Delicious & Nutritious Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse

raw choc mousse  

I've recently been getting my hands on some really lovely Hass avocados and I couldn't be happier! They are just so creamy and perfect for this recipe. I used to make this quite often back in London, but when I got to Doha I stopped as I couldn't find the right avocados, and trust me I tried, but not all avocados are created equal! So if you decide to make this recipe I would highly recommend using nicely ripe Hass avocados, they are usually more expensive but definitely worth it. This recipe calls for few ingredients therefore using the best quality ingredients really does make a big difference, and the end result is the most rewarding guilt and cruelty free deliciousness!

Avocado is packed with heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids which help reduce inflammation. It is also high in fibre which helps stabilise your blood sugar levels. And it's one of the best source of plant based foods for female fertility as it helps balance hormones - I mean just look at it, it looks like a womb!

Raw cacao is high in magnesium, which relieves cramping, probably the main reason why women crave chocolate at that time of the month. It also is great for cardiovascular health as it has shown to reduce the likelihood of strokes & heart attacks.

So ladies this one's for you because you'll be doing your body a big favour by eating this. I don't want to exclude the men here either because they will definitely enjoy it, my husband doesn't like avocado and I've fooled him on several occasions with this recipe!

 

Ingredients (makes 2)

1 ripe Hass avocado (see notes above)

3-4 tablespoons raw cacao powder

3 tablespoons raw honey (maple syrup for vegan option)

1/2 cup almond milk (or non dairy milk of your choice)

1-2 tablespoons coconut butter/coconut oil (optional, it just makes the consistency creamier)

Toppings

Selection of fresh or frozen berries

Pecans or walnuts

Cinnamon powder to taste

 

Method

Place all ingredients except for the toppings in a blender and whizz until you have a nice smooth consistency, you may have to stop and give it a stir a few times depending on the size of your blender. It works beautifully in the magic bullet as it's got quite a small container.

Top with berries, nuts, cinnamon powder, a drizzle of honey and enjoy!

*You can also store it in the fridge for 30 mins to set for more of a mousse like consistency, I personally cannot wait that long and tend to devour it straight away!

Quick and Easy Chocolate Mousse

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This is the easiest chocolate mouse recipe ever! I made it this morning after waking up too early and was instantly blown away. It requires minimal prep which basically involves putting a can of coconut milk in the fridge over night. By putting it in the fridge the coconut milk turns into a beautiful thick cream. I always make sure I have a can in the fridge in case I want to use it for coconut ice cream, quick desserts, smoothies, porridge etc. Make sure your coconut milk doesn't have anything other than coconut milk and water in it though as some have thickening agents and other nasties, so always read the label!

This is a nutritiously delicious way of getting your daily does of healthy fats, which help improve brain function, and works wonders for your skin! Cacao is a powerhouse of antioxidants and also helps alleviate anxiety and headaches. So eat this knowing you are doing your body and taste buds good.

This recipe is for one but can easily be doubled etc.

Ingredients (makes 1)

  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cacao powder / cocoa powder if you can't find cacao easily
  • 1 teaspoon date syrup / sweetener of choice
  • Crumbled walnuts (optional)

Method

Place a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight or for at least 4-6 hours.

Take it out when ready and turn the can upside down and open. This is in case any of the coconut milk hasn't solidified.

Scoop out 2 tablespoons of the thick coconut cream and place in a small bowl.

Then add the cacao powder and date syrup and stir it up until all ingredients are well combined.

You can top it with nuts or even fresh berries.

Finally, enjoy!

Gluten Free Beetroot and Chocolate Cake

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I first made this cake on a cold Autumn day in London. I wanted something rich, comforting, and of course with chocolate but still relatively healthy. I started researching recipes and found one that looked, and sounded delicious, a combination I had never thought of before, beetroot and chocolate! Luckily I had just been to the Notting Hill Farmers Market and bought a big bunch of beetroot so I decided to give it a go. I invited my neighbour Caroline over and we waited for it to bake in the oven, both curious to know the outcome. As it was nearly done, this beautiful sweet chocolatey smell started to take over the flat, and I knew it was going to be a good one! We both had a bite and were in heaven, it was a perfect balance of natural sweetness cut with the bitterness of dark chocolate. So I recently had some beetroot sitting in the fridge and decided to recreate the cake, but this time making a gluten free version using buckwheat flour.

