A refined sugar free chocoholic’s delight!

February 26, 2016

Life is too short for bad coffee, peeling carrots and counting calories!

Life is too short for bad coffee, peeling carrots and counting calories!

I also believe it is way too short for us to waste time feeling guilty about having occasional treats or desserts. Even when we are trying to lose weight. It is especially useless worrying nowadays, as there are so many wholesome ingredients for us to use so we can ‘healthify’ any recipe. Just like this delicious brownie recipe my daughter Zara and I ‘healthyfied’ recently. Now, don’t get me wrong here. The delicious refined sugar free brownies you are about to go absolutely coco – loco for, although made with wholesome ingredients, are quite energy dense. They can serve as a healthier alternative to refined sugar treats so like anything, enjoy them in moderation. As a wholistic nutritionist I believe we should always be looking at giving our body nutrition rather than taking it away. We should always aim at consuming the most nutritious sources of any types of food rather than feeding our body with refined sugar for example, which overtime can deplete our nutrient stores. I came up with this great analogy to explain the importance of including wholesome foods in our diets:

Nutrients are like having cash in the bank

Your body's nutrient stores are like a bank account

Your body’s nutrient stores are like a bank account

Think of your body as a healthy savings bank account full of cash. The nutrients you consume through food are your body’s currency. The body uses your currency in different biochemical pathways in order to sustain life and of course, energy. Wholesome, unprocessed foods deposit more funds into your account, while processed high energy – ‘empty calorie’ foods (refined  sugar, fast foods, sweets, lollies, cakes, chocolate, chips etc.) make withdrawals.  When we consume high – energy ‘empty – calorie’ food, in other words, food that is so highly processed it has hardly any micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals) available, we are making huge withdrawals out of our body’s ‘bank account’. The ‘empty – calories’ we consume, still need to be converted into energy or be stored as fat. For the body to do that, it needs to use certain vitamins and minerals as catalysts for biochemical reactions which take place in the process. Since processed foods including refined sugars come with close to no micronutrient value, the body starts tapping into our savings account. Slowly, our funds become depleted, which eventually can get us feeling extremely fatigued. We may be depositing cash into our account, but the bank won’t let us make any more withdrawals as we have gone into overdraft!

So finally, here’s Zara’s refined sugar – free brownie recipe, made with wholesome ingredients, which will help top up your nutritional bank account balance:

Zara’s Dairy Free Cacao Brownies (Gluten Free option)



200ml coconut oil OR 200g nuttelex

½ cup raw cacao

2 cups of rapadura OR coconut sugar (you can replace 1 cup rapadura or coconut sugar with stevia if desired)

1 tsp organic vanilla essence

1 cup self-raising wholemeal flour OR self-raising gluten free flour

2 eggs

½ cup chopped walnuts


1 cup rapadura/coconut sugar OR replace ½ of the sugar with ½ cup of stevia

1 ½ tbsp. raw cacao

1 tbsp coconut oil OR nuttelex

1- 2 tbsp hot water (if needed)

  • Place coconut oil or nuttelex in a saucepan with raw cacao
  • Mix well over low heat but do not boil
  • Add rapadura or coconut sugar
  • Take off the heat and stir in the flour
  • Add eggs and mix well
  • Spread evenly in a baking tray and cook in the oven, 180° (or 160° for fan forced ovens) for about 20-25 minutes.
  • When cool, ice with chocolate icing, if desired: Mix all icing ingredients together with a wooden spon except for water. Only add a little water at a time if needed.
  • Enjoy as a healthy treat with a lovely cup of herbal tea
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