Posts tagged ‘cacao’
Chocolate turtle candies take me back to my childhood, and they remind me of my parents and most definitely my Papa. These chocolate caramel goodies are packed with buttery pecans and they transport me to family memories and holidays. They are our family go-to for Christmas stockings and are often included in gifts…and when turtles are in a variety chocolate box, they are the first to be picked.
This version of our family favorite is not only free of refined sugars, it’s dairy-free, vegan, paleo-friendly and dare I say even better than the classic? Gasp! My grandpa would roll over in his grave if he heard me say that. Maybe it’s due to the fact that these candies are packed with healthy ingredients (and a short list at that!), but these homemade treats are the perfect ending to a meal or a fabulous afternoon pick-me-up, and they will make my tummy happy as well!
I found this recipe at Anne’s delightful blog, Simple and Savory while browsing her site for this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment. Anne is “my type of people”, she’s a holistic health coach, and is a huge advocate for making your own food as a key to health. You can find vegan, dairy free, gluten-free, and Paleo and all sorts of recipes on her site! I had a blast searching through her recipes and though I ultimately chose her Chocolate Turtle Candy, I have tagged many for future experimentation including Anne’s Roasted Vegetables with Cashew Cheese Dip, Hasselback Pork Tenderloin and her Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread.
For the turtles, I swapped out Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) for the peanut butter since that’s what I had on hand, and opted for pecans as my nut choice. I prefer a contrast of bitter and sweet when it comes to chocolate so I used a 90% chocolate bar chopped up and it contrasted beautifully with the sweet dates. Lastly, I sprinkled a little sea salt flakes over the chocolate coating for that extra pow, and goodness these are scrumptious! No doubt that this recipe is a keeper, thanks Anne for the inspiration!
Salted Chocolate Turtle Candy (lightly adapted from Simple and Savory)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Peanut-free, Paleo-friendly, Egg-free, Refined sugar-free, Soy-free, No-bake
3/4 cup walnut or pecan halves
12 medjool dates
1/2 Tbsp nut or seed butter (I used sunflower seed butter)
8 oz dark chocolate, chopped (homemade, or your favorite chocolate bar, or can use unsweetened if you really like the contrast of bitter and sweet with dates)
1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
sea salt flakes
- Place dates in the food processor and process for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes; until they form a ball (you may have to stop and scrap the sides down).
- Add the nut/seed butter to dates and process for 30 seconds until combined.
- Remove date mixture from food processor and refrigerate atleast 30 minutes.
- Place pecan of walnut halves in a circle (about 3 pieces) on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Remove date mixture from the fridge and roll into balls about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in diameter and slightly flatten (see photo above). Flatten on top of the nut halves and refrigerate while chocolate is melting.
- In a double broiler, heat chocolate and coconut oil over low, stirring until melted.
- Remove chocolate from heat and spoon over the date and nut clusters. Sprinkle with sea salt and place back in fridge to harden. Enjoy and devour!!🙂
Cool fall mornings are my favorite…when my cozy bed tries to lure me back in, yet I slip on sweats and slippers and head to the kitchen to brew a warm cup of tea. I find it energizing and invigorating! While I love my morning smoothies, I need to heat up first with something hot when it’s chilly in the house.
Why not make something nourishing and comforting at the same time? This minty latte has healthy fats from the hemp and cacao butter, peppermint that is soothing for your tummy and digestion, and contains a little protein and fiber from the hemp hearts. This latte is also caffeine-free (unless you use a green or black tea) so you can enjoy a cuppa as a treat after dinner if you’d like!
This quick and easy drink is ideal for sipping while you’re curled up on the couch reading a book, watching tv or having some downtime. If you aren’t a fan of white chocolate, feel substitute carob powder (for AIP) or raw cacao powder for a darker chocolate version and add a touch of coconut cream for richness.
White Chocolate Mint Tea Latte
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Caffeine-free option, Paleo-friendly, AIP-friendly option, Soy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Nut-free, Egg-free, Vegetarian, Vegan
16 oz boiling water
2-3 bags of herbal peppermint tea (I have some brands of mint tea that are stronger than others, if you prefer a more prominent flavor, use 3)
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 Tbsp raw cacao butter*
2 Tbsp hemp hearts (omit for AIP, and substitute 2-3 Tbsp coconut cream)
2 tsp agave, coconut nectar, honey (don’t use if vegan) or a pinch of stevia (adjust sweetener to taste)
1. Steep tea bags in boiling water until desired strength, usually 3-5 minutes for herbal tea.
2. Add prepared tea along with the remaining ingredients in a blender (I use a high-powered blender such as Vitamix) and blend until smooth. Enjoy while hot or warm!
*For a chocolately version, use raw cacao powder or carob (for AIP and caffeine-free). For a thicker, creamier result add a couple tablespoons of coconut cream.
Summer is almost over…gasp! I say this every August, but seriously how did it go by so fast? Then, I remember all the fun things I packed in over this summer …yep, three months is about right🙂
I got a taste of Fall over the weekend after a little rain and wind blew through, leaving crisp cooler weather….not only was I pumped to break out a long-sleeve t-shirt but it spurred a hankering for comfort food. Is it a surprise that chocolate was my go-to?
