Oprah did a 21-day vegan challenge a few years ago. I remember her gushing over her improved pooping. If there is one thing I am not lacking from my foods, it is fiber. Mostly due to my love of beans. One serving of Red Lentil Dal with Zucchini gives you 16g of fiber, or 65% of your suggested daily fiber intake. Red Lentil and Spinach Curry (Vegan Tikka Masala): 18g of fiber or 72% of your suggested daily intake. This definitely helps to keep things moving.
Trust me, I don’t need help any help in the pooping department, but recently bought psyllium husks after Gabby gushed over a banana-less chocolate smoothie. I found the smoothie a bit gritty from the psyllium (I doubled the psyllium, though, and used psyllium husks instead of psyllium powder) but even worse, my belly became bloated nearly instantaneously. And boy, was I gaseous. With stinky farts. Super stinky. Poor Rob.
Psyllium helps relieve constipation and diarrhea, regulating bowel movements with its high soluble fiber content. It is the main ingredient in All-Bran Buds and Metamucil. During medical school, a surgeon touted its value and I began adding All-Bran Buds to my morning yogurt. However, as the husk itself, a little goes a long way. I used 1 tablespoon the first time, which is a pretty big amount. Nearly entirely fiber. Only 17 calories, with 5g of carbs including 4.5g of fiber. Way more potent than beans.(Metamucil only recommends 1 tsp at a time).
I thought I was doomed to another long-time pantry lurker, but then discovered an interesting chocolate cake. Hemp protein powder + psyllium + cocoa + mesquite + mint sounded like a winning combo.. actually, it sounded down-right odd. No grains? How would this turn into a cake? Especially after only microwaving it for a minute? My curiosity got the better of me and I was completely smitten. It may look like poop but it was a magic cake. Perfect as a dessert or a filling breakfast. It is a chewy cake but a chocolate cake nonetheless. I’ve made it with cocoa and carob. I have substituted maca for the mesquite, although I had to add more water. I’ve gone mesquite-less with more hemp and carob. I’ve mistakenly forgotten the mint. Since I am on the sweetener-free challenge I didn’t add any sweeteners but I encourage something sweeter for those who haven’t deprived your sweet tastebuds for a month (um, like Rob!).
But be careful, psyllium is incredibly filling. Drink a huge glass of water/tea with it. Work yourself up to a full cake and don’t eat them every day. Eventually the bloating will subside and the smelly farts become less.
However, because it is so filling, this is a terribly satisfying snack. Top it with some melted coconut oil or coconut butter. Want something even more decadent? Omit the mint and top it with my chocolate peanut butter frosting or cashew date frosting! Or make this avocado buttercream frosting and tell me how it was.
Looking for more psyllium recipes? Check out Dr. John Howard‘s (a pediatric gastroenterologist in London) collection of kid-friendly recipes using psyllium. If you have or know of children with constipation, I also encourage you to read through his kid’s book: All Aboard The Poop Train. All aboard, toot toot!
Unlike my Chocolate Mousse Pie which is almost guiltless, these cupcakes are completely guilt-free! While they may have you salivating, you can make them guilt-free because you won’t be eating them. You’ll throw them into your bath instead.
American Thanksgiving is over, which means it is ok to think about Christmas. Even though I didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend (as a Canadian, mine was in October), I still find it taboo to think about Christmas too early. Christmas music has been blaring down St Clair West for the past week, and it was just too much for me. However, it did get me thinking.
Even though I am completely uncreative in the craft department, I got it into my head that I wanted to make a craft cupcake. I thought of making soap cupcakes, but realized it called for way too many ingredients I didn’t have (sodium hydroxide!). My attention next turned to bath bombs which uses many ingredients I already have, including many that I don’t plan to eat anyways (cornstarch, baking soda, citric acid) – perfect for guiltless clearing of my pantry, too! While searching for bath bomb cupcakes, I even came across a chocolate whoopie pie bath bomb made with oat flour, cocoa powder and milk powder. However, I only had 1/2 cup citric acid leftover from my chaat masala so I went with one recipe. Thankfully, this was perfectly timed. My mom was coming to visit this weekend and able to bring ingredients I didn’t have (Epsom salts, icing sugar, food coloring, cream of tartar, SPRINKLES!) and baking contraptions (frosting tips, cupcake wrappers) to frost my cupcakes. Plus, she has mad frosting skills. I figured I needed a frosting tutorial from her regardless.
As soon as my Mom arrived, we got to work! I looked at her sprinkle collection and fell for the clear green ones. My mom suggested a pale green cupcake base so we were off! This was definitely a team effort. I sifted and spritzed while my Mom mixed the cupcake batter. I originally used witch hazel to mist my batter but it didn’t seem to work at binding, so then we switched to water which was used in the original recipe. Once it was semi-solid, we packed them tightly into wrapper-lined muffin tins.
You can go as simple or as ornate as you’d like. You could stop right hear and have bath bomb disks. Or use ice cube trays with fun shapes for variety. I didn’t have any fragrances or essential oils (they need to be skin safe) so I went without. I can only imagine how much more awesome this would be with mint.
Next, we got to work on the frosting. For the real bakers out there, you may recognize this as royal icing. Icing that you can mold and allow to firm up solid. It can keep for years if properly stored. It is what you would use for gingerbread houses or pretty flowers on cakes. I decided not to experiment, so I stuck with the original recipe. I had to locate meringue powder, easily found at Bulk Barn, but nowhere else I looked. I know, this doesn’t make the frosting vegan. Only now did I realize there are vegan royal icings. I may try that next time.
So I whipped out my much neglected mixer and we made the icing together. Stuffed the icing into a bag and started piping. Pipe then sprinkled.
The frosting is edible but I don’t recommend eating the cupcake! For now, you get a silky smooth skin after your glorious bath time.
Do you make your own beauty products? What gifts are you planning on making this holiday?