HAPPY REGISTERED DIETITIAN DAY!! In honor of this important holiday, I’m going to share one way that I eat healthy in the face of temptation (i.e. Nutella)- I make less-than-ideal food choices better by hiding nutritional value behind the flavors I crave.
You know what? Sometimes, you’ll have an unshakable craving for something that is unquestionably unhealthy. Once in a blue moon, I’ll have a craving for coffee ice cream topped with canned chocolate frosting (no matter how good it sounds, don’t try it. I don’t want to pass on the craving… even I can’t justify that as healthy, and I’m really good at justifying things.) Anyway, one night I had a fierce craving for ice cream with chocolate frosting. I didn’t have either of those things, nor did I have a reason to treat myself to something that decadent. So, I fell into a trap that many other people fall into when they try to make healthy choices- they eat everything else “healthy” in sight, trying to quench that craving.
And then I stopped. I put away the leftovers and the little dark chocolate bites and the frozen fruit I was about to make a smoothie out of. And I took action. I had cocoa powder, peanut butter, ice, decaf coffee, milk… all makings of a dessert smoothie. A smoothie that I could flavor strongly with chocolate to hopefully relieve that craving. Unfortunately, I had no bananas or dates or spinach or anything like that to provide the bulk of a smoothie. I almost went to the store (at 9PM, which is practically bedtime), but I poked around Pinterest a bit and found an alternative- oatmeal flour. I didn’t have oatmeal flour per say, but I did have oatmeal! I also had some chia seeds, which I knew I could take advantage of to thicken the smoothie.
I soaked the chia seeds in some warm coffee until they gelled. Meanwhile, I used my best friend (my Vitamix) to grind up some oatmeal (100% whole grain!) into a fine powder. I added milk, chia seeds, peanut butter or Nutella, cocoa powder, and a little honey to round out the flavor. Blend it up with a lot of ice and pour in a bowl to eat with a spoon (because smoothie bowls are all the rage right now!), topped with healthy things like nuts, banana slices, or granola. You could use less ice for a liquidier, drinkable smoothie. Healthy, filling, and very desserty. Is it low calorie? Well, no. But it is packed with fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants- I don’t think normal desserts can claim that.
… but I topped it with a generous spoonful of Nutella, because sometimes indulging a craving is also healthy.
- 1 Tbsp warm coffee
- 2 tsp chia seeds
- 1/2 cup oat flour or oats, very finely ground
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 2 heaping Tbsp peanut butter and/or Nutella
- 2-4 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tsp honey
- 1-3 cups ice
- Toppings, as desired
- Soak the chia seeds in coffee until gelatinous, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, blend the oats to a fine powder. Add the milk, peanut butter, cocoa powder, and honey and blend.
- Add the chia seeds and ice, blend until smooth. Add more ice as needed to increase viscosity.
- Pour into a bowl and top as desired.