Oh, sweet Christmas! This is the time of year when sweets and decadent desserts abound. Making healthy choices and maintaining balanced blood sugar during Christmas celebrations is tricky at best. There is a great solution! It can be found in The Best Dessert EVER – Only 3 Ingredients, and how it benefits blood sugar balance. Full credit for this idea goes to the Harvard School of Public Health – they call it ‘The 3 Pleasures’. I totally agree with that name!
There are two main social situations that people find challenging when it comes to sweets and/or desserts:
• Entertaining – what to serve guests as a healthy dessert or as part of your finger food or hors d’oeuvre table.
• Dining in restaurants – what to do when everyone at your table is happily indulging in sugar laden desserts that you know would skyrocket your blood sugar and zap your energy.
The solution to those situations
This fabulously simple, 3 ingredient dessert can be your healthy go-to dessert in both of the above situations. This very simple recipe can be used any time of year, through any season – not just at celebration times. In fact, this is a great lifestyle habit to form!
The 3 ingredients are:
1. Fruit – preferably fresh
2. Nuts – not refined, not sugar coated
3. Dark Chocolate – always dark (70% cocao or more), not milk chocolate
These ingredients are super easy to put together either on an individual plate or on a platter for entertaining. As far as restaurants go – it could be hit and miss as to whether the restaurant would have these 3 ingredients on hand, but it sure is worth a try. Many restaurants have fresh fruit and sometimes nuts.
What are the benefits of making a dessert from these 3 simple ingredients?
1. Fresh fruit…
…is sweet on it’s own because it contains natural sugar that has been put there by Mother Nature. It also contains nutritional elements that your body needs and can easily use. It has vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants as well as fiber. The fiber is the nutrient that balances the natural sugar, slowing the sugar’s digestion and keeping blood sugar stable. The only caveat is that a moderate amount of fruit is good, whereas a huge amount of fruit becomes far less healthy because of the increased sugars.
2. Unrefined nuts…
…are packed full of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and protein. The protein in the nuts will help to slow the digestion of the natural sugar found in the fruit – keeping your blood sugar from spiking. Here are some of the many nutrients found in nuts, that can help you stay healthy: unsaturated fats (Omega 3 or Omega 6 fatty acids), Vitamin E, manganese, potassium, fiber and L-arginine.
3. Dark chocolate…
… has far less sugar and harmful additives than milk chocolate. The higher the percentage of cocao, the less sugar there will be in the chocolate. Dark chocolate contains some vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and even some antioxidants that will help protect your cells from free radical damage. The full, rich taste of the dark chocolate offsets the sweetness of the fruit – a nice combination. If you make your own raw chocolate, you have full control over what goes into your chocolate and it will be the healthiest chocolate you can get!
Here’s to a healthy, joyful Holiday Season! Whole foods, as unrefined as possible are always the best way to maintain good nutrition and create a healthy life! If you would like more information about healthy lifestyle elements that create great health, contact me, or click on the popular blog category ‘Healthy Lifestyle Elements’ to the right of this article.
Harvard TH Chan Pubic School of Health – The Three Pleasures