Chocolate, Calcium & Cookathon! All vegan!

Chocolate, Calcium & Cookathon! All vegan!

Hello everyone! 🙂 Do you think that I’m a bit undecided about what to post this week? 😛 Well actually I have too many things to share so thought I’d give you a bit of everything today! 🙂 Chocolate first before I eat them my husband eats them all!!! Yes!!! Believe that! 😀 I’m sure hubby has eaten more of these than me 😛 at least he asks though (at least I think he does! how many are left now…)? So, yesterday I was very busy supervising in the garden! We’re making a patio so there’s lots of soil mud everywhere!!! When I came inside for a rest and a cup of tea I realised I had no biscuits or cake to munch 😦 However this was quickly solved by throwing everything suitable in the blender which resulted in these delicious little morsels! 🙂

Vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free these are delicious bites which are so quick and easy to whip up! I coated mine in a quick vegan chocolate mix but you can use your favourite chocolate and melt it down if you prefer. I think I’ll take these to Deborah’s Plant Based Potluck Party… I’m sure they’ll go down well! 🙂

Squishy Chocolate Balls (vegan & Free-From)

  • Servings: 15-20
  • Time: 5-10 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Gather

  • 75g dates (destoned)
  • 30g smooth almond butter (or use any runny nut/seed butter)
  • 25g raw cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon cacao powder
  • 20g walnut pieces
  • 10-15g desiccated coconut
  • chocolate of your choice (I made a quick mix of coconut oil, maple syrup & cacao powder)

Prepare

  1. Put the dates, nut butter, cashews and cacao powder in a blender and process until a natural ball forms. Place in a bowl.
  2. Blitz the walnuts into rough pieces (no need to wash the blender first), then add to the bowl with the coconut.
  3. Mix the ingredients together (with a spoon or by hand). You should have a firm but mouldable mixture. Roll into bite size balls.
  4. Melt your chocolate (use own preferred method) and dip each ball into the chocolate, then leave to set on a greaseproof paper lined plate/board.
  5. Allow to set then enjoy!

Serve & Store

  • Depending on the chocolate used and the temperature of your house, these can be stored on the worktop or in the fridge (be warned if you leave them on the worktop they might not be there when you return)!!! 😛
  • These would keep for several weeks (if you don’t eat them all first)!
  • Instead of balls, flatten them and make them into bars.
  • Add your own extras such as cacao nibs, pistachios, orange oil, hemp seeds etc.
  • Roll them in extra coconut, cacao powder, nuts, seeds or cacao nibs.
  • Eat as they are without covering in chocolate – they’re still delicious!

Calcium! How does a  vegan get calcium? Everyone knows that calcium comes from dairy milk, cheese, yogurt… right?  so if a vegan doesn’t eat these they have no calcium in their diet right? errrr WRONG!!! How excited was I this week when I received my copy of #VeganLifeMagazine (May 2016 issue 15) and read this article! Public Health England (PHE)have changed their guidelines on recommended daily amounts of calcium! Not just changed… almost HALVED them! Previously we were advised to obtain 15% of calories from calcium but the new ideal is now just EIGHT PERCENT! Okay, we all know that calcium is for building strong bones & teeth, nerve & muscle function and blood clotting and surely that’s important? YES! VERY! BUT… it has been recognised that traditional sources i.e. dairy based products are NOT the only sources of calcium! 😀 (Yes, we vegans knew that all along)! 

veganlifemagazinecalcium

A PHE spokesperson said: “Our independent expert body said you can get calcium from across the diet and not just from dairy products.We are currently meeting or exceeding calcium recommendations whereas we are still consuming too much saturated fat and salt.” Alison Tedstone, PHE chief nutritionist said: “Our new Eatwell Guide helps people to understand what a healthy balanced diet looks like. The evidence shows that we should continue to base our meals on starchy carbohydrates, especially wholegrain, and eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day.”  So, where else can you get calcium from? Answers on a postcard please to 😛 Sorry! Of course I wouldn’t leave you to find out for yourself! Alternative sources of calcium include: dark green leafy vegetables; fortified plant milks; tofu; soybeans; tahini; almonds; broccoli and okra (I’ve a great okra recipe coming soon!) ; fortified orange juice; dried apricots; figs; dates and many many more! 🙂 PLUS… some plant based sources are actually better absorbed and utilised by the body! 😀 😀 😀

Cookathon! Cook a what? If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might recall that last year I made this great chickpea biryani as a challenge set by the British Children’s Food Trust ‘Lets Get Cooking’ team. This year the challenge returns with a (meaty) cottage pie recipe. There is also a vegetarian version named ‘mixed vegetable pie’ and this weekend (22-25 April) is the #BigCookathon weekend! The concept behind the cookathon is simply to get everyone cooking and eating a healthy meal from scratch together! 

Ideally you should register your participation and get as many people as possible to join in with the cooking (and the eating)! There is a detailed recipe to follow but it’s okay if you want to switch out a few ingredients – for example we won’t be using egg or cheese to brush or top our mashed potato but we might use vegan parmesan or a few crushed nuts instead. If you are in the UK there are prizes to win too (if you register) so Let’s Get Cooking! I’m hoping to post the recipe and photos over the weekend so you get to see our version!

So, there you have it! Chocolate, Calcium and Cookathon! How many of you read all the way to the bottom?!?!? 😀

18 thoughts on “Chocolate, Calcium & Cookathon! All vegan!

    • Thanks Deborah. They didn’t last at all in our house! In fact I didn’t actually get to eat many as they were stolen from under my nose whilst I was taking photos! Hope you find time to make them – maybe double the batch though! 🙂

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