Healthy chocolate bonbons

Healthy Chocolate Bonbons

I eat a piece of chocolate every single day.

Every evening I treat myself to a petite dessert to go along with my cup of tea. Now, we could start an entire discussion whether or not it’s healthy habit, or if it is good or bad thing to do and so on…

But I can tell you this much: that one piece does not make me gain any weight. (Neither does it make me lose any pounds though, for those ‘dark chocolate is healthy’ believers out there.)

I does, however, make me insanely happy and satisfied ánd it gives me instant chocolate gratification. It’s a little something to look forward too after a day of devoted healthy eating. My naughty moment if you want to put it like that. And it’s what keeps me going. Because let’s be honest, we need to let loose from time to time. And that’s why I don’t believe in diets. Being restrictive is good for nothing. Just eat. But eat healthy! And be a goodie two shoes 80% of the time and a bad ass chick 20% of the time. Food wise I mean. Obvi. You know, the boring old 80-20 rule.

So, I might not have to point out that my piece of chocolate is a ‘healthy’ one. Read: it’s dark (at least 70% cacao, ladies. Say buh-bye to the milk chocolate!). It’s with raw cacao. It’s dairy free (vegan if you like). You won’t find any processed sugar inside, neither will it contain any  preservatives. And it may or may not contain some superfoods along the way (bonus).

For those of you wondering where to find a chocolate that meets all the requirements as listed above… meet: Lovechock. The yummiest and healthiest chocolate option out there! Found in every so called organic/bio/nature shop for you to grab and enjoy. Moderation is key, though. Don’t eat the whole dang bar. Eat one piece (or two, on days when needed). Slowly.

But, if it’s absolutely impossible for you to find a Lovechock bar in a store near you, I have a plan B. Little more effort than buying it and only opening the wrapper when craving a chocolate. But as good and healthy as the store bought version.

Make your own dark chocolate bonbons with this easy peasy recipe:

You’ll need

  • 4 tbsp raw cacao
  • 15g raw cacao nibs
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk (note: not coconut creme)
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1 (or 2) tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of pink Himalaya salt

Directions

Heat the coconut oil in a small pan.

When the coconut oil is melted add all other ingredients and stir well until you get a chocolate batter.

Add the mixture to an ice cube mold an put in the freezer for two hours (or overnight).

Enjoy one – guilt-free – with a cup of tea or coffee.

Bon appetit!

Xo, Kirsten

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The yummiest coconut pancakes

Coconut Pancakes

For any of you that know me – or for any of you that follow this blog on the reg – it’s not a secret: I love a pancake for breakfast from time to time. (If you’re curious about previous pancake recipes check them over here and over there)

My fondest childhood memories are the ones containing the smell of pancakes. On lazy sunday mornings, when I was stumbling down the stairs to the kitchen area in search of breakfast, usually, I would find my mom or dad flipping pancakes (so profesh) and adding new ones to the stack next to the kitchen counter. For me to eat. Like, sunday morning perfection.

A given was that whenever I hosted a sleepover for my 9 year old besties there would always be a pancake fest in the a.m. with a billion of unhealthy toppings to choose from. Gimme that Nutella

The pancake mornings at my place were famous amongst my girlfriends back in the day. Obvi. Actually, they remained famous throughout my teens too, because we would still be treated with a good old pancake galore in the a.m. after our first 17 year old selves attempted the whole ‘going out’ thing with a petite sleepover afterwards. Like, acting all grown up woman at night – with a little too much make up on BTW, and a lot of fashion faux pas – but we would always turn back into pancake craving little girls in the morning.

Needless to say I still crave pancakes on sunday mornings. Especially on the rainy ones. Only, nowadays I have to prep and flip them myself. And, also nowadays, they’re not all that guilt free when I eat them. My mind turns into to one big alarm bell yelling: NOT SO HEALTHY LADY! FATTY, FATTY, FAT, FAT!

So, when I decide to make my own pancake stack I want them to be as healthy as posb. Without them tasting like a cardboard cracker. I want them to taste exactly like the real fat-ass deal. Or maybe even better. High standards much?

I’ve tried many varieties, swapping every ingredient in there for a healthy brother. Some of them worked, some of them didn’t (stay away from the buckwheat. Really. Don’t even bother). But this one is the bomb.com. My absolute winner, all time favorite. The yummiest. Like, you won’t know what you’re tasting and you’ll never ever want the real bad-ass deal again. It’s that good.

Hey, if I had any kids I would give them these instead of the boring old school unhealthy variety.

Yeah.

Eat that.

You’ll need (serves one, about 

  • 50g whole grain spelt flour
  • 1 egg
  • 125ml of coconut milk (not the creme! the actual milk. Like 40kcal for 100ml)
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter, melted
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of stevia
  • a splash of sparkling water
  • toppings. Go wild. Fruit, maple syrup, stevia, banana, chocolate spread, honey,…

Directions

Add the flour to a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the egg.

Grab a beater and beat the egg together with the flour while slowly adding the milk.

Add some sparkling water, the melted coconut butter (so it’s oil), salt and some stevia. Whisk through the batter.

