Monthly Archives: July 2012

Exclusive! Interview with Owner of Chocholistic

Greetings, everyone! A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Kenzie Harrick, a nutrition counselor and owner of a new chocolate company, Chocholistic, and sampling some of the creations. First of all, the chocolate is delicious! It has a creamy texture and satisfies my sweet tooth. In addition, the chocolate is Organic, Raw, Vegan, Non-GMO; and free from Sugar, Nuts, Soy, Corn, Wheat, Gluten, and Dairy. Wow!

I had the chance to ask Kenzie some questions about how she creates these healthy chocolates and her plans for the business. I think you will enjoy reading about this healthy chocolate.

How did your 2011 trip to Costa Rica inspire you to create Chocholistic?
My trip to Costa Rica really opened me up to the power of possibility and the power of ingredients.

When I went to Costa Rica to study with David Wolfe, I had just made a big career move by leaving my job as a Program Manager and Chef for a Raw Detox Center. When I left for that trip, I was really hoping it would give me some spiritual insight into what my next move would be. Chocolate was never in the picture. Until of course, I got there.

The retreat center I stayed at had a raw cacao bar in the middle of their tropical jungle. After seeing how everyone organized their day around trips to the cacao bar, and learning from David Wolfe about the powers of combining superfoods and chocolate, I fell in love with the idea of “chocolate as the answer” to health concerns.

When I got home, I started experimenting in the kitchen with different combinations of herbs and superfoods until my friends and family were pretty hooked. When I had the opportunity to sell them at a local event, I jumped on it, and Chocholistic has snow-balled from there.

What is one of the best outcomes to starting your own business? What is a challenge?
The best outcome of starting Chocholistic has been waking up in the morning passionate about what I do. I believe I’m creating a product that can help people. When you focus on that potential, you push yourself to make it the best. When you rise to the occasion and start seeing your vision unfold, you feel really empowered. And that gives you confidence to make the next bold move.

Of course there are challenges everyday: Having enough chocolate in the fridge, shipping in 100 degree heat, designing retail packaging, being behind schedule… But you have to have patience with the process of creating something you’re proud of and know when to throw yourself in high gear and just figure it out.

What is your creative process in developing new flavors for the chocolate?
When it came time to create new flavors for Chocholistic there were two main questions that led the way of the creative process:

What are the conventional truffle flavors that everyone is familiar with? And what are the most interesting, powerful superfoods everyone needs to be eating?

I enjoy the challenge of combining powerful health foods with delicious (also healthy) chocolate. I also love the challenge of allowing those superfoods to make the chocolate taste better: Like the smokiness of reishi mushroom, the tartness of goji berries, or the crunch of chia seeds. Chocholistic is complex; it’s rich. You take a bite and you feel it. Understanding how Chocholistic is supposed to FEEL helped me develop how the new flavors would taste.

In addition to being available online, one of your short-term goals is to have some stores selling your chocolate by September (hooray!). How do you get your product to retail outlets?
One of the biggest tools in reaching a larger market has been helping people know the power of Chocholistic Chocolate. It’s unlike most products out there… And that’s exciting for chocolate lovers and retail stores. Of course with a new product you start small: local markets and smaller health food stores.

I think it will be about sitting down with the shop owners and communicating how special a product it is and asking them to give it a shot on their shelves. There’s a need for thoughtful, healthy, delicious food. And so far I’ve gotten great feedback.

What is one long-term (1-3 years) goal for your company?
This question is fun! Chocholistic is in its infancy, so retail packaging and consistent online reach have been the goals so far. But looking forward, I want Chocholistic to be known in the national market. I think “health food” has been smaller, niche products and it’s time for everyone to know about really good food. I want people to EXPECT superfoods. I want people to know the importance of Non-GMO and Raw Nutrition and not feel like they have to search to find it. We live in a time where good food needs to stand up for itself. The best way to do that is to make it fun to eat. I think that gives Chocholistic the green-light for growth 🙂

Is there anything else you would like to share with this refined-sugar free blog community?
It means a lot to me that people get to learn about my journey as it’s unfolding. Everything is new and exciting, which means there will be a lot going on in the next six months. Please join me on Facebook or via our Chocholistic Newsletter. At the very least, live with passion today and be confident in every decision you make. Namaste.

