I’m a firm believer that a little of what you fancy does you good.
If you’ve ever fixated on the bar of chocolate in the cupboard (I know I have!) I’m sure you’ll agree. The feeling of deprivation that arises when you don’t satisfy a craving and the guilt that rears its head when you do, are equally unpleasant. These emotional responses have no place in a healthy relationship with food. So what, if anything, is the solution?
Sometimes and for some people it may be as simple as taking a step back and considering the origin of the cravings. Is it hunger, an unfilled emotional need or something else that is driving our need for a certain food? If we can get to the root of craving we have a better chance of uprooting it and sowing the seeds of a healthy outlook on food. In some instances, the solution may be to scratch that itch (a little). So having a little chocolate and enjoying it free of guilt. Balance is everything.
A great way of addressing any cravings can be to create a nourishing riff on the ingredient you desire that satisfies it in a nourishing way. Best of both right?
This indulgent and nutritious Chocolate & Nut Porridge will allay even the strongest cravings for chocolate! I developed this recipe as part of an assignment for Sano School of Culinary Medicine’s Nutrition Coaching course to support blood sugar control. There is a large body of research suggesting that eating oats has a positive effect on the glucose profiles of type 2 diabetes sufferers and has the effect of improving insulin resistance. Oats are helpful in balancing blood sugar levels as they have a low glycaemic response which means that they won’t cause any rapid rises in blood sugar levels following consumption.
Oats, which are rich form of a dietary fibre called beta glucan, have also been clinically proven to lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of developing heart disease (just one of the ways that insulin resistance and/or metabolic syndrome manifests itself).
I’ve included hazelnuts and unsweetened almond butter not only because they taste scrumptious but also because they are functional in blood sugar support. As sources of protein, unsaturated fatty acids and fibre, nuts help to lower the glycaemic impact of any meal they are added to and can assist in regulating blood sugar levels.
Berries, another yummy addition, are powerful antioxidants and assist in blood sugar control by releasing glucose into the bloodstream slowly.
Raw cacao helps to satisfy the urge for chocolate whilst also providing another antioxidant hit!
What better way to satisfy chocolate cravings and starting the day could there be?
Chocolate & Nut Porridge with Mixed Berries
- 20g roasted hazelnuts
- 30-40g oats
- 20g raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon organic flaxseed, sunflower & pumpkin seeds
- 100ml unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Handful of washed blueberries and raspberries
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond butter
Finely chop, or in a food processor pulse, the hazelnuts.
Pour the coconut milk in a saucepan and heat gently before adding the hazelnuts, oats, raw cacao and cinnamon.
Mix well and cook until the liquid has been absorbed and the porridge has thickened. This should take no more than 3-4 minutes.
Remove the porridge from the heat and stir through the milled seeds and vanilla extract.
To serve, spoon the porridge into a small bowl and top with the berries and almond nut butter.
Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!