As the weather turns cooler (yes, even here in Bahrain) it is natural to turn to warming, earthy, dense food as we try to stay warm. I find myself wanting more sweet, in the form of gooey brownies, hot sticky toffee pudding, and so on. So I need to be creative in the kitchen to keep cravings at bay and satisfy my sweet tooth.
This week I’ve been experimenting with a local brand, Bare Chocolate.* They are organic, fair trade and delicious. So why not?! Take a look how you can incorporate good quality chocolate into a healthy diet, guilt free.
First thing in the morning:
I’m a big oats eater, and love mixing up my morning bowl with a range of goodies. My ultimate favourite is to melt 4 small squares of dark chocolate (here with Almonds!) into the mixture of oats, chia and flax seeds, and then sprinkle with smaller seeds on top. When it’s all mixed in it is delicious!
Mid morning snack:
I usually have my breakfast pretty early, and if I’m running with clients then I can come home ravenous by 11am. This calls for a snack that will keep me well fuelled for the clients I have before lunch, but I don’t want anything to upset my stomach. Out comes the whole grain bread, honey, nut butter and dark chocolate and orange! Simply put a dash of each on the toast under the grill for a couple of minutes, and this delicious snack will fuel you for a good couple of hours until you get the chance to sit down for your lunch!
I, as many others, often crash around 4pm. The worst thing to do would be to stop at a coffee shop and order a muffin. Instead, I have pre-prepared snacks on hand. These energy balls are my latest favourite (but be sure just to eat one!).
This recipe is so simple… a tablespoon of good quality honey (I use Manuka Doctor), another tablespoon of good quality almond or cashew nut butter (Hello Pip and Nut!), a dash of vanilla essence and a cup of whole rolled oats. Sprinkle in some broken up 71% Bare dark chocolate and mix together. Leave the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes before trying to roll it into balls. I just couldn’t resist and coated some of my balls in melted chocolate too! If you’re going to a Festive Party, try bringing these as a snack and avoid the Quality Street box!
When it comes to the end of the day, this is the time when some people really struggle to stay away from the snack cupboard. But here I’ve created my own, absolutely amazing bed time warmer. The Bare Dark Chocolate with Lemon, Ginger and Pepper is perhaps my favourite, and makes an amazing home made hot chocolate. I simply heated some oat milk slowly in a saucepan and added in four chunks of chocolate. I added an extra squeeze of lemon and stirred until it was all melted. You HAVE to try this one if nothing else. The chunks of ginger at the end are the perfect finish to the drink, and it tastes heavenly knowing you can enjoy guilt free (in comparison to well known coffee shop Hot Chocolates that will see you drink over 300 calories a go!). Curled up on Christmas eve, I know what I’ll be drinking!
So there are just a few ideas to help you get creative in the kitchen. By using good quality dark chocolate you will get all the antioxidant benefits without the heaps of sugar and other crap. Give these and go and let me know how you get on!
*Please note I was not paid to create this post. I LOVE Bare Chocolate, as does my husband (evident when he kept eating the chocolate before I had a chance to use it!). It is great quality, ethically made, and a dream for a chocoholic like me!