Photo credit: @naturally.jo
I want to know how many mini Halloween chocolate bars make a full one...said no one ever. It might surprise you, but chocolate is a favourite around here. Our love for Cacao runs deep. In this Halloween e-news, we've got a heck of a line up for you including:
1. Why Your Body & Mind Love Cacao
2. Easy Recipes: Make some Halloween treat magic with these fun treats: Delicious and free of the refined sugars & other funny business your body doesn't want: Easy Vegan Chocolate, Chocolate & Peanut Butter Spiders, Halloween Chocosicles.
Let's get crafty.....
Our Love for Cacao
Aside from giving some of our smoothies chocolaty-goodness without all the sugary-badness, it has some amazing health benefits:
1. The difference between cacao and cocoa: cacao is the bean & cocoa is the product made from it
2. Contains more calcium than cow's milk
3. Natural mood elevator & antidepressant
4. Very high in free radical fighting antioxidants (3 cheers for healthy cells!)
5. Most commercial chocolate (we're looking at you Halloween candy) contains minimal amounts of cacao, so go for 'fine' dark and check labels for the percentage included
6. High in magnesium (good for brain & heart health)
Did someone say zero-sugar added , delicious popsicles? We know the good-for-you, but still really delicious, treats can be hard to come by. Bonus: the prep time is about 5 minutes.
Halloween Popsicle Molds: get them online and/or at most homeware stores. Or use standard popsicle molds (the lie flat not stand up tubes) and decorate after.
What you'll need:
2 x Nutty Chocolate Lover OR Choco Banana Hero blends
1.5 cups coconut or almond milk
Two blends will make @ 4 pops depending on the size of your molds.
1. Let your Blended smoothie packs soften slightly until you can just break in half (see back of pack for instructions).
2. Add to blender with the liquid & other ingredients
3. Blend & pour mixture into popsicle molds
4. Let freeze for 6 hours or overnight
5. If you're using standard molds, add on your Halloween decorations.
Optional add-in: once you've blended the above, stir in some finely chopped almonds if a little crunch is your thing.
The Easy Vegan Chocolate Recipe
Feel like trying your hand at homemade chocolate?
Check out this recipe from one of our faves: The Minimalist Baker
1 cup finely chopped cocoa butter (packed)
3-5 Tbsp maple syrup (or sub agave nectar with varied results)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch sea salt (to taste)
Optional toppings: cacao nibs or finely chopped nuts
- Arrange 14 mini cupcake liners on a small baking sheet. Set aside.
- Add 2 inches of water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Then set a medium glass or ceramic mixing bowl on top, making sure it's not touching the water (this creates a "double boiler").
- To the mixing bowl, add finely chopped cocoa butter and let melt @ 2-3 minutes.
- Once melted, add the maple syrup or agave nectar and use a whisk or wooden spoon to mix until fluid and thoroughly combined. Remove bowl and set on a flat surface. Turn off stove-top heat and set saucepan aside.
- Add cacao or cocoa powder, vanilla, and sea salt, and whisk to combine until there are no clumps.
- Taste and adjust flavor (syrup, salt etc) as needed.
- Carefully pour chocolate into 12-14 mini cupcake liners* (or 7 large cupcake liners) and top with more sea salt, cacao nibs or crushed nuts (optional).
- Transfer chocolate to the freezer or refrigerator to set - about 10 minutes for small, 20 minutes for larger liners.
- Enjoy straight from the freezer, refrigerator, or at room temperature. Store leftovers in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer up to 1 month.
Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Spiders
These are the EASIEST spookiest treat for Halloween!
Dark chocolate(Double check it's vegan)
- Roll the peanut butter into balls, about 1 tablespoon each. If the peanut butter is too runny, place in the refrigerator or freezer for 10 minutes until it's more manageable. Place the peanut butter balls on a baking sheet or plate lined with wax paper or aluminum foil. Set in the freezer for 20 minutes to harden.
- Right before the 20 minutes are up, melt the chocolate. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe dish and heat for 15-30 second intervals, stirring in between. Careful not to burn the chocolate. Usually you can stir out the last remaining lumps without needing to microwave more.
- Remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer and add the pretzels. Break each pretzel stick in half and use the broken end to gently push into the ball on either side to create "legs". It's easier to first lift all the balls off the sheet so they're no longer "stuck", then add legs. This ensures that you don't have trouble getting any unstuck from your choice of liner and accidentally knocking off any legs to the ones you've already added.
- At this time, you may want to place them back in the freezer for 5 more minutes to firm up even more before coating them in chocolate.
- When they're ready, gently dip them top down into the melted chocolate. Make sure the legs are thoroughly covered in chocolate. The bottom of their "bodies" doesn't need to be covered but you can completely submerge them if you want them even chocolatier. Make sure your dish is big enough to accommodate their legs.
- Place them back on the sheet or plate and freeze them for at least another 20 minutes.
If you have any questions about our cacao-packed blends, or anything else, please Email Us!