Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Single Awareness Day & Fair Trade Approved Chocolate Avocado Pudding

A sweet divine treat to celebrate another year of 2/14.
In the words of of Lin Manuel-Miranda, "love is love is love is love is love is love is love......."
Happy Single Awareness Day for my darling attachment free friends.
Happy Valentine's Day to lucky ones joined at hearts with someone to adore and treasure whether that's a beloved beau or an adorable furry pet.
Originally, my plans were to make Food From Africa's illustrious Berbere-Spice Chocolate Pudding. Berbere, a spice blend used in Ethiopian cuisine, includes ginger, garlic, chili peppers, cumin, coriander, cardamom, fenugreek, and other ingredients. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a cheat sheet Berbere anywhere. Frontier, a popular brand for great organic spice blends, actually makes one that can be purchased on Amazon. I enjoyed reading Enem recounting a friend's Ethiopian mom handcrafting an ancient spice blend. Plus Enem's eloquent pictures are quite seductive and captured in a brilliant light. Still, her recipe saved for another day, a day in which I'll share how amazing a touch of spiciness brings to classic chocolate pudding.
There are not enough words to speak on the greatness of mixing creamy, ripened avocados with chocolate and homemade date syrup.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding Ingredients and Preparation
I used Equal Exchange's Organic Baking Cocoa which provided ample chocolaty flavor. In the meantime, I'll be searching for the perfect fair trade cacao/carob powder for future chocolate dessert recipes.

2 ripened avocados
1 11oz So Delicious Culinary Coconut Milk  (or 1 can of 14 oz coconut milk)
1/4 cup Raw Date Syrup (or maple or agave nectar or Bee Free Honee)
3 tablespoon fair trade cocoa powder (used Equal Exchange)
pinch of cinnamon

Date syrup!
Almost perfect avocado.
Blend all ingredients together, whipping it to velvety consistency. You may or may not see a heart or two in the blender. Eat promptly at warm room temperature or chill in the refrigerator for later.
Trying to make a heart, but failed. Chocolate avocado pudding is topped with Nature's Path Love Crunch Premium Organic Granola in Chocolate & Red Berries and pieces of Tazo Chocolate's Raspberry Crunch Bar.
Yummy blissful dessert waits for no one. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Food Empowerment App For Your Chocolate Needs

This free app is a grocery store treasure, making shopping for cruelty free, slave free chocolate easy as pie.
The resourceful Food Empowerment App is a handy guide that allows grocery shoppers to find ethical chocolate while perusing the aisle at the same time. Great features include looking at the list in three different modes-- the recommended list, the not recommended list, and all brands. Plus, it's rather nice to read up on the FEP philosophy and how the brands are given ample amount of response time before generating to respective place on each list.
People need to know where their chocolate comes from. I cannot stress this enough.
I strongly enforce during Black History Month that all black lives are important on this very earth we stand on. As our cultural landscape worsens due to monsters in office, we have to be strong and resilient together more than ever before. One primary goal is to make sure that we support companies that disclose information about where their cacao beans are sourced from. Child labor and slavery is wide and rampant throughout Western Africa. I've read stories from children who work day till night, receiving less than penny earnings (sometimes not even being paid on time). Their backs often are injured. They are harshly punished. They don't see their parents or siblings often enough. The statements go on and on-- each worst than the last.
Lately, it has been an upsetting struggle, watching people discuss value of black lives and attending marches/protests while stuffing a Snickers or a Twix bar in their mouths. How can a person not care about where their chocolate comes or the pain involved in the making of it? I want everyone to understand that this is a global issue, a colossal concern that we must consider respectfully with some form of endearment and compassion. If collectively we hurt Hershey, Mars, Nestle, etc, perhaps they could see the impact and shoot for change. Maybe. Just maybe.
Until then, it's wonderful that a company like FEP has rigorously campaigned and opened eyes to this huge, under looked problem.
Please install the Food Empowerment App. It is free and simple. Plus, a lot of chocolate brands are affordable. They might not be available in the office vending machines, but they are in certain grocery stores like Whole Foods Market, Shop Rite, Kroger, and even CVS and Walgreen's. There is no excuse for continuing to give money to those greedy corporations inflicting violence on innocent brown bodies.

Proud of Daiya for being included here. It's one of my favorite vegan brands after all.
Remember that only the So Delicious organic items are Food Empowerment Project recommended. 
Speaking of Taza.....
Since these were on sale for $1.69 each, I bought all three vegan flavors, thrilled and overjoyed to do my part in purchasing chocolate created from kindness and sustainability. Funnily enough, this chocolate is underneath Salazon and Altar Eco-- these two are also on the recommended list.