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We all need to indulge every night once in a while, and with the 1st of January now well over a month behind us, it’s not surprising that we’re left craving something sweet, rich, creamy, decadent and delicious as our New Year’s resolutions begin to fade into distant memory.

Lucky for you, this Guilt-Free Chocolate Protein Pudding ticks ALL those boxes whilst ensuring you don’t ruin all that hard work and fall off the New Years’ resolution wagon!  In fact, being fat-free, gluten-free, refined sugar free, low in calories and high in protein, antioxidants and other important nutrients, it may even help you stick to all your virtuous plans and stay on the healthy eating track well into February and beyond!

This protein-packed pudding is ideal for a mid-afternoon or post-workout snack, delicious eaten as a dip with apple slices or carrot sticks and even makes the perfect late night treat when you’re craving something sweet but don’t want to give in to your waistline demons!  Being a night owl, late evenings are my weakness and no matter how filling my dinner is earlier on in the evening, I always need a satisfying snack in the later hours of the night! I listen to my body and try not to deprive myself, but I’d rather fill up on healthy and wholesome nourishing “treats” that will leave me full and satiated, than sugar-filled empty calories that do just the opposite!  With this super simple, delicious recipe, I can “indulge” daily (and nightly!) without ever compromising on my healthy eating standards.

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This scrumptious snack is a guilt-free treat that tastes like a decadent, rich, sinful chocolate pudding but nutritionally, is quite the opposite

Greek yogurt, a fantastically healthy option, is packed with protein, and having 17.5 grams of protein per 170g serving (roughly double the amount of regular yoghurt & boasting almost the same amount as three large eggs!), just one serving of this thick, creamy yoghurt provides a whopping 20% of your daily calcium needs in just 120 calories – critical for healthy bones and a metabolism boost!  Greek yoghurt is also super low in carbs and sugars, and is a fantastic source of immune-boosting probiotics (a.k.a. the good bacteria in your digestive tract).  An interesting study published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases reported that among more than 8,500 European adults, those who enjoyed a serving or more of natural yoghurt every day (either low-fat or full fat) were 20% less likely to become overweight, and 38% less likely to become obese during the six-year follow-up compared to those who ate less than two servings of yoghurt each week!  The researchers believe that the protein, calcium, and pro-biotics in Greek yoghurt may all play a role in keeping you slim and trim!

Cocoa has also been shown to have tremendous health benefits.  It’s full of anti-oxidants, which help the body defend against aging, tissue damage, inflammation and diseases such as cancer and heart disease.  Studies have also linked chocolate consumption to lower blood pressure, reduced risk of strokes, lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and increased “good” HDL cholesterol.  Recent studies have also shown that regular consumption of chocolate was consistently associated with a reduced body mass index (BMI), compared with occasional consumption!

So what are you waiting for?  Whip yourself up this delicious treat to stay full, trim and healthy for the rest of 2015 and beyond!

Portion control & enjoying what you love - Xenia does indulging right!
Portion control & enjoying what you love – Xenia does indulging right!

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RECIPE

Ingredients

170g 0% Greek yoghurt
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1-2 Tbsp. agave syrup or Stevia
1/4 tsp. vanilla
Optional (toppings): blueberries/ dark chocolate chips/ sliced almonds/ shredded coconut/ chopped walnuts

Directions

Mix all ingredients together well in a mixing bowl, until cocoa powder fully mixed in (with no lumps left!) and smooth pudding-like consistency is reached.

Spoon into a serving bowl. (To make it more “fro-yo” or ice-cream like, you can pop it into the freezer for 30 mins before tucking in!)

Top with: blueberries/ dark chocolate chips/ sliced almonds/ shredded coconut/ chopped walnuts.  Drizzle with additional agave if desired.  Enjoy! 🙂

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