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Joyful indulgence, made healthy

Beyond mere taste satisfaction, sweet treats, like any other food, are an invitation to nourish both body and soul and embrace mindful eating.

In the whirlwind of our fast-paced lives, we must all find time for pockets of pleasure. One way to carve out joy is by creating (and indulging in) a homemade dessert. Not only does it treat the tastebuds, but using your hands to make something, from start to finish, is a grounding and gratifying exercise that can bring you back from the brink of overwhelm.

As well as being delicious, indulging in a tasty dessert should be a conscious choice for your wellbeing.

This recipe combines dark chocolate, succulent berries and crunchy macadamias for a heavenly blend with a powerful nutritional punch. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and has the power to elevate your mood. Aim for varieties with at least 70 per cent cocoa to maximise the health benefits and minimise the sugar content and look for certifications such as Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance to ensure your chocolate supports sustainable practices.

I use three types of berries in this bar: raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Berries are nature’s sweets, bursting with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, as well as fibre. They also contain phytochemicals — bioactive compounds present in plants — which play a crucial role in supporting overall wellbeing. The sum of these elements contributes to improved digestion, immune support and overall health.

I love the creaminess and sweetness of macadamias and they also provide a delightful crunch. But beyond their textural contribution and satisfying taste, macadamias are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, which actively promote heart health, working to balance cholesterol levels and support cardiovascular wellbeing.

The addition of protein powder elevates this dessert into a balanced treat. Protein is essential for muscle repair and overall body function. By incorporating a quality protein powder, you not only enhance the bar’s nutritional profile but also make it a more satisfying and filling indulgence. I use a plant-based protein powder and generally lean towards pea or rice protein.

Beyond mere taste satisfaction, sweet treats, like any other food, are an invitation to nourish both body and soul and embrace mindful eating. Taking the time to appreciate a carefully crafted dessert allows you to be fully present, cultivating a deeper appreciation for the flavours and fostering a positive relationship with food.

Chocolate possesses a unique ability to evoke joy, too. Treating yourself to a well-deserved sweet escape provides a momentary respite from the demands of daily life. It’s a simple yet effective way to enhance your mood.

I’ve created this recipe with sharing in mind, because sweet treats have long been a conduit for creating bonds and cherished memories. Desserts, often associated with celebrations and gatherings, serve as a vehicle for fostering social connections and strengthening relationships.

Chocolate, Macadamia & Berry Bar

Ingredients

400g dark chocolate
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
2 scoops protein powder
1 punnet raspberries
½ punnet blueberries
½ punnet blackberries
⅔ cup halved macadamias
Edible flowers (optional for decoration)

Method

  1. Begin by lining a small baking dish with baking paper.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Once melted, incorporate the coconut oil and protein powder, stirring until smooth.
  3. In the prepared baking dish, gently mix the berries\ with your hands, saving a handful for the topping.
  4. Sprinkle in the halved macadamias, distributing them evenly throughout the dish.
  5. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the berries, ensuring they are generously coated. Add the reserve berries on top for an extra burst of freshness.
  6. If adding, scatter edible flowers over the bar.
  7. Allow to set by placing it in the fridge or freezer. When ready to indulge, slice into bars.
  8. My Chocolate, Macadamia & Berry Bar is not justa dessert — it’s a celebration of flavours, textures, and moments of clarity. As you embark on the journey of creating this delightful treat, remember to enjoy each moment and appreciate the nourishment it brings to both your body and your soul.

Article Featured in WellBeing 209

Lee Holmes

Lee Holmes

Lee Holmes is a nutritionist, yoga and meditation teacher, wholefoods chef, Lifestyle Food Channel’s Healthy Eating Expert, blogger and author of the best-selling books Supercharged Food: Eat Your Way to Health, Supercharged Food: Eat Yourself Beautiful, Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian, Heal your Gut, Eat Right for Your Shape and Supercharged Food for Kids.

Lee’s food philosophy is all about S.O.L.E. food: sustainable, organic, local and ethical. Her main goal is to alter the perception that cooking fresh, wholesome, nutrient-rich meals is difficult, complicated and time-consuming. From posting recipes, her passion to share her autoimmune disease story and help others has snowballed and the blog has recently taken home the overall prize at the Bupa Health Influencer Awards as well as the best blog in the Healthy Eating category. She also runs a four-week online Heal Your Gut program.

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