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Posts tagged ‘cocoa’

Agathe Christie & Willy Wonka

51E5HteP5iL._SY346_Thirteen Chocolates by Agatha Chocolats
Reviewed by Gabriel Constans

Take one of the best movies ever made, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (with Gene Wilder), and combine it with the most widely read murder mystery writer in the world, (Agatha Christie) and you’ll enjoy the sumptuous wedding feast of Thirteen Chocolates.

If you’ve never thought of the joy and pleasure of chocolate, in combination with murder and suspense, you will now. In fact, you may never be able to eat another rich, delicious chocolate again, without wondering who may be eliminated next.

The chapters in this book are uniquely rendered backwards, starting out with Chapter 13, and ending with Chapter 1. Thus, corresponding to the number of apparent heirs who are at the famous Chandler’s Mansion, vying for their inheritance in a challenge that soon turns deadly.

The story is first rate, with great dialogue and metaphors, “That girl’s flakier than my Aunt Elma’s pork belly pot pie crust”; believable characters; and a well thought out plot. It’s always been difficult for me to figure out “who did it” when reading mysteries, and this was no exception.

If you love chocolate, you’ll devour this book. If you like murder mysteries, or suspense novels, you’ll delight in the similarities and differences included within its pages. If you are up for something completely different and decadently enjoyable, I encourage you to go ahead, have a bite, and read Thirteen Chocolates.

 

 

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Chocolate Love

Luscious-Choc-SmoothiesExcerpt from Luscious Chocolate Smoothies: An irresistible collection of healthy cocoa delights.

Xocoatil was the Aztecs’ word for “chocolate”. They called it the “bitter drink” and considered it a gift from the Gods. The cocoa bean has been cultivated for the last 1000 years and recorded as early as 2000 BC.

Cocoa was first introduced to Europe when Cortés brought the beans to Spain and offered them to the Emperor in the early 1500s. By adding Cinnamon, heat and sugar, they improved the bitter taste. The discovery of cocoa by the Spaniards was so provocative that they kept its existence a secret for almost a century until it was smuggled by monks to France. By the 1650s it had crossed the channel to England and the North American colonies of the English and the Dutch.

Good for the Heart

Cocoa powder and chocolate contain rich sources of polyphenol antioxidants, which are the same beneficial compounds found in fruits, vegetables and red wine that may reduce the risk of developing heart disease. It is believed that damage done in the body by free oxygen radicals is linked to heart disease and other maladies connected with aging. There is some research that indicates that antioxidants in the blood stream help eliminate free radicals, thus reducing the risk of developing heart disease. Dark chocolate contains more antioxidants, per 100 grams, then prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, kale, strawberries, spinach, raspberries, Brussels sprouts, plums, alfalfa sprouts, oranges, red grapes, red bell pepper, cherries, onion, corn or eggplant.

Audrey’s Amore

3 cups chocolate milk (dairy, soy, or rice)
10 large ripe strawberries
2 small bananas
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on medium speed for 1 minute. Chill for five minutes, pour into tall glasses and serve naked (literally or figuratively).

Yield: 5 cups

More Amore

More Amore
by Gabriel Constans

If there is indeed a true aphrodisiac, this is it. Chocolate and strawberries – what a treat! For a truly romantic and adventurous experience, drink one smoothie out of a single glass together with two straws, then take another full glass and use your imagination.

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Yield: 5 cups

3 cups chocolate milk (dairy, soy, almond or rice)
10 large ripe strawberries (fresh or frozen thawed)
2 small bananas
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend on medium speed for 1 minute.

Tutti-Frutti

Tutti-Frutti

Discovered in the vaults of the Kremlin after the fall of Communism in the Soviet Union, this recipe had been hermetically sealed in a safe that only the KGB had access to. Even Stalin, the notorious dictator, didn’t know of its whereabouts. Perhaps if he had sampled the Tutti-Frutti, he would have been much sweeter and more understanding.

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Yield: 4 servings

2 apricots, peeled and sliced
1 nectarine, peeled and sliced
1 cup seedless grapes
1 tablespoon honey
3 cups milk
1 banana
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend on medium speed for 30 seconds.

Pour into tall glasses and serve while listening to Little Richard singing Tutti-Frutti.

Great-Am-SmoothiesExcerpt from Great American Smoothies: The Ultimate Blending Guide for Shakes, Slushes, Desserts, & Thirst Quenchers by Gabriel Constans

Dangerous Liaisons

Dangerous Liaisons

This is not a smoothie you want to serve lightly. If you are planning on a divorce, are having an affair, or just having “lustful thoughts,” then don’t drink this in front of your wife, husband, or significant other. It is quite delicious, and if drunk in excess, it can cause you to reveal your deepest desires to all within shouting distance.

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Yield: 4 servings

2 nectarines, peeled, seeded, and sliced
2 cups filtered water
1 banana
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
1 1/2 teaspoons tahini
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
2 ice cubes

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend on medium for 45 seconds.

Pour into tall glasses and serve carefully. Do not drink in excess unless you are prepared for some dangerous liaisons.

Great-Am-SmoothiesExcerpt from Great American Smoothies: The Ultimate Blending Guide for Shakes, Slushes, Desserts, & Thirst Quenchers by Gabriel Constans

Orangutan Tang

Orangutan Tang

The orangutan is closely related to the chimpanzee, the gorilla, and humans. Its name comes from two Malay words meaning “man” and “jungle.” They enjoy eating fruits and vegetables, and love to play and get into mischief. This smoothie resembles the orangutan in its playfulness and rich, brownish-red color.

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Yield: 4 cups

1 1/2 cups rice milk
1 cup plain yogurt (soy or dairy)
1 banana
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon orange extract

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.

Pour into tall glasses, serve and become a little mischievous.

Great-Am-SmoothiesExcerpt from Great American Smoothies: The Ultimate Blending Guide for Shakes, Slushes, Desserts, & Thirst Quenchers by Gabriel Constans

The Big Dipper

Luscious-Choc-SmoothiesFrom Luscious Chocolate Smoothies: An Irresisitible Collection of Healthy Cocoa Delights.
By Gabriel Constans

A healthy and delicious recipe from my book of chocolate smoothies.

The Big Dipper

Yields 6 Cups

  • 2 cups plain soy milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 12-ounce package soft silken tofu
  • 2 banans, in chunks
  • 1/2 cup mango slices
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on medium for 2 minutes.

2. Pour into tall clear glasses and never go without.

per cup: Calories 175; Protein 7 g; Total Fat 4 g; Saturated Fat 1 g; Carbohydrate29 g; Cholesterol 0 mg

Find more recipes, humor, chocolate facts and stories at Luscious Chocolate Smoothies.
Read one of the many reviews at Five Healthy Recipes.

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