Strawberry Coconut Butter Cups

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without something chocolatey, right? To be honest, I don’t even really celebrate Valentine’s Day, but still like to have a little chocolate or sweet treat. So, I guess I celebrate a tiny bit. But, if you ask me, any reason is a good reason to eat chocolate. Valentine’s Day is the chocolate holiday though.

Meanwhile, melted dark chocolate, coconut butter, and freeze-dried strawberries come together in this combo to create a decadent, satisfying, and pretty sweet treat. Can’t beat the touch of pink for Valentine’s Day either! Use your favorite dark chocolate bar and adjust accordingly if you want the cups more or less sweet. Personally, I like really dark chocolate, but know that the darker stuff can be too bitter for some people.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4-4.5 oz good-quality dark chocolate (I used a mix of 100% and 85%)
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter, melted (I used this brand)
  • 2 Tbsp ground freeze-dried strawberries (grind in a small blender, coffee grinder, or food processor)
  • Extra ground freeze-dried strawberries for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners and set aside. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat, being careful not to get any moisture in the chocolate.
  2. Remove from heat and spoon about 1 tsp of the melted chocolate into each liner. Place muffin tin in the refrigerator for chocolate to set. Meanwhile, place chocolate bowl back over pot of hot water to stay warm over low heat.
  3. While chocolate is setting, prepare the filling. In a small bowl, mix together the melted coconut butter and 2 Tbsp of ground freeze-dried strawberries. It will look crumbly, but keep mixing and smushing mixture down with a fork to work in the strawberry powder. Eventually, it smooths out some and is no longer crumbly. Know that it will not be drizzly and melty though.
  4. Remove muffin tin from fridge and scoop about 1 tsp worth of coconut mixture into each liner. Flatten mixture slightly with hands or back of spoon. Lastly, remove melted chocolate from heat and top with about 1 tsp more of melted chocolate. Place in fridge to set. After a few minutes or so, while chocolate is still tacky, garnish with extra freeze-dried strawberries, if desired. Place back in fridge to finish setting.
  5. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yields: 12 strawberry coconut butter cups

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Guest Post: Raw Avocado Mousse Cake with a Raisin Seed Crust

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! I’m excited to share a guest post with you all from fellow Oregonian, Maiah Miller (although she’s not a transplant Oregonian, like me). Maiah has created a fabulous raw dessert recipe that I cannot wait to try for the next special occasion. Thanks, Maiah — it’s lovely to have you here!

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This recipe came about partially because I had a craving for chocolate, but also because I had overripe avocados to use.  I was also trying to create a recipe for my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary and since they both insist they need to be healthier yet love chocolate, I decided on a chocolate mousse dessert.  I used to make an amazing chocolate mousse made with silken tofu, which yields a great creamy texture, but my extreme sensitivity to soy means that tofu is no longer an option, so I’ve had to get creative with my chocolate recipes, and more often than not avocados or bananas find their way into my desserts to replace soy or dairy.  For this recipe, I wanted to create a chocolate mousse dessert, but without any added sugars as well.  I have a huge sweet tooth and am terrible at limiting myself to just a tiny taste of dessert, so when I do eat dessert, I like to make sure it is as healthy as possible without sacrificing flavor. This mousse cake tastes very decadent and rich, so it’s an easy one to not overindulge with.

The crust layer can be halved to create a thinner crust, and it can also yield a healthy raw cookie recipe on it’s own.  I loved the generous amount of sweet seeded crust, but for a more traditional mousse cake look, you can opt for a thinner crust or even double the mousse cake portion for a taller cake.

Raw Avocado Mousse Cake with a Raisin Seed Crust

Crust ingredients:

  • 2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup raisins or apple-juice sweetened cranberries*
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, not melted

*Note: I used both raisins and apple juice-sweetened cranberries for a nice tartness and more colorful crust

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Mousse cake ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 6 medjool dates, softened in hot water if necessary
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • Optional topping: melted nondairy chocolate chips or cacao nibs

Directions:

For the crust:

  1. Combine the seeds, raisins and cinnamon in a food processor; pulse until it becomes a sticky dough, adding a little water if necessary.  Press into the bottom of a parchment-lined 9” cake pan or springform pan.

For the cake:

  1. For the mousse cake, puree the avocados, then add in all remaining ingredients, making sure the dates are soft before adding.
  2. Once the mousse mixture is smooth and no lumps remain, spread it over the crust and refrigerate overnight.

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About Maiah:

maiah run1Maiah Miller is from Eugene, Oregon where she grew up eating healthy foods and helping her mom bake in the kitchen.  Since being diagnosed with allergies to gluten, soy, dairy and nuts, she has learned to become quite creative in the kitchen, and her dietary restrictions have resulted in a new love and respect for healthy and allergen-free recipes.  Maiah loves to create nutritious desserts that taste incredible, and aren’t laden with oils and sugars that are often used to replace allergens, such as gluten.  As a runner and fitness instructor, Maiah knows the importance of eating well to fuel the body, and has compiled some of her favorite recipes onto her gluten-free cookbook, available on etsy.com. Maiah currently resides in Carlsbad, California with her husband, a captain in the US Marines, and adopted golden-doodles Zeke and Yogi.  Her blog can be viewed at www.maiahmiller.blogspot.com.