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Friday, January 4, 2013

Going Over to the Dark Side (of Chocolate!)

I've admitted several times on this blog that I am not a true chocoholic.  Believe it or not, you can actually find the term in the dictionary, which defintes a chocoholic as: a person who craves or compulsively consumes chocolate.

I know lots of chocolohics, including my mom, my mother-in-law, and Adam. 

While I have always liked, or maybe even loved chocolate I know I don't qualify as a chocoholic because I don't often crave it.  Actually, I am not one to 'crave' particular foods very often at all aside from when I was pregnant.  In fact, as my diet has improved over the years, I get cravings less and less often.  Also, chocolate has not often been my first choice for sweets.  I generally prefer spicy stuff like gingerbread, oatmeal raisin cookies and carrot cake.  Also, REAL chocoholics like the good stuff: the darkest of dark chocolates; expensive; artisanal; local, or imported from somewhere like Belgium or Switzerland, etc.  Me? I can't stand chocolate ice cream or chocolate that's been in the freezer.  In other words chocolate that is hard and crunchy is not my thing.  I ONLY liked plain milk chocolate, and Dairy Milk was just fine by me, as was a Hershey Bar.  And even then, it had to be soft and melty, never frozen.  Unfortunately, milk chocolate retains virtually none of the health benefits of chocolate.  I knew it was possible to transition my taste buds to dark, but since I try to avoid sugar as much as possible, it wasn't high on my list of priorities to make myself love something that still should be eaten in moderation.  So I've just not eaten that much chocolate on a regular basis.

Recently, however, this all changed!  I noticed myself appreciating semi-sweet and even dark chocolate a bit more.  Then, my parents bought me a bar of milk chocolate from Stubbe, a chocolate shop in our neighbourhood that is one of  the best in Toronto.  I eagerly chomped into it and then paused in surprise...even this fine milk chocolate didn't taste chocolatey enough!  It almost tasted like vanilla to me.  I couldn't believe it.  For the first time ever, I found milk chocolate disappointing.

My mind started buzzing...if I like dark chocolate, I can eat more chocolate, because it's HEALTHY after all!  Of course, there is still all the added sugar in most dark chocolate, so I decided to start making my own stevia sweetened chocolate.  Yep, I've been tinkering in the kitchen and the results so far have been outstanding.  So much so, that I have to hide my goods from the other 3 folks in my house who will fight me for my chocolate should they see it.  That's right, I am now hiding dark chocolate in a secret stash...Dare I say I may be becoming a chocoholic??

Don't worry, eventually I will share these recipes eventually but in the meantime, I'm keeping it all to myself!

Meanwhile, there may be a lot of choco-therapy happening around here this weekend.  Big A recovered from her strep right before we left for Florida, however, Little A now seems to have come down with something.  Today is the last day of Adam's holiday - it's been so amazing having him home more - and he's got to spend it taking care of our little monkey.  I've got to work today and won't be home much, so, unfortunately, he's going to be on his own with her for much of it.  Fortunately, she's definitely more chipper, and seemingly less uncomfortable than she was last night, so hopefully all our weekend plans aren't completely shot.  Here's wishing you a happy first weekend of 2013!