The majority of people think my diet-led lifestyle, as documented on Primal Plate’s blog, is impossibly hard to follow. So at the risk of repeating myself, in today’s post I’m going to attempt to sort the ‘wheat from the chaff’ of excuses people give for turning a blind eye and continuing to make dietary choices that are clearly detrimental to their health.
First up, “I’ve no time to cook”. Aside from eating raw food or at the very least throwing everything together in a blender to make nutritious soups and smoothies, if you won’t regularly cook real food at home, you’re in trouble. If you’re not willing to invest the time to eat healthy food now, you’ll almost certainly spend time later in a sickened state rueing the day you thought you had something better to do. My secret weapon in the kitchen is enlisting my husband’s help. Don’t try to go it alone, it’s much too much like hard work. I am as much a time-poor cook as you, but needs must if you want to safeguard your health and/or reverse obesity and other diseased states.
“I can’t cook”. As someone who extrapolates information from unintelligible recipes and reconstructs them for Primal Plate’s website, I can understand that many people, having given cooking a go, have deduced from the results that they can’t cook. However, it’s not your fault if the recipe you followed is just plain wrong, which they often are! All Primal Plate recipes are throughly tested before publication and we re-visit them - oftentimes over and over again - when cooking our own meals. In my absence, both my partner John and daughter Sarah faithfully follow Primal Plate recipes on their iPhones to both shop for and then produce the same delicious results. It’s comforting to know that if anything happens to me they’ll have a volume of healthy recipes to refer to that won’t ever let them down. If you can read, you can cook.
“It’s too expensive”. Buying organic is something I’m really strict about - not just fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, fish and dairy but also tea, coffee (made with filtered water), the wine we drink (very low sulphite) and condiments like salt, vinegar, pepper, other spices, herbs and flavourings. The same rule applies to all our personal care and household cleaning products etc. Whilst you can never avoid all the noxious chemicals man has devised in the name of profit and experimentation in this mad world (hello Monsanto/Bayer), you can at least limit your exposure by filtering out all those toxins in your food and drink, the air you breathe and what you absorb via your mouth (toothpaste etc.) and skin. What happens when you combine processed junk food, GMOs, antibiotics, agricultural chemicals, dodgy school dinners, fluoride-loaded water, chemical-based prescription medicines and toxic vaccination programmes? God only knows, but there are people and corporations that are hell-bent on de-populating the earth, and it seems to me that they have the process well in hand! Eating mostly fresh, raw, organic whole foods and going ‘green’ may cost a little more money but it is an act of defiance in support of the environment that can help prevent disease, keep you out of hospital and extend life. What price good health? You decide.
“A high fat diet makes you fat”. No it does not. Eating foods that are high in healthy fats fills you up and makes you want to eat less, which aids weight loss. Just don’t combine high-fat food with high-carbohydrate foods or too much protein. If you eat high carbohydrate foods and more protein than your body requires, it will simply convert most of those calories to sugar (glucose) and then fat. Increased blood sugar levels from whatever source also fuels cancer cell growth. Since reading Fat For Fuel, my goal, which I track most days via myfitnesspal.com, is to eat a diet high in healthy fat with medium amounts of protein and low amounts of carbohydrate. The ratio looks something like this: 94g fat, 65g protein and 49g carbohydrate per day. Anyone who wants to lose weight, combat disease, slow down ageing, boost their brain power and have more energy, needs to get onboard with the principles of Fat For Fuel and quit thinking that the body needs carbohydrates (glucose) for energy, or that eating low-carb means replacing carbohydrates with excessive amounts of protein (also glucose forming!) as subscribed to by followers of Atkins, Paleo and Primal.
One of the concerns I had whilst making the adjustment to our family meals was how to keep up with John and Sarah’s requirement for the extra calories that I don’t need (ah, the joys of ageing!). To get our calorific needs more in alignment, I now practice intermittent fasting i.e not eating solid food for 16-18 hours in every 24 hours. However, these Chocolate Orange & Cardamom Fat Nuggets - little calorific nuggets made primarily from coconut and almond butter (generally referred to by ketogenic dieters as “fat bombs”) have been a real game-changer for us all.
