Super easy – and delightful – to make. The kind of thing that could be the end..or the beginning.. of a really great date. Use the same basic Rawtarian raw chocolate recipe as usual. Let the chocolate cool in a dish – you don’t want it liquidy. Pour coconut flakes into a bowl. Add a dash of sea salt to make it extra delish.
Wash your hands. Scoop about a teaspoon of the raw into the flakes. Roll around in your hands until it’s fairly even ball. Pop in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Clean up is sexy, messy and fun. Once you’ve run out of enough chocolate to make truffles, take your finger, dip it in the remaing raw chocolate. Then dip it in the coconut flakes. Lick your finger. And repeat. Well don’t just sit there. Go do it, already. Thank me later..
A week ago, I picked up a bag of organic chia seeds from Trader Joe’s. I believe chia seeds first entered my consciousness when I saw a pic dream hampton posted on twitter a while ago. It was a glass of water filled with weird looking gelatinous balls. My knee jerk reaction was “yuck.. what the hell is that?” But my curiosity was piqued. And I dig dream, so I figured there must be something good about these odd looking critters.
Anyway, I finally tried them myself and began doing a little research. Apparently, chia seeds are the latest “superfood” , eaten by the Aztecs and renown for its protein, antioxidants and fiber. There is some debate over whether their omega 3’s are actually beneficial. Regardless, people seem to think that chia has all kinds of magical powers. It’s supposed to provide an energy boost, assist with weight loss and soothe the body with its antioxidant properties. And since the seeds expand into little balls of gel with a crunchy center, they can be used to thicken drinks or to make pudding. I now add chia seeds to my water and smoothies. Tonight, I tried my hand at chia chocolate.
As with all of my previous batches of raw chocolate, I’m using a basic recipe from the Rawtarian. I was concerned that the chia seeds would begin to gel and expand in the chocolate, as they do in liquid. But they remained hard and crunchy – probably because I put the batch in the freezer immediately after making it. I must say, it turned out to be pretty fantastic.
And so it is that I’ve made the ultimate super food snack: coconut oil, raw cacao AND chia seeds. Organic, vegan AND gluten free. I just might start speaking in tongues any minute now. Hallelujerr!
The first time I visited my town’s gluten free, mostly vegan bakery, I had no idea I was visiting a gluten free, mostly vegan bakery. I just saw “baked goods” and wandered in, looking for something sweet and delectable. As I perused the menu peppered with “gluten free” this and “vegan” that, I was overcome with a mild sense of disgust. This was not a real bakery. The healthier the food sounded, the less I wanted to eat it. I left without getting anything.
The second time I stopped by was with a friend. He had a hankering for something sweet, saw the bakery and asked if we could pick up something. I reluctantly agreed. When he realized how healthy everything was, he, too, turned up his nose. “I tried to tell you,” I said, shaking my head as we left. Again, I left this bakery empty handed. We ended up going to a swanky bar for cheesecake instead.
The third time I visited the bakery was last week. Having settled quite comfortably into my relatively new veganish, gluten-freeish lifestyle, I was eager to actually taste their offerings. I picked up an apple strudel muffin and a banana nut muffin. The former was divine, the latter was meh.
The fourth time I visited the bakery was yesterday. They had one of those apple muffins left. It was so good, I could have cried. It also realized that I would really shed hot, bitter tears if I had to pay 3-4 dollars every time I wanted a vegan, gluten free muffin. And so it was that I decided to try my hand at egg-less, milk-less, wheat-less baking.
I gave some thought to replicating the apple strudel muffin but that seemed too complicated. So, instead, I decided to try out something I’ve successfully executed before: banana nut muffins.
For this adventure, I used a recipe from Namely Marley, a cool food blog. I had to buy a few new staples to add to my growing vegan/gluten free pantry: vegan flour (I got white rice, though brown rice probably would have been a better choice) and egg-replacer, just in case – even though the recipe did not call for it.
I don’t really like following recipies, as you may have noticed, and I did not follow Marley’s very well. Instead of using margarine, I used coconut oil. I must have mismeasured something, though, because the first batch came out looking rather homely. They weren’t rising. And they kind of had that “blah” taste than the bakery’s banana nut muffins had. So, I added a tablespoon of “egg replacer” to the batter along with some ground cinnamon and ginger. The second batch was *awesome*! For these, I also added a topping, for which I used coconut and agave in addition to brown sugar. My graduate students will be sampling these in our seminar tomorrow.
I finally decided that the first batch was *awesome* too, because it has less sugar/agave and will be my go-to healthier snack this week. It also makes a pretty good delivery system for a dollop of almond butter.
Oh, and between you and me, my muffins turned out to be a lot better than the bakery’s. A lot. *dusts shoulders off*