Do healthy sweets and treats actually exist?

We all know that eating too much sugar is bad for us… It has been shown that it is actually far worse than fat on our bodies. When you look around at products in your supermarket you will often see lots of fat free or reduced fat products but what about that sugar? A lot of companies are changing recipes and ingredients to reduce sugar in their products but is it enough?

Children aged 4 to 8 who average 1,600 calories per day should limit added sugar to about 3 teaspoons (12 grams) a day. This is such a small amount of sugar! You can find it in just one serving of breakfast cereals 🙁 And when you start looking at the ingredients list of product, sugar is almost everywhere even in your salted crisps or ketchup… we eat sugars in foods we wouldn’t normally expect it to be, for example it was in a salad bowl I bought for lunch one day, why? And then comes pudding time and time for a treat…

So my question is: Do healthy sweet treats actually exist?

Do healthy sweets and treats actually existWell, seek and you will find!

Have you ever heard about Marlenka Honey Cakes?

Marlenka is a delicious all natural honey and nut cake made according to an old Armenian family recipe. A secret family procedure is used to make the milk and honey cream mixture that holds the layers of cake together. The top of the cake is drizzled with chocolate icing. Thanks to its unique taste and attributes it has quickly become a favourite delicacy in many European countries and now it is present in the United Kingdom as well.

Marlenka cakes are 100% natural – no preservatives, synthetic colouring or thickeners.

Yes, they are sweet and yes, they contain sugar which is found in the honey but these are natural ingredients not processed, and natural products are much more healthy and beneficial for us, especially kids.

The Love Marlenka online shop offers a lovely selection of sweet treats suitable for any occasion. There are:

  • Snack Bars in classic honey, cocoa honey and lemon honey flavour. These are perfect one person snacks and have an RRP of just £0.99
  • Mini Cakes which come in original honey and cocoa honey flavour. These make a perfect treat for sharing or just for satisfying bigger individual sweet cravings and have an RRP of £1.99
  • Honey Cakes which come in original honey and cocoa honey flavour and are idea for a family celebration or just an after dinner treat. They retail at £11.99
  • Honey Nuggets, which yet again comes in a choice of three flavours just like the snack bars: classic honey, cocoa honey and lemon honey. Each box retails at £5.99 and contains 10 honey nuggets so a lot of small treats to go around.

I find that Marlenka products do not taste like anything else you can buy from the shops. They taste home baked and give me this warm fuzzy comfort feeling.

I love honey and I love cakes (which you most likely know judging by the amount of bakes on my blog) so a honey cake is simply the perfect combination for me; add to this that it’s all natural ingredients and you have the perfect sweet treat, which not only taste delicious but is good for you too.

Have you ever tried any Marlenka products?

What is your choice for a healthy sweet treat?

Are you concerned by the amount of sugar in our diet these days?

Healthy Snacks – Home Baked Banana Chips

Healthy Snacks – Home Baked Banana ChipsIt would appear you liked my Apple Chips recipe, so today I have for you a different fruit based healthy snack variation – home baked banana chips.

This time I’ve dried just pure bananas, no additions whatsoever.

It worked perfectly and the final chips were mega crunchy and super tasty.

So, what will you need to make some at home?

Well, the ingredients list contain just one item: bananas 🙂

As to everything else you will also need:

  • Pre-heated oven (120C)
  • Baking tray lined with baking parchment
  • Fantastic knife skills or a mandolin
  • Airtight container for storage

So how do we make it?

Creating home-baked banana chips couldn’t be easier.

Basically, all you need to do is to slice your bananas and pop them to the preheated oven.

As you know my chopping skills aren’t perfect so yet again I used my Oxo Chef’s Mandolin Slicer and sliced all my bananas to 4mm thick pieces.

Then, they were evenly placed on the baking tray (nicely lined with paper) and placed in the oven.

30 minutes later I removed them from the oven and flipped all the slices over. The turning process isn’t as easy as with apples as the bananas do not warp or twist like the apples do, so you have to be very careful when turning them. They are also much stickier, but with a little practise and a thin blade, you will have every piece upside down in no time.

Once they are all tuned over pop them back into the oven and allow them to dry for another 30 minutes.

