I’m so happy to be blogging about feel good food on The Muslim Vibe and am so excited to share recipes, tips and my journey into being a healthier version of me in the hope that I can provide some inspiration to all of you.
I recently started the blog www.happyonplate.com to document my love for food, photography and making healthier (but not less appetising) choices. Food is such a personal choice, and where one person may find something undesirable the other is drooling at the thought of it. Over the last few months I have never enjoyed eating as healthily as I do now and educating myself on the nutritional benefits of food has been a major doorway in that. I really don’t believe in drastic weight loss, crazy exercise regimes and punishing the body. I think our bodies and souls are a reflection of what we invest in them, with the right choices and time we can feel amazing internally and externally.
Being a British Asian Muslim, food has always been a weak spot for me and I used to be a serious sugar addict. I could honestly get through a cake meant for 4-5 people by myself and used to bake 2-3 times a week without fail. Any left overs would go to my neighbours and family…most of the time there weren’t any leftovers! However, the more I read about the effects of excessive amounts of sugar and refined sugars on the body I became a lot more conscious of what I was eating – with this came a whole new approach to life.
Refined sugar can cause drowsiness, facial hair in women, mood swings, weight gain and bloating just to mention a few. Whilst I don’t claim to lead a saintly life, I have found ways to curb refined sugar, replacing it with natural sugars such as raw honey and maple syrup.
I leave you with a recipe that makes me feel energised and happy, it tastes divine!
I used whatever I had around the kitchen that I thought would make this nutritionally bursting with goodness and I have to say – it’s a perfect pick me up when you need a nutty cacoa injection of happiness! It doesn’t taste like it’s that healthy but you bet ya it’s a meal in itself! No, I don’t mean a ‘meal’ that is measly, like a carton of soup that is supposed to make you feel great about yourself and leaves you hungry after one hour!
Stock a few essentials in your cupboard like dates, nuts and raw cocao powder and you’ll always have an endless list of possibilities. In the beginning these ingredients can seem steep and you may wonder if spending the money is worth it, but it will save you from spending loads on junk food (chocolate that has vegetable oil in it, E numbers and lots of horrible additions to our food) and these cupboard essentials last quite a while in my opinion.
The reason why I advocate raw cacao is because raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted beans. By doing this, the enzymes continue to live where as in normal cocoa powder (the normal baking stuff), the beans are roasted at very high temperatures and the nutritional goodness doesn’t remain.
- 5 cashews
- 5 hazelnuts
- 5 walnuts
- 5 pecans
- 1 big glass of milk (nut milks are known to reserve more of the antioxidants in the raw cocao, but this is up to you!)
- 2 Medjoul dates
- 1 tablespoon of almond nut butter
- 2 teaspoons of raw cacao powder
- 1 ripe peeled banana (the riper the sweeter!)
- A pinch of oats (this is optional but I personally like what it does to the texture)
Whiz this up and voilà!