[Sometimes, you just want to eat something now. I've decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required. Here's today's "Flash in the Pan." (For other FitP recipes, see "Categories" at right).]
I heard an interview the other day on CBC radio (ie, home of the dreamy Jian Ghomeshi, host of Q and object of my major, make-me-squeal-like-a-tween-at-a-Jonas-Brothers-concert, crush) with a woman whose father had Huntington’s Disease. She had decided not to be tested to see if she had inherited the wayward gene because, as she observed, “We’re not meant to know the future” (or something like that).
Would you choose to be privy to your own fate if you could? Well, perhaps where deadly diseases are concerned, I’d say “yes”; but in day-to-day matters, it might make for total paralysis if we knew the outcome of our every move.
Take Vegan MoFo, for instance (from fatal illness to food blogging? How’s that for an original segue?). Ah, yes, I had such good intentions for Vegan MoFo. When I first heard about the event last October, it was too late to participate. I vowed I’d play along this year. But when the time came, I was overwhelmed by ongoing ACD woes and challenges at work; so I decided to sit it out this round as well. “No matter,” I reasoned, “I’ll simply read from the bounty of other vegan blogs (and there sure are enough from which to choose!), and comment instead.”
Or so I thought.
Was that REALLY 224 items in my Google Reader last weekend?? Yep.
And so, apologies to all the wonderful MoFo’ers out there. I’ve opted to read more and comment less. But please know that I am reading and enjoying all the amazing foods, ideas, and photos (so many cute pets, too!) that people are posting. Yay MoFo!
Similarly, when I started this ACD last March (March?!), it never occurred to me I’d still be on the diet this far into the game (perhaps if I’d foreseen the outcome, I would never have started). And while the weight is still moving downward (albeit at a much slower pace) and I do feel better overall, I have not yet reached my objective of “all candida symptoms eradicated,” nor my “goal weight” (still about 7 pounds away–though I may revise the number when I get there).
A major problem for many people following the ACD is the lack of sweeteners except for stevia, an herbal sweetener that doesn’t affect blood sugar levels. Now in Phase II of the program, I’m allowed one fruit per day and a few more grains (welcome, Oh Beloved Oats, back into my life!), but that still leaves me adrift when it comes to desserts.
Don’t get me wrong; stevia is great, and I use it in oatmeal, smoothies, salad dressings, and teas; but it is NOT great for baking.
And I dearly miss baking.
Worse, my few experiments in baking with stevia have resulted in, shall we say, less than fortunate outcomes.
“Mum, they’re fortunate for us! We love those new dog cookies you gave us yesterday!”
On the other hand, there are many other desserts that can be sweetened with stevia. In my earlier post, “Anti-Candida Desserts: What Can You Eat?” I wrote about Raw Key Lime Pie (with a secret ingredient!) and Carob-Coconut Sweeties, soft and creamy dessert tidbits made with carob, almond butter, and coconut. And yet, I felt that something was still missing.
Which brings me. . . FINALLY, to chocolate. (See what I mean about knowing the future? If you’d known I would ramble this long before getting to the recipe, you might have opted out of this blog post.).
If you were reading this blog before I started the ACD, you already know how much I love chocolate. Chocolate is my Romeo. Chocolate is my Mark Antony. Chocolate is my Edward. Sadly, chocolate is also my albatross, my Picture of Dorian Gray, my Great White Whale*, and a major reason why I found myself in this candida dilemma in the first place.
So what’s a gal to eat when she loves chocolate, but can’t indulge? Why, she makes up her own, stevia-sweetened substitute, that’s what!
Today’s recipe is for faux chocolate made with carob. I have tried it with cocoa powder as well, but find that so much stevia is required to sweeten the cocoa that the taste is rather unpleasant. However, if you can use agave, I’d recommend giving that a whirl instead. The recipe itself is so simple it’s outlandish. Equal parts carob powder, silken tofu, and coconut oil. A splash of vanilla, a few drops stevia, pinch of salt. That’s it! And yet the outcome is smooth, creamy, solid, chocolate-hued.
For those on soy-free diets, you can, certainly, omit the tofu. I tried the recipe this way initially and the flavor was fine, but the texture was much denser (in fact, brick-solid) when refrigerated. It also melted quickly at room temperature. I found that the addition of tofu rendered this smooth and creamy, much more like real chocolate (though slightly less dense than the real thing).
Maybe I can’t read the future, but I do know there will be more of this sweet treat in my life from now on.
“Mum, we see faux chocolate in our future, too! After all, carob is totally safe for dogs, you know.”
* Actually, with chocolate in my life, I myself am more like the Great White Whale.
ACD-Friendly Faux Chocolate
With a hefty portion of coconut oil in the mix, all you need of this confection is a small square to satisfy your sweet cravings. But don’t feel guilty if you end up having more–organic coconut oil is heart-healthy, and carob contains a good amount of calcium!
4 Tbsp (15 ml x 4) extra firm silken tofu (such as Mori Nu)
1/4 cup (60 ml) organic coconut oil, firm at room temperature*
1/4 cup (30 g) carob powder
2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
10-15 drops stevia liquid
pinch fine sea salt
If you have chocolate molds, keep them at the ready. Alternately, stretch a piece of plastic wrap across a dinner plate (to create a smooth, taut surface on the plastic) and set aside (this is what I did).
In a small food processor (I used a Mini Prep), measure out the tofu one tablespoon (15 ml) at a time (it’s true that 4 Tbsp/60 ml is the same as 1/4 cup, but I found that the tofu must be fairly firmly packed, and I achieved a more consistent result by measuring it one spoon at a time). Blend a few seconds to break up the tofu.
Add the coconut oil and blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Don’t overblend at this stage; you don’t want the oil to melt!
Add the remaining ingredients and blend until completely smooth and creamy and no tofu is visible. Scrape sides occasionally to incorporate all bits of tofu. The consistency should be like a smooth buttercream frosting (and, in fact, you can use it as such at room temperature).
Either fill the molds or spread the mixture in a rough square over the surface of the plastic wrap. Pull the sides of the wrap over the square one side at a time to enclose the faux chocolate in plastic. Refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours), then cut in small squares. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to one week. Makes 12-20 squares (depending on how big you cut them).
* If you room is warm enough that the coconut oil has begun to melt, place it in the refrigerator for a while until it firms up again. It should be solid when you begin the recipe.
© Diet, Dessert and Dogs (http://rickiheller.com)
Last Year at this Time: Raspberry Coconut Coffee Cake
© 2009 Diet, Dessert and Dogs