Tag Archives: chocolate

A tasty, heart healthy, Valentine’s treat

February is Heart Awareness month. With that in mind, and also knowing the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach (and a women’s is through chocolate) I’ve put together a little sweet treat that’s a bit healthier than your standard brownie. The fat comes from Avocado and the sugar is mostly from maple syrup. It’s choc full of nuts (almonds and peanuts) and has a few sexy seeds thrown in for good measure. Most of all though, they taste absolutely fantastic. They are a treat, but one you shouldn’t feel too guilty about as the high protein content from the nuts and seeds will keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Ingredients

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1 ripe avocado                                                     60g smooth peanut butter

75g dark brown sugar                                       1 tsp vanilla essence

30g cocoa                                                              1 large egg

30g Raw cacao                                                     50g Dried Cherries (or goji berries or cranberries)

150 g ground almonds                                      A handful of whatever seeds you fancy (I’ve used

100 ml of maple syrup                                          pumpkin seeds and flax seeds in this one)

 

Preheat oven to 180C/160c Fan/Gas 4. Line a 20cm/20cm tin with grease proof paper

Scoop out the flesh of the avocado into a bowl and mash it up (discard the stone and skin)

Now this is the tricky bit….throw everything else in the bowl and mix. How simple is that? If it seems too thick add a few tablespoons of water and mix again until you have an even consistency (with dried fruit and seeds in).

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Spoon into the lined tin and try to level the top off as best you can – mine always looks a bit lumpy, but I’m OK with that.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

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Cut into squares and enjoy x

 

 

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 14

Two weeks into December – it’s going fast.

Hopefully you’re feeling a little more organised after our day yesterday – I know I am.

I feel like I did something good – maybe I need a reward? Maybe you do to?

Today – treat yourself.

Part of self care is rewarding yourself for a job well done. If you’ve been following this months posts and completing them as you go, then you’ve done a good job. If you’ve not read any of them (yet) then you may well have done other things that need a little reward. Then again, maybe you haven’t done anything that needs a treat….but maybe you deserve one anyway? Only you know that.

What constitutes a treat?

For me there are a couple of rules.

  1. It must not be something you do every day. That’s not a treat, that’s a routine.
  2. It should be a little indulgent.
  3. You should enjoy it.

That’s it. It doesn’t have to cost money, it doesn’t have to take loads of time, it doesn’t have to involve giving up on other promises that you’ve made to yourself (like eating healthily) and it doesn’t have to involve anyone else – but it can if you want it to.

Some of the things I like to do include…

Turning off all the electronics, snuggling under a blanket and spending a few hours reading a book I like.

Doing my nails nicely. Maybe even cracking out the nail art and sticking a few sparkly bit on there.

Looking after my feet – the full pedicure experience. Soaking them in hot water with nice bath salts in, giving them a good scrub, filing the nails, lots of lovely foot cream and finishing with a lovely nail varnish.

Lighting candles or incense and making the house smell gorgeous.

Going out to a restaurant for a really amazing meal.

Having a box set binge – getting loads of episodes of a great series and watching them back to back (most recently Gilmore Girls – thank you Netflix!)

Putting on an album that I haven’t listened to for ages and have a crazy (private) dance to it.

Going to the beauty department at a local store and getting a free makeover.

Organising a catch up with friends.

Some of these things cost money, some do not. Some of them will appeal to you, some will not. The idea is not for you to do the things on my list, but to create one of your own. You should choose things that fit with what you want to do. How you want to indulge yourself.

If you think about traditional advent calendars, they tend to contain chocolate behind every door. I have a little problem with that. Apart from the fact that you probably shouldn’t be eating chocolate every day (it’s a treat not a staple food group) it’s so samie…the same thing every day just doesn’t cut it. Think of treats that you really want and use them sparingly, but make sure you use them…You’re worth it!

 

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