Win A £10 Gift Voucher!
(competition closes 9 March 2012)
The winner will be announced on or soon after 9 March.
Add some sparkly fruit powders to your chocolate - it’s like edible glitter.
The fruit powders come in three flavours - strawberry, raspberry and violet fig, and have been air dried at less than 34 degrees. There is nothing in them but the fruit they’re made from…and they’re delish! Click here for more info.
Chocolate For Kids
I had a very fun morning today teaching two lovely nannies how to make raw chocolate bars, and how to teach children how to make them. This means that Kat and Yitka can now join Original Chocolate Nanny Hazel, in teaching kids this highly useful life skill(!).
They really got into it, loved the flavour and texture of the bars, and had some great suggestions for the workshops as well as coming up with some new flavours - Yitka had the idea to combine cinnamon with lime for instance. As well as chocolate bars, we made chocolate hearts and flowers, and used the new sparkly fruit powders (in raspberry, strawberry and violet fig flavours) that will go up on the website as soon as I have a moment to do it.
Other news: I am looking at getting together with a local guy who teaches cartooning workshops (his motto: everyone can cartoon once they’re shown how), and offering joint cartoon and chocolate workshops (one after the other not at the same time I hasten to add!). So keep checking this blog, or the site, or sign up to the newsletter.
Coconut Palm Sugar - Nature’s Perfect Sweetener?
I’m loving this delicious, versatile, caramel tasting,crunchy, low GI sweetener, ethically grown and processed in Indonesia.
Some facts to tickle your taste buds:
Coconut Sugar has a low GI (glycemic index) of 35 (compare to honey at 55 and cane sugar at 68)
It is a nutritionally rich product, containing high levels of potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. It also contains Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and C as well as other nutrients that slow down absorption.
Coconut Sugar is not raw, but it is a very pure minimally processed product.
Coconut Palm Sugar comes from the coconut palm (ie NOT from the same palm species used for the production of palm oil), ‘an ecologically beneficial tree crop that grows in a diverse wildlife supportive agro-system, restoring damaged soils and needing very little water. Coconut palms provide coconut water, coconut oil, building material and shade for other crops’ (source: Big Tree Farms).
Coconut Palms are nearly twice as productive per hectare as sugar cane and much more sustainable since they grow in diverse, wild-life supportive eco-systems not large-scale mono-crop plantations.
To quote Big Tree Farms, the supplier of Sweet Sensations’ coconut sugar: ‘Coconut Palms can grow in severely depleted soil (think of a sandy beach!) and use very little water. In fact, not only do they require such little maintenance, but they actually improve soil structure, fertility and water conservation, thereby allowing marginalized land to become lush jungle over time. Many traditional communities throughout the world consider coconut palms the ‘Tree of life’, as they provide a variety of accessible products from which they earn their livelihoods.’
Sweet Tree Coconut Sugar (ie the coconut sugar sold on this site) is organically produced (although Sweet Sensations, not having organic certification, can only claim that it is pesticide and agrochemical free).
Big Tree Farms work with over 1000 farmers on the island of Java in their coconut sugar production. They go to great lengths to ensure that the coconut sugar is ethically and sustainably produced. They regard coconut palm sugar as having huge potential for lifting the farmers ‘into a better life while creating a net benefit to their surrounding environment’.
Recipe ideas: use in place of sugar or xylitol in milkshakes, smoothies, ice cream, chocolate recipes, porridge, as well as cooked sweet recipes. If you’ve been on my workshops, the Dark Chocolate Truffles taste great using coconut sugar instead of xylitol (in fact, at the last workshop, ALL the participants preferred it). In the Dark Chocolate Bars from the workshop (or the recipe from the Chocolate Making Kit) try replacing half the agave or Sweet Freedom with coconut sugar. Yum!