Treat Yourself Right
Words, recipe and image by GENEVIEVE MORTON
Treat yourself with nourishing wholefoods and you can have your cake and eat ice cream too
Healthy, plant-based ingredients can transform your sweet treats from a guilty indulgence into a daily health boost. Where to start? With a fructose-free sweetener such as rice malt syrup, stevia or xylitol. Then swap store-bought chocolate for cacao and boost the nutrients even higher with a few scoops of superfood powders. Keep the fibre and protein up and don’t forget to mix in some vegetables – yes, vegetables!
7 Ways To Treat Yourself Right
1. Try small amounts of fructose-free sweeteners such as xylitol or rice malt syrup in raw sweet treats like bliss balls or protein balls. Fructose in high amounts has been linked to obesity, type II diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. Avoid high-fructose sweeteners such as corn syrup and agave.
2. Sprinkle bee pollen on top of ‘nicecream’, rice pudding and panna cotta. Bee pollen is rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and antioxidants. It can be eaten raw, on top of your favourite smoothie bowl or frozen yoghurt. The recommend daily dose is 1 – 2 teaspoons.
3. Add protein. Add a few scoops of vegan protein powder to bliss balls and raw cashew cheesecakes. Vegan pea protein powder is dairy-free. Hemp is also a great vegan option as it provides magnesium, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Women need at least 45g of protein a day and men need 55g. If you save sweet treats for certain times of the day, try a high protein bliss ball after a workout.
4. Swap store-bought chocolate for cacao. Cacao gets its superfood status for good reason. Cacao contains 40 times the antioxidants as blueberries, is one of the highest plant-based sources of iron, contains more calcium than cow’s milk and is high in magnesium for a healthy heart and brain. And if that wasn’t enough, cacao is also a natural mood elevator. You can add a few tablespoons of cacao to raw brownies or make your own dairy-free chocolate bark and mix in nuts, seeds and dried fruit.
5. Add vegetables to your sweet treats – raw and cooked. Vegetables in sweet treats? Yes. Think raw vegan carrot cake, baked zucchini chocolate muffins, and sweet potato brownies. Adding vegetables boosts fibre, vitamins and minerals.
6. Add a spoonful of superfood blends such as the Melrose Essential Reds powder which is not only bursting with antioxidants and phytonutrients essential for good health, it also has a strawberry flavour – perfect for sweet treats. You can sprinkle superfood powder on fresh berries with yoghurt and ‘nicecream’.
7. Don’t forget fibre. The humble chia seed is a fibre powerhouse with 11 grams per two tablespoons. Add a few tablespoons to cookie batter and raw sweet treats as a high-fibre binder instead of egg. Add a tablespoon of inulin to cakes and muffins. Inulin is a soluble fibre that your gut bacteria converts into short-chain fatty acids. Inulin can improve digestive health, promote weight loss and help control diabetes.
Where to go for healthy wholefoods sweet treats recipes:
Chocolate ‘Nicecream’ Super Sundae
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo
(serves 2 – or three smaller pots, as pictured)
3 large frozen bananas (cut fresh bananas into quarters, wrap in plastic and pop in the freezer overnight)
2 tbs cacao
2 tbs maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup coconut cream
1 tsp bee pollen
1 tsp cacao nibs
Blend the frozen bananas, cacao, vanilla extract, maple syrup and coconut cream in the blender until creamy. Serve in two bowls and sprinkle on cacao nibs and bee pollen.