Energy

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!

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Daal

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I just whipped this up for lunch today with the few bits of food I had left over from last weeks shop and thought I would share it as it was so scrumptious! I find that when I'm limited on ingredients I'm obliged to get creative and most of the time surprise myself. This is essentially a vegan recipe but I had it with a bit of natural set yoghurt and dried mint.

Sweet potatoes have so many benefits, so here are just a few, they are rich in magnesium, iron, and Vitamin D, so your energy levels will increase and you are less likely to get stressed out! Red peppers are a great source of antioxidants, and Vitamin C which aids with the absorption of iron so the two ingredients work harmoniously well together.

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil 2 cloves garlic (minced) 1/2 large sweet potato (thin slices) 1/2 red pepper (cubes) 2 teaspoons curry powder 1 teaspoon cumin powder 1 teaspoon ginger powder 1 teaspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar 1 cup tomato passata 1 cup boiling water 1 cup yellow split peas sea salt and black pepper to taste Chives

Heat up the coconut oil in a wok on low heat. Place the minced garlic in the pan and let cook for a minute, then add the sweet potato. Once the sweet potato is coated with the garlicky oil add the cubed red pepper and let it cook. Add the curry powder, cumin, and ginger powder and stir everything together and cook for 2 minutes. Then add half of the boiling water to the wok, and all the tomato passata, then the rest of the water. Now add the chilli and turmeric powder, brown rice vinegar, salt and pepper and stir it up (little darling....) Add the split peas, turn the heat up to medium and bring the broth to a boil. Then reduce the heat and leave to simmer (uncovered) for about 20 mins, stirring occasionally. When the 20 mins is up, cook for a further 5 minutes with a lid on, then turn off the heat and let it sit for a couple of minutes. And finally, serve with freshly cracked black pepper, chives. Enjoy!

Brown Rice Beetroot Risotto

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Making risotto with brown rice is not only healthier but it's also a lot easier, because instead of having to stand over the pot stirring constantly, you pretty much just leave it to cook for about an hour. The brown rice adds a nuttier flavour to the risotto, and is packed full of Vitamin B1 and B6. The vibrant colour that comes off the beetroot is not only a feast for the eyes. Beetroot helps detoxify the liver, lower blood pressure, and is a sustainable source of energy due to the natural sugars which are gradually released into your body. If you buy the beetroot with the leaves attached please do not throw them away as they can be used as a side salad or you can sauté them with a bit of garlic and chilli.

Please Note: Items marked with * suggest using organic products if possible.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

2 medium sized beetroots* Coconut oil 1 yellow onion 2 garlic cloves 2 cups short grain brown rice* 4 cups vegetable stock Zest of 1/2 a lemon* 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese Sea salt and black pepper to taste Few sprigs of flat leaf parsley.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Wash and scrub any dirt off the beetroot, and place in a glass baking dish. Melt down about a tablespoon of coconut oil so that it turns to liquid and drizzle over the beetroot. Pop the beetroot in the oven and let cook for about 45 minutes to an hour. Heat up a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pot. Dice up the onion, put it in the pot and let it cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes. Mince the garlic and add it to the pot with the lemon zest, stirring occasionally. Then add the brown rice and toss to coat. Slowly add all the stock in and bring the rice to a boil. Then reduce to low heat, cover and leave to simmer for 50 minutes. Once the beetroot is done cooking take it out the oven and leave to cool down a bit. If they are organic you don't need to peel the skin off but if they aren't I would recommend peeling off the skin, which should be quite soft by now. Then cut the beetroot into small cubes and stir them into the risotto and let cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and mix in the parmesan, and season with salt and pepper. Roughly cut the flat leaf parsley and sprinkle on top of each serving. I like to have a bit more parmesan cheese at the table for my guests to help themselves to. Enjoy!