This is an ongoing series on spring detox cleansing. To catch up, refer to part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5. I’m on day 9 of my cleanse and although I’ve had a couple of minor incidents, overall I’m feeling great and I’m even starting to see these changes in the way I look. When you focus on eating fresh, unprocessed, wholesome ingredients and you eliminate the foods that cause your body stress, you start to see it in your eyes, your skin, your attitude (most of the time) and your energy levels. A transformation slowly takes place in which you gain renewed strength and vitality. There are ups and downs along the way, just like everything else in life and (news flash) there are no quick fixes or miracle cures (darn) no matter what you hear on the radio or read in magazines. But if you really care about your health and are committed to making positive changes, better health can be yours in fairly short order. A mild cleanse is a good place to start (consult your healthcare advisor before starting any cleanse or detox program).
Having said that, I WANT some chocolate. Stomp, stomp!
Here’s my recipe for a healthy treat to soothe the soul when collard greens and bok choy just don’t cut it. We all have those days and rather than taking a high-speed nose-dive off the detox wagon and downing a bag of peanut M & Ms (you know who you are), my healthy cocoa dipping sauce is just the remedy. And yes, this treat is okay occasionally and in moderation while cleansing — at least in my world. Sorry, Miles, but the sauvignon blanc is still off the menu as a detox drink. Not forever though, so don’t despair, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Pure cocoa is a healthy ingredient. Its high flavonoid content makes it a great treat, but product quality is important. Cocoa is a processed food, which I don’t normally consider detox-worthy, but if you choose a good quality organic version, I think it’s a fine option on occasion and in small doses. Non-organically processed cocoa may contain some icky by-products, so go with the good stuff and use it sparingly.
Healthy and tasty cocoa dipping sauce (gluten-free & vegan)
6 mejool dates, pitted
3/4 cup filtered water
1/4 cup almond butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 small packet of stevia (1 g packet, which is .o35 ounce or about 1/4 teaspoon)
sliced apples, pears, pineapple, oranges, jicama, or strawberries
Soak pitted dates in filtered water for an hour or so. Put soaking water, dates and the rest of the ingredients (other than the fruit) in food processor and pulse until you have a sauce-like consistency. Store in glass jar in the refrigerator. Dip sliced apples (or other fruit) into sauce and enjoy!
One serving consists of one sliced apple and 2-3 tablespoons of dipping sauce.
* I use NOW organic natural cocoa powder. There’s nothing else in it and it’s only 55 calories per 1/4 cup. See photo above, which is a plate of NOW cocoa powder.
Go forth and choose healthy treats (no peanut M&Ms)!
P.S. The little skeleton box was a gift from a dear friend and is part of a rather colorful El Dia de los Muertos skeleton collection I have.