When the time is up, take them out of the oven and set aside to cool.

Your chips will still be drying out slightly when you take them out from the oven.

After 10 or 15 minutes you are ready to have a taste 😉

Top Tips:
Use only ripe, ready to eat bananas. As there is no extra sugar you really don’t want to “chip” the green ones as they will not be as sweet and offer a more bitter experience.

Bananas are sticky and quite fragile, so it is best to use a very sharp knife or a good quality mandolin for slicing otherwise they will simply lose their shape and you risk them turning into a mush.

Remember: bananas have a high-calorie count. A bowl of banana chips might not look much but calorie wise it will be.

Healthy Snacks - Home Baked Banana ChipsWhat do you think about my banana chips?

Will you be making some?

Yum

Healthy Snacks – Home Baked Banana Chips

Healthy Snacks – Home Baked Apple Chips

Home Baked Apple Chips

Just a few days ago Canderel challenged me to come up with a low-calorie recipe. This morning I received my Canderal sweetener and a small shopping voucher so I decided to knuckle down and get straight to work. My first instinct was to bake a cake, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew that a cake would not be an ideal solution… after all try as you might you can’t really resolve all your problems with cake alone 😉

In my head I browsed through endless recipes from the past which would be suitable and after a while I stumbled onto a blast from the past – Home Baked Apple Chips, perfect I thought to myself.

Healthy Snacks – Home Baked Apple Chips.

Growing up, both my parents and my grandparents had allotments, so in the harvest season there was always an abundance of fresh fruit. Being frugal by nature we would always turn them into something else, something more suitable for storage over those long winter months. A lot of apples were therefore turned into dried apples. They didn’t look like my chips here, they were bigger and chunkier but the principle is the same… they make for a perfect, healthy snack and best of all they have a very low calorie count.

So let’s make some Home Baked Apple Chips.

Home Baked Apple Chips with Canderel and cinnamon

Ingredients:

2 large apples

3tsp Canderel granulated sweetener

1tsp cinnamon

1 lemon (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to a very cool 120C (fan assisted).

Line two large baking trays with non stick baking parchment.

In a small bowl mix your Canderel granulated sweetener and the cinnamon.

Make sure you have a fine sieve ready for action.

Home Baked Apple Chips and my  Oxo Chef’s Mandolin Slicer

Finely slice your apples. I don’t have any fully developed chef like knife skills, so I used my Oxo Chef’s Mandolin Slicer. Using a mandolin allowed me to have all my slices of equal thickness which makes baking them later on so much easier.

Place your sliced apples on earlier prepared baking trays.

If you are going for the lemon option, this is the time to do it. The lemon will stop your apples from going brown from oxidation but at the same time it will inevitably add a hint of lemon flavour to your apple slices. I skipped the lemon step this time round but if you are opting in simple cut your lemon in half and juice it on top of your apples.

Healthy Snacks - Home Baked Apple Chips

Using your fine mesh sieve, sprinkle your Canderel and cinnamon mixture all over the apples.

Pop them into the oven and set the timer to 30 minutes.

After this time remove both trays from the oven and turn your apple slices over.

Pop them back into the oven for a further 30 minutes.

Once the time is up, remove from the oven and allow them to cool.

When completely cool store them in an airtight container, if they are not for immediate consumption (be warned though, you will want to try one to see what they taste like which in turn leads to trying another one and then as if by magic you only end up putting three pieces into the airtight storage container).

My Healthy Snacks – Home Baked Apple Chips.

Top Tips:
Do not be tempted to bake them without lining the trays… I know as I did it and the whole batch was ruined as they arc welded themselves to the bottom of the trays!

Your baking time will depend on the thickness of your apple slices (as a guide mine where around 2mm thick)– the thinner the apples, the shorter the cooking time, so please watch them a bit more closely when you bake them for the first time just in case they will need a bit less time. When they start to bend and the edges start to lift this would be your sign that they are almost ready to be turned over… give them another 5 minutes and then perform the flips.

My Healthy Snacks – Home Baked Apple Chips

Do you like fruit chips?

Have you ever made home baked apple chips?

Yum