A yummy after-dinner treat that won’t affect your sleep? Yes, please!
If you’re like us, you probably enjoy a little sweet treat after dinner or before bedtime. What if your dessert could help you fall asleep and stay asleep? Double bonus, right?
Get ready to get excited because yes, it’s true. There’s a snack sweet spot to aim for – one that balances healthy and tasty equally. Foods that satiate you without spiking your blood sugar or forcing your digestive system to work overtime trying to process them while you sleep. Bananas, cherries, mango, grapes, oranges and dark chocolate are all sleep inducing foods – and they’re easy for your body to digest. We’ve found some recipes that include not only some of these dream makers but a few other ingredients that won’t hinder you drifting off into dreamland.
Dark chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies with cherries
Yield: about 20 cookies
- ½ cup coconut oil (in solid form)
- 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1¼ teaspoons sea salt, divided
- 1½ cups rolled oats
- 5 ounces dark chocolate (1 bar), chopped (you can also use dark chocolate chips if you prefer)
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ½ cup pecans, chopped (optional)
- Add the coconut oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract and egg to a large mixing bowl. Cream them together until smooth. If you have a stand mixer, you may use it. You can also use an electric hand mixer, or a regular old whisk. Just make sure that you get the mixture as smooth as possible. You may notice there are some lumps of coconut oil. Use a spatula to smoosh them out.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon of sea salt.
- Stir the flour mixture into the coconut oil/sugar mixture until just combined. Add the oats, chocolate chunks, cherries and pecans (if using) and mix until well incorporated.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and pop it in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. Yes, you can skip this step, but your cookies will end up slightly less thick.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silpats.
- When the dough is cold, scoop tablespoon sized balls onto the prepared baking sheets 2-inches apart. Sprinkle each ball with a few flakes of the remaining sea salt.
Bake your cookies for 13-15 minutes (the exact cooking time will vary slightly depending on your oven and how cold your cookie dough is when it goes in) until they are slightly golden. Remove them from the oven and let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.
Sometimes the cookies start to get slightly misshapen while they cook. You can remove them from the oven after about 8 minutes and gently nudge them back into a round shape with the back of a spoon.
Recipe via Domesticate-me.com
Chocolate Peanut Butter “Ice Cream”
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1 Cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tbsp. real maple syrup
- 1 apple
- Whipped topping (try the low cal version)
Mix chia seeds, cinnamon and cocoa powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup and unsweetened almond milk. Add liquid to dry chia seed mixture. Stir until smoothly blended. Slice apple. Layer apple with chia pudding and refrigerate for 4 hours. Top with healthy whipped topping and fresh raspberries.
More bedtime snack suggestions
Looking for a quicker (and easier) solution to bedtime snacking? The ideas below are quick and easy to whip and are sure to satisfy even the pickiest of bedtime snackers.
- 1/2 cup of berries or 1/4 cup of dried fruit and 1/4 cup serving nuts
- 1/2 cup cereal with milk
- 3 cups popped popcorn and 1 tablespoon nut butter
- 1 cracker and 1.5 oz cottage cheese
- 2 tablespoons of dressing, pesto, hummus or another dip with high fiber raw vegetables (e.g. carrots, celery and/or radishes)
- 1 oz low-fat cheese with 4 100% whole grain crackers
- 1/2 sweet potato with 1-2 tablespoons of butter and cinnamon
- 1 cup of broccoli with 1-2 oz melted cheese
- 1/2 banana with 2 tablespoons of nut butter
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
- Best muffin recipes
- For the love of a good breakfast recipe
- Smoothie recipes with sleep-enhancing ingredients