It is widely known that chocolate can be the ‘go to’ food in times of despair, it is thought to those who desire it that it comforts and soothes…
As it turned out the Chocolate kisses I have made for Nade’s Album song, ’Kiss this Troubled Mind’ proved to be a bit like the very popular yeast extract spread that you either love or hate. Mostly, thank the lord they were loved. ‘In Nade’s song Kiss This Troubled Mind . There is reference to being kissed better from your toes to your eyes, hence I wanted to create some sort of nourishing chocolate kiss.
This thought was also confirmed and expanded on when we agreed that this would be the gift to go with the album on Nade’s launch night so I aimed to keep them as accessible as possible, taking into consideration people’s dietary needs.
Food trends are always an interesting topic, what is in, what is out, what is good for you this week, and might not be next week. Anyway vegan, raw chocolate balls, with cacao and dates are everywhere, so why should we be any different?!
They are vegan, made without gluten and without nuts. I did consider trying to make them raw as well but thought I had to replace the nuts with something and decided upon black beans – which need to be cooked.
I am marginally obsessed with the versatility of beans and pulses as well as their nutritional benefits so I saw this as another opportunity to demonstrate this. No one has guessed that there are black beans in this recipe but they undoubtedly add to the richness and the texture. Black beans are considered to be a nutrient rich bean. They are rich in minerals especially iron and potassium and low in sodium. Which makes them excellent for our liver and kidney health. Like all legumes, beans and pulses they are rich in fibre. Which makes the digestive tract more efficient, gets rid of toxins including an excess in cholesterol, they help us to feel fuller for longer so are a good food to help stabilize blood sugar levels.
As do flax or linseeds and chia seeds, both of which are rich in fibre, minerals, antioxidants and omega 3. They have a reputation as being a ‘Superfood’. Good for the digestive tract, skin, hair and cognitive function as well as their ability to help fight off free radicals. When ground (which these are) they are rendered easier to digest and help to absorb moisture so also act as a binding ingredient.
I have used mostly dates as the sweetener in this recipe but wanted the tartness of the cranberries. Yes they are sweetened which is why I aimed to use as little as possible. Dates and cranberries are notoriously known for their health benefits packed full of antioxidants, fibre and vitamins and minerals. They can aid our detoxification processes by supporting the function of our liver and as well documented, cranberries are known to benefit the urinary tract.
Coconut oil is the fat used in this recipe to hold all the ingredients together, and when chilled becomes harder and therefore the chocolate kiss can be picked up and eaten more easily. Coconut oil is a saturated fat but is plant based and a medium chain fatty acid. Once ingested it behaves differently to other animal sources of saturated fats. Perhaps it is worth mentioning that every single cell in our body is protected by a lipid layer. Lipids are made from fat amongst other things. This layer helps to protect the cell from free radical damage. If we choose to consistently eat a low fat diet, our bodies become low in fat, which could in turn, render it more vulnerable against free radical invaders. It is both excellent for our intestinal health as well as our liver and can also prove to be helpful in controlling our weight. I use coconut a lot in my cooking as it is nutritious, versatile and tastes delicious.
Salt? I hear you ask? Yes salt in anything sweet helps to balance the sweetness on the palate. It actually helps food taste more sweet, weird I know, but apparently this is the case. Sea salt or Himalayan salt has not been processed so its mineral content is more complete. There is a theory that blood plasma contains a very similar mineral content to seawater. Processed salt is heated to a very high temperature which destroys some minerals more than others rendering processed salt a food that is now out of balance. Sea or Himalayan salt has not been heated and is simply dried.
Raw cacao has not been roasted or processed like cocoa so is considered to be loaded with antioxidants and minerals and in particular, magnesium. Magnesium is needed for bio chemical reactions within our bodies and it is also known as the most calming, soothing and healing mineral.
The title of this song is, ‘Kiss this troubled mind’ I am hoping the inclusion of a magnesium rich food will help to heal this troubled mind.