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Chocolate Almond Butter Cups For A Cause


Please take the time to read this from top to tail. There's an incredible dessert waiting for you at the end.

Many of us these days work in relative isolation. We sit at computers, typing away, and though we stay connected with each other and with our colleagues, much of the work we're doing is independent. I have personally always loved working on my own. I love creating things and seeing them from idea through to real life. However, I also recognize the power in numbers. Over the years I have come to learn when challenges are best taken on solo, and when there is simply not enough power in one person alone.

What I have found most incredible is that the work I get to do today started as a solo mission, but grew into something that was best served by having a power team behind it and a tribe cheering us on, leaning on us and each other, and ultimately coming together to be that force, that power, that is greater than just the combined momentum of our individual efforts.

The collective momentum of this community can make the impossible possible.

I think back on my first little classes and I remember my excitement and the wonder (never fear!) about whether what I had endeavoured to do would work. Those first classes grew and grew until they were re-imagined and re-born as the Academy of Culinary Nutrition.

This past fall I had the honour of working with three hundred incredibly talented and inspiring men and women from across Canada and the US, as well as overseas from destinations as far reaching as Qatar, Jordan, India, Israel, Finland, South Korea, Japan, Greece, and more. The Academy of Culinary Nutrition now has an alumni community of over 700 that represent 30+ countries.

This week we launched the third annual Academy of Culinary Nutrition fundraiser, where we sell the best ever cookbook with 100% of the proceeds going to an important, self-sustaining, life changing cause (I'll get to that in a moment).

Get your copy of From Scratch Cooking. Available for a limited time only and all proceeds go to Pencils of Promise. Learn More

Our 2016 From Scratch Cooking Cookbook is bigger, brighter, and more delicious than ever. From Scratch Recipes 1

We create this book every year as a way for the entire tribe to come together as a community, as a village, and do something that has a greater global impact. Our students generously donate their original recipe creations and photos to us. My team and I then work to compile all of the recipes together to create a final cookbook. We look at the balance of recipes, the ingredients, the professionalism and quality of direction, the ease and interest and when they have gorgeous photos, it's a bonus.

At the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, we aim to share the fundamental importance of how food and culinary skills can transform our health and the health of the world. When we combine this knowledge with the creativity of our students, that’s when the magic in the kitchen happens. Giving is a big part of the plan.

And we do this with one reason in mind: to make positive change happen in the world.

In the past we have raised funds for Organics4Orphans helping provide water, organic gardens and sustainability training to community leaders in Kenya. We've donated money to Charity:Water where we provided clean drinking water for five villages in Ethiopia. After the Nepal earthquake we put out a call and raised money for the Canadian Red Cross. Last year we raised funds for Kiva, where we have been able to make 103 loans, supporting people in 103 communities get their businesses going.

And this year we are aiming for something more.

You are my village and I am happy to be part of yours, and I am calling on you to help us together do what may seem, at first, to be completely impossible.

Our goal this year is to raise $25,000 to build a school in a community in Laos, Guatemala or Ghana with Pencils of Promise

Oh, and we're striving to do this in two weeks. We started yesterday.

Is this possible? Well, you know as well as I do that everything is possible. Here's the thing though - to make everything possible, it's not just about believing or knowing that it is, it's doing something too.

2014 Pencils of Promise Ghana 200th

Why Building This School Matters

We know how important education can be. When we learn more, we are better equipped to take care of ourselves, our health and our families. I have seen the culinary nutrition experts transform their lives over the last three years because of the knowledge they acquired about culinary nutrition, and every single one of them wants to help children around the world have the same opportunity for learning and growth.

  • Teaching children, especially daughters, how to read and write is teaching the whole family. Where often men use their skills and may go off to cities to work, women growing up literate are able to extend their education to their families.
  • Training and curriculum is also provided for the teachers to ensure they continue to receive the supplies and other support they need to keep doing their job well.
  • Pencils of Promise sources 20% of labour and materials from the local community, thereby providing work and income.
  • Many of these communities are being ravaged by the effects of global warming and the increasing severity of the weather. In many of these villages, the Pencils of Promise school is the only safe building to seek shelter that can sustain these storms.
  • 100% of online donations go to Pencils of Promise go to school builds and programs.

And so here's what I know. If I, one little person can turn a 6-person cooking class into a tribe of nearly 1,000 then together, we can make the same kind of magic happen for a whole new community.  Everything is possible.

Can you join us in helping make everything possible for a community of children, their families and generations to come?

Get your copy of From Scratch Cooking. Available for a limited time only and all proceeds go to Pencils of Promise. Learn More

This doesn't just change the life of one child, it has the potential to transform an entire village.  As we know, when banded together, it takes only a handful of mighty people to create meaningful change in the world.

We're already doing it - so let's extend our magic to help others do it too.

You can learn more about this project and get your copy of From Scratch Cooking: 2016 Edition over here.

We are truly blessed to have the means to help create miracles in the lives of others, so don't forget to dip in for a dose of gratitude.

From Scratch 2016

100% of your purchase will go towards building this school.

And now, as promised, your dessert. This beautiful recipe is just one of the 44 gluten and dairy-free recipes you'll enjoy in From Scratch Cooking.

This recipe is by CNE 2014 Grad Brooke Hutchison. Brooke is a Culinary Nutrition Expert in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. Currently studying Holistic Nutrition and Herbal Medicine, her focus is on women’s health. Her goal is to encourage women to have the confidence to take responsibility for their health and feel empowered to be their best selves. Offering various workshops and cooking classes to her community, she understands the importance of teaching others how to positively connect with their meals and the power of healing with food.

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Yield: 24 mini cups

A rich and wholesome dairy-free treat to enjoy when you need a guilt-free yet indulgent snack. These melt-in-your-mouth chocolates use raw cacao powder, which is high in magnesium, minerals and antioxidants. They’re sure to leave you with a feeling of bliss.

For the bottom layer
  • 1 ½ cups organic almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
For the top layer
  • ¾ cup cacao powder
  • ½ cup cacao butter
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp raw unpasteurized honey (depending on preferred sweetness)
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt (optional)

Make It Like So
  1. Line mini muffin pan with chlorine-free mini baking cups.
Bottom Layer:
  1. Using a double boiler, combine the nut butter and coconut oil. Stir over medium – low heat until melted. Remove mixture from heat.
  2. Spoon the mixture into the bottom of the cups – fill each ¾ full.
  3. Let harden in the freezer while preparing the top chocolate layer.
Top Layer:
  1. Using a double boiler, combine all ingredients for the top layer. Stir over medium – low heat until the mixture is completely melted and smooth.
  2. Taste and adjust for preferred sweetness.
  3. Remove tray from the freezer and spoon chocolate mixture on top of the bottom layer, filling each cup.
  4. Place tray back in the freezer to harden the top layer, 20-30 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  6. Store in the fridge or freezer and see how long they last. Enjoy!
Bonus Tip: There are so many flavour combinations to try here. Have fun experimenting with different sweeteners such as honey, lucuma powder, maple syrup or coconut sugar. For an extra boost of goodness, add maca or peppermint extract to the chocolate layer. Top with roasted almonds, shredded coconut or goji berries – the possibilities are endless!

Cooking for a cause with @AcademyCN and @PencilsofPromis. Get your copy #FromScratch2016

One Response to “Chocolate Almond Butter Cups For A Cause”

  1. Maggie said…
    Such a worthy cause! Off to check it out :)

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