Candida, Xylitol, & Spiced Pineapple Oat Cookies
I was recently on a moderate version of the candida diet (a.k.a anti-candida diet). It's a particularly difficult diet, as you need to "starve the yeast" (candida) in your system by NOT eating sugar (refined, natural, sweet fruits...), yeast, refined flours (including starches), mushrooms, fermented food (tofu, cocoa, tea), vitamins/supplements with yeast (like most B vitamins), most dairy, alcohol, vinegar (except apple cider vinegar), nuts/seeds (because they often have mold on them)... The hardest part for me was not eating nuts!
The sugar cravings were pretty brutal too, so I hunted for safe alternatives (great write-up on alternative sweeteners here), and discovered xylitol - a naturally occurring sweetener found in the fiber of various fruits and vegetables. Unlike stevia, that has a strong herby/licorice taste, xylitol is sweet and neutral and tastes similar to sugar. It does create a bit of an odd cooling sensation in the mouth. Supposedly, it won't spike blood sugar, cause cavities, or feed candida yeast. It is heat neutral, so I did try it out for baking, and it was OK in small qualities. Since it is not sugar, it will not caramelize, and will not feed yeast so you can't make bread with it. It did help me get through this diet - though I recommend real natural sweeteners (like honey, agave syrup, fruit...) for those who can handle them.
While on this diet, I did manage to come-up with this delicious cookie recipe:
Spiced Pineapple Oat Cookies
These are great nutritious breakfast-to-go cookies - eating 3 is like eating a serving of fruity beautifully spiced oatmeal. Full of healthy fiber, sugar-free, egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free (I will post info on gluten-free oats soon), yeast-free, and nut-free, they are perfect for people on different special diets. My partner, who wasn't on any special diet, loved bringing these to work for a great filling portable breakfast - like a bowl of oatmeal in your pocket ;-)