I know I call these 5-Ingredient Turtles and if we want to get technical, they really do have 6 ingredients, but I consider salt a flavour booster and it is optional in this recipe. Salt has had a bad rap for many years and it never became a staple in my kitchen until I took my raw food course in Bali and realized how important salt really is. Two of the most common types of salt we regularly see include table salt and sea salt. Regular table salt, is highly refined meaning it has been processed (or destroyed) at such a high temperature, it is no longer a natural product. This type of salt is best to avoid as it has been striped of its nutrients and often includes additives, altering its chemical structure. Sea salt contains 60 trace minerals, helps your cells stay hydrated and balances our pH levels. It also contains digestive enzyme enhancers that help our bodies absorb more nutrients from the foods we eat. Where many people run into trouble with salt is when they consume too many processed foods. Sodium is added as a preservative and flavour enhancer to these foods but if you avoid processed and packages, adding quality salt to your dishes can be very beneficial without increasing unhealthy sodium levels. I cannot stress enough how important it is to read your labels, know where your food is being sourced from and do some research on ingredients you include in your diet on a regular basis. Just because a product claims to be ‘organic’ or ‘all natural’ does not mean the ingredients include real food.
These chocolate turtles are so simple to make using a food processor. They sure did not last very long in my house. I highly recommend soaking your dates in a bowl of hot water for about 5-10 minutes while you are prepping the rest of your ingredients so it is easier to pulse in your food processor. Do not soak your dates for a long period of time as lots of the flavour can leak out into the water. When you are ready to add in the dates, remember to drain (and not include) the water otherwise your batter will be too wet. Did you know if you are pregnant dates should be regularly consumed as they help with contractions during labor? If you have more time, feel free to get creative and make your own dark chocolate to use in place of the chocolate chips. Otherwise, if you have waited until the last minute, and need something to bring to a Christmas gathering later that day, these little creatures are delicious and will be ready in less than 15 minutes!
To find out more about different types of salt, their healing properties and which may be best for you, click here. My personal favourite salt comes from a local company on Vancouver island. Their products are unrefined, hand crafted, all natural and delicious! Check out their salt and variety of flavour infusions here.