Category: Sugar-free

Valentine Rawlos

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For a girl who is decidedly not into Valentine’s Day, I bet you’re already confused. Well, me too. Let’s blame my overflowing sentimentality these days – I’ve realized motherhood can do a real number on your sappy side – but one of the few times I’ve been out of the house alone in the last few months I found a heart-shaped chocolate mold at the dollar store and didn’t even think twice about it. Nope.

I knew exactly what I wanted to make. Rolos. No wait, rawlos. A major childhood throwback made over into the healthiest chocolates I could possibly invent. I had done the nut buttercup thing, but hadn’t tackled caramel before, so this seemed as good a time as any. Coincidentally, it’s almost Valentine’s Day. Not that I care.

If you haven’t ventured into raw chocolate making before, you are going to want to marry me (I’m taken). It’s so easy and so versatile, plus actually healthy. Healing fats, nutritious sweeteners and antioxidant-rich cacao are all that these little chocolate-caramel bombs are made of. No schwaggy unpronounceables. No weird waxes or emulsifiers or artificial flavours and colours. If you really care about your valentine, this year make them something that will love them as much as you do!

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Like I said, I was aiming for a Rolo thing and I am very happy with the results. The chocolate of course, is out of this world. Dark and rich and so intense. The caramel inside was the question mark, but it turned out perfectly: creamy and sweet and just runny enough. I added some salt to the caramel to make these a little more to my taste, but you can leave it out if you like. I almost feel embarrassed calling this a recipe because it really is that simple, but you’re into that eh?

If you can’t get your hands on cacao butter, just use coconut oil in its place. They won’t have the exact same melt-in-your-mouth quality, but it will certainly work in a pinch. And please make sure that your coconut oil is flavour-neutral (i.e. that is does not taste like coconut), otherwise you’re going to end up with some very tropical-tasting candies, my friend.

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Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day or not this year,  I hope you give yourself the chance to make these treats for yourself or someone you love.

Chocolatey hugs,
Sarah B

Apple Spice Sorbet

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Before I begin, I just want to say how incredibly touched I was by your comments from the last post. It feels really amazing being supported by so many friends out there that I haven’t even met. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for embracing my humanness. It also sounds like many of you were relieved to hear my story – that I am not in fact, the perfect person you thought I was – so I suppose that bit of honesty went a long way. It made me realize that we need to remember we are all just people on a journey, and the more authentic we can be with one another, the better off we all are. I know after sharing what I did, I feel allowed to be authentically me in this space, and that is pretty darn special.

So with your support, I got back on the kitchen horse again. This time, in celebration of six (six!!!) years of My New Roots, I thought I’d share this sweet recipe for Apple Spice Sorbet. Since the beginning of my pregnancy, ice cream has been a serious obsession. I’ll admit to paying a visit to the local, organic ice cream parlor every so often this past summer (here’s to more honesty!), but the real fun started when I admitted to my mania and borrowed my in-laws professional ice cream machine. Hel-lo! What fun it is to concoct all manner of healthy frozen treats. I swear the nut-based ice creams have been absolutely amazing and totally satisfying in their richness – and have even fooled some very dairy-lovin’ people in the process.

This sorbet, on the other hand, is light, refreshing, and the perfect way to welcome the fall season. I wanted to make something vegan as well, so I used coconut milk as a base, and blended in the most deliciously spiced apples, maple syrup and toasted hazelnuts. What I’ve ended up with is like a frozen apple pie! Not such a bad thing if I do say so myself.

Although it is not necessary to use a high-speed blender for this recipe (such as a Vitamix), I do recommend it to create an absolutely smooth final product. One piece of equipment you will need however, is an ice cream maker. Like I mentioned, I borrowed mine, but after all this fun intend to pick up a second-hand one next time I’m at the flea market. When you can make ice cream healthy, who wouldn’t want to have one of these contraptions?!

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How do ya like them Apples?
It’s really beautiful to take a walk around any natural landscape here in Denmark these days, as apples are literally falling off the trees. I’ve been a bit of a wild munching forager lately, finding apples in parks and along roadsides, enjoying the autumn bounty. It’s fun to go out and find so many different varieties – far more than you’d ever discover inside your grocery store. And there is nothing like biting into a freshly picked apple. So crisp and tangy – a miraculous treat!

But are apples all they are cracked up to be? Well, of course they are. They are high in fiber, especially when eaten whole with the skin on, containing around 3.5 grams each (that is nearly 17% of your RDI). This amount is substantial enough to contribute to colon health if eaten on a daily basis. Apples in fact, have a positive effect on all levels of digestive health, including the prevention of acid reflux, intestinal infections, colon inflammation, and provide relief from diarrhea.

