If you walk into any health food store, one of the first things that will meet your gaze is chocolate! Although cocoa has many reputed benefits, the protocol that I recommend maintains that even a sugar free dark chocolate is not helpful for balancing gut ecology. Cocoa contains theobromine, a strong stimulant used by the Spanish to keep their armies going while conquering Central and South America. Chocolate (real Chocolate, not candy) can keep you up at night — especially very young children. Nursing mothers who eat pure chocolate will find their children wide awake several hours later. It is the stimulant properties of dark chocolate that cause us to avoid it while on a programme to support gut ecology.
Within Erica White’s Beat Candida Cookbook she mentions an alternative to chocolate -carob. Carob provides several nutrients, and has a natural sweetness, meaning that it does not need added sugar to be palatable. This also means that if you are balancing gut ecology you shouldn’t eat too much. However, if over the Christmas period you want a special treat, using carob may help you keep on track with your dietary recommendations.
Whether you want to add a carob bar to recipes, or melt it down to top oatcakes, rice cakes or Erica’s recipe for Choux pastry, sugar free carob can be hard to find. Siesta is a good brand to look out for and they produce carob flakes for melting down or bars of carob.
The links here take you through to Dietary Needs Direct, a great online company that sell products for those on limited diets. However, not everything that they sell is suitable for a yeast-free/ sugar-free diet. Carob is a good alternative for children. In Christmases past, I would make a bowl of natural popcorn for my girls and their friends to dip into a dish of melted carob, and then thread on cotton to hang on the Christmas tree. Needless to say, not much made it to the tree!