I have the delightful pleasure of having the fabulous August McLaughlin on my blog today. Have you met her? You totally should – www.augustmclaughlin.com. The moment I found her website and blog I knew she was a woman after my own heart. I honestly can’t stop talking bout this woman and being so proud of her – she has such a giving heart, a passion for life and writing and I can’t wait to read her books and be one of her groupies as she writes stories that pull me into her world! She’s a real treasure … and before I gush more and make her even more embarrassed than she is … here she is making me blush! I’ve sprinkled little comments throughout her post and highlight them in red.
I don’t know of any research to back this up, but it seems to me that people who love chocolate are a lot like chocolate. Take our lovely host, Steena, for example.
I met Steena through Indies Unite for Joshua—a campaign to raise money for author Maxwell Cynn, whose 21-year-old son Joshua is fighting a brutal battle with leukemia. Not only is Steena as sweet as chocolate, she knows that sharing makes life even sweeter. She’s also nutty and fun, and is known to dip into the dark side… Her suspenseful, inspiring tale Finding Emma is coming up soon on my to-read list. Having read an excerpt, the word ‘delicious’ comes to mind.
(Now I really am blushing … you’re too sweet August. Really! But … I’ll gladly share my chocolate with you darlin’ – any day!)
See what I mean???
In honor of Steena’s chocolatey spirit, I say we all treat ourselves to some scrumptious chocolate cake. Because I’m a bit of a health-nut, I’ve decided to share my practically-instant whole grain chocolate cake recipe along with a few ways to enjoy your chocolate and stay healthy, too. I hope you’ll pull out your apron and join us. 🙂
(Seriously – how can you not LOVE this woman! She named a chocolate cake after me!!!)
Steena-riffic (Practically) Instant Chocolate Cake
Makes 2 servings
4 tablespoons whole grain flour (of choice)
3 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1/8 teaspoon of baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
two dashes of cinnamon
3 tablespoons milk (of choice)
3 tablespoons canola oil
splash of vanilla
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
Natural ice cream, frozen yogurt or whipped topping (optional)
fresh berries (optional)
Combine flour, sweetener, cocoa, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add the egg white, oil, vanilla and milk. Stir well. Add chocolate chips and stir a few more times. Grease a large microwavable mug with canola oil or non-stick cooking spray. Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes.
Top your cake with creamy topping and berries if desired.
*You can substitute 1/4 cup mashed banana or apple sauce for the egg for a lower-cholesterol and/or vegan treat.
(OMG. I’m dying! Seriously – I am so making this cake!!!! I think I’m in love …)
5 Ways to Eat Your Chocolate (And Stay Healthy, Too)
- Eat mindfully. Eating mindfully, in a calm, pleasant atmosphere without your cell phone TV or other distraction, promotes enjoyment and healthy digestion. You’re also more likely to recognize when you’ve had enough.
- Go with dark. Unless you haven’t yet developed a taste for dark chocolate, choose the darkest you can find. Dark chocolate has more cocoa bean, which is rich in health-boosting antioxidants and flavonoids. Research has also linked daily dark chocolate intake with positive heart health.
- Honor your cravings. Resisting food cravings can lead to emotional stress, depressive moods and overeating later on. Enjoying moderate amounts of foods you desire and enjoy as part of an overall healthy diet is a better option. For more on honoring hunger and cravings, check out The Ten Principles of Intuitive Eating. (I always honour my cravings. Always. Neglecting them is just sinful.)
- Fruit it up! Most Americans eat too little produce. Pairing chocolate with fresh or frozen, colorful fruits can help you meet your daily nutrient needs, while adding flavor, fiber and hydration. And the more healthy foods we eat, the more we tend to crave. Add sliced banana and berries to your ice cream treats and baked goods, or dip fruit slices in dark chocolate fondue. (Yum!) (OMG! Seriously – any excuse to make my chocolate healthy and I’m in!)
- Share it. Make like Steena. Share brownies, muffins and fresh-from-the-oven cakes with loved ones. Surprise a distant friend with cookies by mail, or get to know a neighbor by stopping by with chocolate chip banana bread. The more we give, the more we receive. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a delectable win-win to me. (Hello…I’ll put the coffee if anyone brings me cookies, chocolate chip banana bread or even coconut cream pie!)
How are you similar to your favorite sweets? What’s your favorite chocolate goodie? Any healthy baking questions for me? I’m all eye/ears. 😉