Since making some changes to my intermittent fasting schedule, I started gaining weight very quickly.
I moved up my lunchtime to 11 AM in the morning. That meant, by the time I was done with my work day (around 7 PM), I started feeling hungry again.
To make matters worse, I shifted my workout time from early morning to late at night. This exacerbated the problem because, after every workout session, I was starving.
I needed something to eat after my workouts. And it couldn’t be anything too heavy, because I always try to avoid late-night food.
That’s when I came across this simple dessert that’s really easy to make and filled with powerful food goodness.
Depending on what I have available, I either use cottage cheese or yogurt as the base.
Whenever possible I use their vegan alternatives, but there have been days when I have used the dairy-based ones because of a lack of options.
When using yogurt, always use the unflavored and unsweetened one.
Ideally, I use one with probiotics and plant-based protein.
Once I put the base in, that’s when the fun part starts. How good you make the dish depends on what toppings you end up putting.
I have three primary boxes that I try to check off when deciding what to put:
- Satisfy my hunger
- Should not make me feel bloated
- Promote health, especially gut health.
With that in mind, these are the toppings I usually go for.
Fruit of Choice (Grapes, Berries, etc)
I usually find it very difficult to incorporate fruits into my diet. This happened to be one of the best ways to do exactly that.
I usually go for grapes or fresh berries.
Fruits, especially berries, tend to be very high in antioxidants. They are also packed with numerous vitamins and are high in fiber. They also tend to be high in water which can help you stay hydrated.
Chia seeds are highly nutritious.
They are loaded with antioxidants that can neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals have been reported to contribute to aging and various cancers.
Chia seeds are also high in fiber and omega-3s.
There have been multiple studies showing correlations between the presence of chia seeds in diets and lowered blood pressure and reduced risk of hypertension, but nothing too conclusive.
I always make sure to put a handful of walnuts as toppings.
Walnuts are rich in Manganese which helps improve bone health, plays a role in regulating blood sugar, and can improve brain function and nerve health.
Above all, I love the taste of walnuts! Pouring a handful as topping also helps you not binge on them if you are having walnuts just as a snack.
Goji Berry Powder
Switching gears a little, from proven benefits to more speculative ones, Goji berry powder makes a constant appearance as a topping in this dessert for me.
Goji Berry is native to Asia and it’s very commonly used as a medicinal herb and food supplement there.
Goji berries contain a chemical compound called Phytochemicals that are produced by plants. The components within this compound — polysaccharides, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin — have tons of good benefits:
- Improves immune function and increases antioxidant
- Vital for bone health and skin health
- Helps regulate blood sugar.
That being said, if you want to try it out, you should consult with your doctor first.
I like all my desserts to be chocolatey! That’s where cacao powder comes in. Also, it has its own healthy properties. But it’s mostly the taste, I promise.
Cacao powder is very high in magnesium. Magnesium can improve mood and brain function. Magnesium also has links to boosting the immune system and regulating blood sugar.
Cacao is also very high in iron. For someone like me who mostly lives a plant-based lifestyle, I definitely appreciate the high dose of iron I get from this dessert. A very common problem for vegans is iron deficiency, and this can help avoid it.
Raw cacao contains something called flavonols. Recent scientific studies have shown that flavanols can improve brain function and cognitive performance.
Bring It Together: Honey
The natural sweetness in honey brings the whole dish together.
Drizzle some honey on top and then mix all the ingredients. The sweetness of the honey complements all the other less sweet ingredients very well.
Just don’t be too generous with your honey, otherwise, you will overwhelm the whole dish.
As you can see, it’s stupidly simple to put this together — yogurt, toppings of your choice, and wrap it up with drizzles of honey.
If you do try it out, please let me know how you like it.