When I found Kate’s Frozen Hot Chocolate recipe on the The Colbert Clan for this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment, I thought it was the perfect bridge between summer and fall to satisfy my chocolate craving. This chocolate treat hit the spot! I’m one of those people that eats chilled or frozen foods despite the weather, so I enjoyed sipping this drink while being bundled up on the couch under a blanket.
Kate is a full-time mom of three cute kiddos that has a knack for all things DIY, inspiring me to make a list of handmade projects and new recipes to try. I’ve put her Slow-Cooker Applesauce and Homemade Zuppa Toscana Soup on my Fall to-make list along with her Apple Balsamic Pork Roast for a easy mid-week dinner!
I made a few changes to make the recipe dairy free and refined sugar free; I used canned coconut milk, stevia for the sugar and used a non-dairy chocolate bar that was sweetened with coconut nectar. I also threw in a tiny pinch of sea salt for good measure and highlight the sweetness. I wound up heating the milk in a small saucepan to melt the chocolate a bit first, then chilled it in the fridge before blending to help incorporate the mixture.
This drink was rich and decadent and packed with chocolate flavor…and now I keep thinking of different varieties to play with; Chocolate mint…Chocolate coconut…caramel…chocolate covered cherry…peanut butter…mmmmm. Kate was right when she said the possibilities are endless!
Frozen Hot Chocolate (Lightly adapted from The Colbert Clan)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Paleo-friendly, Egg-free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan, Nut-free
1 1/2 ounces of dairy-free chocolate bar (chopped, I used a 85% dark bar) or chocolate chips
1 Tbsp of raw cacao or cocoa powder
1 Tbsp sweetener of choice (or a pinch of stevia) or more to taste
2 1/2 cups of non-dairy milk of choice (I used canned coconut milk for a thicker texture)
a tiny pinch of sea salt
2 cups of ice
For serving (optional but delicious!)
whipped coconut cream (or your favorite whipped topping)
chocolate shavings or raw cacao nibs
- *In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts and is incorporated. Remove from heat, pour into the blender and refrigerate until chilled for a couple hours (or the ice will melt this immediately).
- Put remaining ingredients into the blender (ice, salt, cocoa powder, sweetener) and mix until smooth. Adjust the sweetener if needed.
- Pour into a glass, garnish as desired and enjoy!
Serves 1 larger portion or 2 small
*If you don’t want to heat up the milk first, go ahead and blend all of the ingredients together – this will work just fine but you might have chunks of chocolate depending on your blender.
Notes: If you prefer a sweeter treat, choose a chocolate that is semi-sweet instead of a darker chocolate and adjust the sweetener to taste. Choose your favorite sweetener — maple syrup, coconut nectar, sucanat, stevia, honey etc. Also, feel free to add your favorite flavors or add-ins to make your own version!
For other recipes from this month’s reveal, click the link below!
Do you need a quick sweet fix? I don’t know about you, but I can always use a little treat. How about a healthier treat that satisfies, tastes amazing and you can whip up in 5 minutes? Add the fact that this (almost) instant bark requires minimal ingredients and doesn’t require any baking.
Mint + Chocolate = a perfect pairing in my mind (Mint Chip Ice Cream anyone)? Add berries to this combo and it’s a definite winner! These recipe is crazy easy, and it’s been stand-by in my freezer for the past couple weeks. Yes, it’s caffeine-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free and TASTY! I even fooled my dad into thinking it was sugar-laden, and he’s a hard one to convince🙂
With all the fresh mint at farmer’s markets and in the stores, I’ve been throwing some into smoothies and bases for ice creams, tossing into chopped fruit and adding to salads for refreshing summer dishes. Next time (probably tonight) I am going to try using finely minced fresh mint in this treat!
(Almost) Instant Mint Berry Carob Bark (adapted from my Make-it-your-own Chocolate Bark)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free, AIP & Paleo Friendly, Candida-Friendly Option, Soy-free, Nut-free, Egg-free
2 1/2 Tbsp softened coconut oil (I used unrefined extra virgin)
3 Tbsp carob powder (or cacao/cocoa powder but won’t be caffeine free)*
pinch of stevia or 1 Tbsp honey, agave or maple syrup or to taste
1/8 tsp pure peppermint oil/extract
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract, optional
pinch of sea salt, optional (but SO good)
1/3 cup frozen mixed berries, chopped into small pieces (I leave blueberries whole), I use the organic antioxidant mix from Costco
1. Line a small plate or dish with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix the melted coconut oil, carob (or cacao), stevia/sweetener, salt and extracts. Stir well until smooth and well combined. Taste and adjust if you want it sweeter.
3. Spoon the mixture onto the parchment paper into two rounds.
4. Sprinkle the frozen fruit over the mixture and watch it start to freeze. Set it freezer for an additional few minutes to harden and enjoy!
Serves 2 or 1 large, generous portion🙂
Store leftovers in freezer, the frozen fruit will get mushy in the fridge otherwise.
*Carob has a natural sweetness whereas raw cacao or cocoa powder is naturally a bit more bitter so you might need to add more sweetener/stevia to taste for a sweeter bark.