How often have you been told that it’s okay to eat dessert? If you haven’t heard these words in the past, then it’s time to hear them now: you should eat your dessert. But not any dessert – it’s time to use your discernment and judgement. I want you to eat this dessert.
The inspiration for creating this decadent gluten-free blueberry cacao tart came to me while researching Graves’ Disease, an autoimmune disease which attacks the thyroid gland, for the Culinary Nutrition Expert program. I had an interest in better understanding Graves’ Disease, since both my maternal grandpa and my mom had the disease, and I wondered what could’ve been done to alleviate the symptoms and severity that each of them had encountered.
Along the way, I learned more about the specific foods and nutrients which are beneficial for Graves’ patients to consume; so many of these foods were already a part of my daily meal plan, while others needed to be added. Once it was time to put my understanding of the disease together with my recipe creating abilities, I knew that a dessert was the best possible way to showcase the healing foods for Graves’ Disease. Most people don’t associate desserts, especially chocolate ones, with health and nutrition, but I’m here to prove them wrong!
Here’s why this recipe is healing:
- The blueberries and raw cacao are both excellent antioxidant sources, which is important for anyone with an autoimmune disease.
- The raw cacao is also rich in magnesium, known as the “anti-stress mineral”.
- Almonds and chia seeds are full of calcium, an essential mineral for bone formation and maintenance, as well as for muscle contraction. Graves’ Disease is the leading cause of hyperthyroidism, a condition where the body can waste due to increased metabolic activity. This can interfere with your ability to assimilate calcium, so maintaining bone and muscle health is crucial.
- The walnuts are high in omega 3 fatty acids, critical for keeping the body healthy and strong, and decreasing inflammation.
- This recipe is full of heart-healthy nuts and is an excellent source of plant-based protein. Graves’ patients may have increased protein needs to help rebuild the muscle which is often lost during the uncontrolled weight-loss phase of the disease.
- The salt provides a source of iodine, a critical mineral for thyroid health; however, if the Graves’ patient is instructed to avoid salt due to iodine balance issues, the salt in this recipe can easily be omitted.
- Most importantly, this recipe is rich and full of flavor, promoting a feeling of calmness. Anyone suffering from disease can be emotionally tense, which doesn’t help with healing. Enjoying a healthful and nutrient-dense dessert is the perfect way to calm anyone’s nerves and promote a sense of well-being!