This is the first recipe of the new year and I wanted to start the new year off with a carob dessert since I ended the year 2018 with a carob dessert, these cookies .
Arginine and Shingles
This year more than ever I’m all about preventing shingle flare ups. In order to do that I know I need to drastically cut down on my grain and nut/seed consumption. The reason is because of the high levels of arginine found in these items. Studies have shown for people suffering from shingle recurrences any foods with a higher ratio of arginine to lysine should be eliminated or drastically decreased in consumption and foods rich in lysine should be consumed to support the immune system. Staying away from high arginine, acidic foods is highly recommended to prevent or lessen outbreaks. When dealing with autoimmune diseases keeping the body balanced with a alkaline and high lysine food intake is very important. Here’s a link of a food list showing foods high in lysine and low in arginine.
Now arginine is not bad, we all need it for our bodies to function properly however there are various diets out there that have a high ratio of arginine and not enough lysine which can cause imbalance in the body, therefore causing the onset of autoimmune problems and virus flare ups.
Carob Banana Tarts
Because I have a sweet tooth and not wanting to totally deprive myself, I felt the need to start creating desserts with a balance of lysine to arginine. Which is how I came up with…Carob Banana Tarts!
The ingredients are very simple and pretty easy to make. There is no extra sugar in this recipe, the only sugar is coming from bananas. I used red bananas, red bananas carry higher vitamin C (important for immune support), more carotene than yellow bananas and they’re sweeter, which makes it perfect for desserts.
For this recipe I used unsweetened vanilla hemp milk. I know hemp seeds are high in arginine, however the other ingredients used contains a higher portion of lysine to arginine. I also used quinoa. Quinoa is the friendliest seed/grain when it comes to the lysine to arginine ratio. In this recipe I used black quinoa, the reasons being for the color and because black quinoa is sweeter. And to help with digestion and to remove any bitterness I toasted the quinoa before using it.
The best thing thing about this dessert is it has the look of being decadent, rich and full of calories but it’s very light, satisfying and leaves you feeling healthy and guilt free.
Below you’ll find the breakdown of the ratio of lysine to arginine in some of the ingredients. Hopefully anyone dealing with any type of autoimmune disease will find this recipe helpful as well as delicious.
Carob Banana Tarts
3 very ripe red bananas(abt 1 cup)-lys 112 mg, arg 110 mg*
2 Tablespoons of Carob Powder-lys 23.6 mg, arg 15.6 mg*
1/2 cup of unsweetened Vanilla Hemp milk
pinch of salt
1/2 cup of toasted black quinoa flour-lys 651 mg, 927.5 mg*
1 Tablespoon of carob powder-lys 11.8 mg, arg 7.8 mg*
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 Tablespoons of coconut oil (soft but not liquid)
1 1/2 Tablespoons of filtered water
First preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the black quinoa flour, take 1/2 cup of black quinoa, place in a high power blender and blend. It will make about 3/4 cups of flour more than enough for the crust.
To toast the flour, spread the black quinoa flour on a pan in a thin layer place in a 250 degrees oven (I used my toaster oven) for an hour, stirring around the quinoa periodically (about every 20 minutes) to prevent flour from burning. (I actually toasted my flour the day before I wanted to make these tarts.)
Place the toasted flour, carob powder and cinnamon in a bowl and mix together. Add the coconut oil. Take a fork mix in the coconut oil till the mixture is crumbly. Add 1 Tablespoon of water and mix. The mixture should hold together when touched if not add water in increments of a teaspoon until the mixture holds together. You should be able to make a ball out of the mixture by picking it up and patting the mixture together. It should not be a wet dough.
Take two small pans, mine was two 4 1/2 inch spring form pans. If you don’t have those, you can use a regular muffin pan. Put pieces of parchment paper on the bottom of the pans. If using a muffin pan, take strips of parchment paper and lay crisscross on the bottom of each muffin pan well for easy removal of the tarts later.
Using your hands press the crust mixture on the bottom of the pans and press up the sides a little. Once pressed in the pan, place in the freezer for about 5 minutes for the oil in the mixture to solidify. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Take out and cool.
Here’s the real easy part! Take the bananas, carob powder, hemp milk and salt and place in a food processor (or blender if you prefer). Pulse about 3 times (so the liquid doesn’t fly all over the place when you blend) and then blend till everything is smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust pans.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes depending on your oven. You can tell the tarts are done when you touch the middle and it’s solid and the tarts are a little brown on the outer edges.
Cool completely before removing tarts from pans. If there’s any leftovers store in the refrigerator.
side note 1: Before baking I sprinkled my tarts with carob nibs.
side note 2: I had a leftover tart and stored it in the refrigerator. The tart tasted even better the following day!!! It’s like the flavors marinated and had a party overnight! 🙂