VALENTINE'S CHOCOLATES - A HEALTHIER ALTERNATIVE‏

Here's a delicious and healthier alternative to make Valentine's Day extra special, from acclaimed author and health food advocate Jennifer Irvine..


A healthier alternative for Valentine's Day. 


Chocolate-covered Nut-Stuffed California Prunes
Valentine’s Day is synonymous with chocolate, and with small offerings of luxury – this is a great recipe for bringing the two together. The Brazil nuts are packed with good oils, and are one of the best natural sources of selenium – a mineral which helps normal thyroid function. It’s also a good source of non-animal protein, so vegetarians and vegans should incorporate them into their diet.  Chocolate doesn’t always have to be unhealthy, especially if you use one high in cocoa solids.  And of course the prunes, as well as giving a fabulous textural contrast to the nuts, are rich in fibre, potassium, vitamin K and a source of vitamin B6, copper and manganese. 
For Valentine’s Day, Jennifer recommends a few of these to accompany a chilled glass of delicious champagne.

Prep Time: 15 mins + 20 mins drying time.
You will need:  (makes six)
·       6 ready-to-eat California Prunes
·       6 whole Brazil nuts
·       50g high quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
·       1 tbsp dehydrated strawberry powder (or you can use gold flakes if you have some)
First, prepare the stuffed prunes.  Into the cavity of prune place one of the Brazil nuts, as far as it will go, taking care not to pierce through the prune. About half of the nut will be sticking out.
Sprinkle the strawberry powder onto a plate, and put to one side.
Half-fill a small pan with boiling water and place over a medium heat, so that the water is simmering. Break the chocolate up into small chunks, and place in a small bowl which fits over the pan – taking care not to have the bowl touching the boiling water. Stir gently once it starts to melt, and remove from the pan (turning off the heat) once it has completely melted.
Holding the stuffed prunes by the Brazil nut end, gently dip and roll the prune in the melted chocolate, covering the entire prune.  Then lightly roll the tip of the chocolate-covered prune in the dehydrated strawberry.  Repeat for each stuffed prune.
Place the prunes on a baking tray covered with baking parchment, and leave to dry for at least 20 mins.
Arrange on a plate, and sprinkle with any remaining strawberry powder.  

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