Quick Gingerbread – Grain-free + Dairy-free

gingerbreadI’m really excited. I finally created a healthier gingerbread recipe that is super quick and easy to make and tastes amazing! And even though I don’t like labels, technically this gingerbread is paleo, vegan and delicious, with very little sugar.

One of my favorite Christmas specialities growing up was gingerbread and yet I have always found it challenging to make myself. Earlier this year, I discovered Chestnut Flour Bread, and this made me think – why not create something similar using chestnut flour for gingerbread? Afterall, the taste of gingerbread comes mostly from the spices, right?

So I experimented with different versions of this recipes, using different proportions of flour and water and adding almond butter for a creamier taste. I then thought it needed to be sweeter, so I added a little molasses – make sure you buy quality molasses

The hardest part of this recipe is finding chestnut flour. After that, it comes together in just a few minutes!

Gingerbread

125g chestnut flour  – you can buy chestnut flour in any organic store or online in Switzerland here or here.

2 tsp gingerbread spice blend (see below for recipe or you can buy a ready-made mix)

1/2 tsp baking soda

3 tbsp almond butter (made only of ground almonds)

1 tbsp molasses

300 ml water

zest of 1 organic orange (optional)

German Gingerbread Spice Blend (Lebkuchengewürz)

This makes a bigger quantity that you can store in a jar and add to anything from soups to smoothies to yoghurt. Simply combine the spices in the quantities below.

3 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground anise

1/4 tsp ground star anise

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Mix all the dry ingredients then add the wet ingredients and mix really well so there are no lumps. Pour into 2 silicone cake loaf pans. If you are using silicone, you don’t need to grease your pan but if you are using tin or glass you do. The secret is to not fill the cake loaf beyond about 1 cm of batter so that it doesn’t fall apart.

Place in the oven for about 35-40 minutes. Your gingerbread is ready when the top starts cracking. Take it out and place to cool on a wire rack before cutting.

Download my Christmas Recipes eBook for more recipes like this one!

FB Cover2

Raw Carrot Cake for the Easter Bunny

raw carrot cake2The Easter Bunny told me he was jealous. Jealous because at Christmas, children leave cookies out for Santa Claus when he brings presents. He also brings presents, or at least chocolate, he told me – but rarely finds anything waiting for him beyond the occasional carrot with a ribbon…

Would I make something special for him? Something with carrots (of course) and healthy enough so he wouldn’t end up looking like Santa Claus but still tasty enough to be more exciting than a carrot with a ribbon. And no chocolate. He was chocolated-out with all his deliveries which he admitted he might occasionally sample.

“A carrot cake?” I asked him. Raw, of course. And also free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar (because they have no room in a health-conscious rabbit’s diet).

“Yes!” He exclaimed. “With a creamy topping to compliment my beloved carrots,” he added.

So because the Easter Bunny asked, I was compelled to create this delicious, decadent-tasting cake that takes only minutes to make and contains wholesome Easter Bunny-approved ingredients.

The result? A double-layered cheesecake style cake with a layer of carrot deliciousness on the bottom and a lighter, cashew cream layer on top. This raw carrot cake is perfect to balance the chocolatey decadence of Easter or any other time of the year, really.

The spices used are ground cardamon and fresh ginger. Cardamon is botanically related to ginger and turmeric and I find the tastes are very complimentary. The lemon in the cashew cream brings a zest and lightness that compliments the earthy sweetness of the carrots and the magic of the spices.

Top your cake with with walnuts and dried flowers or whatever else inspires you (pumpkin seeds, roasted sesame seeds, chopped pistachios, cacoa nibs…)

…and don’t forget to leave a piece for the Easter Bunny!

Raw Carrot Cake

Ingredients – Base

1.5 cups buckwheat, quinoa or oat flakes

1/2 cup shredded coconut

3 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

1/2 tsp cardamon

small knob of ginger (about the size of a thumbnail)

a dash of unrefined salt

1/2 cup dried figs 

1.5 cup Medjool dates, pitted

Method – Base

Use a food processor for this – you need the S-blade and wider bowl a blender doesn’t have.

Start by blending the flakes until they are powder-like. The add the rest of the ingredients except the dates and figs in a powerful food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth. Then add in the dates and figs one by one through the feeding tube while the food processor is still running. Keep scraping down the sides if needed.

Once everything is combining, the mixture will be very sticky. Scrape it out with a spatula and press it into a cake form, preferably a small springform pan. Place it in the freezer while you make the topping.

Ingredients – Topping

1.5 cups cashews, soaked for a few hours, then rinsed

Juice + zest of 1 organic lemon

2 tbsp melted coconut oil (that’s about 1 tbsp solid) – you can also use butter if you prefer

2-3 tbsp maple syrup 

A few tablespoons water

Method – Topping

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until the mixture is smooth. Add more water if needed to create a creamy texture. Add more maple syrup or lemon juice until you find the perfect taste for you.

Take your cake out of the freezer and top it with the cashew cream.

Return to the freezer to set for at about 3 hours. Take it out about 20 minutes before serving. You can then store it in the fridge for a softer consistency or a keep it in the freezer for a harder consistency.

Enjoy this Easter Bunny approved cake and have a wonderful Easter!

Recipe inspiration here.

Easter bunny approved

Sweet + Healthy Love for Valentine’s Day

Guest Post by Candice Chetty of Raw Temptation

Who said you can’t eat a delectable chocolate-y treat without the guilt? Cacao in its purest form – raw, cold-pressed and unroasted – has been called the Superfood of the Gods. It is packed with powerful antioxidants and offers health benefits like lowering blood pressure, neutralizing the harmful effects of free radicals, improving digestion, and of course lifting our spirits!

I am always whipping myself up something tasty to snack or sip on after work or in-between episodes of House of Cards.  Most of the time, I add raw cacao for that choco burst of goodness and whether it be a Raw Chocolate Almond Smoothie or a Raw Chocolate Mousse (see recipe below), I always get my chocolate fix without compromising on my health.

Yet there are also times when I just need something quick, ready to go and on hand, for that afternoon 3pm slump at work, that craving en-route to Paris or simply to take to a friend’s dinner party!

That is why RAW TEMPTATION  has just launched their RAW GOURMET TRUFFLES which are all gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar free, organic and yes – 100% raw! These delicious creations are an amazingly convenient and nutritious way to satisfy your sweet tooth (or someone else’s) anywhere, anytime!

Every Raw Temptation creation is presented in an exclusive presentation box, which makes an ideal gift. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, wouldn’t these make an ideal gift for yourself or someone special in your life?

Raw Temptation Truffles

Currently, there are three varieties to choose from:

Seductive Chocolate Brownies: Playful pecan butter smothered in raw cacao chocolate brings to life the best brownie you have ever tasted! (highly recommended!)

Sinful Coconut Truffles: Almonds caressed by chewy dates and laced with coconut

Heavenly Nutzy Balls: Nutty bits merged with juicy dates and sensual spices

CHF 5.99 per box (includes 3x balls/truffles/mini brownies)

CHF 34.99 (6x boxes)

CHF 64.99 (12x boxes)

Get 10% off with your first order (quote discount code: HEALTHWISE) 

Contact to order: email: info@rawtemptation.com /tel: 0227005580

Order online: www.rawtemptation.com (quote discount code in the “Notes” section of the online order form and we will refund you the discount upon delivery)

Raw Chocolate Mousse

2 avocados (pitted and peeled)

1 cup almond milk

¾ cup sweetness (dates/maple syrup/coconut sugar – whatever hits your sweet spot!)

¾ cup raw cacao powder

1 tsp vanilla extract/ vanilla powder to keep it raw

¼ tsp cinnamon

Pinch salt

Pop all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until combined. Serve immediately with raw cacao nibs or coconut shavings as a topping. You won’t even notice the difference to the real thing ..promise! Enjoy!

You can find raw cacao in some health food stores or order it online here – use code WIV403 to get $5-10 off your first order – they ship anywhere in the world.

Chocolate Mousse

Chia Pudding, Winter Style

Chia Pudding, winter styleWith 20% protein, 25% dietary fiber and about 35% healthy fats, mostly Omega 3, chia seeds are one of my favorite seeds to use on a regular basis. They are also a good sources of iron, calcium and other vitamins and minerals.

Chia seeds are great for thickening foods due to their jelly like consistency in liquid. This makes them an ideal ingredient in puddings so healthy you can also have them for breakfast, like this one!

This is a basic chia seed pudding recipe that I have spiced up and zested up to make it more winter-y. I find that the combination of spices and orange and lemon zest make for a very Christmassy taste that is reminiscent of cookies like the Basel Leckerli that I loved growing up in the German part of Switzerland.

This recipe takes only a few minutes to whip up and can be kept in the fridge for several days. I usually have chia pudding as a breakfast or dessert and you can also have it as a snack.

