Choc full

Or rather, choc empty.

I thought giving chocolate up for Lent would be really hard. And yes, although I could quite easily at any point have downed a bag of Cadbury’s raisins without troubling a bowl, I’ve actually been enjoying coming up with alternatives to satisfy my raging sweet tooth.

On Monday, I had a weird compulsion to buy some apricots and do something creative with them. Nothing loth and having enjoyed the apricot/almond combination in the past, my first use for them was this:

Chopped fruit, with almond butter sauce (equal quantities almond butter and milk with a drizzle of maple syrup) and some vanilla Munchy Seeds. It was all right, but didn’t grab me by the throat, so to speak 🙂

So for my next trick, the next day, I chopped two apricots, mixed them with 1/2tbsp almond butter and 1tsp maple syrup, mixed well and baked at 190C for ten minutes, till all was softened and lovely. I was going to use the apricot to top some plain soya yoghurt – but then spied some Yeo Valley strawberry frozen yoghurt hiding in the freezer. No contest really:

I remembered the mini cup-shaped cones my mum used to get out for pudding on summer Sundays, which we used to pile high with ice cream and toppings, and which inspired the use of a mini ramekin to serve this in. And it was much more what I’d been hoping for. The hot, sweet, nutty apricot on top of the frozen yoghurt was perfection.

I then had the yoghurt again the next night, only this time with a caramel topping, made from blending 120g dates (soaked for an hour) with 3tbsp maple syrup, 2tbsp milk and about 1tsp lemon juice…. and that was possibly even better:

The caramel is out of this world! I had it on pancakes this morning too:

And am currently wondering how to resist what’s left in the fridge; it’s thickened into something truly spectacular.

It’s been good to eat things I’d not had for ages. I’d forgotten for example just how good banana and almond butter are together and have been going for it with the coconut oat truffles… the added bonus being it’s all got to be healthier than a faceful of chocolate 🙂

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28 Responses to Choc full

  1. Maria says:

    That caramel sounds amazing- and so simple too. The warm apricot/nutty combo sounds lovely too- glad you are satisfying your sweet tooth still.

  2. ~Jessica~ says:

    Such an innovative idea with the date caramel. If only I was ‘safe’ to have dates in the cupboards.

    Banana and almond butter is indeed divine – have you tried banana with tahini, because that’s gorgeous too 🙂

    xxx

    • I’d never been too tempted by dates on their own but these came in a block and they’re dangerous; have you tried them like that? I could have eaten the whole block as it was!
      And I’m not a huge fan of tahini because of its slight bitterness but now you mention it, maybe with the sweetness of the banana… 🙂

  3. The date caramel sounds so interesting and delicious of course! And yeah, you cannot go wrong with almond butter and fruit… I need to try nectarines next! 🙂

  4. What a creative way to use your apricots!

  5. Banana + pretty much any nut butter is AMAZING!!!!!!! 🙂

  6. I really need to try out that caramel…looks lovely!

  7. A banana and almond butter was part of my breakfast today…
    You could dip an apple in the caramel and then at least 50% of the snack is healthy 🙂

  8. Sounds like a great replacement for chocolate! I love almond butter with anything so I can imagine it tasting fab with the apricots!

  9. The apricot mixture sounds delicious. I love the flavour of apricots because they are so naturally sweet. I do love chocolate, but if it was a choice between fruit and chocolate I think fruit would win as my favourite.

  10. Ohh, you definitely don’t seem to be suffering in the dessert department without chocolate! This all looks delicious–and I’m jealous of your ability to have fresh apricots! I don’t know that I’ve ever seen them offered around here–I do love dried ones though.

    • I had to look to find these; I just had a weird craving and HAD to buy some but I couldn’t even find any in tins… worth it though and you’re right; there’s definitely no dessert desert round here 😉

  11. caloricandcrazy says:

    the yogurt with caramel and dates looks AMAZING.

  12. Errign says:

    Everytime I give something up publicly, I immediately MUST have it…it’s weird. On that note though, I might die without chocolate…

    • I was worried about that happening… but as I’d been cornered into it at work, I couldn’t not… grrr! Having said that, it’s been good to eat other stuff – but I won’t be sorry when Lent’s over 🙂

  13. Hannah says:

    Aaaaaaah! How haev I not made a date-based caramel sauce?! With maple syrup?! That sounds incredible!

  14. You have definitely convinced me with the caramel sauce!! I bet it would be great on oatmeal too! I’m a caramel lover so I’m glad to see a healthier version 🙂 This reminded me of my recipe for cinnamon caramel panini! I better stock up on dates 😉

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