Although I consider myself a late bloomer in most areas of my life, there’s one event I experienced long before anyone else in my circle of family and friends: the mid-life crisis. In fact, I got mine over with in my early 20s.
I can remember many hours of beer-addled conversation with my beloved mentor in those days, asking the kinds of questions you’d expect from a jaded middle manager in his late 50s rather than a 20-something Master’s student: What is my true calling? Do I really want to do this for the rest of my life? Why are we even here? What is the sound of one hand clapping? And will I ever achieve thinner thighs?
As it turned out, dunno, no, who knows, nothing, and not likely.
Then, when I discovered holistic nutrition and began teaching it and offering cooking classes, I thought I’d solved the crisis. Until this round of the ACD, that is.
But wait! Before I continue, let me pause to issue a heartfelt “thank you” to all of you who read this blog. Thank you for tagging along on this bumpy anti-candida ride. Thank you for your supportive and helpful comments as I traverse the circuitous path toward better health. And thank you for sticking with me, even though this blog seems to have morphed from “Diet, Dessert and Dogs” to “ACD, Stevia and Dogs”–it really doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it? (“Well, Mum, at least we are a consistent presence. We hate to break it to you, but most of them are actually here for us, anyway.“) I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you all.
The more I learn about candida and the more I read about the condition, the more I am coming to accept that I will have to follow this diet for a much longer time than first anticipated–a year, at least, perhaps longer. While most people on the program see results and find relief within 3-6 months, there are a few of us who require longer-term dedication (I’m just lucky that way, I guess).
You see, I am what could be termed a “hard case.” A lifelong chocolate/ sugar addict, I am the gastronomic equivalent of a recidivist criminal, one requiring tough, long-term rehabilitation. A culinary kleptomaniac, a pathological liar in the larder, a cereal killer. Until I am better able to handle my confections, you need to lock up the chocolate and throw away the key.
Which brings me to my current mid-life crisis: Will I ever be able to bake again without worrying about consuming the entire recipe? Will I ever get permanent control of this horrid candida? Will I ever have thinner thighs?
For now, I suppose, it’s a moot point, as I am steadfastly following the diet as long as I still exhibit any symptoms. But it’s clear that my love for baking and desserts hasn’t abated in the least; I still crave sweets, even after all this time; and after baking up a batch of this blueberry oatmeal breakfast pudding, I was tempted to eat the entire thing in one sitting.
This is a luxuriously creamy, rich-tasting pudding, the warm berries inside baked to near-bursting. Not too sweet, it fits perfectly at the breakfast table, and would be wonderful topped with some Coconut Whipped Cream or a splash of maple syrup for dessert. Even the HH, who can eat chocolate and sugar with impunity, thoroughly enjoyed two servings after dinner the other night.
As to the Quest for Control Over Sweets, I suppose I’ll just have to keep working on it and hope that, with time, I can grow indifferent to (or, at least, in control of) sugary foods and resolve this crisis as well. For now, I’ll keep seeking healthier desserts and bake as much as I can within the restrictions of the ACD.
Oh, and keep listening for that sound of one oven mitt, clapping against the rack as it removes a hot pan of Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Pudding from the oven.
Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Pudding
This dish is the result of my playing with Celine’s amazing Baked Apple Pudding recipe, which I made a couple of times and enjoyed immensely [update: sadly, the original recipe was removed from her blog since I posted this]. I decided to take Celine’s suggestion and experiment with variations; because I like a slightly lighter, less dense pudding, I added more milk, subbed hazelnuts and cashews for the walnuts and threw in some blueberries.
1/2 cup (75 g) lightly toasted hazelnuts (filberts), with skin
1/2 cup (75 g) lightly toasted cashews
1/2 cup (60 g) old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant–use certified gluten-free oats for GF)
3/4 cup (180 ml) unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
2 tsp (10 ml) cinnamon
1/8 tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt
1-1/4 cups (300 ml) unsweetened, plain or vanilla soy or almond milk
1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw first if frozen)
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease a 4-6 cup (1-1.5 L) casserole dish.
In the bowl of a high-speed blender*, place the nuts, oats, applesauce, vanilla, agave, cinnamon and salt. Pour the milk over all and blend for about a minute, until perfectly smooth and creamy. Pour mixture into the casserole dish, then gently fold in the blueberries (scatter a few extra blueberries over the top if you like, as they won’t sink).
Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, rotating the casserole about halfway through, until the edges begin to puff and crack and the top appears dry. Allow to cool somewhat before serving; may be served warm or cold. Makes 4-6 servings. Store, covered, up to 4 days in the refrigerator. May be frozen.
*To make with a regular blender: Pour in the milk first, then add the remaining ingredients (except blueberries). You may need to blend in batches to achieve an equally smooth consistency.
I’m linking this recipe to Cara’s “Love Your Heart” event.
Last Year at this Time: The Parable of the Steak (Portobello Mushroom “Steak”)
© 2009 Ricki Heller
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