There is one guarantee with this sandwich—the lunch box will be empty when it returns home. Despite its decadent concept, this sandwich provides healthy whole grains, a serving of nuts provides good fats, and the strawberries provide vitamin C and antioxidants. You can also experiment with other fruits such as bananas and peaches, but I like the vitamin C hit from the strawberries. Commercial chocolate hazelnut spreads are available but often contain hydrogenated fats, so feel free to make your own. Always serve this treat on thickly sliced whole grain bread, homemade or from the bakery; do not waiver and use white bread or the commercial variety sold in plastic bags as the whole grain loaf really makes this sandwich hearty and nutritious.
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
1/3 cup (85 mL) hazelnuts, with skins on
1/4 cup (60 mL) maple syrup
1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 mL) cocoa powder, to taste
1/4 cup (60 mL) enriched vanilla soymilk, approximately
1 loaf whole grain bread, cut into
1/2-inch (1-cm) thick slices
1 cup (250 mL) organic strawberries, thinly sliced
To prepare Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Place hazelnuts in single layer on shallow baking pan. Toast until skins are almost black, about 15 minutes.
Wrap hot hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub until most of the skins have come off. Discard skins.
Process nuts in bowl of food processor, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally, until nuts have become like nut butter, about 5 minutes.
Add maple syrup and cocoa to hazelnut butter, and process until smooth, about 5 minutes. Add soymilk as necessary to achieve consistency of cream cheese. Transfer Chocolate Hazelnut Spread to airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks. Makes 1/2 cup (125 mL).
To prepare Chocolate and Strawberry Sandwiches, spread each slice of bread with about 1 Tbsp (30 mL) Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. Top with sliced strawberries. Cover with another slice of bread and wrap tightly or place in sandwich container.
Makes 4 sandwiches.
source: "School Lunch Recipes Your Kids Will Love", alive #275, September 2005
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