As I climbed my way out of first trimester nausea, I was ecstatic to discover the energy boost the second trimester brings. I also discovered intense food cravings like never before, aka, I NEED CHOCOLATE!
Admittedly, I've always been serious about chocolate. My momma taught me to enjoy a piece of chocolate whenever I want, even if it's before breakfast or after brushing my teeth. (She's a good mom!)
However, with the nausea of my first trimester, the thought of anything sweet, yes, even chocolate, made me gag. Now, I'm making up for lost time and scarfing down chocolate with a vengeance.
I honestly started to feel a little out of whack. It's a delicate balance between letting loose a little to fuel a growing belly and sticking true to my very earnest intention to give myself and my baby optimal nourishment. Over indulgence feels yucky.
In thinking about how to stay balanced, I went back to an older blog post, "Can Healthy Desserts Really Be Healthy?"
So glad I did! Even though these were my own words, it was like I was reading them for the first time. They still served as a much-needed reminder to help me get back on track. Some lessons we have to keep learning again and again, and then again...
Here's what I was reminded of:
Healthy desserts may sound like a an oxymoron, but it does not have to be. The Zest style of treat means the ingredients provide nourishment with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, there's less of the not-so-good stuff, and it is delicious enough to make you feel satisfied.
I don't want to miss out on all the fun, but I also want to do well by my body (and now by my baby's body!) I don't want the instant gratification of overly-sugary and fatty desserts, only to suffer an energy crash or an upset stomach later on. Even worse, I don't want shame over what I ate to fill up my headspace taking away precious time from more important things in life.
I want to love the sh*t out of each bite, then move on with my day!
That's the happy-medium we strive to offer - desserts that satisfy without guilt. You can enjoy them with full awareness that they are a treat, but one chosen with intention and self-respect.
Now, I'm taking a pause to remember these intentions before sinking my teeth in. It hasn't meant less chocolate eating ;) Instead, it has meant more joy from that chocolate and less worry.
These flourless, gluten-free, paleo and Whole 30-friendly, double chocolate fudge brownies hit that spot, in all the best ways. They're super easy to make, include all nourishing ingredients and OMG they're so satisfying.
Hope you fall in love with each chocolatey bite!
Double Chocolate Flourless Fudge Brownies
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened cacao powder
- 1 cup of coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil*, melted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
*Note: I used a triple-filtered coconut oil from Trader Joe's that has almost no aroma. Regular coconut oil would work just as well - all depending how coconutty you like it.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8 x 4 loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl or food processor, mix all the ingredients except the chocolate chips until smooth.
- Fold in the chocolate chips, saving a few to sprinkle on top.
- Pour batter pan. Sprinkle the top with dark chocolate chips and small pinch of sea salt.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. Take them out of the oven when the middle still has a slight jiggle.
- Let cook for a few hours (or if you're like me and can't wait that long, refrigerate for ~30 min.) before cutting and eating.