Healthy Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes – With a Secret Ingredient! (low carb, gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, grain free)

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IT ISN’T KALE. I repeat, the secret ingredient IS NOT KALE. I just wanted to put that out there first. We can all breathe easy now.

There’s something especially unappealing to me about the idea of “tricking” your family and friends into eating something healthy. When it comes to food, I am not into secrets. I think we already have enough creepy secrets about what’s in what we eat. No thank you, move along.

Because honestly? Healthy food can taste great. And the more we treat certain foods like they need to be a secret, the more people will assume they’re not worth eating without being disguised. You dig?

So in the interest of full disclosure, I shall reveal to you a fine example with my actually not that “secret” ingredient – CHIA SEEDS. In your chocolate cake donut holes. Because what’s the point in eating a healthy dessert if you can’t be openly smug about it to your peers? I swear this is not my main motivation for making healthy desserts. 

This isn’t the first time I’ve extolled the virtues of the mighty chia seed. I used them enthusiastically in my vanilla cinnamon chia seed pudding, for example. Often referred to as a ‘superfood’ (don’t we all just love that term), chia seeds boast an intimidating amount of nutritiousness:

  • Chia seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3s in chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol.
  • Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, with a whopping 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons.
  • Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life. They last almost two years without refrigeration.
  • Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese.
  • The outer layer of chia seeds swells when mixed with liquids to form a gel. This can used in place of eggs to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 15 minutes.
  •  Chia seeds can play an important role in regulating insulin levels. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood. (healthyeating.sfgate.com)

Also: Chia Pets. Never forget. 

Because chia seeds are capable of absorbing up to 10-12 times their weight in liquid, your batter will develop a thick, almost gel-like texture the longer it sits. This is ok. They all bake up the same! As in, PERFECTLY.

It was entirely by accident that I discovered the texture of ground chia seed provided the perfect texture and mouthfeel for a Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkin. The fluffy air pockets, the slight crunch of the glaze giving way into the crumbly, cakey inside. Wait, where were we?

OH YES. You, making these, and feeling great about it. ALLOW ME TO ENABLE YOU:

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Healthy Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes – With a Secret Ingredient (low carb, gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, grain free)

Yields: About 20-22 donut holes

Ingredients:

Donut Holes:
¾ cup sweetener
¼ cup milled/ground chia seeds (if grinding whole seeds, use about 2 heaping tbsp)
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt
3 egg whites, or about 1/3 cup egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract

Glaze:
1 ½ cups powdered sweetener
3 to 4 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk or water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease or spray a cake pop mold/donut hole/muffin tin.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients, and mix well to create a batter. Reminder: The longer you let your batter sit, the thicker it gels. Not a problem! Spoon batter into prepared tin, almost to the top.

Bake 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

To make glaze, whisk powdered sweetener, almond milk or water, and vanilla extract until smooth. If you prefer a thinner glaze, add in more milk or water one teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Allow the donut holes to cool slightly. Place a cooling rack atop a baking sheet, and dip each donut hole into the glaze. Cover all sides with glaze and lift using a fork, tapping off excess glaze.

Transfer donut holes to the rack to allow any more extra glaze to drip off. Let glaze set, about 30 minutes to an hour.

Nutritional Info (As calculated for 20 servings, using water in glaze):

donut holes nutrition

 

 

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14 Healthier Recipes For Your Super Bowl Sunday (Low carb, paleo, vegan, sugar free)

Super Bowl Collage

Being that I am a patriotic, warm-blooded American, it would only follow that of course I love football. I am saying this with a backdrop of the American flag billowing valiantly behind me. There is also a bald eagle.

There may be naysayers who doubt this claim, asking strange questions like “But what about the time you asked who was winning an hour and a half before the game even started?” Ha! Well – “Or what about when you asked how many quarters were in a game?” UHH I CAN EXPLAIN- “Or when you-“

ok FINE YOU CAUGHT ME AND MAYBE I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT FOOTBALL. But. I do love the Super Bowl. Wanna guess why? HINT: It starts with ‘f’ and ends with ‘ood’. GIVE UP YET?

Yes, and no one is surprised. The Super Bowl has given rise to some truly fantastic snackage over the years. And the excuse to make and inhale all of them in short order (like I even need an excuse).

It has come to my attention, however, that many are justifiably hesitant to participate in this nationalistic tradition of Super Bowl snacking, since most traditional Super Bowl fare is not exactly the epitome of healthy eating. And that just ain’t right. So here’s a little collection that covers some of our favorites: low carb, gluten free, paleo, vegan – NO ONE GETS LEFT BEHIND.

