Category Archives: raw food

Basic Raw Chocolate Recipe

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It does seem to be all about chocolate this weekend. Must be the magnesium I’m craving! Lol! If you’re not sure what I mean read my last post here and it will explain everything! Anyway I’m going to get straight into it. This recipe is a basic raw chocolate recipe I use to make a variety of different truffles and other chocolate goodness. It comes courtesy of the New York Times Bestseller, Practical Paleo, by Diane Sanfilipo, BS, NC. If you have not checked her out please do. She is a leader in the paleo-sphere! I also use my own recipe, which is nut-free too. You can find it here.

Recipe

Makes 10 chocolates

Ingredients

2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp. almond butter

3 tbsp. coconut butter

2 tbsp. raw cacao powder

1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 tsp. pure maple syrup

Cacao and/or coconut for dusting truffles in

Method

1. Combine all ingredients in a small-medium sized bowl, stirring until forms a smooth paste. It will be quite runny. Add in any of the extra ingredients you may want to use at this stage (see below for suggestions).

2. Place bowl in fridge for 20 minutes or until mixture starts to firm up enough to roll into balls or shape into rounds.

3. Shape chocolate into desired shapes and roll in cacao or coconut and return to fridge.

4. Store in fridge but take out 5 minutes before you eat them to allow them to soften slightly.

Variations

Add  3tbsp. of shredded coconut, 1 tbsp. of goji berries and 1 tbsp. of cacao nibs

Add slivered almonds and fresh raspberries.

Add 2 tsp. of mint extract for an after dinner mint chocolate.

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Chocolate Therapy

cacao

So I am doing the city to surf tomorrow! For those of you not from Sydney this is an annual 14 km running race that starts from the CBD and ends at Bondi Beach. I am totally unprepared as I signed up only 2 weeks ago and I have never run this far in my life! I am more of a swimmer than runner. The longest distance I have run is 8km and in the past year I have gone for a run probably 5 times, 4 of which were in the last 2 weeks lol! But hey, it has been on my bucket list for years and it just felt like the right time to do it! I’m not in it to win it, just to have some fun. It’s a bit late for tips for tomorrow but if you have any please share as I plan to do the bridge run in September (thankfully this is only 9km). How do you prepare for a relatively long run?

Now you’re probably wondering what has running got to do with chocolate? Well there is one more set back. This week I hurt my calf while running and I still do not seem to be able to run. Jog maybe but not for long. So it looks like I may be walking all the way to Bondi! And no I do not mean I have been drowning my sorrows with chocolate but it has played a role in my attempt at recovery.

So how do you help calf muscles recover? My wonderful trainer at Enliven Fitness gave me some simple yet valuable advice to rectify a calf injury: rest, stretch, heat, hydration and diet. Rest means I have not run but kept it moving with my walks to work. Stretching means I have stretched it out every night and lay my calf on my lacrosse ball to really release the localised pain in my calf muscles. Heat means I have applied heat with hot baths with Epsom salts and deep heat at night. Having a bath before stretching is especially helpful too as it warms the muscles up, allowing for deeper stretches.

My trainer advised that staying Hydrated is also very important which I am doing by drinking 2.5 L of water per day with a pinch of Celtic sea salt to aid absorption and drinking fresh coconut water after training. For my diet I should be increasing my magnesium intake by taking a magnesium supplement but I have run out. I remembered though that cacao is high in magnesium, which upon researching online I found that I was right. So whoopee!!! An excuse to eat chocolate! No seriously while it does sound tempting to eat chocolate every night this is not what I did, as chocolate also contains lots of sugar! Which we all know is not good for you.

The highest level of magnesium is found in raw cacao, however on its own this is very bitter and astringent. So I thought up some simple ways to eat raw cacao but still enjoy it. All of the recipes are gluten, grain and processed sugar-free and if you omit the dairy they are vegan and paleo-friendly too.
Every morning I made a delicious hot cacao drink instead of a coffee. This was great to have with my breakfast or for morning tea and with the coconut milk it is vegan and paleo-friendly. It is so simple too:

hot cacao

Just heat my choice of milk (full fat dairy or coconut milk are my choices) and whisk in 1 tbsp. of raw cacao. Pour it into a milk frother, froth it up or just pour it straight into the your mug. I like it like this but if that’s too bitter, you can sweeten it with cinnamon and/or maple syrup, or honey.

Now through my research I did find that the best combination for magnesium and hydration is coconut and raw cacao, so I also made my coco-berry power smoothie for breakfast, using the cacao variation. With the coconut water this is extremely hydrating and is paleo-friendly too! For a cheeky dessert I made a simple yet delicious raw coconut chocolate mousse. This is a paleo and vegan friendly dessert, so enjoy without the guilt!

See below for recipe:

 mousse

Serves 2

Ingredients
1 can of coconut milk, refrigerated over night
4 tsp. raw cacao
2 tsp. maple syrup (optional)
Raspberries, mint and/or bananas to serve
Toasted shredded coconut and/or cacao nibs and mint leaves to garnish

Method

1. Take coconut milk out of the fridge and do not shake it. Open the can and scoop the separated coconut cream from the top into a separate jar and pour the remaining liquid into another jar.

