This is my version of bounty – it is as always gluten free, plant based and free from refined white sugar. I want to talk about why I avoid refined sugar and choose other forms of (natural) sweeteners instead.
Sugar to begin with, comes from a natural source – a whole plant that is either a sugar cane or a beet plant. Both the sugar cane and the beet plant come complete with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals like any other plant. They also contain carbohydrates like any other plant, in the form of sucrose. However, when sugar is refined they strip the whole plant of all its natural components – except for the sucrose. Then, the sucrose gets concentrated into what we know as table sugar or white sugar. This means that we have taken the sucrose out of its natural balance found in plants and that is the main reason why it impacts our bodies so differently from other forms of natural sweeteners, like maple syrup or honey for example.
When sucrose is part of the whole food, it acts like food in your body -entering your system calmly, breaking down slowly and providing a range of nutrients in addition to energy. However, when sucrose is isolated, sugar acts like a drug in your body. Too much refined sugar creates a cycle of intense highs and lows, keeping our blood sugar, neurotransmitters and blood sugar out of balance. Sugar is also suggested to cause chronic inflammation – and the more sugar we eat, the more disease causing inflammation happens. It’s a never ending cycle that feeds on itself.
In study conducted in 2015 the researchers concluded that unlike white sugar, maple syrup might even help prevent type 2 diabetes. This is seen as a proof that not all sugars is the same and that white sugar is the “bad guy” in the story. Finally, refined sugar has no value in nutrition and it actually robs your body of essential minerals. Sugar causes essential minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium to be leached from the body. This can weaken the teeth and bones, causing tooth decay and diseases like osteoporosis.
With this being said – I don’t believe in extremism. I believe in knowledge and that with knowledge you have power to make better choices, not ALL of the time but most of the time. There will be sugar in some of the things you eat and according to me that is ok and it shouldn’t be something you feel regrets over. Now, let’s move on to this recipe already!
The coconut bottom:
- 4 dl grated coconut
- 1 dl coconut milk
- 0.5 dl coconut oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey*
- A pinch of sea salt
Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and use your hands to mix it together. It should get pretty firm (it will also get more firm after 20 minutes in the fridge) but if not, if it doesn’t come together at all – just add a bit more grated coconut. Then, place it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
The chocolate cover:
- You can either use vegan chocolate or make your own. If you buy one you just have to melt it gently (read instructions further down on when it is time to melt it). I made my own using:
- 100 g (1 dl) coconut oil
- 1 dl raw cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or other natural sweetener
Melt the coconut oil, then pour it into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir thoroughly. Put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes so that it solidifies.
When both the coconut and the chocolate have been in the fridge for a while, bring them out and press out the coconut on a piece of baking paper. You don’t want the bottom (coconut) to be too thin, keep it at least 1.5 cm thick. Mine was about 2 cm thick and I got a square of 15×15 cm. When you’re happy with the bottom part, place it in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes. It was necessary for my chocolate to be out of the fridge this time, because you want it to be creamy enough so that you can spread it on top of the coconut. If you’re using melted chocolate, this is when you should start to melt it. Make sure it gets a few minutes to cool down before you spread it on top of the coconut. Take the bottom out of the freezer and spread the chocolate on top. Add coconut flakes as topping or goji berries and put it back in the freezer for another 30 minutes. Then, you can either keep it there or place it in the fridge instead – up to you! It lasts for 5 days in the fridge.