Aside from their high fiber content, apples contain a special phytonutrient, called pectin. It is apples’ pectin content, a type of soluble fiber, that helps detoxify the body and even help lower cholesterol levels.

Key nutrients in apples include vitamin C, A, and B6, potassium, calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene, quercetin, pectin, and chlorophyll.

Remember that apples are at the top of the Dirty Dozen list, meaning that they are one of the most sprayed crops and have a high pesticide residue. It is therefore in your best interest to purchase organic apples whenever possible. If cost or availability is an issue, make sure to peel the apples before enjoying them.

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Because this sorbet is relatively high in water from the apples, I found it hard to scoop until it was quite defrosted. I recommend taking it out of the freezer at least 15-20 minutes before serving. This would be delicious on the side of some pumpkin pie or even with stewed fruits, like plums or pears.

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Here’s to six years of blogging, cooking, kitchen successes and less-than-successes, and feeling loved enough to share it all with you. Thank you for your ongoing support and enthusiasm for discovering that health and deliciousness can exist in the same universe. I promise to keep up my end of the bargain, and continue to provide as much inspiration as I can, if you promise to keep playing in your kitchens and making food with love for yourself and the blessed ones around you.

In love, light, and gratitude,
Sarah B + sprout

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One more thing to celebrate today is the release of The Kinfolk Table, a stunning cookbook that I had the privilege of contributing to.
To find out more information, or to order a copy, please visit the Kinfolk website, here.

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Peachy Keen Creamsicles

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Do any of you have the experience of reverting back to your childhood self when you go back home? Well, I do. Something about being around my parents in my old house brings out the most juvenile side of me, and I find myself called to run through the sprinkler, catch fireflies, and eat things like creamsicles. Yea, the kid in me won’t ever grow tired of those.

This summer has been spent mostly at my family’s cottage where I participated in all of the aforementioned activities, as well as the making of some seriously amazing, and kid-friendly desserts. Perhaps it’s this little babe in my belly that has inspired me to create healthy versions of my old favorites, or just a raging sweet tooth, but either way, the adults in my life have been very happy about it. My latest and greatest makeover has been creamsicles, where I have put a healthy and sophisticated twist on the classic.

Instead of the traditional orange flavour, I decided to use fresh peaches since they are probably my favorite fruit of all time and in their absolute glory at the moment. And instead of dairy, I whipped up a quick cashew-vanilla cream to swirl into the lush, sweet fruityness – a gorgeous combination! This is an incredibly fast and simple dessert that even brought out the little girl’s spirit in my 91-year-old grandmother.

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Late Beta-Carotene Bloomers
Perhaps it’s just the delicious anticipation, but having to wait all year for that extraordinary, bright first bite of a ripe peach is like an epiphany. It is on those occasions when I feel pretty stoked that peaches are actually healthy, because I eat them like, well, they are going out of season. The orange colour of peaches is thanks to beta-carotene, the same phytonutrient responsible for giving carrots their pigment, as well as sweet potatoes, and winter squash. Beta-carotene protects your cells from free radical damage, which causes cancer, heart diseases, arthritis and other diseases related to aging. It is also responsible for good eyesight and formation of the mucous membrane of the urinary, digestive and respiratory tracts.

Beta-carotene is fat-soluble, meaning that it requires the presence of dietary fat in order for your body to absorb it. Bonus! The cashews in this tasty treat deliver the healthy-fats your body needs take in all that beautiful beta carotene and your cells can bathe in orange, healing goodness – at least that is what I picture going on.

If peaches aren’t your thing, any fruit here would do – raspberries, blackberries, plums, bananas, mango etc. You could even make a combination of fruits for a beautiful rainbow effect. Ask your kids (or your inner child) which fruits they would like best and customize to suit your tastes. And if you want to go sweeter, add a tablespoon of sweetener to the fruit puree. I found that the peaches were perfect just on their own, but I like to taste the fruit itself. If you are using tart berries, like blackberries, you’ll likely want to balance with a little honey or maple syrup. You may also want to strain the puree to remove seeds for a smoother texture.

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Just a reminder that the My New Roots Potluck Picnic in the Park is tomorrow evening and you’re all invited! I am so excited to meet you and taste your beautiful creations (no pressure). Please note that if it is pouring rain at 6pm, I’ll have to cancel the event and postpone it until next year, so all you Torontonians send your positive good-weather vibes please!
See you there…

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