Breakfast Yogurt

½ cup plain nonfat yogurt
2-3 tablespoons of water or milk
½ scoop whey protein powder
1 tsp. cinnamon extract
(optional) fruit or nut topping

Makes One Serving

Measure ½ cup yogurt and place it in a bowl. Or save yourself a bit of time and put it in a big enough container to take with you. Pour the half scoop of protein powder over the yogurt; stir thoroughly, making sure to scrape the sides. Add 2-3 tablespoons of milk or water. This addition will thin out the yogurt a bit. Mix the cinnamon extract in.

Add your choice of topping. Enjoy!

As I was fumbling around, wondering how I could still enjoy yogurt while cutting down on the sugar, since sugar is a major bladder irritant, I figured something out. And it wasn’t that Jamie Lee Curtis was right about the magical girl yogurt that makes you poop. A weight lifter/body model friend of mine had enticed me into buying some whey protein. “Aha!” I thought. “If you can make protein powder cookies, why not protein yogurt?”

And thus, breakfast yogurt was born.

Take a bit of yogurt, milk or water, protein powder, and cinnamon extract and fruit, and you’ve added some anti-inflammatory goodness to your day. I like to top mine with toasted oats for crunch, but you could try granola, walnuts, or just say screw it and crush up some cookies.

Frozen fruit, like blueberries, can be added the morning you eat it or the night before—no peeling or chopping necessary!

Chamomile-Poached Tilapia with Roasted Red Peppers

tilapia

2 tilapia fillets
2 bags chamomile tea
2 bay leaves
fresh ginger
salt and white pepper to taste
roasted red peppers (optional)

Boil two cups of water. In a heat-safe container, pour the boiling water over the tea bags. Let the tea steep for five minutes. Press a spoon against the tea bags to get as much tea out as possible. Take approximately two inches of the fresh ginger and slice it thinly. Add the bay leaves to a 12-inch skillet. In the 12-inch skillet, bring the tea and ginger to a boil over high heat. Add fillets. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered 6 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.
Remove the fillets from the liquid. Salt and pepper to taste; if desired, garnish with the roasted red peppers.

What’s anti-inflammatory, low oxalate, interstitial cystitis friendly, and delicious? I’ll just come out and say it: this recipe. The flavor of the fish is definitely mild, but it is moist and tender. You get the benefits of the fish AND the soothing power of chamomile, along with a hint of ginger.

Best of all, it’s a very quick cooking method, perfect for a midweek dinner. Bon appétit!

Perfect Peach Dessert

Two peaches, washed and split in half, pits removed
Plain yogurt or yogurt sweetened with stevia, one cup
Molasses or other sweetener (brown sugar, for example), one tablespoon
Butter, coconut oil or olive oil, one tablespoon
Vanilla extract, one teaspoon
cinnamon extract, one teaspoon (see note about oxalates and substitutions below for alternatives)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place your peaches in an oven-safe container. Pour the molasses over each peach half and dot with the butter or olive oil. Pour the cinnamon extract over the peaches. Cook for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add the vanilla extract and stevia to your yogurt, or just measure it out plain for a tangier flavor. When the peaches are done cooking, put them in serving bowls and top with the yogurt. Serve immediately. This recipe makes two generous servings and is easily halved.

Recipe adapted from http://www.housebeautiful.com/kitchens/recipes/peach-dessert-recipes-sophie-dahl-0610

Oxalate note: If you are not following a low oxalate diet, simply use one teaspoon of cinnamon. Cinnamon is high in oxalate. If you do not have cinnamon extract, consider using ½ teaspoon of cardamom, which is medium oxalate and has a nice exotic flavor. If you are sensitive to spices, simply omit this ingredient.

Every year, I eagerly anticipate peach season. I’ll consume them raw, after they’ve ripened on the windowsill for days. I’ll eat them in pies, in ice cream, you get the idea. But sometimes, when I crave something that’s a bit different than plain peaches but a bit less sugary, I fix this dessert. It is creamy, juicy, and the butter and sweeteners caramelize just a little bit.

This recipe got me thinking about substitutes. I am sure there are many wonderful gluten free recipes for peach cobbler, fantastic creations made with coconut flour or oats used as a type of crumble topping. But I was amazed at how good the peaches were (almost) by themselves. If you are trying to adapt your diet in any kind of way, it can be so tempting to try and find a replacement. The fact is, the replacement is just never the same as the real deal. Sometimes we have to go out and find something even better, or something totally different, instead of picking sullenly at whatever concoction doesn’t really satisfy the craving.

This is especially true if you can’t eat the real deal any longer, whether it be from choice or from food sensitivities. I still eat gluten; I still eat a little processed sugar, but I find myself cutting out grains and processed sugars more and more. Desserts like this just transcend the need for a starchy component and let the flavors of the peach shine through.

Cinnamon Extract

cin_extract_whole

Cinnamon Extract

One stick of whole cinnamon, broken in half
Eight ounces of alcohol (can be vodka, brandy, or rum)

You will need a clean glass or plastic bottle. Take your cinnamon stick and put it in the bottle. Pour your alcohol of choice over the cinnamon stick. Seal the bottle and shake the mixture.

Wait one to three weeks and voila: you’ve made your very own cinnamon extract.

Seriously, it’s that easy! I found the cinnamon started to color the alcohol almost immediately. To get the full flavor, though, it is best to wait. You can also refill the extract; just make sure to use the same alcohol you started out with. You may want to periodically replace the cinnamon stick as well. I found whole cinnamon at F_resh Market; I found my first extract bottle online, but I used an old candy bottle from Lofty Pursuits for the cinnamon extract.

I plan to eventually make other extracts…maybe even chocolate extract. While you do have to buy the alcohol, it’s so easy to make and you know exactly what goes in it.