This indulgent creamy chocolate chia pudding with avocado which gives it more bulk and richness is the type of breakfast that will make you WANT to get out of bed for.
As the avo is blended into the chia pudding and topped with fresh fruit you get at least 2/5 a day plus a whole host of other goodness including fibre, antioxidants, vitamin C, good fats and a happy tummy afterwards.
This sneaky dish is also a good way to get some green stuff into little ones or any family members that say they don’t like avocado, top it with their favourite fruit and toppings then let them eat it first before telling them anything.
Years ago I never paid much attention to manuka honey because there wasn’t much known about it, however the research has really developed and we now know more about its benefits.
This honey comes from the manuka bush found only in New Zealand and some parts of Australia (one of the reasons it’s so expensive) and contains unique compounds, some are hydrogen peroxide based others are non peroxide based. One of the main reasons (but not only one, see below) why manuka is so antibacterial, is due to MGO (methylglyoxal), the higher the level of the MGO in the honey (indicated on the jar by the number/score) the more antibacterial it is. There is even medical grade manuka honey which is the strongest and is used in hospitals to treat infections that haven’t responded to other treatments. Manuka can also be scored by UMF (unique manuka factors) which include MGO and other compounds.
high strength manuka
I’ve started to use it myself to help treat my digestive issues and heal the gut as this antibacterial activity has been shown to reduce the number of bad bacteria linked to gut issues, whilst leaving the good bacteria intact. It also contains a type of prebiotic that encourages the growth of good gut microbes which make it a more gut friendly sweetener option compared to refined sugar, yes it does still impact blood sugar so don’t go mental but regarding gut health it’s a better option which is why not all types of sugar are the same in my opinion.
Furthermore, it can help coat the stomach and gut lining (which can already be compromised in people with gut issues) so that the gastric acids won’t be able to damage it as much and has been shown to reduce colonic inflammation.
Although it’s very early days, there’s even evidence that antibacterial compounds in high strength manuka can kill off bad gum bacteria that lead to gum disease such as gingivitis.
To maximise the benefits, try to use it raw, when heated, some of the compounds and the enzymes will be destroyed, but not all, it will still retain benefits as the MGO is more heat stable than other compounds.
If you simply can’t afford it then raw local honey from your region is also a good option especially for hayfever sufferers as the local pollen and microbes in it teach your immune system to tolerate local allergens and also has a degree of antibacterial activity.
These bars are great for anyone with gut issues and also pre or post workout plus they’re way better quality than most protein bars on the market. I used a hydrolysed collagen based protein powder here (not suitable for vegetarians) as it can have a number of benefits for different areas of the body such as joints, skin and gut. (See the link further on down for more info).
Tip: Collagen protein can be hard to find in the UK so I get mine from amazon.
Collagen powder may sound strange but it’s a great protein and supplement to add to your diet if you’re trying to heal any gut issues due to its high content of glutamine, glycine and proline which help your mucosal lining “heal and seal” i.e. helps gut cell repair. Your gut lining renews itself frequently so any help it can get is good.
This recipe is also grain and refined sugar free which are big irritants to the gut, instead I’ve used baobab and lemon for flavour, lots of the goodness from the lemon is in the oils that come from the zest which also gives lots of flavour.
Baobab is a low sugar fruit powder that has a citrus like flavour and is filled with antioxidants and good vitamin C content, plus it tastes great when combined with tropical coconut. In addition, it also acts as a prebiotic which means it’s fuel for the good bugs in your gut. If you’ve never tried it before and have gut issues, try a small amount first to see how you tolerate it then make this recipe.
I’ve also added just a touch of raw local honey which is some of the best kind (and quite affordable), this is because when you consume raw local honey you also get pollen and microbes from your area which help you to digest food better, it can also help over the long term with seasonal allergies such as hay-fever by slowly allowing your body to build up a tolerance/defence to the local pollen and allergens. Get as local as you can and use it raw whenever you can (don’t plunge it straight into boiling tea).
-vit C in baobab helps reduce muscle soreness & provides antioxidant protection
-good fats (MCT’s) from coconut used quickly as energy and digested easily
-collagen protein for workout recovery and great for your joints + gut
-low in sugar & grain free
Although more studies need to be done, the combination of vitamin C and collagen protein may be helpful for ageing skin as vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to protect skin but also boosts collagen production by your own body, plus, getting collagen through your diet can be helpful as it depletes as we get older and it is one of the substances that keeps skin looking tight, young and with less wrinkles.
For a deeper understanding of collagen benefits see here where Dr Axe explains it further.
This stuff really is a dream to eat.
In fact, it’s so good that I rarely share it with anyone, normally I like to give my recipes to others to try and get feedback on them but when one turns out so delicious I usually just end up keeping it all to myself which is what happened with this one!
And yes, this IS healthy fudge!
Made from pure cashew butter which is rich in fibre and good fats but also provides a source of iron, when it’s combined with coconut oil and left to set it firms it up and gives a lovely, thick fudge like texture.
Add in the coarse salt for savoury contrast and some lucuma powder for a mild sugar free “caramel” like taste and you’re on to a winner.
Loco for lucuma
FYI, lucuma is a fruit that’s been slowly dried out and ground into a powder, it has a mild, sweet, almost caramel flavour which is why it works so well here, you can now get it online or in health food stores and I’ve even seen certain brands in the supermarkets!!
If you want to experiment with lower sugar recipes this is a great ingredient to have. I used Sevenhills wholefoods (find it on Amazon) organic lucuma as it was the brand lowest in overall natural sugar but other brands will work just the same.
It’s that festive time of year again and while I’ve had lots of ideas for recipes I wanted to make one that was easy for people to make so they wouldn’t be in the kitchen for ages (because there’s enough of that on xmas day anyway) but also one that was very accessible in terms of ingredients and is a bit of a healthier treat too. Enter, chocolate orange spiced fruit and nut slices!
These slices are tasty, have a satisfying bite, are vegan and grain free (check your choc to be sure), contain some antioxidants from the spice and dark chocolate, plus the fruit and nuts provide fibre which can be lacking in the indulgent festive food. This all means you can feel smug when tucking into them hehe.
If you’re familiar with my blog then you’ll know I’m a big fan of sneaking veg into recipes anytime I can, so you shouldn’t be surprised by the sound of a chickpea pudding, this one really works thanks to the strong flavours of PB & J, which is a classic itself but is given a healthy makeover in this recipe.
For the “jelly” in this recipe I used a fruit only sweetened jam and combined it with some high oleic peanut butter, which is a type of peanut that has a higher monounsaturated fat profile (similar to avocados!) which is healthier for the heart and also means they’re more stable during heating and won’t go rancid as quickly, plus it tastes amazing and really helps make the chickpeas taste delicious too!
This is such a nourishing, yummy recipe that although I called it a “pudding” I often have it for breakfast, hehehe, gives you something to get out of bed for!
What is a brookie I hear you ask?
It’s a cross between a brownie and a cookie, but my recipe doesn’t require any flour which produces a soft, moist centre and rich chocolatey taste PLUS you only need 3 ingredients which you probably already have in your cupboards.
No refined sugar
No flour or grains
No blender required
Which all means no excuses not to make these!
Whenever the cravings hit but you’ve no treats stashed away and it’s too late to go to the shops, whip up a batch of these soft, chocolatey treats, they can be made so easily and are practically guilt free! No weird ingredients, full of fibre and any leftovers make a great lunchbox addition.