Healthy Chocolate Recipes
It’s the nations favourite week, and we’re here to make you feel a little less guilty about indulging! National Chocolate Week (Oct 13th-19th 2014) is the UK’s biggest Chocolate celebration, culminating with The Chocolate Show, at Olympia London between the 17th and 19th Oct. Hundreds of events are expected to take place with the country’s top chocolatiers and chocolate companies, as well as hotels, bars and restaurants, all taking part. Although chocolate is generally considered unhealthy, many of you will know that chocolate in its rawest form, Cacao, is actually thought to be a superfood. Cacao has one of the highest sources of antioxidant flavanols and contains many vital vitamins and minerals. When combined with cacao butter and coconut oil, Cacao becomes raw chocolate. It is these ingredients that are used by many healthy chocolate brands, like Conscious Chocolate and Ombar , to create dairy-free, gluten-free and guilt-free chocolate. Another great thing about raw chocolate, is that it is SO easy to make at home! Why not give it a go with two of our favourite guilt-free chocolate recipes: Raw Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Truffles, and Healthy Homemade Nutella!? Enjoy! 🙂
Raw Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Truffles
Made using raw chocolate, these Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Truffles are crunchy on the outside, and perfectly creamy and salty-sweet on the inside. Author: Minimalist Baker (Please note: we have altered the recipe to include raw cacao) Vegan, Gluten Free Serves: 20 INGREDIENTS
- 240g Medjool dates, pitted
- 2.5 Tbsp melted coconut oil – divided
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 60g natural salted peanut butter (creamy is best, but crunchy works, too)
- 80g raw cacao butter
- 4 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or agave syrup
METHOD 1. If your dates aren’t sticky and super moist when squeezed, soak in hot water for 10-15 minutes to soften. Then drain thoroughly and pit. Otherwise, just pit and add to food processor. 2. Add 1 TBSP melted coconut oil and mix. If it’s not quite combining, drizzle in warm water a little at a time – 1 tsp – scraping down sides as needed, and mix until a rough paste or ball forms. If you add too much water it will be difficult to handle them later as they won’t freeze up well. 3. Lastly, add 3/4 tsp sea salt and mix once more to incorporate. Taste and adjust saltiness level if desired. 4. Freeze for 30 minutes or until no longer warm and pliable enough to scoop into balls. 5. Using a small melon baller or a Tablespoon and finger, scoop out small balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for another 20-30 minutes to set. 6. Add peanut butter and 1/2 TBSP coconut oil to a small mixing bowl and microwave to melt (or heat in a small saucepan). 7. Remove truffles from freezer and drizzle with warmed peanut butter. Freeze again for another 30 minutes, or until the peanut butter has formed a semi-firm “shell.” 8. Prepare the raw chocolate by melting 80g cacao butter in a bowl over a pan of water on a low heat. Once melted add 4 tbsp cacao powder and the sweetener (maple syrup or agave) to taste and mix well with a metal whisk. Remove from heat and add the remaining 1 tbsp coconut oil. 9. Remove truffles from freezer and, using a fork, scoop truffles up and quickly immerse in chocolate, using a small spoon to drizzle chocolate evenly on top. Then gently shake off excess chocolate and place back on parchment-lined baking sheet. 10. Top with a small sprinkle of sea salt (optional), and repeat until all truffles are coated. 11. Place back in freezer or fridge to set – about 30 minutes. Serve straight from the freezer or fridge. Let set out for 15-20 minutes to soften. Store in a freezer-safe container in the fridge or freezer to keep fresh. Makes about 20 truffles.
Healthy Homemade Nutella
Nutella is one of the most popular spreads in the world. It’s gorgeously smooth texture, and chocolatey/nutty flavour make it almost addictive! Sadly, the ingredients are somewhat less desirable however. With the first ingredient being sugar, and the second palm oil, there is plenty to feel guilty about when consuming Nutella. Luckily, we found plenty of healthy alternatives! Now you can create your own, without feeling the guilt: Author: Anne Marie Vegan, Gluten Free Makes: Approx. 340g INGREDIENTS
- 135g hazelnuts
- 30g cocoa/raw cacao powder
- 2 tbs. melted coconut oil
- 75ml pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp. real vanilla extract
- 1-4 tsp. water
METHOD 1. Preheat the oven to 180°/Gas Mark 4 2. Roast the hazelnuts for 10 minutes. Cool the hazelnuts and remove the skins. You can do this by pressing on them with your hand, using a rolling motion. If the skins are stubborn, submerge the nuts in water and then peel them. As the skins come off, place each hazelnut in a food processor 3. Process the hazelnuts in a food processor for about a minute, until it has a fine crumb texture 4. Add the cocoa powder, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and one teaspoon of water. Process to combine the ingredients. If it’s too thick, add water one teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached 5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will keep for several weeks.
Happy National Chocolate Week!
Dairy Free Eating
Have you recently discovered that you are lactose intolerant? Do you want to give up dairy for a healthier lifestyle? Are you wondering how on earth you’re going to live without chocolate and ice cream? Well don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with our “Guide to Dairy Free Eating.”
Becoming a “dairy free eater” may sound like the hardest thing in the world, but in 2014, there are plenty of options out there for people who cannot consume dairy, or who have decided to avoid it for health and ethical reasons.
Luckily, most supermarkets now carry a range of “free from” foods, which cater for both gluten and dairy-free diets. Although these “free from” sections are still quite small, it is a step in the right direction for dairy free eaters.
The best place to stock up on dairy free essentials is at stores like Planet Organic, Wholefoods or your local health food shop. They will usually carry a much wider range of “free from” foods, and will always have well-trained staff on hand to help with any queries you may have. There are also a number of great, online stores that offer a huge range of healthy brands, delivered right to your door. We particularly like Nature’s Healthbox (http://www.natureshealthbox.co.uk)
So, what should you add to your basket? Here’s some delicious, dairy free brands that we highly recommend:
For the chocoholics out there, Conscious Chocolate’s range of handmade, raw chocolate bars are to die for. Sweetened with agave nectar, and using only cacao butter and coconut butter to create a soft, creamy texture, these bars are heaven for the dairy free eater/vegan. (http://www.consciouschocolate.co.uk/)
For those of you that can’t live without the creamy, loveliness of ice cream and yoghurt, look no further than Coyo. Their gorgeous coconut-based (yay!) products contain zero dairy, and no added sugar! Bonus. (http://www.coyo.co.uk/)
Cheese lovers will be happy to know that Vegusto create a range of dairy free/vegan friendly “cheeses” made from a variety of “no-moo” ingredients, including nuts. (http://vegusto.co.uk)
Attention gym bunnies, beware of the ingredients in your protein powders, as a lot of them tend to contain milk/dairy! For a nutritious alternative, try Purple Balance’s Raw Protein Powders. (http://www.purplebalance.co.uk/)
And then there’s us! Here at Chi, we offer two, gorgeous, dairy free products; Espresso Coconut Milk & Chocolate Coconut Milk. Millie Mackintosh recently expressed her love for our Espresso drink, telling her Instagram followers that it was her latest “addiction.” It must be good! (http://www.chilondon.com/chi-products/)Chi will be launching a brand new, dairy free product very soon. Watch this space!
If you’re worried that you might be lactose intolerant, or allergic to dairy, check your symptoms here: https://www.nhs.uk/symptomcheckers/pages/symptoms.aspx and speak to your GP as soon as possible.