When transitioning to a ‘healthy’ diet, it is all too easy to adopt a ‘poor me’ attitude; focusing only on what you can’t have and feeling as though you are self-sacrificing and depriving yourself of your favourite foods that give you great (temporary) satisfaction. Newsflash: it doesn’t have to be that way!
Let’s go straight to desserts. How do you have your cake and eat it without an ounce of guilt? Easy. All you have to do is replace typical baking ingredients (which are devoid of nutrients) to healthy, nutrient dense ingredients. Get familiar with the names you haven’t heard of, do a bit of research on them (for the sake of increasing your own knowledge and accountability), locate them in your supermarket, search for a recipe* and get baking!
*There are so many healthy food bloggers online today with unlimited recipes for you to experiment with. Just search ‘healthy [your favourite desert]’, or ‘gluten free/sugar free/dairy free/grain free desserts’ and see which ones you like the look of. Remember knowledge is power so be sure to check the ingredients to see if they really are healthy and meeting your dietary goals. Alternatively, feel free to search for a recipe you know and replace the ingredients accordingly!
Healthy Dessert Replacements
|Conventional butter, cream, refined oils e.g. sunflower oil||Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, nut butter, grass fed ghee, grass fed organic butter (free from antibiotics, GMOs, pesticides, additives)|
|Refined sugar||Banana, dates, honey, pure maple syrup, coconut blossom sugar, pure organic vanilla extract (make sure it’s not just artificial colouring and sugar), cinnamon|
|White flour||Whole grain flour or nut flour:
Gluten free options: almond, coconut, buckwheat, quinoa, gluten free oats
Gluten grains: whole-wheat, spelt, rye
You can also use starchy vegetables such as sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, carrot and courgette which add bulk and nutrients without any overpowering taste e.g. sweet potato brownies
|Solid Chocolate||Unsweetened cocoa powder or organic cacao powder (the real superfood!)|
|Cow milk||Organic and unsweetened rice, soy, coconut, nut milk|
|Biscuit, icing sugar, buttercream, sugary toppings||Nuts, seeds, berries, dried fruit, cacao nibs, cinnamon|
|Refined/Table salt (bleached and devoid of essential minerals)||Sea Salt, Himalayan Crystal Salt|
Homemade Dark Chocolate Recipe
This recipe is so simple and delicious, you’ll never need to buy chocolate again! The amount of cocoa powder and natural sweetener used here creates a rich taste, similar to 85% dark chocolate. Give your taste buds a chance to adjust to it. The great thing is that you feel fully satisfied with one small piece.
100g unrefined virgin coconut oil
100g organic cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
4 Tbsp. maple syrup/honey/coconut sugar (choose one or mix)
1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
Pinch of unrefined salt
1-2 tbsp. ginger powder
Chopped nuts, sesame seeds
Melt coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in honey/maple syrup, then cocoa powder and all remaining ingredients. Turn off the heat and stir until mixture is smooth. Pour into a bread tin lined with baking paper. Sprinkle extra nuts/seeds on top if desired. Refrigerate until chilled, approx. 1 hour. Break off pieces and eat immediately as it melts quickly!