Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Chocolate Puffs – Organic, Vegan and Almost Raw

Coconut oil seems to be the new superfood that everyone is raving about. I have been using it now for many years, mostly as a skin moisturiser and eaten in its raw state spread on toast. Occasionally I’ve used it for making raw chocolates or cooking savoury dishes. However, it was not until The Groovy Food Company sent me some of their organic virgin coconut oil to try did I think about using it in baking. Ahh, now that got the brain cells firing. But as soon as the many possibilities started to emerge, I changed my mind; I decided I wanted keep it in its raw state. Something quick and delicious that was truly healthy and 100% organic was in order – not something I achieve very often.

Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so can easily be used as a spread or body butter. It melts very quickly and has a high heat threshold making it ideal for stir fries in particular. It contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which are a healthy fat quickly transformed by the body into energy and are not stored as body fat. For maximum benefit, coconut oil is best used in its cold pressed state. It is said to help reduce abdominal obesity and protect against insulin resistance thus reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. It is also said to benefit digestive disorders and boost the bodies immune system due to the high percentage of lauric acid contained. Used on the face and body, it acts as a good moisturiser and has many purported benefits including protection from UV radiation from the sun.

On opening the jar, a powerful aroma of coconut was released and I couldn’t resist tasting some. It was both sweet and unmistakably coconutty which is more than can be said of some I’ve tried.

I was also sent a bottle of The Groovy Food Company’s organic premium agave nectar, which is often used as a low Gi sugar substitute. I am an occasional user of agave nectar, but this gave me an opportunity to try it out in a few more things. I tried it out in my matcha smoothies as a substitute for the honey and it worked very well, proving a lot easier to handle than honey as it less viscous.

So, what I wanted to make was a healthy version of that children’s classic rice crispy cakes. My first task was to find some sugar free crunchy cereal, not something I thought was going to be particularly difficult. So I was truly shocked when I went to my local Co-operative, only to find they sold no sugar free cereal at all except for oats. I trekked off to our local health food shop and found the last bag of unsweetened cereal they had in stock – luckily it was puffed rice, which is what I’d been hoping for.

This is how I made:

Vegan Chocolate Puffs

  • Melted 1 heaped tbsp cold pressed coconut oil in a pan over low heat.
  • Added 50g 100% cocoa chocolate.
  • Stirred in 1 tbsp cashew nut butter (any nut butter would be good, but that was the one I had to hand).
  • Added 3 tbsp agave nectar, 1 tsp raw cocoa powder, 1 tsp vanilla extract (homemade) and a pinch of Himalayan pink rock salt.
  • Stirred until smooth, then removed from heat.
  • Weighed 100g 100% puffed rice into a bowl, then poured over the chocolate mixture and stirred until all of the rice was coated.
  • Placed teaspoonfuls of the mixture into mini muffin cases and pressed the rest into two silicone moulds.
  • Left in my cold kitchen to set, but would normally put them in the fridge.
My attempt at a butterfly

These were so damn delicious, I polished off rather more than I should have done as soon as I’d taken the photographs. They were light and crunchy and the chocolate coating had a lovely smooth mouth feel. They tasted sweet and chocolatey and the blend of cashew butter and coconut oil gave a nutty and fragrant quality redolent of the tropics.

Now I’m away to ponder exactly what bake I want to try with the coconut oil.

The Groovy Food Company products can be found at Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose amongst other places.

I’m entering these into Breakfast Club, founded by Helen of Fuss Free Flavours and hosted this month by Gill of Tales Pigling Bland who has chosen rocket fuel as the theme with a view to help her run the London Marathon. I reckon these would make a very tasty rocket fuel for breakfast that isn’t going to sit heavily on the stomach, but would provide plenty of energy and nutrients.  

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Foodycat
    11th April 2013

    Ah, now this IS interesting! One of the classic Australian kids things is the chocolate crackle, but because you can’t get Copha here (solid white vegetable shortening) I haven’t made them in years. But subbing in normal coconut oil is a very good idea!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      13th April 2013

      Are you sure you can’t get solid white veg shortening? I used to use it years ago. I think it was called Trex. Would far rather use coconut oil though.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      13th April 2013

      Lovely to hear from you and here’s hoping for a butterfly filled summer :-S

  2. Leave a Reply

    thelittleloaf
    12th April 2013

    I’ve made krispie cakes with coconut oil too – they’re SO moreish. I’ve never used it on my body though – maybe something to try if I don’t use it all up in the kitchen!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      14th April 2013

      And there was me thinking it was a first 😉 Always useful to have a backup plan to prevent waste.

  3. Leave a Reply

    Galina Varese
    12th April 2013

    What an inspired idea! I don’t use the coconut oil in cooking but used it a lot during both pregnancies on my big belly, and haven’t had a single stretchmark.

  4. Leave a Reply

    laura_howtocook
    13th April 2013

    I do love an ingredient that can be used in cooking and as a moisturiser. This coconut oil sounds perfect and the rice crispie treats are something sweet but not too heavy. This is a good compromise and one I will be making once I have found some of this lovely looking coconut oil 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      14th April 2013

      Thanks Laura. Some people use olive oil too. I went through a phase of using cold pressed sesame oil as a body moisturiser and now use it in cooking. Guess, if it’s good for you on the inside, it’s probably good for you on the outside – think cocoa butter 🙂

  5. Leave a Reply

    Kath
    13th April 2013

    These sound really delicious. I like the idea of them being so healthy – it doesn’t seem right some how though does it?

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      14th April 2013

      Well they probably aren’t that healthy Kath, the number I downed 😉

  6. Leave a Reply

    felicity
    13th April 2013

    Hope you’ve dried off! Brilliant blog. I’ve had a quick look at some of your recipes,there are loads I’d love to try.It’s interesting about the agave syrup as I am looking at low GI foods to balance mood swings!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      14th April 2013

      Thanks Felicity, it was good to see you. Annoyingly I had to go out again when I got home, but did dry off eventually! It was fun though and I’m glad I took part. Diet is so complicated as there are many factors to be taken into account, but I don’t think there is much doubt that sugar is not the best thing to eat – sadly 🙁

  7. Leave a Reply

    Brownieville Girl
    14th April 2013

    I’d love to spend time in your larder – I love all these ingredients.

    I always use coconut oil in my granola – I didn’t realise what a good choice it was!!

    Many thanks Choclette.

  8. Leave a Reply

    Johanna GGG
    15th April 2013

    I keep bookmarking recipes with coconut oil in the hope that I will one day find a coconut oil that I enjoy. Didn’t know about it keeping out uv as a skin moisturiser – v interesting – love your butterfly

  9. Leave a Reply

    talesofpiglingbland
    2nd May 2013

    My vegan friend has an amazing coconut cashew raw cheesecake recipe that she makes but it always seemed very complicated. These are much more doable. If I smear them over my face will they make my skin nice???!!

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