There’ve been some pretty cold days here in Pennsylvania lately. And with cold days comes craving for hot drinks. We all enjoy Cranberry Cider Swizzle, and at bedtime I love a mug of honey-sweetened Cardamom Milk, and there’s always tea. But on certain days – especially snowy days when you come in from sledding and playing outside – nothing will do but hot chocolate!
Here’s our go-to hot chocolate. It is the best hot chocolate you will ever drink in your whole life. I don’t mean, it’s “pretty good for being healthier for you.” I mean, it will blow that packet of Swiss Miss out of the water and make you wonder why you ever put that stuff in your mouth. It is rich, chocolatey, and deeply satisfying. Every single person who has ever had it has said, “Wow! How do you make this!” and can hardly believe how good it is. So, if you’ve been used to making instant hot chocolate packets, try this instead. It’s cheaper, healthier, and waaayyyy tastier!
And – bonus of bonuses – not only is it absolutely delicious, it’s also made with a minimum of sweeteners and only natural, whole-food ingredients! So you can drink this (as long as you’re not highly inflammatory at the moment) and give this to your family and feel good about it!!
One of the very first things I started eating on this diet – and one of my first posts – was for “Homemade Nutella Banana Yumminess” – homemade Nutella on top of a puffed grain cake with bananas. It’s still one of my staples for a quick lunch or breakfast, and I eat it regularly. But now that I’ve had my whole “date as a sweetener” breakthrough, I’m revisiting a lot of the things I’ve made in the past, and this is one of them.
Today I made a new batch of “Nutella”, and decided to use some leftover date puree in it to see how it would go. And it was SO GOOD.
Like, seriously. So good.
Today my daughter wanted to make cookies. She really, really wanted to make cookies. She wouldn’t stop talking about making cookies.
But, the thing is, even though my kids are technically not on this anti-inflammation diet with me, once you know the damage certain foods do to your body, you just can’t stand the thought of them going into your children. I die a little death each time I see them eat a piece of their Halloween candy. So, if she was going to make cookies, I at least wanted to make them be not-so-bad.
And then I found the recipe for this cookie.
Well, actually it was for a plain peanut butter cookie, but I thought that adding cocoa could only make it better…and I was sooooo right.
It’s like chocolate peanut butter fudge…in a cookie. Nutty and chocolatey and chewy and just sweet enough.
So, you’ve gotten past the crazy stage of cravings that crop up in the first week or two. You’re no longer terrorizing your family. At least not on a regular basis. You’ve bought into this whole new lifestyle of eating, and are feeling better. And, while the Special Occasion Chocolate Chip Cookies were something of a lifesaver late that one Saturday night when it was either that or an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s, now you’re a little afraid to make them too often. You’re ready for the next stage.
Think of it like a 12 step program for cookie withdrawal. And now you’re on step 2. I don’t know what the other 10 steps may be…I’ll have to see. Maybe there are only like 2 steps total. At any rate, this is the next step.
In that case, I bring you Nutty Carob Chip Cookies. I bought carob chips from the bulk bins at my last visit to Whole Foods because I knew they were naturally sweet, with no added sweeteners at all, and are commonly used as a substitute for chocolate. I tasted them and they taste very familiar to me. There’s a childhood memory attached with that flavor for me, but I don’t remember what it is. It’s not really like chocolate, but I can see how it’s a good substitute for it. So I decided to try them out, with a new, less inflammatory version of my chocolate chip cookie recipe.
(EDIT: I now have a new and improved Homemade Nutella recipe that is much sweeter and creamier!)
Yes, I know the title of this post is something less than specific. I mean…yumminess? What is that supposed to mean? I admit, I just copped out and settled on “yumminess” after pondering for 10 minutes what to call it. It’s not a sandwich. Not a cookie or cake or anything like that. So what is it? It’s something that I like to eat for lunch, a quick sandwich substitute, but what to call it?
Yumminess it is!
Okay, I’m not going to mess around with you guys. I’m not going to lead off with a recipe for smoothies or stewed apples (even though those things taste great). I know that’s not what you’re looking for right now. If you’re jonesing for the comfort food desserts you’ve given up, you’re wanting more than just fruit.
I’ve got the fix for you. I’m talking chocolate chip cookies, people.
Now, this is not strictly speaking something I should be eating, because it does have sweetener in it, and some wheat. So this is a “special occasion and/or I’m-going-to-lose-my-mind-right-now” sort of recipe. Make it and eat one. ONE. Hopefully, a bite of something at least a little close to what you’re craving will help you get through the day.