My motto for the start of 2016 is much like everyone else’s. Eat healthy, think healthy, be healthy. I’ve been trying my best to balance what I think works well for my personal well being. So much so that this year my New Year’s resolution is fairly simple:
Sounds like a bit of contradiction, I know. Allow me to explain. In mid December, following a few fantastic rounds of holiday eating, I made the decision to remove the batteries from my scale. It was a joke at first. But what followed was a pretty impressive revelation.
I consider myself a healthy person. I try to eat right. I enjoy exercise. And I believe I treat my body the way it deserves to be treated.
And yet, more often than I’m proud of admitting, I find myself stepping on my trusty scale for confirmation that I’m doing it right.
When I removed the batteries, I immediately felt lighter. No longer bound by the particulars of my body that have irrationally haunted me, ie my lifelong 2 kg weight fluctuation, I found myself focusing on something bigger.
Me. More specifically, the way I felt about my body.
Forced to trust my own instincts and have a bit of faith in myself, I find myself eating better, exercising with more vigour, and enjoying it all not as a means to an end, but rather as a means to a healthy lifestyle, sans lofty weight goals that no longer define me.
Refreshing, I tell you. Absolutely refreshing.
To that end, I took the liberty of researching a few healthy snack options for kids during one of Aidan’s recent playdates.
This grain-free (and gluten-free) chocolate fruit pizza, found on the creative blog super healthy kids, was tweaked to an absolute minimum. The best part was that Aidan, now 3.5 years old, was able to assemble the entire thing: a crust made with dates, almonds and cocoa powder; a simple greek yogurt and cream cheese spread; and a decorative topping filled with all your favourite fruits.
For those wanting a fun afternoon treat, I highly recommend this. With the help of a food processor, it’s incredibly simple to make.
Start off by zapping a cup of almonds in the food processor (or alternatively just use almond flour). Add to that about 200 grams of dates (roughly 13-15, pits removed), two tablespoons of coconut oil, some cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Blitz well until it resembles the making of pie crust.
Using a spring form pan, press the mixture firmly into the pan and then pop it in the fridge for a good hour to set.
Use the hour break to make the filling. Combine cream cheese, greek yogurt, a few dashes of orange juice and its zest, some vanilla extract, and a good (optional) spoonful of honey to sweeten it a bit. Mix well, then set it aside in the fridge for the remainder of the hour.
When ready, spoon the filling on top of the crust and, using a spatula, evenly spread it around.
Now for the big event. Slice up a few of your favourite fruits, and have a go at putting together your own creative work of art, tiny toddler hands included…
Eat immediately, or throw it back in the fridge for an hour or so (but not too long, or some of the fruit may become soggy or brown).
Viola. Healthy snack complete.
I hope this recipe will eventually make its way to your kitchen. Especially amidst our January pledges to remain healthy.
We’ll move onto the real pies next month when we award ourselves for a month of healthy eating 🙂
Recipe for Fruit & Date Toddler Pizza (adapted from superhealthykids.com)
- 1 cup almonds
- 200 grams (around 13-15 whole dates, stones removed)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 110g cream cheese
- 85g greek yogurt
- 2 tsp orange juice
- 1/4 tsp orange zest
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tsp honey, to taste
- Any fruit of your choice (strawberries, blueberries, clementines, kiwi, etc)
- To make the base, blitz almonds in a food processor until fine. Add dates, melted coconut oil, cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Process mixture again until dates are finely chopped and the mixture resembles pie crust.
- Press the mixture firmly into a springform tin and leave in fridge for one hour to set.
- To make the filling, mix cream cheese, greek yogurt, orange juice, zest, vanilla extract and honey in a bowl.
- When ready to assemble, spread mixture onto the top of the pizza base, then decorate with the fruit topping of your choice.
- Serve immediately (or store in the fridge for up to 1 hour).