Tag: avocado

Double Chocolate Fudge Popsciles

Do you know the difference between cacao and cocoa powder? Not many people actually do, so don’t worry if you’re not sure of the difference — or if you’ve used the two interchangeably thinking they mean the same thing. Once I started to explore ingredients towards the end of my nutrition training, that was  when I first learned what makes cacao different from cocoa powder. It’s all chocolate in the end, but it has to do with how the cacao beans are processed and  become the powder we purchase on   store shelves that matters.

So, why are we talking about cacao or cocoa powder in  a nut butter blog ? Well, we strive to bring you recipes with wholesome ingredients that not only taste amazing, but also provide you with optimum  nutrition. Therefore, knowing how to distinguish between those two powders will help you make better-informed ingredient choices based upon your health goals.

The process of making chocolate starts with cacao beans. Cacao is a plant native to the tropical regions of Central and South America. They produce a fruit called the cacao pod which houses 20 to 60 seeds, usually called cacao beans; they are embedded within a white pulp. The fruit, once ripened, is harvested and opened to remove the pulp with seeds. The pulp is placed in a bin and covered for fermentation to occur. During fermentation the pulp is converted into alcohol by the yeasts present in the air and  heat. The beans are mixed several times during the process to increase oxygenation, which turns the alcohol into lactic and acetic acids. This process slowly changes the beans, converting them from having a bitter flavor to having more of the complex flavors that we know collectively as “chocolate.”

Cacao powder is made by cold-pressing raw cacao beans, which allows some living enzymes in the cacao to remain active; however, this process removes the fat from the beans (We are talking about cacao butter, the substance used to make chocolate bars). Cocoa powder, on the other hand, is made when the cacao beans are roasted at a high temperature and  then ground into fine powder. This also removes  fat, as well as the living enzymes.  Although cocoa powder may seem nutritionally inferior to cacao powder, they are both great sources of antioxidants, and cocoa powder is cheaper. Cacao powder contains more fiber and calories than cocoa powder since more of the nutrients from the whole bean remain  intact. Cacao is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber and a small amount of protein as well. When choosing to buy cocoa powder, stay away from cocoa mixes since those contain added sugar. Both powders are a rich source of fiber and antioxidants, so you can’t go wrong!

Now that you know the difference between the two powders, let’s add cacao powder  to a healthy treat –shall we? Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter is the perfect flavor match for cacao powder. Their combination provides a creamy texture and rich flavor that makes this Double Chocolate Fudge Popsicle better than any other version out there! And here are some tips for making the recipe successfully: First, make sure you combine the sunflower seed butter and cacao powder well before adding other ingredients. Also, using a well ripened avocado is important to achieve the smooth texture of a fudgelike popsicle. And finally , make several batches because these treats will go quickly!

Double Fudge Popsciles

Double Chocolate Fudge Popsicle

1 tablespoon of Once Again Sunflower Butter

2 tablespoons of unsweetened cacao powder

1 cup of milk of your choice (use whole fat milk for creamier result)

½ of one avocado

Chocolate chips

Start with Once Again Sunflower Seed butter and mix in cacao powder. Once well mixed, add it to a blender and slowly add avocado and milk. You will  have a thick mixture, Pour it into molds, filling each  up only up halfway. Add a few chocolate chips to each, and then add the rest of the mixture, filling up the rest of each mold. Makes about 3 popsicles, depending on size of your mold.

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Breakfast, snack or dessert? There are many foods that cross over all of those categories and fit perfectly well into each one. I have one more to add to the list: Avocado Chocolate Mousse, healthy enough to be a good way to start your day, filling enough to hold you over until dinner as a snack, and sweet enough to be dessert!

We’ve highlighted the attributes of avocados before (See our blog link here.), but let’s have  a recap: the main vitamins in these luscious fruits are vitamin K, folate and E; they also deliver  the mineral potassium. They are low  saturated fat; have  no cholesterol, no sodium but plenty of oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid with multiple health benefits. In short, they are  a super food.

