Yummy Christmas Dessert

12/16/15 ~~

I have a Yummy Dessert Recipe below that is made with unprocessed sugars – a pretty treat and great for the holidays!  
However, did you know that most treats are made with processed and refined sugars? 

We’ve been eating more and more processed sugar over the past 200 years, which has led to rising obesity numbers. Back in 1822 the average person ate only 6.3 lbs of sugar per year, compared to 130 lbs of sugar in 2012. That’s more than 20 times as much sugar in our modern diet. Yikes!

One of the reasons that the modern diet is filled with so much sugar is that refined sugar is included in virtually every single processed food. This is another reason it’s important to cut out those processed and packaged convenience foods from your diet. 
Believe me, I know reducing sugar in your diet can be difficult.
But here are 7 Ways To Eat Less of that Sugar that’s stalling your results in anti-aging and weight loss.

Eat More Protein
A diet rich in protein keeps you full, satisfied and less likely to crave sweets. A great way to make sure that you are getting enough is to plan each meal and snack around a protein. Plan breakfast around eggs, lunch and dinner around baked chicken breast, and have snacks like hardboiled eggs or baked meatballs. 

Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
One of the biggest fitness myths out there is the idea that calorie-free, artificially sweetened beverages don’t impact your fat loss results. The truth is that the diet soda you’re sipping is making it harder for you to reach your goal weight. While the diet soda itself doesn’t contain calories, it has been proven to cause cravings for sugary foods. Try a refreshing bottle of spring water or unsweetened green tea instead. My favorite!

Steer Clear Of Saboteurs 
The sad truth is that people in your life will try to sabotage your low sugar diet. You’ll run into that person at the office who insists that you eat a donut, the well-meaning family member who dishes you up a bowl of ice cream, and the friend who comes over with a plate of her home-baked cookies. The best strategy is to tell them you wish you could eat it, and then blame me – your fitness mentor –  who says that you need to cut back on sugar. 🙂

Try Dark Chocolate
For those moments when your sweet tooth is relentlessly badgering you for something sweet, ditch the super-sugary candies and stick with very dark chocolate. Chocolate that is 70% or higher in cocoa content should be the main candy that you keep on hand. The benefit of the cocoa, in addition to the lowered sugar content, makes dark chocolate an a perfect treat!

Stick With Fruit
What’s sweet, colorful and comes in hundreds of flavors? Organic, seasonal, fresh fruit, of course! As you remove refined sugar from your life, feel free to add in some natural sugar by way of fresh, local fruit. It’s amazing how satisfyingly sweet fruit is – it’s truly nature’s candy. 

Change Your Palate
As you begin to limit your intake of refined sugars, you’ll find that your tolerance for sugar decreases. This means that something that didn’t taste sweet before – say a green apple – now has uncanny depths of sweetness. What’s happening is that your sweet receptors are becoming more finely tuned, now that you’re not overwhelming your palate with sickly-sweet refined sugar. 

Here is a great low sugar treat made with all natural sugars -a great alternative to the high sugar processed treats.  Save this for a Sweet Sunday indulgence. You won’t miss those processed sugars at all! 🙂

Paleo Red Velvet Cupcakes

from Vanessa Barajas

I think these are so pretty and just the right colors for a Christmas dessert! 

For the Cupcakes
2 cups beet puree (see notes below)
3 organic cage-free eggs
1 cup organic palm shortening
1 cup coconut nectar (you could substitute with raw honey)
1/2 cup canned coconut milk, full-fat, room temperature
1/2 cup pear sauce* (If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you just use unsweetened applesauce)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sifted blanched almond flour
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Dagoba Organic)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt

1. For the beet puree take 6 medium sized beets, cut off the stems and wrap in tin foil. I did groups of 3 so I had 2 foil bundles. Bake in the oven on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for an hour. Let cool and then peel off the skin with your fingers or a peeler, it comes off really easy.
2. To expedite the process, make your Cream “Not Really Cheese” Frosting while your beets are cooking in the oven for an hour. Put the frosting in the refrigerator to chill and firm up a bit while you prepare your cupcake batter.

3. In a small bowl combine your wet ingredients: eggs, palm shortening, coconut nectar, coconut milk, pear sauce, and apple cider vinegar, set aside. In a separate large bowl sift your almond and coconut flour, then add the rest of your dry ingredients, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

4. Once your beets are cooked, peeled, and ready to go, puree them in a food processor, then add your wet ingredients to the beet puree in the food processor and blend until combined. Now fold the wet ingredients from the food processor into the dry ingredients until combined and you have yourself a pretty red velvet cake batter!

5. Line a cupcake pan with foil cupcake liners or silicone baking cups and scoop the batter in to them. At this point you can also use a spatula or a knife to smooth out the tops of the cupcakes. The batter won’t rise too much as it bakes so you can fill to the top of the liner if you want. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. To make sure the cupcakes are done, stick a toothpick or knife into the center and if it comes out clean you are good to go! Let the cupcakes cool completely before adding the Cream “Not Really Cheese” Frosting.

For the Cream “Not Really Cheese” Frosting
3 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight or at least for 4 hours)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup coconut nectar (or raw honey)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 heaping tablespoons canned coconut milk cream, full-fat (refrigerated overnight)
2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. In a blender combine all the ingredients and blend until completely smooth. You may have to scrape down the sides of the blender a few times. Once it’s totally smooth, blend some more just to be sure, no one wants lumpy frosting! The batter should resemble a cream cheese frosting like consistency maybe a little bit thinner, it will thicken a bit when you cool it in the fridge. Pour into a large Ziploc bag, or if you’re super fancy pants, put into a piping bag and refrigerate while you prepare the cupcakes.

2. Once the cupcakes are at room temperature and your frosting has been refrigerated, cut a whole in the corner of the large Ziploc bag (or use your piping bag and desired tip) and squeeze frosting in a circular motion around the top of the cupcake. I found what worked best and didn’t over frost my cupcakes was if I started in the center and worked my way out still leaving a lip on the edge of the cupcake because the frosting tends to spread a little.

For more on eating a healthy diet for beautiful skin and weight loss – check out my Anti-Aging Diet YouTube video here.