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PHUKET: I hope you have had a great festive season and that those with children are enjoying their time with them during the holidays.

I thought I would offer some healthy, tasty and easily made alternatives to the standard treats that will keep both kids and grownups happy.

You’ll notice that the recipe is full of good fats such as coconut milk, butter/ghee, and nut flour. Good fats, (including saturated ones like coconut milk) are critical to young bodies; bringing strength to cells, supporting good nerve development and making hormones, among many other functions.

They also make us feel full, unlike refined white sugar that not only damages cells when consumed in excess, but also makes us feel hungry soon afterwards.

FRUIT FLAVORED POPSICLES

You will need popsicle molds for this, which are easily available at most department stores (including Villa and Tesco) and don’t cost too much. One tray makes a set of four standard popsicles.

Ingredients:
100ml fruit pulp (store bought or prepared yourself) or fruit juice as a substitute for fruit pulp.
(Cut open a passion fruit, strain the juice and remove seeds. You can also use banana, mango and berries instead of passion fruit.)
250ml of Coconut milk
Add a teaspoon of xylitol, raw honey or coconut flower sugar.

Directions:
Mix the ingredients in a blender or in a jar and shake. Pour the mixture into the molds and freeze overnight.

FUDGE

Ingredients:
250g of butter or ghee (unsalted, slowly cooked in a slow cooker to make ghee).
Leave out or slowly heat to make the liquid.
1-2 Mashed Bananas (Add extra raw honey if needed, but the banana makes it sweet)
50g of Nut butter (hazelnut, cashewnut or peanut butter).
50ml coconut milk

Directions:
Mix all ingredients in a blender.

Pour the ingredients onto a thin baking tray lined with baking paper. Make it flat and put it in the freezer for several hours.

Remove the trays and cut the fudge into small squares. Store in boxes in the freezer.

CHOCOLATE CAKE

Ingredients:
230g of butter (unsalted)
25g of dark chocolate
2 tablespoons of raw, unsweetened chocolate powder
150g of almond meal
50g of rice flour
2 eggs
50g of xylitol, raw honey or coconut sugar – I mix in stevia leaf and xylitol

Directions:
Melt butter in pan and mix in chocolate and chocolate powder – gently heat all ingredients but do not burn.

In a bowl, mix remaining ingredients and add chocolate butter from pan (after slightly cooling).

Pour dough mixture into a cake tin (with baking paper layer) and bake for 20 -25 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.

As an alternative, you could mix berries, banana, or sliced apple into mixture. Can be enjoyed warm with fresh whipped cream or cut into small pieces, frozen and enjoyed cold.

Craig Burton is a Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN) with a Bachelor of Science degree (Sports Science) and a National Academy of Sports Medicine (PES) certification.

— Craig Burton