If, like me, you have let yourself over indulge on the sweeter side of Christmas – I thought you might enjoy hearing about a couple of healthy alternatives to satisfy any left over chocolate cravings, as you enter the New Year. These are a couple of my go-to chocolate recipes that I like to have stored in the fridge for that 11am slump, or to have as my (well deserved) evening treat after a day with the boys. I like to eat regularly and I hate to deprive myself of things like chocolate and sweet treats. However, I rarely eat refined sugar or dairy products these days, so I really felt the difference over Christmas when I ate milk chocolates, sugary cookies, late night cheese & biscuits and all at completely out of sync times with my normal eating routine. I know that’s what Christmas is all about (and I definitely enjoyed eating half a chocolate orange for breakfast) but by New Year’s Day I was feeling sluggish and tired – and craving sugar so bad! If I’m not organised with alternative treats, I will always reach for a quick sugar fix – particularly for the next week or so as I try to get over these post-Christmas sugar cravings. I’m sure you will love both of these recipes, and your body will thank you too.
RAW CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
These are such easy raw chocolate brownies to make – particularly if you make them without the ganache topping. You can find the full recipe on Dana’s blog The Minimalist Baker, here. But for a quick version – blend 1 cup of whole almonds, 1 cup of walnuts, 3⁄4 cup of cacao powder, 1⁄4 teaspoon of sea salt and 2.5 cups of medjool dates (or dried dates soaked in hot water for 30 minutes) in a food processor until dense and fudgy. Press the mixture into a lined tray and top with chopped walnuts and cacao nibs (pushing them in to the mix with your hands). Chill in the fridge.
2 INGREDIENT CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
This is my go-to truffle recipe that is so easy and can be easily adapted to add more flavours and create variations. Not only do they store well in the fridge and make the perfect mini chocolate-fix, they also make lovely gifts for health-conscious friends – and like the raw brownies above, they are refined sugar free and suitable for vegans. The full recipe is from McKel’s great website, Nutrition Stripped. For my quick version; break 10 ounces of dark chocolate (at least 75%) into a heavy based saucepan and add the cream from a tin of full fat coconut milk (you can save the rest for making pancakes or coconut curries). Place on a low heat until completely melted and combined. Stir in half a teaspoon of sea salt and pour the mixture into a small bowl. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours, until it is firm enough to scoop and roll into small balls (I use a melon baller works perfectly!). I like to coat mine in more cacao and chill again in the fridge.
If you are looking for more inspiration for a healthier and happier 2016 – you might be interested in McKel’s 7 day wholefood reset and rebalance e-book, which contains all the information you will need to kickstart a fresh new year. Also Sarah Britton over at My New Roots has finally released an app, which includes 100+ healthy vegetarian recipes at your fingertips. I made the banana bread pancakes for breakfast this morning and they were sensational.
Happy New Year everyone! I hope it’s a good one.