Homemade Coconut Oil Chocolate with Fleur de Sel

  

I have been on a huge coconut oil kick lately. I first learned about the benefits years ago when I was a writer for the eco-living site Ideal Bite. It is truly a superfood.

Lately I have been using it more as a supplement and in my cooking as it is supposed to be a metabolism booster. I use it to make popcorn, I’ve had it in coffee, and I like a little in my morning smoothies. It appears to be working because I find my jeans being looser without a drastic change in diet.

I came across this chocolate recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try, but I took it a step further with cacao nibs instead of organic cocoa powder. The main reason being while I had both nibs and powder at home, I had more nibs than I knew what to do with.

  
The goods – coconut oil, honey, cacao nibs, vanilla extract, and fleur de sel. 

 I pulverized about a cup of nibs in my food processor. The texture was still grainier than I wanted so I mixed in about 1/4 cup of honey.
  
The honey made the mixture much smoother and I hoped the heat from the oil and stove would help smooth it out.

   
 

I heated the oil until warm (I was scared the chocolate would fry) and whisked in the cacao and honey mixture. It was not incorporating as much as I wanted and it wasn’t sweet at all. I ended up using the full amount of sweetener the recipe suggested – 3/4 of a cup (I mixed maple syrup with the honey), and it helped it all come together like a sauce. I added in about a tablespoon of vanilla. I love vanilla and always use more than a recipe calls for. 

  
I was now ready to cool it. 

 
I lined a pan with plastic wrap and poured out the chocolate.

  I then let it set for a moment and sprinkled it with the fleur de sel.

   Chocolate is ready to cool and harden in the fridge!

 
Texture is slightly fudgier than I intended. Next time I will lesson the oil and increase the cacao. 

Quick Peanut Soba Noodles

I’ve been counting calories lately and overall looking for more balanced nutrition. A friend suggested I give up carbs, especially wheat, but I’m not quite ready. This afternoon I wanted something satiating, slightly comfort-foody, and of course quick. As usual I raided my pantry for what I had, which this time included one neatly wrapped bundle of Blue Dragon Soba Noodles (Japanese-style noodles made in China, but I digress). I checked the nutrition facts and a serving was a whopping 436 calories. However, the serving suggestion was 1/2 of a package, or 125 grams. Using my handy food scale, I weighed out one bundle, about 75 grams. Sounded like a better serving size to me!

Noodles alone were not going to cut it, so I wanted some sort of sauce. I do love me some peanut noodles, so I decided to modify the peanut sauce I often make when I am cooking Asian meals. I was pretty happy with the results and the whole lunch only took me about 15 minutes to prepare. Overall, I am happy with the nutrition of the dish, except it is a bit high in sodium due to the soy sauce I used. I may try to omit the soy sauce and add a bit of water to thin the sauce.

Quick Peanut Soba Noodles

406 calories, 66 gr carbs, 10 gr fat, 13 gr protein, 787 mg sodium, 11 gr sugar

  • 1 bundle soba noodles (about 75 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon raw sesame seeds
  1. Boil soba noodles according to package instructions, drain
  2. Mix all remaining ingredients, reserving sesame seeds, until well blended
  3. Mix peanut sauce with warm noodles, top with sesame seeds
  4. Eat up!