Tag Archives: dark chocolate

AmazeBalls

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These delightful little balls of decadence have all the good stuff in them, and are the most enjoyed treats I make for anyone!

Dates have become one of my go to sugar ingredient when making treats. While they are full (80%) of sugar, they are a whole food and rich in antioxidants (polyphenols) and are not going to reek havoc on your blood sugar or overall health like processed and granulated sugars will. This doesn’t mean to go buy a pound of dates and chow down,  but rather instead of reaching for the candy bar or can of soda, grab a date. Dates also provide fiber, potassium, calcium, zinc and iron.  Check out this quick video: Dates

Now on to these AmazeBalls! One of the best things about these is there is little ingredients,healthy option for a treat, dates are nutritious, and they do not take much time. Our friends love these little balls of awesomeness and so do we!

Depending on size, makes about 20 – 25

amazeballs2

Ingredients:

About a cup of pitted dates (7-8 ounces)
2-3 teaspoons of almond butter (or any nut butter of choice, be sure it isn’t full of oil and sugar.  I prefer raw nut butters)
About 1/3-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels)
Optional, sea salt or chia seeds or cayenne to sprinkle on top of chocolate

Directions:

In a food processor, process the dates and almond butter until well combined. Should be sticky and forms like a ball of paste.

Scoop all the mixture out and put it on a plate or in a bowl lined with parchment paper and form the balls and place them on a large enough plate so they don’t stick together. Place toothpicks in each one and them place in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes so they firm up.

back into the freezer

After about 10 minutes, melt the chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Stirring continuously.  When most, about 2/3 of the chips have melted, remove the pan from the heat and keep stirring until fully melted.

Remove balls from the freezer and dip them in the saucepan to cover with chocolate and place them back on the parchment lined plate/platter. Sprinkle immediately with either chia seeds or sea salt or both or nothing after they are dipped.

Then put them all back in the freezer when done for about 20 minutes so chocolate firms up. Then it is time to enjoy some amazing awesomeness!

If you have extra chocolate, toss in some cashews or almonds in the chocolate pan and place on parchment paper and place in the fridge to set. Another yummy treat!

Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

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Sweet potato??? really??? was my first thought when I came across this ice cream recipe. I was very intrigued by it because of the ingredients… ONLY 4 INGREDIENTS!!! Now who wouldn’t want to make this??

I have had great success with Brandi at The Vegan 8 recipes which was another reason to test this one. Well we have been blessed with another heat wave :( and we want something cool and sweet. I typically do not use coconut milk, but with this being ice cream, I felt it would be necessary for the full creaminess effect.

After I had blended everything (which BTW, you just put it all in a blender, so easy!) I had to taste test. Um, well I could have kept taste testing, this stuff is seriously delish! so I can only imagine how it will be when it is ready to come out of the freezer… DEVINE!!

Yup, that is sweet potato and dark chocolate!

Yup, that is sweet potato and dark chocolate!

 

Even though the coconut milk adds fat, it isn’t very much compared to the cream in packaged ice cream.  The processed fat and dairy which comes with a price to your health.

Our bodies can digest this easier as it is plant based. The sweet potato is loaded with Fiber, Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene), Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and also has protein and carbs, all of which come from the natural source. All the more reason to splurge once in a while with a cold treat!

 

Waiting for the chocolate to melt.

Waiting for the chocolate to melt.

 

Ingredients you will need: Serves about 4 cups

Canned coconut milk (you can use light coconut milk) be sure to shake before opening
Dairy free chocolate chips I use Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels
Cooked mashed and packed sweet potato (not yams)
Pure vanilla extract
Sea salt

 

Recipe here: The Vegan 8 – click here for recipe

 

Directions:

Cook the sweet potato however you prefer. I used a microwave because I want to make this quick and I was excited to get it in the freezer :) If you choose to bake it, bake at 400 degree F with skin on until soft. Do not steam or boil it.

Once the potato has cooled, peel and mash it really well. No lumps or skin. Pack it into 3/4 cup and add it to the blender.

Continue with adding the vanilla, coconut milk and salt. But do not blend yet.

Melt your chocolate chips your preferred method. Be sure to not get the chips too hot as they will burn easy and will be useless. Also try not to eat all the chocolate ;) I used my setting on my microwave, heat for about 15 seconds then stir and heat again until about 90% is melted then remove and continue to stir until all chips are melted.

Add the melted chocolate to the blender, scraping every bit of chocolate you can from the bowl into the blender.

Adding the melted chocolate to the blender

Adding the melted chocolate to the blender

 

Blend all ingredients until completely smooth. Taste test, and adjust if needed. I didn’t add anything extra to it, it tasted amazing just as is and I could have kept tasting it!

I poured mine into an ice cream storage container as I do not have an ice cream maker. If you have an ice cream maker, use it! Using the storage container, be sure to return every 30 minutes to stir to get your desired consistency. Best to set a timer for 30 minutes as a reminder and it may take at least 2-3 hours to get it to set.

Now it may not last long enough to be in the freezer overnight, but if you do have some just take it out to thaw for about 20-30 minutes to soften. Also, remember every time the ice cream is removed, thawed, and then put back in the freezer, ice crystals form. My guess is that there won’t be much to worry about that. You could always pour it in individual containers for single servings.

making choclate ice cream

Almond Butter Cookies

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Last week the kids and I were working on making some cookies and had a hard time deciding what to make.  They wanted a chocolate chip type cookie. I was not going to the store for anything as I had been there earlier in the day.  What ever ingredients we had was what we were going to work with and there had to be dark chocolate in them.  I had made some raw flour free cookies before and thought if we tweeked the recipe a little we could bake them. So we gave it a shot and they turned out pretty darn good, enough that they have been made again. The second time I chopped up a dark chocolate bar and that was better than the dark chocolate chips I used in the first batch.

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Best Thing Ever Bars

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Dark chocolate is my weakness, well more like my vice.  The most simplest of treats are the most satisfying.  Usually it is melted dark chocolate smothered over cashews and sprinkled with sea salt then chilled.  But when the kids are asking for a treat too, we get a little more adventurous.  Today we made something