Thursday, 14 February 2013

A Valentine's Day Indulgence

very Happy Valentine's Day to you...I hope you all feel special and loved today! On this holiday when couples express their love for each other with gifts of flowers, cards, chocolate etc, I want to share a special treat with you as well...a delicious Chocolatey treat!

An occasional treat should not make you feel bad. It should help you curb a craving and then quickly get back on track with your new healthy lifestyle. But too often we do feel bad...we give in and eat something (maybe a lot of something!) we know we shouldn't, we get down on ourselves and feel like we have to start all over again. It can be a vicious cycle. But, it doesn't have to be! With this recipe you can have a decadent piece of chocolate and feel good about it. Why? Because this chocolate is good for you...that's right, it's good for you!


 



This Chocolate Fudge has 3 ingredients...that's it! And they are all good for you - to a degree. :-) You still don't want to go crazy and eat the entire batch and you probably couldn't, because this chocolate is so rich and creamy that one piece (or two) is just enough to take care of that craving. Click on each item for more information about the nutritional content.
Ingredients: 
1/2 c Coconut Oil - Canadians - You can purchase this at Superstore, Bulk Barn or Costco (best deal!)  
1/2 c Cocoa Powder*
1/4 c Pure Maple Syrup - Canadians - no excuse! Why buy the cheap stuff made with refined sugars? We've got the good stuff, let's use it!  
Directions: 
-Place all ingredients in a sauce pan on the stove over medium heat and stir until  soft and smooth. You can also microwave the ingredients in 30 second increments, stirring until smooth.
-Pour fudge into whatever container you wish. I use a small silicone muffin pan, but you can use a mini muffin pan, a casserole dish or loaf pan. If you use the latter, it's best to line it with parchment paper. 
-Place your container in the freezer for about a half an hour for it to set. 
-Take out of freezer, pop out the little candies and enjoy! If you used a casserole dish or loaf pan, just pull the paper out of the pan and let sit for a minute or two. Then use a large knife to cut into squares.
*If you have an intolerance to chocolate (and I am so sorry if you do!) then you can substitute Carob powder for the cocoa. Carob is naturally sweeter so you could even lessen the amount of Maple Syrup. 
It is best to store this in the fridge or freezer due to the use of coconut oil.

Do you celebrate Valentine's Day? We actually don't and never really have. Sure, we've gone out for nice dinners in the past and exchanged cards, but it has never been something we felt the need to do. It's not that I don't have a romantic husband...he is extremely romantic and caring and attentive. I couldn't ask for a more wonderful man with which to share my life! We have always felt like every day is a good day to show the other how much we care and haven't felt the need to exchange gifts on a day set aside for romance. I'm sure you'll agree with me...that every day we need to take intentional care to show that special someone that we love them. I do always get a nice card or E-card from my Dad...it's a tradition that I appreciate and I am extremely thankful for the loving relationship I have always had with my Dad. I am very blessed!

Because of the fact that we don't really celebrate, I was very ill-prepared for the boys to hand out Valentines at school...this is nothing new. We didn't do anything fancy, just some store-bought superhero cards with candies attached. But, last night we were a few cards short so I had to make the last minute stop at the store to grab one more box. I found it strange that there were only Princess cards left...but I did manage to find some masculine cards in a nearby cart to grab. I also found it quite entertaining to see the number of men in the Valentine section at Walmart scouring every shelf for something, anything that would work for their last minute gift! Those shelves were pretty bare at that point! Most of them probably settled on a heart-shaped box of chocolates. :-) If only they had known about this recipe...a homemade gift is greatly appreciated am I right? I hope you take the time to treat yourself today and this chocolate can help you do that guilt-free!

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Treat yourself well,