Ever Wished Chocolate Grew On Trees?

“When i was a little girl, i wished chocolate grew on trees.  When i grew up, i learned it really does.”

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I’ll give you the recipe for homemade chocolate pudding I made for a group of kids and their parents at Whole Foods to celebrate Earth Day.  This treat is otherwise known as:

DIRT AND WORMS.

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It uses only five ingredients which you throw in a saucepan all at once, and stir constantly until the consistency is thick like pudding.  Then pour into six individual servings and chill. It tastes best eaten the same day or the next.  And the ingredients are:

4 cups milk (any kind…whole, soy, almond, rice, fat free…I used unsweetened Vanilla soy milk)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (so good for you…heart healthy!)

9 Tbsp. cornstarch (that is the thickener)

1 1/2 cups sugar (any kind)

2 tsp. vanilla

Top with mint leaves, real fruit juice gummy worms with vitamin c, thin long pretzels for branches & crushed chocolate graham crackers for dirt.  Here’s one child’s creation…

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I invited my kids to help me do the demonstration.

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They had fun, and many of their friends came to see them.

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I had fun telling all of them that cocoa trees grow in the rainforest somewhat near the equator.

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 I explained how the cocoa beans are found in football shaped pods that grow on the Theobroma Cacao tree. The pods are cracked open with a machete and the pulp and seeds are left to dry under banana leaves for a week.  This changes their color from pale white to brown, takes away some bitterness and disintegrates some of the pulp.  The beans are then uncovered and left to dry another week (or longer.)  This intensifies the flavor even more.

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The seeds are now ready to be shipped to a factory where the beans are roasted and their shells cracked open to reveal a “nib” inside.  It’s crushed into a paste called “liquor.”  Now other ingredients may be added such as milk, vanilla, sugar, and cocoa butter.  These ingredients are put through machines to make it smooth and creamy.  To give the chocolate a gloss, it get cooled and heated several times.  Now, the chocolate as we know it can be poured into a mold to be shaped into a bar, bunny, or whatever mold you can dream up.

It’s a beautiful thing.

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This entry was posted in Celebrations, Education, Health, Healthy School Kids, Parenting, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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