Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chocolate Syrup (for Chocolate Milk) and Chocolate Squares!

My hubby, particularly, loves chocolate - in all forms.  Since we've started trying to be purposeful in selecting real, nutritious food, we've had to make many modifications and find substitutes for our old stand-bys.

Among the favorites is chocolate syrup for making chocolate milk.  We (he) used to use Hershey's.  Yikes!  The ingredients list will make you shudder once you become educated about frankenfood vs. real food.

So, I dumped that pseudo chocolate (brown-syrup poison) down the drain, washed the squeeze bottle out real good, and filled it with this:

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (or raw cacao)*
1/2 cup filtered water from the fridge
3/4 cup sucanat
1/4 teaspoon real vanilla extract
sea salt - slight sprinkle

Warm the water on the stove and add the cocoa, whisking until incorporated.  Add the sucanat and stir until dissolved.  Bring it to a rolling boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add vanilla and salt.  Cool and store in the refrigerator.

Thankfully, it met with approval by the chocolate milk critic. I tried some, too.  I think it's every bit as good as anything you can buy off a grocery store shelf, except even better because it's not bad for you!

* This cocoa powder is what I had available.  You could kick up the health benefits of this chocolate syrup A LOT if you use raw cacao, instead. (source)

This post, from Preserving Abundance, is where I got the idea.  I just cut the recipe in half since it was a trial run,  used sea salt instead of table salt, and substituted sucanat in place of sugar (trying diligently to avoid the refined whites).  I think it was a successful makeover.

So - that's great when you want to drink your chocolate.  But sometimes you just wanna bite into a hunk of it.

For those times, there is this...

The ingredients you need to make chocolate squares.

Except I meant to take the picture with raw honey, not sucanat.  We've made it with sucanat before, but tend to like it with the honey better.

1 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (or raw cacao)*
1/3 cup raw honey
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup chopped, dried coconut (optional)
1 T (add'l) coconut oil (optional)

* This cocoa powder is what I had available.  You could kick up the health benefits of this chocolate bar A LOT if you use raw cacao, instead. (source)

Put the nuts and coconut on a cookie sheet and drizzle with the 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and toss.  Toast in the oven at 300 for about 15 minutes, turning once.


Heat the coconut oil and cocoa powder in a double boiler (or a makeshift version of one, like I did).  Stir till the cocoa powder is dissolved and add the honey.  Stir well to combine.  (I know... that's not a true tablespoon measure.  It's a long iced tea spoon so I wouldn't get my hand sticky on the sides of the honey jar.  I think I eye-balled it pretty well!)

Let it simmer on a very low heat for a long time.  The low and slow method will help the coconut oil to fully absorb the cocoa powder and the honey to fully incorporate.

When the nuts and coconut are done toasting, add the mix to the chocolate and stir well, again.

Carefully spoon into a silicon mold.  If you don't have a mold, you can use mini cupcake liners (but then you need a mini cupcake tin so they will hold their form...)

This recipe filled this one sheet mold perfectly with minimal finger-licking of the bowl required.

Refrigerate till firm... about 30 minutes, or so.

Mmmm, mmmm, good!

Two delicious chocolate, guilt-free pleasures.

Linking with Hearth and Soul, Tasty Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Tasty Traditions, Homeacre Hop


April @ The 21st Century Housewife said...

This is a much healthier chocolate syrup option and your chocolate squares sound delicious! Thank you for sharing this post with us at the Hearth and Soul hop.

Lisa Lynn said...

Cool! Thanks for sharing on The HomeAcre Hop! Stop by to say hi to our new co-host and share more of you great posts!

Mom said...

Mmm-mmm! Will be trying those squares for sure....thanks, Pammie!!

Libby said...

These look outstanding! Definitely bookmarked for when we want a little treat. :)