Today I’m going to give you another of my favorite recipes, and it’s one that I eat for pure pleasure. It delights my tastebuds and gives me a wonderful buzz.
Now, there was a time when delighting your tastebuds and eating healthfully seemed mutually exclusive.
Back in the 1970’s, a lot of people cringed when they heard the term “health food.”
That’s because in those days, health food often lacked a pleasurable flavor and texture. People mostly ate it just because it was “good” for them and tried not to think about whether they were enjoying it.
Thankfully, those days are way behind us, and now it’s usually people who are into healthy eating that put the most emphasis on great flavors.
Taking pleasure in food is an important and lovely part of life that no one likes to miss out on.
So, the trick to sticking to a healthy diet over the long haul is making sure that the healthy foods you eat are also ones that give you pleasure.
And the best way to do that is to start by making a list of all the dishes and ingredients that give you pleasure. To begin, don’t censor yourself: jot down items you consider healthy and those you think of as unhealthy.
Next, circle all the ones you could actually eat on a regular basis that would have a neutral or positive effect on your health.
Then start trying to include plenty of those circled items—the healthy and pleasurable foods and ingredients—in your diet and in the recipes you make.
You might find that if you do this, you don’t gravitate as much toward the unhealthy ones, and when you do, you’ll only need a small amount occasionally because you’re so satisfied by your regular consumption of healthy pleasure foods.
To help get you thinking about the foods you enjoy, here’s a list of some of my personal healthy pleasure foods and ingredients, both raw and cooked:
- Raw Chocolate Shake (see recipe below)
- Strawberry-Banana Smoothie
- Apple-Banana-Lime-Spinach smoothie
- Gourmet Fresh Salads with Fresh Herbs, Fennel, and Delicious Dressings
- Chickpea and vegetable soup
- Kale-quinoa salad
- Sunflower-Almond Paté
- Coconut water
- Crudites and a Delicious Dip
- Farmer’s Market Produce
- Fresh fruit in season
- Homemade applesauce
- Almond butter
- Pine nuts
- Tahini dressing
- Herbal teas
- Homemade almond milk
- Thai and Indian curries
- Kale chips
- Dried figs
- Macadamia nuts
- Braised Southern Greens
- Braised green beans
- Cashew Ranch Dressing
- Homemade Hummus
- Mashed sweet potatoes
- Butternut, acorn, kabocha, delicata squash, spaghetti squash
- Lentil soup
So, what are your healthy favorites?
The incredibly simple recipe I’m about to give you just might become one of them.
It tastes like a chocolate shake, but it gets its creaminess from healthy bananas and almond milk rather than dairy. And it delivers all the healthy antioxidant power (and mood-boosting abilities) of raw cacao—gifts you mostly miss from cooked, processed chocolate.
Raw Chocolate Shake
Yield: 2 cups, 2 servings
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk, homemade or store-bought
- 2 frozen bananas
- 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately.
I hope you enjoy this delightful treat—maybe drink some as you make your personal list of healthy, pleasurable foods.