Healthy twists and poached pear with anti-oxidant filled chocolate sauce

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For me healthy eating is not about excluding foods from your diet or depriving yourself from pleasure. I eat anything I like but make sure it is high in nutrition. Sure somethings has to be kept to a minimum, pizza, items high in saturated fats, sugar. You know the ones.

What I do is I always look at how to make ordinary dishes more nutritious. Adding spinach and kale to an ordinary salad, adding turmeric to scrambled eggs, wholewheat or spelt or zucchini pasta instead of white pasta. You get my drift.

On New Year’s Eve for example I cooked a potato gratin but instead of only standard white potatoes I added lots of sweet potatoes. And for dessert I made poached pear with a chocolate sauce, but not any old sugar laden version. A dessert filled with anti-oxidants and no refined sugar. The pears need to be prepared the day before serving.
I served the poached pear with Booja Booja vanilla ice-cream. It’s dairy-free, organic, gluten and soya free and 100% raw. And it taste amazing!

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Poached Pear with chocolate sauce

Serves 4

4 pears
2 1/2 cups of water
3 tablespoons of acacia honey
1 vanilla pod
3 tablespoons of maple syrup

Chocolate sauce ( slightly adapted from a cool blog called Top with Cinnamon)

3 pitted Mejool dates
20 grams of dark chocolate 70% cocoa minimum
1/2 cup almond milk
2 small teaspoons of raw cacao powder ( I use Creative nature superfoods)

Peel the pears and cut of the bottom so it can stand upright. Put pears, water and acacia honey in a pot. Cut the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds into the pot. Add the pods as well. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.

Transfer liquid, pears and vanilla pods to an airtight container. Pour over the maple syrup ( I don’t cook the maple syrup in order to keep it as nutritious as possible) Put in fridge when it has cooled down.

Cook the chocolate sauce just before you want to serve the pears. Put the dates and almond milk in blender and blend until smooth. Transfer into a pot, add the dark chocolate and cook on low heat for 5-10 min or until it has thickened. Stir continuously. Turn off the heat and and wait until it has cooled down a bit and then stir in the raw cacao powder. ( You want to keep as many anti-oxidants as possible hence not heat the raw cacao powder too much) I have written about the amazing anti-oxidant power of creative natures superfoods cacao powder before.

Put the pears on a paper towel for a couple of minutes in order for the liquid not to run on the plate.

Place the pears on serving plates and pour the chocolate sauce over it.
Serve with a scoop or two of Booja Booja’s vanilla ice-cream and decorate with some more raw cacao powder!

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Macademia nut butter smoothie with mint dark chocolate covered macademia nuts

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It’s been one of those weird weekends. A mixture of good and bad. Lots of really good, positive stuff happening. We started the weekend with some possibly great news, then accidentally found a guy who had performed at the opening ceremony for London Olympics doing bubbles ( that’s right, bubbles) and watching Z1 & Z2 ( our little ones) running after these really truly amazing bubbles was a great experience, then doing Pilates and realising that hey I’m actually stronger than this no muscle woman that I thought I was!

Then on the negative side…..the stupid stupid painful tooth ( or lack thereof ), rain most of the weekend and some stressful things hanging over my head.

Then today I decided to go gluten free for a while ( stomach just ain’t working as it should ) which I’m actually fine about doing. I have been craving bread lately which could be a sign that my body is not dealing with it very well at the moment, i.e I’m intolerant. And it’s not a nice feeling being addicted to something. I will have so much spare time thinking about other stuff now when my brain constantly isn’t screaming bread, bread, bread!

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Anyway so because it’s been these weird good/ bad couple of days I’m in need of some celebration/ comfort treat! So this is what I made for myself tonight. It’s not diet food, it’s high in calories and high in fat. ( unless you’re on some weird LCHF diet but then you need to skip the maple syrup….and the banana) Macademia nut butter is not cheap but you can make your own apparently. But it was oh so comforting and delicious….and it’s full of good stuff instead of the usual crap that comfort/ celebration food is full of.

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Small handful of macadamia nuts
20 gr dark mint chocolate (70% minimum) Fairtrade Divine chocolate is great!
1 frozen banana
10 gr raw chocolate
1 small tablespoon of macadamia nut butter
2 teaspoons maple syrup (or honey if you can’t find maple syrup)
40 ml coconut milk ( I use Koko dairy free with added calcium and vitamins)
I added some cacao nibs (1 teaspoon) for some extra anti-oxidants but it’s not necessary)

Melt the mint dark chocolate and cover the nuts in the chocolate. Spread them out on a baking paper. ( they don’t really have to be pretty since they will be hidden in the smoothie anyway) Use a spatula and spread out the remainder of melted chocolate (for decoration) on the baking paper and then put it in the fridge. Leave for about 20 min. Blend the rest of the ingredients make sure it doesn’t get to liquidly so add the milk last and not all in one go. Finally add the chocolate covered nuts into the smoothie and serve in a martini glass. Take of some chocolate bits from baking paper and decorate. Eat with a spoon!

Macademia nuts are packed with dietary fibre, protein, antioxidants, vitamins like vitamin E, B1, B2, B5 folate, and minerals such as selenium, potassium, magnesium and calcium.