Fruit, whether fresh or dried, is a great way to sweeten a dish without adding refined sugar. The dried apricots and Deglet Noor dates add a unique rustic sweetness to this chicken. Throw it all in a slow cooker and just let it go! 

I like to serve this pulled chicken topped with fresh garden salsa (fresh tomato + onion + jalapeño + salt + lime) and sometimes a crumble of cheese on top. This is great on top of brown rice or thinly sliced cabbage tossed with cilantro and lime, or just by itself with a side of roasted veggies or plantains. 
I have been using Made in Nature brand dried fruits for quite a while (available at Fresh & Natural Foods in Hudson if you're local!). I am always pleased with their products; they are organic and don't contain chemicals, added sugar, or sulfuring, which are common things in a lot of dried fruit. They recently sent me a bag of Organic Deglet Noor Dates to try, and I immediately fell in love with them...they are really light and caramel-y tasting, very pleasant for sweet and savory cooking. 

AND, if you like this recipe (and share it through social media) and  THEY  like my recipe, they will provide me with dates to giveaway to my great readers and patients! I hope you give this recipe a try and love it!

1/2 cup chopped Made in Nature Organic Unsulfured Apricots
¾ cup chopped Made in Nature Organic Deglet Noor Dates
1 cup chicken broth
1 small onion, chopped
2 small jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped or grated
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
3 Tbs tomato paste
½ tsp sea salt
1 Tbs chili powder
2lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
pinch of red pepper flakes, if you like spice

Very finely chop the apricots and dates and measure to equal 1/2 cup apricots and ¾ cup dates. Place them into the bottom of the crockpot along with chicken broth, onion, jalapeno, garlic, vinegar, tomato paste, salt, and chili powder. Mix everything around and then nestle the chicken breasts into the mixture.

Cook for 8 hours on low, stirring once or twice during cooking if you around. When the chicken is tender and falling apart, move it to a cutting board and use two forks to pull it apart and shred it. Return the meat to the slow cooker and toss it around in the sauce/juices and then serve. 

Don't know how to make plantains?! Find them in the fruit section, usually next to the bananas...they are like a banana's mutant cousin- much bigger, usually appearing over-ripe and slightly brown. I like to select the ones that are teetering on very ripe: a peel that is green/yellow with some brown (about 25% brown). Heat a little coconut oil or lard in a cast iron pan, and working in batches pan-fry sliced plantains for several minutes on each side and then season with sea salt. 
Plantains are a great side-dish for anyone who is gluten and/or grain free!

These got rave reviews from people who aren't even gluten free or dairy free! And they really couldn't be easier to make. This  recipe is also fully customizable- don't have green tea powder, leave it out. Add a tsp of fresh orange zest instead. Add extra vanilla, add a pinch of cayenne pepper, add some toasted nut pieces.
Plus, look at that list of power-house ingredients. These are the very definition of a healthy treat!

Matcha tea is a fine ground green tea leaf (a special kind, I think) and is available at many natural food stores. I have even seen it sold in individual serving packs at some tea shops (if you don't want to commit to a $10+ jar of it). I used Republic of Tea Brand Matcha Powder, which I found at Fresh and Natural Foods in Hudson, WI. It is grassy and adds a unique and interesting hint of earthiness to an otherwise ordinary chocolate. 

1 can of full fat coconut milk
3 tsp matcha green tea powder, divided
5oz unsweetened chocolate
1 Tbs coconut oil
¼ cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup natural cocoa powder

Be careful not to shake or jostle the can of coconut milk (in fact, I often put mine in the fridge overnight just to ensure that it will harden up nice); open the can and measure out ¾ cup of the thick cream from the top. Place the coconut cream in a small saucepan along with 1 tsp of the green tea powder; heat over low-medium, gently stirring, until it starts to just boil around the edges.  

Meanwhile, chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat-safe bowl along with the coconut oil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate in the bowl, let sit for one minute, and then stir with a fork until well combined. Add in the honey and vanilla and stir again until very uniform. Pour the mixture into a shallow pan (like a bread pan), cover, and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

To make the truffles, use a tablespoon to measure out a portion of the chocolate, quickly roll it between your palms to form a ball and then roll it around in the cocoa powder to cover. Or if you aren't feeling so fancy that day, just scoop out a spoonful of chocolate and put it right into the cocoa powder, no need to make them into balls....they will just look, well: rustic. 

Place the finished truffles close together and use the reserved two teaspoons of matcha powder to sprinkle over top of them. 

Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, these will keep for over a week.