Use Seasonal Fruits for Banana Berry Scones

This past weekend, I found myself looking at three bananas on the counter that were very ripe. I considered making a banana bread although I wanted to make something that also used some summery fruits. I cruised the Internet and found a great recipe from Fit Foodista for Low Fat, Whole Wheat Banana Cinnamon Scones. I already had the ingredients, including some fresh blueberries, and the preparation seemed easy so I decided to give this a try. Instead of using turbinado (cane) sugar, I used coconut palm sugar, and the result was just right and free from refined sugars. If you don’t have the palm sugar, you can use 1/4 cup of maple syrup instead and sprinkle the top with maple sugar if desired.

Yum! These scones are chewy and really moist, and the pieces of banana and blueberry add some nice sweetness. You could use any berries that are in season, or try chopped apples or pears and nuts in the fall. What a nice treat to enjoy with a cup of tea any time of the day or evening.

Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup chopped, very ripe banana
1/2 cup plain fat free yogurt
1/2 cup low fat milk

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine flours, baking powder, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and whisk together.

Slice butter and drop into dry ingredients. Use a knife or pastry cutter to cut the butter into tiny pieces and mix it into the flour.

Add bananas and gently stir.

Mix in milk and yogurt.

Form dough into a circle that is about an inch deep all around. Cut the circle into 8 slices.

Separate slices and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or foil.

Sprinkle the tops of the scones with a bit of sugar.

Bake for 18 minutes or until light brown.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage and Food Trip Friday.

Cool Blueberry Gazpacho for the Hot Summer Weather

Good day, everyone! Are you taking advantage of the very summery weather? I am enjoying all of the beach days although my air conditioner is cranked on full blast nearly all of the time.

When I saw this recipe for “Royal Blueberry” Gazpacho with Lemon and Mint in the July 2012 issue of Cooking Light, I have to admit, I was interested. The hot summer weather makes a cool fruity soup sound like a great idea. Plus I had a plethora of blueberries since I came home from the grocery store with two pints (who can pass by a “buy one, get one free” deal?), and then later that week I received another pint from my farm share. Needless to say, I was looking for a good blueberry recipe. This one pairs the blueberries nicely with red seedless grapes. I served the soup, as the recipe suggested, as a sweet starter to our dinner of grilled salmon, potatoes and vegetables. It was great! This mixture would also make a tasty popsicle – just freeze the liquid into some molds. SensitiveHusband and I also agreed that it would be a delicious simple syrup to add to a refreshing beverage with vodka and ice.

To make the recipe a bit simpler (it was just too hot to dirty a food processor), I stirred the mixture and directly poured into a mesh sieve. I was also sure to use 100% grape juice to exclude the cane sugar from this dish.

Ingredients
1 pound red seedless grapes
12 ounces fresh blueberries
1/3-1/2 cup white grape juice (100% juice)
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation
1. Remove stems from fruit. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Place fruit in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add grape juice and honey; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes.

2. Place blueberry mixture in a food processor; process until almost smooth. OR Stir the blueberry mixture briskly until all of the blueberries and grapes have split.

3. Strain; discard solids. Chill 2 hours.

4. Stir in rind, juice, and salt. Ladle about 1/2 cup into each of 5 chilled bowls.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Gastronomical Sovereignty, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Food Trip Friday and Cybele Pascal Allegen-Friendly Cook.

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Roasted Kohlrabi – Great Taste and Nutrition with Few Statistics

As I mentioned last week, I could not identify one of the vegetables included in my last farm share delivery. The vegetable looked like a purple turnip/cabbage with leaves attached to green stalks. Good thing the farm included a vegetable key – we had received kohlrabi!

