Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Addicted to Bliss
The market in my neighbourhood happens on Tuesdays from 3pm-7pm. I often miss the opportunity to shop there due to my office schedule. This Tuesday was a different story however.
Being in Europe for a month reinforced all my blissful addictions: cycling, good espresso, chocolate and completely non-naturopathic gluten-rich fresh breads! The market in Cabbagetown is much like being in Europe. The beautiful, baked goods, the rich, dark chocolate pucks, the aroma of freshly roasted java blends and even the occasional cute cycling boy all tickle my urge to indulge!
Lately, my self-talk has been going something like this, "Oh Gail, you've only been back for a week .. you NEED another espresso simply to get you over the jetlag! "Jumping back into a strict naturopathic regime seems a little extreme at this point, doesn't it"?! "Maybe we can just coast on chocolate until Christmas and adopt a few resolutions for 2011"!
Walking around, salivating, fighting with my own mind and listening to the sweet whispers of chocolate on the wind, carassing my ears, resulted in this: "there must be SOMETHING I can do with chocolate pucks that will justify their ingestion"?!
Chatting with the chocolate monger led to a wink, a smile or two and a big, stuffed bag of raw chocolate in my arms! A few minutes walk home, a 20-30 minutes of prep led to this:
Raw Chocolate Balls
2/3 cup steal cut oats, finely chopped
3-4 tbsp of chopped walnuts
1 tbsp of chia seed, ground
3 tbsp pitted dates
3-4 tbsp water
1-2 ounces of raw chocolate chopped into small pieces
Mix all the above, dry ingredients (excluding the chocolate chunks). Heat the pitted dates in a saucepan with the 3-4tbsp of water (to soften). Blend the dates with a hand blender until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes and mix into dry ingredients. Blend the raw chocolate into the mixture and shape into balls. Let set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Enjoy! **If you would like a LITTLE more sweetness, add a tbsp of maple syrup**
This is the thing: indulgence doesn't have to be sinful!
Most chocolate is roasted during processing before being made into bars to expand the complexity of its flavour. There are many healthy and naturally occuring oils in chocolate. Roasting, however, potentially denatures these oils and causes their rancidity. The chocolate chosen from the market is raw (not roasted) and combined with ground hemp and agave nectar, to cut the bitterness. The ground hemp adds a little protein and fiber to the mix, the agave cuts the bitterness of the raw chocolate and the chocolate itself, provides a ton of antioxidants and healthy fat (check out http://chocosol.posterous.com/).
The ingredients in Raw Chocolate Balls provide healthy fibers called lignans which assist in keeping cholesterol in check (in the steal cut oats and chia), magnesium (in walnuts) to assist in energy production, sleep and muscle soreness and fatigue and natural sugar (fructose from the dates).
It's now Wednesday: I am still addicted to my chocolate bliss. However, I would like to inform you all, despite the battle in my head, it is my second day without espresso! Let's see how long THAT lasts! :)