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Healthy Avocado Brownies with Avo Frosting

Want a smart swap for a healthier dessert? You already know avocados are nutritional powerhouses, thanks to the fiber, B vitamins, folate, and potassium they provide. But did you know you can add the savory fruit, which is packed with healthy fats, to your sweet treats, too? Watch the video to learn how to make rich, fudgy brownies from your favorite superfood.

Ingredients

Brownies

3 oz. dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
1 Tbsp. coconut or extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa (40g)
1/2 cup almond meal (60g)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 ripe medium avocados (about 17 oz. total), halved, pitted, flesh scooped out
1/2 cup medjool dates (about 4.5 oz.), pitted
1/4 cup coconut sugar (1.4 oz.)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Frosting

1 ripe medium avocado (about 9 oz.), halved, pitted, flesh scooped out
1/2 cup raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa (40g)
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Generous pinch of sea salt

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil; grease foil (with coconut oil, olive oil cooking spray or melted unsalted butter). Bring an inch of water to a simmer over low heat in a medium saucepan. Place chocolate and oil in a medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat and let cool until just warm to the touch.

2. In a small bowl, combine cacao, almond meal, baking powder and salt; stir until well mixed.

3. Place avocados, dates, coconut sugar and vanilla in a food processor; blend until smooth. Blend in eggs. Blend in cooled chocolate mixture. Scrape down sides of processor and mix again. Add almond meal mixture; pulse until blended. Spread mixture in baking pan and bake until just set, 30 to 35 minutes (do not overbake). Let cool on a rack. When cool, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

4. Just before serving, make frosting: Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth and thick (you should have about 1¼ cups). Spread over chilled brownies (you may have some left over; cover and refrigerate for another use). Cut and serve. Store leftover brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Introduction to Leaky Gut and 5 Things to do now

In a nutshell leaky gut is defined as IMPAIRED INTESTINAL BARRIER PERMEABILITY, or intestinal hyper-permeability. What does this mean? It means that the lining of the gut, which is tasked with letting in what you are designed to let in and block what you are designed to block, isn't working well in the BLOCKING portion of it's job. And due to inflammation, prior and resulting, the first part of the job, the letting in part, also doesn't work right.

Remember: the gut lining is meant to protect you from all the bad stuff that passes through with three layers.

  • Physical
  • Mucosal
  • Epethelial: where immune and neurological functions happen

In another nutshell, this dysfunction in permeability of the gut lining goes like this:

  • Too much protein ZONULIN released
  • the tight junctions of the gut lining are loosened (tight junctions are protein structures that seal up cells)
  • This allows antigens to pass into the mucosal lining (another "failsafe" barrier in the design)
  • The liver has to work harder, and the immune system kicks into overdrive (think auto immune issues and inflammation)

When the gut is leaky, the immune system has less energy for other disturbances due to the gut's constant needs. This can lead to infections and illness, while also affecting mood and hormone balance, among with many other things. Nutrient Absorption is negatively impacted as a resulting of the intestinal microvilli being damaged by leaky gut. So kind of link celiac but not as concrete.

Leaky gut really isn't easily diagnosed yet due to its commonality of the symptoms. However, I would say and a lot of other more educated people would agree that most people have some degree of leaky gut.

In fact ... babies are born with a gut thats not fully developed and a bit leaky, thus why the breast milk is designed the way it is. And a big reason why babies get colic and gerd.

IN OTHER WORDS

  1. Undigested particles (antigens) sneak through the gut lining into the bloodstream
  2. The Immune system creates antibodies for the antigens.
  3. The immune system produces an inflammatory response in anticipation of more antigens.

SYMPTOMS

  1. Food intolerances
  2. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, run away train
  3. Brain fog
  4. Bloating, diarrhea and GI issues
  5. Thyroid issues
  6. Skin rashes / eczema
  7. Joint Pain
  8. Headaches
  9. Mood swings
  10. Excessive Fatigue

POSSIBLE CAUSES

  1. DIET
    • Lectins from grains (part of the anti gluten/grain movement)
    • Nightshades (google it)
    • Legumes
    • Dairy
    • Processed foods: Additives, emulsifiers (food stabilizers) Like in almond milk!!
  2. Imbalanced Microbiome
    • Candida overgrowth
    • Candida secreting toxin that causes epithelial cells to shrink
  3. Modern Lifestyle
    • Antibiotics
    • NSAIDs . (ib)
    • Environmental toxins, such as antibacterials
    • STRESS

REPAIRING LEAKY GUT

Test if you want them: ELISA, Lactulose/mannitol, IgE

4 R's of Functional Medicine

  1. REMOVE
    • Elimination diets
    • Supplementing with herbal antimicrobials
    • Rotation diets: limit specific food exposure to 24 hour cycles, then avoid the next 3-4 days
  2. REPLACE
    • Digestive bitters
    • HCL supplements
    • L-glutamine. Athletes should be taking this any way for recovery
  3. RE-INOCULATE
    • Probiotics
    • Think about prebiotics as well
  4. REPAIR MUCOSAL LINING
    • Steps 1,2 and 3
    • Gut-supporting nutrients and foods
      • Bone broth, collagen, L-glutamine
      • Filtered water
      • Protein
      • Honey (replacing sugar)
      • Fermented and cultured foods
      • Healthy fats (coconut oil)

Supplements for Leaky Gut

  1. Zinc carnosine
  2. Aleo Vera
  3. Marshmallow root
  4. Slippery elm bark
  5. Curcumin
  6. Vitamin A
  7. Vitamin D

5 Tips to Fix

  1. Handle Stress
  2. Add L-Glutamine
  3. Take out dairy and grains
  4. Add D3 and magnesium
  5. Eat LESS processed foods, including "healthy" packaged foods

Things that come next

  1. Allergies
  2. Asthma
  3. Autoimmune: Lupus, MS, RA
  4. Psoriasis
  5. Eczema
  6. Inflammatory Bowel
  7. Diabetes

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