Heart-to-Heart with Diane

Hello and Welcome! Isn't raising a family the greatest!? I know I've got the best job in the world, just being Mom! I love sharing things I've discovered that make being "Mom" better, easier or more fulfilling, and that is what this blog is all about. Welcome!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

YES! Sugar-Free Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

My granddaughter Abigail loves sugar-free chocolaate-covered strawberries!

Are we still sugar-free?
Yep, sure are!

We made it through Halloween and Thanksgiving, and it wasn't all that hard. For Thanksgiving, we made a big apple pie using stevia to sweeten the apples. Whipping cream (sweetened with stevia) stirred into a bowl of chopped fruit made a luscious dessert, so Louisa and I didn't suffer.

We also made cranberry sauce fresh from berries. Those things are so sour! Wow! Can't say we loved my sugar-free cranberry—it was pretty tart even after several additions of stevia, xylitol, Truvia and anything else in my cupboard that could sweeten it without sugar.

But, the biggest delight came when my son Daniel's wife, Melissa, brought us chocolate-covered strawberries that were fabulous . . . and sugar-free! Hooray!

Melissa's Chocolate-Coated Strawberries
(Sugar Free)

Fresh, ripe strawberries
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons coconut oil
4-5 drops liquid stevia (yes, just drops--it is powerful!)

Wash and dry strawberries, leaving green stem and leaves on. Chill. Melt coconut oil and stir in cocoa until smooth. Stir in stevia. Cool. Dip chilled strawberries in to coat, setting on wax paper. Chill.


Take a look at my favorite stevia:

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  • At December 17, 2009 at 5:05 AM , Blogger Andrea Cherie said...

    My mother in law sent me an article from your blog about a month and a half ago and I read back in your archives a bit~ enough to read about your quest for no sugar. Now you're plugged into my Google Reader.

    My husband and I decided that week that we were going to do 100 days of no sugar too, that was 37 says ago!! So far it's just been wonderful and really not very hard! I noticed immediately that I don't seem to have a mid-afternoon slump anymore! I've done a little experimenting with baking- the agave apple pie turned out great, but the agave oatmeal cookies had the grosses texture. So keep posting your creative 'no sugar' cooking!

  • At December 17, 2009 at 6:46 AM , Blogger ddalyram said...

    Hi Diane,
    I found an incredible recipe for sugar-free chocolate ice cream using agave nectar. Agave Nectar has no sugar and is completely natural from the agave plant. We LOVE it!! I pasted the recipe below (created by dessert chef David Lebovitz). Enjoy!

    Agave-Sweetened Chocolate Ice Cream

    10 tablespoons (155 ml) agave nectar
    2 ounces (55 g) unsweetened chocolate, very finely chopped
    1/3 cup (35 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
    3 cups (750 ml) half-and-half*, divided
    5 large egg yolks
    pinch of salt

    1. In a small saucepan, warm the agave syrup with the unsweetened chocolate over the lowest heat possible, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and transfer mixtures to a large bowl. Set aside.
    2. In a medium saucepan, add 1½ cups (375 ml) of the half-and-half and whisk in the cocoa powder. Cook over moderate heat until the mixture begins to bubble, then simmer for 30 seconds, whisking frequently, making sure to break up any clumps of cocoa powder.
    3. Remove from heat and scrape the mixture into the bowl with the chocolate-agave mixture. Stir them together, then set a mesh strainer over the top.
    4. Add the remaining half-and-half to the saucepan with a pinch of salt, turn on the heat, and when warm, slowly pour the warm half-and-half into the yolks whisking constantly, then pour the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.
    5. Cook, stirring constantly over moderate heat, until the mixture becomes steamy and thickens. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read about 170-175F degrees. (76-79C).
    6. Pour the mixture through the strainer into the chocolate mixture.
    7. Stir, then let cool a few minutes until tepid. Once it's not super hot, whiz the mixture in a blender for ten seconds until it's smooth and velvety. (Never blend very hot liquids in a blender, since it creates a hot vortex and can cause the liquid to blast out of the top.)
    8. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
    Or follow my step-by-step instructions for freezing ice cream without a machine.

  • At December 17, 2009 at 8:33 AM , Blogger Jill Mulder said...

    This sounds like just what we need at our house! Thanks for sharing!

  • At January 8, 2010 at 9:23 AM , Blogger Diane Hopkins said...

    I wish, wish, wish that I could use agave—I love the taste!—but there is a lot of evidence that it is not much better than corn syrup. If you do a google search for "dangers of agave" or other similar searches, you will see the information. Because it is processed out of the USA, the standards are not the same, and once heated to extremely high temperatures, it turns into a form of simple sugar very much like high fructose corn syrup. That, and other reasons too make it an unacceptable sweetener to many seeking health. From my research, the only sweetener that scientists, doctors and nutritionists agree on being healthy is stevia. I am still experimenting to convert over all my recipes to it, and it is not good to bake with, as far as my own experiments have gone! But stevia-sweetened ice cream is delicious. Try making my peach milkshake here: http://blog.lovetolearn.net/2009/07/peach-milkshakes.html


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