Have you ever heard a song that brings you back to a specific space in time that you can almost taste in your mouth? (If so, I am so curious to hear what it is)… For me, the other day I was listening to my iTunes and this song, “American Stitches” by Richard Walters was playing, a song that I hadn’t heard in quite some time. It took me by surprise at the emotion I felt as it brought me back to a certain day three years ago that is forever etched in my memory.
It was right around this time in my life (you can read about it here) where I began to bravely yet uncomfortably step out of the life I knew up until that point. I ended a long term relationship and packed up my belongings to move back down to Orange County as I accepted a job as a gluten-free vegan baker (my dream job). Things were looking brighter in the midst of darkness…that is, until I received a phone call three days before I was supposed to move that my job fell through. It was heart breaking to say the least. I felt lost. How could life seemingly point me in one direction only to take the rug right under my feet and leave me incapable of moving?
After that moment on the beach, I came home and put this song on repeat and sobbed my way through each play as I continued to pack up my stuff. I couldn’t see what was about to unfold the following year. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20 but as I listened to this song the other day, I was reminded of how life orchestrates itself so beautifully and when you are stuck in those deep valleys, unable to see what’s next, those are the moments that the Universe is working so delicately and weaving together moments that are about to blow you away. You just have to stay patient and believe.
Sugar Free Chocolate Bars
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 5 mins
- Yield: 6 Chocolate Bars 1x
Adapted from my Raw Chocolate Bar recipe, this recipe adds a new dimension with the use of carob powder. Feel free to use raw cacao or regular cocoa powder in its place if you are allowed to do so on your diet (for anti-candida friendly it is best to stick with carob).
- 2/3 c. carob powder (or cocoa powder)
- 1/3 c. coconut oil, melted (use refined if you don’t like the taste of coconut)
- 20 drops of liquid Stevia (or until acquired taste is achieved)
- pinch of sea salt
- Chocolate Mold (optional)
- Mix all of the ingredients into a bowl until you have a thick yet pourable sauce.
- Pour into a chocolate mold. Freeze for 15 minutes or until set.
- Keep refrigerated because it will melt the longer it stays at room temperature.
- Serving Size: 1 Chocolate Bar
- Calories: 185
- Sugar: 3g
- Sodium: 40mg
- Fat: 15g
- Carbohydrates: 5.3g
- Protein: 1g
For if I were to have had that job go through, I would never have been able to pursue Fork & Beans in the manner that I have dreamt about from Day 1. If I stayed, I would have never met Matt, the man who is my best friend, who makes me laugh so hard, who is not only the best person on earth but also makes me want to be a better person every day.
I thought that my life was heading in the direction of my dreams three years ago but I really didn’t have any clue as to how much better it could get. It just took a major detour and a song set on repeat several times to get there.
Recipe Notes: This is a versatile recipe that can be in solid form (like these chocolate bars) or in melted form (perfect for coating these No Bake Cake Pops). I have found that my candida-frenzied body does not get out of control through the consumption of carob powder and can absolutely handle eating it in moderation without wanting to eat everything in sight. You might find that you are okay with cocoa powder; if so, feel free to use it in carob’s place. Also keep an eye on the liquid stevia. Add little by little until you achieve the taste you like (every palate is different).
Can I use honey or another alternative besides Stevia? I absolutely can’t stand the taste of Stevia. Thanks in advance 🙂
Wow, these look so authentic, I plan to use heart molds I got at IKEA!
I finally made these last night! I had ordered the mold when you first posted this but never had a chance to make them. I will taste one tonight! 🙂
The Vegan Cookie Fairy
That story broke my heart a teeny bit, BUT it also makes me happy because you’re such a strong and inspiring person. So as weird as that sounds, I’m glad you didn’t get that job as a vegan gluten-free baker 🙂
If I wanted to make these bars with regular chocolate, should I use cacao or cocoa powder?
The Vegan Cookie Fairy
Oh and I forgot to say: a song that gets me every time is Landslide. When Paramore did a mashup of their song ‘In The Mourning’ with ‘Landslide’ at their concert in London a couple of years ago I sobbed through the whole song, even though my mother and sister were right there and it was embarrassing. But it reminds me of a time when I realised I was not living my life the way I should be and it was time to end a very complicated and toxic relationship. Music can do that sometimes.
Thanks Clem for taking the time to read this post! I love your tenderness in both comments. I’m so happy too that things didn’t work out the way I wanted. Life has a great way of opening new opportunities like that. And Landside is SUCH a memory-stirrer song for me too. I love every version, from the original to the Smashing Pumpkins and Dixie Chicks 🙂 Music is so powerful and I am so grateful that you found the courage to end a toxic relationship. Talk about taking steps to putting YOU first. Love it, xo!
oops, I forgot to answer your question 🙂 I would use regular cocoa powder (or to be extra special, use dark cocoa powder–the flavor is unreal!) Hope that helps, xo
I love your blog Ms.Cara! Everything we have made from your recipes have tasted scrumptious. One of my sweeties can’t have coconut anymore and I have no idea what to use to replace it in this recipe. Do you have any ideas? (We also skip soy, corn, dairy, oats, apples, eggs and good ole gluten). Thanks. And thanks for the yummies.
Thank you so much!!! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate hearing that : )About the coconut issue, you know, sadly there is no sub for it with this just because coconut oil solidifies perfectly when chilled, allowing for bar form chocolate. If I think of a good alternative I will definitely let you know, xo
That’s ok. I figured out this tiny dilemma. One of my sweeties can’t do sugar but can do coconut. For him (my Mr.) I can use your recipe as written. For one of my other sweeties (also known as kiddo), I can make hers with enjoy life choc chunks (good stuff but needs a name change hehe). I have a candy bar mold and a Hershey kiss mold for cute lil kisses. I love your wrappers. Packaging is my favorite part to make. Thanks Ms Cara!
You could use cocoa butter. It’s solid at room temperature (and what’s traditionally used in chocolate bars). It IS pricey though.
That’s a great idea Nina. Thx I will see where I can buy that. I appreciate the help.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
Perfect allergy-free chocolate? Yes please!
Done and done 🙂
Cute!! I have some vagina-shaped (yep, vagina) and unicorn-shaped chocolate molds that I should try with this recipe! LOVE carob. I think I might love carob more than chocolate.
Please warn me before you state you have a vagina chocolate mold. This will save me from choking on my spit from laughing so hard! xoxo
SHUT UP. That is so simple! I have to get a cute chocolate mold like asap. I love the wrapping too!
Very simple! Not quite as good as a Ghiradelli chocolate bar but when this is all you can have, I will take it! 😉
Meg@ Beard and Bonnet
Although I hate to hear you went through a rough patch I am so grateful for our paths in life crossing and for our friendship. I heart you more than you could ever know!
Just so you know, it’s been SO inspiring watching you take the crummy things happening recently and making something positive out it. I’m really gleaning a lot from that from you 🙂 Love you!
The link to the chocolate bar mold is broken. I’d like to get one!
Thank you for the heads up Beth, it’s fixed! xo
What brand of carob powder do you prefer?
I use Chatfield’s All Natural Carob Powder. I really like it 🙂