Summer is by far my favorite time of the year. I get to spend time in nature feeling the warm sunshine, socializing outdoors with friends and loved ones and enjoying the delicious bounty that the season has to offer – along with a few treats and indulgences here and there. This is the time of the year when many choose to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of daily living, slowing things down and allowing some time to relax.
During the summer, indulgences abound (although each season comes with its fair share of goodies). Deciding when it’s time for a treat is a personal decision based on how you are feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally.
The most important factor in enjoying a treat is making the decision to eat it. Mindlessly grazing at summer parties and barbecues, eating snacks, sweets or desserts that may not even taste too good are easy traps to fall in to. Eating in these kinds of social situations can be a mindless habit and not a great way to enjoy a true treat or indulgence
Be sure to mindfully choose when you’ll enjoy a treat. Make the decision to savor the food and the moment and take the time to think about why that food or that occasion is worth it to you.
Baked goods and dairy free treats made with almond or coconut flours and milks, nut butters, and dried fruit are healthier choices than conventional baked goods. These Paleo versions, made without grains and refined sugar, are still treats, but they deliver the taste sensation of traditional goodies without the problems of gluten and refined sugar.
One small caveat to choosing a treat would be if you have a known allergy or sensitivity to certain foods or a diagnosed illness preventing you from consuming certain foods, Choose your treats wisely and always read ingredient labels carefully, even if the treat is Paleo friendly.
Since most pre-packaged treats and indulgences are not an option when you are eating a Paleo diet, thinking ahead and planning these types of foods becomes important.
A few considerations when choosing a Paleo treat
Don’t over-consume carbs or calories in any one sitting. It can be way too easy to over-indulge on fruit and decadent treats. The body can only handle a certain amount of at any one time and excess food eaten that cannot be used by your body for immediate energy gets turned into fat tissue and food for pathogenic gut microbes. Especially when indulging in a treat, be mindful to not consume too much energy (too many calories) at one time
Avoid snacking on carb-rich foods in isolation – it is best not to eat sweet or starchy treats and fruits alone. Eating carbohydrates without a protein or fat can trigger a blood sugar roller coaster. The spikes and dips in your blood sugar can trigger hunger, fatigue, crankiness, and cravings. This cycle then causes a desire for even more sweet-laden foods.
Eating a protein and/or fat with your carbohydrates slows down the delivery of glucose to your bloodstream. These 2 macronutrients do not spike blood sugar as quickly or as drastically as carbohydrates do.
Favorite Paleo Treats
Unfortunately, finding ‘Paleo’ dessert recipes that are actually Paleo AND look and taste delicious can be challenging. So many of the treats that look so good in their picture rarely turn out as pretty or taste anything like what they are supposed to be.
Treats To Order:
Paleo Treats sells some seriously delicious desserts that will instantly capture the heart and taste-buds of any chocolate-lover. They sell 6 different types of paleo cookies and bars that will satisfy your sweet cravings whilst still adhering to your Paleo Principles.
Instead of searching, scouring, hunting, gathering, shopping, sifting, mixing, making, and baking to not get the result you were wanting, simply order Paleo Treats to be delivered right to you!
Paleo Bakehouse have created a few decadent desserts that are handcrafted (not lab created), delicious and contain only 7 ingredients or less (all of which are identifiable). All their products are Paleo friendly (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free). Baked Paleo deliciousness delivered right to you!
Eating Evolved’s motto is ‘It’s food; not candy’. All their sweet treats are made with certified organic, dairy free, gluten free and paleo friendly ingredients. These are the perfect way to add a little chocolate into your life.
Phat Fudge is the perfect replacement for those "Gel Packs" minus all the weird stuff. Each ingredient is deliberate, aiming to provide instant and sustained energy, focus, memory, combat inflammation, and acts as a natural thermogenic. Made with real, raw and 100% unprocessed ingredients that support a healthy paleo lifestyle.
JERF Bars offer nutritious and convenient snacks on-the go. Each bar is made with only the best quality Paleo friendly ingredients to ensure that eating real food is something you can always fit into your day. They will keep you satisfied and energized for hours without the usual fillers, artificial ingredients, and chemicals found in standard food bars.
