It’s been super busy around the kitchen the last two months. I have been finishing up the last of the edits on my forthcoming cookbook, The UnDiet Cookbook (due out October 2015), we’ve been building a brand new MeghanTelpner.com website (set to launch in April), and to add to the creative projects, we’ve also had a production crew in the house to reshoot the entire Culinary Nutrition Expert Program (um, hello 65+ brand new videos!).
When I am at my busiest, the ideas pour in. I’m in a state of high productivity and usually the only challenge I have is fitting in everything I want to do. But then an idea pops into my head and there is no option other than to make it happen.
And so, as we were shooting the Baking and Sweet Treats course, module 8 in the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program, I decided that a grain-free almond bread was nothing without a melt-in-your mouth, creamy, rich dark chocolate spread.
Now, we don’t kick it with Nutella around here. I have nothing against hazelnuts, it’s all the other stuff. That being said, I am forever grateful to those wise Italians (if it even was Italians) who introduced us to the idea of spreadable chocolate.
The catch with mine, especially as this recipe was now going to be part of the CNE Program curriculum, is it had to be healing and nutrient dense on every level.
Brain Fueling Chocolate Spread: Culinary Nutrition Style
- Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds are mostly fat and protein. The ratio of omega 3 to 6 is ideal as an anti-inflammatory agent and the easily digestible plant proteins make hemp seeds a superfood for brain health and nervous system nourishment.
- Raw Cacao: Having less caffeine than it’s roasted counterpart, raw cacao lets us take advantage of the powerful anandamide, a plant chemical that translates as bliss in the brain. Combine that with the high antioxidant concentration and magnesium to help relax the smooth muscles of the body, and you’ll be laughing at this goodness – literally!
- Ghee or Coconut Oil: The medium chain saturated fats found in both ghee (clarified butter) and coconut oil are super brain fuel. These fats provide a steady flow of energy to the body and the brain that help us to feel energized in a calming way – without the spikes and crashes. As far as a spread goes, I also love that both ghee and coconut oil are relatively solid at room temperature, but sweetly melt when spread on warm bread or a muffin.
- Raw Honey: Raw honey is my go-to sweetener of choice as it’s available locally in Toronto, and is jam packed with anti-microbial phytonutrients, enzymes and B-Vitamins (or should I say bee vitamins?).
How To Use This Spread
This spread is amazing in so many ways!
- Spread on fresh baked gluten-free breads or muffins
- Enjoy slightly melted with with apples or strawberries
- Stir a spoonful of this into your morning tea (okay, fine, or coffee) for a little mocha burst
- Use it as a cake or cupcake frosting
- By the spoonful! (Yes, I went there.)
As I was developing the revised curriculum for the new and improved CNE Program, I was also taking into account the varied dietary needs of my students and their future clients. And so proudly, this can be modified to work with the following dietary restrictions or styles of eating:
Serves: 1 cup
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- ⅓ cup raw cacao
- ¼ cup ghee or coconut oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- pinch of sea salt
- Process all ingredients together until smooth. Add more sweetener as desired to taste.
I truly love creating recipes – it’s one of my most favourite things ever. And when I get to create recipes for the CNE program, it’s an extra layer of creativity as I aim to have every ingredient in the recipe count for health. No fillers allowed, and this of course is also the type of recipe creation I teach in the program. Registration for the Fall 2015 term will be opening soon!