A yummy, healthy-ish snack

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy indulging in a small amount of dark chocolate on a semi-regular basis. If you purchase one with a high percentage of cacao, I find you can’t eat as much of it as you could with milk or flavoured chocolate.

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Image - organicfitness.com

As written by Women’s Health Magazine dark chocolate with 70% or higher cacao holds multiple health benefits. Some benefits include reducing stress and blood pressure, as well as the risk of heart disease or stroke, and assisting with weight maintenance (probably as less is eaten) and increasing mental function.

With this in mind, combined with a craving for chocolate {there is none in the house}, I decided that I wanted to make use of the benefits – and my enjoyment – of dark chocolate.  I came up with the following snack and can’t wait to head to the shops tomorrow, buy ingredients and try it!

Dark Chocolate Mixers

The concept is pretty simple, get some dark chocolate to melt down and mix other healthy ingredients into it, let the chocolate set, and then enjoy! What you use is really up to you, below I’ve depicted what I will make first, but first – some ingredient possibilities…

* Dried fruit e.g cranberry,  apricot, banana chips
* Nuts that are unsalted, roasted (no flavour, salt or coating)
* Trail mix, oats or cereals like Special K or Cornflakes
* Seeds
* Dessicated coconut
* Plain, unsweetened popcorn

Tomorrow I make ones combining dark chocolate,  chopped cranberries and unsalted peanuts, I will update with some shots when they have set!

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Image - thehungrymouse.com

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Image - nutsinbulk.com

What would you put in your mixers? I like the idea of having a container of these in the kitchen for a quick snack that is tasty and not completely unhealthy to have as an occasional treat. Do you already make something similar?

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Kooklah xo

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Food for Thought

Two Days, two Gal-Pal dinner dates.

Last night I went out with a friend for a long overdue catch up, we went for dinner and to talk gossip. Our night started with sharing some dishes (tapas style) at 5 Sawyers in Newcastle’s Darby St – a brilliant hotspot for dining. I hadn’t been to 5 Sawyers before, it was cosy and eclectic with a story/history on display on one wall – complete with pictures, and the tagline of ‘A bar with food…’

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For twenty dollars each we enjoyed chips cooked in some kind of chilli rub with aioli, some tomato bruschetta bread and soft tacos with guacamole, garlic paste, salad and beautiful slow cooked lamb.
The staff were friendly, attentive and the food amazing! Will definitely go back for those tacos again soon…

To end the night we went across the street to Coco Monde for dessert, after pondering the tantalising menu we both settled on an American style chocolate fudge brownie. Rich, decadent and tasty! Came to the table with a twill stick that was completely chocolate,  ice cream and drizzled melted chocolate all over the plate.

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Can definitely recommend the brownie… I am interested in trying out the main meals also, and maybe another dessert!

Then tonight for dinner date number two, I went out into Maitland with three gorgeous work friends for a relaxed catch up. We spent the night at Fratelli Roma – a gorgeous Italian restaurant.
After sharing an antipasto plate (which I enjoyed with a glass of shiraz) we made our way through the mains.  At Fratelli, the pasta is hand-made, in house. They have incredible seafood. Tonight I enjoyed two aranchini balls and an entree size of calamari – which is lightly crumbed and deliciously salty.

Our mains were followed by sharing multiple desserts which included creme brulee, pannacotta, passionfruit tart and tiramisu.

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This restaurant has soft lining, upholstered walls with wooden details and is an affordable yet fancy place to eat – great for a treat with friends or for a romantic date.

Have you tried any of these places? Do you have any suggestions of places to try. Hope you’ve enjoyed the food musings from a self-confessed ‘foodie’.

Kooklah xo

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