Dessert is like a feel-good song and the best ones make you dance.
Anyone who knows me well will attest that I love chocolate (a.k.a. desserts) and I simply don’t deprive myself of this food group in any way, shape or form. What is life if you can’t enjoy the sweet pleasure of God-gifted foods like the cacao bean, right? In fact, I’ll take it a step further and say, when we choose high quality comfort foods to nourish our bodies with, we are in fact growing our self-care, self-awareness and self-love practice. Moreover, when we acknowledge and accept the feelings and emotions connected to our cravings, we better understand our body and what it is trying to tell us. This awareness empowers us with the opportunity to better sustain our body, whether the cravings occur in times of heavier stress (a.k.a. magnesium deficiency) or the special one week of flow all women are blessed with (a.k.a. time to increase iron rich foods). In this post I will teach you how to:
1) break up with bad ingredients
2) carefully select your healthy, self-care ingredients and …
3) I will share my top five go-to comfort foods.
Other posts that relate to this topic:
Say “Good-Bye” to these Ingredients
When choosing your comfort foods it is imperative to steer clear of filler ingredients, which are simply not foods at all. In fact, they are empty calories and ultimately, do not serve our highest, most gorgeous self.
- Soy Lecithin (often GMO + sprayed with Round-Up, a known carcinogen)
- Conventional Dairy (pumped with hormones, antibiotics, fed GMO’s)
- Sugar (GMO + sprayed with Round-Up, a known carcinogen)
- Man-made Sugar Substitutes (Splenda, Aspartame, Sucralose)
- Conventional Wheat (GMO + sprayed with Round-Up, a known carcinogen)
- Conventional Corn (GMO + sprayed with Round-Up, a known carcinogen)
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (highly unstable, highly processed and causes inflammation in the body)
- Natural Flavors (Could mean anything, including a beaver’s butt or bug juice and I’m not kidding. Natural may not mean organic, nor something you would eat if you knew what it was)
- Artificial Coloring (Could be derived from anything synthetic, including chemicals and dyes)
*GMO = Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a lab through genetic engineering. This creates combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. (NON-GMO Project)
Say “Hello” to these Ingredients
A healthy diet can most certainly include comfort foods, but it is essential to choose the best, nutrient dense, real-food ingredients and/or find a way to make the comfort food yourself. Below are the best sweeteners and real-food ingredients you want to look for when choosing your healthy indulgence.
- Coconut Sugar
- Organic Raw Honey
- Maple Syrup
- Dates/Date syrup
- Sweet Potatoes/Yams
- Fruit (bananas & apple sauce are great as sugar substitutes in recipes)
- Stevia (a plant in the mint family that is sweet)
- Cacao (not cocoa)
- Cane Sugar (choose organic and use sparingly, due to the effect on blood sugar/stress hormones)
- Agave (this can be highly processed and is high on the glycemic index, so should be consumed in smaller amounts)
5 Healthy Dessert Options for Self-Love & Self-Care Cultivation
When you choose whole food ingredients for your comfort foods, your body will be 1) nourished, 2) energized and 3) you won’t be bogged down with feelings of guilt for over-indulging on empty calories. Instead, you will be proud of yourself for choosing the best for your body and cultivating your self-care and self-love practice. So no more polluting our bodies with with natural flavors, soy lecithin, and conventional dairy. Let’s get to the real-food, yummy dessert goodness that our bodies deserve. (This post is not sponsored)
*Health Tip: pair the below desserts with fibrous fruits, like berries or 1/2 banana, and/or nuts and seeds to balance macronutrients (protein + fat + carbohydrates) and blood sugar levels.
1. Heavenly Organics Mint Patties
To be honest, if I don’t have time to make a healthy dessert, these patties are my go-to chocolate source. The best part is there are only 3 ingredients: raw organic white honey, unsweetened organic dark chocolate and peppermint oil. Raw organic honey is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet according to the book Medical Medium: Life Changing Foods and boasts benefits such as: elimination of pathogens, protection against radiation and anti-cancer properties. I find these lovelies at my local Sprouts or Raley’s supermarket. You can also find them here.
2. Coconut Secret Chocolate
It is best to choose chocolate that is 70%+ cacao, simply due to the fact that it will contain higher amounts of antioxidants and minerals and less sweetener. I love this chocolate because it not only satisfies the chocolate yearning, but after one to two small tabs of chocolate, my craving is completely satisfied without the need to overindulge. On top of this, these bars are sweetened with coconut sugar, which won’t spike your blood sugar, they are soy free and do not contain GMO’s. Find them here.
3. Coconut Chocolate Cookies
If you have the time, these cookies are so delicious and require minimal ingredients. Ingredients: 1 mashed banana, 3/4 c. shredded unsweetened coconut, 2 tbs. organic honey and 1 bar of 100% cacao. Method: Stir banana and shredded coconut, form into hearts or circles and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Next, melt 100% cacao with 1-2 tbs organic honey over a double boiler. Once cookies are finished baking and cool, dip in melted chocolate, place on a parchment lined dish, refrigerate for 20 minutes at viola…yummy, healthy cookies!
4. HU Chocolate Bar
I absolutely love this line of chocolate and the philosophy behind the brand: Get Back to Human! Basically, these words remind us that food should be natural, edible and made for humans, not made for polluting our bodies. We are meant to eat nutrient-dense, earth foods that enable our bodies to thrive, flourish and energize. And because this line of chocolate bars is made from ingredients like quinoa, almond and cashew butter, pure vanilla bean, cacao and mint, there is no reason why we can’t enjoy the real-food pleasures of life and support our self-care practice too. Find the line of bars here.
5. Chocolate Balls
These balls may not look like much, but they are sure to impress your taste buds. Ingredients: 1 c. almond meal, 1/4 c. raw cacao powder (not cocoa), 4 tbs. maple syrup, 1/2 tsp. chaga powder (optional). Directions: 1) Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined. 2) Form mixture into balls and place on decorative plate. 3) Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days. I eat these chocolate balls with my smoothies in the morning for extra protein. I have them for a snack with fruit for an added protein boost and I will also just save them for my dessert in the evening because they are satisfying with a banana and a relaxing bed-time tea.
Cheers to self-care and self-love through healthy desserts!
William, A. (2016). “Medical Medium: Life Changing Foods.” Hay House, Inc., Carlsbad, CA