Add a large pan on a high heat.

Now add a big spoon of batter to your pan. Move your pan until a thin layer of batter covers the entire bottom of the pan.

Wait until bubbles appear on the batter. It’s time to flip. You can go profesh and flip the pancake in the air OR you can go safe and use a spatula. Like I usually do. 😉

If you want your finished pancakes to stay hot while you prep the rest here’s a tip: Boil some water and add to a large pot. Put a plate on top and move your pancakes on the plate. Cover with another plate or with the lit and your pancakes will stay super hot.

Eat with loads of maple syrup and stevia. Or whatever you want.

Bon appetit,

Xo, Kirsten

Coconut Pancakes

Dessert for breakfast: healthy crumble

Healthy breakfast crumble

I’m a morning sweet tooth. Bam. It’s out.

Basically that means that as soon as I wake up I crave a huge breakfast which preferably tastes sweet. Like, I’m down with eggs and bacon anytime, but I’ll love you eternally when you bring me pancakes in the morning.

So. We all know what tastes sweet. Desserts. And we all know the saying ‘eat dessert first’, right? Right. Well. What if I told you that you can start your entire dang day with a dessert. And that’s not all: You ladies can start your day with a healthy dessert. Are you also crying from happiness thanks to this discovery? I sure know I was. 😉

Anyways, Crumble might be in my top 3 of all time favorite desserts. But stuffed with crappy flour and loads of sugar and greasy butter, it certainly won’t make my top 3 all time favorite healthy desserts. Enters this version. Totally breakfast appropriate. I fell in love. Obvi.

So, here we are. I’m going to make you one happy ass sweet tooth with this recipe. You are welcome!

You’ll need (serves one)

  • 40g rolled oats (from Quaker. I used gluten free ones)
  • 2 tbsp of buckwheat flour (or spelt flour, or coconut flour)
  • Some raisins
  • 1,5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey/agave (or sweetner of your choice)
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of stevia
  • an apple, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 100g frozen berries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Grease an oven bowl with some coconut oil. Add the fruit to the bowl.

Now mix the oats, raisins, buckwheat flour, coconut oil and maple syrup until you get a greasy, sticky mass. Or soon to be crumble.

Spread the crumble on top of the fruit in the bowl. (don’t mix it, it should be on top of your fruit)

Place the crumble in the oven for about 20 minutes (until the berries boil)

You can or can not add some yoghurt to this too. Just saying.

Enjoy!

xo, Kirsten

Sticky and skinny brownie bars

Sticky skinny brownie bars

When in a hurry and in need of a chocolate, sugary fix but preferably a healthy one: These babies are the answer to your cravings. Raw brownies made with the healthiest ingredients, so they are totally beach – and bikini body proof.

Better to munch on these than to devour the real fat-ass, gross brownie-deal. But I don’t need to tell you guys that, right?

I prepped these the night before and they gave me a warm (mmkay: cold) welcome in the a.m., when I opened the fridge. Sweet coconut chocolate pieces of heaven! I don’t know how I managed to do so, but I kept them in an airtight container in my cool bag the whole dang day and only ate them as a dessert at my mom’s place later that day. That’s right, I love to share my healthy stuff! 😉

 I often bring dessert on my weekly Tuesday night dinners with mom. So safe to say she’s one of the first hand test persons for all my clean, sweet kitchen trials.  Well anyways: She liked them. So they’re mommie proof! 😉

It’s not because they are clean, nutritious and healthy that you get to eat the whole lot, though. Moderation is key, ladies. Unless it’s that time of the month, than go ahead and grab two pieces. I wont kiss and tell. But to the rest of you a petite warning is in order: they’re still quite big on the calorie department. So you don’t get to eat an endless amount. However, you WILL notice a difference if you would devour the same amount of calories from a plain unhealthy brownie (don’t!). Bloated belly much?

Ok, enough with the health bla-di-bla. Without any further ado the recipe to your chocolate happiness:

You’ll need

  • 250g of pitted medjool dates
  • 200g of walnuts (or pecans)
  • 50g raw cacao
  • 50g shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Himalaya pink salt
  • 2tbsp of water

Directions

Add the walnuts to a food processor and shred them until they turn to flour. Add the dates to the nut flour and mix/shred.

Now add the coconut, cacao, pink salt and maple syrup to the food processor and mix with the walnuts and dates.

Add some water to make them moist.  After a while you’ll receive a big sticky chunk of brownie dough.

Add a baking sheet in a brownie mold and add the dough to it. Press the batter in the shape.

Add some shredded coconut on top to finish and put in the fridge for about an hour, or overnight, like I did.

* Servings: Depends on how big you want your pieces, but I had about 12. According to my calculations that would be about 228 kcal per brownie. Perf with a cup of tea as a small dessert or could work as a 10 o’clock snack (it sure worked for me).

** If you prefer your brownies fresh out of the oven but clean, this recipe might work for you too.

Enjoy!

