Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday. Don't know exactly why, but surely it all began with the substance of chocolate as a child. My Daddy would bring home a big red heart-shaped box of candy for my mom, which she would share with me. Every holiday was celebrated with sugar treats at my house, like chocolate-covered cherries for George Washington's birthday (he's the one who cut down the cherry tree). What a hoot! My mom definitely liked to celebrate holidays and it was all about sugar and generally chocolate.
No wonder I ended up with an addiction to chocolate ... well, the fact that my dad's whole family worked at Hershey Chocolate had some influence since we got 25 lb. "Hershey bars." They were actually the milk chocolate melting blocks that they used in manufacturing. I guess employees could buy them and we kept one on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator at all times. We used an ice pick to keep the "chocolate bowl" full of chunks of chocolate. Oh my goodness!
Praise God, 14 years ago I gave it up with a promise to God that if He took away the cravings, I would say NO to chocolate forever more. And we have both kept that agreement. I also felt that spiritually it would keep addiction out of reach for my only child. It was also a great motivator.
Once I gave up chocolate, sugar has not been as tempting. It seems most of what I loved about sugar was also chocolate. We booted white flour and sugar out of our home in the late 70's so I wasn't baking or using sugar at home. Fortunately we order our pantry and frozen food in bulk every six months so I don't have to frequent the grocery stores other than an occasional visit when there's a great produce item on sale. Generally I use a produce market that has great prices and local fruit and veggies.
If you've got a problem with sugar, you may be interested in: Overcoming Sugar Addiction
. There's also a link in that article to My No-Chocolate Anniversary
(the 11th year so it was written 3 years ago).
The good news is CAROB! Most folks have heard of carob by now. It's a chocolate substitute and I've cooked with it in place of cocoa for a long time. There's a pie that I make with it that is out of this world good. I always make a note on my recipes the first time I make it (in this case July 1990) a valuation of whether we liked it or not. This recipe has: "Delicious! Marvelous!" Any friends who have tasted it also drool and ask for the recipe. So, here it is:German Carob Pie
One whole wheat pie crust (you can use your favorite recipe or frozen brand)Filling: Combine
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup carob powder (Chatfield is my favorite brand)Beat:
1/4 cup melted butter
1 T. vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk (I use coconut milk)Add to honey mixture, then add:
1/2 cup each of shredded unsweetened coconut and chopped walnuts
Turn into the pie shell and sprinkle lightly with coconut for decoration. Bake 40-45 minutes at 350Â° and then cool. Refrigerate at least two (2) hours before eating.