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Monday, February 20, 2012

Health Starts Here 28 Day Challenge...Coconut Covered Brownie Bite

Have you heard of the “Health Starts Here 28 Day Challenge”?

Well to be honest neither had I, until a friend at Whole Foods asked if I would do a cooking class for them.
It is a combination of  Whole Foods Health Starts Here Program and Eat Right America’s 28 Day Challenge. In the simplest terms they are encouraging people to start the New Year off right with healthy food choices and teaching you to eat healthier.

In not so simple terms they would love it if you got your fats from plant bases foods (you have to eat the plant, olive oil does not count). Same with your sugar, only recomended sugars are the ones that come in the form of berries and other fruits. You are encouraged to go wild with your vegetables, whole grains and water.  Take a look at the picture bellow to get a better idea.

Whole Food is offering special on “Heath Starts Here” prepared foods and showcasing foods in the store that have no added fats, sugars, are nutrient dense and contain no processed foods. Don’t let the scary words fool you, I tried some of the products and they are very good!
I have to admit it was a challenge even for me.  As someone who is a very well versed in special dietary concerns, I still struggled with wrapping my head around making a dressing without oil. Or not being able to sautéed my vegetables in oil.

But once I got over the initial shock it was really quite simple.  Using purees or reductions as thickeners for salad dressings.  Or tossing my vegetables in a bit of Tamari before roasting, to get rich color and flavor.

What I am most proud of is the dessert. I had heard forever about this “Raw” “Vegan” dessert that was supposed to be just like brownies. I thought what a crock! But I played with a couple of recipes and shockingly this one tasted like a brownie. And when you eat it right out to the food processor, while it is still warm, it is just like a gooey warm brownie. Even makes the house smell like brownies.

No-Bake "Brownies" rolled in Cocoa and Coconut

Serves 20 (bite sized pieces)

5                  Dates, pitted
5                  Dried apricots, sliced
1/3 cup       Unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup       Raw almonds
1 tbsp                   Vanilla Whey Protein
1 tbsp                   Vanilla Almond milk
2 tbsp                   Unsweetened shredded coconut

Add dates, apricots, cocoa powder, almonds, vanilla whey protein, and vanilla almond milk to food processor and pulse until nuts are ground and the mixture starts to come together.
Run mixer until mixture forms a sticky mass.
Roll dough into small balls with your hands.
Put a tablespoon of shredded coconut into a shallow dish, add brownie balls and shake till coated in coconut.
These can be stored overnight on the counter or in the fridge for a week.
Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving 5 balls
Calories 45.1, Total Fat 2.7 g, Saturated Fat 0.8 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g, Monounsaturated Fat 1.2 g, Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Sodium 3.9 mg,

Potassium 99.7 mg, Total Carbohydrate 5.2 g, Dietary Fiber 1.2 g , Sugars 2.9 g,

Protein 1.5 g , Vitamin A 1.9 %,Vitamin E 5.0 %, Calcium 1.4 %, Iron 2.6 %

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