I’m hugely into nutrition and healthy eating…but I have a very sweet tooth!
I’m also a big believer in treating yourself a couple of times a week as we all need something to look forward to! The 80/20 approach really works for Fainche and I – we try to eat good, healthy unprocessed food as much as possible during the week and then we factor in a couple of treats into the weekend to stop us going crazy! Seriously though we find that a ‘cheat’ meal or two stops us craving the ‘bad’ stuff and keeps us satisfied. It’s easier to be healthy during the week when you have indulged a bit at the weekend!
Since I have a sweet tooth my biggest temptation is usually chocolate, so I make variations of clean desserts using cacao powder (raw unprocessed chocolate). Some previous recipes are up here on the blog including our favourite avocado chocolate mousse. I’ve discovered another delicious use for cacao recently though so I thought I would share my newest favourite dessert with you. This is amazing and really hits the spot if you need a chocolate fix! Its rich and gooey but also has lots of nutrients and goodness – more about that below.
First the recipe for my Protein pancakes with Gooey Clean Chocolate Sauce….
For the protein pancakes:
Half a banana mashed (just use a fork)
Whites of two eggs
Half a scoop of oats
Teaspoon of vanilla protein powder (I love Sunwarrior vegan vanilla protein)
Teaspoon or so of coconut oil
For the gooey clean chocolate sauce
About a fifth of a tin of coconut milk (I use the light version)
3 tablespoons of cacao (I’m used to cacao now and like it’s strong taste but if you have only started using it then try two tablespoons or even less and then add more if you want a richer flavour. Some people can find it a bit bitter at first but the stevia balances it out.)
2 (generous!) tablespoons of stevia (Again add more if you like it sweeter) I get my stevia granules in SuperValu
Chopped almonds and walnuts for the topping
1. Whisk the mashed banana, egg whites, protein powder and oats in a small bowl.
2. Heat coconut oil in a (good!) non stick pan and pour in the batter.
3. Fry on a high heat (about 4 to start off) until golden brown. Flip over (you may need to add more coconut oil for this side).
4. Pour the coconut oil into a heavy bottom saucepan. Add the cacao powder and stevia granules and stir together until it starts to bubble. Allow it to thicken a bit then take off the heat.
5. Pop your pancake on a plate, pour the gooey clean chocolate sauce over it and then sprinkle crushed walnuts and almonds on top.
Heaven on a plate…. 😉
AND it’s good for me?!
This is considered a ‘clean’ dessert as its non-processed and made from natural ingredients. That’s not to say it’s low fat – it does contain fats but they are the good ones. Good fats actually speed up your metabolism and have loads of other great benefits for your body. Read more about that in a previous blog post here.
With this dessert you know exactly what you are putting into your body – there are no chemicals, fake sugars or trans fats.
It also has a lot more nutrients than your average dessert..! Cacao powder is a powerful antioxidant which is full of essential nutrients like magnesium, iron and zinc. These are great for anyone who is training and also for women who can often be lacking in iron. Zinc helps strengthen the immune system and is great for skin problems. So between the antioxidants, zinc and good fats this dessert is actually a real beauty booster! Oh and the almonds also contain vitamin E which again is great for skin!
Coconut milk contains lauric acid which is a highly effective antibacterial that destroys disease in the body. Coconut milk is classified as saturated fat but it unusual in the fact that it has a different effect on the body than most saturated fats. It contains Medium Chain Fatty Acids (known as MCFA’s) which are quickly metabolised in the liver. So unlike other saturated fats (like those in cream or butter for instance) they are used up much more quickly by the body and are not inclined to be stored as fat. So in other words the fat from this dessert will be used for energy and won’t go straight to your tummy!
Stevia is a natural plant sugar which means it wont spike your blood sugar levels like refined sugar and you need less of it to get the sweet taste.
Egg whittes are a great source of protein as are walnuts and almonds. So this is a good cheat meal for post training as it will help to refuel the muscles.
So there is absolutely no need to feel guilty for eating these when you consider all that 😉
Give them a try and let us know what you think!
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