Tag Archives: chocolate

3 Courses of Chocolate

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY!!! To celebrate, I have created 3 courses of chocolate – all healthy recipes which provide numerous vitamins and minerals: spinach and pear salad with a chocolate vinaigrette for starter; steak with a chocolate and coffee sauce for main; and chocolate fruit pudding for dessert. I use 85% dark chocolate in all the recipes, which is high in antioxidants and minerals such as copper for iron metabolism and blood clots; and manganese for bone health and reducing inflammation. Enjoy!

Starter: Spinach and Pear Salad with Chocolate Vinaigrette

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pear
  • handful of spinach
  • 10g 85% dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 slices parma ham
  • 1 tsp honey

METHOD:

  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30s-1min, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey, season, and whisk to create the vinaigrette.
  3. Arrange the spinach, pear and pancetta on a plate, and cover in dressing.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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Pear – High in vitamin C for immune and antioxidant function, K for cell signalling, and potassium for fluid balance and electrolytes.

Spinach – providing vitamin K for cell signalling and vitamin A for eye function, as well as fibre for digestion.

Parma ham – High in protein and the B vitamins for carbohydrate and energy utilisation, and mineral phosphorus for bone and protein function.

Main: Steak with Chocolate and Coffee Sauce

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 140g (1 average) lean trimmed steak
  • 1 medium potato, cut into wedges
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 2 slices parma ham
  • 50ml white wine
  • 50ml fat free creme fraiche
  • 2 tbsp coffee (I used 1 tsp instant made up with water)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp pink peppercorns
  • 10g 85% dark chocolate

NUTRITION:Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 09.29.56.png

Beef – High in protein and low in fat, when the lean version is bought. It is also high in vitamin B3, B6 and B12 for energy release in respiration, and iron for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis and immune function.

Onion –  High in vitamin C for immune function, folic acid for DNA synthesis, and fibre for digestion.

Creme fraiche – contributes towards your protein and calcium requirements. Calcium is essential for bone growth and maintenance.

Parma ham – High in protein and the B vitamins for carbohydrate and energy utilisation, and mineral phosphorus for bone and protein function.

Spinach – providing vitamin K for cell signalling and vitamin A for eye function, as well as fibre for digestion.

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220/ 6.
  2. Mix 1 tsp of olive oil with the potato wedges and season. Bake for 40minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and sauté the onion until caramelised for 5minutes. Blitz in a blender with the white wine into a paste.
  4. Add the steak to the pan and fry on each side for 2 minutes on a high heat. Remove from the pan.
  5. Add the parma ham and fry until just crisping, then add the onion paste and heat through for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Return the beef to the pan along with the creme fraiche and peppercorns and cook until bubbling, then add the coffee, chocolate and thyme until simmering.
  7. Serve with spinach and the potato wedges.
  8. Enjoy!

Dessert: Chocolate Blueberry Pudding

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 150ml fat free greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 60g blueberry
  • half a banana
  • 1 tso 85% dark chocolate, grated
  • honey (optional, to make sweeter)

METHOD:

  1. Mix half the greek yoghurt with the cocoa powder.
  2. Serve in a tall glass tumbler, layering the cocoa yoghurt, fruit, and plain yoghurt.
  3. Top with chocolate shavings and a mint leaf.
  4. Enjoy!

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Yoghurt – contributes towards your protein and calcium requirements. Calcium is essential for bone growth and maintenance.

Blueberries – Containing iron for oxygen transfer, phosphorus for bone structure, and magnesium for nerve transmission and DNA replication.

Banana – High in potassium for fluid balance and muscle contraction, and containing naturally occurring sugars to keep your energy up for longer!

Frozen Pineapple Chocolate Rings

Yummy yummy yummy – a great way to get one of your 5-a-day whilst having a little treat!

Makes 6 rings (I may have eaten one before I took the photo….)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pineapple
  • 100g chocolate
  • Other toppings – see ideas at the bottom

METHOD:

  1. Cut the pineapple into 6 slices, removing the skin and the middle.
  2. Freeze overnight.
  3. When frozen, melt the chocolate in a bowl above a saucepan of simmering water.
  4. Dip the rings in the chocolate, and cover with any other toppings – this will have to be done quickly if the chocolate is to be used as a ‘sticking agent’ as the frozen pineapple will cause the chocolate to harden quickly.
  5. Eat immediately or stick in the freezer for keeping.
  6. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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This is the nutrition information per basic ring covered in chocolate – additional toppings mean additional calories and macronutrients so please take this into consideration.

Topping ideas:

  • Desiccated coconut
  • Chopped macadamia nuts
  • Chopped dried mango
  • Chopped glace cherries
  • Coconut and chopped pecan nuts
  • Glace cherries and mini marshmallows
  • Raspberry sauce

Banana Chocolate Lollipops

These healthy alternatives to ice cream are both delicious AND fun to make!

Makes 6 lollipops

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 bananas
  • 100g chocolate
  • Other toppings – see ideas at the bottom

METHOD:

  1. Cut the bananas into halves and push lollipop sticks or skewers into the bottom.
  2. Freeze overnight.
  3. When frozen, melt the chocolate in a bowl above a saucepan of simmering water.
  4. Dip the bananas in the chocolate, and cover with any other toppings – this will have to be done quickly if the chocolate is to be used as a ‘sticking agent’ as the frozen banana will cause the chocolate to harden quickly.
  5. Eat immediately or stick in the freezer for keeping.
  6. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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The above information is for just the banana dipped in chocolate, additional macronutrients and calories will be added with additional toppings.

Topping ideas:

  • Peanuts and melted peanut butter (in picture)
  • Honeycomb and chocolate pieces (in picture)
  • Peanut butter and salt (in picture)
  • Sprinkles
  • Crushed pistachio nuts
  • Crushed hazelnuts and Nutella
  • Lotus spread and crushed lotus biscuits
  • Nut butter and jam

Peanut Butter Treat Brownies

Okay okay okay – so if we eat a BALANCED we should be allowed little treats now and again. So here one is – gooey peanut butter brownies!

Makes 16

INGREDIENTS:

  • 225g crunchy peanut butter
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 280g brown sugar
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 3 eggs

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160/4.
  2. Heat 175g of the peanut butter, 150g of the dark chocolate and all of the sugar in a pan on a high heat until the sugar has just melted (this should take around 10minutes). Stir occasionally so that the sugar can caramelise.
  3. Leave the mixture for around 5minutes to cool and then add the eggs, stirring with a wooden spoon.
  4. Sieve in the flour and combine.
  5. Pour into a greased 20cm cubed tin and bake for 30minutes.
  6. Melt the remainder of the peanut butter, and drizzle onto the cooked brownies. Do the same with the remainder of the chocolate.
  7. Enjoy! (Not in excess).

NUTRITION

Compared to most other brownies, these are actually fairly low in calories and fat, most probably because peanut butter has replaced the butter that would have been added!