Monday, April 23, 2012
Something for Your Ancestral Sweet Tooth
No beating around the bush, there are times when all you need is a spoonful of something wicked to satisfy an obsession. Most modern humans, (I would wager 99.9%) are obsessed with the sensation of sweet. This is no mistake, as we are programmed to seek such flavor; sweet representing instant energy and the absence of potential bitter toxins to early humans. The modern dilemma is not finding it however, but avoiding it since it is laced in everything from pasta sauce to juice drinks to sell more of a product. And since most of us are not running around spearing fish and hunting buffalo to burn up the extra fuel, we don't have an urgent need for the incidental sweet morsel.
We are drenched in refined sugar these days (in all shapes and forms), and it really is a serious dilemma. My friend Jane is an expert on insulin resistance, teaching regularly on the dangers of the Standard American Diet (SAD) in it's relation to our long term health. She is also the one who introduced me to her homemade dark chocolate sauce. She recognizes, that despite overwhelming science-based evidence on the dangers of sugar and degenerative health, one can still occasionally enjoy a treat if we do so with less frequency and with quality in mind.
She likes to keep a small jar of this sauce in her fridge, rewarming it to drizzle over plain Greek yogurt or for dipping a slice of apple into. I like to do the same, though my favorite way to indulge is on a little spoon, paired with cashew or almond butter, like a deconstructed Reese's cup. It's great to have such a pleasurable go-to treat that won't make you need a confessional afterward.
So until evolution catches up to our ancient code, causing sweet to taste more like road-kill, here is something to enjoy in the meantime.
Jane's Dark Chocolate Sauce:
*1/2 cup very high quality cocoa powder
*1/4 cup high quality raw cane sugar
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 tablespoon butter
*1/4 cup boiling water
Whisk all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until smooth. Transfer to a small jar with a fitted lid. Store in fridge.
*Note: Warm, this sauce can be drizzled easily, chilled it will preform more like fudge. Simply add a pinch of hot water to chilled sauce to reconstitute.