Choc-Bombs

Yesterday I had a real craving for chocolate – and with all the Easter chocolate gone I was left with only one choice – make some! With Easter out of the way, it’s time to get back into those healthy habits! So instead of snacking on some high-energy but nutritionally void sweets, have a go at making these satisfying, choc-full of goodness bombs.

Choc-Bombs

  • Servings: 11
  • Time: 10 minutes, plus setting
  • Difficulty: easy
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A simple snack to satisfy chocolate cravings.

Ingredients

  • 3 Medijool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp cocoa (fairtrade/organic)
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • If you would like to up the protein, feel free to add some protein powder. If required, add a little water or coconut oil to help the bombs stick together.

Directions

  1. In a food processor add dates, walnuts and almonds and process for about 20 seconds. The sides of the processor may need wiping down. You do not want to chop the nuts too finely at this stage.
  2. Add cocoa and peanut butter now, with any additional add-ins. Again, blitz for about 20 seconds.
  3. Using a tablespoon and wet hands, scoop out tablespoon portions and roll firmly into balls.
  4. Makes 11 bombs. Place in an airtight container and allow to set for at least 10 minutes in the fridge before you snack away! While I do not like to place emphasis on calories, it does pay to be mindful of energy in, versus energy out. As such, the nutritional information is provided: Calories: 110/ball - Fat: 8grams - Carbohydrates: 8grams - Protein: 3 grams.
 


Avocado, Chocolate and Banana Loaf

Three of my favourite ingredients smooshed into a gluten-free and dairy-free snack. It is full of nutritious ingredients and contains only natural sugars. It is not only delicious but good for you too. Without further ado…

Avocado, Chocolate and Banana Loaf

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 1 hour (40 - 45 minutes cooking)
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A nourishing and filling, chocolatey treat.

Ingredients

  • 1 large avocado - 200grams
  • 1 medium banana - 90grams
  • 4 Medijool dates
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or rice malt syrup, if vegan)
  • 2 eggs (or flax-eggs if vegan)
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup lupin flakes
  • 1 cup almond flour (or 2 cups, if not using lupin flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1/3 cup of dairy free chocolate, cut, plus some to sprinkle on top!

Directions

  1. In a food processor combine avocado, banana and dates.
  2. Melt coconut oil and add vanilla bean paste, honey, coconut cream and eggs. Add to the avocado mixture and pulse until smooth and combined.
  3. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. Mix together before adding the wet ingredients. Mix to combine but avoid over mixing.
  4. Put mixture into a prepared loaf tin (22cm x 12cm) and place into a preheated 160 degree C fan forced oven. Sprinkle with extra chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes. Loaf is cooked when an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave the loaf to cool before slicing. Serve with banana and cinnamon, or for a savoury option, avocado slices! Yum.

 

 


Sustainable Easter – The dark side of chocolate.

Easter is synonymous with chocolate and Hot Cross Buns. You know what I will say about the Hot Cross Buns – hit up your local bakery and support local production and jobs. If your local bakery also uses locally sourced products, well, all the better!

This post is focused on chocolate, delicious chocolate. All chocolate lovers are aware that not all chocolate is created equal when it comes to taste, but are you aware of the negative impact that chocolate can also have on our environments and cocoa growing communities. How do the following facts sit with you?

  • Boys as young as 10 are sold (or trafficked) into child slavery in West Africa to work on cocoa farms.
  • Children on these farms are subjected to physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
  • Many cocoa farmers live below the poverty line – equivalent to less than US$2 a day. (http://stopthetraffik.com.au/chocolate/)

Now you have some insight to the enormity of the problem, I have some sustainable and ethically produced options for you and your family this Easter.

  • Nearly everybody’s favourite chocolate brand, Cadbury, is taking the problem posed by cocoa production seriously. They have pledged to have all chocolate be produced using 100% ethically sourced cocoa by 2018 across their core range. As it stands, only the original dairy milk chocolate is Fairtrade certified, and unfortunately, this may not include their Easter egg range this year.
  • Alter Eco are doing more than their fair share to ensure cocoa farmers are better supported and all their cocoa comes ethically sourced. Although you may not be able to find Easter eggs in their range, an ethically sourced chocolate would taste and feel much better than chocolate shaped to look like a bunny rabbit. Unfortunately Alter Eco is made overseas.
  • Haigh’s entire chocolate range is UTZ certified.
  • Loving Earth has taken a holistic, sustainable approach to food production and is made in Australia from Australian and ethically sourced ingredients.
  • Finally, I found a chocolate brand produced in Margaret River for all you other Perthlings out there – Bahen&Co. Beans are ‘honourably sourced’ and the chocolate is produced in small batches. It is also wonderfully delicious.

How to Shop for Sustainability

Our diet starts in the kitchen. Sustainability starts at the source. So how do we shop to save the environment? My top tips are below:

  1. Shop local, and I mean shop locally for EVERYTHING! Your local markets will have locally sourced produce, sure. But think bigger. Clothes, household items, cleaning products, make up, cars, the whole shebang.
  2. Only buy what you need. Do you NEED that new book/movie/recipe book? Your local library is not only free to join, but allows you to borrow any number of current top reads or feature film. I know there is no pleasure like curling up with your favourite book and reading during downtime, but not every book is your favourite. Utilise the services around you to ensure resources and your money is not wasted on unnecessary items.
  3. Branch out for inspiration. I found myself doing this on the weekend. Apps like Meetups have groups of people in your area meeting up to discuss sustainability in all of its aspects.
  4. Go prepared. This might seem silly, but how many times have you stepped out on a shopping trip only to realise you are thirsty or in want of a coffee? The packaging that these items come in adds to unnecessary landfill. Invest in a good quality reusable coffee cup and a stainless steel or glass bottle and do not leave home without them! Reusable bags should also be permanently in your handbag or car.
  5. Check the label. When you are out shopping at your local store (we all miss the farmers market from time to time!) keep an eye out for the “buy west eat best” label below that appears on many WA produced items. Image result for buy west wa