Got the post holiday blues… or should I say bloat? January marks the official end to the holiday indulging and it can be a bit of a downer. I mean let’s be honest— New Year’s Resolutions aside, sometimes you just want something sweet to get you through the afternoon, to enjoy with a movie or to cap off the night, even if you did over do it during the holidays.
I’ll be the first to admit that I could use a January detox, but I’d still like to be able to satisfy those sweet and salty cravings when they roll around. So here are three of my favourite treats that you can indulge in and enjoy, while still feeling healthy and ‘on track’ with any New Year’s Resolutions related to eating better, getting in shape and the like:
If you’ve never had kale, chips are a great way to be introduced to this delicious, iron-rich veggie.
Get yourself a good bunch of green, leafy kale; wash and dry it off; rip the leaves from the stem; then toss the leaves into a big bowl. Drizzle with about a teaspoon of olive oil and work the oil into the leaves, then add some salt and any other spices you fancy (my favourite is a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a cheesy kick). Then place the leaves onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes or so (don’t worry if it looks like a lot of kale – it’ll shrink down as it cooks and you’ll regret it if you don’t cook up the whole bunch). Be sure to check on the kale about halfway through and give the chips a stir. They should be golden and crispy when they’re done.
But not the microwaveable kind from the store – that doesn’t count. I’m talking kernels. Get yourself a big ‘ol bag and bust out the popcorn popper. Don’t have one? Not to worry, all you need is a brown paper bag and you’ve got yourself a home-made (and much healthier) version of the microwaveable popcorn.
For a single serving, pour 1/4 – 1/3 cup of kernels into the popper, or if you’re microwaving, into a brown paper bag and then into the microwave for about 3 minutes, until the kernels stop popping. Then, if you can afford to splurge on a small bottle, drizzle a wee bit of truffle oil over the popcorn. If you’re not a fan of truffle oil or it’s not in your budget, go for some olive oil instead. Next, sprinkle with sea salt (and a bit of pepper, if you’re into that) or mix things up and experiment with a few different seasonings—cocoa powder or cinnamon if you’re craving sweet, or some Cajun seasoning or nutritional yeast to keep things savoury.
Sometimes you just need a chocolate fix. Enough said. So here’s a chocolate pudding recipe I happened upon that does the trick, while still packing in enough nutrition to be considered healthy.
First things first, you’ll need to have a peeled bananas and avocados on hand in the freezer, so you’re ready when that chocolate craving hits. Then all you have to do is pour a cup of milk (almond, soy or the regular stuff) into a blender or magic bullet, add your frozen banana and half an avocado, about 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, a few pitted dates (or sub dates for some maple syrup or agave), half a teaspoon of vanilla, a dash of sea salt if you’ve got it on hand, and a couple ice cubes. Blend until smooth, then top with shredded coconut and chopped nuts.
With these three delicious treats, you can have your cake and eat it too. Enjoy!
All featured images (including snacks) found on Pinterest.