy) ideas to incorporate into your own diet.
At least in my experience, life is a little sweeter when you have some sweetness in your diet…and all of these healthier dessert ideas are tasty places to start!
*I received free samples of Nui Foods, Absolutely Gluten Free, TruWomen, Color Kitchen in return for editorial consideration. However, all views, opinions and photographs are my own. Thank you for supporting what supports Casey the College Celiac!*
What’s your favorite “healthier” dessert? Tell me in the comments!