I love, love, I love chocolate, and I love and appreciate all of you. It is only fitting for Valentine’s Day, the day of love, that I prepared a sweet chocolate treat for you.
Chocolate has long been associated with Valentine’s Day, with good reason. Once we eat something sweet, our mood increases, and we are more open to romantic relationships according to a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Perhaps we call our significant other honey, sweetie, and sugar because we associate our intimate relationship with our partner as something warm, comforting, safe, and loving, all of which increase your mood and overall wellbeing. But maybe chocolate is associated with love simply because it makes us feel good, it smells divine, taste delicious, and has a smooth texture. For these reasons alone, chocolate is easily marketable on the day of love, or for me, any day of the year!
There are scientific reasons why chocolate steals the show. Chocolate is a good source of antioxidants and does contain some caffeine, but the real reason chocolate may be associated with love is the phytochemical phenylethylamine (PEA). PEA is not only found in chocolate, but it is the same chemical our brain makes when we fall in love.
So whether you’re eating chocolate to feel good, or including it as a treat for the health benefits, you can feel good about indulging in a piece of dark chocolate or two.
One word of caution: not all chocolate is created equal. Be sure to read labels, know the source, and buy organic. The less processed, the better for your health and the more you are likely to benefit from a bite of chocolate goodness.
I hope you and your loved one enjoy this Chocolate Truffle Pie as much as my boyfriend and I do!
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1 cup dates (about 10, pitted)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- pinch sea salt
- 1 can full fat coconut milk (look for BPA free)
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons cacao butter
- 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon raw, unpasteurized honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Place all ingredients for the base in a food processor and blend. The mixture may not be smooth, but that’s okay. If the mixture can be formed into a ball and stick together, then it is ready.
- Put parchment paper in a 5×7 pan. This step is optional, however, it does help remove the pie from the pan when it is time to serve.
- Pour the mixture of the base ingredients into the pan and spread evenly across the bottom of the pan with your hands. Set aside.
- In a small sauce pan, heat coconut milk, coconut oil, cacao butter, raw cacao powder, and honey. You want the ingredients to get hot but not boiling. Stir continuously.
- Once the ingredients for the filling are fully melted, add the vanilla extract and cinnamon and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Pour the chocolate filling into the pan on top of the crust.
- Place in the freezer for 3 hours.
- Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.
*Note: The chocolate sauce is optional, but if you’d like to be really fancy, you can get the chocolate sauce recipe here.
Question: What is your favorite chocolate treat?