Food plus joy equals good health!

Healthy Eating

A healthy eating regime will boost your energy levels, support your immune system, enhance your insulin sensitivity, and promote a well-functioning body. However, despite the long list of accolades, many people perceive healthy eating takes more effort than it brings in benefits. Therefore, they continue to feed themselves on diets high in saturated fats, trans fats, salts and sugars because they have convinced themselves that these types of foods are more enjoyable.

 

On the other hand there are those who dive into healthy eating with ease. What is it about people who eat healthfully with little effort? Why is it so easy for them and such a struggle for others?

 

A healthy eating lifestyle for many people looks like a lifestyle without any kind of fun. They see it as slogging through boring meals of leaves, tasteless vegetable protein, twigs, berries and avoiding eating in restaurants. With a mindset like this it’s no wonder that these individuals don't want to choose a healthy eating lifestyle. After all why live a long miserable life? But they are mistaken!

 

A healthy diet should be enjoyable as well as providing a good balance of nutrients. Eating is more than just about nutrition. Pleasure and enjoyment should also be a goal of healthy eating. In Norway, for example, the government’s healthy eating campaign has the message "Food+Joy=Health!". Healthy eating is also about promoting well being in a way that can’t be measured by fitness tests - this is as important to overall health as the nutrients in the food.

 

A sustainable healthy eating program begins with reframing, i.e. changing, the way you think about healthy eating. For starters (no pun intended), you don't have to get stuck on bland food because there are many smart ways to make healthy meals and snacks more enjoyable. Rather than a lack of food, it is a lack of imagination and understanding that tend to be the biggest reasons why people don't want to remain on a healthy eating regime.

 

Today,you can buy more or less any food from anywhere in the world. Even if you live in remote areas, there is mail order and shops deliver (often with no additional charge), so there really is no excuse to sit there picking over a limp salad when it comes to preparing healthy meals.

 

What’s more if you don’t know what to cook or prepare the quick and easy help is literally at your finger tips: next to cats, the second most popular thing on the Internet is food. There is no shortage of people preparing all manner of healthy dishes for you to try. If your reason for not eating healthily is that you are short of time, you can bulk prepare and freeze meals in advance.

 

Jacques Torres, the French chef and cook book author, said; "Life is short. Eat dessert first!" So here are two healthy dessert recipes to put you on the right track for an enjoyable experience of healthy eating. And we all love a good dessert, right?

 

Frozen Fruit ice cream

This delicious alternative way of making ice cream has no added sugar and is also dairy free (so it’s great for people who don’t have dairy in their diets).

 

Ingredients:

  • Bananas (1 or 2)
  • Frozen berries of your choice (try adding some red berries for added antioxidants and vitamins A and C)

 

Instructions:

  1. Cut the bananas into chunks and freeze for at least 12 hours.
  2. Put the frozen banana chunks into a food processor along with the frozen berries of your choice – cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, goji berries etc..Use a food processor that is capable for blending ice.
  3. Blend until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy, just like ice cream.

Note: A high concentration of berries will make the mixture more like sorbet. Using fewer berries and more banana will make it more creamy like traditional ice cream.

 

Blueberry sweet potato truffles with raw chocolate ganache

The natural sweetness of sweet potatoes makes them an ideal ingredient for healthy desserts, because they can substitute refined sugars or artificial sweeteners. Rich in vitamin A, C B6, B5 and B3, they also contain the antioxidant beta-carotene and potassium. The raw chocolate ganache adds a touch of indulgence, in keeping with the healthy and enjoyable ethos.

Ingredients for truffles:

  • 3 small-medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup, roughly copped, raw almonds
  • 1 cup dried copped dates
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Small pinch of sea salt

Coating:

Dried blueberries

Instructions:

  1. Wash sweet potatoes and bake in an oven at 350 degrees F/gas mark 4/180 degrees C
  2. for 30-40 minutes until they are very soft and the natural sugars start to caramelise on the outside.
  3. Cool at room temperature until they are comfortable to handle.
  4. Put sweet potatoes and remaining ingredients into a high-speed food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth and forms a dough.
  5. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions. Chill the portions in the freezer for 5 minutes to make it easier to work. Then use each portion to create six small truffle balls by rolling them in the palm of your hand.
  6. Chill the balls in the freezer for about 15 minutes until cool and firm,
  7. Sprinkle the dried blueberries on grease-proof paper. Roll each truffle in the blueberries to coat.

Ingredients for raw chocolate ganache:

  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Small pinch of sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Mix melted coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder together to create a thick chocolate sauce. (Note: More melted coconut oil can be added if the ganache appears too thick).
  2. Pour ganache into a shallow dish and roll each truffle in the mixture to coat completely.
  3. Put coated truffles on grease proof paper, making sure they don’t touch.
  4. Chill for about 20 minutes or until chocolate coating is hardened.
  5. Keep cool until served to ensure the chocolate coating remains hard.
  6. The truffles can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator until required.