Food For Thought: Take A Bite Out Of Gift Giving with Holiday Treats
By Sandy McCall
Let’s plan ahead a bit. I love to make food as gifts. They taste great and I find that people really appreciate my efforts.
I like to package them up in small boxes with a ribbon on top. You can buy small cardboard decorated or undecorated boxes at discount stores around the holidays that will hold just a few pieces, or sometimes I am able to find just the right glass container at a thrift or second hand store.
Both the Roasted Blueberry Bites and Chocolate Truffles need to be refrigerated. Roasted Blueberry Bites can be simple or fancy depending on the time you want to put into them. You can make simple, bite-sized pieces or you can dress them up by using a disher to form the bites into rounds, and then add a little whipped coconut or dairy cream to the top of each bite.
Chocolate Truffles are loved by all. Since these are sugar and dairy free, they will suit many people. Always use organic ingredients when possible. I hope you enjoy making edible gifts for others and don’t forget to make extras for yourself and family
Roasted Blueberry Bites
1/2 cup coconut butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
6 oz fresh blueberries
1/8 cup honey (vegan-use maple syrup or monk fruit) and adjust sweetener according to sweetness of blueberries
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350°
Spread the blueberries on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake about 15 minutes or until blueberries begin to pop open.
Put all ingredients in a food processor or small blender and process until smooth.
Spread mixture out into a 6 x 4-inch pan lined with parchment paper.
Refrigerate for one hour or until mix has hardened.
Remove from container by lifting the edges of the parchment paper and then cut the bites into squares for serving. Store covered in the refrigerator.
For fancy bites, refrigerate the mixture for about 15 minutes and then scoop out each bite by using a small 1-2” disher (small ice cream scoop). Arrange the fancy bites on a plate and add a small dollop of whipped cream or coconut cream to the top of each bite.
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup Cacao powder or 100% cocoa powder (Extra for sifting at end)
1 cup coconut cream (take from the top of a refrigerated can of good coconut milk)
1/8 cup local Honey, or to taste (Vegan: use maple syrup)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Heat coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Allow the oil to melt completely and then whisk in the cocoa powder until completely smooth. Increase heat to medium and whisk in coconut milk and honey (sweetener). Stir the mixture constantly for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
Carefully pour the mixture into a heat safe container and cover tightly. Place in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours or more. When the mixture is completely chilled, use a small 1-1 1/2” disher (scoop) to form balls. Roll balls between the palms of your hands quickly to smooth out the surface, then place them on a plate close together. *Add your desired toppings. Keep truffles refrigerated. You can freeze the truffles for later use, but best to add the toppings when you are ready to serve.
Possible Truffle Toppings:
Cayenne or chipotle powder mixed with a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder
Sweet Sumac & powdered coconut
Toasted pecans & sea salt
Sandy McCall’s day job is working as the Broker/Owner of Southern Life Realty. When she’s not being the“mad scientist” in the kitchen or loving-up her cat, dogs or chickens, she enjoys being a Food Writer …
• Facebook Blog: “Sandy’s Food For Thought”
• Food Writer: “Sandy’s Food For Thought” at 50PlusLivingWNC.com
• Food Writer: WholeLifeChallenge.com
For Foodie questions, email SandysFoodForThought@gmail.com