Healthy Coconut Chocolate Haystack Drops

Healthy Coconut Chocolate Haystack Drops

Coming back jet lagged from an overseas trip, I was in need of a sweet treat that was at least decently healthy for me. So, putting together a number of recipe inspirations, I came up with these delightful morsels. They are easy and tasty and you can add in other items to bump up the health factor. Coconut is a miracle oil. Just do a google search on the benefits, and this alone will inspire you to make them. Add in the honey for natural anti-bacterial/microbial properties as well as a good and natural sweetener, cocoa powder and its antioxidants as well as endorphin boosting properties and these three ingredients alone are worth the effort. Then, we have oats for heart and gut healthy fiber, a second dose of coconut (fiber) and when you add in flax/chia seed you are getting proteins, fibers, anti-oxidants. Almonds are an anti-oxidant and boost the protein. Blueberries and Tart Cherries are a super food which will boost the value even more.

Be sure to keep them in a cool place, as coconut oil melts at body temperature.

1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1/2-3/4 cup Honey (to taste)
4 heaping tsp Cocoa powder. (I used King Arthurs double dark dutch)

Melt the oil in a sauce pan, add honey and cocoa powder. bring to a boil, whisking constantly, and remove from heat.

Add in:

3 cups quick cooking Oats (I prefer organic, gluten free)
1 cup shredded Coconut (unsweetened would be ideal, natural as possible, but Bakers brand works in a pinch)
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Almond Extract

Mix completely and drop in dollops on to waxed paper and let cool and harden. If your kitchen is warm, you will need to refrigerate to harden.

**additional suggested add-ins: flax seed, chia seed, pumpkin seed, healthy chopped nuts like almond or walnut, dried cranberries or blueberries, peanut or almond butter.

**for a prettier presentation, let them firm up, and then roll in to balls. At this point, you can roll in additional cocoa powder for easier handling, like you would for a truffle. I would reduce oats to 2 1/2 cups if adding in a lot of additional add-ins.


Springs’ First Breath: Curried Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Well, it finally came, Spring.

After such a long hibernation, trapped house-bound, it is marvelous to be able to sit outside on the patio and have dinner. This is that brief period of Minnesota spring where the snow is just behind us and the heat of the spring has not yet manifested in the feasting hordes of mosquitoes.

Tonight was a simple dinner of Curried Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps, set out for assembly, and fresh fruit. Delish.

Image

Simple Curried Chicken Salad

1/2 cup celery

1/2 cup mayonnaise (you can use light to reduce the calories)

1/2 cup golden raisins, chopped dried cherries or mixture of both.

1 cup grapes, sliced in half (optional)

1/4 cup diced white onions.

2-3 tbsp sweet curry

2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped

Mix the first 6 ingredients together. You can add more of any one to suit your taste. My family likes it very curry flavored and crunchy, so I add more  curry andcelery. Then add the chicken and fold gently to mix. I also prefer to have the grapes in there, along with the the tartness of the dried cherries, but if you dont have the fresh grapes on hand, this is just as good without them.

You can serve this right away, but it tastes best after it has had a chance to rest.

This salad can be served as pictured, on lettuce leaves, which is naturally Gluten Free. It can also be served on whole grain bread, in pita pockets, or on a bed of salad greens with radishes and cucumbers, dressed with a simple vinaigrette.