There will be many more keto-inspired (LCHF) recipes coming soon on Primal Plate’s blog, but for now these Chocolate Orange & Cardamom Fat Nuggets are the most enjoyable way I could think of to satiate your appetite for something sweet, provide bags of energy and to ease the process of switching your body from its reliance on burning glucose for energy to fat burning instead.
Standing in for luxury truffles, after dinner petits fours, semifreddo, mini chocolate parfaits or - in its unformed state - a delicious spoon-from-the-jar chocolate spread, the sophisticated flavour combo of chocolate, orange and cardamom tastes like really expensive chocolate. Better than any chocolates I’ve ever tasted, these little nuggets of goodness are what you might call “happy superfood”. Pure gold for keto-dieters and also the health conscious, sports people and keep fit fanatics, these easy-to-make Chocolate Orange & Cardamom Fat Nuggets should help convince you that if you want to look good on the outside and feel good inside, fat is your new best friend.
Half this recipe will make 30 chocolates, the other half a ready-to-eat chocolate spread. Very yummy, very moreish, Orange & Cardamom Chocolate Fat Nuggets are no longer a dietary stop-gap for John and Sarah but have earned their place in our house as a daily ‘must-have’ nutritional necessity.
Chocolate Orange & Cardamom Fat Nuggets (Makes 30 x 10g nuggets plus approx. 200g chocolate spread)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 tbsp raw organic cacao powder
15 drops organic liquid stevia
1 tbsp raw organic honey
20 organic cardamom pods crushed in a pestle and mortar, husks removed and seeds finely ground
2 organic oranges, zest only
Boil a kettle of water.
Place all the ingredients into a large glass heatproof bowl.
Pour the boiling water from the kettle into a saucepan large enough to accommodate the bowl of ingredients.
Place the bowl of ingredients on top of the saucepan of water to create a double-boiler i.e. the base of the bowl should not be in direct contact with the water. Set over a medium-low heat.
Stir the ingredients together until everything melts into a smooth, creamy, pourable mixture that easily drops from a spoon. As soon as the ingredients are well combined take the pan off the heat. N.B. It’s important not to let the mixture get too hot as this will cause it to separate into an oily mess!
To make a batch of professional-looking, individual fat nuggets, immediately spoon half of the melted mixture into a silicone chocolate mould (I used this one from Lakeland).
Pour the remaining mixture into a Kilner/mason jar whilst it’s still warm. Cover and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, open-freeze the individual fat nuggets in their chocolate mould until solid. When completely frozen, unmould them and store in a lidded freezer-proof container in the freezer until you’re ready to eat them. Take them out of the freezer to soften about 10 minutes before serving. Tip: I place each frozen nugget on a dinky, decorative spoon to ‘come-to’ in readiness for serving; this means they melt in your mouth, not on your fingers!
If posh presentation isn’t your thing, simply pour all of the mixture directly into a 500ml Kilner/mason jar and when it’s cooled down, store in the fridge. You can then spoon it out of the jar as required - i.e. eat it straight off the spoon, add to dairy or nut milk and whizz together in a blender to make chocolate milk, or use as a delicious chocolate spread on hot toast or bread.
If the mixture overheats during the melting process causing it to separate, it can be saved by quickly whisking-in a couple of ice cubes.
To fully enjoy these healthy Chocolate Orange & Cardamom Fat Nuggets, please ignore the recent attack made on saturated fat by the American Heart Association. In my view, it's no more than the death rattle of a desperate organisation that’s lost its credibility and should be defunct. Still, I enjoyed the furore they caused on social media last week! Most people know from experience that public health guidelines encouraging you to eat a diet low in fat and high in carbohydrate and to substitute natural saturated fats for processed, polyunsaturated vegetable oils, simply doesn’t work. It is a dietary formula that makes you sick and fat. Specifically, there never was, and still isn’t, a single shred of scientific evidence to support the demonisation of saturated fat as the root cause of heart disease, high cholesterol, clogged arteries or myocardial infarction. It’s all a big, fat lie! To read more, click here.
Fat 3g Carbohydrate 1g Protein 1g - per nugget or 10g serving of chocolate spread