Christmas Spice and Everything Nice

There were two weeks left until Christmas and the diet breakers were everywhere taunting and teasing. Editorials were bitter and myopic and spirits were low. It was time for happiness and sweet cheer and one night as the family slept I turned to recipes adapted from traditional ones but fit for my intake of today. At that moment, deep in the cold of the long winter’s night, I decided that my Christmas gift for everyone would be a holiday so sweet, so cherished it would go down as one of the best ever. Well at least I could offer some tastebud stimulation without the guilt of the usual Christmas goodies full of trans fats, HFCS and calories with no redemption.

Todays offering came to me by way of Mercola.com. Yes, but not from Joe Mercola it was discovered in one of the forums discussing the virtue of dark chocolate. The entry came from the site Natural Health Strategies and was listed under “How to Make Chocolate at Home: A Naturally Healthy Coconut Oil Recipe”.

Christmas Guilt Free Chocolate

5 Tablespoons of Virgin Coconut Oil

5 Tablespoons of Unsweetened Organic Cocoa Powder

5 Tablespoons of finely grated Organic Coconut

1-2 Tablespoons of sugar or sweetener of choice

1 pinch of Celtic sea salt

Optional Ingredients

Natural vanilla

Pinch of powdered cayenne pepper

Whole chopped soaked, sprouted and dehydrated nuts and or seeds

Fresh mint

Dried fruit pieces

Organic Cocoa nibs

Here is what I did to combine the ingredients for today’s batch:

I sifted the cocoa and then added finely ground maple sugar but any kind of sweetener could be used and I am going to try Manuka honey next. To this powdered mix I added 1/2 Tablespoon organic Turmeric and thought about adding organic dehydrated Acai powder but didn’t. I also ground up the coconut as I am not fond of shredded coconut in chocolate. I warmed my Tropical Traditions Coconut oil in its jar utilizing the sink full of warm water I was washing dishes in and poured 5 tablespoons of oil in to the dry ingredients along with a 1/2 teaspoon of homemade vanilla. Mixing as quickly as possible the ingredients became a smooth velvety pool of chocolate and I poured it in to a pan lined with natural waxed paper, smoothing carefully with a spatula. My house is quite cool, so the mixture began to harden almost immediately and I quickly sprinkled some Celtic Sea Salt Flower of the Ocean crystals over the top. I popped it in the refrigerator, cooled it for a few minutes and then scored it to make it easier to break apart when it is hard (about an hour).

You can find more detailed instructions on Natural Health Strategies but this is what worked for me this morning. I will enjoy a bite of chocolate without all the guilt I usually have. There isn’t any soy lecithin (not good for my hypothyroid condition) just healthy coconut oil (good for my thyroid as it is full of lauric acid). Chocolate has been proven to relax the imbiber and a friend of mine swears by its ability to help her sleep at night when ingested in the afternoon (she says it also makes her a little, shall we say, crabby but good sleep is the reward). Turmeric has more good qualities than I can go in to here and it has little taste. It retains its healing properties when not cooked, so this method preserves it in its raw state. the sweetener was minimal, so the glycemic index should not be a problem. I think raw manuka honey would add yet another layer of goodness to the mix, so it is logically the next sweetener to use. I also made a few truffles with the mix, dusting them in organic cocoa as they cooled.

Next week a recipe for some crispy, melt in your mouth Cheese Crackers that are gluten free, transfat free and so good the jar is full for only a short time as my spouse who snickers at all of my gluten free ideas cannot leave them alone. See you next week. In the meantime, you can get out your mixing bowl and make a simple chocolate bar or truffle, have your chocolate fix and enjoy it too.

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