Do you like chocolate spread on toast, pancakes or waffles? My kids are ready to eat it by the spoonful if we would only let them, but the kind of commercial junk that passes for chocolate spread in the industry doesn’t have a place on our pantry shelves (Nutella, for instance, contains about 55% sugar and 30% oil, leaving only 15% for anything else).
Recently, quite by chance, I have stumbled upon a recipe for a chocolate spread that is super easy to make, a lot healthier than its commercial counterparts, easily adjustable to individual tastes, dairy-free, and delicious. It contains exactly four ingredients, and one of those is water.
It all began with tahini. Those who have been following my posts probably know that I’m a huge fan of those little sesame seeds in just about any form. Tahini is incredibly versatile – it can be made into a spread, a dip, halva, and it has its place of honor in a variety of baked goods. I always recommend tahini made from hulled sesame seeds. Tahini from whole seeds contains a lot more calcium, but that is misleading, as the hull also contains phytates that bind minerals (like calcium) and are essentially an anti-nutrient. Plus, tahini from unhulled sesame seeds has a bitter-ish tinge that is hard to get rid of.
So, to make this spread, you’ll need:
• 2 cups tahini, at room temperature
• 2-3 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
• Honey, maple syrup or date syrup (silan) to taste
• Water, as needed
• * Optional: a dash of vanilla essence
Start by stirring the cocoa into the tahini. Sweeten to taste with your chosen sweetener. Gradually add water until you reach your desired consistency. Keep in mind that tahini has a tendency to thicken when it meet the first few tablespoonfuls of water, quickly reaching the consistency of concrete. Don’t be deterred and just keep gradually adding more liquid and stirring until you are satisfied. Taste again and, if necessary, sweeten some more.
Transfer spread into jars. It will easily keep in the refrigerator for at least a week, and will thicken somewhat. Enjoy it in sandwiches, on pancakes, or as cake or cookie filling/frosting. Yum!
More ideas to try: I haven’t done this yet, but I can imagine that tahini can be easily replaced by almond butter any unsweetened nut butter in this recipe. If you play with ingredients, I’d love to hear from you and find out about the results.
Anna Twitto’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Anna and her husband live on a plot of land in Israel. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. Anna's books are on her Amazon.com Author Page. Connect with Anna on Facebook and read more about her current projects on her blog. Read all Anna's Mother Earth News posts here.
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