Saturday, January 22, 2011

chocolate chips (vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free)

If you're on a refined sugar-free diet like us (meaning no fake sugars either) it's a little difficult to find chocolate chips.  Even simply gluten free eaters have a little harder time finding them too, because most brands use wheat.  And if you do happen to find some, they are going to cost you, say, an arm and a leg, at the very least.  This was a problem, because I was really, really craving chocolate chip cookies.  Sure, I made chocolate cookies and chocolate peanut butter cookies, but those are just not the same.  When you want chocolate chips, you want chocolate chips.  So of course I had to make some!  (Unfortunately, I was not able to get a picture of the fabled chocolate chip cookies, because my camera battery was dead and I didn't have my charger.  I used Elana's recipe.)

Luckily, the first combination of ingredients I tried worked...and that's not usually the case.  It was just meant to be. :)  These are deliciously semi-sweet, with just the right amount of sweet to balance the cocoa.  They hold together when baked, but melt just enough to turn chocolately.

3 TB coconut oil (2 melted, 1 mostly melted)
2 TB gluten-free cocoa powder + 3 TB (or cinnamon for cinnamon chips!)
1 tsp vanilla
2 TB honey (or agave nectar to be vegan - if using agave, add 2 additional teaspoons tapioca starch)
1 TB tapioca starch

1. Add all ingredients to high-power blender (I use a VitaMix, with the dry container so that the ingredients don't get sucked into the bottom), but just the first 2 TB of cocoa powder.

2. Mix on medium for about 20 seconds, then increase to high for about 10 seconds.  Since there isn't much in the blender, it will look like it's not really mixing, but just keep it going.

3. Add the remaining 3 TB of cocoa powder, and blend on high for about 20 seconds.  The mixture should be tacky and sticky, and almost like caramel (but a little less so if using agave nectar).  Because the blender heats up the coconut oil, it will be melting a little in the bottom of the blender.  That's normal, and it begins to separate from the mixture.

Now comes the part where you get creative...there are a few options here.  The first time I made these, I just pulled apart the mixture bit by bit and made "chips".  That worked, but it took forever.  The next time I rolled it out in between two sheets of wax paper, which worked better.

Transfer to a cookie sheet, and freeze for about 30 minutes (or, you know, just put it outside if its anything like it is by me in Chicago).  After that, it will be a little more set, and cut into small squares/bits with a knife.  That method seemed to work best for me, but feel free to try anything else that you think might work.  Store in freezer.  They will never get completely as hard as a rock like "normal" chocolate chips (at least not with the honey), but I actually prefer that, personally.

Note: As much as a really dislike using starches, I think it is quite necessary in this recipe, in order to hold them together, and prevent melting everywhere - trust me, it's not a pretty sight.  I think it's a pretty good trade off, considering what's in (or not in!) commercial chips.  I find its best to just forget about that little aspect when savoring any number of delicious treats, which can only be made complete with chocolate chips.  Let's face it, its the truth!

(Hot chocolate whipped yogurt, topped with cocoa and chocolate chips, with a chocolate chip peanut butter brownie.)

Also, this recipe fits the guidelines for the SOS Kitchen Challenge...check it out!


  1. Such a creative recipe! I know what you mean about not being able to find sugar-free chips. Grr. But now I can use these! :) Thanks so much for submitting this to the SOS Challenge this month!

  2. Hi again--I am just catching up on responding to blog comments and came across yours on my candida update post--so sorry it's taken me so long (and I hadn't realized from your comment that you were the same person who posted this SOS entry!). Thank you again for your kind and supportive comment. One of the best things about the Internet, blogs, etc. is finding out that we're not alone in our experiences, whether good or bad. I'm glad that some of the post resonated with you and hope that the blog can continue to be of use. :)

  3. Thanks for your entry to the SOS Kitchen CHallenge, Ricki and I co-host the challenge each month and it is great to see your entry. I love homemade chocolate chips, and enjoy the look of this recipe - i've never thought to add a bit of starch. I bet that would help keep them firm rather then getting super melty. Smart! I will be trying this recipe soon.

  4. Very cool. I've made my own similar version too but also get very frustrated with the "meltiness" and the inability for them to be "solid" even in the freezer.

  5. These look very delicious! I'll have to try making my own. The small amount of sugar in chocolate chips is something I've just sort of lived with in the past. But, it would be nice to have a sugar free option.

  6. Wow, I can't believe I missed these comments! So sorry about that. I thought I had email notifications set up, but I guess not. Anyway, thanks so much for the feedback! It took me a while to think to use starch, but it seems to do a pretty good job. I guess there are some tradeoffs to not buying the commercial chips, but for, it's worth it. :) I'm currently away at school right now and don't have access to any sort of "real" kitchen, which really drives me crazy. Definitely missing these chips now!

  7. Oh, and please do let me know if any of you end up making these - I'd love to see your results!

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