SOUNDS SWEET TO ME!
Ploughing through the intimidating pile of mail awaiting us on our return from Mexico, we were delighted to discover a new recipe book, Health by Chocolate. Sent to us by the author, Edmonton customer Victoria Laine, the book is full of deliciously tempting recipes featuring tantalizing chocolate in all its forms! Now, I don’t profess to be much of a baking expert, but I couldn’t wait to give some of these recipes a try!
Using all-natural ingredients, Health by Chocolate aims to take away the guilt many of us associate with desserts. With helpful dietary symbols, nutritional information, hilarious quotations and “tester” comments, the book is also full of gorgeous photos guaranteed to get your mouth watering. Following are a few of the recipes I’ve tried.
Look for Health by Chocolate at your health food store or contact Victoria at her website.
RASPBERRY CHOCOLATE OAT BARS
2 - 3 large ripe bananas
2 cups (500 ml) oat flakes or quick oats
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
½ - 1 tsp coriander or cinnamon
pinch of cloves (optional)
½-cup (125 ml) chopped walnuts
1 cup (250 ml) unsweetened coconut
½-cup (75 ml) maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar
¾ - 1 cup (175-250 ml) raspberry jam
¾ - 1 cup (175-250 ml) dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mash bananas. Mix together all ingredients except jam and chocolate chips. Flatten half the batter into a 9" x 9" greased baking pan. Spread with raspberry jam, sprinkle with chocolate chips, and spoon remaining batter over top, spreading with the back of a large metal spoon. Bake 25-30 mins. until lightly browned. Slice into squares or bars. Makes 12 bars - keep leftovers in fridge.
ALMOND COCONUT JOY BARS
½ - ¾ cup (125-175 ml) Brazil nuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup (250 ml) honey, or brown rice syrup
1½ cups (375 ml) unsweetened coconut
1½ cups (375 ml) almond flour meal*
¾-cup (175 ml) chocolate chips
*Can be found in health food markets or make your own in a food processor or Vitamix blender using blanched almonds.
These require no baking! Line a 9" x 11" cookie sheet with waxed or parchment paper. Chop brazil nuts. In a large saucepan heat honey over medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer for approximately three to four minutes, until thickened. Add coconut, almond flour meal and chopped nuts. Remove from heat and spread onto lined cookie sheet, approximately ½" thick. Smooth out batter with wet fingers, sprinkle immediately with chocolate chips, allowing them to melt on the warm mixture. After a few minutes smooth the melted chocolate with the back of a large spoon or spatula to spread out. Sprinkle top with coconut. Allow to cool in fridge, then cut into small squares or bars.
SUE’S NOTES: I found the bottoms a bit sticky, so after cutting them into squares I set them on a plate sprinkled with extra cocoa and coconut.
MACADAMIA NUT TRUFFLES
½-cup (125 ml) maple syrup
½-cup (125 ml) macadamia nuts
½-cup (125 ml) almond flour meal (finely-ground blanched almonds)
¼-cup (60 ml) cocoa powder
2 tbsp (30 ml) coconut milk
½-cup (75 ml) cocoa powder to roll truffles
Put the syrup in a heavy pot and bring to a boil. In a food processor with the “S” blade, pulse the macadamia nuts until finely ground. When syrup has boiled for three to five minuntes, add the almond flour meal and ground nuts. Continue to allow the syrup to thicken, stirring frequently, until mixture is almost dry and nuts are all sticking together (syrup is not runny). Add the cocoa powder and coconut milk, stirring well. Remove from heat. Scrape truffle mixture into a container and place in the fridge to cool for approximately 30 minuntes. When mixture has cooled, roll into ping-pong size balls and roll each ball in dry cocoa powder to coat. Makes 20 to 26 truffles. Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, they will keep for several weeks if you hide them well! Can also be frozen to give as gifts.
OPTIONS: Replace macadamia nuts with cashews or almonds with hazelnuts.
Read more about chocolate here.