Monday, April 26, 2010

Chocolate Truffles ~ Non Dairy!

There are a number of posts I haven't written yet, but I couldn't wait to share this one. Because I'm not eating dairy at the moment, and I Still have a sweet tooth & love chocolate, I recently made a batch of chocolate truffles. How can that be?! Quite simple, and with only two ingredients you have the base for any flavored chocolate truffle you want!

from Trader Joe's:
1 lb. bar of dark chocolate
1 can of coconut milk - minus 1/4 cup for firmer truffles

Step 1: Chop chocolate into small pieces

Step 2:
bring coconut milk to a simmer
Step 3: pour hot coconut milk over chocolate
Step 4: walk away! let it sit undisturbed for 5-10 minutes

Step 5: Start to stir, just the center of the bowl.
It will take a little while for the chocolate to start incorporating. Just stay in the middle, until the chocolate starts to develop color. Then, slowly expand to the outside of the bowl until a uniform consistency is reached.
Optional Step 6: Flavor! If you want to jazz up the truffles, add your flavors now - a tsp or less of liquid extracts for the full recipe, or a 1/4 tsp ground spices. You can also divide the chocolate into smaller containers, and make multiple flavors. I made 'Mayan Spice Truffles' with some cayenne pepper, ground cinnamon, and almond extract.
Step 7: Cover & chill.
In a hurry? Stick the bowl in the freezer for an hour. Otherwise, refrigerate until firm.

Step 8: Grab a scoop, and form your truffles. Individual candy papers are excellent to keep these separate. You can roll them in cocoa powder, or chopped nuts, or sprinkles... dip in melted chocolate for a firm shell, etc... I rolled mine in a combination of cocoa powder, ground almond, and ground cinnamon.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Proactive or overly Reactive?

Either way, I'm finally meeting with various docs to figure out why I'm so extraordinarily tired. I mean besides the lack of sleep this past week, since Matt wrecked his bike & collar bone. He is healing up quickly, thank goodness!

So I started with a sports med doc that came Highly recommended by both my Coach & PT. He's supposed to be good at tracking stuff down. So I went in for my second stress test, this time adding VO2 Max. As outcome of that, we're adjusting down the intensity of the max range on my workouts, as my anaerobic heart rate starts a bit lower than I find myself when I am pushing hard or climbing hills. And, he wants to put me on a 1mo sleep reset, which led to Ambien. I have hesitations about that, particularly of the "don't want to be sleep snacking, tyvm" variety.

Then, for the first time, I visited a naturopath, as strongly suggested by a couple of friends. Because honestly, I was really starting to wonder that maybe what's going on is fibro, thanks to it's ambiguous criteria which are far to easy to meet, and my mom's history with it. So ~ in 60 minutes we filled out a very long form of "what is going on with me." Given this was free text, it was quite a bit of stuff to put down. We both agree that there are food sensitivity issues going on, so I'm starting a dairy & gluten elimination test. To celebrate, I've put a pan of GF Almond Butter Pumpkin Brownies in the oven - and really hope they don't turn out tasting like almond butter & honey on bland, as the dough did. And she's also concerned about my sleep, and we're putting one supplement toward testing that. Yay! An ambien alternative! Of three sleep disruptive modes she listed off, this one really rang true for me. She's also concerned that I may be having difficulties absorbing enough of the protein that I consume, so we're testing that out as well. There were a number of other things we discussed & working on, but overall I left the appointment feeling that between the two approaches, I am doing the best I can to restore a healthy and normal me.

So I haven't been riding much at all. I'm still sore, and this past week of nursing has tested my ability to manage sleep disruptions. For you new mothers - wow! I don't know how you do it. I'm trying to adjust my meal plan as simply & minimally as possible - sticking to what I know, but in a non-cow-dairy (easy) and GF (a little more tricky) way. I think I can do this, at least for a bit. I even had a smoked salmon salad for lunch - holy cow! It wasn't as bad as my mind tells me to expect smoked salmon to be, so I might just have to try it out on occasion.

Well, the brownies are done, and it's almost time to start raspberry chipotle nacho night.