Tag Archives: Chocolate

Awesome Agave Chocolate Milk

Although I, SensitiveHusband, don’t have any food sensitivities, I’ve come to embrace the use of natural, low glycemic index sweeteners.  I haven’t cut all refined sugar from my diet, but I have greatly reduced it since SensitiveEconomist discovered her food sensitivities.  I didn’t realize how much refined cane sugar was affecting me–a sugar high with higher heart rate and shallower breathing, followed by a sugar low tiredness–until I cut back and shifted my intake to predominantly low glycemic sweeteners.

As a cyclist and runner, I find it important to have a drink that combines something sweet and some protein after a workout.  Research emerging from Indiana University and the University of Connecticut over the last few years indicates that chocolate milk has the optimal ratio of carbohydrates and protein to act as an excellent post-workout recovery drink.  In fact, chocolate milk is as good or better than many of the name brand sport drinks with which you may be familiar.  As a result of reading this research and my pleasant experience with low glycemic sweeteners, I decided to create a chocolate milk recipe that is free of cane sugar.  I started with a recipe for homemade chocolate milk, and I adapted it to replace the cane sugar with agave nectar.  Honey can be used in a pinch, but agave nectar really works best in this recipe for dissolving in the milk and yielding an almost marshmallowy flavor.  While I occasionally have peanut butter and a “no sugar added” fruit juice instead, this Agave Chocolate Milk has become my go-to post-workout drink.

Ingredients:
1 ounce water
1 level teaspoon cocoa powder
3 teaspoons agave nectar
9-10 ounces milk

Preparation:
Combine the first three ingredients in your glass and microwave for 30 seconds. 

When it comes out of the microwave, swirl the glass rapidly in your hand to insure the ingredients are fully mixed. 

At this point, you have a homemade chocolate syrup that can be used for other purposes in addition to chocolate milk (ice cream topping, dessert topping, etc.). 

Top off the syrup with milk, stir briskly, and enjoy a very tasty, low glycemic chocolate milk! 

The next time your children ask for chocolate milk, surprise them with this homemade recipe, and they might not be bouncing off the walls after drinking it!

For those who avoid cow’s milk, I would be curious to know if this recipe works well with goat’s milk, coconut, almond, rice, or soy milk.

This recipe is being shared with Joy of Desserts, Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Food Trip Friday and Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

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Nuts About Fudge Brownies and Walnut Statistics

I could not resist baking these fudgy brownies that I found in the September 2011 issue of Cooking Light. Could I change the recipe so it did not have sugar but still had that fudge quality? I was willing to give it a try.

Walnuts, of the tree nut family, are optional in this recipe. According to the George Mateljan Foundation, walnuts are a great source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Almost 40% of the world’s walnuts are grown in the U.S., mostly in California. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 485,000 tons of walnuts will be harvested in California in 2011, down 4% from the previous year. The crop is supposed to be of high quality because of the mild temperatures during the growing season. The price per ton of the harvested walnuts is not yet confirmed for 2011 although last year’s price of $2,110 per ton was the second highest price in the past 20 years. During those 20 years, the highest price per ton was $2,290 in 2007, and the lowest price was $886 in 1999.

All of this talk about walnuts is leading me to think about these delicious brownies…and my successful attempt at creating this dessert without refined sugar. Hooray! Enjoy the dessert!

Refined-Sugar Free Walnut Fudge Brownies

Ingredients
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips
1/3 cup fat-free milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, divided

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Combine 1/2 cup chocolate and milk in a small saucepan; melt chips on low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in butter, vanilla, and eggs. Add milk mixture, 1/4 cup chocolate, and 1/4 cup nuts to flour mixture; stir to combine.
3. Pour the batter into a 9-inch square metal baking pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup nuts. Bake at 350° for 19 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in the pan on a rack. Cut into squares.

I am sharing this recipe with Joy of Desserts, Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Beauty and Bedlam, Lady Behind the Curtain, This Chick Cooks, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Food Trip Friday, Sweet as Sugar Cookies and Something Swanky.