Amber Approved: Avocado Chocolate Pudding

gluten free avocado chocolate pudding recipe
amber approved and wheat free mom


Today’s recipe is an Avocado Chocolate Pudding by Amber Romaniuk.
I met Amber through a photographer that was taking my photos for Catelli pasta. The photographer was unaware that I had a gluten free blog and mentioned he had just finished taking photos for a new cookbook that was coming out by Amber.
He then texted Amber to ask if she knew my blog and surprisingly she was a fan of my blog and was excited to meet me.
Amber invited me to her cookbook launch and I enjoyed meeting her and hearing her talk passionately about food issues, sugar addiction and the power that food has in wellness.
Her recipes are gluten free, dairy free and also sugar free.
We had coffee recently and I knew when a 1 hour lunch turned into 2 hours of chatting that we would learn from each other but also support each other in our passions. Amber has such passion about food and it’s issues that I hope you check out her site.
I asked Amber if she would be interested in sharing her story on my blog plus a healthy recipe with my readers. She said “Of course!”

Enter Amber

amber approved gluten free recipes
amber approved gluten free recipes
Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 2.53.28 PM

So it’s the New Year and we are halfway through February, which is hard to believe. It’s also hard to believe that it’s been 2 years since I kicked my sugar and gluten-addictions and have had a whole world of awesome open up.
After dealing with a food addiction and binge eating which were fueled largely by gluten, sugar & MSG as well as a large lack of self-love void, I feel so free and in a space of such empowerment to share my story with the world, as well as my recipes and knowledge/experience as a Holistic Nutritionist who now specializes in supporting those who deal with emotional eating, intense cravings for sugars and other ingredients that can throw our lives for a loop.

I was lucky enough to be introduced to Carrie by a very talented photographer here in Calgary who mentioned we should meet. I felt very privileged to have them attend my book launch for “Amber Approved: Gluten, Dairy & Sugar-free” in December.
The book is my first of many Amber Approved versions to come. It’s a collection of 65 recipes that are all gluten, dairy, corn, soy and refined-sugar free. A bit of everything from breakfast to salads to sweet treats and desserts that you do not have to feel guilty about indulging in.

While going through my own cycles of deprivation and binging, I vowed there would have to be a balance, a happy medium where I could still have the chocolate or my favorite cookie, but that I could shift all of the refined ingredients to more natural whole foods options, where my creativity exploded and Amber Approved was born. The blood sugar spikes aren’t as big, and the satisfaction after having a few bites is so fulfilling.
There’s no more need to want to just devour everything in sight when you are using really top quality ingredients.
So being that we are in February, and there has just been a lot of chocolate boxes going around for Valentine’s Day, I thought why not share one of my most favorite recipes for a basic Chocolate Avocado pudding.
Simple, easy to make and absolutely delicious and satisfying. This recipe contains some great whole foods including avocado which are a great source of healthy Omega 9 fats which especially help to support balance of female hormones. Maca is great for supporting proper adrenal function as well as increased libido and fertility, while raw cacao is a great source of magnesium, antioxidants and has mood enhancing properties.
I really am passionate about sharing the health benefits of each ingredient, as when society can be educated on what they are eating and the benefits, they can start to look at their food as more than just food to survive or taste good, they can look at it and feel good knowing they are aware of what they are putting in their bodies. They can be proud to be educated and know that they just had nutrients their body can use and have more balanced health physically, mentally and emotionally because of that. It’s such a satisfying feeling!
So I’m happy to share my Chocolate Avocado Pudding Recipe as well as that I will be hosting an Amber Approved Love Chocolate Workshop Thursday March 20th you to come out and learn some fantastic new knowledge while you sample some of my most favorite.

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

• Prep time 10 minutes
• Serves 4-5
• Garnish with raspberries, cacao nibs, chopped hazelnuts, shredded coconut or mint leaves
Prep Time 10 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 tsp Maca powder
  • 7 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 4-5 tbsp lucuma powder
  • 1 tbsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk
  • 1/2 cup dark grade maple syrup

Instructions
 

  • Remove pit and shell from avocado.
  • Add all ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor and blend until.
  • Adjust flavor to taste, to make a slight bit sweeter add another tbsp of lucuma.
  • To make it a bit less thick add more milk.
  • Serve into bowls and add top with berries, cacao nibs, coconut or whatever you.
  • Keeps chilled in fridge for 2-3 days smooth and creamy powder.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
gluten free avocado chocolate pudding recipe


If you’re in Calgary, definitely check out the Amber Approved Love Chocolate Workshop Thursday March 20th where you to learn some fantastic new knowledge about nutrition while you sampling some of her favorite recipes.
Enjoy!