2.Measure out 8 tbsp. of the cream into small bowl.

3. Add raw cacao and 1 tbsp. of the coconut liquid to the coconut cream and mix to combine. Add the maple syrup if you are using it (I don’t use it but for some people it is a bit too bitter without it). Add more liquid if the mousse is too dry or more cream if it is too runny.

4. Return to fridge for 1 hour.

5. Serve mousse with fruit and garnish of choice.

Variations

Mix some crushed raspberries and lime zest through the mousse.

Drizzle some raw chocolate through the cold mousse that has been in the fridge. Chunks should form throughout the mousse.

Decadent Chocolate Cups

IMG_3185 If you’re looking for a treat for mother’s day. These hit the spot. Super decadent chocolatey goodness but no processed sugar or lecithin in sight! They are also vegan and Paleo friendly. I have given you  the basic recipe which you can use to play around with different flavours or you could just make the almond butter cups (pictured). I have a few other variations that I’m working on, which I will add as I make sure the recipes are blog worthy. Some possibilities are raspberry coconut and cacao rocky road, walnut butter cups, pistachio and mint or just the all time favourite coconut rough! Would love to know if you try any of them or if you make up your own creations! Let me know how you go!

Basic Chocolate Recipe

Makes about 12 mini sized chocolates and 1 portion of chocolate for the other variations.

Ingredients

1/4 cup coconut butter

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup raw cacao

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 – 4 tbsp. coconut nectar

Method

1. Combine raw cacao, vanilla, coconut oil and coconut nectar in a small bowl and mix to combine until no lumps. Add coconut butter and mash together with a fork until forms a paste.

2. Pour mixture into mini or medium silicon/paper cupcake moulds (or if you have them, use chocolate moulds) and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until set.

3. To serve take out of their wrappers/moulds and place on a platter. Nice with a warm chai or coffee or a glass of full bodied red wine.

Almond Butter Cups

Ingredients

1 portion of basic chocolate

3 tbsp. almond butter

1 tbsp. coconut oil

small pinch of Celtic sea salt

Method

1. Divide half of the chocolate mixture between your chosen moulds. Make sure it covers the base adequately. If it is too thin the chocolate may break after it is set. Place in fridge to set.

2. In a small bowl mix almond butter coconut oil and salt together until well combined. Divide between the chocolate filled moulds, to cover the layer of chocolate.  This is the middle layer that will be the filling.

2. Pour remaining chocolate mixture over the almond paste and return to the fridge for 1 hour or until set.

 More Variations being tested, so watch this space!..

Vegan Lime and Mango Cheeze Cake

This dessert is raw, vegan and paleo as it is based predominantly of nuts with no cheese, processed sugar or dairy in sight. The base is made with a combination of nuts and sweet dates to stick them together while the filling is made from cashew nuts blended to create a beautifully smooth paste that takes on the flavours of lime and coconut perfectly. Diets aside though, this is a truly delicious cake that has been boyfriend and kid approved, so you don’t have to save this for those following a diet. Serve it to anyone and I guarantee they will be impressed.

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Recipe

Ingredients

Base

8 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped

2/3 cup walnuts (Activated* are ideal)

1/3 cup almonds (Activated are ideal)

1/4 cup shredded coconut

pinch celtic sea salt

Filling

3 cups cashews

3/4 cup coconut nectar

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice ( I used 5 but this will vary according to how juicy they are)

3/4 cup coconut oil

Topping

2 fresh mangoes, flesh removed (you could also use defrosted frozen mango)

lime juice and coconut nectar, to taste

1/3 cup shredded coconut

1 lime, zest finely grated

To serve

1 fresh mango, peeled and flesh thinly sliced

coconut ice cream

Method

1. Grease and line a 25cm round springform cake tin.

2. For the base, place the walnuts, almonds and coconut in the food processor and pulse until resembles the texture of bread crumbs. Add dates and pulse until well combined. Press into the base and place in the freezer while you make the filling.

3. For the filling, wash the food processor and add all the filling ingredients. Pulse at high-speed until smooth and creamy. Pour onto the base layer and spread out evenly. Return to the freezer to set firm enough to pour over the topping.

4. In a blender, blend the mango and add the lime and coconut nectar to taste. You won’t need much so add each in small amounts until you reach the right balance of sweet and tangy. Pour over set filling layer and spread evenly. Sprinkle over the coconut and lime zest and return to freezer to set for at least 4 hours.

5. To serve, remove from freezer to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Use a sharp hot knife to cut slices of the cake. You can heat the knife by placing it under hot running water. Do this between each slice. Serve with fresh mango slices and small scoop of coconut ice cream.

* Activated nuts have been soaked in water over night to activate the digestive inhibitor and then dried out at a very low temperature to retain their nutrients. For this reason they are considered to be more nutritious and easier to digest. You can find them at all good health food stores.

