After Christmas already! A new year is on the way. "They" are saying it will be 1000 years of enlightenment from here on out. I am so ready to hear that!
Part of my new Healthy Habits is staying away from sugar. Sugar is very addictive-it causes our body chemistry to become more acidic, which could leave us vulnerable to imbalances (ie: maladies such as colds, candida, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, etc...). This is a huge subject and I will write more on that at another time.
A sugar-free chocolate food is what I really want. Chocolate releases endorphins in the brain that promote relaxation. It is also very high in Magnesium - a mineral a lot of people are deficient in. Raw chocolate is a powerful antioxidant, elevates your mood and gives a boost in energy.
If I can substitute something chocolate, fresh and raw, AND easy to prepare, I won't be looking for something else that may have sugar in it. This recipe is making a difference in my creation of new healthy habits. I hope it will help others stay on track also.
16 Dates, pitted, soaked in warm water to cover
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)
1/2 cup organic raw powdered Cacao
about 1 cup water (use the water the dates were soaking in)
Soak 2 cups of walnuts in water to cover for 8 hours or more (This removes the tannins from the outside of the nuts and makes them much easier to digest)
Soak the 16 pitted dates in warm water at least 30 minutes.
My Sam's Club in Asheville has a good quantity of dried Medjool dates for a reasonable price. Raw organic Cacao powdered can be purchased at health food stores and online.
Walnut and Pecan "pieces" instead of whole, are often less expensive.
I use a food processor and a blender may also work - you might need to add more liquid.
Drain and rinse the Walnuts
Add Walnuts into the food processor with the water from the dates and process.
Then add the Dates, Vanilla, Cacao Powder and process.
Spread on a sheet of parchment paper or baking paper (plastic wrap also works but sometimes sticks) 1/4" or thicker/thinner. Put into the freezer for at least 30 minutes or until it is solid.
I clear a space 1st in the freezer and put my parchment paper on a glass cutting board that also keeps the fudge colder so it doesn't melt when I cut it up later.
I like to use a heavy-duty pizza cutter or a butcher knife to cut it into 1-1 1/2" pieces that go into a container and directly back into the freezer.
Get Creative with your ingredients!
I add 1 tbsp Ceylon Cinnamon (helps you loose weight) and 1/2 tsp ground Cayenne (good for circulation) for a Mexican Chocolate version.
I recently found an ice cream substitute that uses coconut products called Coconut Bliss. Last I checked, it only uses Agave as a sweetener and has ingredients that are very healthy.
I read labels all the time and am still a bit surprised when I find sugar or a corn product in something it has no place being in. And Canola Oil (rapeseed oil). Does that sound like something you would put into your body?
Here's the scoop on Canola Oil from All-Organic-Food.com with a few comments from me in purple:
all been told at some time or another that canola is one of the
healthiest oils on the market. Canola, which is an amalgam of the words
"Canada" (whence it originated) and "oil," is actually derived from the
rapeseed, a member of the mustard family which is generally unfit for
human consumption and was once more commonly used as a potent pesticide
lubricant, among other things.
Chemically, canola breaks down at 5% saturated fat, 57% oleic acid, 23% omega–6, and 10–15% omega–3.
The reason canola is particularly unsuited for consumption is because it
contains a very–long–chain fatty acid called erucic acid, which under
some circumstances is associated with fibrotic heart lesions.
Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions, notes that the omega–3
fatty acids of processed canola oil are transformed during the
deodorizing process into trans–fatty acids. She relates that one study
indicated that "heart healthy" canola oil actually created a deficiency
of vitamin E, which, as many of us know, is essential to our
cardiovascular health. And on the practical side of things, canola isn't
that good either. Because of its high sulphur content, it goes rancid
easily, and baked goods used with the oil develop molds rather quickly.
Healthfood store operators parrot the hype without checking any facts.
Consumers search out various products with canola oil in them because
they believe this is somehow much healthier than other oils. All
foodgrade canola, including the varieties sold in healthfood stores, are
deodorized from its natural terrible stink with super high temperature refining. You cannot cook a vegetable oil at this extremely high temperature and leave behind anything much edible. And originally I had posted the "actual" super-high temperature here and someone hacked in and changed it to 300 degrees...it's actually 100 xs that... we shall see how long this stays up : )
Research at the University of Florida– Gainsesville, determined that as
much as 4.6% of all the fatty acids in canola are "trans" isomers
(plastic) due to the refining process. Contrary to popular opinion,
saturated fats, especially those found in coconut oil are not harmful to
health, but are important nutrition. There are no trans isomers in
unrefined coconut butter, for example. This refers to many published
research papers by Mary Enig, Ph.D. that refutes all the establishment
propaganda condemning saturated fats."
So that's the scoop on Canola Oil. Choose wisely!
Until next time,