Blend together:

2 Tbsp almond butter + 3 dl water or 3 dl almond or other nut milk

2-3 Medjool dates

¼ tsp cardamom + ½ tsp nutmeg + ¼ tsp cardamon + 1 tsp cinnamon

Then add to the blender:

40g or 1/4 cup chia seeds

zest of 1 organic orange and 1 organic lemon

Pulse very briefly on the lowest setting of your blender – just enough to mix the chia seeds and lemon and orange zest with the other ingredients.

Place in individual cups or one big jar and put in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours. The pudding will take on a more solid, jelly-like consistency when it is ready.

I order the chia seeds you can see in the video here. You can use code WIV403 to get up to $10 off your first order.

Want more recipes like this?

Download my Healthy Sweet Christmas eBook with recipes for cookies, granola, chocolate and spreads that are all gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free.

 

Speculaas Spread (gluten, dairy + refined sugar free)

Speculaas Spread_blog

This delicious and decadent tasting spread recreates the taste of Speculaas cookies, a Dutch spice cookie I loved as a child. Spread it over bread, healthier pancakes, vegetable or fruit pieces for a taste of Christmas without all the sugar!

Start by making the Speculaas Spice Blend and keep leftovers in a jar to add to preparations like smoothies, yoghurt, muesli etc.

Speculaas Spice Blend

4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp white pepper

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp cardamom

Once your spice blend is ready, combine the below ingredients until the mixture is smooth.

Speculaas Spread

4 tbsp almond butter (made only of ground almonds)

1 tbsp honey (or to taste)

2 tsp Speculaas Spice Blend (recipe above)

Store in a sealed container at room temperature.

Want more recipes like this?

Download my Healthy Sweet Christmas eBook with recipes for cookies, granola, chocolate and spreads that are all gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free.
cover 2014

 

Confessions of an Ex-Sugar Addict + Healthy Nutella Recipe

Confessions of a sugar addictI used to be a sugar addict. I needed something sweet after almost every meal and often in the middle of the afternoon.When I was eating alone in the evening, I would have what I called a dessert meal: a big bowl of ice-cream, a pack of M&M’s or Nutella straight out of the jar instead of a real meal.

M&M’s were my favourites- as shown in this photomontage taken at the advertising agency I was working at back then. We had to pose with our favorite brand and sadly, this was mine!

The worst part is, I thought this was OK because I was ‘saving’ the calories from a normal dinner and replacing them with the sweet food of choice that evening.

When I discovered I had a genetic kidney disease and decided to change my diet, I went through phases where I completely banned sugar.

And I realised by doing this how addicted I was and how addictive sugar is.

But I couldn’t keep it up for more than a few weeks.

I realized that radically banning any form of sugar from my life wasn’t the answer for me.

It was about understanding and accepting my relationship to sugar in order to change it instead of trying to fight against it.

I realized how complex our relationship to sugar is because:

♥ Sugar is addictive – 8 times more addictive than cocaine according to Dr Mark Hyman…yet the sweet taste is an integral part of our diet and trying to deny this is like banging your head against a wall.

♥ Sugar cravings are often a sign that something is out of balance with what and how we are eating the rest of the day…yet they also have nothing to do with food and have a very strong emotional component as well.

 

Healthy Nutella

Healthy Nutella

This recipe is for anyone who loves Nutella and is looking to replace the store-bought kind with a much healthier version that uses only whole foods like hazelnuts and cacao powder and sweetened with a little maple syrup – an unrefined sweetener.

Hazelnuts are supposedly the main ingredient in the real Nutella but they actually account for only about 13% of the ingredients – the number 1 ingredient being sugar, followed by palm oil. I won’t go into how unhealthy store-bought Nutella is – suffice it to say that they have been sued for falsely advertising health claims when in fact, Nutella is more like a candy bar than a nutritious spread.

Meet Healthtella!

The main ingredient in Healthtella is hazelnuts. Hazelnuts are a good source of Vitamin E as well as iron, zinc, calcium and potassium. And because they are made up of 60 – 70% oil, when you whizz them in a food processor for just a minute or two, they quickly turn into a beautiful, creamy spread. To this, we add the cacao powder, melted cacao butter or coconut oil plus a little maple syrup – and voilà – you have Healthtella!

Method:

Heat your oven to 135 degrees Celsius.

Measure 1 cup or 200g hazelnuts and place on a tray in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they are evenly roasted.
Remove from the oven and rub the hazelnuts between your hands to remove any loose skin.