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Buckwheat flour is a great gluten free alternative to whole wheat flours, also it is almost always organic as it grows very rapidly without the use of pesticides. It's high in protein which is great for vegetarians and vegans alike, and has a low glycemic index which means it slowly releases glucose into the bloodstream, which is beneficial for diabetics.

Beetroot helps reduce blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and also stabilises blood sugar. It is high in iron, which is great for women, as most women are slightly anaemic, and is also a great source of vitamin B6.

High quality dark chocolate and cacao are a great source of antioxidants, and mixing them with coconut oil super boosts your metabolism.

Do you need any more excuses to make this cake? I think not!

Recipe adapted from Green Kitchen Stories 

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Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup / honey
  • 70 grams good quality 70% dark chocolate, broken up into small pieces (I used Lindt 70% dark chocolate)
  • 2 cups grated raw beetroot (approx. 2 medium beetroots)
  • 3 flax eggs (1 ground flax egg = 1 tablespoons flaxseeds : 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons cacao powder pinch of salt (himalayan pink salt or sea salt)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C.

Put the coconut oil in a saucepan on very low heat and add the maple syrup and dark chocolate. Stir until all the chocolate has melted and remove from heat.

Add the grated beetroot to the saucepan and mix well.

Whisk the flax eggs in a separate bowl and then add to the beetroot chocolate mix.

Sift all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and then add in the beetroot chocolate mix, stir well until all ingredients are well combined.

Grease a cake tin with coconut oil and add the shredded coconut to prevent the cake from sticking.

Then pour in the mix and bake for 20 - 25 mins. The colour of the cake would have darkened and the top will have some cracks on it.

Remove from oven, let rest, if you can resist, and enjoy!

Dairy and Nut Free Ice Cream

IMG_6212 I love ice cream, I mean who doesn't?! The only problem is that immediately after I have eaten it I get an upset stomach, this is probably because my body just doesn't digest milk, it's been that way since I was little. However I used to ignore this and eat ice cream, well...because it's just so good! But as I have become more in tune with my body over the past couple of years, I really do notice how it reacts to different foods, especially dairy. So I started off my dairy free ice cream endeavour by making frozen banana ice cream, which quite simply is blending up frozen ripe bananas and adding the topping of choice, mine would always be cinnamon and cacao nibs. It's delicious and easy to make but I was not quite satisfied, it lacks the creamy consistency. Then I experimented with making nut based ice cream, which was also really yummy but my husband wasn't convinced, and I wanted to try and make something for people with nut allergies.

So after a lot a of research and experimenting, I bring you the dairy and nut (and ice cream maker) free ice cream! It's rich and creamy, the perfect alternative to normal ice cream, husband approved (he went for seconds), and you don't need any fancy equipment to make it! It requires some pre planning, which is just putting a can of coconut milk in the fridge over night and peeling some ripe bananas and placing them in the freezer for a couple of hours. It is a great base so you can add cacao powder, fresh berries or just keep it plain and simple. I served some on top of spiced poached plums last night and it was divine. So let your imagination run free and the little child in you will be very happy, I promise!

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Ingredients (serves 8) 

1 can full fat coconut milk (the only added ingredient on the list should be water, no other nasties!) 3 ripe bananas (frozen) 1 vanilla pod / 1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder Optional : Goji berries (1/4 cup)

Extra ingredients

Coconut sugar / maple syrup / honey Cacao powder Fresh mint Cacao nibs

Equipment

Food Processor / blender Tupperware / Glass Pyrex container / I use this

Method:

Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge over night, or for at least 6 hours. When ready, turn the can upside down and open, you should have thick creamy coconut milk, scoop the contents into the food processor / blender. (At this point you will feel an urge to eat the solidified coconut milk straight out of the can, please try to control yourself!)

Add the bananas to the food processor / blender and combine, depending on your machine this should take around 5 mins to get a smooth consistency.

