Date sugar? What? Holiday baking here I come!
I was perusing my Facebook page the other day and I saw this infographic:
I wondered how accurate this is because as most of you probably know, California is voting on Prop 37 which will make it mandatory for food in California to be labeled if it is made with GMOs. And I thought if this is true then genetically modified produce is already to some degree labeled. I’ve heard this bit about the codes on produce mentioned before but thought that it has an urban legend quality to it. Turns out that the codes on produce aren’t particularly accurate in terms of finding out if produce is conventional or organic and the code to indicate a GMO is never used. Why? Because most Americans don’t want to eat GMOs and since food producers don’t have to label it (yet) they’re not going to. But that may all change tomorrow! I’ve found a couple of really great articles on GMOs and what Prop 37 means for our country if you want to read a little bit more about it:
I don’t know if you know this about me but I really love to celebrate…anything. And my birthday may be my most favorite thing to celebrate! I always take the day off of work, if possible, and spend my day doing whatever I want! I promised healthy pie and party hats and I will deliver! We also had healthy brunch, knitting a pretty hat, crochet class with Alex the crochet ninja, and a movie marathon!
I’ll start with the best part…PIE!!!! Ben made Chef AJ’s Mint Chocolate Mousse Torte which is so good that I expect I’ll be making it at every opportunity.
We also made hats for the cats and dogs. The dogs would have none of it but we managed to briefly torture the cats with party hats. Although some believe they look more like unicorn/narwhal horns than party hats.
Alright, enough with the photos. Chef AJ’s Mint Chocolate Mousse Torte is rich tasting and amazing. A couple of things you should know: the recipe calls for 1-2 tsp peppermint extract and Ben just did one. It was perfectly minty so I believe the second tsp would have been overkill. Also, the recipe calls for a springform pie pan which not everyone has. We used a regular pan and that worked just fine. Last but not least, I know cocoa nibs are expensive but they really make the pie so don’t skimp! Pile those bad boys on!
Mint Chocolate Mousse Torte
16 oz pitted dates, soaked in 16 oz unsweetened chocolate almond milk
12 oz walnuts
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1 Tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1/2 cup raw cacao nibs
In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, process soaked dates and extracts until very smooth. Add cacao powder and process again until smooth. Place this in a bowl. Then process the nuts into a nut butter-like consistency. Add coconut and process again. Add this to the date mixture and stir well by hand until all of the ingredients are completely incorporated. Pour over crust and freeze until firm. Garnish with cacao nibs.
2 cups raw walnuts
2 cups pitted dates
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 Tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, process the nuts into a powder. Do not over process or you will have a nut butter. Add dates, a few at a time, until the mixture clumps together. Stop the machine and if you can easily roll a ball from the mixture and it sticks together you don’t need to add anymore dates. Add extracts and process again briefly. Press the crust into a springform pan. Spread filling over the top and freeze until solid.
A few things are going on that I need to share. My husband has been out of town with our laptop so I wasn’t able to post much over the past couple of weeks. During that time I decided (with a little help from my friends) that I like the idea of making fewer posts that are more in depth rather than trying to post every day. Initially posting daily was a way of keeping me focused on my goals but after nine months of healthy eating it is such a habit that I don’t really feel the extra posts are necessary. So that’s that!
I came across a post at Healthy Girls Kitchen about nuts and weight loss. The deal is, if you’re on a whole-food, plant-based diet with no added oil, sugar or processed foods the key to weight loss is cutting out nuts. Chef AJ, a bit of a super star in the W-F, P-B world, and author of Unprocessed, teaches classes about how to lose weight by adopting a W-F, P-B diet but was a little overweight herself. My understanding from when I read her book was that she believed she had reached her ideal weight and that it was just not slender. It turns out that all Chef AJ needed to do was cut out nuts, seeds and avocados from her diet. You can read her story here. It’s full of good information as well as a before and after picture and I love those. Also, she has a new book coming out with new recipes that are lower in fat!! The recipes in Unprocessed are so good but are full of nuts, especially the desserts.
Last but not least, this Virgo will be 31 on Tuesday! I’m really in it now (my thirties, that is). My husband is making Chef AJ’s Mint Chocolate Chip pie and it is sporting something like 4 cups of walnuts between the crust and the pie filling. But what day is for splurging if not a birthday, right? We will, of course, post pictures and a recipe and maybe even some pictures of us in birthday hats! My Mom, who is a fabulous gift giver, is getting me a Kindle for my birthday so I will have access to books about health and nutrition at the tips of my fingers! At the speed of internet!