Let’s talk chocolate cake!

If you’re looking for an easy, tasty and healthy chocolate-banana treat, look no further! This brownie-style cake/dessert is sweet, rich, creamy and chocolatey, and it’s unbelievably easy to make. It also happens to be: Gluten free, Vegan, Grain free, Paleo, Baking powder free, Yeast free, added sugar free, oil free… And it counts towards your 5 (or 10) a day!

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All you need is three ingredients, a blender and a baking dish. As long as you don’t make it too thick, you can vary the quantities quite liberally, it’s a very forgiving dessert.

So, for this recipe you will need:

5-7 ripe bananas (depending on the size, I used 6)
2-3 heaped tablespoons nut butter (I used almond but have previously tried peanut and it worked great)
2 heaped tablespoons (or to your taste) cacao powder (I had also used carob powder and it worked well too)
Optional: fresh/frozen berries or nuts/seeds to top (this time I used a few frozen cherries and some blueberries).

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Instructions: Blend everything! You might want to begin with bananas (chopped in smallish pieces), especially if you don’t have a powerful blender. It might be hard to start off but the end result will be quite runny, so you don’t need to add any extra liquid.

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Pour the “batter” into the baking dish (I used 20 cm x 20 cm/ 8”x8” size) You can sprinkle some seeds (e.g. sesame) on the bottom, so that it would be easier to take it out later but it’s not necessary. Also, you can decorate with some berries or nuts/seeds but it’s good plain as it is. Bake it for approx. half an hour at around 180 degrees (356 F).

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Et voila! Ideally, the cake should cool down and is tastiest after it’s been refrigerated.

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Sorry for the quality of the pictures (it’s tastier than it may look!). Unfortunately I don’t know who the original author of this recipe is.

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Would you like some Magnesium? [ENDED]

I’ve recently been given Wild Nutrition Food grown Magnesium, and I am very happy to share it with someone who would like to try it!

Magnesium is so important, from nervous system to hormones. It might help you sleep, improve muscle relaxation, aid in stress, PMS as well as pains, aches or cramps… And it is very limited in foods!

So if you’d like a bottle posted to you (within UK) all you have to do is like Plantiful Nutrition Facebook page and the original Facebook post and on Monday 26th June it can be yours!

 

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Plantiful Nutrition on £1 a day

Just before Easter for one week I will be living off £1 a day. Why? Because over 1 billion people on Earth have to survive off this little (or less). Let’s change that!

I really enjoy my food: talking about it, cooking and eating. I love organic produce, “superfoods” and impossible-to-pronounce ingredients. Cutting them out, even if for a week (an even if it’s not a marathon!), is not easy. So if you can, please support me by donating to my fundraising page on Child.org that does such a great job giving children an equal chance in life – be it with food, access to education or healthcare.

If you donate, you can be entered into a prize raffle or for a more generous donation I will give you a free nutrition consultation. If you can’t donate, please share.

I’m so grateful to all our sponsors!

Our local (Gloucestershire) prizes for the raffle are kindly donated by:

Cirencester Leisure Centre – Family swim voucher

Pizza Express – £30 voucher

Poco Culina – £15 dinner voucher and a Moroccan spice box

Steamer Trading Cookshop – a Set of Cocktail glasses

Nutrition Centre – “Dr. Hauschka” kit and “Pacifica” gift set

Waterstones – a selection of books

Seasalt – A small goody bag

Coffee#1 – A bag of coffee beans

M.A.D.E. – a flamingo LED lamp & a candle

UK mainland prizes are donated by:

Riverford – a large organic veg box

WildFoodUK – £70 voucher for foraging courses

International prizes generously donated by:

Headspace app – lifetime subscription (worth over $400!)

Babbel language learning app – 3 x 12 month subscriptions

 

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Is dried fruit a health food?

Many of us these days try to choose healthier snacks, such as cereal bars, nuts, seeds, raisins and dates. But is dried fruit a health food?

Dentists would probably say that it isn’t as it can get stuck between the teeth and increase the risk of developing cavities…

Also, dried fruit is void of water, so sugar is much more concentrated than in regular fruit. In reality we might eat 2-3 apricots but eating them dried makes us consume way more: smaller volume just doesn’t fill us up, and they do taste nice and sweet. This in turn can spike our blood sugar (and crash it back down…).

Another side that we rarely think of is that sometimes fruit that is chosen for drying may be of the poorest quality – sad looking, damaged, underripe or overripe that is not deemed to be of saleable condition when fresh.

Generally fruit needs to be dried quickly, so often high temperatures are used which may cause many vitamins to be lost and damaging compounds to be created. You need to reach high temperature to kill off any bugs (“bugs” bugs, and “bacteria” bugs) as often the fruit might be already starting to go off.

Sometimes fruit is mixed with other ingredients while drying – you will often find sunflower oil in raisin ingredients, sugar in dried cranberries and cherries, rice flour or dextrose in figs, as well as preservatives, colourings, sulphites which some people can be sensitive to (if you see dried apricots that look nice and orange – they definitely have been treated with sulphites).

While dried fruit is stored, it can be affected by various toxins and mould. As if that’s not enough that many dried fruit such as raisins and prunes (aka grapes and plums) are heavily sprayed with health-harming pesticides (if not organic)!

So knowing all that, do I eat and do I recommend eating dried fruit?

Sometimes.

Prunes, for instance, have been known to alleviate constipation (better than fresh plums). Figs are a good source of calcium. Dried apricots – of iron. And they still contain good amounts of phytonutrients and antioxidants. For example, it would be quite difficult to get fresh goji or acai berries as they are very perishable. It’s probably not a perfect food for us (what is these days!) but it can still be used in a healthy diet.

So when considering dried fruit:

  • Please, buy organic when you can. Read the ingredient list and check there is no sugar and nothing nasty added.
  • Look for sun dried, slowly dried (or freeze dried!) fruit or dry them yourself. Look for fruit that doesn’t need much drying – dates, figs.
  • Try to get them as fresh as possible and eat them soon. Store them in airtight containers, and ideally in the fridge.
  • Before eating, definitely wash them, and ideally soak.
  • Look after your teeth – rinse after eating dried fruit, floss etc.
  • Limit portions – try to imagine how many pieces of the fresh fruit you would be happy to eat. Mix them with other foods, such as nuts or grains to lower GI/GL.
  • Use them instead of sugar, not on top of it.

Obviously, if you have any health conditions (e.g. diabetes) or concerns before making any changes in your diet speak to a qualified healthcare practitioner.

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