We asked some of our favorite yoga experts to share their go-to sweet treats — plus recipes! (Photo: Stocksy/Yahoo)
Let’s be real: When you think “yoga expert,” you most likely think of someone with a rock-hard body, inconceivable flexibility, a zen attitude … and really good self-control in the healthy-eating department. And while it may seem like yogis never consume anything but the most wholesome, good-for-you foods, the truth is, they’re humans too — humans with a sweet tooth.
"Dessert is a celebration for me,” Beyond Asana founder Brittany Policastro — who herself is a sucker for dark chocolate and almonds and walnut-packed brownies — tells Yahoo Health. “It comes with a childlike enthusiasm. This is a quality I want in my life as often as possible.”
Indulging in a sweet treat is all a part of maintaining a healthy balance in life, says dark-chocolate-lover Heidi Kristoffer, who created Microsoft’s Bing Fitness Yoga and CrossFlowX in New York City. “I never deprive myself of sweets. Rather, I make sure that they are vegan, and preferably raw,” Kristoffer tells Yahoo Health. “And if I indulge, it had better be worth it, so I indulge in the highest quality dark chocolates, and decadent desserts that I relish every morsel of.”
We asked some of our favorite experts to share their go-to sweet treats so you can indulge like a yogi. Read on for their recipes:
This dessert is packed with superfoods: spirulina, tahini, cinnamon, and lemon juice! (Photo: Jordi Lippe for Yahoo Health)
Mandy Ingber, who helps craft the bodies of A-list stars with her yoga routines, loves her sweets. “It’s a must for me,” she tells Yahoo Health. “It’s really important to have yummy foods and treats to look forward to so that you have that sense of delight and enjoyment in your life.”
Ingber considers cacao a superfood, along with raw honey and coconut oil (all of which she uses to make her own raw chocolate). She also has a “Painted Fruit” recipe she loves in her book Yogalosophy: 28 Days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover, and is known to indulge in coconut milk ice cream (strawberry and java flavors are her favorites).
1 heaping tablespoon raw almond butter
1 heaping tablespoon raw tahini
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon hempseed oil
3 tablespoons spirulina powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1/2 cup coconut water
Your favorite freshly cut fruit
In a small bowl, mix almond butter, tahini, agave, lemon juice, cinnamon, and hempseed oil together until creamy. Slowly stir in spirulina powder. If mix starts to get too thick, start stirring in the juice and then add the remaining spirulina. Mix to desired consistency. You may forego the juice, depending on desired thickness.
Pour or spoon the mix over freshly cut fruit (banana, mango, papaya, heaps of berries). Garnish with more cinnamon and dried coconut shavings. The paint doesn’t last very long, so consume immediately, share with friends, or store in the fridge! May be served with chopped almonds for added crunch.
Ground Dates Rolled in Coconut
This two-ingredient dessert is also a good source of fiber. (Photo: Matt Giordano)
For New York City-based yoga teacher Matt Giordano (who you might recognize from his work with Gaiam), hankerings for sweet are just a part of life. He’ll even pack some treats to indulge in between classes and workshops when his cravings get serious. One of his favorites is a raw dessert with ingredients you can find any supermarket: Dates rolled in coconut. “They are a super delicious sweet treat that doesn’t leave me with a sugar crash or belly ache,” he tells Yahoo Health. Bonus: This treat is also high in fiber.
Ground Dates Rolled In Coconut
Remove the seeds from the dates. Put the dates in a blender or food processor (or mash them up yourselves with your hands). Roll the dates in coconut. Enjoy!
This dessert’s reddish hue comes from goji berries. (Photo: Jordi Lippe for Yahoo Health)
For Yoga Medicine founder Tiffany Cruikshank, simple is better when it comes to dessert.
"I like simple desserts I can whip up that are yummy, healthy, and decadent," she tells Yahoo Health. Among her favorites are baked apples with honey and cinnamon, as well a dessert called “Mint Whip” — made with avocado! — from her book Optimal Health for a Vibrant Life.
Cruikshank doesn’t blacklist dessert from her diet — instead, she allows herself to have sweets to avoid deprivation and the terrible rebound effect it creates. Plus, the social aspect of food — and the enjoyment of it — is important, she says. And it’s not just the actual food — the social aspect of dessert is important as well. “Enjoying food or desserts with friends and family can fill an important role in our health as it relates to our social connections and well-being,” she adds.
1/4 cup coconut water to desired consistency
1 drop peppermint oil
1/4 cup goji berries
Blend, chill, and serve cool.
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