This Valentine's Day treat your valentine (or yourself!) to a heart healthy, vegan remake of your favorite chocolate bar. Cocoa, in dark chocolate, contains anti-oxidants and can help your heart by relaxing blood vessels allowing for easy circulation and helping with blood pressure. A sweet treat that's easy on the heart, that's a double win! Make this dessert extra sweet with Living Juice's organic, cold-pressed Red Radiance packed with strawberries, beets and apples!
1 1/2 cups of organic cocoa (or cacao) butter (coconut oil may be substituted for less than 1/3)
1 cup organic cacao powder
2 1/2 tbsp organic maple syrup (or agave/stevia)
1/8 teaspoon organic Himalayan sea salt
1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
Organic almonds, chopped (optional)
Peppermint candies, crushed (optional)
Freeze-dried organic fruits (optional)
1. Create a double boiler by bringing a small pot with 2 inches of water to a boil. Reduce heat and bring to a simmer. Place a glass or ceramic bowl over the pot, ensuring that it fits snugly over and will not allow water into the bowl.
2. Add the cocoa butter (and coconut oil) to the double boiler. Melt it slowly, mixing often.
3. Remove the bowl from the double boiler. Using a sifter, add in the cacao powder. This will help stop the mixture from clumping. Mix thoroughly.
4. Add in sweetener, either maple syrup, agave or liquid stevia. Add in salt and vanilla extract. Whisk or mix well. Add any of the three for taste.
5. Pour chocolate into the mold of your choice. You can either use a chocolate mold, or line a baking dish, like an 8x8 brownie pan, with parchment paper. Chocolate can be spread and smoothed out with a spatula.
6. Sprinkle in toppings of your choice. This can be chopped almonds, freeze-dried fruits, or crushed peppermints.
7. Freeze chocolate. Enjoy when chocolate can easily be removed from the molding (about half an hour). Chocolate is best when brought to room temperature and can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.