From Classic to Nutritious: Transforming Recipes!

One of my favorite holiday dishes is my mom’s sweet potato pie, a side dish from deep in the South that is resplendent in butter and sugar. Yummy—but not healthy despite the main ingredient being a very nourishing sweet potato.  So I set out to create a version of the dish that was Alpha Gal friendly and with greatly reduced sugar. The final dish is every bit as wonderful—but now a guilt-free treat. This process can be applied to any of your favorite recipes, remember it’s ok to fail in the experiments —that’s how we learn!

Back to the recipe redo…. there were two main ingredients I was concerned about for health reasons: sugar and butter.

It is important to undertake this process in steps and understand a little about the “chemistry” of the dish:

The butter/fat adds to the flavor and makes the nutrients in the sweet potato more readily absorbed by the body—but 2 sticks for the size of the recipe is excessive.

Sugar isn’t just a sweetener but sometimes acts as a catalyst. For example when whipping cream—the addition of sugar helps the cream form better though less is needed than most people realize, so we cannot completely remove some ingredients without consequences to the final product! 

I experimented with reducing the butter first, could I cut the butter in half and still have a good version? The answer was yes—1 stick of butter tasted identical to 2 sticks in the final product. So then I halved that again—½ stick butter—and it was a little dry (not so yummy).  So I added some unsweetened apple sauce and that worked! Then I replaced the ½ stick of butter with an equal amount of coconut oil—success—no mammal and a nearly identical flavor. Next step, the sugar…

The original recipe used 2 C of sugar in total! I cut that in half…and it wasn’t noticeably less sweet, especially with the apple sauce. Next, I made it with even less (½ C) and it was a little flat compared to the original recipe. 

So what to do? 

I increased the cinnamon then added cardamom and clove to the mix and increased the applesauce and amount of sweet potato. The extra spices did the trick—the nature and flavor of the dish were preserved and the sugar was reduced by ¾! Now we can enjoy this dish without the sugar rush. I have also experimented with a monk fruit-based sweetener replacing the ½ C sugar making a dish that is safe in moderation even for those with diabetes! Don’t tell my mom but sprinkling some chopped nuts on top of this is a wonderful addition- pine nuts, macadamia nuts and walnuts all work beautifully with this recipe! And, nuts are good for your body and brain!

Here is my final "Healthy" version of Southern Sweet Potato Pie!

I hope this helps inspire you to take some of those family favorites and tinker with them to make them better for you. Pancakes, cookies, and pie crusts often lend themselves well to a gluten-free makeover and it’s worth the work to figure out which options work best. For example, I love shortbread and the gluten-free flour mix that rocks for pancakes but was a disaster for shortbread— but almond flour was even better than the original!

Cooking is a special kind of alchemy, one that transforms humble ingredients into nourishing and flavorful dishes. Food is the first medicine, but it doesn’t need to taste bad! If you need inspiration, check out our Facebook Group, Raja Wellness Ways to Health, and search #realfoodfast or browse the recipes on our website.

Yours in Wellness,


Looking for great gift ideas for those you love? We know how hard it can be to come up with the perfect present for everyone on the list—so we’ve got you covered with thoughtful gift ideas for the special people in your life! 

Gift Cards are an excellent way to share the gift of wellness with those you love! Our gift cards can be used for appointments in our clinic or in-store for a variety of wellness products! Your loved one may even want to use it to treat themselves to one of the great gift ideas listed below.  Better yet, they’re on sale from 11/24/22-1/1/23! Receive 10% off your gift card purchase of $95 or more for in-clinic services and products, or 15% off gift cards for our online store! 

Evil Bone Water is a gym bag must-have for athletes, but it’s really great for any human (and pets, too!) This powerful formula is made in small batches, with imperial-grade herbs for optimal healing potential.  Great for aches, pains, bruises, burns, bug bites, and more—this bottle of magic offers the gift of relief, and who wouldn’t want that? (P.S- want more info on why our patients LOVE Evil Bone Water? Check out our blog for reviews! Evil Bone Water for Everything! - Raja Wellness)

Gem Elixirz aromatherapy sprays offer a little something for everyone as well.  High-grade, all-natural essential oils are infused with gemstones in a Miron Violet glass bottle, which strongly protects the essential oils and holds the highest vibration, delivering the product in its optimal state. If you wish for more focus, success, love, better sleep, or even a shift in mood for your gift recipient, these will make the perfect gift!  Check out the various offerings in our clinic or our online store. 

For the foodie in your life, B.T. Leigh’s Sauces and Rubs offer the gift of flavor! Locally made in small batches, these award winners will not disappoint! We grant the Raja Wellness stamp of approval—these sauces and rubs are not only delicious, but they are also made with all-natural ingredients, are gluten-free, and vegan friendly.

Do you have a skin-care fanatic on your shopping list? My Zen Reishi Collagen Mask is a miracle in a jar! Utilizing the best Chinese Medicine and Korean beauty secrets, this amazing mask is formulated for smoother, moisturized, youthful, and more vibrant-looking skin. It’s full of potent antioxidants, active enzymes, and all-natural ingredients that promote collagen production, reduce acne, soothe, hydrate, and regenerate the skin. This is the gift of youth

A Bamboo journal by Metastreems includes a bamboo pen and is just the thing your favorite note-taker needs for writing, journaling, or keeping great ideas safe. The image inscribed on the cover lends loving, healing energy to all that is written within. These are great for gratitude journaling! 

What better way to get cozy than with a hot cup of tea? For your hot beverage (and metaphysical) enthusiast, Buddha Teas Chakra Teas offer a lovely tea blend for chakra-specific healing. These lovely flavorful blends are masterfully crafted with 100% organic ingredients and are infused with accompanying crystal essences to facilitate well-being. 

The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.
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