I’ve been Whole30-ing for the last week now, and I’m currently straddling the line between “what was I thinking” and “I can’t believe how obscenely necessary this was”. I’m smack-dab in the middle of the hangry phase, as detailed in the official Whole30 Timeline, and a new beast has recently reared its ugly head. The giant brownie hallucination. They don’t talk about this particular monster in the W30 description, but it’s very, very real. I’m restricted from having wheat, grains, legumes (including peanuts), added sugars (including agave and honey), all dairy and any kind of baked dessert (even if it’s made with W30-compliant ingredients!). This leaves that giant, wonderful, horrifying brownie as an amalgam of absolutely everything I’m not allowed to eat right now — which is probably why it’s attacking me in my sleep.
Anyway, when I began this detox, I knew I needed it. I had slowly eased my way back into a diet of fast, easy, processed foods. I wasn’t pigging out on sweets, but those meal bars and zero-calorie sodas started to make more frequent appearances as my schedule got busier and my excuses multiplied. So when my energy started to wane, and my moods and ability to focus became unbearable (for everyone), Sarah’s Instagram posts about her Whole30 progress finally convinced me that the time had come.
I’m going the distance here, so to combat the brownie, I’ve devised a new plan. When the craving strikes, I’m going to focus my daydreams on healthy versions of things I can’t eat right now so that when my W30 is complete, I don’t dive headfirst into the first bin of Krispy Kremes I see. I’ll stick to my clean-eating guns and go for whole ingredients, a balanced nutritional intake and keeping desserts as a treat instead of a go-to or meal replacement. But I’m not the kind of person who can kill a brownie craving by magically convincing myself that a banana and some nuts are just as satisfying…they’re not. So having legitimate healthy “desserts” to daydream about is really necessary for me to win at this mind game.
Enter, the beautiful donuts pictured in this post. For anyone out there wanting to neutralize their own sugary, butter-loaded arch nemesis, try out this recipe for Spiced Sweet Potato Baked Donuts. They are incredibly satisfying if you’re in the mood for something cakey, a little sweet and full of flavor. Which I am. Constantly. Dunk them in coffee or tea and you’ll be in heaven. (Recipe at the bottom.)
[recipe originally created for Laura Trevey's blog, Bright, Bold & Beautiful]
Gluten-Free Spiced Sweet Potato Baked Donuts
Yields 14 donuts at 160 calories each (200 with the glaze)
For the Donuts
1 cup quinoa flour
1 cup gluten-free oat flour
1 cup erythritol (you can substitute coconut sugar or regular granulated sugar, adding about 50 calories per donut)
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup mashed sweet potato (blended until smooth)
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (melted)
1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste (you can substitute regular vanilla extract)
For the Glaze
1/4 cup almond milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (you can substitute regular vanilla extract)
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease two 6-count donut pans with coconut oil and set aside. (You’ll have to make the last 2 donuts separately.)
Sift together all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
Beat the wet ingredients together in a large bowl with a hand mixer until fully combined.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet with a wooden spoon until just combined. Don’t over-mix or your donuts will be tough.
Spoon the donut batter into each mold so they’re just over 3/4 full.
Bake on the center rack for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. You may need to rotate your pans if they’re baking unevenly, and be sure not to over-bake! I always start checking mine at 20 minutes and add a minute at a time, testing with a toothpick until they’re ready.
[Optional!] While the donuts are baking, make the glaze! Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth.
Turn your donuts out onto a cooling rack with some parchment or wax paper underneath to catch excess glaze. Drizzle the glaze over each warm donut and let it set for about 10 minutes before serving.
These donuts are best within the first 2 days.