Sugar makes us happy, period. But you can feed your gut for a happier, healthier you using simple, delicious and gut-boosting alternatives. Love white chocolate, but want something that your microbes will enjoy too? Cookies that withstand tea drinking but pack a nutritional punch? Dr Megan Rossi, Dietitian and consultant at The Gut Health Clinic, on how to eat yourself healthy with three delicious recipes…
Eat yourself healthy recipe
Prebiotic Chocolate Bark
“I love white chocolate, but wanted something that my microbes would enjoy too. So here it is!
The dried mango and pistachios are full of prebiotics, which are essentially foods that feed your beneficial microbes. Prebiotic foods come with a whole host of benefits and have been linked with improved blood-sugar regulation, support bone health, skin health and immunity.
What’s more, I’ve added the extra virgin olive oil and dark chocolate drizzle for a bonus polyphenol hit (good plant chemicals that also feed our gut microbes). The darker the chocolate and higher percentage of cocoa, the more polyphenols – which explains why dark chocolate has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes (of course in moderation!). In fact, one study found that daily consumption of cocoa significantly lowered blood pressure – a key risk factor for heart disease. It’s also linked with better mental health, maybe it’s that gut:brain axis at play.”
200g good quality white chocolate
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
50g good quality dark chocolate (70%+)
50g dried mango
50g crushed pistachios
Melt the white chocolate in the microwave for 40-60 seconds, stirring rapidly every 15 seconds.
Stir in the extra virgin olive oil.
Pour the mixture on to a lined baking tray and thinly spread the chocolate-coated mix and sprinkle on the toppers. Place in the fridge for a few minutes to set.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, melt the dark chocolate in the microwave (again stirring every 15 seconds).
Once the white chocolate is firm, drizzle on the dark chocolate using a fork. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes (until rock solid), then remove and break into pieces. And enjoy!
Eat yourself healthy recipe
Creamy Chocolate Granola Bites, with no added sugar
“One for Sunday baking to feed you and your gut microbes all week. These are so quick and easy to make, plus you’ll be getting 18 plant points towards your 30 a week!”
(makes 15 bites)
360g Bio&Me Cocoa & Coconut Gut-Loving Granola (bioandme.co.uk)
6 tbsp (100g) peanut butter.
1 ½ bananas.
60ml almond milk, or milk of choice.
12 (300g) Medjool dates.
3 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder.
a pinch of salt.
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and line a baking tray with baking paper. Pit the dates and put them into a bowl of hot water to soak.
Blitz 300g of the granola in a food processor until the chunks are broken up.
Mash the bananas and mix with the milk in a bowl.
Add the granola and 3 tbsp of peanut butter to the bowl, then mix until well combined.
Pour the granola mixture onto the lined baking tray and press down firmly to your desired thickness for the base. Then bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the chocolate layer. Blitz the avocado, dates, cacao powder, remaining 3 tbsp of peanut butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor until it forms a mousse.
Spread the chocolate mousse over the granola base layer. Then sprinkle the rest of the granola on top (with extra coconut flakes if you like!) and pop back into the oven for 10-15 minutes.
Cut into pieces and enjoy!
Eat yourself healthy recipe
Chocolate & Peanut Butter Teff Cookies
“Teff is a tiny ancient grain that packs quite a nutritional punch – we love mixing up our bread, cookies and other sweet treats using teff. It’s all about diversifying your diet!
This recipe is super easy and you can have delicious cookies in 20 minutes flat. These little treats should also withstand tea-dunking. Enjoy!”
INGREDIENTS (Makes 12 cookies)
200g teff flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 ripe banana (approx 100g peeled), mashed
140g smooth peanut butter [swap: other nut or seed butter]
50ml date paste [swap: honey or maple syrup]
50ml extra virgin olive oil
100ml milk of choice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
30g dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate bar
Extra peanut butter, chocolate & a pinch of sea salt to top (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 180c and line or grease a baking tray.
Combine the teff flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Add all of the wet ingredients (mashed banana, peanut butter, date paste, olive oil, milk, egg, vanilla extract and almond extract) and mix well until fully combined.
Add the dark chocolate chips and fold into the mixture.
Divide the mixture into 12 and roll into balls, then put on the baking tray.
Using the palm of your hand, flatten each ball to your desired thickness.
Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes (this will keep the cookies quite soft – leave in for a few more minutes if you like a crunchier bite!)
Remove from the oven. Let them cool and enjoy while they’re still warm, or pop into an airtight container in the fridge for later.
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Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.