Monday, 30 March 2015

Healthy Easter treats - March 2015

Easter is fast approaching and with it the Easter Bunny brings all things sweet and delicious albeit overloaded with with sugar, saturated fat and additives. There’s also the looming possibility of the over-consumption of unwholesome and sickly chocolate treats which pose a serious threat to to your waistline and overall health. That said, I still want to indulge just a little...

Most people opt to purchase the popular brands of customary chocolate eggs and cute rabbits on the shelves that have been heated, refined and processed so much so that anything of nutritional value including antioxidants, flavanols, vital enzymes and vitamins has been destroyed and essentially, you’re left eating empty calories. I understand it's the quick and easy way therefore, remember the golden rule: the darker the chocolate the higher the antioxidant level.

For me this Easter, rather than gorging on copious amounts of store-bought chocolates containing hidden nasties and feeling guilty afterwards, I decided to make my own chocolate treats. This way, I know exactly what I’m eating plus, my body will benefit from the range of super foods ingested. More importantly, I will feel good about myself whilst devouring these delicious delights. Besides, I am always looking for new and creative ways to consume raw cacao powder.

For my project, I commissioned my sister-in-law’s assistance and she came up with this ingenuous concept of filling raw chocolate (cacao powder mixed in with melted cacao butter) with the combination of our favourite breakfast cereals – Vital Longevity’s PowerStart (cacao flavour) and Loving Earth’s Caramelised Buckinis. Both these products are grain, dairy and gluten-free, high in protein and like cacao powder itself, a rich source of B-vitamins and essential minerals such as iron, zinc, copper and magnesium which is important for a healthy heart and brain.

What's more, the high levels of antioxidants in cacao protect the nervous system, guard against toxins and decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases and at the same time promote a sense of well-being and happiness via its mood enhancing compounds. (Note: Cacao is potent on the central nervous system so, consume in moderation). To the mix, we added a little bit of honey for natural sweetness รจt voila – tasty, nourishing homemade chocolates.

Now, that's how you indulge - guilt-free and in a healthful way! 

80g cacao butter
60g cacao powder
25g Powerstart (Original or Cacao)
25g Buckinis (caramelised)
20g honey

Melt butter in glass bowl over a saucepan
Add in cacao powder, stir well
Add in cereals and honey and stir again until all blended
Fill moulds then refrigerate until chocolate sets

If you prefer the plain chocolate option, leave out the cereals. You may also add shredded coconut or organic peppermint essence or oil for some flavour.

"Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life." ~S.D. Gordon