A New Recipe for a New Year on a New Blog!
I don't normally make up recipes. Usually someone else has already done it, so it is just a matter of looking it up. But the other day as I was eating a LaraBar German Chocolate Cake Bar and bemoaning the fact that it was one of the last few in the pantry, the urge to try and duplicate it came over me. If you are not familiar with these, think of them as "a nutritionally not terrible treat." For the last couple of years I have had terrible health problems which will be discussed from time to time here, and a lot of foods were eliminated from my diet. Sugar, gluten, and corn are the main ones, with other foods being temporary give-ups. Anyway, over the course of 18-24 months a person's taste will change. Foods that used to seem fine to me, now taste so sweet that I can't eat them. Also, the only kind of chocolates in my home now are unsweetened baking chocolate and cocoa powder. So, if you have a super sweet tooth and a love of milk chocolate, the following recipe will not be for you. But, if like me, you spent a couple of years following a diet to eliminate a systemic Candida Albicans infection and are now well enough to add something sweet to your diet, you are gonna love this recipe, even though it is not a true duplicate of the LaraBar.
Sheila's Not Terrible for you Candy Recipe:
My husband's first rule of cooking is: "Start with good ingredients and don't mess them up." Sound advice. In the photo above you see Scharffen Berger Cocoa Powder, Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil and Coconut Concentrate, Madagascar Vanilla Powder (scroll down and get the one with no alcohol and no sugar), Pitted Dates from Aldi's (although some really expensive dates from Whole Foods were added), and Belgian Unsweetened Baking Chocolate from Trader Joes's. Hiding in the back are some Crispy Nuts - more on that later - both pecans and hazelnuts are in this recipe. O.k., that's the ingredient list. Now a word on measuring. I didn't. All the ingredients were weighed on a digital scale. If you are making up a recipe, you can do that. Since ingredient ratios were the important thing, weighing is actually easier. So, if you don't have a digital scale, don't start this, as I have no idea of the measurements other than weight.
Melt 4 oz. of the Belgian chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. I start with 30 seconds on high, stir, give it another 30 seconds on high, and then stir it until every lump is gone. This may vary if you have a rocket-hot microwave. Set this aside to cool a bit.
Into a food processor bowl, place the following:
4 oz. of Crispy Hazelnuts
8 oz. of pitted dates
3/8 oz. cocoa powder
1 oz. of coconut cream concentrate
2 oz. of extra virgin coconut oil
the slightly cooled chocolate
Process all of the above until it is smooth. This will take a while. How smooth it is is really not all that critical, though.
Now add 3 oz. of crispy pecans and pulse just enough to break them up into chunks.
Grease a pan with coconut oil - I used a 7 3/4" x 9 3/4" glass pyrex pan. Smooth the mixture into the pan. Chill for about 30 minutes in the fridge, cut into pieces and store covered in the fridge. You can let them come to room temp before eating or eat them cold. I think they are better at room temp. Next time, maybe a little cinnamon would be good mixed in - will let you know if I try that.
O.k., about Crispy Nuts......
A few months ago the book Nourishing Traditionsjumped into my hands at the bookstore. It is a wonderful book and much more than a cookbook. It is a philosophy of foods. Buy it. Read it. Sally Fallon is the author and she contends that nuts, while good for you nutritionally, are hard to digest in their natural state. She recommends soaking them in salt water and then dehydrating them and this process will render them easier for our bodies to use. Since digestion issues are a big problem for me, that is what I do.
Well, this simple little recipe turned into a gigantic posting. Till next time....