The Can-Do Candida Diet: 2013
Can-Do Candida © Isabelle Burden 2013 All rights reserved

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Candida Diet Eggnog: Happy Healthy Holidays

Think eggnog is too complicated for your anti-candida Christmas?  Think again.  This quick and easy recipe can be made in 20 minutes or less, and is easy to multiply for bigger parties.  

Coconut milk keeps this eggnog as rich and creamy as the original, without the dairy.  

It’s important to keep dairy to a selective minimum on the candida diet, as milk and milk products do have high levels of natural sugar that can aggravate candida.  For many, dairy also has inflammatory properties that can add to the systemic reaction that candida causes, and worsen candidiasis symptoms.  

So if you’re looking to skip the pain and gain the flavor, try this non-dairy ‘nog sweetened only with stevia. 

Candida Alert: While liquor is a traditional ingredient in eggnog, many alcohols, particularly dark drinks like bourbon or rum, have high concentrations of sugars that will feed candida.  So if you do choose to get festive with your eggnog, be aware that you might have to deal with health consequences beyond your typical hangover.   


3 egg yolks
1 ¼ cups coconut milk
1 ¼ cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp vanilla stevia (or 1 tsp. each vanilla extract and liquid stevia)
¾ tsp nutmeg
tsp cinnamon
Dash of clove
Pinch of salt

Makes: 4-6 servings

In a large, heat-safe bowl, whisk three egg yolks. 

In a saucepan on the stove, combine the coconut milk and almond milk.  Turn the stove to low-medium heat.  Slowly raise the temperature of the milk mixture until the milk steams but does not simmer. 

Add the spices and stevia and allow these to cook in the milk.

The next step of the process is called tempering: slowly adding a hot ingredient to a heat-fragile one to avoid instantaneous cooking. 

Once the spiced milk has been heating on the stovetop for about 6-8 minutes, slowly begin to add this milk to the yolks, whisking the yolks as you do so.  Begin by adding in little more than a tablespoon of milk, then a few more, then a few more, once the yolks have been tempered into the mixture. 

If further cooking is desired for safety reasons, you may return the tempered eggnog to the saucepan for a few minutes (less than five) but cook over low heat only, and be aware that you may encounter some solids, which may need to be strained out later using cheesecloth.  

Chill the mixture overnight for maximum flavor.  Serve cold.  Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Candida Diet Madeleine Cakes: J’adore - Let’s Bake More!

“And suddenly the memory returns.” 

So writes Marcel Proust in “Remembrance of Things Past”.  At the taste of “those short, plump little cakes called 'petites madeleines,' which look as though they had been molded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim's shell”, the speaker is transported to a world of warmth, of wonder, and of memory. 

Food possesses this magic in spades.  How often do we taste – or even more likely, smell – something that takes us back to childhood, to the people who we loved and whose kitchens we associate with the poignant moments of our pasts?

I grew up on Manhattan’s lower west side, on the edge of a neighborhood called the meatpacking district.  When I lived there, it was teetering on the cusp of transitioning into the gentrified, high-end district is it today. 

I can recall going for walks with my father, riding on his shoulders far above the cobblestone streets, and visiting one bakery in particular.  Today, I wouldn’t be able to pick out the fa├žade of this bakery out of a photo lineup, but I remember their madeleines.  The small, French cakes fit perfectly into my toddlers’ hands, and their delicate vanilla flavor was pleasing to my childish taste buds.  They were given to me in an open-mouthed wax paper bag: one for now, one for later. 

These health-conscious madeleines are guaranteed to evoke the memory of every delicious, sugary little cake you’ve ever tasted - they’re so good you’ll forget you’re on a sugar-free diet.  Moist and buttery, with a light flavor of vanilla and just a hint of lemon, my family and I all agreed these madeleines are a dead ringer for the originals.  


2 cups almond flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
¼ tsp cream tartar
1/8 tsp baking soda
tsp salt
3 eggs
¼ cup + 2 tbsp salted butter, melted
3 ¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
2 ½ tsp liquid stevia
1 tsp lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease the madeleine tin with butter and set it aside for now. 

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.  Stir to combine. 

In a separate, medium-sized bowl, beat three eggs.  To the beaten eggs, add the melted butter, vanilla extract, liquid stevia, and lemon zest.  Stir these to combine. 

Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix them together into a sticky, wet batter.  Spoon this batter into the individual molds on the madeleine tray.  Each mold should have enough of the batter to fill it completely, with a little extra piled on, rising about ¼ to ½ inch above the rim of the mold.  This, once baked, will create the classic “hump” characteristic of the back of the madeleine cookie.    

Bake the madeleines for 13-15 minutes, rotating at the halfway point to ensure even baking.  The cakes should not brown, but should feel springy to the touch.  

So what are you waiting for?  Get to baking; get to memory-making!  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Apple Crumble for the Candida Diet: Fall in Love with Dessert

For many, colder weather and the colors of changing leaves bring a craving for pumpkin. Personally, my favorite fall fruit has always been the apple. Growing up in New York state, fresh apples always abounded this time of year, and the crispness of their bite and their lacy hint of sweetness always call to mind the wonder of autumn: how something so succulent could grow as everything else withered.

I suppose autumn is more a time of rest, of restoration, while most of the natural world prepares itself to lie dormant throughout the greys of winter. Perhaps that's my Northeasterner’s take on it.  

From my weekend away: Jardin Du Luxembourg, Paris
At any rate, fall is likely my favorite time of year. It always makes me want to pause and take the time to reflect on my life, on what is in motion and what has ceased, on what is huddling beneath the soil and what is budding on the horizon.  Sometimes it helps to make a list to remind yourself that the little, pleasing things can add up to be greater than the bad:

I have seen Paris in the fall.
Thoughtful friends and family members decorate my life like colored Christmas lights.
Every day I live the golden opportunity of working towards my passions.

Yet autumn is also so often one of the busiest times of our year according to the social calendar we collectively subscribe to. Kids go back to school, work hypes up as clients return from vacation: with all these factors it can be add to give ourselves the space to slow down and recharge before the holiday crush begins.

The time and space it gives me to hear my own thoughts is only one of the reasons why I love being in the kitchen.

So when my mothers backyard apple tree finally came to fruition this fall, it seemed that the best and only thing to do with the delicious, home grown morsels was to bake an apple crumble: a candida can-do crumble, of course.

Candida Alert:  As natural as the yummy sugars in these apples are, they can still aggravate candida.  As with any dessert, keep portion sizes reasonable and savor what you’ve got. 


For the crust:

1 ¾ cups almond flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
¼ tsp salt
6 tbsp salted butter, melted
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp liquid stevia

For the apples:

8 cups roughly chopped apples
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
3 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp clove
¼ tsp ginger
1 tbsp coconut flour
½ tsp salt
½ cup salted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp stevia

For the streusel:

½ cup coconut flour
½ cup almond flour
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 packet stevia
1/3 cup chopped almonds
6 tbsp salted butter
1 tbsp beaten egg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, salt, butter, and vanilla.  Mix these ingredients until they come together in a dough-like consistency. 
Spread the dough evenly across the bottom of a 9 by 12-inch baking pan.  Use your fingers to press it to about a ¼-inch thickness. 

Prebake the crust for 5-10 minutes, just until the edges turn a light, golden brown.  Set the crust aside for now.

In a large bowl, combine the apples with the walnuts, dry spices, coconut flour, salt, butter, vanilla, and stevia.  Toss the chopped apples in the bowl to coat each piece as evenly as possible with the other ingredients.  Set this aside for now.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine coconut flour, almond flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, stevia, chopped almonds (or other nut if you prefer), butter, and egg.  Gently toss these ingredients to intermix.

Carefully transfer the apple filling mixture into the dish with the prebaked crust.  Sprinkle and spread the streusel mixture over this evenly.  Cover the crumble with tinfoil and place it into the oven. 

Bake covered for 30 minutes, until apples are softened.  Remove tinfoil and allow the crumble to bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes, until the crumble is toasted and slightly browned. 

Remove the crumble from the oven and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes, while the juices set. 

This is a perfect fall dessert for your Thanksgiving table, as it can be portioned to serve few or many.  It can also be stored in an airtight plastic container in the refrigerator for up to five days.  

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cinnamon Scones for the Candida Diet: Can-Do Does England, Too!

