As you may have noticed, many of my recipes and more to come, are healthier versions of our guilty pleasures. Most people assume a healthy diet consists purely of fruits and veg but neglect beans, pulses, seeds and oil, meaning they miss out on the vital goodness these food items provide. I love to create fun recipes that include these foods, which come in especially handy for kids. As my friend Michelle of Sohum Yoga Studio in Antibes says, kids don’t want to eat food that looks like poo (and sometimes healthy food can fail in the presentation department). So if you have a picky eater or are a picky eater yourself, creating healthier version of our childhood favourites is not a bad thing.
See, I have a theory about bad eating habits – many say its psychological or lack of will power, picked up from childhood. However, what if that’s not the only cause? What if, yes you picked up a habit of eating junk food, this over time, lead to nutrient loss from eating nutrient poor food, further leading to change in our internal workings that feed our brain chemistry to want fats, salt and sugar? I often see a symptoms in patients, feeling hungry all the time but not knowing what to eat. I interpret this as the body being STARVING but our taste buds are only acquainted with the tastes of sugar, fats and salt. So much so that we don’t know what our body it telling us we need. Patients often ask me, how can you tell if a craving is a goodie or a baddie? Goodies being our body signalling to us, they are in need of an extra boost of a particular nutrient. Baddies being a craving created by junk food! I often say if you are craving a single food item then that may indicate a nutrient need whereas a meal or processed food is the baddie! This is not a hard set rule but a guideline to keep an eye out for!
Leading on from this – changing a person’s bad eating habits means nourishing the body to stop this vicious circle. Going cold turkey may not be the best solution for everyone. So here I am, definitely NOT a chef but trying out healthier recipes so people can nourish their bodies and stop food cravings. I’ll be honest some recipes work out – some definitely do not (vegan pancakes, anyone! )
Enough of why my blog recipes are not all fruit and veggies!
CHOCOLATE COCONUT BARS
My husband loved bounty bars before he went sugar-free ,14 years ago. One Christmas I set out to find a recipe to make a sugar-free version as a treat. Do you know how hard it is to find a bounty bar recipe, let alone a healthy version!? Luckly, just before I gave up, I found this great recipe which I for the life of me can not find now! I’m going to keep searching though. Give credit where credit’s due 🙂
After making some tweeks, I was able to come up with a recipe that includes coconut oil, coconut cream, honey or maple syrup and fresh organic coconut. Plus dark chocolate at the end. So all the goodness of coconut and minerals from the chocolate – a win-win situation. Make sure all ingredients are organic. I always think organic coconut tastes so much nicer than non!
Honestly the results are so like the original, even I’m impressed and normally I cannot taste my own food! The values may be a little off but the idea is you are making a syrup from the coconut milk, butter and honey (maple syrup) that will glue all the lovely grated coconut together.
100ml Coconut Cream
180g Honey or Maple syrup
250g vegan butter or coconut oil
250g grated coconut meat
Over a VERY low heat (we want to keep all the goodness) melt together the cream, syrup, oil/ butter. Leave to bubble for about 5 minutes. Test this time as it can change for different sweeteners. Leave it for too long and you have a VERY chewy bounty bar.
Once you reached the required thickness (it’s not really thick, but you’ll see what I mean) remove from the heat and add in the grated coconut meat. The mixture might seem a little dry, any more wet and you have very greasy bars at the end, as the wet comes from the oils.
Place this into the mold you have (I use a square Pyrex dish with cooking paper), and press down you will see the mixture keeps it shape and no flakes. Place this in your freezer for about and hour.
Next melt your chocolate, either adding a knob of your vegan butter or the coconut oil to make the chocolate nice a smooth.
Remove your bar filling from the freezer and cut into whatever shape tickles your fancy. The squares may be hard to cut, being frozen and all, but they keep their shape better when dipped into hot melted chocolate.
Place each covered bar on some grease proof paper and place into the fridge this time!
In about 30 mins – enjoy 🙂