I can recall the day when a special diet called “the candida diet” was first suggested to me. My family was looking for ways to improve our health and sugar-free habits needed to be broken. At the exact moment the news broke, I had probably just stuffed a handful of peanut butter filled pretzels and dark chocolate chips (my substitution for when my mom didn’t buy the chocolate-covered ones) in my mouth, and I probably choked on the news. My after-school snacks and after-dinner desserts were a big part of my daily routine. Going sugar-free wasn’t in my plans. Could people live this way?
By the mention of me eating peanut butter and chocolate as a steady substitute for when desserts weren’t easily available, you can tell I had a problem with sugar. When I dived into the candida diet for the first time, it was a loud, rude awakening. I didn’t know what I was in for. Even though we had been introduced to xylitol and stevia during our first round of the candida diet, it didn’t help very much. We had no context for how to use these sweeteners. We didn’t have recipes or know of any cookbooks or blogs that helped explain these sweeteners. It took some time to get accumulated but we learned a lot! Luckily, I’ve followed the candida diet more days (uh, weeks, months) than I care to count so I have gained quite a bit of experience. I’ve learned a thing or two about eating (and baking) for the candida diet (and the recovering sugar-addict).
One of the things I’ve learned during the candida diet is that cutting sugar cold turkey doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it out to be. After experimenting with unique and different ingredients, it’s really exciting to see that going sugar-free in our kitchens just opens up the door for creativity! It allows us to use more of a variety in our cooking and baking. Favorite dishes can still be made on the candida diet! One my favorites is pancakes. It’s a really beautiful thing to wake up to a stack of pancakes that you can actually eat. These pancakes are made with a base of almonds, eggs and coconut flour. If you are a sugar loving soul, (a kindred friend in my book) and have been working on a “sugar reboot”, these pancakes are a treat! If you ask me, the candida diet deserves a pancake breakfast or dinner once in awhile. Enjoy!
Candida-Friendly Almond Pancakes
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons Whole Almonds
2 Tablespoons Xylitol or Erythritol
2/3 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
2 Tablespoons Oil, Olive Oil or Grape Seed Oil are great ones!
2 Large Organic Eggs
1 teaspoon Pure Almond Extract
1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
3- 3 1/2 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
In a high speed blender, blend the almonds with the xylitol on high speed until the almonds become a rough flour. Make sure not over process so the almonds do not turn to butter.
Add the liquid ingredients all at once and pulse. Add the extract, cinnamon, baking powder and coconut flour and mix until combined. Add an extra 1/2 tablespoon of coconut flour if the mixture needs a bit more thickening. Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet to about 250 degrees. These pancakes need to cook low and slow compared to normal pancakes. Use about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake and cook on about 5 minutes before gently flipping. The pancakes edges will be almost fully cooked before ready to flip. Once fully cooked, they are a bit less fragile. Enjoy! Leftovers keep well, covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Candida-diet Suggested Toppings:
xylitol and cinnamon
a small handful of berries (berries are low in sugar)
dusting of pumpkin spice mix, nutmeg or cardamom
almond or hazelnut butter
*While photographing this stack of pancakes, I almost went to grab the maple syrup instinctively but luckily I caught myself just in time! If you need that familiar drizzle of liquid, I would suggest a small amount of unsweetened applesauce or a bit of plain almond milk drizzled over. It moistens the pancakes in that familiar way but won’t ruin your diet.