Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Un-cooking while fasting?

Yes, that's exactly what I'm doing! My fast isn't over until tomorrow night, around 7pm. So.. I am just preparing.

I wanted to surprise my sweet husband with a treat, for being so wonderful and taking such good care of me on the days I was a bit wobbly (days 3-4) and just for always telling me to relax while I'm fasting - even though, honestly, I feel so good today that I don't even feel like I've been without food for 6 days!

So.. what was I making, you ask? CANDY! and dehydrated fruit.. but that will take a day or two to complete.


Dehydrating fruit is so beautiful, isn't it?

My first experiment with dehydrating cranberries was a total bust. I hope I did it right this time! Last time I just put two bags of cranberries onto the dehydrating sheets, turned it on and walked away. I checked on them after 5 hours, after 12 hours, after 24 hours.. no change. Maybe cranberries have an amazingly impermeable skin? Then I realized that every time we buy cranberries from the store, they're always sliced in half. Well, maybe that's the key! So, that's what I did this time. I sliced individually.. well, a whole bunch of cranberries.

I've also sliced and added cinnamon and a tiny amount of raw sugar to the bananas. 'Banana chips' at the store are not dehydrated. In fact, they're super fried. (But my husband says that's why he likes them.. and I believe him!) So, I'm trying to get him to like dehydrated bananas as much as I do. They're not chip-like. They're actually gooey and fantastic. If you've ever been to a Trader Joe's and had their 'smooshed bananas' then you know what I mean. It's like an orgasm in your mouth. I swear! So, I also have a few bananas in the back that I've smooshed. But in an effort to get Tyler to like my dehydrated chips I've used a ton of fresh cinnamon (his favorite) and a little sugar. So, we'll see!

The bottom row of the dehydrator is just your standard frozen strawberries waiting to be dehydrated. Yummy yum yum. If only I had done that before I made this candy.. I could've covered them in raw chocolate as well!


But now onto the stuff we've all been waiting for, right? Chocolate!


I've had a 16 oz block of cacao butter for a few months now and just haven't gotten up the courage to try it out. I mean, it was $20 bucks for the block. It sounded expensive, right? Well, I spilled about 1/2 cup of melted cacao, so I'm not including that. But just looking at the ingredients and how much candy I just made.. that $20 bucks is a steal!

Cacao butter is the fat that comes out of the cocoa bean, when you separate out the chocolate. It's hard and solid at room temperature. So, you can make candies just like you'd buy from the store.. except these are good for you!

I watched an online video of Ani Phyo.. she makes this look so easy! Most chocolate candy recipes are the same when you look around online. But I took mine mostly from Ani Phyo.


About 1/2 block cacao butter, grated like cheese (you want 1 cup when melted)
1/2 c cacao powder
1/4 c mesquite powder
2 T maca powder
2 T agave nectar
Dash vanilla

FILLINGS (optional)
Raw walnuts
Raw pecans
Dried fruit
Buckwheat groats (it will be like rice crispies in chocolate)
Nut butter (if you want peanut or almond butter cups)
.. you get the idea. Whatever you like in your chocolate, have that on hand and ready.

This is so much easier than I expected, too.

Shave your cacao butter. You can shave the whole block if you want because it'll keep in either form. Melt enough to get 1 cup melted cacao. I did this by putting my cacao flakes into a mug, and I put that much in hot water.

While it's melting, grab all of your other ingredients.

Now it gets easy!

Mix everything into the melted cacao. No, seriously. That's all there is to it.

The first thing you'll notice is that I don't have special equipment or special molds. I bought this little lime green one when it was on sale, to try it out. If it works, I may go back and get another.. just to keep portion sizes down. (This is why you'll see that I don't fill the larger containers up. Just because you're using something larger, doesn't mean you have to fill it up completely.)

So, here goes...

First, I used a spoon to put a small amount of chocolate into the bottom of each of the holes. I tried to gauge it so that I used half of the chocolate.

Now, I let it cool for just a few minutes and then I threw random nuts or fruits into each hole. Some are cranberry, some are walnut, almond or buckwheat groat. And SOME.. I made into peanut butter cups! Oh yes. I had a bit of a time getting the almond butter to behave. But I'm sure it'll taste just fine.


After that cooled for just a few minutes - and I kept stirring my bowl of liquid chocolate, to keep it liquid - I spooned the remaining chocolate onto some of the fillings. Voila! Easy, right? (Now I realize it's prettier with the filling sticking out.. so I won't cover it up with chocolate next time.) Don't you think?

Of course.. I didn't want to waste a drop, so I ended up dipping some of Tyler's banana chips in the chocolate halfway. It's beautiful!

Now we have plain chocolate candies (in the green mold) and multiple choices in the blue molds. I think Tyler will be pleasantly surprised tonight.

... I still can't believe I didn't even taste a little. Not even a bit. Not even when it was on my hand or the spoon or any remaining bits in the bowl. I have to say, that was the WORST thing about this fast. Who makes candy and then can't lick the bowl?

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