Xo, Kirsten

Skinny sticky brownies

Bodylicious Protein Pancakes

Protein Pancakes

If you are anything like me and follow millions of health blog and Instagram profiles you might have been introduced to some ‘protein powder’ pictures and posts. Either in a plain boring shake/smoothie form or maybe in mouth watering pancakes or cupcakes versions.

Usually it states that if you want a ‘toned body’, you’ll need a lot of protein… Stating that they seem to make your muscles grow like it’s nobody’s business. Assuming you did an exhausting workout first, that is. Proteins don’t make miracles happen, they can’t make anything grow if you don’t train ‘them’ first. (sadly, I know)

I usually get proteins from chicken, fish, lentils, quinoa, eggs and yoghurt. Like most of us plain mortals do. You know. A plate filled with some greens, proteins, carbs and healthy fats is the usual healthy thing to do. But, I was triggered with the protein powder quick fix option a while back.

We so happened to have a big (and I’m talking huge) pot of ‘One Whey Protein Powder’ gathering dust in our kitchen cabinets (a leftover fitness thing from my boyfriend). We had it, so there really wasn’t an excuse for me not to try it.

So one morning, after a 5K run, I made protein pancakes based on a recipe from Tone It Up. And boy were they tasty. Yeah. Healthy pancakes, we all know I’m game for these kind of things.

Meanwhile, I learned that ‘One Whey PP’ is a shitty product. Read: they use all kinds of nasty ass processed stuff to make the powder. Even aspartame. Yuk. Not really something that fits my ‘clean eating’ way of life.

Luckily for my healthy-ass there are brands out there that produce all natural and organic, stevia based powders. Ideal for your post workout smoothies, pancakes and cupcakes. Mine is a Vegan (no cow milk stuff in this one, grrrreat) version from SunWarrior that has a vanilla smell and taste to die for. Vanilla pancakes: yum!

If you don’t care to follow the protein craze you can easily substitute the protein powder with plain flour or nut flour in this recipe.

Another thing I want to have said: do not fear turning into a bulky, man-looking, female-fitness athlete after using a scoop of protein powder every once in a while:

You’ll need to do a whole lot of fitness, for several hours, like 24-7, on a daily base before you’ll even remotely look like one of them. Woman don’t tend to gain muscles that easily because these babies need testosterone. And guess what: us ladies don’t have all that much testosterone going on inside of our bod. And if you do see a lady with huge arms and legs, you bet your ass something fishy is going on there!

You’ll need (serves 1, about 350kcal)

  • One ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp almond milk (or any milk you like)
  • 1 tbsp of sparkling water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 15g protein powder
  • 5g flaxseeds (or 20g protein powder if you skip these)
  • cinnamon (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil (for baking)
  • Fruit and toppings (maple syrup, sugar, yoghurt, chocolate spread,…)

Directions

Mix the banana or mash with a fork until you get a batter.

Add some almond milk and egg whites. Add some sparkling water (trust me, this will make the batter so good and fluffy)

Now gently mix through the protein powder and flaxseeds until you get a thick batter. Add some cinnamon.

Heat a pan on a high heat. Add some coconut oil. Make sure your pan is really heated.

Add two to three tbsp of the batter to the pan (think American pancake sizes). Bake for a few minutes on each side. Usually when the batter starts to boil a bit it’s time to flip. Repeat until you’re out of batter.

Now add your favorite toppings. I usually add some heated frozen berries, a big tbsp of maple syrup (yum), and some yoghurt.

Pancake LOVE!

Bon appetit!

xo, Kirsten

Pineapple adoration

Baked Pineapple

I Always crave dessert after dinner. Always.

Usually I’ll grab a piece of dark chocolate (70% raw cacao) sprinkled with coffee or coconut (I get it at my local Bio shop) to join my cup of tea. And it’s sweetened with cane sugar, so no white processed sugar problems in my daily chocolate intake. I still want to stay kinda healthy during my sweet crave.

But every now and then – ESP during the weekend – my dessert is a tad bit more adventurous.

This time we had vegan (I’m avoiding cow’s milk for a while) vanilla-coconut ice cream with baked pineapple. I know. Vegan Ice Cream. It sounds silly, but I promise you it tastes just like plain ice cream.

Don’t worry, I still eat a plain ice cream every once in a while. On a cone. (Form the Gelato Factory, the best ice cream in Antwerp!) But when at home, I still try to cheat as healthy as possible. Without compromising in taste.

Anyhow, if you’re any close in being a pineapple lover as I am – it’s one of my favorite fruits, but such a pain in the ass to ‘peel’ – you’ll love this. It’s easy (minus the peeling part) and a tad bit more special than the everyday piece of chocolate ;).

You’ll need

  • 1 (or two) big scoop(s) of ice cream
  • 1 slice of pineapple
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup or honey
  • ½ lime
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

 Directions

Sprinkle some lime juice and agave syrup on top of your pineapple.

 Put a pan on a high heat and add the pineapple. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for a few minutes on each side.

 Put on a plate with a big scoop of ice cream on top. (And maybe some extra agave on top :)) Eat before it melts!

 Happy deserting!

Xo, Kirsten

Pineapple adoration