[You’ll adore this luscious Notella Carob Butter made from seeds and carob. It’s vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut-free, yeast-free, and low glycemic. Suitable for all stages on an anti-candida diet.]
I have to admit, in university I was one of those students you love to hate. I wish I could tell you it was because I was impossibly tall, long-limbed and graceful, or that I carried myself with an air of self-assurance that was both enviable and simultaneously magnetic to every man who saw me. . . but, no. That’s not why.
The reason other students hated me was because I was that browner, painfully earnest, bookworm nerdy-nerd who spent most of her days in the library and always got her essays in a day before the deadline.
Well, except one time. That one occasion during my PhD, I was so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work I had to do that I actually did the unthinkable: I asked for an extension! And then, I had to pull an “all-nighter” in order to meet even that extended due date.
The morning I handed in my paper, I wandered across the quad in a daze. My thoughts were fuzzy, my limbs jelly-like, and my head was pounding.
I mean, really pounding.
My headache was so bad that I literally couldn’t function. Attempts at thinking resulted in a murky welter of mismatched syllables and non sequiturs, some of them even uttered aloud. I somehow managed to make my way back to my tiny don’s apartment, fell into bed, and slept until the dark, wee hours of the next morning.
I have no idea whether that was a migraine headache or not–but if it wasn’t, the experience nevertheless gave me an entirely new perspective on the pain endured by those with migraines as a recurring aspect of their lives. And let me tell you, nobody envies that experience.
That’s why I was so thrilled to learn that my friend Stephanie Weaver (of the site Recipe Renovator) was writing a book for those of you who do suffer from migraines, and may have endured them for some time.
After Stephanie’s own experiences with the debilitating effects of migraines, she vowed to find a way to deal with them without having to succumb to excessive prescription drugs or stealing away to a dark corner for days on end.
Her extensive research paid off. She’s just published The Migraine Relief Plan, and it’s a fantastic resource for anyone who’s experienced migraines.
I was fortunate enough to peek at the manuscript before it was finalized at the publisher’s, and I was so impressed that I even wrote a blurb for the book!
What I love most about The Migraine Relief Plan is Stephanie’s engaging, accessible, affable voice throughout. Reading her story, you’ll feel like you’re gabbing with a good friend while you sip on a Starbuck’s latte (though of course you won’t be indulging in coffee if you are prone to migraines!). She’s been there herself, so she knows first-hand what migraine sufferers experience.
This book is the perfect combination of practical guidance, scientific research, implementable tips and strategies, and, yes, yummy recipes.
Structured as an 8-week program to ease you into the the health-promoting changes that will help to diminish your migraines, Stephanie covers everything from mindset and habits to get you off on the right foot, to overhauling the kitchen, eating out and socializing, to self-care, detoxing and even sleep–plus checklists for all these important areas of your life. You’ll have everything you need to create and maintain a lifestyle that keeps you migraine-free as much as possible.
And there are over 75 recipes, more than half of which are vegan or easily adaptable to vegan diets in the book. You’ll enjoy yummy dishes like Blueberry-Oat Waffles, Peach-Mango Power Smoothie, Roasted Chile Pepper Hummus, Seedy Carrot Crackers, Provencal Chickpea Salad, Smoky Butternut Squash Soup, Roasted Veggie Quinoa Casserole, Carob Squares, Grilled Peaches with Cardamom-Maple Cream Sauce or Rice Bowl (from a whole chapter devoted to using up leftovers!).
While the book isn’t entirely plant-based, many of recipes certainly are; and they are all gluten-free. Plus, Stephanie uses stevia as her only sweetener, so the recipes also offer many that are candida-friendly!
If you deal with migraines, or know someone who does, The Migraine Relief Plan is an invaluable book to own.
The recipe I’m sharing today is a rich, creamy, silky carob-based version of Nutella. And no, it doesn’t taste exactly like Nutella, but who cares? I could barely keep my spoon out of the jar anyway!
Get The Migraine Relief Plan here.
Creamy Not-ella Carob Butter
Stephanie says: “I created this recipe to give people an easy, luscious treat that still follows the Plan. While it doesn’t taste exactly like Nutella, it’s pretty darn close—even though I skipped the sugar, hazelnuts, chocolate, vegetable oil, soy lecithin, and milk powder. If you make up a jar of this, you’ll have it to spread on gluten-free toast or apples when you want a sweet snack. Perfect for stashing in your desk at work along with an apple. A huge hit with my recipe testers, who called it creamy, dreamy, and addictive.”
Prep time: 10–15 minutes Cooking time: 20–30 minutes Passive time: 15 minutes
1 cup (230 g) raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup (160 g) hemp seeds (hemp hearts)
Stevia to equal 8 teaspoons sugar (I used 15-20 drops of this one)
1/2 cup (50 g) carob powder
1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Put the sunflower seeds on baking sheets lined with fresh parchment paper.
Toast the sunflower seeds for 10 minutes, then stir and return to the oven. Turn off the oven and toast the seeds another 5 to 10 minutes. You want them just golden brown but not dark brown or burnt. Taste a few if you aren’t sure.
Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the toasted seeds cool for 15 minutes.
Put the toasted seeds in a food processor fitted with the S-blade or a high-speed blender and blend into a fine powder, about 1 minute.
Add the hemp seeds and stevia and blend for about 4 more minutes, stopping every minute to scrape down the sides. Eventually it will form a ball and become nut butter. Use the tamper if you have a Vitamix.
In a separate bowl, blend the carob powder with the oil, then add the mixture to the nut butter. (If you add the carob powder and oil directly to a food processor, you will have a powdery carob explosion that is not fun to clean up.).
Continue blending until you get the smooth consistency you want.
Serve right away or transfer to a glass jar and store in the refrigerator. It will be spreadable when refrigerated, and just a little thicker than Nutella at room temperature. Eat within a month. Makes about 16 ounces (450g).
Cooks’ Note: If you cannot get hemp seeds, you can substitute sunflower seeds for them.
Per 1-ounce serving: 5g protein, 9g carbohydrates, 11g fat, 3g saturated fat, 6mg sodium, 61mg potassium, 2g fiber
Reprinted with permission from The Migraine Relief Plan, copyright 2016 Stephanie Weaver. Published by Surrey Books, an imprint of Agate Publishing, Inc.
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