You see the word “indulge” and automatically feelings of guilt conjure up. For some reason, “indulging” has come to be something associated with negative connotations. In saying that, nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill is a strong believer of doing just that on occasion (minus the guilt) and highlights the importance of enjoying a “naughty” treat every now and then.
“Food deprivation only serves to make you want that particular food even more than normal,” says Jacqueline. “When you can’t have it, you want it! And there are higher chances you’ll overeat if you deprive and finally give in. The healthier option is [ridding yourself] of food deprivation and enjoy all foods moderately, focusing on healthier swaps in your treats to enrich the nutrition too.”
So, how do you go about enjoying a slightly healthier indulgence? As Jacqueline suggests, it’s all about making those healthy swaps.
“Focus firstly on what you can do instead of what you can’t do or can’t have,” she says. “That’s always my message in nutrition. [For example] if you love banana cake, then look at what ingredients you can swap to improve the nutritional value so you can still enjoy a slice.”
“This might be using fruits such as dates instead of raw sugar or perhaps instead of a plain white flour, opting for another mix (White Wings now offers a great wholesome blend of oat, millet, wheat and coconut flours which I love).”
“If chocolate is your thing then start selecting the more nutritious variations available with raw cacao, coconut oil, and natural sweeteners.”
“If savoury floats your boat, then bake your own sweet potato or parsnip chips when the hankering for wedges hits or use pita crisps instead of potato chips. And, as always be conscious and engaged with your food. You can enjoy a healthier indulgence, or an indulgence full stop if you connect to your food, appreciate and enjoy it for what it is. That’s the healthiest way.”
Keep scrolling for one of our favourite sweet recipes by Jacqueline below. It’s rich in essential fats, plant-based proteins, fibre and Vitamin C—and the strawberry compote gives it an extra boost of flavour!
RECIPE: HONEY ALMOND LOAF WITH STRAWBERRY COMPOTE
GF : DF : RSF Ingredients
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup olive oil or coconut oil, melted
4 eggs, whisked
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125ml lemon juice, approx 2 lemons
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups desiccated coconut
3 cups almond meal Strawberry compote
1 punnet (250g) strawberries, leaves trimmed and quartered
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extra extract
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons water
To serve: fresh figs Method
1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease 4 mini loaf tins+ (15x8cm) with coconut or olive oil.
2. In a food processor blend together honey, oil, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, zest, bicarb and baking powder until creamy.
3. Add desiccated coconut and almond meal and blend again.
4. Pour mixture into mini loaf tins (or muffin tin) and bake for 35-40 minutes in the middle of the oven (this will prevent the top becoming too brown).
5. Once cooked allow to cool 20 minutes in the tin, before transferring to a rack and cooling completely.
6. Whilst loaves are cooking, make the strawberry compote.
7. lace all compote ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer on low heat and cook for 10-15 minutes until the liquid reduces and the 8. strawberries become a loose jam consistency.
9. Allow compote to cool completely before transferring to a container to store, and of course to serve with a slice of Honey Almond Loaf and fresh figs.
*You can use muffin tins too, simply cook these for about 25-30 minutes instead. This wholesome recipe was provided by nutritionist and author, JacquelineAlwill, @brownpapernutrition. To order the newly launched Brown Paper Eats vegetarian and vegan, ready-made, home-delivered meals head to www.brownpapereats.com.