It’s almost the most romantic day of the year
With Valentines Day just around the corner and there being no chance of us heading out for a romantic meal, why not make “home date night” one to remember. Show the one you love just how much you care with a selection of these decadent chocolate valentine treats.
And if you’re not in a sharing mood, that’s okay. Because why not treat your baby to a sweet treat instead. Indulge yourself, soak in a warm candlelit bath, put your feet up and tuck in to a box of chocolates.
Because these treats are all completely guilt free and packed full of goodness and healthy nourishing ingredients; there’s no need to just stop at one.
And because nothing says I LOVE YOU more than a box of chocolates – why not get messy in the kitchen this weekend and whip up a batch of these delicious raw chocolates.
The below recipe is one of my absolute favourites. Homemade chocolates are actually super easy to make and if you’ve an ice cube mould available; they can easily be made the night before. Just pop in the fridge ready to indulge in the following morning.
Plus if you have the time and the creativity you can always go one step further by decorating them and adding different flavours to them.
Raw Chocolate Selection
- Ice Cube Mould
- 100 grams of cocoa butter chopped
- 4 tbsp of cacao powder
- 4 tbsp of either agave nectar rice syrup or maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp of finely ground Pink Himalayan salt or ground sea salt
- Place the cocoa butter in a heatproof bowl and warm over a pan of simmering water.
- Be sure not to let the bowl touch the water. Stir gently with a wooden spoon.
- Once melted, add the cocoa powder, syrup and salt and continue stirring
- Add your flavourings and combine leave to cool slightly for five minutes before pouring into your ice tray moulds
- Set aside until completely cooled before placing in the fridge.
- You can also turn these into truffles by adding a little plant based milk and once cooled you can roll these into balls and roll in coconut, cocoa powder or finely grated dark chocolate.
The benefits of dark chocolate
Eating chocolate ranks pretty high on my favourite things to do! But the jury’s still out on just how beneficial dark chocolate actually is for us. Naturally we all want to believe that the dark stuff is so good that munching our way through a family size pack is equal to chowing down on a bag of kale (oh if only).
A few years back when I was in the midst of reassessing just how much sugar I ate, I swapped my chocolate treats for the darker stuff. The reason for this is that the higher the cocoa solid content the less sugar.
Although the calories are roughly the same in milk choc and dark chocolate, but diets and counting calories is not what I’m about.
What I am about is healthy options and by eating the darker chocolate which contains more cocoa solids and less sugar we tend to eat less of it. This is because it’s richer and has a slightly bitter taste to it than that of milk chocolate, which is packed full of sugar. Plus – I always think that when eating milk chocolate that we miss out on the actual taste chocolate.
The positive effect of chocolate
A little while ago there was a huge write up about the flavanols in dark chocolate and this kicked off the whole DARK CHOCOLATE IS GOOD FOR YOU revelation. The truth is you’d have to eat such a large amount of dark chocolate for those flavanols to even have a positive effect.
Also lets not forget that chocolate does contain caffeine which we know is a big NO NO.
The one good thing we can take from replacing our chocolate craving with the dark stuff is
there is a definite guarantee that it contains less sugar. Plus eating chocolate raises our levels of endorphins and the feel good neurotransmitter serotonin.
YAY – CHOCOLATE REALLY DOES MAKE US FEEL GOOD. ⠀
Vegan Chocolate and Orange Mousse
Vegan Chocolate Mousse
- 225 g Sweet Potato peeled and cooked
- ½ cup 125g smooth peanut butter
- ½ cup 50g natural cocoa powder
- 6 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- ½ cup 120ml chickpea brine
- ½ tsp. lemon juice
- Place cooked sweet potato and peanut butter in a food processor. Process until smooth and, then add cacao powder, maple syrup, and orange zest, blend again until smooth.
- Place chickpea brine in a clean bowl. Add lemon juice and whip with a hand mixer until you achieve stiff peaks (this can take around 3-6 mins) – you should be able to invert the bowl, and the whipped brine should not move an inch.
- Fold whipped chickpea brine into the chocolate and mix until well combined. The mixture will deflate slightly. Spoon the mixture between 4 small serving glasses and place in the fridge for 8 hours (or overnight) for the mousse to set.
Vanilla and Coconut Truffles
Vanilla and Coconut Truffles
- 2 cups 200g desiccated coconut + 3 tbsp.
- ¼ cup 60ml coconut milk, canned
- ¼ cup 50g coconut oil
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- Slightly heat the oils and coconut milk in a pot over low heat. Add the 200g desiccated coconut, vanilla extract and maple syrup, then mix well. Transfer into a container and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Once the batter is firm, form around 10 balls and roll them in the extra coconut, eat straight away or store in the fridge until necessary.
- Pro tip: add more milk if the batter is too dry and does not want to roll into balls.
Oat and Carrot Cookies
Oat, Carrot and Chia Cookies
- 1 medium carrot grated
- 1 cup 100g instant oats
- 2/3 cup 100g whole-grain flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 3 tbsp. coconut oil melted
- 1 egg ( Flax Egg if Vegan)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 5 tbsp. 75ml maple syrup
- 2 tbsp ground chia seed
- 4 tbsp plant milk
- Preheat oven to 340F (170C). Mix the oats, flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl whisk together, the egg melted and cooled oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Fold in the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Add in the finely grated carrot and mix again.
- Spoon the mixture (1 heaped tbsp. per cookie) onto a baking tray lined with paper and shape into rounds, leaving space between each cookie as they will spread slightly while cooking.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until slightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving.