“What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.”
But let’s leave that last part for the weekends. Now take your minds of the gutter!! I mean in an over indulgence of pizza/chocolate/curry kinda’ way.
It is possible to get your hit of cocoa in a healthier way than the more obvious methods (such as horsing into a load of milk chocolate every night before bed – not a good idea on any level). Bare in mind also that this ultimate comfort food also contains many health benefits, such as reducing cholesterol, skin protection against the sun, treatment of brain injuries amongst many more.
Speaking of eating before bedtime here is a lesser known fact: yogurt contains tryptophan. What is this? Some sort of 22nd century robot? No it’s an amino acid which helps produce sleep-inducing and relaxing chemicals. Namely serotonin and melatonin. These 2 beauties have a calming effect on the brain to help you push out the Zzzz’s right through the night.
Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), – you know that fuzzy feeling you get when you are falling in love? That’s created not only in the heart but also by PEA in your brain. I could fall in love over and over again on a daily basis.
Love and sleep? Sounds a bit like a mad night out but no, not in my current life. I’m leaving this firmly in the noughties. Besides the obvious breakfast option, a small potion of natural yoghurt with a sprinkling of this choccie granola is a delicious healthy evening snack in place of a half packet of Rich Tea’s.
This is one of our favourite granola’s at the moment. I devised straight after our holiday’s in France. The kids got Coco pops as the ultimate holiday cereal & it got me a) in a panic with regards to how I’ll manage the whole holiday come down & b) slightly craving a chocolate cereal for myself all holiday long.
It’s super easy to make. The popped Quinoa is probably the only alien sounding ingredient on the list – but its readily available in any health food store. And it’s worth getting as it’s packed with protein, fibre and iron.
I hope you enjoy – it really does turn the milk chocolately!!
1 cup dates (I used deglet nour)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup pecans chopped
1/2 hazelnuts chopped
50g popped quinoa
4tbsp coconut oil
Pinch sea salt
75g desiccated coconut
100g raisins (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 160C.
Place the dates into a pan with 1 inch of water and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until all the water has been soaked up by the dates.
Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract to the pan and blitz using a stick blender until you have a paste.
Add the rest of you ingredients apart from the coconut to a large bowl. Mix them with the date paste.
Spread your mixture on a lined baking tray and place in pre-heated oven at 160C for 15 minutes.
Then turn the oven down to 110C and stir the mixture on the tray.
Cook for a further 30 minutes.
5 minutes before the end of cooking add the desiccated coconut and stir/mix granola again.
Once time is up remove from oven and leave to cook completely. Mix in raisins if using.
Store in an airtight container.
Enjoy as you would a cereal with milk or use as a topping for fruit/yoghurt bowls.
Your’s, wondering how it takes her so long to write anything up,