Meanwhile cut the vanilla pod lengthways and scoop out the seeds and add to the food processor / blender. This is the point to add in any other ingredients you want. I didn't add any sweetener to mine as I thought the bananas made it sweet enough for my palette but if you want it sweeter, add some coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey.

Then give it one final whizz in the food processor to combine all the ingredients (about a minute or so).

Pour the ingredients into the container and place in the freezer for 2 - 3 hours, at least.

Remove the ice cream from the freezer about 10 - 15 minutes before serving so that it is easy to scoop up.

Then add your favourite topping, or serve plain, and most importantly enjoy!

Raw Chocolate Madness Pt. 2

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So I know it has been a while since my last post...I was hoping to post part 2 of my raw chocolate experience quite soon after the 1st part as I made them both on the same day. However I got caught up with work and then went on holiday for a month, then I got back, had a serious case of the holiday blues and dived head-first into crazy working hours.

Anyhoo now I am back in the swing of things I am finally ready to put up the second part of my experiment, this time using cacao butter instead of coconut oil. I made this version into more of a healthy chocolate finger-esque bar, you can use a mould to achieve any shape you want, so it's fun to play around with. I had an Ikea silicone ice cube tray on hand and decided to use that. Alternatively you can line a glass oven dish with parchment paper, or basically anything that is flat and has sides which can contain the liquid chocolate mixture!

P.S.Using cacao butter definitely takes raw chocolate taste up to the heavens, but if it's not easy to get a hold of coconut oil is a pretty good replacement.

This recipe is inspired the one on Eleanor's amazingly beautiful blog, Earthsprout.

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Ingredients

1/3 cup cacao butter

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

3 tablespoon coconut sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon maca powder

1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder

himalayan pink salt / sea salt

Crushed pistachio nuts (optional)

Method

Melt the cacao butter in a metal or ceramic bowl over a pot of hot water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.

Once melted remove from heat and sift the cacao powder, coconut sugar, maca powder and vanilla powder over the melter cacao butter and whisk together to combine. Then add a pinch of salt, this will enhance the sweet tones, and whisk away again, making sure all ingredients are well combined.

Pour out the mixture into the mould you are using, if you aren't using a silicone mould make sure to line with parchment paper. Sprinkle some crushed pistachio nuts on top, or whatever else you fancy, and pop in the freezer for 10 - 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Raw Chocolate Madness Pt. 1

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Yesterday I decided to finally try and make some raw chocolate, I had saved a fair amount of recipes and drooled over far too many photos of delicious and nutritious chocolate. According to my recipe research I knew that you can either use cacao butter or coconut oil to make raw chocolate, and since I had both on hand I embarked on a little experiment in The Vegetarian Treehouse Kitchen! I must confess that the finished product seems a lot more fancy and sophisticated than the process. There are very few ingredients required and once you have the basics down you can work with what you have on hand!

So the first test was with coconut oil, and the one thing I had in mind was the Chocolate Nut Butter Cups I had seen on The Whole Pantry App, so I read through the recipe and gave it a go. I changed it slightly according to what I had, i.e. tahini instead of nut butter, and I added in a few extra spices.

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Raw Tahini Filled Chocolate Cups 

These guilt free antioxidant packed beauties will melt in your mouth and work wonders for your skin, digestive and immune systems, as well as providing your body with all the essential minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. Maca is the epitome of superfood, it balances hormones, promotes mental clarity, alleviates depression, migraines and anxiety while boosting your body with calcium, Vitamin B1, B2, C and E - the list is endless! So enjoy these guilt free deliciously nutritious treats knowing that you are nourishing your body with every bite!

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Ingredients (makes 8)

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1 cup 100% pure cacao powder

1/4 teaspoon himalayan pink salt / sea salt flakes

2 1/2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons maca powder (optional)

tahini

cinnamon

handful of goji berries / cacao nibs for topping (optional)

Combine the cacao, salt and maca in a medium sized bowl, then add the melted coconut oil and honey and whisk well so there are no clumps.

Prepare some mini muffin cases (I used reusable silicone ones) and pour 1 tablespoon of the chocolate mixture into each case and place the moulds in the freezer for about 10 minutes or until firm.

Remove from freezer and spoon 1/2 teaspoon of tahini in the centre of each case, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top and place back in the freezer for another 10-15 minutes.

