Monday, June 22, 2015

Fully Loaded Chocolate Bombs with Cocoa Nibs, Coconut Oil, Fruit & Nuts (Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo) - plus a discussion about healthy fats -vs- sugar & starch.


Fully Loaded Chocolate Bombs.

This is a fabulous chocolate recipe we have kept as a guarded family secret... until now! 


I made these delicious little morsels with my mom during a recent visit with my parents.

This is a super easy and amazingly delicious chocolate recipe. It is based on my mother's healthy sugar-free chocolate formula now being manufactured by a company called Lakanto

We extend the Lakanto Zero-Sugar Dark Chocolate with coconut oil, cocoa powder and other goodies. The chocolate retains it's smooth texture, delicious taste, and has a beautiful shiny surface. 

These cute little chocolate bombs are exploding with flavor and a myriad of textures, and are a real pleasure to eat. We have noticed that this chocolate also curbs the appetite nicely. That means if you eat this, you will eat less of that (not good for you stuff).

You  also get the benefits of healthful coconut oil in your diet, while enjoying a low-carb, sugar-free chocolate at an affordable cost. It's a beautiful thing!

2 T. coconut oil is generally recommended daily for health benefits. An added bonus of adding coconut oil is that this chocolate will no longer require tempering! This is what makes working with this chocolate so super simple and fast. You will love it.

At our house, we have to have this chocolate, I can't imagine life without it now. Seriously.

We love that this is truly HEALTHY chocolate. That's why we are sharing this recipe with you. We are passionate about sharing recipes for foods people deeply crave, and we offer them with a healthy twist. Replacing the foods you love with a better choice, while maintaining it's great taste is what we are all about here at Kitchen Cheetahs.

You can add any inclusions to this chocolate that tickle your fancy. Make your chocolate base first and then you can get creative with it. You could try combinations like candied orange with chipotle, coconut flakes with macadamia nuts, dried pears and pecans, salted raisins and roasted, salted peanuts, pistachios with dried pomegranates, cashews and banana chips... We also love it with just cocoa nibs added.
Cocoa Nibs.



Now, I must tell you that during my recent visit, I ATE at my parents house. If you have ever tasted my mom's cooking, you know what I mean! I was not concerned, but still assumed that I would go home heavier then when I arrived. We ate tons of chocolate-dipped figs, figs and cream, and we made gluten-free, sugar-free rhubarb cake (so yummy), and grilled dry aged beef, and spaghetti with my mom's amazing homemade sauce, unique yellow squash "pasta", drizzled with olive oil,topped with cheese, and gluten-free french baguettes grilled with butter and coconut oil on the side. We also ate various salads with homemade dressings, the buttery scrambled eggs my mom is famous for, and her Sun Warrior Protein Pudding, refreshing green drinks, unique mocktails, and my dad's delicious protein smoothies... and more chocolate! It's all kind of a blur now really. A delirious food coma ensued. Sigh.

I get home and got on the scale and to my amazement... I LOST weight! I ate happily at my parents, without a worry. Mom's food was amazing and definitely not skimping on the fat! I was not deprived in the slightest. I ate good protein, vegies and greens, healthy fats, low-carb and sugar-free desserts. I ate a few gluten-free pretzels and that french bread, but basically eliminated grains, starch, and sugar for that week I was there. This validated my belief about fat -vs- sugars...

There are a few books out now that talk about high-fat diets, promoting healthy fats. Interesting, and I like it because eating fat leads to satiety (greater food satisfaction). Our bodies seem to know when we have had enough fat and our appetite quiets down. I think people who eat fats are happier too. I believe it is sugar and starch that generally cause obesity, not healthy fats. The more processed the sugar and starch is (white flour, white sugar, white starch) the worse it is for our bodies. Starch converts to sugar so fast in the body, it can make your head spin. A chemist friend of mine told me that starch converts to sugar in the mouth within seconds. Research shows that sugar leads to body inflammation and inflammation is underlying all disease. I figure that starch leads to body inflammation too. We at kitchen Cheetahs are very concerned about the majority of gluten-free products being marketed that base their formulas on starch and sugar. I'm sure you can figure out why.

The thing is, as a population, we generally know what we shouldn't be eating - but we eat it anyway. Why? Because it tastes good. Because it's easy. Because it's familiar. Because it's there.

The transition to eating healthy is made easier by eating healthy foods that are tasty, easy, familiar, and available. Sounds simple. Once educated, it is simple. I say, start with chocolate!

So have some fun and enjoy this guilt-free treat. Live on the edge and have some with breakfast!




Fully Loaded Chocolate Bombs Formula:

SMALL BATCH:

Chocolate Base:
170 grams (2 bars) Lakanto Zero-Sugar Dark Chocolate, chopped small
30 grams deodorized coconut oil
15 grams dark Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 + 1/8 t. intense sweetener powder, to taste (a mix of stevioside, monk fruit is good)

Flavorings (optional):
1/8 t. vanilla flavor powder
1/4 t. almond flavor powder, to taste
1/8 t. cherry flavor powder

Inclusions (about 1 1/2 c.):
80 grams (1/2 c.) roasted crispy whole almonds
60 ounces (1/3 c.) whole dried organic Bing cherries
35 grams (1/4 c.) dried organic sour cherries (sweetened has the best texture and taste)
35 grams (1/4 c.) organic raisins
20 grams (1/8 c.) cocoa nibs


LARGE BATCH:

Chocolate Base:
600 grams Lakanto Zero-Sugar Dark Chocolate, chopped small
100 grams deodorized coconut oil
50 grams dark Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 t. intense sweetener powder (a mix of stevioside, monk fruit & CitrusSweet is good)

Flavorings (optional):
1/2 t. vanilla flavor powder
1 t. almond flavor powder, to taste
1/2 t. cherry flavor powder

Inclusions (about 6 c.):
280 grams (2 c.) roasted crispy whole almonds
8 ounces (1 1/4 c.) whole dried organic Bing cherries
120 grams (1 c.) dried organic sour cherries (sweetened has the best texture and taste)
140 grams (1 c.) organic raisins
70 grams (1/2 c.) cocoa nibs


Method:

In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together, pausing and stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and warm. Mix together well.

Prepare one to two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or silicone mats and set aside.

Add the cocoa powder to the melted chocolate mixture and mix in well

Add the intense sweetener powder to taste and mix in very well. Taste for sweetness.

Add the flavor powders to taste and mix in well.

Add the inclusions and mix well.

Stir the chocolate occasionally as it cools until it starts to thicken up enough to hold a shape when mounded.

Portion the chocolate mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, in small mounds, using a spoon or a very small ice cream scoop.

Sprinkle the tops of the chocolates with sea salt before they set up, if desired.

Place the chocolates in the refrigerator until they are completely set up.

Store the chocolates in an air-tight container (in the refrigerator in the hot summer months).



Photos of the process:


Gather your ingredients.

Combine the chopped Lakanto chocolate and coconut oil.

Stir chocolate mixture every 30 seconds as it is melting.

Mix in the cocoa powder, intense sweeteners and flavor powders, to taste.

Start adding the inclusions.

Let any refrigerated ingredients come to room temperature before adding to the chocolate.











Stir the chocolate occasionally while cooling.

A silicone-lined baking sheet.

A parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Drop chocolate mixture into little mounds.

A finished tray of chocolates.







Chocolates with a kiss of sea salt.
Beautiful Chocolate Bombs ready for packaging.


Enjoy,

Leila & Nancy.