For all those reasons, finding new ways to enjoy avocados is always on my to-do list. However, many children don’t find avocados very attractive at first, perhaps because they are  usually introduced to them as guacamole. This is unfortunate because children’s developing brains have so much to gain from this fruit. As a matter of fact, it makes a fantastic “first food” for babies. Remember of course, babies should be introduced to such foods only after age 6 months, and only using one ingredient at a time; therefore, start with just plain, mashed avocado. The recipe below isn’t appropriate for babies  until they reach  age of 12 months due to the added honey.

If your children or kids you know are not a fan of avocado, try making this avocado chocolate mousse for them and watch their reaction when you tell them the main ingredient is  avocado! This recipe allows you to vary the amount of sweetness that you want by adding more or less honey.  As a general rule, I always suggest starting with the smaller amount and add more slowly; in that way you can keep your final calories under control.

Also, notice the recipe calls for milk. You can choose whichever milk you prefer, from cow’s milk to coconut. But for better results, use full fat versions of your milk. This will make the mousse much smoother and silky. Although, if you are looking for a leaner snack, you can use non-fat milk instead.

Whatever options you choose, this mousse will change the way you look at the dessert!

IMG_4294 (2)

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

1 Hass Avocado

3 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon of cacao powder

1 tablespoon of Once Again Peanut Butter

½ cup of milk

1 tablespoon of Killer Bee Honey

Using a knife cut avocado in half; then with a spoon, gently remove avocado from skin. Add to blender or to a small bowl, if you plan on using an immersion blender. Add all ingredients, leaving the milk for last. Add the milk slowly until you achieve the consistency you desire. Mix well and place in refrigerator for up to 20 minutes to set. Serve cold.

 

Avocado Shake: What happens when you combine avocado with Once Again!

Avocado Shake: What happens when you combine avocado with Once Again!

Americans’ love affair with the avocado may have started off with  guacamole, but it has evolved into much more than just adoring it as a dip for chips! Nowadays, you can find avocados as an ingredient in appetizers, entrees and desserts. But should you be invested in a long- term relationship with avocados for your health?

Yes! Joking aside, avocados are a powerhouse of nutrition. In just one serving (100 grams or 3.5 oz), here are the top nutrients and percentages of your RDA’s:

  • Vitamin K: 26%Avocado and Almond popscile
  • Folate: 20%
  • Vitamin C: 17%
  • Potassium: 14%
  • Vitamin B5: 14%
  • Vitamin B6: 13%
  • Vitamin E: 10%

All that in just 160 calories! Avocados have scared some away because of their  high fat content, but that should not stop you from enjoying them. The fat in avocados is mostly monounsaturated fatty acids, mainly oleic acid, which is beneficial for reducing inflammation, among providing other benefits .  Avocados are naturally cholesterol-l free and also contain small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B1, B2 and B3! And don’t forget fiber too; in just one serving, there are 7 grams of it!

This combination of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components is what makes the avocado a super fruit able to combat cancers, lower cholesterol, boost heart health and help with weight loss. Avocados also aid in the absorption of fat- soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, K, D and E; therefore, enjoying avocados mixed with Once Again Nut Butters is a win-win!

Go ahead and slice them up, and add them to your sandwiches and wraps! Smash them and use them  as a spread instead of mayo. Since avocados are high in fat, they are also perfect for baking, adding to smoothies, making ice cream and so much more!

Looking for an avocado recipe to add to your menu? This one is so simple that you can make it in the morning faster than toast.

Avocado and Lamond Butter shakeAvocado Shake

Serves 1

  • ½ Hass avocado
  • ¾ cup chilled coconut milk (or other milk of your choice)
  • 2 tbsps. Once Again Almond Butter
  • 1 packet of stevia (optional)
    Blend together and enjoy! Use the other half of the avocado to make a second batch to freeze in popsicle molds for a late afternoon snack.

~Carolina