Once they are completely cool, place them in food processor and grind them until they are liquid. This should take about 1-2 minutes and you may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times.

Once your hazelnut spread is ready, add the following:

25g melted cacao butter read more about cacao butter and where to buy it here OR melted extra virgin coconut oil

2-3 tbsp maple syrup + 3-4 tbsp water

OR

4 tbsp coconut sugar

2-3 tbsp cacao

Mix everything until it is well combined and you have achieved the right taste and consistency. Store in the fridge but take it out a little before you eat it so it becomes less solid.

Healthy Nutella - collga

I would love to hear from you – what’s your relationship to sugar like? Are you a fan of Nutella?

Couldn’t Be Easier Lemon Poppy Seed Cake (Gluten & Dairy Free)

lemon poppy seed cake 2.jpg

Baking a cake does not get any simpler, quicker or healthier than this.

All you need is a bowl, a scale and a whisk – no measuring cup or mixer needed.

And the result? Absolutely delicious. The tart taste of the lemon contrasts nicely with the subtle sweetness of the maple syrup and the crunch of the poppy seeds.

Poppy seeds seem to have fallen out of fashion recently, replaced by the more sexy and almost identical-looking chia seeds whose praise I sung here. Poppy seeds are super healthy as well, containing phosphorous, calcium, fiber, iron, potassium and zinc and are a good source of healthy fats. They are grown in Europe, making them more local to us here than chia seeds and they compliment baked goods like cakes or breads extremely well. They can also be added to salad dressings or sprinkled over porridge or muesli.

This is a great breakfast on the go cake and is also lovely with a cup of tea. It keeps well for several days and you can even freeze it.

Ingredients

100g maple syrup

40g olive oil

2 tbsp almond butter or other nut or seed butter

50g poppy seeds

3 small or medium eggs or 2 large ones

juice + zest of 1 large organic lemon

a pinch of sea salt

150g gluten-free flour of your choice – I used half buckwheat flour and half chestnut flour

2 tsp baking powder

Method

Put a bowl on top of a scale and measure the ingredients one by one, starting from the top and whisking as you go along.

Pour the mixture in a baking loaf, greased if it is not silicone.

Bake in the middle of a preheated oven for about 25-35 minutes at 170 degrees. You will know it is ready when a knife comes out clean.

Take it out of the baking loaf and put it on a rack to cool down.

Inspired by this recipe.

Lemon poppy seed cake1.jpg

Raw Spice Balls

Raw Spice Balls

When you are craving something sweet, dates are a great option. As a dried fruit, the sugar in dates is completely natural and also contains minerals and vitamins such as iron, potassium, calcium, manganese, copper and dietary fiber.

But did you know that dates are perfect for making healthier sweet treats? They add both sweetness and consistency and are very versatile. Make sure you have a good food processor (S-blade) to grind dates into a paste though as they can get stuck in blenders.

Always buy the best quality you can find, preferably the Medjool variety. They are bigger and softer than other dates and work very well as a paste.

These Raw Spice Balls are a great snack or dessert or for when you need a quick energy boost. They are extremely versatile, allowing you to use any spice or spice mix you want. They are also very simple to make, taking only a few minutes to blend and a few more to shape.

Ingredients

1 cup whole hazelnuts or almonds OR 2 cups ground hazelnuts or almonds

1 cup pitted Medjool dates

1-3 tsp spices (to taste): Cinnamon only, gingerbread spice mix, chai spice mix, cacao powder or any other spice you want

a dash of sea salt

Method

Grind the hazelnuts or almonds in a food processor. You can also buy them already ground but I find doing it myself adds more flavor.

With the food processor running on medium, drop in the dates one by one through the feed tube.

Add the spices and sea salt and process until the consistency is uniform and crumbly. You should be able to easily form a ball between your hands. If this is not the case, add more dates

Roll into balls and store in the fridge until you serve/eat them.

For a more sophisticated twist, you can roll the balls in shredded coconut or toasted sesame seeds and serve them truffle style (as in the photo below).

Raw Spice Balls

Harissa: Arabic Semolina Cake (a healthier version)

Harisa: Arabic Semolina Cake

One of the Arabic desserts I loved growing up was harissa, a semolina based cake traditionally made from ghee (or butter), white sugar and semolina. It is then doused in a sugary syrup called ater, made from boiling large quantities of sugar in water. We would always eat it around New Year’s Eve since there is a belief that eating something sweet makes the coming year sweet!

