Is that sweet tooth flaring up again? We’ve got another delectable recipe to soothe your sweets cravings. Instead of processed ingredients, however, as usual we rounded up a wholesome, natural ingredients recipe that won’t leave your body high, dry, and bloated with unhappiness.
It also gets your coconut oil and dark chocolate superfood requirements in for the day, in a way that your tastebuds won’t mind. Here's what these superfoods can do:
Dark Chocolate: there are so many great things dark chocolate (with the right type and in the correct proportions!) can do for us, but we’ll stick to just a few. Flavanols, which are plant compounds naturally found in the cocoa bean, help promote blood flow and dilate vessels. This action helps to deliver nutrients throughout the body, including to the skin. A June 2006 study found that cocoa flavanols protect the skin from ultraviolet damage, increase blood flow to the skin, increase density and thickness of the skin, decrease water loss, and improve overall appearance of the skin. It’s also good for your heart health; studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate two or three times each week can help lower your blood pressure. Dark chocolate improves blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots. Eating dark chocolate may also prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). It can even make you happy! Dark chocolate also contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you're falling in love (this explains so much). PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins.
It’s also got several important vitamins and minerals:
Coconut Oil: as a weight loss tool, the Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil have been shown to increase 24 hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term. Coconut oil appears to be especially effective in reducing abdominal fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around organs. This is the most dangerous fat of all and is highly associated with many Western diseases. The fatty acids and breakdown products in coconut oil can kill harmful pathogens, potentially helping to prevent infections. The MCTs in coconut oil can increase blood concentration of ketone bodies, which can help reduce seizures in epileptic children. Studies in both humans and rats show that coconut oil improves important risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, which may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease. Studies show that the fatty acids in coconut oil can increase blood levels of ketone bodies, supplying energy for the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients and relieving symptoms. Want to control your appetite? The fatty acids in coconut oil can significantly reduce appetite, which may positively affect body weight over the long term.
- 1½ cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
- ⅓ cup raw honey
- ¼ cup melted virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Finely ground sea salt
- 8 ounces quality dark chocolate
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine coconut, honey, coconut oil, extracts and sea salt in medium bowl. Note: the color may not be white like traditional peppermint patties depending on the kind of honey used; select lighter honey for lighter patty filling.
- Once thoroughly mixed, transfer filling to food processor and process for about 30 seconds until coconut flakes are broken down and the consistency is on the pasty side.
- Begin rolling balls (about the size of a kumquat or smaller) of coconut filling with your hands. Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Using your fingers, gently press each ball down to a flat disc about ⅛" thick.
- Once all are disc-shaped, transfer the tray to freezer for setting.
- Melt your chocolate in a double boiler.
- Remove discs from freezer and quickly dip each in melted chocolate. Set on the 2nd baking sheet. Repeat until all are coated.
- Place in the fridge to set at least 15 minutes.