Monday, January 31, 2011

The New Willy Wonka!

Minus the golden tickets though. And my chocolate factory isn't as awesome, but Johnny Depp will be making an appearance! =]

My concentration will be more on chocolate, then other yummy candy like everlasting gob stoppers, bottle caps, or nerds. I enjoy, more like love, chocolate so that was my concentration for my candy that I made over the weekend.

I use to make these treats all the time, but then I got into baking cookies. So I was thinking to myself the other day, self (haha)- why not make some treats again? So I did just that...

Chocolate (and carob)  Raisin Clusters, Raisin Coconut Cluster, Cashew Balls, and Peanut Butter Candies:

6oz chocolate chips (I use grain sweetened)
6oz carob chips (unsweetened)
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup coconut, toasted
2 tablespoons cashew butter
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
splash vanilla extract
1/4 cup peanut butter chips

First, toast the coconut.

Melt chocolate and carob, if using, over a double boiler in batches, about 2 ounce at a time.
Add in 1/2 cup of the raisins into the melted chocolate and stir until the are all coated nicely. Take a fork and dish out small amounts onto a silpat mat or onto wax paper over a cookie sheet.

Melt more chocolate then add in the coconut and the rest of the raisins. Drop those on the covered cookie sheet as well.

In a separate bowl mix the 1/4 cup of flax seed meal with the pb. (I got this idea from another blog I follow. My pb and flax mix didn't form together so that I could form balls out of it, so instead I improvised.) I then added the pb/flax mix into the melted chocolate. I then dropped small amounts of that onto the cookie sheet. I topped each of the dollops with a few peanut butter chips.

Then I was like all like hey lets try that concept with cashew butter and see what happens, so I did. I mixed the cashew butter, flax, and a splash of vanilla extract. That worked better than the pb did, so I rolled it into four balls. I dipped those, quickly, into melted chocolate and then placed them onto the cookie sheet.

Place the cookie sheet into the fridge for awhile so that everything can harden.
Keep the candy refrigerated, only because you melted the chips so they no longer have the same properties and may melt at room temp.

I think the pb that I used was my downfall to it being able to be rolled into balls. I used a no stir version. Next time I will try a different type, one that hardens after you stir in oil into it and place it in the fridge. The texture of the pb candy is a little gritty due to the flax meal, but they taste good. The flax adds a nuttier hint to them. I also make chocolate covered pretzels (I am just a salty sweet girl), strawberries, and grapes. Yes grapes and chocolate are so good.

What's For Dinner?
Thursday, January 27th

Sauteed spinach, black olives, roasted corn, peppers, some cheese, and salsa. I added my favorite spices: cumin, coriander, pepper, salt.

Friday, January 28th

Stir-fry eggplant, mushrooms, and cashews. I made my own sauce with soy sauce (low sodium), veggie broth, orange juice and zest, arrowroot. I added pepper, red pepper flakes and ground ginger to the eggplant and shrooms before I added the sauce. Then I let the sauce thicken. I then added in black sesame seeds and roasted cashews.

Saturday, January 29th

I hate those days when you can't figure out what your body is craving and nothing pops out at you to eat it, well it was one of those days (most girls will completely understand what the heck I am talking about!) So I ate carrots, cucumbers, two slices of green pepper, and edamame. What a fun, exciting meal =/

Sunday, January 30th
Out all day!! So I pigged out on kashi honey sesame crackers and apple rings at a friends after a trip to Stop&Shop. =] it was fun though!!

Monday, January 31st
"Tacos" with peppers, roasted corn, black bean and corn salsa, cheese, and guacamole.

I know I do not really need to explain the way I eat, what my diet is, or anything like that, but I would like to help people understand me a little bit more. So here is my

Food Declaration:
I am vegan in ways, but more of a vegetarian because true vegans would think down of me to call myself vegan and still use honey, drink cow's milk, and cheese. I only drink skim/ fat free organic milk. I eat reduced fat cheese, but only ones that I like (the types I have used in this blog).
I try to stay away from processed foods. Only a few convince things do I eat such as crackers but only because I have not tried to make my own yet! Wraps, which I have made but never turn out just right. Pretzels, I mean those crunchy type because I can make soft ones, and cereal, but that is a rarity in my diet. I really have to crave a bowl.
I eat whole grains. I bake my own bread, no store bought, but occasionally a try bakery bread is consumed. I do not eat pasta or white rice. Some whole wheat or brown rice pasta is ok or brown rice, but I really like different grains such as bulgar, quinoa, etc.
I love to cook/bake my own things from scratch. My cookies, brownies, bread, cake, muffins, pancakes, waffles, etc. are examples of my scratch making although I have only posted a few of these things.
I eat fresh things when I can. Fresh and organic fruits and vegetables are a staple in my diet. Canned just doesn't match up to fresh, but frozen is fine in my book.
I do buy dressings because I haven't tried making my own just yet.
No store bought soups- only my own, hummus- why it is easy to make, sauces- i do use canned tomatoes for some i feel canned tomato is ok as long as it is organic.
Also you have to read labels and understand the term organic.
I stay away from refined sugar. I use alternatives in my recipes like date sugar, agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup. I will only buy something if it uses evaporated cane juice crystals because those are an unrefined type of sugar that goes into the bloodstream slower than refined sugar.
No High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils, Mono-and Di-Glycerides, Food Dies/Colors, Artificial Flavor or Color, and if Natural Spices or Flavor is stated. Why not just tell me what exactly it is?? the partially hydrogenated oils and mono-and di- gycerides cause heat disease because they are trans fats.
I do use oils and fats as you have seen in previous posts.
I am very aware of the foods I eat.
I am only given one body and it is my temple, so I want to keep it for awhile and in the best shape I possibly can.

That is just about all I can think of at the moment. So yea. Any questions please feel free to ask! =]

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