Remember when you were a child, and your parents took you to Dairy Queen, and you were allowed to get a dipped cone, and you would watch with fascination as the teenaged Dairy Queen employee took that swirl of soft serve and dipped it into the vat of chocolate, and then you felt like you just witnessed something completely magical as that chocolate hardened into a perfect, scrump-dilly-umptious treat?
Maybe that was just me.
Equally fascinating to me, as a child, was when my mother bought a bottle of "Magic Shell" ice cream topping. My mother didn't often buy ice cream toppings - she made her own, the apple didn't fall far, etc. - so watching the chocolate sauce harden into a crunchy, yet fudgy shell right before my very eyes was thrilling.
If you really want to thrill your kids (and yourself) try making your own "Magic Shell." Not only is it easy to make and fun to use, it's also one of the most delicious things that you can whip up in under ten minutes.
Plus, it's educational! I knew why the liquid turned solid - coconut oil solidifies when chilled, and so the chocolate sauce becomes solid when it touches frozen ice cream - but I couldn't understand why it was liquid at room temperature. Both chocolate and coconut oil are solid at room temperature, so why does melting them together result in a liquid at room temperature? I turned to YMC's resident kitchen scientist, Anne Radcliffe, for an explanation, and she suggested it is a combination of the broken tempering of the chocolate from melting, and blending it with coconut oil, which has a low melting point.
Science! Delicious, delicious science. It still feels magical to me.
In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil over very low heat.
Once the coconut oil is melted, add the chocolate, stirring until completely melted. Add the honey or corn syrup and vanilla, and stir until smooth.
Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature before pouring over ice cream.
Enjoy the magic!
Yield: 1 1/3 cups
Half the ingredients - right here!
Chop up the chocolate - but don't worry about chopping it too fine; medium chunks will work.
This would go great with my Vegan Chocolate Soft Serve! Want more delicious treats? Try my Healthy Homemade Fudgsicles or my Ten-Minute Chocolate Mousse Pie (they're both vegan, but I won't tell if you don't!)
There are so many things I love about this time of year: the sun rising as I'm leaving the yoga studio in the early morning, the sun setting as I'm getting ready for bed at night, leaving the house without multiple layers on, and little green shoots coming up in the garden. I love how the trees are leafing out and the grass is greening up, and I really, really love the return of salad season.
Now, don't get me wrong - we love our salads around here and eat them year-round, but there's something about the return of the warm weather that makes me want to eat ALL SALADS ALL THE TIME. There's just something so perfect about a salad that can be either a meal unto itself, or served as a hearty side dish for a barbeque. And this pasta salad is all that and more; it's easy to make, it's savoury and delicious, and it features a good pop of protein that keeps you feeling full for hours.
This sundried tomato pasta salad serves a crowd, and it makes scrumptious leftovers. I make it when it's my turn to provide a dish for Staff Appreciation night at our school, and it's always a hit. Try it for your next barbeque, or even just an easy weeknight supper - and lunch the next day!
In a food processor or blender, pulse together sundried tomatoes, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and garlic until fairly smooth. This dressing can be made up to a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator.
Cook rotini according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water.
Toss together rotini, dressing, cherry tomatoes, black olives, Parmesan cheese, and navy beans.
Top with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve.
Makes 6-8 meal-sized servings, 10-12 side servings
If there's one thing I love to do, it is to create a dessert that features all sorts of nutritional goodness - especially if no one eating it can tell that there are "secret ingredients."
Oh, strawberries! Could there be a more perfect fruit? Sweet, juicy, and so tantalizingly colourful, strawberries are the stars of the berry world, in my opinion. One cup contains 47 calories and 141% of your daily total of Vitamin C, so eating them is exactly akin to boosting your immunity in a very tasty way.
Did you know that avocado and coconut milk are both great for your skin and hair? Put them together with all that Vitamin C, and it's practically a beauty crime NOT to make this frozen strawberry daiquiri pie! It takes a little planning but is so easy to throw together, you'll want to make this all the time. This dessert will make you feel beautiful, and glow from the inside out.
24 hours prior to making this recipe, put the coconut milk and the strawberries in the fridge. The coconut milk needs to be fully chilled before use, and the strawberries need to be thawed.
In a food processor, puree together the thawed strawberries, avocados, lime juice, and honey or agave. Keep pureeing until the mixture is very smooth with no lumps.
Turn the can of coconut milk over, open it from the bottom, and pour off the watery liquid (save it for a smoothie later!). Scoop out the thick, hardened, creamy part and add it to the food processor. Blend together with the avocado-strawberry mixture.
In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted coconut oil. Press firmly into a 9-inch pie pan to make a crust.
Garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired, or a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Perfection! You can feel your skin glowing and your hair shining!