While I was visiting my family in Amman, my mother and I decided to reinvent it into a healthier version, using yoghurt instead of butter or ghee, brown sugar instead of white sugar, and a honey syrup instead of the sugar syrup. All my family who tried it agreed that they actually preferred this healthier version to the traditional one!

Semolina is a coarsely ground grain made from wheat. If you are not sensitive to gluten, it actually has some interesting health benefits, including iron, selenium and B-complex vitamins and is used in many Arabic desserts and cookies.

Ingredients (for about 6 people)

1.5 cups finely ground semolina (sémoule complète de blé dur fine in French)

1/2 cup dark sugar

1/4 cup orange blossom water (you can find this in the Middle Eastern section of large grocery stores like Coop)

1 cup natural, full-fat yoghurt

1/2 tsp baking soda

Almonds to decorate – remove the skins by soaking them in boiling water, then squeezing them out with your thumbs.

Method

Mix the semolina with the sugar

Add the orange blossom water and mix.

Add the baking soda to the yoghurt and mix before adding this to the other ingredients.

Mix with your hands to create a smooth mixture.

Leave to rest for about 30 minutes.

Spread a thin layer of tahini (sesame paste used in humus) onto a tray about 20 cm in diameter.

Decorate with the almonds.

Put in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes or until it is almost done.

While the cake is in the oven, prepare the honey syrup:

Heat 1/2 cup honey with 1/2 cup water, add a dash of orange blossom water and bring to a boil. Add a squeeze of lemon once it has boiled and leave to cool.

Take the cake out of the oven, cut it in squares and pour the honey syrup over it. Put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

This healthier version of Harissa is delicious served hot just out of the oven but I also like it cold the next day! You can store it in the fridge for a few days (if it lasts that long!)

harissa, a semolina cake

 

newsletter

Arabian Almond Balls (Gluten & Dairy free)

Arabian Balls

These Arabian Almond balls, based on this recipe, are really quick to make and do not even need baking.

I grind almonds with their skin – but you could also buy already ground almonds or use ground almonds without the skin for a more subtle taste. I used almond oil which I thought worked perfectly but if you do not have this you can also use coconut oil or probably even olive oil.

The Arabic taste really comes from the orange blossom water and lightly toasting the sesame seeds takes the taste experience to a whole new level.

Ingredients

2 cups ground almonds 

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of unrefined salt

2 tbsp almond oil 

3-4 tbsp maple syrup or honey

1 tbsp orange blossom water

1/2 cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Method

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl then add the maple syrup or honey, orange blossom water and mix. Form balls in whatever size you want and roll them in the lightly toasted sesame seeds. Store in the fridge.

Enjoy with some fresh mint tea!

Upgraded Oatmeal Cookies

healthier oatmeal cookies

Oatmeal cookies have always been my favorite cookie. I think it’s something about the nutty taste and crunch mixed with the sweetness of raisins that I really love…

The original recipe I grew up with calls for the usual suspects: Butter, sugar, white flour, eggs. But in the spirit of upgrading I came up with this recipe which is free of refined sugar, refined flour, eggs and dairy AND includes healthy ingredients such as whole grains, nuts and seeds. The best part is how versatile and easy it is – you can change or experiment with the ingredients according to your mood and what you have in your cupboard!

Ingredients

1 cup wholegrain oats or any other wholegrain cereal flakes (can also be a mix of both oats and other flakes)

1 cup whole wheat flour, rye flour or a mix of gluten-free flours such as brown rice, buckwheat, coconut etc

1 cup ground almonds or hazelnuts or a mix of both

½ cup shredded coconut

½ tsp. unrefined salt

1/2 cup raisins or chopped dates

½ cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup

½ cup oil (such as olive oil, canola or coconut oil)

Some additional sprinkles for added taste and health benefits such as chia seeds, amaranth, wheat germ, sesame, pumpkin or sunflower seeds. You can also add spice such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

3. Mix the wet ingredients and stir into the dry ingredients.

4. Form small balls and place on a cookie sheet, pressing the balls down with your fingers. The flatter, the crispier.

5. Bake for 12 minutes or until crispy.

photo

Brownies, reinvented

Normally, when thinking about brownie ingredients, we think sugar, butter, flour, eggs and of course, chocolate.

But what if you could have the taste and yumminess of brownies without any of these ingredients? What if brownies could be reinvented to the point where they could even be considered healthy? I’m not sure you will believe me before trying out these recipes yourself!

