How to ‘healthify’ your favourite foods

Do you have a favourite food, an addictive behaviour or that indulgent “something” that you tell yourself you could never live without as you attempt better health?

Do you have a favourite food, an addictive behaviour or that indulgent “something” that you tell yourself you could never live without as you attempt better health?

I could be healthier, but I just could never live without my sticky toffee pudding from such and such restaurant. Or I would be healthier but I just have to have my chocolate cherry vanilla swirl ice cream … oooo, that sounds good doesn’t it?

Such excuses may just be holding you back from achieving your optimal health.

The best part about those cravings, indulgences and addictions is that you in fact can have your cake and eat it, too.

The key is to understand these cravings and satisfy them that with things that might just actually taste better and make you feel better.

The way I like to start is to get over the huge misconception that “healthy” food doesn’t taste good. Taste buds may just have been tainted. I’ve had clients complete juice cleanses who said they would never stop drinking coffee and seven days later they’ve lost the taste for it. That’s one way to think about it.

The next is to look at the ingredients of your favourite recipes and just “healthify” them. Swap out refined sugar with a whole food sweetener such as maple syrup or honey (add between one-half and three-quarters of the amount and adjust dry ingredients if necessary).

Make your own dressings. This is a big one that people really should watch out for. If you like creamy dressings, make your own using tahini (sesame seed butter), garlic, ginger and honey with tamari to make it Asian.

Season your food with fresh lemon or lime juice and spices that you like — Mexican, Italian, etc.

If you want something crunchy and snacky, go for popcorn with coconut oil and sprinkle nutritional yeast.

Flavour comes from spices, herbs and foods that are naturally healthy for us!

Satisfaction typically comes from fats — so choose fats that will satisfy and healthify! Make homemade guacamole (healthy fats from avocados), incorporate olives, and coconut oil into your daily intake of food and you won’t be as susceptible to craving fried fatty foods.

A final tip is in cooking style. Grill, sauté, steam or keep raw!

If you want chocolate cherry ice cream, make an ice cream with whole food sweeteners, coconut meat and cashews and add some dark chocolate and cherries. Or, really simplify with blended frozen bananas and melted dark chocolate with cherries. Or try the chocolate quinoa cake recipe below.

Sooner than later, healthier indulgences will become something that you can’t live without.


Chocolate cake

(Healthified with Quinoa! – revised from Quinoa 365)

2 cups cooked Quinoa, (2/3 C dry with 1 1/3 C water)

1 cup almond milk

4 eggs, large

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¾ cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup maple syrup

1 cup organic cocoa powder (no sugar)

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

Cook quinoa as directed. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease two eight-inch (20-cm) round pans. Blend or food process almond milk, eggs, vanilla, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and 2 cups of cooked quinoa until smooth.

Whisk dry ingredients in bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Divide batter evenly between two pans and bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool. Top with chocolate avocado frosting under Recipes from the Kraze under the full archive of articles at www.innerglownutrition.ca/something-to-chew-on


Kristin Fraser, BSc, is a holistic nutritionist and local freelance writer. Her column appears every second Thursday. She can be reached at kristin@somethingtochewon.ca.