Susie Burrell

‘your food, your body, your life’

How to enjoy your favourite treat without blowing out your diet.

This is a sponsored post, brought to you by Mayver’s.

You would be hard pressed to find many people who do not enjoy chocolate – the sweet, creamy mix that is often ranked as our number one favourite food. While chocolate brings many of us much pleasure, nutritionally it is not so great – high in calories, fats and sugars while research is regularly published that talks about the health benefits of chocolate, the reality is that it is easy to overeat. So, this World Chocolate Day, here are some tips that will help you to enjoy your favourite treat without overdoing it.

1. Go for quality over quantity

While there is plenty of chocolate around, there is also plenty of chocolate that is not necessarily your favourite, or that you get maximal pleasure from eating. The key with being able to indulge in high calorie food and not overeat is to mindfully use your calories on foods that you get maximal pleasure from. This means that you are much better to savour some good quality chocolate once each day; or buy yourself a special block once each week than snack mindlessly on chocolate you do not love. When you have permission to actually eat the type of chocolate you love, and have factored it into your overall calorie control, you will find you eat a whole lot less than when you are trying to actively try and restrict your intake.

2. Portion control is the key

Human beings will eat what food is readily available, which means if you buy an entire block of chocolate and open it, chances are you will eat the whole block, a lot more quickly than you would like to. For this reason, if you have trouble controlling portions of chocolate, opt to only buy smaller, portion controlled serves to help reduce the chance of overeating.

3. Get the timing right

Often, we crack open the chocolate in the evening and munch for several hours before bed. Research has shown that you are much better to limit your intake to just an hour each day, rather than munching on multiple serves of this high calorie food throughout the day. When consumption was limited to a set time, research participants also craved less sweet food throughout the day. So, if you love to enjoy chocolate daily, create a set time to sit and enjoy it and stick to that.

4. Balance it out

The intense sweetness of milk chocolate in particular means that it is easy to start and keep on eating it. Incorporating it with other nutritionally rich foods such as choc dipped fruit, Mayver’s Peanut Butter and chocolate brownies or within a trail mix will help to regulate your blood glucose levels and help keep the total amount of chocolate you consume under control. There are also low sugar varieties chocolate spreads including Mayver’s Hazelnut, Cashew and Cacao Butter which still offer all the taste and mouthfeel of chocolate, minus the processed fats and sugars you find in other chocolate spreads.

5. Develop your own chocolate rules

You may like to enjoy a little chocolate each day, or wait and indulge in a much larger portion occasionally but the good thing about food rules is that they help to avoid daily food deliberations that take much time and energy and usually see us relent and eat whatever we see or are offered. Rather, once you know that you only eat chocolate at a certain time, or only a certain type of chocolate, it will be much easier to keep your chocolate habit under control.

Choc Ripple Brownies

Serves 16

Ingredients

3/4 cup Mayver’s Cacao Super Spread

2 1/2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. honey

¼ tsp. salt

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3 eggs, whisked

1/2 cup plain wholemeal flour

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan forced. Line a non-stick 20cm x 20cm baking tin with baking paper.

2. Place 1/2 cup of Mayver’s Cacao Super Spread, butter, honey and salt in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Stir until the butter is melted the ingredients are well combined.

3. Remove pan from heat and mix in the cocoa powder until smooth. Add eggs and mix vigorously until batter is smooth and shiny. Add flour and chocolate chips and stir to combine. Pour batter into lined tin.

4. Using a teaspoon, place small dollops of remaining Mayver’s Cacao Super Spread over the top of the batter and use a toothpick to create swirls.

5. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove and cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cut into 16 squares.