There are many flaws in our food system today and I believe a large part of the way we think about and view food is broken. Not to call out any one company intentionally, but there is a motto that's been sticking out in my mind lately.
"America Runs on Dunkin'"
And it got me thinking. A lot of our population does run on fast food fuel. Our society is largely dependent on the convenience of fast-foods, and short on food knowledge. Dependent on caffeine, sugar binges and eating what they grew up on or what surrounds them. And again, short on nutrients, taking the time to do the research on our food industry, labels and ingredient sources and true nourishment.
One of the reasons I became a nutritionist wasn't just to help people navigate their food intolerances, lose weight or improve nutrition overall. It was to change the mindset that you must eat what's there. I love showing people that they can make a meal for the same price or cheaper that's healthier. I love helping people fall in love with cooking again and appreciate where our food comes from and I LOVE taking "traditional" comfort food and revamping it into something that can feed us more and harm us less.
When I had to cut out pretty much EVERYTHING I was eating in 2011, it hit me hard. And I know it hits hard with a lot of clients who have yo go gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, nightshade-free, low histamine, low-sodium, no sugar.... etc. overnight. The list is endless to the changes that could arise. The beauty is, there is hope and healing in it. God put beautiful, natural, clean food to nurture, nourish and heal our bodies. Slowly navigating back to that when you've healed can be such a fun experience.
For me I did Whole 30 and lean meats and veggies for months and I was missing traditional "comfort foods". Knowing I didn't want the processed packaged foods, food dyes, chemicals, GMO's, preservatives and white sugar I started experimenting. A large part of our health depends on psychology as well. So, while I shunned all "comfort treats" in the beginning, I've been in many conversations with Naturopaths and nutritionists, therapists and fitness minds that agree, that when done healthier, instead of cut all-together, its better for not only our minds, but our bodies as well. (However, if you do suffer from an eating disorder, or are unable to control portions when enjoying these "comfort" options, please speak to your doctor.)
Some of my examples of "comfort food made healthier" recipes I've made in the past include my Burger, Fries and Shake combo, my dairy-free Lasagna and my Banana Bread French Toast. All gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free and made with organic, whole food ingredients that nourish the body.
Do note, these are not the staples or mainstays of our diet at home. For breakfast we primarily eat eggs, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, green smoothies and oatmeal throughout the week. Lunches are usually Paleo wraps and salads, while dinners are lean meats on the grill with vegetables. These recipes are reserved for leisurely weekend brunches, dinner with friends and special occasions, but it's nice to have them as options. Life is about balance, experiences, joy and tastes that can be enjoyed by many.
1 1/4 C. Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
3/4 tsp. Corn-Free Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1/4 Cocoa Powder
1/4 c. Coconut Sugar (add more to up sweetness, I prefer less sugar)
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 C. Almond Milk (or other non-dairy milk for nut-free)
1/4 C. Avocado Oil (olive oil or coconut oil also work)
2/3 C. Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Coconut Oil
1 tsp Maple Syrup (optional but adds complexity to the flavor)
1/8 C. Almond Milk
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease your donut pan or pans lightly with coconut oil.
I use one regular size donut pan for 6 donuts and a mini donut pan for the leftover batter with this amount of mix. For a dozen regular size donuts you will need to double the recipe.
Mix all dry ingredients until blended well. Add wet ingredients and stir or mix with a hand mixer until batter consistency. Add more milk of choice if needed.
Add batter to piping bag to pipe into pan (easiest method for perfect circles, or spoon batter into pan evenly. Fill to top for fluffiest donuts.
Bake regular sized donuts for 12 minutes, mini donuts for 7. Check for doneness and remove to allow to cool for 15-20 minutes on a wire rack.
Start by warming a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add chocolate chips and coconut oil until they start to melt.
Add vanilla and maple syrup (optional), mix.
When mixture is completely melted together, add dairy-free milk of choice until desired frosting consistency is achieved.
Pour immediately into a wide, ceramic bowl and dip cooled donuts to frost. Allow to set and cool for another 15 minutes and enjoy!
I made mine for a brunch event so I added dye-free, preservative-free sprinkles. Companies such as King Arthur and Natural Candy Store offer healthier alternative decoration options for special occasions.
These also store beautifully. I put mine single layer in a Tupperware container and they last up to a week.
Life is about balance, experiences, joy and tastes that can be enjoyed by many. - Mandi Pimental, N³
Nosh & Nurture was born of this journey I am on to better the health of myself, my family and those around me. What started as a simple compilation of recipes has grown to a all-around lifestyle journal with ways to incorporate organic products into your home, pantry and beauty cabinet. I also include stories on pregnancy, new motherhood, travel, Proverbs 31 marriage, and spiritual health, as I am a Christian who couldn't do any of this without my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. For more of my story you can click here.
All recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free with a lot of soy-free, grain-free, sugar-free options.