So as we’re nearing the end of January, how’s everyone feeling? Happy, healthy, even a little virtuous maybe? Are you sticking to those resolutions or have you chucked them out with the Christmas Tree? However you’re feeling, I hope that everything is hunky dory and good!
Me…? Well, I’ve been kicking my butt at home, in the gym and in the office, and without sounding like I’m blowing my trumpet a little too much, I’m feeling fan-flipping-tastic! If I get past the 6am dragging myself off to the gym or the pool, but focus on the getting to work at 8am and feeling on top of the World after a workout, life is pretty good!
Even my tummy is happy, it doesn’t crave all the ‘naughty but nice’ things I usually do; the combination of the exercise, finding new things to eat and the added bonus of dropping weight (but that’s for another post) has given me the motivation to try and find healthier options to those things that if I’m going to crave… I’ll crave big-style. And if you’ve read any of the posts on the blog, you’ll know that if there is one thing I really can’t do without it’s chocolate!
But then the very lovely people at Anthropologie sent me a goodie box full of fabulous things to keep me spurred on and give even the ‘naughtiest of naughty treats’ a healthy make-over.
I must admit that more often than not, a lot of recipes in “healthy, clean eating” style books tend to be ruled out of my remit; nuts and bananas tend to be the main-stay of bulking out and adding proteins etc. But alas for someone with an allergy to both, it’s just not going to happen. However, amongst my Anthropologie goodie box, nestled a beautiful book “Healthy Every Day” by Dale Pinnock – one of the UK’s leading Nutritionists a.k.a The Healthy Chef!
Drawn in by the stunning photography… the way to this Girl’s stomach if definitely through her eyes, I trawled through the pages, over and over again, and made a mental list of everything I wanted to give a go. Dale’s “Healthy Every Day” is pretty much what it says; a beautiful collection of everyday recipes, simple but healthy, and at the top of each recipe page is a little science-y guide to it’s benefits. Whether it’s “Good For:” your skin, bones, high blood pressure, sleep problems etc., so you know that each recipe hasn’t just been developed for the prettiness on the page and plate, but for what it can do for you on the inside. At the end of the day, if we’re healthy on the inside, it radiates out and we feel healthy on the outside too.
That said, I suppose I’m always naturally drawn to anything sweet, and we know that usually means chocolate; so coming across Dale’s “Sesame Chocolate Fudge” seemed like a little piece of heaven.
The method in my madness at leaving all the other recipes to one side and going feet-first into something chocolate-y was that I thought that at the end of a gym session, this would be the perfect treat. Chocolate – check, healthy – check, win-win! Also I was in the middle of another bout of the Christmas lurgy, and Dale’s recipe claimed to be a boost for my immune system. I’ll give anything a go once if it will help me fend off that yucky feeling. Not feeling great also meant anything quick and simple to put together was going to be a bonus; and so 3 basic ingredients, 1 simple recipe, 10 minutes prep and a chill over night, the ‘Sesame Chocolate Fudge’ was done.
I’ll be honest, once I’d got this all together and really to chill I wasn’t entirely sure I’d made the right decision; the over-whelming sesame smell every time I opened the fridge probably didn’t help. And in hindsight, it’s probably because I think I might have over-roasted my sesame seeds. Doh! Otherwise, for a raw, chocolatey fudge alternative, these work really well and hit the spot. You wouldn’t want a huge piece of sesame fudge, unlike full-fat, full-sugar fudge where I just want to stuff the lot in the my mouth. But with this, it’s more about a quick grab which gives you the fudgy texture without all the ‘naughty’ things.
I’d probably give these another go, and divert a little from the pure health side of things, I wonder if adding some fruit into them would be ok? Some yogi berries, dried cranberries or sour cherries, just to give them a little sweetness. Maybe? Would it work, possibly. But in the meantime, I’m going to go back to my list of recipes and try out some others to completely fend off this lurgy!
“The Medicinal Chef: Healthy Every Day” by Dale Pinnock is out now, published by Quadrille, and is available from Anthropologie, priced £18.99. With thanks to Anthropologie who kindly gifted me a copy of the book to review and kitchen equipment to create with.