Category Archives: sugar free

Thursday, August 16, 2012

No Guilt, Sugar-Free Vegan Carob Chocolates

I’ve been addicted to making chocolates since I made Ricki’s Orange-Goji Berry Chocolates a few months ago.  Homemade chocolate is ridiculously easy – and if you’re moving into whole food eating, making your own is the perfect opportunity to have total control over the ingredients.  When it comes to chocolate in our home, I generally use carob.  I discovered carob several years ago and I have to say, I really like it.  I know, I know, chocolate is revered by many (insert picture of my husband here) and touted for healing properties, but since I’m not a huge chocolate lover (ahem, like my chocoholic husband) I therefore don’t feel an incredible urge to eat it (ahem, like my chocoholic husband).  But moreover, I’m not ready to expose my son to the stimulating effects of chocolate.  always experience this side effect when I eat or drink something with raw cacao (I don’t drink coffee either, so I can REALLY feel the chocolate). So I can only imagine what it does to a little 3-year-old (and I will let nothing stand in the way of nap time – cyber high-five to all my mommy peeps who know what I’m talking about – LOVE nap time).  But moreover, my son suffers from eczema and we’ve come to find out that chocolate aggravates my husband’s eczema (oh boy, that was a sad day).  Okay, so, long story short here on the chocolateit’s a fun treat once in a while for my daughter and husband, but carob is used far more frequency in this house and that’s just fine with meAND my family.  Less stimulating effects, less eczema, more smiles.  See HERE for health benefits of carob. 
Sugar-Free Vegan Carob Chocolates
(slightly adapted from Ricki’s Orange-Goji Berry Chocolate recipe)

Ingredients:
-2 tablespoons organic carob powder 
-1/4 teaspoon vanilla stevia, or to taste (orange or cocoa stevia would be great too) 
-1 teaspoon vanilla 

How To:
1.  In a small non-stick pan, melt the above ingredients on medium heat, taking care not to burn mixture.  Mix the entire time.  Remove from heat and continue mixing until everything is melted and happy.
2.  Transfer to 1 cup glass Pyrex (you will have approximately 1/2 cup of liquid).  Whisk mixture as you pour into silicone molds to prevent separation.  
3.  Transfer to freezer (for 10 – 20 minutes)
4.  Remove from molds and store chocolates in fridge in glass container.
Makes 12 small chocolates 

Shared on: Keep It Real ThursdaysWellness Weekend, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday. Freaky Friday, Lifeologia Summerizing Party, Friday Food Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Sweet Saturday, 

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Labels: candy alternatives, dessert, sugar free, vegan.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Alert – Foodgasm Ahead!! Chocolate Covered Strawberries (with homemade dark and white chocolate – vegan and sugar free)

We went strawberry picking a few weekends ago and we’ve been eating strawberries every day and I’ve had fun incorporating these red beauties in everything from ice cream to salads.  You just can’t go wrong with strawberries, right!  Don’t these look wonderful drenched in chocolate (um, yes, foodgasm – the perfect mix of sweet and tartswoon)!  What a thoughtful Mother’s Day gift these would make, perhaps for dessert after dinner out or a home cooked meal.  This chocolate was completely inspired by Ricki @ Diet Dessert and Dogs.  She recently made some goji berry sugar free chocolates, and they were amazing. It was my first time using stevia as a sweetener in chocolate, and I have to say, it worked beautifully.  And my chocoholic husband LOVED them, so that’s ALL I need to know.  If he gives me the thumbs up, it’s a winner in my book.  
Ingredients

Dark Chocolate
-1/4 cup cashew butter*
-3 level tablespoons of cacao powder
-1/4 teaspoon vanilla stevia 
-1/4 teaspoon coffee flavor
-1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

White Chocolate 
-2 tablespoons cashew butter*
-1 teaspoon coconut oil
-30 drops vanilla stevia

How To:
1.  For dark chocolate: in a double boiler (or just put a nonstick pan on top of a pot filled with water), add cocoa butter, cashew butter, and cacao powder.  Stir as it melts to help break up the cashew butter.  When the chocolate looks nice and hot and it’s melting, turn off heat and continue to stir until everything is well incorporated.  
2.  Add in both vanilla stevia and cocoa stevia.  Stir. 
3.  Transfer melted chocolate into two separate bowls (should be 1/3 cup for each bowl).  
4.  In one bowl add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, and in the other bowl, add coffee flavor.
5.  Allow chocolate to cool and thicken a bit before you start to dip in the strawberries.  
6.  You may need to place the bowls of chocolate in the fridge, but not for long.  Be forewarned, once the bowl gets cold, the chocolate hardens very fast.  So, if this happens, simply put the bowl directly in some hot water to melt and start over.  It may take a few tries to get the chocolate just right, but what you want is a somewhat thick syrup.
7.  It helps if you put a plate in the freezer before you start.  After you dip your strawberries, you can place them on the cold plate and it hardens the chocolate and helps it from oozing.

