Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Samoa Truffles

I've been told it's that time of the year.  When those little darling girls come out in droves to sell those boxes of cookies.  Rumor has it those things are as addictive as say...CHIROPRACTIC.  I myself have never tried any of the wide variety GIRL SCOUT cookies.  I am sure when I was less informed, before I knew if you can't pronounce an ingredient you probably shouldn't eat it, I may have tried a Girl Scout cookie.  However, being from Canada, we had GIRL GUIDES- a less flashy version of the US Girl Scout. Our cookies were equally simple.   Girl Guide cookies came in 3 flavors: chocolate, vanilla and peanut butter.  Yep that was it.  You could imagine how hard it was to sell those things.

So when I came up with this no processed anything truffle made with a caramel, coconut filling, dipped in chocolate my husband tried one bite and said "these taste like a Samoa ONLY BETTER!"  
After a quick lesson in Girl Scout cookies, I decided my Truffle creation arrived just in time.  I mean have you looked at the ingredients in some of those cookies?!    The "lighter" version of the Samoa has 6 different types of sugars! 

The Samoa Truffle so good, I may have a bunch of pint-sized Girl Scouts with picket signs, protesting outside my house.  It's worth the risk. I hope you enjoy...

Samoa Truffle
1 cup Medjools dates
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 1/4 cup finely shredded coconut

1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 coconut oil
2 Tablespoons honey or maple syrup

Place dates, water, sea salt and coconut milk in a blender. Blend at medium speed until ingredients form a paste. Add coconut oil and turn the blender to high and mix until the paste is smooth and resembles caramel. Place all but a 1/4 cup of caramel sauce in a bowl with 2 1/4 cup of finely shredded coconut. Stir until well mixed. Roll coconut mixture into 1-1.5 inch balls and set them on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Place balls into the freezer for 30 minutes or longer. Mix coconut oil, cocoa and honey with an emulsion blender. Remove coconut balls from freezer and coat well with chocolate. Sprinkle with shredded coconut and drizzle with remaining caramel. Place in the fridge to harden.  These will keep for weeks but won't last but a few days.  

Makes about 24 Truffles depending on the size.

Dates, water and coconut milk in the blender with a little sea salt

Transforming into that creamy caramel sauce.

Adding some coconut oil

No added sugar, caramel sauce.

 Let me tell you, if you stopped right here and just ate the caramel sauce, I would not hold that against you.  It is THAT good. 
Rolling the coconut caramel into balls.

Coconut caramel balls

 If you did not want to make your own chocolate.  Melt your favorite high end chocolate bar in a double boiler.  I like GREEN & BLACK 70% Cocoa bar
Dipping into chocolate

Tap the fork against the side of pan to remove excess chocolate.

Samoa Truffle

Coconut, Caramel Samoa Truffle.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cabbage Roll Soup

Making cabbage rolls can be tedious but the results are well worth the effort.  How about enjoying the rich flavors of cabbage rolls with half the work?  Well if that sounds good to you, then pull up a chair and let's enjoy some Cabbage Roll Soup!

1 lb. ground beef
1 large yellow onion, diced
5-7 carrots, diced
1/4 cup dried mushrooms, crumbled
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
7 cups chopped green cabbage (about half of a large sized head)
5 cups vegetable stock
1 can (32oz) crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup uncooked brown rice or grain of your choice
2 dried bay leaves
1 tsp. sea salt, or more to taste
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
2 teaspoons dried basil
Sour cream for serving 

Add oil to the bottom of a large soup pot with heat to medium.     Add carrots, onions, cabbage and salt.  Cook with lid on until vegetables are softened.  Add small amounts of vegetable stock when vegetables begin sticking to the bottom of the pot and stir.  Once vegetables are softened, add the remaining vegetable stock, dried mushrooms, canned tomatoes, garlic and remaining spices. Meanwhile in a separate pan, cook ground beef until browned and add to soup pot.  Add rice and simmer on medium heat for at least 45min. Once rice is cooked, you can simmer on low until ready to eat.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream.  

Here I used 1/2 pound of organic, grass-fed beef and 1/2 pound ground deer meat.

Cook to brown.

Soften vegetables, adding stock when needed.

Chop cabbage

Add spices.

Add remaining stock.

Add crushed tomatoes

Add browned meat.

I used Freekeh, instead of rice.

A bowl of cabbage roll soup!

The flavors and health benefits are rich.

The Many Benefits of Cabbage
Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that is an excellent source of both Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Vitamin K is important for the health of our bones and has been shown to prevent fractures in post-menopausal  women.  In several large studies, cabbage has been shown to be very important in the prevention of diabetes.  It is also an excellent source of Sinigrin, a sulfur-containing compound known to prevent various forms of cancer including bladder, colon and prostate. Cabbage juice has been found to aid in the healing of stomach ulcers.  There are 4 grams of fiber per 1 cup serving, totally only 44 calories. This makes cabbage more fiber dense than beans! Cabbage is also  the second most economical cooked vegetable in terms of price per edible cup, behind the potato.  Given it’s vast health benefits, cabbage is a nutrient bargain. 

Let me know, how you make yours?  What meat or grain combination did you try?  How were your results?