3 Holiday Treat Recipes that are Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Low in Sugar.

gluten free date coconut pistachio balls
Happy New Year everyone!
It is hard to believe it is already 2014 and I am going to be 49 years old this spring.
Yikes!
Last year on my 48th birthday I realized I needed to get healthy.
The first thing I did was buy the UP bracelet from Jawbone (insert jawbone website) and get walking.
I’ve used pedometers before and I like the accountability they give to me. This bracelet not only keeps track of my steps, but it allows me to input other exercise I do, and it also keeps track of my sleep.
All this was important to me.
I started off wanting to get 15,000 steps in per day and by July I upped it to 20,000 steps per day.
Walking became my part time job and I started to slowly lose weight.
Then winter arrived in Calgary and my weight also plateaued. I was walking 2 1/2 hours a day and not losing at all. I knew I needed to up my workouts if I was going to continue on this journey.
Seriously, I am not on a diet. I have tried every diet out there, and have always gained it back. This time it is about getting into shape and eating healthy.
My daughter had started seeing this personal trainer and I liked what I was hearing about her workouts. It didn’t hurt that she really liked her trainer either. I decided to give him a call and see about getting starting some personal training.
In November I started training with Kyle at Vagus Fitness 3 times a week and I am very, very glad I made that initial call.
vagus fitness calgary
vagus fitness calgary
Here is a little background on me in case you are all thinking I’m some sort of an athlete.
First of all I never exercised as a kid. Sure I road my bike around but I grew up in the country and gravel roads aren’t the best. I never played any sports and still to this day do not know how to skate.
Really I am just trying to get into shape.
I will never be a size 0 nor am I trying to be. I would like to be a healthy size and weight for me and be in good shape. Last year the kids bought us bikes for our anniversary and it is something I really enjoy and would like to bike a lot more this year, so that means I need to be in better shape.
Exercising is darn hard work at times, and I am sure I complain to Kyle too much about certain routines he has me doing. But truly, I am thrilled.
I feel better, I am stronger and I am challenging myself past my comfort zone which makes me smile!
Before Christmas, Kyle asked me to come up with some recipes for his blog that were gluten free, dairy free and lower in sugar.
He does have a fitness facility so healthier baked goodies would be best.
I came up with 3 recipes and I encourage you to go on his site and take a look.
How about Gluten-Free Date Coconut Pistachio Balls?
gluten free date coconut pistachio balls
These no-bake balls are delicious and super healthy for you too. Gluten Free Rice Krispies, coconut oil, raw pistachios and dates.
Next there is a recipe for Gluten Free Elderflower Marmalade Oat Bars.
gluten free elderflower marmalade oat bars
I challenge you to make these squares and see if anyone notices they are low in sugar, gluten free and vegan.
They really are just that good.
And last is a recipe for Gluten Free Vegan Gingerbread People.
gluten free vegan gingerbread people
These cookies are gluten free, egg free, vegan and low in sugar.
You will be very pleased with this recipe too.
Check out vagusfitness.com for these recipes and if you are in the Calgary area I would highly recommend these guys for helping with your fitness goals.
vagus fitness calgary

Calgary Diner Reviews & Recommendations

Diner Reviews


I decided with the holiday season and company arriving soon, that folks here in Calgary might like to know where to go for a great gluten free breakfast.
We are so lucky to have some amazing places here in Calgary where you can enjoy a gluten free breakfast,  but I have really enjoyed the food at these locations and thought i’d share.
Diner’s Deluxe is located in the Bridgeland area, at 804 Edmonton Tr NE and serves great tasting food. They carry gluten free biscuits and buns by Calgary’s Care Bakery. I had their eggs Benedict served with gluten free biscuits, gluten free hollandaise sauce and homemade hashbrowns.


Diner Review

What I love about Diner Deluxe is that they shop at our local farmers market for fresh ingredients and supports local businesses.
I also had the chance to try their  bacon and aged cheddar cheese omelette with hashbrowns and a delicious gluten free biscuit last week.
For those without gluten issues their stuffed french toast is a must!
Blue Star Diner is Calgary’s latest diner to open and uses local and organic ingredients. It is located in Bridgeland at 809 1 Ave NE.
They carry gluten free baked goods from Calgary’s Big Star Bakehouse.
I had the Back Bacon & Grilled Tomato Eggs Benedict, served with gluten free hollandaise as well as hashbrowns.


