A Fresh Look at Rehab Food
A Fresh Look at Rehab Food
by Amanda Lennon
Three years ago I was treated at Gladstones Clinic for addiction. Research has shown that substance abuse rehabilitation centres typically offer stodgy comfort food that is lacking in nutritional benefits. Gladstones consider nutrition to be a crucial element in recovery from addiction.
On re-visiting Gladstones I discovered a fresh forward thinking attitude towards healing that incorporates a healthful food cuisine. They emphasise the importance of healthy eating to their patients and have constructed a dietary menu with Executive Chef Darren Taiwo to utilise their clients experience while undergoing treatment. They follow a high protein, high plant based diet with pulses and wholegrain which is free of wheat, gluten and sugar. They personalise the food menu to meet the needs of the client. Chef Darren tells me “Many of our clients have divorced their relationship with food, we re-establish this relationship empowering them to grow and flourish”.
Chef Darren expressed that they take a holistic approach to recovery and disclosed how food is used as a form of therapy. “We are trying to rebuild our client’s relationships with food”. Darren emphasises the importance of food in substance abuse recovery “food is nourishment, our intention is to lead them along a path of happiness, empowerment and enhanced wellbeing, food is just one way in which we do this”. Clients have embraced the food choices at and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Darren’s Delicious Chocolate Brownies are sugar, wheat and gluten free making them guilt free, however, taste is not compromised. The fact that it is a healthier option is just a bonus.
Darren’s Delicious Healthy Chocolate Brownies
These brownies are wonderfully fudgy and decadent whilst being guilt free – a favourite with clients
Ingredients for 12 Brownies
• 2 tins of cooked black beans
• 230g coconut oil (room temperature) plus a little extra for greasing
• 4 eggs
• 85g unsweetened cacao powder
• 150-180 ml maple syrup
• 1 ½ tbsp. vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon of coffee extract or pure vanilla extract
• Pinch of sea salt
• Preheat the oven to fan 170C/Gas mark 5. Grease the inside baking dish. Rinse the black beans and leave to drain. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over a gentle heat then set it aside.
• Place the beans, eggs, cacao powder, 150ml of maple syrup and the vanilla or coffee extract into a food processor with the sea salt, then blend until smooth.
• Add the melted coconut oil very slowly so as not to cook the eggs, add more of the remaining maple syrup if required
• Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the brownie fells firm but springy and the surface is cracked.
• Cool before cutting into 12 squares.