Friday, May 10, 2013

Chocolate Glazed Apricot Brownie Bites (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

I'm totally cheating right now. I'm only posting this recipe to get your attention. And if I know anything about you, it's that the word chocolate gets your attention. So if I have to bribe you with chocolate, I am perfectly okay with that.

Before I share the recipe with you, I want to tell you a few things. You're not allowed to scroll down to the recipe until you've read this. I'm totally serious. I can control your computer with my mind:
  1. The Anti-Diet 30 Day Spring Challenge starts on Sunday. Saturday at 10pm EST is your last chance to register! If you're on the fence, jump in! You have very little to lose and the chance to gain energy, renewed faith, and a better understanding of your purpose in life. And since it's Mother's Day, register for your mom too. You can keep each other motivated during the challenge. Register here.
  2. I posted the podcast of my webinar, Beyond Gluten Free: What's Next in Your Health Journey. It's available here. It includes a meditation on listening to your body, which starts about 20 minutes in. I've received amazing feedback on the meditation. My friend Kelly told me: "Thank you, thank you, a thousand times THANK YOU for such a beautiful and informative podcast! I learned so much about myself, my purpose, and what I need to do to let go of negativity and live the life I was intended to. You are truly awe inspiring! ♥" 
  3. This is an excerpt from my article in the latest copy of GF Magazine. "Through all of this searching for the perfect diet, a few ideas became glaringly clear to me. One, I was listening to everyone else and completely ignoring my own intelligence. Two, I was becoming so stressed over what I ate that I would literally break down crying when I didn’t eat “perfectly.” I was being told that if I didn’t follow a specific diet to the T, I would never get better and have only myself to blame. Just like someone on a weight loss diet, I blamed myself for lack of willpower and struggled with guilt and shame. The third thing I realized was that by focusing solely on diet as the answer, I was ignoring a lot of other factors in my life." You can download the free magazine and read the full article here.  
  4. I've received 3 entries into the Gluten Free Health Challenge already, and I'm very excited! It is going to be so hard to pick the winners. Good thing I don't have to do it. That's all on you... Just to clarify, you do not need to be new to the gluten free diet in order to enter. Our journey to health doesn't stop when we become gluten free. For many of us, it's just starting. The Gluten Free Health Challenge focuses on all aspects of health, not just being gluten free.
  5. Only one person left a comment on my post about no longer blogging here (Natalie, I love you!). I'm a little hurt. Sure, you'll comment when I talk about Blue Eyes but nothing when I'm just talking about myself. Where's the love, people? 
Okay, you've listened to me. I will now release my hold on your computer and you may have the recipe. 

Chocolate Glazed Apricot Brownie Bites Print-Me
These brownie bites make an elegant dessert. A rich and dense brownie ball is covered with a layer of chocolate, then cooled in the fridge for the perfect bite-sized treat. Make sure you have room in your fridge for them!

Yield: Four dozen brownie bites

1 ½ cups dried apricots
¾ cup full fat canned coconut milk
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

132 grams buckwheat flour (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
60 grams tapioca starch (1/2 cup)
40 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt

Chocolate Glaze: (All ingredients need to be at room temperature ahead of time or the glaze will not be smooth)
½ cup full fat canned coconut milk
6 tablespoons maple syrup OR 4 tablespoons coconut nectar plus 40 drops liquid stevia
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 dried apricots, finely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease four 12-cup mini-muffin tins.
2. Blend the apricots and coconut milk in a blender for about 30 seconds, just until the apricots are chopped but not completely pureed. Pour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the applesauce, sugar, and vanilla extract.
3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour, tapioca starch, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until completely mixed.
4. Scoop the batter into the muffin tins about halfway Dip your fingers in water and use them to spread the batter evenly. Bake for 14 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack.
5. Once the brownie bites have cooled, heat coconut milk in a small pan over low heat. Stir in sweetener and vanilla extract for a minute. Add chocolate and stir until smooth. Dip brownies in chocolate completely, shaking a bit to get excess chocolate off when you take them out. Place on wax or parchment paper. 
6. Once you’ve dipped all of the brownies, top them with chopped apricots and place in the fridge to chill. This only takes about ten minutes. Once you can touch the coating without it sticking completely to your fingers, you’re golden! Eat away!

Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze for later use.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Saying Goodbye to My Blog

Dear Reader,

It's been just over 4 years since I wrote my first post here. Since then, I've shared a lot with you. Maybe a little more than some of you wanted to know. Remember the poop post? Or the one about garlic? Don't remember them? You probably blocked them out.

Seriously though, we've been through a lot of changes in these last 4 years, haven't we? You've watched me move from NYC to Seattle to a teeny town in Missouri where I now reside. I've gotten to know many of you better. We've shared e-mails, Facebook conversations, and dreams. I know one of you opened a bakery, one of you wrote a book, one of you became a mother for the first time, and one of you became a grandmother. I know one of you has struggled with similar health problems and one of you understood only too well when I wrote about binge eating. One of you supported me when I was missing my old home in Brooklyn, and one of you even randomly ended up on a date with my ex-boyfriend through an online dating site. Yes, strange things do happen! Some of you have become my clients and I even traveled to Utah to do a workshop with one of you. I met many of you at gluten free expos, and I have photos of some of us in my Facebook albums.  

You, dear reader, you are my people. And that may perhaps be the strangest sentence I've yet written. Strange because I'm realizing that it's true. 

The Daily Dietribe has become as much a part of my identity as anything else in my life. When people ask me who I am, the first thing that comes to mind is, "I'm a blogger." Not a sister, not a girlfriend, not just me. I'm a blogger.

What does that mean to me?

I began The Daily Dietribe as a creative outlet for myself, and it morphed into a way to share my experiences with others. When I began to hear from you that it helped for me to be so honest, I realized I could actually make a difference through blogging. I wasn't changing the world, but sometimes I was making you feel a little more normal, a little less alone.

When I co-wrote The Essential Gluten Free Baking Guides, I had the same desire. To share my knowledge so that your gluten free journey could be just a little bit easier. So you could feel you had some control over what you were doing in your own gluten free kitchen. Again, I wasn't saving the world, but maybe the baking guides have made a few lives easier. At least that was my hope.

Now, here I am, and I've been coming to a new realization for a long time. The Daily Dietribe has been my baby. I've nurtured it, watched it grow, worried over the stumbling teenage years, and now here it is and for quite a while, it's been like me. Stuck in limbo. No longer a child. Not yet an adult.

Well, I think it's time for The Daily Dietribe to grow up. That means I'm taking off my training wheels and stepping back as a parent. I've thought long and hard what the purpose of this blog is. It has always been a place for me to talk about my health journey, a place to learn and share about following a gluten free diet. A place for me to talk about my life in all its messy details. And in doing so, a place to learn to be okay with wherever I am in life.

Now, The Daily Dietribe is going to become that place for six other women. Starting June 1st, The Daily Dietribe will host its first Gluten Free Health Challenge. I'm going to introduce you to six women who are on their own gluten free journeys, and then I'm going to let them take over. The Daily Dietribe will no longer be just about me. It will be about every woman who is working to be healthier, to feel stronger, to love herself. It will be about YOU because I'm sure you'll be able to see yourself in each of these women. I know I do.

So this, dear reader, is not a goodbye letter. It's a letter to tell you just how much I have appreciated you, and just how much this blog has meant to me. I was twenty-six when I started blogging. I'll be thirty-one soon. And I've spent about a year now struggling with the desire to let go of this blog and the need to hold on.

I'm ready to move on. Yet I want The Daily Dietribe to remain a safe space for others to grow. I am absolutely stoked and jazzed and inspired and levitating with excitement about the work I've been doing. But I've tried not to let it take over because I didn't want to disrupt the gluten free flow of The Daily Dietribe. So now I don't have to worry about that. The Daily Dietribe will flow gluten free goodness. And my new site will flow with the love I'm putting into it.

