5 superfoods that supercharge decadent desserts

By guest blogger Felix Schoener

Decadent desserts don’t have to be the mortal enemy of healthy bodies. In fact, there are certain superfoods that lend themselves perfectly to your favourite sweet treats. Here chef Felix Schoener, from the spectacular health retreat, Fivelements, in Bali, tells us his five superfoods that make ideal dessert ingredients and why you’ll feel so much better for eating each of them.

Chef Felix and his expert colleagues at Fivelements certainly know a thing or two about nutrition and creating a healing environment.

The multi award-winning retreat (it won ‘Spa Cuisine of the Year’ at the AsiaSpa Awards in 2014, one of the first vegan destinations to receive the honour, along with 2011 Destination Spa of the Year, 2012 Eco-Spa of the Year and 2013 Spa Retreat of the Year) is a favourite of Sporteluxe and founded on the principles of Balinese healing, living foods and sacred arts, and offers a unique Cuisine for Life concept.

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Sakti Dining Room, Fivelements 

Read on for Chef Felix’s indulgent food wisdoms…

FELIX: These 5 superfoods are ideal dessert ingredients!

superfoods, dessert

1. Raw cacao

“I like raw cacao for its rich, deep taste and layers of tropical flavours. Raw cacao is the purest, highest quality of cacao, and it can make us feel euphoric and energized for hours. It also has therapeutic properties and is a medicine for the heart.

Early cultivation of cacao can be traced back to 400AD and the Mayans. Today’s evolution of the cacao plant gives the beans from which comes raw cacao (powder, nibs and butter). Full of flavanols (antioxidants) benefiting the vascular and circulatory systems, phenylethylamine, serotonin and dopamine which boost the emotions and stimulate the brain, and magnesium to relax.”

superfoods, dessert

2. Coconut

“The Tree of Life, coconut palms provide people in the tropics with everything they need, from nutritious food and eating utensils to clothing, tools and shelter. Coconut in our plant cuisine is like diary. It acts as a creamer and binder, and is a key ingredient for desserts and other dishes. We use the meat from young and mature coconuts, the water, milk, cream, oil, sugar, nectar and coconut vinegar.

“This versatile superfood has a high percentage of good saturated fats, naturally occurring electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, phosphorous potassium and sodium) and is antibacterial, antiviral and alkaline, and aids hydration, digestion and recovery following exercise or sickness.”

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3. Raw honey or bee pollen

“Honey is the only truly raw wholefood sweetener. It has an amazing flavour profile and is used in raw desserts and drinks. For me, bee products are another healing super food with amazing nutritional profiles and high enzyme content, carrying the high vibrational energy from flowers.

“Honey has been used medicinally for over two centuries and is renowned for its antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, boosting energy, memory, even treating wounds and burns. The food of young bees, bee pollen is a flower’s pollen collected and tamped down (in-flight) into a granule by bees. With a high protein content (40 per cent) and a near complete list of life sustaining nutrients, bee pollen is believed to act as a natural antibiotic, boosting the growth of new blood cells, increasing general wellbeing and much more.”

superfoods, dessert

4. Aloe vera

“Aloe vera is packed with antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E and minerals calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium and chromium. Good for the digestive and immune systems, its high polysaccharides content gives steady energy over a long time. This gel has an amazing texture and is great for elixirs, smoothies, salsas, soups, salads, and of course for the skin.

“Called the ‘plant of immortality’ by the ancient Egyptians, the cactus aloe vera is known for its gel’s skin healing and soothing properties. It is as beneficial when taken internally, decreasing inflammation in the intestines and stomach, aiding the immune system and circulation.”

superfoods, dessert

5. Rosella / Hibiscus flowers

“Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, rosella has a deliciously tart, berry-like flavour making it an ideal choice for drinks like kombucha tea. In addition Hibiscus flowers are edible, and make a beautiful garnish for desserts and other dishes.

“A species of Hibiscus, Rosella is full of vitamins C, D, B1 and 2 as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene, omega 3s and fiber. It has a high antioxidant level, soothing fevers and colds, helps to protect and rejuvenate body cells, increase the metabolism and help lower high blood pressure.”

About Fiveelements:

Founded in 2010 by Chicco and Lahra Tatriele, Fivelements’ unique approach to wellness and healing has seen the retreat recognised worldwide. Its renowned Sakti Dining Room™ focuses on nourishment of the body, mind and soul with plant-based living foods, rich in vitamins, minerals and live enzymes, which help to strengthen and rejuvenate physically, emotionally and spiritually. You can visit even if you’re not a retreat guest. We’d suggest you experience Chef Felix’s Signature Tasting Menus comprising three, five and seven course options as well as a full a la carte offering.

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Sakti Dining Room, Fivelements

About Felix Schoener:

Felix Schoener is executive chef at Fivelements in Bali. The globally-renowned food expert, who hails from Germany, had an illustrious career training and working for Michelin-star restaurants across the world, before embracing a personal healing path that led him to a passion for sustainable organic living and vegetarian and raw food movements. Combining this holistic lifestyle philosophy, together with his meticulous culinary skills, Felix has developed an avant-garde, modernist style, taking raw living cuisine to the next level as part of Fivelements’ revolutionary cuisine concept.

Image credits: iStock