Once the tahini has firmed up slightly, remove from the freezer and top each chocolate case with 1 tablespoon of chocolate mixture, and goji berries or cacao nibs ,if desired, then leave to set in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Remember they are raw so serve immediately or store in the fridge until you're ready to eat them.

Enjoy!

Spelt and Date Cookies

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It has been quite a busy week as we finally found a lovely apartment and moved in a week today. Of course the first thing to be unpacked and ready to use was the kitchen and I've been trying to understand the way the stove works as it's and electric stovetop and we had a gas stove in London so there have been many trials.You come across delicious looking dates almost everywhere you go here and I ended up buying a pack of amazingly soft medjool dates. When I got home I wanted to make something with them and had a look through a cookbook I bought a couple of years back called When Suzanne Cooks by Suzanne Husseini which is a great book filled with delicious Middle Eastern recipes. I have to say it does help being in the Middle East as the ingredients are easier to come by. I altered the recipe slightly to make it slightly healthier and to suit the ingredients I had at home so instead of white flour I used whole grain spelt flour and instead of butter I used coconut oil, and luckily it worked!

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Ingredients (makes about 2 dozen)

1 1/2 cups whole grain spelt flour 1/2 cup coconut oil 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 3 cups soft dates, pitted and chopped 30 grams 70% dark chocolate

Place the coconut oil, nutmeg and cardamom in a small saucepan and put on low heat until the coconut oil has melted, then set aside.

Put the flour in a large saucepan and place on medium heat and let it toast slightly, stirring constantly, this should take about 10 mins.

Then add the dates to the flour and combine until the dates start to soften slightly then add the coconut oil and remove from heat. Continue mixing well with a wooden spatula. Transfer the mixture onto a clean surface and knead slightly until you get a dough like consistency, then roll it out and if you have a cookie cutter cut the cookies into any shape you like and place onto a lined baking tray.

Melt the chocolate by placing a heatproof bowl/dish over a saucepan with hot water (make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl) and put the chocolate pieces into the bowl and leave them to melt. Once melted using a spoon, scoop out some chocolate and drizzle over the cookies.

Leave the cookies to set for at least half an hour and enjoy with a nice cup of mint tea or a coffee!

Coconut Sugar Ricciarelli Cookies

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The first time I tried Ricciarelli was a couple of weeks ago at a friends house and it was love at first bite! When I found out that they were homemade, gluten free and easy to make I had to have the recipe, so he wrote the steps down on my phone and I've been waiting for a chance to make these ever since. They are crunchy with a divine chewy centre.

I decided to alter the recipe to make it ever so slightly healthy as it calls for quite a lot of sugar. So my version uses homemade coconut icing sugar instead of shop bought icing sugar. Coconut sugar has a much lower glycemic index than regular sugar because in contains inulin which apparently slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood, though this doesn't mean that it is ok to have it all the time as it is still sugar!

Coconut Icing Sugar Recipe - inspired by this

coconut icing sugar

5 cups coconut sugar 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch (I used arrowroot powder)

Put the arrowroot or cornstarch in a blender or food processor for about a minute or until the sugar grinds down to a powdery consistency. Keep the lid on the blender/food processor until it settles or your kitchen will be covered in powder. **This will make more than the required amount of sugar needed for the recipe so you will have some left over to use later on.**

Ingredients (makes approx. 20)

250 grams ground almonds 250 grams coconut icing sugar / regular icing sugar 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 2 organic free range egg whites 1 teaspoon vanilla extract / 1 vanilla pod

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg whites until they are semi-solid. Add the vanilla to the dry ingredients. With a metal spoon fold the egg whites into the dry ingredients until you get a sticky even texture. Scoop a walnut sized piece of dough and roll it into a ball then gently flatten it in your hands, place on a lined baking tray and shape into a diamond shape. Continue until you run out of dough. Sprinkle them with a bit of icing sugar and pop them in the over for 10 - 12 minutes. Once they are done take them out the oven and leave on the baking tray to cool. If you try to pick them up too soon they will fall apart and not set properly. (I can assure you that this is the hardest part of the recipe). And finally...enjoy!