Chocolate … Healthy Chocolate

No One Does Chocolate like Chocolate Covered Katie
 
Everyone craves something sweet every now and again (or more often). Why not try something healthier?
 
Can you imagine a healthy dessert? Can you imagine a whole blog dedicated to healthy desserts? It’s true. 
 
I found this blog quite some time ago and her recipes are truly delicious. She tests them until they are right. Eating something that satisfies your sweet tooth doesn’t have to include mostly bad ingredients. This blog has taught me a thing or two about eating healthy sweets.
 
Some of the ones I’ve tried are below….
 
Oatmeal-Raisin Cookie Larabars. Heathy enough that you don’t have to call them a cookie, delicious enough to totally be a cookie.
  
http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/11/14/oatmeal-raisin-cookie-larabars/
 
Hot Fudge Brownie Larabars – little boo will eat these like no bodies business.
 
http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/08/12/hot-fudge-brownie-larabars/
 
 
Eatmore’ Fudge Squares….enough said.
 
http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/02/15/healthy-eatmore-fudge-chocolate-bars/
 
Chocolate Bar Pie
You won’t know it’s tofu. I can assure you of that.
 
http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/09/15/chocolate-bar-pie/
 

 So go visit Katie and get your chocolate on, will ya?

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/

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Organic Chocolate Syrup

Who don’t love chocolate milk, chocolate syrup, chocolate …

Well, I know that some don’t but I do, we do! BUT the organic chocolate sauce at my favorite food store is Yikes! Five bucks!

We can’t have that now can we? No, we sure can’t! So make it!

1 cup organic cane sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup organic cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add 1 cup of water to your pot. Heat on medium until it steams. Add the sugar and whisk until clear. Add the cocoa and salt and whisk until combined. Keep on medium heat and stir almost constantly.

DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THIS – cleaning the stove if you do will NOT be cool!

Keep the syrup at a low rolling boil for several minutes. You will want the syrup thick enough to not immediately pour off of a spoon.

Once you notice the syrup thickening, remove from heat. Turn off the stove.

Add your vanilla and whisk a few times.

Let the syrup cool to room temperature.

Pour into a squirt bottle and store in the fridge. This will last several weeks in your fridge – well it will if everyone can keep their paws off of it 🙂

Take pleasure in knowing that there are 5 ingredients in your syrup, all of which you know what it is.

Until next time…take care of you.


Yogurt

Several months ago my little boo said daily “My stomach hurts!”. The first thing that came to mind was diet, constipation etc.. The second thing that came to mind was intestinal bacteria or the lack of. The third thing was yogurt! Then I said a big Boo! for the ingredients and sugar content of the kids yogurt.

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So, as you all know, I was on a mission 🙂

Come to find out making yogurt is not hard at all. I ended up buying a yogurt maker that included a cooling cycle because I usually make it at night and my little boo wants it the next morning. (she really does love it)

You can use what ever milk you prefer. I use organic 2%. I pay about 5 dollars for a gallon of milk. I have not tried almond milk, coconut milk or any other milk. I know others have but these instructions are assuming dairy milk is used.

So what is involved?

If you are making it in a yogurt maker like the two below…(I have used both and had wonderful results with each) these instructions will help. I have the second one listed.

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Start your yogurt machine on a cycle that is one hour longer than the yogurt starter calls for. This will allow for the machine to heat to 110 degrees and when you add your milk, it will not get too cool for the starter.

Pour the same amount of milk as your unit will hold into a heavy bottom stainless steel pot on medium heat.

Heat to 185 degrees on a low to medium heat. Stir frequently to prevent the milk from scorching on the bottom. The milk will bubble up but you should not boil it. I use this thermometer.

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Once the milk reaches 185 degrees, turn the heat off and leave the milk on the eye to cool. Do not skip this step. Leaving the yogurt on the eye to cool will give the final yogurt that creamy and thick consistency.

Cool to between 110-113 degrees. This depends on what yogurt starter you use. I use this one from Cultures For Health

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If your yogurt cools a few degrees too cool, turn the eye back on and watch it carefully to heat to the needed temperature.

The flavor is mild. The consistency thick. The reviews are favorable. The company is quick.

Add your yogurt starter to the milk and stir side to side, not in circles or whisking, to incorporate.

