This month’s Recipe ReDux challenge is all about chocolate matches:
Does your chocolate need a friend? What is your favorite chocolate match? Show us your favorite healthy chocolate combo recipe.
My chocolate match for the month is cocoa and tahini! With a few Mediterranean-inspired fruit ingredients (dates and figs), because I am trying to channel warm vibes over here in my cold New York City apartment.
Seven years ago, I planted a fig tree in my parent’s backyard in Los Angeles. The tree tends to start fruiting in July and August, and my parents now get inundated with voluptuous figs every season. Last year, my brother, who also lives in New York, was visiting our parents during fig season. When he flew back to New York, he brought a bag full of vacuum-packed frozen figs in his suitcase for me so that I could enjoy the figs all year long!
I visited the “Family Fig Tree” last June, just before the season began
Frozen figs that remind me of late summer + sweet creamy dates, bananas, and tahini paste. I am starting to feel warm already! All of those ingredients also happen to pair well with chocolate.
What happens when unsweetened cocoa powder gets combined with tahini? It is a perfect match. Better than chocolate ice cream, better than peanut butter-chocolate anything. The tahini adds a thickness and a creaminess to the shake without overpowering the fruit or cocoa flavors.
Have a nut allergy? Try using tahini, made from sesame seeds. It will change your life.
I blended all of the ingredients into a delicious shake. Since it is currently winter, I used a fresh banana instead of a frozen banana so the shake would not be super frosty but just slightly chilled. If it were summertime, I might have used a frozen banana.
Soaking the dates in warm or hot water for a few minutes is important to soften them so that they blend up nice and smooth. Chopping them finely helps them blend up more easily, too.
Too cold to think about smoothies and shakes right now? I can sympathize. Here is another option: Blend everything up, pour the mix into a saucepan and gently heat for a warming hot-cocoa-tahini-fruit drink.
Cocoa Tahini Fruit Shake ~*Recipe ReDux*~
makes 1 large or 2 small shakes
1 1/2 cups liquid (I used 1 cup 1% low fat milk + 1/2 cup water)
1 medium banana, cut into pieces (can use a frozen banana to keep things extra cold)
1/2 cup frozen figs (can use frozen cherries or strawberries if figs not available)
2 dates, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes and then chopped fine
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 – 2 tablespoons tahini paste
optional, pinch of salt, to bring out the flavors
Combine everything in a blender, making sure you put liquids in first to help the blender get started. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass or glasses and enjoy with a straw!
Check out the other Recipe ReDuxer posts below: