It's not always easy to find healthy chocolate treats for our children at Easter time. The delicious strawberry filling in these Chocolate Strawberry Creme Eggs will delight their taste buds and I'm sure yours too! My grandchildren love them. Use organic coconut butter, it's just raw coconut flesh that's simply dried and ground into a smooth creamy paste (purchased from health food stores or make your own). If you would like to make your own coconut butter I have a recipe in The JOYful Table cookbook (link to cookbooks).
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Add the coconut butter and almond meal to a food processor. (Remove any coconut oil that may be sitting on top of the coconut butter before measuring). Process for 15 - 20 seconds to blend both together well.
Remove the green tops from washed and dried strawberries, then slice each in half.
Add the strawberries, honey, vanilla and salt, to the mixture in the food processor. Process for approximately 30 seconds until smooth and silky. Place the mixture in the fridge to firm up, this will make it easier to spoon out small egg shapes.
Once firm, spoon heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto 2 lined trays in an oval shape (if you place your teaspoon on its side before scooping up the mixture, it should already be in the right shape). Smooth the surface with the back of a clean teaspoon. Place the trays in the freezer to harden the egg fillings before coating them in chocolate.
Add 2 - 3cms of water to a medium saucepan, place a glass bowl over it and bring water to a boil, then turn off (or use a double saucepan). Add broken pieces of chocolate to the bowl. Stir continually with a spatula until melted.
Remove half the strawberry eggs from the freezer. Use two forks to roll eggs in chocolate (one at a time), then lift to allow the excess chocolate to drip off and place the egg on a clean-lined tray. Repeat with remaining frozen eggs.
Place the trays of coated eggs into the fridge to finish setting. Once set, store in an airtight container in the fridge and serve straight from the fridge.
(If 70% chocolate is too dark for young children, use 50% organic chocolate).
Coconut butter is a healthy and nutritious spread made with 100% coconut. Add to smoothies or just eat out of the jar when a sweet treat is needed. It is so easy to make yourself, saving you lots of money, see recipe on page 304 of The JOYful Table cookbook. It can be warmed and mixed into slices and bars to give a rich coconut flavour. An added benefit is that it does not melt as easy as coconut oil and stays firmer in the recipe.
The most favoured gluten/grain free flour substitute in my kitchen is almond meal. It is finely ground blanched almonds and is also known as almond flour. It has a slightly sweet flavour so you don’t have to add as much sweetener when baking with it. Almond meal/flour is rich in manganese which helps the body heal after injuries and also helps the body break down carbohydrates. Almond flour is also rich in magnesium, which can help control your blood sugar levels. It's rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of serious health conditions like cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Almonds are also a good source of calcium.
All kinds of nuts can be ground down to make a meal and are excellent for raw cheesecake or pie bases. Nut meals/flours are best stored in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer to prevent them going rancid.
Strawberries are loved for their aroma, bright red colour, juicy texture and sweetness. They are easy to grow in your home garden. Strawberries freeze well, use frozen in smoothies and desserts. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, contain folate and potassium, high in fibre, plus they provide anticancer bioflavonoids. To keep your strawberries fresh for several weeks, wash in a bowl with water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar, don't rinse, lay on paper towel to dry and place in a seal container in the fridge. Organic is best.
Use unrefined or raw honey. It is the most common natural sweetener in my recipes. It's best to buy local unprocessed honey as it has wonderful health benefits and can help with allergies. Generally honey sold in supermarkets has been processed. Honey possesses antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Use an organic vanilla extract (not an essence) or vanilla powder. Vanilla makes a big difference to the flavour of a recipe, I recommend keeping to the quantities I have stated in a recipe. I prefer Madagascar pure vanilla extract manufactured by ‘Simply Organic’ and for powder, Vanillamax 100% pure, finely ground Madagascar vanilla beans produced by Bulletproof.
Raw pink Himalayan salt crystals is unlike common table salt which can be a highly refined industrial byproduct, otherwise know as sodium chloride. Himalayan salt is completely pure and may naturally balance the body's alkaline/acidity and regulate water content. In addition Himalayan salt helps in the absorption of nutrients from food and contains many trace minerals for healthy cell structure. I purchase fine pink Himalayan crystal salt so I can use it in my shaker and for cooking.
In some of my recipes I have used Paleo approved dark chocolate drops/chips, they are dairy, soy, and gluten-free (my favourite brands are, 'Absolute Organic' or 'Chef's Choice' certified organic 70% cacao, purchase online or from health food stores). I also used 70 - 85% organic dark chocolate blocks, they can be broken into pieces or melted for recipe. I also make my own chocolate from: cacao butter or coconut oil, raw cacao powder and sweetened with 100% maple syrup, pinch of sea salt and vanilla extract.