I have a confession. One that I am not worried by, yet often seems quite unexpected coming from a nutritionist. I eat chocolate every day, pretty much without fail. Now let me clarify that I am not talking about munching on a picnic bar or a kinda surprise. My inclination is to generally have a piece of 100% (yep, hardcode I know) with my cup of tea at night, or perhaps a 90% if it’s kicking about. Otherwise it can be a 100% dark chocolate hot choccy from Noosa Chocolate Factory, which is seriously my love. The JCN Clinic is quite fanatical about our Noosa Chocolate and in fact our team is pretty much known by name when we walk in the door by most of the Noosa staff. Carissa has a habit of buying us 'love lumps' aka dark chocolate-coated honeycomb and leaving them like little nuggets of golden sunshine on a Friday evening.
I am also partial to splitting a medjool date and filling it with almond butter and cacao nibs and I could not survive without an 'extra strong, extra hot' hot choccy from our local cafe. Essentially chocolate finds its way in to my day in some manner and I am seriously okay with this.
Why am I sharing this with you besides it being just my usual space for some cathartic mind dribble? Well lately I feel like the 'wellness industry' is going more and more bananas. It feels like every social media corner you turn someone is telling you something different about what is the best way to eat/live/breathe. I feel like my eyes have rolled back in my head so many times from being exasperated that they may become permanently stuck there. Wellness feels like it’s becoming a dirty word, which is a shame because it shouldn’t be so loaded. Feeling well and healthy shouldn’t be some form of elitism or something that makes you broke/stressed/confused/anxious. Our not so long ago relatives were living wellness lives by simply cooking home cooked meals with food from the garden, less stress, no iPhones and basically not caring that much about what their neighbours ate.
Carissa and I are fuelling our passion for spreading a realistic no bs approach through The JCN Clinic Podcast Show. It's been awesome to see it so well received and to also see how many of you out there are looking for some guidance in these muddy waters. We want to inspire you to feel well, take care of yourself and deal with your health issues. We want to see you educated and understanding what works for you. Knowledge is power and that power gives you confidence to diffuse the bullshit. For me the greatest success is when a client proclaims, 'this is actually really easy' or ' I felt unwell because X happened so I just did Z that I have learned works for me and now I feel fine'. Brilliant.
Chocolate can be one of those foods that exist in that unsure wellness space. If sugar is poison should I only eat it if it’s made with stevia or xylitol? Or maybe rice malt because that’s low GI, but doesn’t rice malt still take me out of ketosis because I'm sure a ketogenic diet is the best way to go as I heard it on that latest podcast with that really cool wellness blogger, or maybe I could add just straight raw cacao to my bullet proof coffee in the morning, or maybe use it instead of coffee because I read that coffee can increase anxiety, but then isn't cacao high in histamine?
Exhausting. Eye roll, eye roll, eye roll.
Le's get back to some realness shall we. This is one of those recipes that you can really go to town with in regards to chopping and changing it up. Honestly, please feel comfortable to use whatever ingredients you have in the cupboard and kicking around in your fridge. As long as you have the chocolate part sorted the add-ins can take the form of whatever takes your fancy. I would suggest any nut or seed butters along with any nuts or seeds that your particularly enjoy. Then of course there’s dried fruits like chopped up figs, dates, apricots and dried berries to choose from. Oh and lets not forget about increasing the salt for a heavenly salty kick or adding some chilli. You could even get super fancy and add some macca or mesquite for that caramel edge. Endless possibilities. Whatever floats your boat just ensure you enjoy it for what it is without the labels.
Place a saucepan on to a medium heat and add the cacao butter. Heat until melted and then add the almond butter, cacao, salt and rice malt. Stir well till combined and nice and creamy.
Now add the remaining ingredients and stir through till well covered in the chocolate. Pour the chocolate into a greased and lined square baking tray and then cover with some cling wrap or a lid and place in the freezer for at least an hour to set.
Once set, use a large knife to cut the chocolate into squares. Place the squares in an air tight container and keep in the fridge.