Recipe links below! And remember, with a few simple substitutions (vegan cheese products, switching out proteins, using alternative sweeteners) most of these recipes can easily be adapted to dairy free, vegan, or sugar free if not already!

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Buffalo Salmon Avocado Salad here at The M’Academia Nut

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Football Deviled Eggs at Full-Thyme Student

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Mini Bun-less Cheeseburger Bites with Thousand Island Dip from Sugar-Free Mom

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Buffalo Spiced Cocktail Nuts at All Day I Dream About Food

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Zucchini Nacho Chips from Keto Adapted

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Crunchy Cucumber Rolls with Herb Cheeze from Nutrition Stripped 

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Quick and Easy Guacamole from KetoDiet

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Loaded Mexican Nachos – Paleo Style from Primally Inspired 

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Kickin’ Chili from Peace, Love and Low Carb

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Jalapeño Popper Dip from Simply Gourmet (TIP: leave out the cracker crumbs for a lower carb topping!)

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Vanilla Cinnamon Chia Seed Pudding at The M’Academia Nut

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Peanut Butter & Chocolate Truffles from I Breathe I’m Hungry

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Avocado Chocolate Mousse – Two Ways! from Chocolate-Covered Katie

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Cosmopolitan Jello Shots from All Day I Dream About Food 

Vanilla Cinnamon Chia Seed Pudding (Low carb, sugar free, gluten free, paleo, vegan)

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Do you see what has been artfully spread on a charming tablecloth in the picture above. 

THAT’S RIGHT.

CHIA SEEDS.

Sara always keeps her promises. (note: Sara is me.)

(addendum to note: this is still not actually the chia seed recipe my sister requested I’M SORRY I’M GONNA GET IT RIGHT EVENTUALLY)

Let me teach you the way of the chia seed. 

These are indeed the very same chia of the ch-ch-ch-chia pet fame. And they’re just fantastic. They’re these tiny (and tiny is a theme here) little powerhouses of nutrition and versatility, and I haven’t even come close to unlocking their full potential yet as an ingredient. In fact: preliminary research hasn’t not shown that eating chia seeds on a regular basis makes you better than everyone else.* 

On their own, chia seeds taste pretty neutral, so they can work in both savory and sweet applications. Throw ’em on a salad, in a smoothie, your cereal, yogurt, even as an egg substitute for vegan-types!

Or you could make pudding with them.

It's a TABLEAU.

It’s a TABLEAU.

Among many other delightful qualities, chia seeds are loaded with fiber. And it’s thanks to this fiber that helps chia seeds absorb any liquid you mix it with and form a pudding-like gel. I learned this from the google and also real-life application, so I’m qualified to speak on this.

This pudding is yet another incredibly low maintenance recipe for all of those out there like myself who enjoy throwing things into a bowl and then walking away. This also isn’t overwhelmingly sweet, so that can also be adjusted according to preference. PLUS the options for different flavor combinations is endless! Throw in some chocolate, nut butters, pumpkin, coconut, whatever. Go wild. I won’t hold you back.

Because I am apparently only capable of making recipes containing cinnamon, vanilla, and almond in some capacity, I went ahead and made some vanilla cinnamon chia seed pudding with almond milk.

Vanilla Cinnamon Chia Seed Pudding

Original recipe from an edible mosaic

Yields: four 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients: 

2 cups unsweetened almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)
6 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 packets stevia/choice of sweetener to taste (I use SweetLeaf Stevia)
4-8 drops liquid vanilla stevia, or to taste (…also SweetLeaf no they aren’t paying me BUT THEY SHOULD)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
teeny pinch of salt

Directions:

The lineup.

The lineup.

Add all ingredients into a bowl, and stir to combine.

Action shot!!!!!

Action shot!!!!!

I know. It’s going to seem like the cinnamon will never want to mix in. But you just have to believe. 

~*~BELIEVE~*~

~*~JUST BELIEVE IN YOURSELF~*~

Good enough. Then, let the chia seeds work their mysterious and exotic magic and refrigerate until pudding thickens, at least 2 hours or overnight. Feel free to pop in and stir occasionally.

Then, place into fancy dishes (not optional) and be sure to sprinkle various ingredients all over your table so everyone knows that you are better than them for eating chia seeds.*

"I ate this, and I'm better than you" -you

“Statistics don’t not show that I am better than you for eating this ” -you

And enjoy!
*Source: Authority for the Creation of Deceptively Phrased Facts About Chia Seeds

Nutritional Info:

Calculated with stevia. Dat FIBER.
ChiaSeedPudding NutritionLabel