I’m writing this post from a rather different vantage point than usual.  As I write, I look out my window to the city of dreaming spires – Oxford, England, to be precise.  The city rises each morning with intrinsic grace, like a sparrow taking flight on its amber-colored instincts, and each day passes with the timeless confidence of the Thames.  I count myself extremely fortunate to be here among the stately shapes of the skyline.     

Of course, even abroad, I am still food-obsessed.  Most of my tourism photos are snapped while walking through farmers’ markets and grocery stores.  But let’s not forget I am in England, and if there is one particular spread of edibles that is globally associated with English culture, it’s afternoon tea. 

An English cream tea consists of black tea, likely served with milk and sugar, accompanied by scones with jam and clotted cream.  If you’re on the candida diet there are several components of that equation that already sound concerning.  Sugar, sugar, and more sugar – not to mention the delicious but deadly wheat gluten that makes those scones so flaky and good.

So how can a girl stick to her guns when surrounded by the temptation of a tasty-looking cream tea spread?  A Candida Can-Do scone recipe, of course!  

I went with a more American take for my recipe, aiming for a sweeter and more crumbly scone than its English cousin, which most would say is a closer match to the American biscuit. 

These scones are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee.  Sweet cinnamon gets a boost from a hint of nutmeg, keeping each bite of these buttery treats interesting.   

Scones can be a little on the dry side.  If you’re one of those who like a smoother bite, I happen to think these scones pair excellently with a bit of no-sugar-added jam, or even a fruit compote made with stevia and fresh berries (blueberry is my personal favorite for this particular batch of scones). 

Candida Alert: While there is no refined sugar or sugar from starches in this recipe, dairy products, like milk and half and half, do have high levels of sugar and can cause an inflammatory response in the body.  I did my best to keep the dairy to a minimum, but if you are on a strict candida diet, feel free to play around with substituting, though I cannot guarantee the results should you do so. 


For the blueberry compote:

4 tbsp salted butter
6 cups wild Maine blueberries (can be found frozen, if not fresh)
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp stevia
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp chia seed
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp coconut flour

Over medium heat, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter.  To the melted butter, add the blueberries.  Cook the blueberries in the butter for two minutes, stirring gently on occasion.  Add the almond milk and the rest of the ingredients.  Allow this mixture to simmer for another 5-10 minutes, or until the blueberries gain the consistency of a syrupy sauce, and can coat the surface of a wooden spoon.    

For the scones:

1 ½ cups coconut flour
1 cup almond flour
3 ½ tsps cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ sticks salted butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp liquid stevia
½ cup milk
¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 tbsps half and half
2 sheets parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 

In a medium-sized bowl, beat two eggs.  To the beaten eggs, add vanilla extract, liquid stevia, milk, almond milk, and half and half.  Place this aside for now.

In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, almond flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, tartar, baking soda, and salt.

Cut the butter into small chunks, taking care to keep it from melting.  The colder the butter is, the better.  Toss these chunks of butter into the dry ingredients, and begin the process of cutting-in.  Using two knives, a food processor, or another tool suited to this task, cut the butter over and over into increasingly smaller pieces, tossing occasionally to distribute them throughout the flour. 

You do not want the butter to melt, or to become creamy.  Get the butter pieces as small and as evenly distributed as you can, as this is crucial to the texture of the scones.  If at any point the butter gets too warm, it is helpful to place the entire bowl of ingredients into the freezer for a minute or two to return the butter to a more solid consistency.

Once this stage is completed, add the wet ingredients to the large bowl.  Stir with a gentle folding motion to combine. 

Transfer the dough to a sheet of parchment paper.  Place another parchment sheet on top of the dough, and, using a rolling pin, flatten the dough between the sheets to about a quarter-inch of thickness. 

Once done, remove the top sheet and slice the scones out of the dough as if you were cutting into a round cake.  This will give you triangular scones. 

Use a spatula to transfer the shaped scones from the parchment to a greased baking sheet.  If they come apart a little on the way there, don’t worry; just reshape them with your fingers. 

Brush the tops of the scones with a little extra milk to keep them from over-drying, and bake them for 12-15 minutes. 

Allow scones to cool, then serve with any additions you desire.  

Cheers, mate!