Today I bring my favorite news:
You do not have to give up dessert to be healthy, vibrant & love yourself!
Oh hell yeah!
I wouldn’t want to live in a world without chocolate – it’s one of my favorite things EVER.
High quality dark chocolate, especially raw, is actually one of the best sources of flavanols.
Flavanols are powerful antioxidants & luckily for us, it seems that cocoa powder + extracts are even better antioxidants than, for example, red wine, garlic or strawberries.
Studies suggest that dark chocolate & cocoa are awesome because:
- flavanols in cocoa are bioavailable; they enter our circulation
- may act cardioprotective
- inhibit LDL oxidation
- can improve insulin sensitivity
- have positive impact on blood pressure
- can weaken platelet reactivity
- increase plasma antioxidant power
- can reduce LDL cholesterol + increase HDL cholesterol
- possible benefits to cognitive performance
- may reduce inflammation
- boosts endorphin & serotonin production → boosts mood (thanks to tryptophan, anandamide & phenylethylamine)
Nutrients dark chocolate & cocoa provide us with are:
Super important: become a chocolate snob.
Yes, I’ve said it, loud & clear! Meaning, choose your chocolate wisely & look down on the inferior ones, avoiding them as much as possible.
Wise choices are chocolates of the highest quality. The higher the cocoa procent, the better – no less than 70%. Raw varieties are minimally processed = highest flavonoid amounts. As always, check out the ingredients; the less the better. Ideally, no more than 3 are needed: cocoa, cocoa butter & small amounts of sugar (coconut or whole cane sugar if possible).
I know, if you’re just starting out your well being + healthy nutrition journey, switching to like 85% chocolate may seem overwhelming, but trust me, you’ll love it. It’s so much richer in taste, you can let it melt in your mouth and actually feel the chocolate, not only sugar. It’s fantastic! Therefore, becoming a chocolate snob is a fun & easy job – lets be real, I’m asking you to get the best chocolate & eat it super mindfully. If that’s not awesome advice to hear for your health, I don’t know what is.
Note: this doesn’t mean you should restrict yourself & put any kind of chocolate to forbidden foods. It just means to give healthier options a try, while allowing yourself to eat any kind of chocolate if you wish to.
Back to our brownies, my mom used to make them often, but I did put a healthy spin on it – whole grain spelt flour, sexy chocolate, no refined sugar, no tons of butter or oil. What I kept is simple + quick. Thanks mom!
I find them extremely satisfying, you won’t need much; rich taste of chocolate & fiber to help maintaining fullness.
Gotta tell you, I’ve tried using olive oil since it’s my absolute favorite (what can I say, Mediterranean soul), but combined with yogurt is a no-go for me, so I choose coconut oil.
WHY YOU SHOULD EAT IT:
- Dark chocolate + cocoa: as said, cocoa is a beautiful miracle food made to make us happy & healthy!
- Joghurt: easy & delicious boost to our protein intake, packed with easily digestible proteins. Also, proteins in yogurt help mineral absorption, which comes in pretty handy considering that yogurt contains large amounts of calcium, as well as other minerals (magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, selenium). Perfect companion for our beautiful melt-in-the-mouth brownies.
- Coconut oil: vitamin E
- Whole grain spelt flour: richer in proteins, iron, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, zinc, as well as unsaturated fatty acids then whole grain wheat flour (although you can use whole grain wheat flour as well). Delicious source of fiber, thiamin & niacin (which are important for metabolism, energy conversion & nerve system).
EASY YOGURT BROWNIES
Chocolate, fabulous chocolate! One bowl, easy to make delightful dessert or snack.
- 2 cups (500g) yogurt
- 2 cups (250g) whole grain spelt flour*
- 1 tbsp (15g) baking powder
- 3 tbsp (30g) cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp (20g) whole cane sugar*
- 2 oz (ca. 50ml) coconut oil melted
- 2/3 cups (100g) dark chocolate, minimum 70%*
- 1 tbsp butter*
- ca. 11 tbsp (80ml) milk*
Preheat the oven at 350°F or 180°C
In a bowl, combine yogurt, flour, baking powder, cocoa, sugar & oil.
Mix with a hand mixer until combined.
Pour the batter into a 11 x 7 inch (30 x 20cm) parchment lined baking pan & bake for ca. 20 mins. Insert a toothpick; if it comes out clean, they're done.
A few minutes before brownies are done, combine chocolate pieces, butter & milk in a small sauce pan & melt over a medium heat.
Frost brownies while they're still hot.
Wait to cool & enjoy!
- You can also use whole grain wheat flour
- Sub for coconut sugar
- You can also use 85% or mix 70% + 85%
- Use any milk you like; cow, nut, oat. Also feel free to add a bit more milk if you'd like your frosting runnier
- Soya yogurt works great as well - I'd expect other vegan yogurts to work fine too
What’s your favorite way to enjoy brownies?
I love mine as a snack with fresh berries & nuts, and of course, a bit of coffee!
What’s your favorite chocolate? Are you a chocolate snob already?
Don’t forget to to snap a pic & post it on Instagram using #ninasempire !! I LOVE seeing your creations, it makes my day!
Lots of love,