Wednesday, June 26, 2019


Best Blog Tips

I haven't been blogging lately, but I have been cooking and researching!  My new doctor sent me to an internist a few weeks ago and I've been told that I am not pre-diabetic, as I was previously told by another doctor, but I am actually diabetic. It's not so bad as to need insulin, and my glucose levels have actually gone down, but I do need to be more strict about my diet and exercise. So, I am still on a low-glycemic diet, of course, but also counting carbs and sugars, and I am getting back into walking, weights and other exercise, now that my shingles nerve pain has lessened quite substantially (after 6 months!).

So, a lot of my time has been taken up with research and experimentation, as you can imagine!  It's not that hard for me to resist the temptation of white bread (my husband's homemade, with some oats and wheat bran in it), pizza, and desserts, etc., because I am determined not to ever have to use insulin, to lose some weight, and to still make food that is delicious and health-promoting. Sprouted grain bread is my choice now, farinata instead of pizza dough (see ), fruits for dessert, and the odd 
homemade low-sugar treat.

That said, I love chocolate and I don't want to give it up!  I can have a bit of dark chocolate (at least 71% chocolate) for a treat, but I want to create some chocolate recipes at home, too.  I had heard about chickpea chocolate spreads and, since I always have a supply of cooked chickpeas in my freezer, I decided to try making some.  Below is my recipe and, with two options for sweeteners,  and Nutrition Facts.  You have the choice of using some natural sweet syrups (agave and maple) , or a homemade date paste. It's very quick and easy to make, by the way.

If you have to be very strict about sweets, you could use your favorite sugar-free sweetener. Personally, I really dislike stevia, so I would use sucralose (Splenda) or erythritol if I had to use a sugar-free product. After much research, I don't see that using those products once in a while would cause any harm.  The most important thing, in my opinion, is to work steadily towards curbing your taste for sweets.

Anyway-- enough chatter!  Here's the recipe!

My husband and I are enjoying this yummy spread on toast, or on apple slices-- small amounts, of course. It's not as sweet as Nutella, for sure, but I now prefer less sweet.  (You can check out the nutrition facts for my spreads at the bottom of the page,and there is a photo of the nutrition facts from a jar of Nutella just below.)UPDATE: You can make chocolate milk by mixing 2 tablespoons of the spread with a cup of ypour favorite plant-based milk-- I used an immersion/stick blender.

Makes 1 7/8 cups (2 cups when made with Date Paste)
15-16 servings-- 2 T. each serving

This delicious spread is a much more nutritious and dairy-free, palm oil-free option than Nutella, and also less expensive. (See Nutella nutrition label just below, to compare with both versions I have devised .) It's not as cloyingly sweet as Nutella, but the chocolate flavor is deeper and more pronounced, which is a plus, in my opinion!

See Nutrition facts for Chocolate Chickpea Spread made with syrups, or with date paste, at the end of this post. NOTE: When made with Date Paste, the spread is not quite as sweet, but calories, carbs and sugars are somewhat lower.

1 1/2 cups canned or cooked chickpeas, drained (14-15 oz. can)
2 tbsp nut butter (I used peanut butter)
2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup maple syrup
(OR, if you prefer, use 1 cup Date Paste [5 ounces dates) instead of the the 2 syrups-- see just below for Date Paste recipe; OR try 1/3 cup of Splenda [sucralose])
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp water (you may not need this if you use the Date Paste)

Blend all of the ingredients in food processor until very smooth.  Store in jar in the refrigerator in a tightly-closed jar for up to two weeks.

NOTE: I use organic Deglet Noor pitted dates, but you can use Medjool dates, if you like.
***You can also use the more inexpensive, tightly-packed block of pressed baking dates from your supermarket, but you will need to weigh the dates -- 15.25 ounces for this recipe. You may also need to add a bit more hot water when processing.***

2 cups (tightly packed) pitted, chopped dates (See Note above)
3 cups boiling water

Soak the dates in the boiling water in a COVERED heat-proof bowl or batter bowl for about 30 minutes.

In the bowl of a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade, combine the soaked pitted dates and water.

Process until very smooth, scraping down the bowl to make sure all of the dates are pulverized. Add a bit more water if the mixtured is too thick.  It should be thick enough to mound up on a spoon, not runny.

Store the date paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or you can freeze it in amounts that suit your cooking or baking needs.


Nutrition Facts  (Using agave nectar and maple syrup)
Serving size: 2 tablespoons
Servings: 15
Calories 77
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3.4g 4%
Saturated Fat 0.7g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 33mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 8.3g
Protein 1.7g
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 97mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Recipe analyzed by

Nutrition Facts (using 1 cup Date Paste)
Serving size: 2 tablespoons
Servings: 16
Calories 68
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3.2g 4%
Saturated Fat 0.6g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 30mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 10.6g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1.5g 5%
Total Sugars 6.4g
Protein 1.8g
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 80mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Recipe analyzed by