Almond Salted Chocolate Brittle

Did you know that almonds are good for wrinkles?  In a study of postmenopausal women, those who were given 20% of their daily calories as almonds had less wrinkle severity and less wrinkle width after a study time of just 16 weeks.  

Almonds are full of good fats and protein along with vitamins and minerals.  They are a great snack, and also good for wrinkles it seems!

I eat almonds all the time, usually as almond butter for breakfast or a snack. Here though is a recipe you can’t turn down.  Although perhaps not the healthiest way to eat almonds, it is certainly one of the most delicious.  And we all need something sweet sometimes so we might as well make it as healthy as we can.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips (really good quality ones. I like the organic 70% cocoa ones from Honest to Goodness)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup almonds (smashed)
  • 2 cups rice puffs

Method

  1. Put the chocolate chips, coconut oil and salt in a bowl.  Put in the microwave until chocolate starts to melt.  Stir occasionally.  Keep heating until the chocolate is completely melted. Stir until all mixed together.
  2. Smash up the almonds.  I like to put them in a silicone bag and smash them with a rolling pin.
  3. Add the almonds and rice puffs to the chocolate.
  4. Spread the mixture out onto a non-stick mat to desired thickness.
  5. Leave the mixture to sit for about an hour or until it is completely hard.  The length of time needed will depend on room temperature.
  6. Once hard, break up by hand or cut with a knife.
  7. Store in an air-tight container.
  8. Enjoy!

Here is a link to the study abstract if you are interested:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31576607/

How do you get Incidental Exercise?

Do you take the stairs at work?

There are two different kinds of exercise – incidental and planned.  Planned is when you go out to just do exercise.  When you go for a run, to the gym, for a bike ride, boot camp etc.  Incidental exercise is all the exercise that you get through your day-to-day activities: walking to the train, walking to school, walking around the office, running after the kids in the backyard.

Planned or structured exercise is great, but this doesn’t always fit into the day. One of the barriers to exercise is that people often don’t feel like they have time to go to the gym for an hour.  Whereas planned exercise takes time, incidental exercise is often done while doing other things and it can be really helpful for our health as we do it more often.  Any amount of exercise is beneficial and lots of short spurts of exercise can have the same effect on your health as a longer session.

Several years ago

I like to turn planned exercise into incidental.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to just go for a bike ride or walk the dog.  But I also like to go out with purpose. I have a bike trailer that I used to use with the kids but now I take it to the shops to get groceries instead of driving.  And the kicker is no matter how tired I might be; I have to make it back.  Really this only adds about 10 minutes each way, but now I have incorporated exercising into shopping.

Now

The kids’ school is about 10 minutes away.  If I walk there and back that’s 20 minutes.   If I do that twice a day, at least 3 days a week I’ve done 60 minutes of walking!  So I’ve made a big dent into my 150-minute goal and I haven’t even gotten started on my planned exercise yet.  

Some other ways you can add incidental exercise into your day are parking further from the train and adding a 10-minute walk there and back each day. Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator. Do squats while brushing your teeth – 2 minutes per brush, 2 brushes per day times 7 days equals 28 minutes of exercise and you haven’t taken time away from anything else in your day.

The possibilities are endless.  You just have to be creative and see what fits into your lifestyle.  So, what are some ways that you get incidental exercise?

Healthy Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Pudding in bowls with fruit

This recipe is certainly a family favourite.  I had to fight off little hands in order to take pictures for this post! This is a different kind of chocolate pudding in that it tastes amazing while being loaded with healthy ingredients.  It is also very easy to make, just blend all the ingredients together. We like to mix in some fresh fruit just before eating, but you can also just eat it plain.  If you have any leftover it also freezes well, although I rarely get any into my freezer!

Pudding ingredients

So why is this pudding so healthy? The ingredients are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, good fats and fibre.  How could you go wrong?

Avocados are a great source of healthy fat and fibre.  Read my other articles to learn more about what fats are and the truth about fats and why they are an important part of your diet. They also contain vitamin C, E, K, B6, folate, magnesium and potassium. Don’t shy away from an avocado, they are great for your health.

Cacao powder is considered a ‘super food’ in the media.  It differs from cocoa in that it hasn’t been roasted.  This retains its natural vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content as well as being a good source of protein, chromium, potassium and magnesium. Watch out for cheap cacao powder though.  I once bought a cheap version and it tasted awful.

Cinnamon is a super tasty way to add a bit more healthiness into your pudding.  It can help lower resting blood sugar, it contains lots of antioxidants, has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and it may even improve your memory (I think;)

I know many of my readers are in Australia, so you may not understand the beauty that is maple syrup, but trust me there is no substitute.  You need to get 100% pure Canadian maple syrup, not a sugar knock off.  While maple syrup does still contain glucose and fructose, it is much lower than regular sugar and has a lower glycemic index.  It is also high in antioxidants, riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium. Oh and did I mention it tastes fantastic!

We have all heard that bananas contain lots of potassium, but did you know they also contain calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin and B6? Now enough of this explanation as to why this pudding is so healthy, lets make it!

in-blender.jpg

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 5 tablespoons real maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients in your blender.
  2. Blend all the ingredients until smooth.
  3. Enjoy!

I have a Vitamix.  I would suggest using either a Vitamix, Thermomix, or Kitchenaid processor to ensure you get a smooth texture.

Pudding 2