Diner Review


My family had the Vegan Scramble, which is gluten free as well, and the Veggie Omelette served with gluten free toast.


Diner Review Diner Review

OEB Breakfast Co. also known as Over Easy, is located in Bridgeland at 824 Edmonton Tr NE. OEB and Diner Deluxe are only a few shops in-between each other.
OEB is all about fresh and innovative classic egg dishes with a twist.
I had their ‘Farmer John’s Delight’ omelette with gluten free toast, my son had the ‘Canadian eh Benny’ with gluten free toast and my husband, who is not gluten free had the ‘Super Moist French Toast.’
Everything tasted great and I loved that fresh fruit was served on each plate.
 
Dairylane Cafe  is located at 319-19 St NW and prides itself on using local and fresh ingredients. I love that on the back of their menu they list the local companies and products that they use.
Their gluten free buns are made by Big Star Bakery in Calgary.
What I love most about these diners is that because they use local ingredients they know exactly what’s in their food. It’s great for people that have food allergies or an intolerance. Even if you are not gluten free, wouldn’t you want to eat at a restaurant that uses fresh ingredients? This year I decided not to eat at any large chain restaurants since I was getting tired of being asked if I was a little bit allergic or really allergic to gluten…. Are you kidding me? Should it matter?

If you know of any other great gluten free breakfast places in Calgary, please let me know.

Lack of Products in Texas

chex
chex

One thing I have found since being in Texas, is there really are NO gluten-free bread products. I have been to 3 different grocery stores here: Randalls (a Safeway company), HEB, and Super Walmart.

In Calgary my Safeway has 2 different freezers to find bread products. I can get various Gluten-Free breads, muffins, and pizza crusts from Kinnikinnick. I also have another freezer where I can find GLUTINO products-breads, bagels, and pizza crusts. I can also get gluten-free frozen waffles from a company called Lifestream.

Here, in Texas. I find none of these options, or anything else gluten free.

I have even asked at these stores if they have anything. All, I get is a blank look of “What is gluten free?” It surprises me that there is nothing available to people with celiac’s disease. Well-here in Woodlands, Texas I have not found anything.

With 1 out of 100 people suffering with celiacs-I am not sure what most Americans do.

Now, the one thing they do have here though is gluten free Chex cereal. 2 kinds are available: rice and corn. Both are labeled gluten-free and are really good.

I have enjoyed eating cereal every morning while being here. I will miss my morning treat… as Chex is NOT available in Canada.

Traveling Gluten Free

snowstorm

Ahh..travelling…I love to travel. I have learned in the last couple of years to be much more patient and to go with the flow. I am off to Texas for 2 weeks to visit my girlfriend. And as it always seems to be, getting from Calgary to Houston is not as easy at it seems.

Weather in Calgary lately has not been great. Winter came very early for us-which meant snow, icy roads and cold. My flight was supposed to leave at 8:15am but in the night Calgary got a lot of snow. I knew my flight might leave a little late, but I underestimated how late we would be. We boarded the plane after 8 and I was thinking, so far so good. It wasn’t until all passengers were seated and the door was closed-did the pilot get on the mic and inform us that there was a long line up for de-icing so we were sitting for a hour. Well, 50 minutes later, the pilot got on the mic again to say that a plane heading to de-icing had gotten stuck in the snow-so it was at least another hour to wait. As it ended up, we sat on the plane for 3 hours! Not leaving until 11am.

Was I upset? No! There was nothing I could do about the delay and I knew sometime that day I would be in TEXAS! Being celiac actually helped me in this situation, because I always carry food wherever I go. We all know that airlines do not provide food anymore, and the one’s that do make us pay for it. I can’t eat any of it anyways so I pack my own. THANK goodness, I did today. My gluten free english muffin, that I made at 5 am, came in very handy when I was hungry.

What about the other passengers?

What about the poor businessman who thought he would eat lunch when he got into Houston?

Our 3 1/2 hour flight ended up being 6 1/2 hours on the plane-most passengers were probably starving-or they ended up spending $10-20 on junk food.

Me? Not only did I have the muffin but I had other snacks in my bag (like sesame snaps – I always carry sesame snaps in my purse)

In a wierd way, being gluten-free has made me a better traveller. For I am better prepared for the ups and downs of travelling.

Eventually, I did make it to Houston. And I am enjoying my time with my girlfriend. In my next blog I will let you know how my gluten-free journey in Texas goes.