How To:
1.  For the white chocolate:  in a double boiler (see above), add cocoa butter, cashew butter, and coconut oil. Stir as it melts to help break up the cashew butter.  When the chocolate looks nice and hot and it’s melting, turn off heat and continue to stir until everything is well incorporated.  
2.  Add in vanilla stevia. Stir. 
3.  Transfer melted chocolate into a bowl and allow to cool.  You can place in the fridge to help thicken, but see above if it hardens over completely. 

Notes:
*To make cashew butter, add 1 – 2 cups raw cashews to food processor.  Turn on and blend until creamy.  It will get creamy right after the ball of nut butter forms.  
*You don’t HAVE to make the chocolate with cashew butter!  Skip it for a creamier finish.  
*When you start to dip the strawberries, do 5 to 7 strawberries at a time, the place in the fridge on the cold plate with a non-stick surface, such as parchment paper to help set up.
*Cool the berries, then re-dip in chocolate until you achieve your desired chocolate thickness.  I prefer a thin layer, 
*If you place the strawberries directly on a glass plate, a metal spatchula works well to remove them from the cold plate – be gentle but firm. 
*Garnish when chocolate is wet, before you place in fridge – use shredded coconut, lemon, orange or lime zest. 
*These can be left out at room temperature, they will not melt all over.  Placing in the fridge just helps them set up.  
*Please add your stevia to taste.  I don’t like super sweet, just enough to offset the bitter.  So test the chocolate before you drizzle on the strawberries. 
*Make little chocolates with leftover melted chocolate (see below)
I also use a spoon to cover the strawberry with chocolate 
This is what happens if the chocolate gets too firm, it becomes difficult to work with.  Just warm the chocolate if this happens.  You need to find the right consistency, this takes a little practice.  Remember, the white chocolate will look a little pale, but will become whiter as it cools.  
Shredded coconut and lemon zest for garnish 
Pour your extra chocolate into miniature silicone baking cups and make little individual chocolates.  So fun!


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Labels: candy alternatives, dairy free, dessert, how to, sugar free, summer treats, vegan.

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Monday, May 7, 2012

On The Farm: Strawberry Picking! (Strawberry pancakes, strawberry popsilces, and Beth’s strawberry coconut breakfast cookies). Strawberries are taking over my kitchen – and I love it!!

Last weekend we went to a local organic strawberry patch (just up the road from our house in fact). Still a little early in the season, but the kids had an absolute blast searching for those little red berries (okay and so did mommy, I’m such a wannabe farmer).  We came home with a box full of berries and the first thing I made was Strawberry Coconut Breakfast Cookies from Beth @ Tasty Yummies (see below).  They were a total hit with the family!  Thank you for a great recipe Beth.  
This week I’ll be sharing a few additional simple recipes with strawberries.  See below for strawberry teff pancakes and sugar free strawberry cantaloupe popsicles.  
Stayed tuned for: strawberry lemon shortcake and strawberry smoothies!!


Here are Beth’s Strawberry Coconut Breakfast Cookies.  
These are a must! Check out the recipe.  

Strawberry Teff Pancakes with Maple Coconut Whipped Cream:
Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups teff flour 
-1 1/2 cups filtered water
-2 tablespoons honey (vegan use maple syrup) 
-3 tablespoons oil (coconut is good)
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon cream of tarter
-1/4 teaspoon salt 
-1 cup chopped fresh strawberries 

How To:
1.  Combine above ingredients and mix (except strawberries).  Fold in berries.  Let batter rest for 1 minute.  Stir and make pancakes (we use a countertop griddle).
2.  See here for maple coconut cream topping.
Sugar-Free Strawberry Cantaloupe Popsicles:

Ingredients:
-12 ounces fresh strawberries
-12 ounces fresh cantelopue
-Vanilla stevia to taste (I use NuNaturals) 

How To:
1.  Combine ingredients in food processor until desired consistency (it’s fun to leave a few strawberry chunks in there).
2.  Makes 6 of these popsicles, I also have these which are super fun (purchased at my local Natural Foods Coop).
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Labels: allergy-friendly, breakfast, dairy free, dessert, gluten free, on the farm, sugar free, summer treats.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Raw Cranapple Sauce

After I made my sweet and savory applesauce for pork chops, I knew a raw sauce was in order.  I had some leftover dried cranberries and thought, hey, this might work.  Yummers!! No sweeteners needed for this one, just a bit of orange juice.  Really delicious, healthy, refreshingand raw!  

Ingredients
-6 organic red apples of choice, chopped. (3 peeled, 3 with skins) 
-1 cup dried cranberries, soaked in filtered water for about an hour (try to find dried berries with no sugar added or sulfur dioxide) 
-1/4 cup orange juice (I used two small Clementines, but adding orange juice is totally optionalI just happen to love anything tart!
How To
1.  In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, blend apples until they start to release some of their juice.
2.  Strain cranberries and add to apples, blend until well incorporated.
3.  Add orange juice and continue blending until desired consistency.  I went with a traditional applesauce texture.  
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, gluten free, raw, sauces, SCD, sugar free.

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