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Tag Archives: chocolate


Raw mint chocolate brownies

I so appreciate all the congrats from you guys regarding the impending arrival of our little spawn. I am due next week and officially in “get all the things done!” mode.

I’ve heard over and over again the same advice to stock your house full of foods that are easy to eat one-handed for after baby’s born and you’re carrying him/her around everywhere all the time to keep ’em from screaming continuously. To that end, I decided to make some healthy raw-ish mint chocolate brownies to stuff in my face as needed. I say raw-ish because I didn’t personally bother to use raw cacao powder or raw flavor extracts in these, but you absolutely could if that’s important to you, it just wasn’t for me. To me, this is raw enough.

Raw mint chocolate brownies

In fact, I’m letting a lot of things slide lately. Sometimes the dishes don’t get done, and that’s ok. Sometimes I get winded just making the bed and so I just stop half way through. Sometimes the thought of shopping for food makes me want to collapse into tears over a pint of ice cream, so I don’t go and we order out for the 3rd time in a week. Sometimes… my perfectly plated stack of raw mint chocolate brownies topples over before I even get my first shot in, and with a sigh, I decide to just go with it rather than re-plating because it’s a real and accurate depiction of how I’m feeling right now.

“Oh no! That one broke in half! I’ll have to eat it since I can’t possibly photograph it like that.” (Totally happened)

Raw mint chocolate brownies

They may look a bit beat up, but I assure you these brownies were just as tasty after their tumble. They have a high moisture content, giving them a truly fudgey and rich texture. The mint flavor is subtle, herbal, and cuts through the richness nicely.

Raw mint chocolate brownies

A no-bake and guilt-free chocolatey brownie with a hint of fresh mint.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: Makes 12


  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 2 cups fresh mint leaves (tightly packed)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (+ more for dusting)
  • 2 tsp. chocolate extract
  • 1 tsp. raw agave nectar
  • pinch of salt

Cooking Directions

  1. In a food processor, process nuts until small. Add dates and pulse to combine.
  2. Add all other ingredients and process until a paste forms and starts to pull away from the sides.
  3. Press mixture evenly into a 9x9 pan lined with plastic wrap or wax paper.
  4. Dust over extra cocoa powder and freeze for at least an hour.
  5. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

If you would prefer a stronger mint flavor, simply substitute one of the teaspoons of chocolate extract for a mint extract instead. Also, vanilla will be fine if you can’t find chocolate extract too. And if you don’t have one of those nut varieties, just sub in more of one of the others. I like to use macadamias in raw desserts that imitate something that is typically baked because they lend a convincing buttery flavor and texture. I chose walnuts because they tend to deepen chocolate flavors. If all you have is cashews though, it’ll be fine.

Raw mint chocolate brownies

I personally like to store these in the freezer and eat them ice cold. They can be messy and melty at room temperature, and the cold makes the mint flavor pop in a cooling and refreshing way. These will be great to hold me over while the little lady is eating her breakfast, and when she’s done I can worry about making something more substantial to eat.

It’s gotten to the point now where I’m on edge all day expecting labor to start at any moment. On that note, I should probably go pack for the hospital, or clean, or draft a living will or something…



Bar Exam: think Thin Chocolate covered strawberries

Let me start by saying that I am not on a diet and I do not normally purchase “diet products.” I bought this think Thin bar solely because I flipped out that it was chocolate covered strawberry flavored. Sounded delicious to me, so I ignored the capitalized “Thin” and the various other blurbs about how now you can have your dessert and eat it too and other marketing bullet points that alluded to real pleasure suppression as the avenue to weight loss.

:::Steps off soap box:::

think Thin chocolate strawberry

If I’d have seen this ingredient list before I tossed it in my shopping basket I would have probably put it back on the shelf. Very little real food in there. There are 0 grams of sugar and 15 grams of protein and the bar clocks in a 200 calories. Those are pretty good stats…as long as it tastes good. (I think you know where this is going.)

think Thin choc/strawb ingredients

Appearance: A nice size. Covered in a chocolate coating that appears a bit waxy and fake but nothing too alarming.

think Thin choc/strawb bar size

Texture: Soft, pasty, and homogenous. Reminds me a bit of marzipan with the smooth but subtle grittiness.

think Thin choc/strawb bite

Taste: Oh. My. GAD. GROSS!! This is the single worst bar I’ve ever tasted so far in my life. It’s like a giant squishy metallic-tasting vitamin paste covered in colored beeswax. But what about the strawberry flavor, you ask? Nearly non-existant. It tastes a bit like if they took that thick gluey strawberry glaze you get on top of diner cheesecakes, mixed it with cherry cough syrup, diluted and aerosolized it, and then misted it around the room that the bars were made in. Faint but distinctly gross.

Overall, the one word I would have to use to describe this bar is OFFENSIVE. Not just offensive in flavor, but I am genuinely offended that anyone would have the gall to market this a satisfying and healthy dessert replacement. At 200 calories, you could probably eat 2 or even 3 real chocolate covered strawberries and be putting healthier things in your body than this fake crap. It saddens me to imagine that some poor woman might choke down this awful concoction in lieu of a real dessert because she thinks this is all she can have.

This bar was pretty cheap and I still feel like I got ripped off.


Chocolate mascarpone stuffed strawberries

Thank you all for all the well wishes after yesterday’s post about my neck issues. I am really feeling a lot better now, almost back to normal.

I thought I’d lighten things up today with a recipe I made over Memorial Day weekend that totally wowed the crowd.

Prepare yourself for…….chocolate mascarpone stuffed strawberries!

Stuffed strawberry closeup

Cuz if chocolate, cheese, and sweet strawberries can’t make a girl feel better when she’s hurting, what can really? :)

Jeff and I went to a barbecue on Memorial Day with a ton of people. I was really hurting that night, but it felt so good to see these get gobbled up in mere minutes. It always makes me so happy when people like my food.

I found some enormous strawberries at Publix and knew they’d be great for making a light dessert. In fact, I’ve made this exact dessert before with green tea flavored mascarpone and it was a big hit, so I kinda had an idea that this might go over well. 😉

To make, I just cored the strawberries with a paring knife then got to work on my filling.

Cored strawberriesChocolate mascarpone

I used 16 oz. of room-temperature mascarpone cheese, and whipped it up with about 1/4 cup cocoa powder, two generous squirts of agave nectar, and maybe a half a cup or more of unsweetened almond milk to thin it out some.

A scooped the sweet cheese filling into a ziplock bag and cut the tip to use like a piping bag. I actually have a set of piping bags with fancy tips, but I was in a hurry and didn’t have time to get it out.

They turned out beautifully though…

Plate of stuffed strawberries

This recipe made about 20 giant stuffed strawberries.  It would make nearly twice that for regular sized strawberries, so if you’re not making these for an army you might choose to cut the recipe in half.

Chocolate mascarpone stuffed strawberries

The not-too-sweet chocolatey mascarpone filling in these luscious strawberries really lets the fruit take center stage in this easy summer dessert.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 20+ large strawberries


  • 20 extra large strawberries
  • 16 oz. unsweetened mascarpone cheese
  • 4 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • up to a 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

Cooking Directions

  1. Wash and allow strawberries to dry before cutting off the tops and coring them with a small knife.
  2. Whip together all other ingredients and transfer to a piping bag.
  3. Pipe cheese mixture into strawberries and refrigerate until time to enjoy.

The filling was not too sweet, allowing the flavor of the ripe strawberries to really shine. This is one recipe I’ll make again and again, as it’s super simple but always impresses.

Mascarpone-stuffed strawberries

Next time, stuffed strawberries with chocolate chips!