Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m not so down with the big V-day (did you notice I flat-out ignored it the last two years here on the blog?) It’s not that I am anti-romance in any way – I love getting flowers. Yea, bring ‘em on! – it’s just that I don’t see the need to have a designated day to share love. It puts pressure on people in relationships to be more awesome than they already are, and it makes single people feel left out. Boo, I say!
Here’s an idea: instead of a fake holiday where we feel obligated to buy junk for people we have a crush on, how about we celebrate ourselves? How rad we are? How beautiful, inspired, giving, and glowing? A justified, well-deserved day of self love and appreciation of our beings, for just being, well, us.

I asked my girlfriend, expert self-lover and culinary genius, Kelly, to come up with a way to say “I love you self” in the form of chocolate. Truth be told, I have tasted her insanely delectable freezer fudge many-a-time, and we both think it’s the best way to give ourselves a little gift (albeit a healthy one!) now and then. Without further ado, I give you Kelly, love, and chocolate…

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Love and Chocolate….*sigh* two things that we should never be without. Even if you are in a relationship with someone else, we should always be striving to bring more self love (and chocolate) into our lives. When you begin the conscious journey to health, you are giving yourself a BIG dose of awesome self love. Taking care of your mind and body temple is for me, an answer to one of life’s great mysteries. What could you do with more love in your life?

Now, what would you do without chocolate? Never mind… don’t answer that question. I put myself in that position one time, and it wasn’t pretty. When you are trying to do better for your beautiful body, you need to be prepared. Running to the store in your slippers to get a fix is no longer an option. You are a healthy diva now! You must plan ahead.

This is my recovery plan. Yes, I used to be a chocoholic. Well, okay…I am still a chocoholic, but my standards are higher now. I won’t allow myself to be used by some cheap, shiny-wrapper-drug-store run-of-the-mill candy now. Oh no my friend. I’ve got my secret stash of chocolate fudge in the freezer just for my self-lovin’ self. And this stash has a big secret! It’s WHOLE AND HEALTHY!
I went there. I said it, this stuff is healthy. Let’s examine this closer so you can get really excited for healthy chocolate!

Sarah was talking about coconut oil in a recent post so I will say no more, but if you haven’t seen it already, you might want to (healthy cheesecake!?!) This is the base of our creamy fudge.

Mmm Mmm Mmmaple Syrup
The other superstar in this mix is maple syrup. I am lucky enough to live in Canada, the land where maple syrup comes out of our kitchen taps (not really), but we do have most of the world’s syrup producing sugar maple trees here. This is the good stuff that helps the tree last through the long winters. The tree will store starch in its roots that is slowly converted into sugar over the season. In the spring, the sugar water rises out of the roots and into the trunk and branches. This is where people come in, tap into the trunk and collect the clear thin liquid to boil down to a beautiful amber syrup.
Calorie for calorie, it is the same as plain white sugar…ouch…but it redeems itself by being amazingly high in manganese and zinc! Manganese is an enzyme activator that helps you maintain normal blood sugar levels and helps your body synthesize fatty acids and cholesterol. And let’s give the bees a break, because it also has 10 times the amount of calcium that honey does. Hug a maple tree!

On to the recipe. I’m going to tell you exactly how I make it and I hope you will be able to replicate the results. It’s not a science, there are just a few things you need to be sure of.
I always use my favorite ceramic bowl, and you must pre-chill it. This is so that when you are mixing the oil and the syrup, the oil does not separate. You will only have separation troubles if you are like me and you use a hand mixer (friction brings the heat that melts the oil). This can be mixed by hand (which Sarah B. does), but it is more difficult to get a uniform texture. I would never complain about lumpy fudge but some people might (Sarah B. has slightly lumpy fudge, doesn’t complain about it).

Self-love Chocolate Fudge
1 ¼ cup of buttery coconut oil (not solid, and not liquid)
1/2 cup raw cashew butter (cashew works best for a neutral flavour, but feel free to use anything! Almond, hazelnut etc.)
1 cup maple syrup (really depends on how sweet you like it, maple can be strong and overpowering at times)
½ – ¾ cup raw cacao powder (If you love dark and bitter chocolate, you can add more)
pinch of good quality sea salt, or more… because salt + chocolate is awesome!
optional: spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, chili, cayenne…

Raw Twist: If you’re eating raw these days, use raw honey or agave in place of the maple syrup.

1. Mix your coconut oil and cashew butter in cooled bowl on low setting, being careful not to over mix (the oil will appear soapy if you have over mixed).
2. Pour in maple syrup and mix again, then finally add the cacao powder and salt and mix to perfection.
3. Once it looks good and uniform, spoon into silicone candy or muffins cups (or silicone ice cube trays work too) and throw in the freezer. The coconut oil will harden almost immediately, but it will stay soft and smooth with the addition of the other ingredients. You will never have to defrost it, just peel away the silicone mould and enjoy!

Tip: If you find it difficult to spoon the fudge into the cups evenly, warm it up slightly after you’ve mixed it together by placing the bowl double-boiler style, over a pot of water heating on the stove. Keep a close eye on the fudge and wait just until it’s liquid enough to pour into the moulds.

Once you have tried it this way, experiment a little bit… dipped strawberries, nuts and seeds (flax seeds are a great addition) dried cherries, mint extract…did I mention that this stuff hardens when cooled?? Frozen banana split with hard choco shell! I have yet to find something this is not awesome with, so please experiment with whatever you LOVE!

The best thing about this chocolate is that when you use whole, natural ingredients, your body knows when it has had enough. I can almost promise you, you will not be able to overeat this stuff. You will feel satisfied and happy that you managed to please your inner chocoholic and your healthy diva all in one. Now please do yourself a favour, show yourself some big love and go make this because you are fantastic!
Love + Chocolate, Kelly

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Sarah B. here. This is seriously one of my favorite chocolate recipes because you can just make a batch and keep it squirreled away in the freezer for when you really need a hit. Hey, it happens. And when it does, like Kelly said, you’re prepared. Or when you’re guests come over, you’ll always have a little piece of rich-cool-melty-fudgegasm (yup, said it) to share with them too.
Happy self-lovin’ ya’ll.

xo, Sarah B.

Copyright 2012 My New Roots at mynewroots.blogspot.com

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