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How to Substitute Missing Ingredients: Gillian's Journey

Hi everyone!

This past weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving and like you all, I have so much to be thankful for! My awesome family and friends and my improving health to name a few. One thing I’m truly grateful and thankful for is Nutracelle and my Nutra-family. You have changed my life completely and for the better. I’m blessed in so many ways!

October has proven to be a great month so far: I’ve joined a new local walking group called the Weekly Walkers. They are the most motivating and non-judgemental group of people, next to our NutraTalk group, and I love our nightly walks around the track at Centennial Field.

October is also the month for Pumpkin Spice everything, right? I woke up on Sunday morning with a desire to make some Nutracelle Pumpkin Spice Muffins and Protein Balls. I thought I would make a lunch time smoothie if there was some left-over pumpkin. Well, let me tell you about my day... ha-ha!
The first thing I did was gather the ingredients for the muffins.

One problem, I didn’t have any Vanilla Nutralean. (My order is on the way, thank goodness!) Now, I'm not one to be put off because I didn’t have the proper ingredients, so I hauled out my bottle of pure vanilla extract and my bag of stevia. I was ready to rock and roll!

I followed the directions as per the recipe and I did a taste test of the batter. I found it really bland so I started adding the vanilla extract a tbsp at a time. I poured in some stevia and continued tasting it till I got it to my level of sweetness, or so I thought. I got my pans ready and filled my liners. For added decoration I sprinkled pumpkin seeds on top of the batter and proceeded to bake them. My goodness, the aroma was to-die-for! They rose beautifully, and I thought I was in heaven, until I tasted one once they were out of the oven. They still weren’t sweet enough...


I realized that I could make a frosting for them to sweeten them up some! I didn't have any cream cheese or whipping cream, but what I did have was Fussell's (commonly found in Newfoundland)! This turned out to be the perfect substitute to create a delicious, sweet frosting for the muffins that was still totally healthy!!

Just because you don’t have all the ingredients a recipe calls for, you can always use your imagination and look for a substitute. It just so happened that I took a chance and it turned out better than I could have hoped for. I think I’ll be using my substitute version of the Protein Cream Cheese Icing from now on. Its rich, thick and oh-so-decadent. I’m a happy girl.

Next was the Protein Spiced Pumpkin Balls. Easy peasy right? Ha-ha, this one proved to be a challenge!


I combined all the ingredients necessary for the balls and again I had to use pure vanilla extract and Stevia because of the Natural Nutralean, which is made flavourless. My issue was that I had to use SOOO much vanilla for taste that my batter was soft, and I knew that rolling balls would be impossible. No problem, right? I added some ground almonds, thinking it would make the batter firmer. Nope. I added almost 3 more scoops of Nutralean which meant more stevia and vanilla. I knew I was quickly losing my battle with these protein balls. I felt defeated as there wasn't a lot more I could do but throw the batter in the garbage, cut my losses and be happy that I at least had yummy muffins.

But wait!

As I was taking stock of all the ingredients in my bowl, I couldn’t bring myself to throw it out. After all, I used a lot of pumpkin, spices, and Nutralean (6 scoops). There was no way I was throwing that out. I had to find a way to recycle this batter. It was 1 pm by this time and I thought, "oh well, I’ll have a smoothie for lunch and then decide what to do”. While I was pouring up the coconut milk, I had this idea to try some of the batter in my smoothie. After all, it had all the ingredients necessary plus a few extra, but heck, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? I added about 1/4 cup, maybe a little more, and some cream cheese as I was out of cottage cheese. I proceeded to blend my smoothie. Yep, you guessed it, it was very tasty, smooth, thick and quite delicious. It looks like I’ll be drinking a few of these this week till the batter is used up!

What could have been a disastrous day turned out to be quite the kitchen adventure! I always say to people, "There is no way you can mess up a Nutracelle recipe". There is always a way to turn around a less-than-successful attempt at baking. It’s all a learning process when you start cooking and baking with non-conventional ingredients. Just don’t panic and use any baking experience you have to find a solution.

Two great tips when baking low-carb and with Nutralean are:
1. If your batter is too thick, add more unsweetened milk, or water, slowly until you get the consistency you desire.
2. If your batter is too thin, unsweetened coconut, coconut flour (which is more absorbent than almond flour) or more Nutralean will help thicken it up.

Thankfully I managed to save the day and almost half a bag of Natural Nutralean. I certainly made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. (Ha-ha, this is an Old Newfie saying! It means I made something good out of something I thought was useless.)


All in all everything turned out just fine, and SO delicious!

Until next week, stay happy and healthy folks!!!