Steve’s Paleo Goods treats and granola make enjoying an indulgence and keeping your Paleo principles intact a possibility! Eat them on their own, with a splash of almond milk, or crumbled over some Paleo ice cream (see my recipe below) for a delectable crunchy treat!
Paleo Ice Cream
Coconut milk is one of my favourite ingredients. I always have it in my pantry and it is especially wonderful in dairy-free ice cream recipes that both look and taste as good as the non-Paleo version.
Easy Coconut Ice Cream With Magic Shell Topping
No ice cream maker is needed for my favorite summer dessert recipe. All you need are ice cube trays, and either a blender or a food processor. A high-speed blender will yield a very smooth ice cream, but depending on the strength of the motor in your food processor you can get a perfect consistency in there too.
Prep time: 15 Minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 Minutes + Freezing time
Yield: 6 servings
For the ice cream:
- 1 large banana
- ¼ cup raw honey
- 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 can full fat organic coconut milk
- 3 Tbsp shredded coconut
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean, scraped)
- 1-2 Tbsp organic vodka, (optional, this is technically NOT Paleo. But the alcohol lowers the freezing point resulting in a smoother ice cream)
For the shell:
- ½ cup cacao
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup cacao butter
- 2 Tbsp honey
For the ice cream:
- Place banana, lemon juice and honey in a blender and process until well mashed.
- Add coconut milk, dried coconut, vanilla and optional vodka and blend.
- Reserve ½ cup of the ice cream mixture in the fridge.
- Freeze the rest in ice cube trays for 3 or more hours, until frozen.
- Place the cubes into your blender or food processor, add the reserved non-frozen mix and process until smooth.
- Serve immediately or store in the freezer.
You can also reserve some of the cubes to add to your summer smoothies or mocktails.
For the shell:
- Fill a pot with 2 inches of water and place a stainless steel bowl over the top or use a double boiler.
- Over medium heat, add all the ingredients to the bowl.
- Stir continuously until the ingredients melt together.
- Drizzle over ice cream,
The best way to store extra sauce is in ice cube trays. Once solid, pop the cubes out and keep in an airtight container in the freezer. Melt back to liquid as needed.
Makes 1 cup
- Use your favorite home-made or store bought dairy free yogurt for added zing
- Add extra flavours like cacao, coffee, cinnamon or orange
- Replace the banana with any summer fruit of your choice.
Need extra toppings?
Of course, this recipe is completely delicious on its own, but you can also take it to the next level by adding even more toppings.
- Dairy-Free Coconut Whipped Cream
- A handful of fresh, seasonal fruit (berries are always a good choice)
- Freeze dried fruit
- A drizzle of maple syrup or honey
- A drizzle of cooled, brewed coffee
- A handful of chopped nuts or seeds, raw, dry roasted or spiced
- Nut butter
- Coconut chips
- Cacao nibs
- Goji berries, dates or dried cranberries
- Home-made or Paleo friendly preserves or compotes
- Paleo Nut Brittle
- Get a little adventurous with a drizzle of fruity olive oil or a splash of aged balsamic vinegar if you have used berries. You could even try drizzling some Pete’s Paleo bacon with maple syrup before cooking and crumbling on top for a sweet/savory combination.
Savor Your Indulgence
You deserve the best, so when you choose to eat a treat, make sure you pick the very best version of that treat you can find.
When it’s time to dig in, eat slowly, use all your senses, and mindfully enjoy every bite. When experiencing anything delicious – something that should be savoured, nourished, indulged in, shared, and celebrated – grant yourself the sweetest of luxuries: to rest and digest it all, expressing gratitude for the experience and savoring each morsel.
Michal Ofer is a wellness and digestion expert and nutrition coach. She is focused on assisting clients to take control of their health and happiness through the sustainable food and lifestyle choices that best support them. Through strengthening the body from the inside out, her clients are able to reach new heights of health, happiness and wellness. Michal obtained her Professional Training and Certificate from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. She has a further studied through the University of Colorado (Boulder) and Stanford University and is a Certified 21 Day Sugar Detox Coach. Michal has also received a Bachelor’s Degree in Life Sciences and a Master Life Coach Certification. For further information and to connect with Michal visit her website at www.michalofer.com