So I’m sitting here, eating this (leftover) vanilla kumquat coconut butter with a spoon, thinking about how our society goes through these phases of no-fat, low-fat, high-fat diets. As a nation, we’ve never had a higher rate of obesity, childhood diabetes and heart disease. We’re obviously not doing the greatest job of spreading the knowledge: eat well, feel well, live well. Fad diets will never teach us how to stay healthy in the long run.
I’ll always remember what my 12th grade English teacher said, “everything in moderation, including moderation.”
It holds truth!
Balance is key.
If eating 5 bananas every morning makes you feel good, then so be it. But just remember that there isn’t one diet that works for every person.
A diet of 100% fruit will only get your body so far, as will a diet of only dairy and meat. You need a little of this and a little of that. Vegans can have vitamin deficiencies and health issues just like meat eaters or vegetarians will. What matters is being mindful of what you eat and not just blindly following some rule book.
Eat fruit, eat vegetables, eat rice, eat beans. Eat healthy fats: avocado, walnuts, flaxseed oil. Eat cooked, eat raw, eat both. Don’t put such heavy restraints and restrictions on what you’re eating and your body and mind will be happy.
Back to the coconut butter…
I bought this coconut manna made by nutiva, not really having any idea of what the texture would be like. It’s not at all like coconut oil and nothing like dairy butter. Very interesting and a nice coconut flavor. I know some people avoid using coconut oil for that reason exactly, so if you don’t like that young, coconut meat flavor of the oil, I would try something else. Frozen banana cream could work well or another nut butter.
Orange & vanilla is one of my all time favorite flavor combinations. I used kumquats instead of oranges but you really could use any citrus. Kumquats are more sour than an orange so just use less maple syrup and taste as you go so you don’t over sweeten.
You can make a raw chocolate to use here or just melt some good quality dark chocolate. I honestly like it either way because let’s face it: chocolate is chocolate.
Raw chocolate ingredients:
Makes approx. 3/4 cup.
1/2 c unrefined coconut oil
1/4 c raw cacao powder
1-2 T maple syrup
Heat the coconut oil in a double boiler to avoid losing all the good nutrients. Alternatively you can slightly warm up a saucepan, remove it from the heat and then melt the coconut oil in there. You want it to become a liquid but overheating does decrease the amount of “good stuff” in the oil.
Add the cacao powder and sweetener.
Whisk to combine. Make sure there are no lumps.
[If you want to get fancy and make these ahead of time, or double the recipe so you can use them for something else, freeze a baking sheet, lay down a piece of parchment paper and pipe drops of chocolate into the sheet. They'll harden up like a chocolate chip so you can use them at your leisure.]
This makes enough to do 5-6 mini cups. I have these little silicone molds that work great for chocolate because you can pop the frozen chocolate right out. You can also use baking cups; the aluminum foil type is best.
Pour a tablespoon of chocolate into each mold and freeze for 10 minutes.
While the chocolate is setting, make your filling.
1/2 c coconut butter or manna (not oil)
1 T maple syrup (more if using a sour citrus)
3 T citrus juice (kumquat, orange, lemon, etc)
1 T citrus zest
1/4 t vanilla extract or 1/4 t vanilla bean paste/ seeds
Warm your coconut butter until soft. I placed the whole jar in a pot of hot water and left the heat on very low until it softened sufficiently, only a few minutes.
Scoop 1/2 c into a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients.
Taste and add more maple syrup if necessary.
Remember: your chocolate will be fairly sweet so you need some bitterness from the filling to balance it out.
Remove the chocolate cups from the freezer and plop a teaspoon sized chunk of butter on top of each.
Make sure the butter isn’t higher than the top of your mold.
Reheat the remaining chocolate (if necessary) and pour over enough to cover the vanilla kumquat butter.
Gently tap the molds on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles.
Top with a very thinly sliced piece of kumquat, or whatever other citrus you chose.
Freeze for another 10 minutes or until your ready to eat. Keep covered air tight in the freezer if you’re going to save them for another day.