Being on the Elimination diet for the past month has forced me to become creative when deciding what to eat on a daily basis. While I always knew that certain foods made me feel ill, I never really knew how to cut them out of my diet and more importantly, what I could replace them with. Too often, when trying to embark on a healthy lifestyle, we get so flustered by the vast amount of information out there that many people just decide to give up before even starting. Ever since I shared my post about how changing my diet helped to clear up my skin and subdue my fibromyalgia symptoms, I have getting a wealth of requests for ideas on what to cook and tips on which ingredients to buy. Due to this, I decided to share some of my favourite yet simple gluten free, sugar free and lactose free snacks, desserts and mains in collaboration with my favourite healthy local store, Organic Touch.
Situated in Belvedere Square, Organic Touch is owned by Micki who opened the shop due to her vast interest in healthy foods and easy living. Seeing the need for a health shop in Belvedere, Micki gathered her resources and started stocking some of the best brands in foods, body products and medication so that healthy living was accessible to as many people as possible. Because it is one of my favourite local stores and just a 10-minute drive away from my home (and a 5-minute drive away from Cavendish Square), it made sense to do this collaboration with them. For the next three weeks, I will be sharing some great recipes made with the products and ingredients stocked at Organic Touch in the hopes to inspire many of you to not only support local brands such as Organic Touch, but to also start taking the steps to better your diet and overall wellbeing.
Follow them on Facebook over here or give them a call on 021 674 0062
While I drastically cut down on my sugar intake, I still find that by the time 3pm rolls around, a craving for something chocolatey and sweet seems to overtake me. As you may know by now, I am the biggest fan of medjool dates and try to eat them as much as possible due to their high fibre content. Because of this, I thought it would be fitting to share the insanely simply sweet treat which I have been reaching for every afternoon. These nut butter stuffed dates are simply delicious and lasts for ages simply because having even one a day will be sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
One small packed of these nut butters from Organic Touch (about R16) is enough to fill 12-15 medjool dates
You will need:
- About 15 Medjool dates (you could also use any other soft date)
- One small sachet of nut butter of your choice
- 4 Tbsp coconut oil
- 3 tsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 Tbsp shredded coconut
Remove the pips from the dates by making a small slit on the side of each date.
In the microwave, melt the coconut oil and honey and stir till combined. Add the cacao powder and let stir. Allow to cool for a few minutes but stir every now and then to prevent it from turning into a ganache.
Fill each date with a small squeeze of nut butter and press dates closed. Dip each date in the chocolate sauce and let it set slightly on some baking paper. You can double dip them to prevent the butter from spilling out or if you enjoy a more chocolaty taste. Sprinkle the wet dates with some dried coconut or sea salt flakes. When dry, store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Why these ingredients?
Cacao contains one of the highest sources of antioxidants in all foods and has amazing anti-depressant properties due to its serotonin, phenylethylamine and dopamine which together, lower depression and increase feelings of well-being. Cacao also contains high levels of magnesium which help with the vigour of your heart muscles and lowers blood pressure.
Medjool Dates contains high levels of dietary fibres which aids in digestion and reduces cholesterol. It, like cacao, contains magnesium with the addition of manganese and calcium. Eating these dates also help to prevent and relieve constipation
Coconut Oil also aids in digestion, contains a myriad of healthy fats and has antibacterial and antiviral properties (tip: try using it as a mouthwash for squeaky clean teeth!)