Say goodbye to Cook for Health September – it’s now October! (Thanks for all your amazing entries , by the way – we’re picking the winners now!) We’re ringing in the start of this new month with a special post and new giveaway to honor Fair Trade Month!
Every now and then, we work with Fair Trade USA by donating a post to spread the word about fair trade. Why? Because we believe in their mission: that fair trade improves lives of workers around the globe, protects the environment, and produces high-quality products. One of their tag lines is “good for people and the planet”. This is basically the reason we started A Couple Cooks (from a food perspective), so we love spreading the word about what they’re doing.
There are a lot of things going on in this post, so here are the main things we want to tell you about:
1. Fair Trade USA! Check out befair.org to learn more.
2. Giveaway: Fair Trade gave us a huge package of goodies to give away to one lucky winner! (See details below.)
3. Recipe: We made these truffles with fair trade ingredients from the goodie package. They were delish.
4. Pinterest Contest: If you’re into things like this, our recipe is entered in a Fair Trade Pinterest competition – vote for us by pinning it from the Fair Trade pinboard > click here!
5. Story: Fair Trade paired us with a farmer to tell her story. Her name is Elvia and she is awesome (see below) .
The Story: A Fair Trade Farmer
Elvia Almachi, 32, from Guaytacama, Ecuador, holds a bundle of recently harvested Fair Trade-certified roses. Elvia has been working at Agrogana for 12 years and is currently a production line field supervisor. She has been part of the Fair Trade committee in the past and has two daughters, aged 9 and 12. Elvia and her husband Luis Alberto Villegas, also an Agrogana employee, are two of only five employees to participate on the weekend adult school program paid by the Fair Trade prize. They are both currently studying an equivalent to high school degrees.
Says Elvia: “Before I worked in a different local flower company and they exploited us. Even while I was pregnant! Once I came here, I could tell the difference was huge. We would like for everyone in Ecuador who works in the flower industry to have the same great benefits we do here. Please continue to believe in us. There are many of us who need to continue improving our quality of life through the Fair Trade prize. It is through these Fair Trade flowers that hundreds of families, like mine, continually improve our lives.”
Our box of Fair Trade goodies included fair trade cocoa powder, chocolate chips, cinnamon, coffee, and chocolate-covered coconut flakes. After a few failed attempts, we had the idea of a healthy truffle (made with dates and nuts like our raw brownies), but stuffed with little morsels like chocolate chips, coffee beans, and hazelnuts. It brings a bit of flair to the everyday healthy truffle to have a surprise filling – and you can stuff it with anything you like! This was Alex’s idea and though I was originally skeptical (not sure how I could be!), it turned out great.
We have a huge basket of Fair Trade gifts for one lucky winner! Congrats to Molly D. for winning the fair trade giveaway!
The Rules: Up to 3 entries per person (see below), U.S. residents only. Commenting will close on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 9:00 pm, EST. One winner will be chosen at random.
- Dillanos Coffee Roasters Coffee (@Dillanos)
- CocoLibre Coconut Water (@CocoLibre)
- Guittard Akoma Extra Semisweet Chocolate Chips (@GuittardChoco)
- Lake Champlain Unsweetened Cocoa (@LCChocolates)
- barkTHINSTM Snacking Chocolate (@RippleBrands)
- Rishi Earl Grey Tea (@RishiTea)
- Dang Foods Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut (@DangFoods)
- Honest Tea (@HonestTea)
- Frontier Natural Products Co-op Cinnamon (@FrontierCoop)
- Eco Lips Colored Lip Balm (@ecolips)
- Alter Eco Deep Dark Sea Salt Organic Chocolate (AlterEcoSF)
- Badger Balm (@BadgerBalmUSA)
- LÄRABAR Bars (@larabar)
- Runa Berry Clean Energy Drink (@DrinkRuna)
- SunSpire Coconut Almond Dark Chocolate Bar
- Choice Tea Rooibos Chai (@ChoiceOrganicT)
- Nourish Organic Shea Butter (@NourishUSDA)
- Where Am I Eating? Book by Kelsey Timmerman (@KelseyTimmerman)
- 14 medjool dates
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup almonds
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fillings: chocolate chips, hazelnuts, and/or coffee beans
- Toppings: cocoa powder and coconut
- Remove the pits from the dates. Soak the dates in warm water for 5 minutes, then drain and squeeze the remaining water.
- Pulse 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup almonds, and 1/4 cup cocoa powder in a food processor until finely ground. Add the dates, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and pulse until a thick, sticky dough ball forms. Remove the dough ball from the food processor.
- Roll the dough into small balls (about 30). Use the end of a spoon to make a small hole in a truffle, then stuff with the “surprise” filings of your choice: chocolate chips, hazelnuts, or coffee beans, or a combination of each. Then re-roll the truffle into a ball.
- For the toppings, place some cocoa powder or coconut on a plate and roll each truffle in the filling. Store refrigerated.
Inspired by Pinch of Yum
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.