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.

Goat Milk & Honey Panna Cotta

Goat Milk & Honey Panna Cotta

My daughter is lactose intolerant and she takes a Lactaid to negate most of the effects. We aren’t quite sure if she is intolerant of the milk protein, but large amounts of dairy, especially cream dairy does not agree with her. As such, I’ve had to learn how to modify her favorite dessert: Panna Cotta

While standing in front of the dairy case, I spotted Goat Milk. Hmmm, I wondered how that would taste in a Panna Cotta? I grabbed a carton and sped home to whip up a batch. Honey is a natural companion to goat, and the real vanilla bean gives it added punch.

It turned out so well, I think this will be a semi-regular dessert to have around the house. While tinkering with the milks, I also leaned the recipe out tremendously. I made a quick jam out of frozen blueberries to go on top. I hope you enjoy this extremely tasty version of Panna Cotta as much as we do. The best part is, you can enjoy and not feel guilty!

Goat Milk & Honey Panna Cotta

2 cups goat milk
1.75 cups lactose free milk (I use 1% organic)
.25 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup honey
1 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt (I used Himalayan pink)
1 package gelatin (1 tbsp)
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

In a 2qt saucepan, add 1 cup of the milk, the vanilla bean & seeds, and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let sit for 5 mins to bloom.
Bring this mixture to just under a boil. Bubbles will appear around the edges of the pan, the gelatin will dissolve as well as the sugar and honey. Let steep for 5 mins to extract flavor from the bean. Remove the bean add the rest of the milks, stir to combine.

Portion out in to serving dishes. I like to serve mine in wine glasses, but ramekins work well to. This makes 6 generous servings. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Serve by itself, or garnished with a homemade jam, berries, mint and a little whipped cream.