Ok so I will admit it, I am not much of a romantic nor do I enjoy romantic comedies, flowers or expensive gifts for Valentine’s Day. Anyone else??? I find the idea that pulling out all the stops, going out of your way to get flowers or jewellery to show someone you love them kind of odd. I would much rather an intimate, homemade dinner and a nice bottle of wine. But I am never one to turn down chocolate thats for sure! So I have attempted to make raw chocolate in the past and it was good, but I always felt like something was missing with it. I really went all out and got as creative as I could with the mix-ins, add-in’s and spices. The result is this DIY chocolate and if you don’t like chocolate (the horror!) then you can try my coconut fat bombs, they are equally as delicious, provided you like coconut of course!
What’s the deal with keto? (Read in Seinfeld’s voice)
If you are one to keep up with the latest in nutrition then perhaps you have started hearing about the ketogenic (or keto diet for short) quite a bit. The basic idea here is to fill up on fat rather than carbohydrates so that your body can use fat as fuel rather than glucose from carbohydrates, very similar to the Atkins diet of the past (ugh!). Now, by reducing your carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat, this puts your body in a ketogenic state, called ketosis. Your body is now able to burn fat for energy rather than glucose (the main fuel your brain uses now when you eat carbohydrates). It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which supplies energy for the brain. This can have numerous health benefits for your brain health, blood sugar levels and insulin levels, weight loss as well as it helps keep you feeling fuller longer. For that reason it can be beneficial for those with diabetes, insulin or other metabolic issues, or those that are overweight and need to lose weight.
Do I recommend a keto diet?
Personally, I don’t follow a keto diet and I have no interest in following one. I love my carbs more than pretty much anything in this world so no, it is not the right diet for me. I definitely see the reason that people are gravitating towards a grain free diet, but unless this is for a medical need, I don’t think that grains are the devil either. The other thing is that I am a HUGE foodie, hence the name, Holistic Foodie…so eliminating a portion of my plate that I enjoy (hello, rice, potatoes and bread) is not appealing to me. I can still remember when I first heard about the Atkins diet years ago and thought, how is this healthy? People were eating bacon sandwiches with cheese and they were like “I’ve never felt better…” and I thought, this cannot be right. Well, turns out that fad ended rather quickly, after the founder himself died of an apparent fall, although there are significant questions about whether or not he actually had a heart attack that precipitated the fall. I am not even sure if this matters, but it is interesting. Keto is similar to Atkins, but the emphasis should be more so on the quality of the fat you are eating.
Keto may be all the rage now and I don’t doubt that lowering your carb intake and increasing your dose of healthy fats is optimal for some people, maybe even most people, but you won’t find this nutritionist on this type of diet. I do fear that people are going all in on keto and perhaps are eating foods that aren’t ideal, like conventional meats and cheeses or inflammatory oils, even though this is supposed to be a no-no. The problem I find is that when people just go out on a whim and try a new diet and don’t do adequate research or work with a practitioner they end up causing more harm than good. I have seen it first hand with friends who follow Atkins/Keto diets and they have no problem eating a conventional sausage (hold the bun of course) and honestly, I have to kind of roll my eyes a bit. As if the bun is something to be feared and the weird mixture of meat filled with questionable ingredients and cooked in crappy oils is somehow better? I have no issue with sausages of course, provided they are of high quality, sorry no street meat for this gal! If you do want to try a new diet, my advice is to always do your research and work with a nutritionist to ensure that you are going about it correctly.
Coconut Fat Bombs are Just Damn Good:
The reason I wanted to create these fat bombs are really as an alternative to those who don’t like chocolate (somehow they exist) but still want a treat on Valentine’s Day. They may not be keto friendly as I use a touch of maple syrup, so if you want you can omit it and use stevia instead if that is more your thing. Either way, whether or not you like chocolate or don’t, you will enjoy these coconut fat bombs. The other great thing is that because these are high in fat (good fat!) they will help keep you feeling fuller longer, so a serving size of one is more than enough for a snack, provided you make them in the mini molds as I did here.
DIY Raw Chocolate is Easy Peasy:
Buying good quality chocolate is of course an easy option and I will be honest, this is the route I usually go, but it is really fun to make your own and to come up with tons of unique flavour options. I have gone with some pretty unique flavour combinations, but feel free to come up with your own and use what you have on hand. I have recently gotten really into herbs and superfoods and have begun incorporating more of them into my diet. The Moon Juice cookbook has really grabbed my attention and I have been drooling over the cookbook lately, so this will definitely be something I will be playing with more and more.
Here are the flavour combinations I used for the chocolate:
Cardamom + Lemon zest
Almond + Sea Salt
Hazelnut + Maca
Lion’s Mane + Cherry
Coconut milk (the purist) *Note, this didn’t turn out so well taste wise, but it was in my pictures so I thought I should explain!
Spicy Orange Zest + Chili Flakes (personal fave, especially if you like orange and chocolate)
For the cocoa butter, I used this brand.
For the raw cacao powder, I used this brand.
For the coconut butter, I used this brand.
For the chocolate and coconut molds, I used a silicone tray like this.
When you are adding flavours like lemon and citrus, only use the zest from them, not any juice as this will alter the consistency. For this reason, buy organic please!
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Coconut Fat Bombs
In a double broiler, melt the coconut butter and oil over low heat.
Once melted, add the maple syrup and sea salt.
To make the flavour combinations, add a small amount to a separate bowl and add in your options.
Pour into a mold and place on a flat surface in the freezer to set, about 1 hour.
Once set, you can pop them out and leave them in the fridge or freezer.
Adapted from Nutrition Stripped