Today I’m going to be talking with Laura Theodore (a.k.a. the Jazzy Vegetarian) on her BlogTalkRadio Show – and we’re chatting about Crave Eat Heal AND we will be announcing the names of the four winners from our recent mega-giveaway that included: NuNaturals, Todd’s Seeds, Jazzy Vegetarian DVD/cookbook, and my Crave Eat Heal e-book. Don’t miss it – maybe you won?!!
During my monthly or so visits to the Whole Foods in Oklahoma City, it’s impossible for me to resist the aisle that contains the rows (and rows) of chocolate bars. So many varieties! I want to try them all! But I usually content myself with 1 or 2 bars that Kel and I dole out to ourselves in small squares, usually following dinner. My favorites almost always contain mint with something crunchy. Finding myself out of chocolate bars and with no trip planned anytime soon to Oklahoma City, it was time to improvise. I could have used Lily’s Sweets stevia-sweetened chocolate chips – but I wanted to try my hand using cacao powder instead. The recipe below is what I came up with: single-serving dark chocolate bars studded with puffed quinoa, crunchy cacao nibs, and a hint of mint.
A note on ingredients and equipment: to make these you’ll need NuNaturals Cocoa Mint Syrup. You won’t regret the purchase because you’ll find a million ways to use this delicious, stevia-sweetened syrup. No, I’m not a paid spokesperson for NuNaturals – it just seems that way! You could use a vegan chocolate syrup instead and forgo the mint – or just add additional peppermint extract. And, to make truly adorable little chocolate bars, I use this silicon soap/mini loaf/cornbread mold. I order the puffed quinoa from Living Tree Community.
What’s the good stuff going on with these bars?
- unlike cocoa power, cacao powder is a raw food – which means it retains its nutrients better than its counterpart
- is rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants
- alleviate stress and anxiety by drinking a cup of hot cacao
- is a source of protein as well as iron, calcium, zinc, and potassium
- there is no dairy butter in cocoa butter – it’s made from cocoa beans – but it is a light lemon color, has a rich scent, and is soft and smooth
- an ingredient in cocoa butter may help the body slow the replication of cancer cells
- this ingredient may also alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome
- does extra duty outside of the kitchen; use it to moisturize hands, feet, and lips
- is a complete protein (kinda like eating rice and beans!) – meaning it contains every single amino acid
- is high in calcium and iron
- is an excellent and tasty source of fiber
- 3/4 cup high-quality cocoa butter
- 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp. NuNaturals Cocoa Mint Syrup
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
- 1 cup cacao powder
- 1/4 cup puffed quinoa
- 1/4 cup cacao nibs
- Set aside a silicon mold. Put the cacao powder in a large glass measuring cup. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, gently melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil with the Cocoa Mint Syrup. Once the mixture is melted, remove pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and peppermint extracts. Pour mixture into the measuring cup with the cacao powder, and whisk until it is thoroughly incorporated and a rich, dark brown. Taste and adjust sweetness to your liking.
- Stir in the puffed quinoa and cacao nibs. Divide the mixture between 9 molds and refrigerate until set, less than one hour.
- After you pour the chocolate into the molds, sprinkle a little extra puffed quinoa and cacao nibs on top.