Alchemy, my friends – that’s what we have here. This…
“Elimination Diet” – can I just say how much I dislike that phrase? I know that AIP is an elimination diet, and I owe my current wonderful quality of life to AIP, but doesn’t the word elimination get your back up? That word makes me immediately defensive: “Elimination? Who’s getting booted? You? (points a panicked finger at fellow potential boot-ee) Me? (nervously points a shaky finger of sweaty-palmed hand at self) No, wait. Not me! But WHYYYYYyyyyy?!”
No one wants to be left out, right?
And yet for those of us who follow AIP or even paleo, eliminating a number of different foods is essential if we are going to get on that path to wellbeing. And you know what? Invariably once we find our feet on that path and experience amazing outcomes (lessened inflammation, improved blood work, better digestion and sleep patterns, to name a few), we don’t view food eliminations as a sacrifice. As I said to a friend recently, nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.
Special occasions, however, can throw us for a bit of a loop because even if we’ve got a handle on what we can and can’t eat and for the most part don’t experience temptation and craving, there are strong emotional connections to the kinds of foods we consume on certain occasions.
Case in point: birthday cake. Cake eating gives that limbic system of ours a good dose of the warm fuzzies, doesn’t it? The thought of eating birthday cake summons memories of the people we love; it conjures images of colourful balloons, loot bags full of goodies, and presents!
As my birthday approached this year, my mom fretted a bit over what I’d like to do…and, well, eat. You see, moms especially don’t like the idea of elimination when it comes to their kids. They never want to see their children, regardless of age, feeling as though they’re left-out or missing out. But, right now, elimination of certain foods is my reality.
As for my birthday treat, at this point I don’t feel comfortable eating even a paleo cake, which would make use of nuts and eggs. Because I’m gaining ground again on things like iron levels and inflammatory markers (all thanks to AIP!), I don’t want anything to interfere with that fabulous progress.
So my mom – who clearly laughs in the face of elimination – came up with this freaking awesome dessert. As inspiration, she used two of my favourite flavours: chai and chocolate, and the result is this oh-so-creamy and delectable pudding.
Thanks so much for this Carob Chai Pudding, Mom! You made all our hearts and tummies happy on my birthday, and now I get to pay that happiness forward to the hearts and tummies of others by sharing your recipe here on the blog. XOXO
Carob Chai Pudding (AIP, Paleo)
Author: Barbara Partridge
Recipe type: Treat
- ¼ c chopped dates (about 4 or 5 dates)
- ½ c boiling water
- 1 400 mL can of coconut milk (free of BPA and additives like guar gum)
- 1 tbsp gelatin
- ¼ c cold water
- ¼ c carob powder
- 1-2 tsp chai spice mix (1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp cloves, ½ tsp cardamom*)
- *Be careful with cardamom, which is fruit-based spice and therefore a proceed-with-caution AIP spice. Although for some cardamom may be successfully reintroduced in the early stages of reintroduction, it's best not to eat it while on the strict, elimination phase of AIP.)
- Soak the chopped dates in a small bowl full of the boiled water. Set aside.
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the ¼ c of cold water and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Heat the coconut milk in a medium sauce pan. Do not boil. Stir gelatin mixture into coconut milk and dissolve completely.
- Add chopped dates along with the water to a blender and process. Add coconut milk, carob power, and 2 tsp of chai mix. Blend completely.
- Pour into four individual serving dishes and chill until set. Top with whipped coconut cream and a pinch of the remaining chai mix.