The basics for both the recipes below are the following:

Dates – bring the sweetness without needing to add sugar. Ideal is to use medjool dates, but I have also used normal (organic) dates and they work well too.

Cacao powder – as always, full fat and raw, without added sugar.

Sea salt – I find mixing flavors – in this case sweet and salty – gives a more sophisticated taste.

The final ingredient differs – ground walnuts and almonds or ground cooked quinoa, depending on the recipe.

For both recipes, you will need a good food processor to grind everything into a smooth paste.

RECIPE 1: RAW BROWNIE (recipe here)

This is delicious and doesn’t even need to be baked!

RECIPE 2: BAKED BROWNIE

The main ingredient here is quinoa, a super healthy seed that is cooked and eaten more like a cereal. I actually can’t believe I haven’t done a post on quinoa yet with the amount I eat – especially after the United Nations declared 2013 the Year of Quinoa!

Because the brownies here are baked, they feel much closer on a sensory level to the real thing. Here is the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cooked quinoa or 3/4 cups dry quinoa

2 cups pitted dates

½ cup cacao powder

pinch of vanilla

pinch of sea salt

4 tbsp melted coconut oil (or other oil)

METHOD:

Soak, then cook the quinoa according to instructions. In a food processor, pulse the quinoa until it is mushy. Add the dates, one by one, until a paste is created. Add the cacao powder, vanilla, sea salt and melted coconut oil. Pulse until everything is consistent.

The batter should be stick – scoop it out into a small baking tray and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 – 25 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

Let me know your thoughts if you give these a try – I can guarantee you won’t miss the ‘real’ thing!

 

Carob Chia Pudding of Love

In health food circles, carob is often seen as the poor cousin to cacao – touted as a a caffeine-free substitute but not much else.

Carob deserves to be known and loved in its own right, both for the taste and health benefits. I think I feel this kinship to carob powder because we are both originally from the Middle East – only carob grows on the pods of trees.

Carob is very soothing to the stomach and is a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, fiber and protein. It also contains vitamins A, B, and D. You can buy the powder in any health food store  – I add it mostly to smoothies but it can also be used in desserts such as the Carob Chia Pudding of Love I made for my husband on Valentine’s Day.

RECIPE:

Put 1 cup almond or coconut milk

1/4 cup chia seeds

1-2 tablespoons carob powder

5 medjool dates (pitted)

A sprinkle of vanilla powder (optional)

 

Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse, then pour into glasses and place in the fridge to chill for at least 1-2 hours. Top with cacao nibs for some crunch before serving.

IMG_0305

Some Like It Raw

Raw Chocolate Avocado Pie

I am a big fan of raw desserts. They are dairy and gluten free and always use healthier sugar alternatives like dates or maple syrup. Oh, and did I mention they are also super easy to make, needing very few ingredients and no baking time?

Kitchen gadget-wise, it is best to have a good food processor  which can reduce nuts and dates to a smooth mixture. I just got a food processor but before that I was using a blender which can work, but isn’t ideal!

Because there are so few ingredients, it is essential to use the best possible ones. So real sea salt rather than refined salt (read more here), good quality dates (I often use medjool dates), good quality cacao (WITHOUT the fat removed), raw, organic nuts etc.

One of my favorite recipes is Raw Chocolate Avocado Pie. AVOCADO you think?  Yes, avocado actually gives a creamy texture that replaces the dairy used in many recipes. Of all the people I have made this for, only 1 person ever guessed there was avocado in this pie!

RAW CHOCOLATE AVOCADO PIE

Crust: Combine the below ingredients in a food processor and pulse, then press into a pie dish and put aside:

1 cup dried shredded raw coconut

1 cup almonds (it is best to soak the almonds for a few hours to improve digestibility)

1/4 cup dates (preferably medjool)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 tsp coconut oil or olive oil

Chocolate layer: Combine the below ingredients in the food processor and mix until creamy, then pour over crust and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. I topped mine with cacao nibs for some added crunch. 

2 large ripe avocados

1/2 cup unsweetened and full fat cacao powder

1/2 cup maple syrup

dash of vanilla powder

1/4 tsp sea salt

ENJOY!

photo-6 photo-8 photo-7 photo-9

 

Here are some other great raw dessert recipes:

Raw Cashew Raspberry Pie – this comes out very sophisticated-looking :)

Raw Brownies – these are just amazing – so similar to the real thing!

Raw Cacao Fudge Bites

Raw Date Squares

Raw Cacao Nib Cookies