Cookie Dough DIP!

IMG_4657Following on from my last post about your winter waistline, I thought I’d scour some healthy eating blogs and find some tasty recipes to try out in preparation. I came across Chocolate Covered Katie and love her creative recipe ideas! Since moving to Houston I’ve been blown away by cookie dough. I wish I’d never tried it as I’m hooked! If you haven’t visited Marble Slab Creamery then take a trip there. Oh. My. God. it is the cream of the crop when it comes to cookie dough ice-cream. It’s my go to place when I want to indulge and treat myself. 
So when I spotted this recipe for a Healthy Cookie Dough Dip, I was excited. My excitement soon faded however when I looked at the ingredients. Chick peas. Say what?! I really doubted that this could taste good but curiosity got the better of me and I tried it out. Well I was wrong, it’s delicious and I encourage you to try this out and see for yourself. I have such a sweet tooth and this really hit the spot. It’s not a bang-on equivalent to cookie dough but it is a seriously tasty dip that resembles cookie dough flavours. It’s protein rich from the chick peas, gluten-free and contains no refined sugar. I have pretty much demolished the whole tub. Winner.
Ingredients:
1 can chick peas / garbanzo beans (drain and rinse well)
Pinch salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup organic maple syrup
1/3 cup choc chips – I used 62% cacao dark chocolate chunks
3 tbsp rolled gluten free oats
I very simply combined all of the above ingredients (apart from the chocky) into a blender and mixed until it was a paste-like consistency. I then added the chocky chunks and blasted it in the blender so that it was still pretty chunky throughout the dip. Put in the fridge overnight and serve up with rice cakes, crackers, chips or shortbread. Featured in the photo is mini star-shaped shortbread cookies I picked up! 

Your winter waistline

I’m sure you’ve noticed the increasing number of articles flying around the net about ‘fighting the holiday bulge’ or ”what NOT to eat during the holidays’… and being a bit of a health-freak it’s making me anxious!! I don’t want to feel like this!! Holidays should be about relaxing and indulging with friends and family. Letting your hair down and enjoying these precious times together. You only have one life to live and it would be SO boring without treats along the way. Now I’m not saying forget about all the hard work you put in keeping yourself fit and healthy, what I’m saying is don’t stress too much about having a mulled wine (or two) and a christmas pie! My view is if there is a time in your life that it’s OKAY to put on a few pounds, it’s the Xmas holidays (or your honeymoon!!) You’re all wrapped up anyway in your cosy clothes, hibernation sets in and that little bit of extra fat will keep your body a little more insulated. So try NOT to freak out over what you’re going to eat and drink over the holidays and follow some simple pointers –
  • Portion control. Enjoy all the trimmings of your Xmas dinner but opt for smaller portions. Avoid overeating. It’s hard I know. 
  • Workout! Complete a 30-45 minute circuit targeting the entire body in the MORNINGS and get the metabolism fired up. This will leave you the rest of the day for fun times with the family and reduce those guilty pangs when you pick up a glass of red!
  • Make your own desserts and treats! Have fun with your family cooking clean and delicious Christmas delights to enjoy with half the calories. There are endless websites/blogs out there with recipes that provide healthy alternatives without all that added sugar. Get creative. 
  • Eat filling healthy snacks throughout the day as you normally would. Don’t starve yourself prior to having a large meal or you definitely will overeat. Your body will also be in starvation mode and will cling onto every ounce of fat that you eat during that meal. 
  • Don’t stress! When you’re stressed your body releases the hormone cortisol which will increase your cravings for comfort food and BAD treats. Relax and enjoy.
With a drop in temperature your appetite will increase. I know I’m craving warm, high-carb foods like there’s no tomorrow! The temperature rarely drops to freezing in Houston, but you definitely feel the colder weather after such a hot and steamy summer. I’ve been making hearty soups to keep me warm and full and as soon as it’s a little cold I’m armed with a scarf and hat. But getting all wrapped up isn’t quite enough to keep your body protected from the cold. With colder temperatures, comes colder bodies. This is what encourages the cravings for warm and comforting foods. 
Fox News reported that a study from Texas Tech University followed 48 men and 100 women between the ages of 18 and 65 for the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. At the beginning and end of the study, researchers measured the subjects’ weights and body fat percentages. On average, the volunteers gained one and a half pounds (men about two pounds each, and about a pound for the women), far less than the 7 to 10 pounds often cited this time of year!! So cheers to the holidays everyone and enjoy!!