Pour your milk and yogurt starter into your yogurt maker container(s).

If you did not start the yogurt machine earlier, now is time to do that. Each yogurt starter will state the recommended time to “cook” your yogurt in the machine. Use this suggestion.

Leave the yogurt for 8-10 hours (the longer you leave it, the more tart it will be).

Transfer the yogurt machine container to the refrigerator and cool.

You can puree fruit to add as you eat it. Have yogurt over oatmeal. However you like it … it will not disappoint.

*see Riley’s favorite organic chocolate syrup recipe that we use for her – two teaspoons of the syrup in her yogurt and she loves it AND it is less sugar than the store bought kind


Ahh! Cold Brew!

Coffee that is! Several years ago a friend of mine introduced me to cold brew coffee. I remember feeling bad asking her if I could try her coffee but man, I’m glad I did! The smoothness is so creamy. There is no (and I mean no) after taste. No bitterness.

I have mine with milk – and cold! I make homemade organic chocolate syrup and add a squirt of that too! You can heat your water and add the concentrate to that if you enjoy hot coffee. You can have yours however you like. I just suggest that you not heat the concentrate. This will release some acid.

The best part? My nutritionist approved this for me! Why? Because cold brewing coffee reduces the acidity by 70% or more. The acid in drinks and food is often what makes them bad for us. Did you know that virus, bacteria, disease and sickness CANNOT live in an alkaline state? I urge all of you to read on this topic. It is really interesting. Just Google PH level in foods. Where are you on the scale? Did you see things you could cut back?

So how do you brew the cold brew?

I recommend a 1 to 4 ratio – for example 1 cup of coffee to 4 cups of water. Don’t calculate this and freak on me now! When you cold brew coffee it makes a strong concentrate! So you only use 1/4 to 1/3 cup concentrate per serving 🙂 now you can breath again (those who calculated costs that quickly)! I brew 2 cups coffee to 8 cups water at a time that way I’m good to go for a couple weeks.

Here we go! I added two cups of ground coffee to an eight cup Pyrex.

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Then you add clean water (not tap – but I recommend you never drink tap) some kind of filtered water.

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The coffee grounds will float on top. If you leave it like this the top grounds will never be soaked and will you end up with weak concentrate. Use the back of a big spoon to push the coffee grounds down into the water.

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Keep doing this until you can see that the grounds are wet.

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Now the fun part! Wait! And wait! For 12 hours! After 12 hours you will notice that the concentrate is dark and smells yummy and you’ll be totally excited to try your new goodness. BTW I’ve waited 24 hours before and it not affect the brew 🙂 so don’t stress!

At this point you will want to scoop out as much of the bulk coffee grounds that you can. I use a slotted spoon. This will help make the straining process easier for you.

I have a two step straining process (trust me I’ve gone through pain figuring out what works best). First I strain the coffee through a fine mesh coffee filter I found hanging on the coffee aisle at Publix. I think it was three bucks.

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After the coffee is strained once. I rinse out my Pyrex that I just poured from and strain the coffee back into it. Add layers of cheesecloth in the coffee strainer and strain the coffee again back into Pyrex. You can find cheesecloth in the grocery store or Walmart or a fabric store. I have many pieces of cheesecloth. I use it for many things.

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Now you have a rich and dark concentrate and you are so excited to see if this small amount of work paid off!

Get yourself a cup, and a measuring cup (you won’t need this for long). Measure out 1/4 cup concentrate and add to that 3/4 cup milk of your choice. If you prefer hot coffee heating a cup of water. Heat it hotter than you would drink coffee as the concentrate will cool it down. Add to that 1/2 (maybe) cup of concentrate. Please don’t heat the concentrate with the water! That will defeat the purpose and release acids. Then add whatever you like in your coffee.

After a while you will learn your preference and will not have to measure out everything. It helps the first couple of times so you don’t have to stress over the guess work! You know you….you will either use a measuring cup or not 🙂

The most important part….enjoy your coffee!

I throw the cheese cloth in my towel wash. Like I said, I use it a lot so I’m totally used to having it around!

What do you think? Are you going to try it even once? If you do please let us know what you think. The good the bad the ugly. We are not here to win a blog contest 🙂