One Cool Valentine’s Day

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Our kitchen has been covered in all sorts of chocolate and pink goodness . . .  Oh, and the tomato sauce that I forgot to keep an eye on last night. Yikes. I guess that’s more red. Well hey, at least it’s within the color scheme. Here’s to a messy kitchen and full bellies this Thursday. Hopefully these ideas and treats will keep you satisfied while feeling well. Let’s strive for making our health a priority, even during holidays.

1. Fresh pomegranate seeds. Yum! So delicious. You can throw them into yogurt, salad, smoothies (after blending) or nibble on them in handfuls, like me. Don’t be fooled, it’s way easier to get the seeds out than you think. Don’t settle for the $5 tiny container at Trader Joe’s. Cowboy up and learn to pick your own. This method works miracles. I actually conduct the entire process (prying and de-seeding) under the water in said bowl.

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2. Kombucha! My personal favorite. We brew our own but I haven’t replicated the following flavors yet. They are definitely some of the best. Two “pink” flavors to try this Valentine’s day are “Guava Goddess” and “Passionberry Bliss” both produced by GT’s Kombucha. You can find them at any “health” store (Trader Joe’s really doesn’t count, guys) but the Safeway near us also carries it as well. It’s so fizzy and refreshing . . . like lemonade and soda all in one . . . but even better!

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3. Twisted, Chocolate Banana Bread.

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I guess it’s more swirled than twisted? Anyways, I used this recipe (as always) BUT I added chopped pecans and melted chocolate. You could stick with boring, regular chocolate chips but I already had chocolate melting on the stove and figured, “Hey, I’m already running late. The kitchen is a mess and I have wet hair, why not put melted chocolate in the banana bread?” Easy. After pouring the batter and pecans into the bread pan, I spooned two big spoonfuls of melted “Enjoy Life” chocolate onto the top of the batter and swirled with a toothpick. Voila. Twisted.

4. FAT BOMBS. Remember this post? Here are three different ways to mix it up, all for the sake of love. These treats include making fat bombs as directed in the original post. HOWEVER, only use 4-6 oz of coconut oil rather than the original 12 oz called for.

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Raspberry Squares: You will need one Fat Bomb recipe (with half the allotted amount of coconut oil called for). 1 cup of frozen or fresh raspberries. 4 tablespoons of honey.

Once chocolate and coconut oil are combined and fully melted, fill ungreased muffin tins (I used a square tin pan) 1/3 of the way full. Stick pan into the freezer until chocolate sets.

Meanwhile, combine berries, honey and 1 T of water in a sauce pan. Slowly bring to a boil. Stir as needed. Allow to boil for 2-3 minutes, keeping an eye so as not to have a raspberry explosion (which may or may not have happened a few times this past weekend).

Place lid over saucepan and bring berry sauce back to low temp, letting it cook for another 15 minutes (again stirring as necessary). Remove from heat but keep lid on. Allow to sit and cool. It should have somewhat of a sticky consistency but if it’s a little thin, no biggie. Somewhat like the pic below.

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Pull muffin tin out of freezer and spoon a very small amount of the berry sauce in the middle of each fat bomb. You don’t want it to reach the edges. Place muffin tin back in freezer until jam sets. Pull muffin tin back out and top off each fat bomb with a final layer of chocolate. Place back in freezer for a while . . . you want these guys to be fully set. I’m talking like an hour at least. When ready, pop raspberry squares out with a butter knife and allow to sit for a little bit before enjoying. Keep leftovers in airtight container.

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Chocolate KissesYou will need one fat bomb recipe (again, with half the allotted amount of coconut oil). A candy mold (JO-Ann’s $1.99 ) and lollipop sticks (Walmart// $1.80). Optional add-in’s listed below.

After melting chocolate and coconut oil in sauce pan, I split the mixture into 6 small bowls. I left one bowl alone. In the other 5, I added one of the following . . . pomegranate seeds. Black pepper. Orange zest. Espresso. Ground cloves and last but not least, peppermint. The sky’s the limit. After thoroughly mixing each bowl, I followed the directions on the back of the candy mold (pretty darn self explanatory) and allowed the finished “pops” to set in the freezer. You could use the fridge too. Pop out of mold when ready to serve. Keep leftovers in a plastic baggie in fridge. XOXO.

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Chocolate Buttons: You will, again, need one Fat Bomb recipe with only ONE FOURTH of the coconut oil called for. Spread parchment paper onto cookie sheet, I taped the edges down. After melting both chocolate and oil over stove, use spoon to drop dollops onto parchment paper. You want little domes. I think the thicker, the better. If you are finding they seem “runny” rather than “chocolatey,” take a break and add more chocolate chips to sauce pan. Allow chips to melt into mixture completely before continuing. Once you have the amount of “buttons” desired, quickly sprinkle with toppings of your choice. I used fresh black pepper, orange zest, ground cloves and (again) pomegranate seeds. Stick in fridge until ready to enjoy. Simply peel off the parchment paper and enjoy! Store in airtight container, in fridge.

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