By the time December rolls around, it’s easy to turn your back on all those dietary guidelines. You know… the dos and don’ts about what to eat if you’re trying to stay healthy. And even those of us still trying to stay off the naughty list can fall into one of two traps – without meaning to, of course.
Can you relate to one or both of these scenarios?
1. You use the holidays as an excuse to eat every sugary, lectin-filled treat in sight and end up undoing all your hard work for the whole year, resulting in weight gain or perhaps the return of achy joints and poor digestion.
2. You sit on the holiday sidelines, watching everyone else having a good time, while you keep your mouth shut tight – avoiding any dish or dessert that looks like fun. Then, you basically turn into a grinch and resent going to parties because you feel so deprived!
Well, I’m here to teach you ways not only survive, but to THRIVE during the holidays…..
So, I’ve got good news for you!
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to skip everyone’s favorite holiday dessert. Yes, you guessed it… PIE! Even if you want to stay healthy and stay true to the Plant Paradox eating plan, you can still splurge on a bit of pie. Just splurge smart!
I try to provide as many healthy holiday treats as possible on my blog here. However, there’s an endless resource at your fingertips on the internet, too.
The other day, I discovered a blog called NoEggsorHam.com. And after a few minutes exploring the site, I was delighted to find quite a few Plant Paradox-compliant recipes. In fact, since they discovered the book in May, most of their vegan recipes from that point forward are Plant Paradox-friendly!
Here’s what Ryan Tempher, co-founder of the blog, has to say about his experience of being on a vegan Plant Paradox diet:
I began reading it in May I believe, then quickly decided to change my diet accordingly, starting with the 3-day cleanse (avocados, salads, and smoothies all three days, haha).
I discovered The Plant Paradox at a time when I was beginning to search why the foods I was eating weren’t making me feel my best. I was mainly curious as to why I felt tired after I ate and why I was bloated so often.
When I started reading The Plant Paradox, Dr. Gundry’s statements, explanations, and suggestions all seemed to click with how I was feeling and my own hypotheses. Immediately after starting the diet, I dropped a few pounds and my energy started remain at a consistently high level.However, I will mention that a couple months in I gained weight, which was due to eating too much fat – namely full-fat coconut milk. I was putting it in my coffee, tea, sauces, desserts, and other sugar-free beverages about three times a day for a couple months, at which point I realized, “Hey, my stomach keeps on growing.”So, I cut back on full-fat coconut milk, started working out consistently again, and put a higher priority on resistant starches. Since then, my weight has gone back down to a slim, healthy level – i.e. I can see my abs again, haha.Without excuse, I gained weight because I was under the assumption that I could over-eat without gaining weight which isn’t true for any diet. Alas, self-control is always an important part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
To bring it full-circle, the highlights of a lectin-limited diet are: no brain fog, no grogginess, clean bathroom visits, and little-to-no bloating.
So, there you have it… Kim and Ryan, the couple behind noeggsorham.com, really are doing an amazing job of getting creative with delicious, vegan lectin-light options. Their blog is full of beautiful photos and wonderful recipes!
In fact, just by looking at their Classic Sweet Potato Pie recipe … it’s clear Kim and her boyfriend Ryan are doing the right things!
Here’s the ‘have your pie AND eat it too AND stay on the Plant Paradox diet’ recipe, courtesy of these fine food bloggers:
Vegan Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
What you need:
112 g cassava flour (1 c minus 2 tbsp)
34 g sorghum flour (1/4 c)
12 g xylitol or erythritol (1 tbsp)
1 g salt (1/4 tsp)
60 g coconut oil or buttery coconut oil (1/4 c), chilled
4-6 oz chilled water
1 lb + 6 oz orange sweet potato (roughly 2 medium potatoes), peeled and chopped into small chunks
8 oz full-fat coconut milk (1 c)
48 g xylitol or erythritol (1/4 c)
2 tbsp arrowroot starch
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice*
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp liquid stevia extract
1/4 tsp salt
4 oz crushed pecans (1 c)
What You Need To Do:
1. Place coconut oil & 3/4 c water into fridge to chill. The fat should be solid, but not as hard as a rock; 15-20 minutes.In the bowl of a food processor, combine cassava flour, sorghum flour, xylitol, & salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Spoon out small chunks of chilled coconut oil into the dry ingredients and pulse a few times until the dough has a large, crumbly texture.
2. Add in 1/2 c of the chilled water and pulse until it’s incorporated; 5-10 seconds. The dough hold together if you pick it up and squeeze it in your hand but remain crumbly in the bowl. If it doesn’t stick together, add a splash more water, pulse, and test again. Note: Don’t overwork the dough. If it’s blended too much, the fat will become too finely incorporated and the dough won’t be flaky. It’s important to have visible chunks of fat.
3. Remove dough from bowl, mold into a round with your hands, wrap in parchment paper, and place in the fridge for 15-30 minutes. This will allow the fat to re-solidify and the flour to hydrate.
4. While the dough chills, place peeled & cubed sweet potatoes in a large, high-walled sauté pan and add enough water to barely cover. Place over high heat and cook until extremely tender; 10-15 minutes. Add more water if it all evaporates.
5. Remove any excess water and transfer sweet potato to the bowl of a food processor, along with the rest of the filling ingredients. Blitz on high – scraping down sides as needed – until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
6. Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease rims and surface of a 9.5 inch pie pan with coconut oil.
7. To roll out dough, grab two large sheets of parchment paper. Place one on the counter and dust it with cassava flour. Plop dough round on top, and dust with flour as well. Cover with second sheet of paper. Tip: For even rolling, roll out from the middle towards one direction, rotate, and roll in a different direction. Do this until the dough is large enough to cover the surface of the pie pan.
8. To transfer dough to pan, place pan upside down on the dough, and flip the parchment paper so that the dough lands in the pan. There will likely be some holes in the crust – that’s okay. Patch them up with excess dough using wet fingers to mold it back together – it doesn’t have to be fine art.
9. Bake empty crust in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.
10. Remove, fill with sweet potato mixture, and smooth out the top with a spatula. Top with pecans and place back in oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the edges are set, the center is lightly jiggly, and the pecans are just beginning to burn.
11. Allow the pie to rest on a cooling rack for at least an hour and a half before trying to cut into it. However, I recommend allowing the pie to rest for two hours at room temp, then refrigerating it overnight before serving.
Use a sharp paring knife to cut into slices. Serve as is, or with vanilla ice cream made from coconut milk, coconut whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and/or a pinch of smoked salt. The options are limitless.
12. Store in fridge – covered with plastic wrap – for up to 5 days.
This classic pie looks as tasty as it is, and beyond being vegan – it’s gluten-free, lectin-light and sugar-free. Amazing.
But there are important things this pie does not skip – a scrumptious, flaky crust and dense, sweet filling! And a crunchy pecan topping that really kicks it up a notch.
So once you’ve tried making their sweet potato pie recipe, check out some of their other Plant Paradox-approved recipes, such as:
Ring it all in …
And enjoy keeping your kitchen warmed and your holidays festive with these wonderful foods! ‘Tis the season to enjoy your hard work, and live your best lectin-free life!
Photos courtesy of Noeggsorham.com