Dear Baby Boy,
This is new for me. I guess that makes the two of us.
You are 21 weeks old this week and I can finally feel your little kicks that feel more like pops and flutters. You are strong and healthy and I intend to keep it that way.
My cousin Francesca is visiting from Taiwan and she LOVES chocolate. Since she has been here, chocolate has become a staple in my pantry. We have been loving using Nestle Toll House Unsweetened Cocoa and Ghirardelli Premium Baking Bar (the good stuff) to make some delicious chocolate recipes.
I want to make sure that my treats are just as nourishing as they are decadent so here are two of my favorites from last week.
Double-Chocolate Chip Cookies
The first is a recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, Sadia (seriously, check her out www.pickuplimes.com) . These Chewy Double-Chocolate Chip Cookies are so rich and soft it is ridiculous! Just look at them! Absolutely delicious.
But that is not even the best part! They are also completely vegan (full disclosure … I did not use dairy-free chocolate chips but you totally can! I am not always plant-based but I do happen to love some vegan recipes) and is sweetened with both natural and refined-sugars. Refined-sugars, being those deliciously sneaky culprits they are, find their way into so many of our foods today and since they are completely empty nutritiously can really cause some damage when consumed in excess. You can read some more about it here.
I try to cut down when I can and use natural sweeteners such as bananas and applesauce instead. These chocolate goddesses ask for maple syrup and brown sugar in the original recipe. The second batch I made (no judgement when it comes to chocolate) I ran out of syrup and used honey (make sure its pasteurized honey momma’s to be!) and they came out great.
This is a great one! Hope you all enjoy! Thank you Sadia! (original recipe and blog here!)
1/2 cup (100g) refined coconut oil, packed, not melted
2/3 cup (140 g) brown sugar, packed
3 Tbsp (45 mL) maple syrup (or honey)
1/2 cup (125mL) plant-based milk (I used almond)
1/3 cup (35g) cocoa powder
1 Tbsp (15 mL) pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp espresso powder or instant coffee granules (I used regular coffee because that is what I had on hand)
1 tsp (4 g) baking powder
3/4 tsp (3 g) baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (150 g) dairy-free dark chocolate, chopped (mine were not dairy-free – oops!)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C.
- Using a fork, cream together the coconut oil and brown sugar in a large bowl. Then add the vanilla, maple syrup, plant milk, cocoa powder, and instant coffee granules, whisking until combined. Then add the baking powder, baking soda and salt and again whisk until well combined. If the mixture looks clumpy, it’s okay! Note: if the temperature is warm where you are, you may want to consider chilling this mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up; otherwise the cookies flatten and spread too much when baking in the oven.
- Add the flour to the bowl and stir until just-combined (do not over stir). Then gently fold in the chopped chocolate.
- Form little balls out of the dough and evenly distribute, about 5 cm (2 inches) apart, on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper. Pro tip: I like to reserve a bit of the chopped chocolate to sprinkle on the top for presentation. (Do this step!)
- Bake for 12- 15 minutes, or until edges are lightly golden and the tops look set. Cool 1 minute on cooking sheet before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Blueberry Smoothie
Now, I mentioned before that my cousin loves chocolate. Her love for chocolate could really only be paralleled with my passion for peanut butter. Chocolate AND peanut butter? What can be better?
Not only is this smoothie delicious, it is also packed with antioxidants and folates. The blueberries in these are great for expecting mommas. Berries in general are actually recommended as one of the best ways for expecting mom’s to get their Vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. You can read more about it here.
Have this for breakfast or as a treat, this smoothie is fantastic! Next time I make it, I may freeze some in popsicle molds for a little cold dessert after dinner.
Because this is one of my at-home creations, all of the quantities are estimated. This made two 8oz glasses (one for me and one for my cousin!).
2 ripe bananas (Pro tip: if your bananas are not ripe, pop them into the microwave for a minute)
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 cup of almond milk (substitute with other non-dairy milk if desired)
I popped everything in my Nutribullet and bam! Delicious summer snack.
This week I’m linking up to Tasty Tuesday’s Link Party!! Come join the fun.