Kohlrabi (pronounced “coal RAH bee”) comes from the German words kohl, meaning cabbage, and rabi, meaning turnip. Its name is a perfect description of this vegetable. Even though the variety we received had a dark purple skin, it peels off easily to reveal a light yellow flesh. After sampling the roasted kohlrabi, SensitiveHusband and I agreed that it tastes like a turnip without any bitterness. This means that you can cook the vegetable with a variety of seasonings and they will flavor the mild kohlrabi very nicely.

Kohlrabi has a lot of nutrients (information from Nutrition and You):
*Kohlrabi is rich in vitamins such as potassium and manganese, and dietary fiber, but has only 27 calories per 100 g, virtually no fat, and zero cholesterol.
*Like other members of the brassica family, kohlrabi contains health-promoting phytochemicals such as isothiocyanates, sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol.
*The vegetable contains good amounts of many B-complex vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
*Its creamy color flesh contains small amounts of vitamin A and carotenes. Kohlrabi leaves, like turnip greens, are also abundant in carotenes, vitamin A, vitamin K, minerals, and B-complex vitamins.

The commercial production of kohlrabi is relatively low in the U.S. so there are not many statistics about the production or consumption of the vegetable. Perhaps in the coming years, as more people find them in their farm share boxes, try cooking them, and finding that they are tasty, consumption will increase and so will the statistics! Try this simple recipe below and see how tasty kohlrabi can be.

Ingredients:
2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, sliced or minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Asiago (or other melty) cheese

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut the kohlrabi into 1/4 inch thick slices, then cut each slice in half. Combine olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss kohlrabi slices in the olive oil mixture to coat. Spread kohlrabi in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until browned, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven to allow the cheese to brown, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Food Trip Friday, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage and Gastronomical Sovereignty.

Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake

As I write my latest post, SensitiveHusband and I are roasting kohlrabi to have alongside tonight’s entree. “Kohlrabi?” you might ask…which is just what I thought last week when I found it in our farm share box. This variety looks like a purple turnip. I’ll write more once we taste it…

Now I’ll talk about the lovely cake featured in the photo. It’s a blueberry-lemon bundt cake! I was inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe, and knew that FIL* would like the lemony, pound cake-like creation. Since we were going to MIL^ and FIL’s house for dinner, I decided to treat them with this dessert.

I substituted the sugar with agave nectar – I thought the neutral taste of the agave would work well with the light lemon and blueberry flavors. The original recipe called for two sticks of butter, so I lightened up the recipe by using one stick of butter and 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce. And instead of 1 cup of sour cream (not my favorite), I used what was in my fridge – 1 cup of plain yogurt (much better). The dusting of confectioners’ sugar as a finishing touch can be simulated with coconut palm sugar in order to have no refined sugars in this recipe.

The cake was a hit – everyone around the table enjoyed the dessert, including FIL and my littlest nephew! They shared two pieces, although I think my nephew may have eaten all the blueberry-filled pieces that my FIL had! This is a great dessert that could also be eaten for breakfast since it’s not too sweet, and it would go nicely at a summer picnic. Enjoy!

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 teaspoon for blueberries and zest
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/3 cup agave nectar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
Coconut palm sugar, for dusting (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk 2 1/2 cups flour with baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and agave nectar on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of yogurt. Mix until fully incorporated.

In a bowl, toss blueberries and zest with remaining teaspoon flour; gently fold into batter. Coat a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan (or two loaf pans) with cooking spray or a light coat of butter. Spread batter in prepared pan(s).

Bake cake on bottom rack of oven until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Invert onto a rack; cool completely, top side up. Dust with coconut palm sugar before serving, if desired (sure!).

Key
*FIL = father-in-law
^MIL = mother-in-law

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Something Swanky and Food Trip Friday.