Dorm Room Recipes: Midnight Sweet-Tooth?

by RACHEL TSAO

 

Living on the Hill makes it incredibly easy to satiate that sugar craving in the middle of the night, with De Neve’s ice cream shakes and Rendezvous’ dessert nachos, just to name a few. These Late Night menus may sound enticing, but the options just aren’t the best for you. They are loaded with refined sugars and honestly, not much else in terms of nutritional value. While research has shown that eating too close to bedtime can promote weight gain, simply because people tend to reach for their favorite (unhealthy) snacks, there are ways to satisfy that sweet tooth without having to worry too much about your waistline. [1] You will need a blender, and just two main ingredients that you probably already have on hand!

 

Ingredients

Bananas

Bananas are naturally sweet, making them the perfect substitute for refined sugars. Indeed, they are particularly great as a midnight snack because they contain magnesium and potassium, both of which are natural sedatives that can promote sleep. [2] They are also a good source of naturally-occurring melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate the sleep cycle. [3]

Unsweetened cocoa powder

With its intense chocolate flavor, cocoa powder should be able to curb that midnight sweet-tooth. Researchers at Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities even found that magnesium in the chocolate helps to regulate the body’s internal clock, promoting better-quality sleep. [4]

 

Recipes

Below are some of my favorite recipes featuring bananas and unsweetened cocoa powder as the two main ingredients.

 

design by STEPHANIE YANG

design by STEPHANIE YANG

1. Chocolate banana ice cream

2 Banana, chopped and frozen

1 tbsp Unsweetened cocoa powder

  1. Add frozen bananas into the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add cocoa powder and blend until incorporated.
  3. Enjoy immediately as a soft serve. For firmer ice cream, freeze for at least 1 hour in the freezer.

 

design by STEPHANIE YANG

design by STEPHANIE YANG

2. Chocolate pudding

1 Avocado

1/2 Banana

2 tbsp Unsweetened cocoa powder

  1. Add all ingredients into the blend and blend until smooth.
  2. Cover and chill for a few hours before serving.

 

design by STEPHANIE YANG

design by STEPHANIE YANG

3. Chocolate mug cake

1 Banana

2 tbsp Unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tbsp Almond butter

  1. Add all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer mixture into a greased microwave-safe mug.
  3. Cook in the microwave for one minute. It is ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

design by RACHEL TSAO

design by RACHEL TSAO

4. Chocolate banana smoothie

1 Banana, chopped and frozen

2 tbsp Unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tbsp Almond butter

1/4-1/2 cup Unsweetened almond milk

  1. Add all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.

 

 

References ▾

  1. “Night eating syndrome and nocturnal snacking: association with obesity, binge eating and psychological distress.” Int J Obes. (2007).
  2. “Magnesium relaxes arterial smooth muscle by decreasing intracellular Ca2+ without changing intracellular Mg2+.” J Clin Invest. (1992).
  3. “Serum melatonin levels and antioxidant capacities after consumption of pineapple, orange, or banana by healthy male volunteers.” J. Pineal. Res. (2012).
  4. “Daily magnesium fluxes regulate cellular timekeeping and energy balance.” Nature. 2016.