Recipe adapted from www.taste.com.au

Chilled Chia Power Porridge: Gluten free porridge #1

The other day I was asked on Instagram about my thoughts on gluten-free oats. I actually had never heard of them and still cannot understand how oats can be gluten-free! Coeliac Australia explains that while oats have a different type of gluten that some coeliacs can digest they still contain the gluten protein. So it really does beat me how oats can be gluten-free. I had thought that maybe they were made from different ingredients but the products I found online just state oats as the ingredient. Maybe its how they are grown or processed? Can you can shed some light on this? Anyway, I promised to put up my 2 gluten-free porridge alternatives. so here is the first one!IMG_2513

This chilled chia porridge is the first of my gluten-free porridges. Packed full of omega 3 and high in calcium, iron, vitamin c, fibre and antioxidants chia seeds provide a substantial and nutritious start to the day. This chia porridge is best served cold, making it the perfect spring – summer breakfast. Almond milk or coconut milk can be used, which are both delicious but I prefer coconut milk as it creates a slightly sweeter and creamier porridge.

RECIPE

2 large servings

Ingredients

2/3 cup chia seeds

2 1/2 cup water

270 ml milk of choice (I used coconut) and have 1 cup extra in case it is needed after soaking the chia seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

2 banana, sliced into rounds

1.5 punnet strawberries, sliced into rounds

2-4 table spoons dark Agave or maple syrup plus extra to serve.

Activated almonds to serve

Method

1. Combine water and chia seeds in a medium sized mixing bowl (keeping in mind the mixture will double in size) and soak for 15 minutes. For the first 5 minutes stir every minute or so to prevent lumps.When the chia seeds form a gel like consistency mix them together with the milk and cinnamon and leave in fridge over night.

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2. Take the chia mixture out of the fridge. If it is quite thick mix in 1/2 milk and water until it reaches your desired consistency. Stir in your maple syrup or agave and 1/2 of the strawberries and banana.

3.Divide between 2 bowls. Top with remaining banana and strawberries and the almonds and drizzle with extra agave or maple syrup.

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Topping Variations

Raspberries and dried coconut shavings.

Stewed apple and cinnamon with desiccated coconut.

Fresh mango slices, passionfruit pulp and toasted macadamia.

Figs, banana and maple roasted walnuts.

I think I’m in Love

I have to confess, I am infatuated. Yes head over heals.  I just turned the corner and there they were…

At the organic expo: Loving Earth, a wonderful Melbourne based company that creates a range of scrumptious organic raw products. They seem to offer everything I was looking for in one shop! This is great for the diet but not so much for the wallet. But then hey, I have decided to spend my money on health and taste before fashion and alcohol no?

Their products cover a range of raw fooders/whole fooders ingredients such as agave nectar, raw cacao products, raw butters, raw olives, fruits nuts and seeds. Their major draw cards, however, are their range of raw snack foods and raw chocolates. These include organic raw chocolates of many delectable flavours, organic sweet coconut and cacao spread, organic activated flavoured nuts*, organic raw flavoured kale chips, organic raw kale salad sprinkles and the creme` del a creme` of muesli: Organic Activated Deluxe Bukinis. These products are not only healthy but taste delicious!

The chocolates are simply divine. They are hand made in Melbourne, I think using raw cacao, and cover a range of different flavours. My favourites are Sour Cherry and Acai Berry and Lacuma and Macca light. The inclusion of these super foods include a whole gamete of nutritional benefits.

The Kale chips are extremely moreish: crisp and crunchy to bite and taste a bit like salty chips but with much more depth of flavour. They are dehydrated at a low temperature to retain the enzymes, nutrients and minerals and flavoured with cashews, carrots, coriander and Himalayan salt. The salt is quite subtle and their is delicious creamy sweetness with a hint of spice. Unlike your packet of chips, they also provide a rich source of protein, copper, magnesium, vitamins K, C and A and antioxidants.

 The deluxe bukinis is the goddess of all muesli. The base is made from activated caramelised buckwheat which is sweetened with agave nectar not sugar and then mixed with a range of delicious super foods, nuts, seeds and fruits. It provides a gluten free and high alkaline alternative to regular muesli. A delicious treat for the weekend or decadent daily breakfast. YUM!

And to top it off this company has a conscious too, supporting the restoration of native ecosystems and fair trade with the Indigenous communities they source their products from.
Sigh. Could they be more perfect?

So go to your health food store and ask for loving earth. Or visit them on line.

 I am sure you will fall in love too.

http://lovingearth.net

*What does activated mean?
Activated nuts and seeds are easily digested and more nutritious than raw or roasted nuts. Raw nuts and seeds have enzyme inhibitors making them less easy to digest and inhibiting our ability to absorb nutrients. Activated nuts and seeds have been soaked to ensure the enzyme inhibitor found in raw seeds and nuts has been released, then dehydrated between 38-40 degC to maintain optimum nutritional value.
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