Friday, 30 October 2015

Fun Food Friday - Chocolate Almond Drops

Hallowe'en is tomorrow.  My kids are beyond excited.  Their costumes picked out, jack-o-lanterns carved and the front yard decorated.  I admit that it is fun to watch the kids come up to the front door and hand out candy to them.  I also have to admit that I feel like a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to halloween candy.

Throughout the year I am constantly encouraging my kids to try to make healthy choices.  I really believe that if you explain to children the benefits of eating healthier foods they can make up their own minds about what to consume.  Hopefully in the long run, this helps them make healthier food choices throughout life.  That being said, I also firmly believe in moderation and based on my own experience, when it comes to food the minute you feel deprived is that moment you eat an entire bag of potato chips or a huge chocolate bar.

I have read about people who exchange all of their children's halloween candy for money and take them to buy a small toy following halloween and I think that is a great idea.  It wouldn't work for my kids, they want to control their candy.  We have a deal, the first night, it is a free for all.  They can eat as much candy as they like.  Based on past experience, they self regulate fairly well.  Afterward, they are allowed two pieces of candy per day for the first week.  Then everything else is tossed.  It seems to work and they are still eating their regular diets so for that week I think a few treats are ok.

That is what works for my children.  For me, it is a different story.  I try to tell myself I don't need any candy.  Then it switches to well.... maybe just one or the whole box.  So this year I am trying something different.  First of all, I bought candy I don't like.  Step 1. - remove temptation.  Then I decided to make better chocolate than the waxy sugary stuff that is handed out. - Step 2. - create a better alternative.

I came up with my own chocolate - Chocolate Almond Drops.  I used fair trade organic chocolate chips, almond butter, roasted almonds, hemp hearts and coconut, all healthier options than processed chocolate bars.  The almonds are a source of Vitamin E, magnesium and copper and a source of protein.  Hemp hearts are also a source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.  While the chocolate has a higher sugar content, the fats and proteins in the almonds and hemp hearts slow the digestion of these treat down and work to offset the spike in blood sugar that would happen while eating prepackaged halloween candy.

These snacks are still a treat and should be consumed in moderation, but they hit the spot when a sweet chocolatey craving is calling.

Chocolate Almond Drops

by Denise Boyd Dunlop
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes (cooling)
Ingredients (8-10)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup almond (or other nut) butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped and toasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
Melt chocolate chips and almond butter over a double boiler stirring until smooth. Stir in almonds, hemp hearts and 1 tablespoon of coconut. Place teaspoon sized mounds on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with remaining coconut and chill in refrigerator until set. Store covered in fridge.
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