Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Simplest Dessert Ever

I love simplicity.

And simple, easy recipes that taste amazing at the same time? Watch out.

I also love variety. And this recipe brings together so many of the things I love.

The basis is a super simple Chocolate Fondue:

Pour some coconut milk (full fat) into a small saucepan and warm it over medium-low heat. Take a bar of dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa, break it into pieces, and drop them in the coconut milk. Sprinkle in stevia to taste (I use about half a packet. But I don't like things extremely sweet.)

Bam. You're done.

Then you have the option to dip in fruit like a fondue, or drizzle the chocolate sauce over any number of things: bananas, berries, coconut milk ice cream, black bean brownies (my friend has perfected this recipe, which I will share with you, my dear readers, as soon as I can pry it from her).

So, why coconut milk? 

I love coconut milk for many reasons. I don't drink pasteurized cow's milk anymore (and here's why). Coconut contains medium chain fatty acids (i.e. the good kind of saturated fat) that will actually help you lose weight. Most notably, it has lauric acid--also found in a mother's breast milk. Saturated fat is important since the majority of your brain and nervous system are made of fat!

Best place to buy coconut milk: Whole Foods. Their 365 brand for canned coconut milk is organic and costs less than most other brands like Thai Kitchen.

Why dark chocolate?

Cocoa has a ton of antioxidants, but when you add all the sugar, preservatives and processing, chocolate becomes a junk food. Dark chocolate that's been minimally processed can actually be good for you! I tend to gravitate toward the darkest of dark--85-88% cocoa.

Best brands for dark chocolate: I like the Endangered Species brand or Lindt. Newman's Own is good as well. You can find these at pretty much any store.

Why stevia?

Stevia is not sugar. It's not an artificial sweetener. It comes from the stevia plant and is naturally sweet--far sweeter than sugar, so you don't have to use nearly as much. And it doesn't affect your blood sugar levels at all.

Many people don't like stevia after trying it for the first time because of it's bitter aftertaste, but usually that's because they tried a lower quality, more processed brand. Even still, stevia doesn't work as a sweetener for everything. I prefer honey or maple syrup for baking or for my tea.

Best place to buy stevia: will have the best prices by far. I use the NuNaturals brand in the packets. They travel well in my purse. I would stay away from the 'mainstream' brands since they are usually super processed, use a different part of the stevia plant, and are often manufactured by the same food giants that are destroying our soil and our family farmers.

What will you do with the Simplest Dessert Ever?! Share your plans below so I can try them as well. 

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