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Have you ever had one of those days when you just needed something sweet like, five minutes ago?
Personally, I’m not normally one to keep cookies/sweets in the house because, A) the neverending sweet tooth (read: boyfriend) would eat it or B) I would eat it when I don’t necessarily need it, thus spinning my diet out of control. So, I’ve come up with a solution that fits the bill: A brownie in less than five minutes.
I always have baking supplies on hand… Baking for me is therapeutic. If I’m having a rough mental health day, focusing on the exact measurements and process for baking is a great way to redirect. But, since I don’t like having sweets around, baking is lower on the list of self-care activities because I don’t want the excess hanging around for a week. Enter that solution I mentioned earlier… It serves 1-2 people, only has six ingredients, and two of them are chocolate.
CHOCOLATE IS A MOOD FOOD!!! Let that sink in for a second. I’m telling you that chocolate is good for you. Obviously, this doesn’t mean you should be eating candy bars at every meal… or even candy bars in general. (hold on…) Candy bars contain too-much added sugar and preservatives for them to be a good mood food. For chocolate to have the most positive impact on your body and brain, you’re going to want dark chocolate. Find chocolate that is at least 70% dark and you’re on your way.
In my last mood food post, I shared the basic nutrients your brain needs to help combat depression. Of those, dark chocolate contains magnesium (helps to manage stress), tryptophan (boosts serotonin), and flavonoids (improves blood flow to the brain). Additionally, unsweetened cocoa powder contains more antioxidants than acai, blueberries, and pomegranates. Dark chocolate can also improve your memory/focus, help to control food cravings, and it produces endorphins! Small amounts are also good for your gut because it supports the good bacterias that live there.
Like I mentioned earlier, this brownie can be put together and healing your soul in about five minutes. And, that includes cook time! I personally keep a few emergency bags of dry mix in my self-care kit so that it is literally ready in 3 minutes. All you need is the dry mix, oil, and non-dairy milk (dairy is fine too if that’s what you drink). Put it in a mug or small ramekin, microwave, and ZAP! A mini chocolate escape. I’ve found that for my microwave and my brownie done-ness preferences, 1 1/2 minutes on high is perfect. If you like a more well-done and crumbly brownie, try 2 minutes. While it’s perfect on its own, the boyfriend likes to top his with a scoop of ice cream and if I’m feeling indulgent I reach for a dollop of dairy-free whipped cream.