Do you want to flow with me? Here's how you can. Continue to subscribe to The Daily Dietribe as it becomes The Daily Dietribe Gluten Free Health Challenge. Tune in tomorrow to read the rules of the challenge and learn how you can be a part of it. If you haven't already, follow The Daily Dietribe on Facebook and Twitter. My awesome new intern, Aly Vanderwalde, will be manning the controls on those fronts starting in June, so she will be keeping you in the know and doing a much better job of it than I ever did.

I'll still stop by and say hello from time to time. I'll share a post or a recipe here and there. And though you may not always see me, I'll be taking care of things behind the scenes. But if you want to keep in touch for real, please don't be a stranger. You are still my people. And the best way you can find me these days is by liking my new Facebook page. This will be my page, separate from The Daily Dietribe, which means I'll share more on what really matters to me, not just the gluten free stuff (although I'll share that too because it also matters). i.e.  If you want to hear more about Blue Eyes, this is the place to go because I'm sure I'll talk about him too.

If that's not enough and you think you'll miss my posts, don't forget that Saturday is the last day to sign up for my 30 Day Challenge. Then you'll get to e-mail with me every day AND talk with me on the phone once a week. We'll be best friends by the time the 30 days is over!

Okay, deep breaths (me, not you). Now I've told you and now it's real.

Really Still Yours,

p.s. If you know what show I was referencing in that photo above, then you're definitely my people. Blue Eyes hates the show, but I adore it.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Grain-Free, Sugar-Free Tahini Spice Cookies and a Free Webinar on Meditation

You know I love simple recipes. When you have food sensitivities, you get used to cooking all your own food. Blue Eyes, bless him, knows how to cook for me. But we rarely get to go out to dinner or order in, and forget grabbing a random snack when I'm out and about. This cookie recipe came about because I wanted something I could snack on. Something with just enough crisp and a little chew. Of course, I ate all the cookies in one day and that kind of defeated the purpose of having snacks handy.

Oh well. They made me happy.

This recipe is made with tahini, which has a bitter aftertaste. Since it's a sugar-free recipe, I used stevia to mask that taste. If you don't like stevia, I recommend using a different nut or seed butter, or using a granulated sugar. I'm not sure how a liquid sweetener (like honey) would affect the texture. I also found that the longer I baked them, the better the flavor was. I took a few cookies out early and they had a stronger bitterness to them. The ones I let bake more no longer had such a bite.

And be forewarned that these are earthy-crunchy cookies. That means most people will probably think they taste like "health food." I really liked them and would definitely make more had I not realized I was reacting to the tahini. But you know yourself best. If you like earthy-crunchy, not-too-sweet cookies, this recipe is for you! If not, here's another one for you.  

And before I forget, I want to cordially invite you to my first webinar tomorrow night (Thursday, May 2nd) from 5:30-7:00pm pacific time. I'm really excited to share with you some of the experiences I've had in dealing with my health issues through meditation and hypnotherapy. I'll be leading a guided meditation as part of the webinar, so it's a great opportunity for you to try this out for yourself and see how it makes you feel. If you can't make the webinar, but want to hear it, please register anyway... After the webinar, everyone who is registered will get an e-mail with a link to the recording. That way you can also listen to the meditation on your own time.

p.s. Did I mention it's free?

(See more about and register for the free webinar on my new site here).

Grain-Free, Sugar-Free Tahini Spice Cookies Print-Me
Adapted from this recipe for 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted tahini*
1/4 cup pureed sweet potato (baked first)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
10-20 drops liquid vanilla stevia (I like NuNaturals)

*If you use salted tahini, just skip the salt in the recipe.

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 
  2. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients together. I use my food processor so it's a nice, smooth batter. Taste for sweetness and add more stevia as desired. 
  3. Scoop by the tablespoon and flatten for traditional cookie shape. Use your fork to make the imprint you see above. Alternatively you can leave them as scoops as also shown in the photo above. 
  4. Baked flat cookies for 12-13 minutes. Bake round cookies for 20 minutes, checking after 18 minutes. Let cool completely before eating. 
Makes approximately 10 cookies. 

Note: I went light on the spices. If you like lots of spice flavor, go ahead and add what you like and taste the batter before baking. Same with the orange zest.


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