HANDMADE HOLIDAY ‘AFTER DINNER MINTS’

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I’ve always had a thing for after dinner mints. Dessert is too much after a meal. BUT a little mint to tease the taste buds is just right!

Mint is known to settle the stomach. As are many herbs. The original idea behind having a bit of candy made with this tasty herb after a meal arose from that tenet.

Sipping on a cup of peppermint tea, after an evening meal, is a pretty common occurrence in my household. It’s just plain good for you. This Apothecarist highly recommends it 😉

However, for Christmas this year I wanted to make the after dinner mint experience a little more special than that. Like peppermint patty special.

Yet, the thought of all of the bad for you ingredients that are usually in a peppermint patty being the grand finale to my holiday feast didn’t sit quite right with me. So I got to work on creating a healthy version of this gas station staple.

And the results of my efforts are pretty damn phenomenal, if I do say so myself! So, I thought that I would share them with all of you. This way we can all enjoy the fruits of my labor!

I made the filling first (obviously, LOL).

I used unsweetened finely shredded coconut …

And a little melted coconut oil, honey, almond milk, and peppermint extract …

I mixed it all together with a fork. It took a little time and effort to blend it well. Honey can be a tough cookie to distribute through dry goods. But half the fun is in the making, as they say. So I took my time and it paid off big in the end.

I didn’t have a mold. And where I live there aren’t many places to shop. Most things have to be ordered online. Not like my hometown where I would just run up to Commerce Boulevard (the name says it all) and grab whatever I needed.

But there’s a whole lot of good to the laid back lifestyle folks live in my new home, so I’m not complaining. And since necessity definitely is the mother of invention, I simply pressed my coconut mixture into a tablespoon and then popped the balls out with my finger.

It worked great. I ended up with gorgeous little balls of coconut yumminess! Perfect. I popped them in the freezer. And set the timer for an hour to firm them up.

This step is paramount as otherwise they will simply fall apart in your chocolate coating and you’ll end up eating your peppermint patties with a spoon!

While you’re waiting for your coconut ‘balls’ to freeze you can get your other ingredients ready to go. Don’t mix them until you’re ready to use them though. They might harden up on you. Depending on the temperature in your kitchen.

The coating is made with cocoa. I think that probably goes without saying, right? Chocolate = cocoa.

When my timer went off I mixed some coconut oil and honey in with the cocoa.

And then dropped the balls in the final brew one at a time. So simple!

After I dropped them in I just used a spoon to pour coating over the top of them. And then scooped them out with a fork and slid them onto a plate.

I had to move quickly with this step because the coldness of the balls rapidly change the texture of the chocolate coating. And I didn’t want to have to reheat it.

Once I had all of them coated and placed on a plate, I tossed the plate in the freezer for a bit. I know from past experience working with chocolate coating that it only takes about 15 minutes to chill a candy like this. But I think I left them in there an hour or so before I tried them.

They came out absolutely perfect. So damn delicious!

Once I had a taste, I put the remaining balls in an airtight container and tucked them back in the freezer for Christmas. That was the plan. Wasn’t it?!?!

I could have kept them in the fridge as well. But I liked them frozen a lot. A whole lot. So frozen it is!

Here’s the recipe so you can make some for yourself and your family. It will be hard to share but you should. You really should 😉

If you find yourself feeling the generosity of the Christmas spirit, bear in mind that they make a really nice hostess gift for holiday parties/dinners.

Spread the love a little! Just sayin’!


HANDMADE HOLIDAY ‘AFTER DINNER MINTS’ RECIPE


FILLING:

1 c. Coconut, unsweetened, shredded

3 tsp. Coconut Oil, melted

2 tsp. Honey

1 tsp. Almond Milk

1 tsp. Peppermint Extract

COATING:

1/2 c. Coconut Oil, melted

6 tbls. Cocoa Powder, heaping

4 tbls. Honey


TO MAKE FILLING:

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and blend well with a fork. Shape into patties or balls and freeze for 1 hour.

TO MAKE COATING:

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and blend well with a fork.

Drop coconut patties/balls in coating one at a time and cover well. Do this quickly to prevent coating from getting too hard.

Place mints on a plate and freeze for 15 minutes.

Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!


If you decide to make this tasty treat this holiday (or any other time 😉), please let me know in the comments how it works out for you!

Or just pop in the comments to share your thoughts about this recipe, about after dinner mints, or even just to say Hi!

I love hearing from all of you. I really do. Without you there is no reason for me to be here ❤️

And … connect with me on facebook if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist. We will both be glad you did ❤

PLANT BASED STUFFING FOR THANKSGIVING

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Hey Everyone!

I’ve been working on a plant based stuffing recipe for a few weeks now. I’ve always had the best stuffing recipe ever. Like over-the-top frickin’ fabulous. It is my favorite dish on the Thanksgiving dinner table.

My recipe has sausage in it. And I’ve been trying to be more mindful of eating processed food. So I thought it would be fun to make a whole new recipe. A plant-based recipe. Fit for a Thanksgiving feast. Even though I won’t be making a full holiday dinner this year.

I volunteered to work for the holiday. And quite honestly I don’t cook a big dinner most years anymore anyway. Too much work for this girl. Particularly when I am the only one who really enjoys it in this house.

But I’m pretty sure that a big ‘ol scoop (or two) of crazy tasty stuffing. Topped with a really savory dressing. And a heaping serving of mashed potatoes on a plate will satisfy my desire to indulge, at least a little, in this once a year feast.

So with both, “I need the best damn stuffing ever” and “Let’s keep it plant-based” in mind I came up with the recipe below.

It’s damn tasty. I promise. Give it a try. You’re going to love it.

It will be a permanent addition to my recipe box, for sure 😉

PLANT-BASED THANKSGIVING STUFFING RECIPE


1 med onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp dried sage

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 bayleaf

salt and pepper

2 1/2 c vegetable broth

8 oz fresh mushrooms

1/2 c pecans, chopped

1/2 c dried apricots

1/2 c dried cranberries

1/8 c dried parsley

8 c dried bread cubes


Toast pecan pieces. And place aside.

Saute onion, celery, garlic, sage, thyme, oregano, bayleaf, salt (to taste), and pepper (to taste) in 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth until onion and celery are translucent. Remove bay leaf.

Chop mushrooms. Toss them in with the veggies and seasonings and cook until warmed through.

Mix in pecans, apricots, cranberries, and parsley and immediately remove from heat.

Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl and toss with all other ingredients.

Grease a large baking pan and pour mixture into it. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.

I made my own bread cubes for this recipe. I used a package of bakery fresh buns to make them. I don’t generally eat a lot of white bread. But I had the buns on hand and so I used them up.

In my opinion a whole grain bread would be even better. It would add another dimension to the flavor profile.

But use whatever works for you. The recipe is damn good just the way it is.

Also, if you are oil-free as many plant-based eaters are, you can skip the oil by lining your baking dish with parchment paper before you put the stuffing in it. Or, better yet, use a silicone baking dish 😉

AND …

If you decide to make this tasty dish please be sure to share your experience with me in the comments! I’d love to know how others feel about the recipe. And learn any tips or tricks you might have discovered while making it!

And … connect with me on facebook if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist. We will both be glad you did ❤