whole foods and beyond....nourishing the body, spirit and soul

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

sunbutter chocolate bites

homemade chocolates are my favorite

 and apparently, they're my husband's favorite too...a tray of twelve was gone in a week! 
and i only had three!

when i decided to come up with the recipe for these chocolates, i wanted them to be bigger than bite size, but small enough that they could be eaten in two or three bites. an ice cube tray was the perfect mold for the job.  smooth velvety homemade chocolate will make your conscience feel good about eating a sweet treat at any time:) since it's loaded with healthy fats from coconut oil, sunflower seed butter and almonds, you'll be nourishing your body as you tame your sweet tooth as well.

with two layers of filling, your tongue will dance with delight, as the chewy nougat mixes with the cookie layer!  i was even surprised at how well this combination worked out to transport me to that magical chocolate candy bar land.... but on a more important note, the nougat i created for this chocolate bite contains raw egg whites. what better way to come up with a healthy, fluffy consistency with just the right chew to it?  if this is concerning to you, or perhaps you've never had whipped raw egg whites, consider this: research shows that as few as three per thousand eggs are infected with salmonella.  and these findings are referring to the commercial variety.  i never use anything other than organic eggs in my kitchen for many reasons, but to avoid salmonella contamination is a reason high on the list.  Dr. Mercola states, 

whipped egg whites are fluffily like marshmallow dreams
"only sick chickens lay salmonella contaminated eggs."  stick with a trusted organic brand and this should never be an issue.  although egg whites, raw or cooked contain many nutrients, it's important to not overeat raw them.  Sally Fallon teaches, " it is fine to consume plenty of raw egg yolks, a custom found in many traditional diets, but consumption of raw egg whites on a regular basis can lead to digestive problems.  the problem is...that raw egg whites contain enzyme inhibitors that can interfere with protein digestion."  so have some self control, and don't go making these chocolates everyday!

to learn more about eggs and their true benefits check out these articles from the Weston A. Price Foundation.

this is what your cookie layer should look like
Sunbutter Chocolate Bites:
1/2 c almonds
5 dates
2 tsp maca
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt

*place almonds and salt in food processor.  grind until the almonds have become a flour.
*pulse in the rest of the ingredients and run until the mixture holds together. add another date if its not sticky enough, or add a little water if it's too sticky.
* set cookie mixture aside.

2/3 c gluten free puffed rice cereal (see notes)
1/2 c roasted sunflower seed butter
2 organic egg whites
2 tsp raw honey 
pinch sea salt

*beat sunbutter until smooth. (to help mine out, i added a tbs of warm water, since i store nut butters in the fridge.) set aside.
*in a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until you have reached firm peaks.  this should take around five minutes.
*little by little, fold the egg whites into the sunbutter.
*next stir in the honey and cereal.
*set aside.
he had to taste everything! he was downing coconut oil:)

1/2 c coconut oil                                                  
1/2-3/4 cocoa powder
1/2 c dark cocoa powder
1/4 c raw honey plus two tbs
dash sea salt

*gently melt the coconut oil on low heat.
*combine cocoas and salt.
*pour oil and honey into the cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth.
*taste and see if the chocolate is dark enough to your liking or sweet enough.  adjust by adding more cocoa or more honey.

*pour about a teaspoon of chocolate on the bottom of each ice cube mold. let stand in the freezer for at least five minutes.
*after mold has been taken out of the freezer, pour a teaspoon of nougat in each mold. return to the freezer for at least five minutes.
*after mold has been taken out of freezer, mold a teaspoon of cookie layer to fit just inside the perimeter of the mold and set it on top of the nougat. press down gently.  next, cover the top with chocolate and enough to run down the sides and reach the bottom of the mold.
*let chocolates chill in the freezer for at least fifteen minutes before popping them out of molds. 
*this chocolate will not hold up very long at room temp, so store in freezer.

1. i wanted the inside of this chocolate to have a crunch factor.  my solution was the box of gluten free puffed rice cereal we had laying around. (we only eat cereal in emergencies around here...like when my son decides to wake up before 7 am and im not even alive yet to fix a real breakfast!) however, to my extreme disappointment, the cereal lost its characteristic crunch during the freezing process.  if you want to achieve a crunch with this bar i would suggest folding in raw cacao nibs, or chop up one of your favorite nuts.

2. when you're finished making chocolates, check around your house for mysterious little chocolate hand prints:)

instead of making a couple batches of these in ice cube trays, i decided to use my leftovers to make truffles for a new years party we went to.

i rolled the cookie layer in tiny balls. and then rolled a chocolate brownie layer made of walnuts, dates and salt around them.

then i covered them all in melted semi sweet chocolate:) they were awesome!

just between you and me, we all kept sneaking back to the fridge all night to grab more of these;)

happy new year and happy chocolate making!

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