[Sometimes, you just want a dish that’s quick and easy–no fuss. 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 simple to make that no recipe is required. Here’s today’s “Flash in the Pan.” (For other FitP recipes, see “Categories” at right).]
If I ever found myself as a finalist in the Miss Universe Pageant and the tie-breaking “interview” question they asked me was, “If you were stuck on a desert island and could have only one foodstuff, what would it be?”–well, I think it’s pretty obvious that I’d answer, “Chocolate.” (Let’s overlook, for the moment, that I would obviously never actually find myself in that situation; I mean, I can barely stand up in heels, let alone sashay across a stage in them. How would I ever make it through the evening gown competition?).
Or, do you remember that story from last winter: a young woman survived for 9 days in her snowbound car by drinking melted snow and portioning out her two chocolate bars to last the entire nine days? Uh-huh. Well, I think we all know that if I ever found myself in that situation, I’d be a certain goner: I’d scarf down both bars within a couple of hours, then slowly perish during the following eight days (not to mention the fact that I’d freak out about being stuck under 60 CENTIMETERS (24 inches) OF SNOW, alone in my car on a deserted road in the middle of nowhere. And then how on earth would I make it on time to the Miss Universe pageant?).
When I was an undergraduate at the University of Windsor, I worked part-time as a cashier in the residence cafeteria, where I became friends with one of the other student cashiers who, it turned out, also originally hailed from Montreal. Ultimately, our city of origin was really the only thing we had in common: Ms. Québecoise was about 3 inches taller than I, naturally lithe and slim (and yet buxom), with thick, jet-black hair that feathered and bobbed as she glided through a room, like palm fronds lifted by a gentle breeze. (Come to think of it, SHE would have made a great contestant for the Miss Universe Pageant). She’d already gone through several boyfriends at a time when I’d not yet met my first, and I yearned to be as worldly as she, with her own own apartment and car.
Apart from her powder blue Ford Escort and her always immaculate one-bedroom/one-bath, what struck me most about Ms. Q was that she consumed chocolate, every. single. day. No matter when I dropped over for coffee or a study session, I’d invariably spy a partially eaten chocolate bar lazing on the counter. Ms Q once confessed that she couldn’t fall asleep unless she’d savored her square of chocolate before bed. Yet somehow, it didn’t seem to affect her in any negative way. (Years later, I attempted to reproduce that practice of “one square a day.” That was December 2008, and, unfortunately, my “one square” turned out to be about a foot (30 cm) by one foot. . . more like a “one square of chocolate, continuously, all day long” practice. A short leap from that to full-blown candida, and well, here we are today.)
Accordingly, I tend to ration my chocolate consumption a little more these days, aiming for no more than
one two (moderate) servings per week of either cacao-based treats or those made from unsweetened chocolate (my own sweeteners added). And I strive to create sweets that provide a sense of indulgence without spiking blood sugar levels or encouraging candida to proliferate.
That’s why I love these little gems, inspired by a recent recipe from my friend Andrea Nakayama (with whom I recently taught the Sweet Victory sugar detox course). A while back Andrea introduced her Nakayummies to the world: a combination of cacao, cocoa butter, coconut oil and honey. A couple of weeks ago, she posted a non-chocolate version, with ground up goji berries as the base flavor, complemented by fresh orange zest. I was intrigued and decided to unite those separate ideas and create a goji-chocolate confection. Since the anti-candida diet doesn’t allow oranges, and since I recently received some of the new Orange NuNaturals stevia to sample, I decided to throw caution to the winds and add some of it to the recipe as well.
Once firm, these bites provide a glassy, supremely smooth texture of real chocolate in the initial bite, then progress to a hint of chewiness in the finish–like a touch of toffee rounding out each bite (courtesy of the ground gojis). The citrus melds perfectly with the fruity gojis and cacao. I am betting you will love these, too.
Now, of course I’d never advocate consuming chocolate every day (because then how would I ever fit into my swimsuit for the Swimsuit competion?). But if it turns out that you do. . . .well, keep in mind that chocolate contains a wealth of heart-healthy flavonoids. And that these bites are actually very small. And that the only sweetness is from the fruit and (zero-calorie) stevia. In other words, these treats are actually good for you.
Orange-Goji Chocolates (inspired by this recipe)
Suitable for Anti-Candida Diet (ACD) Stage 3 and beyond
I’ve used raw cacao in this recipe even though it’s not technically a raw chocolate because I find that cacao has a fruiter, less bitter flavor than regular cocoa powder. However, if you’re okay with regular sweeteners, feel free to use cocoa and add a bit of maple syrup or other sweetener as well.
2 Tbsp (30 ml) dried goji berries (the dryer and harder, the better for this recipe; soft ones will not work as well)
2 heaping Tbsp (35 ml) raw cacao powder
pinch fine sea salt
1 Tbsp (15 ml) cashew butter
2 Tbsp (30 ml) coconut oil, preferably organic
In a small, heavy bottomed pot over low heat, gently melt the coconut oil and cashew butter; whisk until smooth. Blend in the stevia and set aside.
Place the goji berries, cacao powder and salt in a coffee grinder and grind until the gojis are powdered (there shouldn’t be any pieces of goji visible). Add the powdered mixture to the pot and whisk until smooth and well combined.
Pour the mixture into mini silicone muffin cups or candy molds. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes. Makes 6-7 candies. Will keep, covered in the refrigerator, up to. . . gee, I have no idea, since I ate them all within 24 hours. . . but I’m guessing a week.
For a fancier candy, place 2-3 whole goji berries in each muffin cup before adding the melted chocolate mixture (see middle chocolate in photos above).
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Other Candies and Chocolates on the blog:
- Chocolate Sunbutter Cups (gluten free; ACD stage 2 and beyond)
- Carob Fudge (gluten free;ACD all stages)
- Cinnamon Spiced Coconut Bark (gluten free; ACD all stages)
- Coconut Raspberry Truffle Cups (gluten free; ACD Stage 3 and beyond)
- Matcha Chocolate Truffles (gluten free; ACD stage 2 and beyond)