Rose Pistachio Chocolate Bark

There is nothing more satisfying than taking a bite out of a chunk of chocolate, and indeed nothing more satisfying at all than knowing that that chocolate is made of only pure, natural, healthy ingredients than not only are not detrimental to your health, but are in fact beneficial to your health.

I usually make my chocolate truffle hearts when I want good old plain chocolate instead of brownies or cakes or cookies, but this time I thought, You know what, just shove the entire mixture into a silicone baking tray and let it set like that instead of putting it into individual moulds.

I love the combination of rose and pistachio, I think it must be something to do with my Moroccanness! so I decided to put a touch of rose water, just enough to taste it faintly on the tongue, but not enough to take away from the exquisiteness of the chocolate, and the pistachios give it a bit of crunch and a touch of savoury to mix in with the sweetness.

As you take a bite out of it, you will honestly feel like that girl in the Magnum adverts, how she looks when she takes a sensuous bite out of the (rubbish-filled) ice cream; it’s heavenly! And so easy to make my son could probably do it…

So I invite you all to join in the raw chocolate revolution! 🙂

Ingredients

5 tbsp coconut oil
5 tbsp raw cacao powder
2-3 tbsp maple syrup (depending on your preference of sweetness)
2 tbsp cashew butter

Optional fillings:
1/2 tsp rose water
Small handful pistachios, crushed roughly
Small handful coconut chips

Method

Simply put all the chocolate ingredients (not the fillings) into a saucepan and melt gently over a low heat, stirring often. Add the rose water if desired.

Once it’s melted, pour it into a baking paper-lined silicone baking tray and sprinkle the fillings into it.

Put it in the fridge to set for a couple of hours then cut or break into chunks.

Devour!

Love & health,
Lauren

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

Braxton is leaving his childminder this week and starting nursery – eek!! I didn’t know what to get the lovely ladies at the childminder so decided to make them some nice things and package them nicely as a thank you. I made them these and some chocolate truffles – I hope they like them and hope you do too!

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil
3 heaped tbsp natural peanut butter
ÂĽ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp almond milk
½ tsp vanilla powder
Pinch Himalayan salt
1/3 cup ground almonds
3-4 tablespoons coconut flour

Chocolate coating:
3 tbsp cacao powder
ÂĽ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp cashew butter
ÂĽ cup coconut oil (add more if it is too thick)

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment and grease with coconut oil.

Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan and add to a mixing bowl.

Now add the peanut butter, maple, almond milk, vanilla and salt to the bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon. It should start thickening a little.

Now add the ground almonds and mix really well, then add the coconut flour and mix again. If it is too runny to make into cookies, add another tablespoon. It should thicken as you mix but add coconut flour one spoon at a time as needed.

Roll into small balls and push down on the prepared baking tray but not too thin as they should be quite bulky and will be soft on the inside if they are thicker which is nice, a bit like blondies.

Put in the oven and bake for 7-8 minutes, until they have only just started browning on the edges but not more than that as they will continue to harden when they are out the oven.

While they are in the oven make the chocolate by melting all the ingredients together in the saucepan you melted the coconut oil in.

Let the cookies cool on the trays for 5 minutes then let them cool fully on a wire rack.

Once cool, dip them in the chocolate and put them on a plate and put the plate in the fridge for an hour.

You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge to keep the chocolate from melting and they should still be soft enough on the inside when they come out the fridge.

Love & health,
Lauren

 

Maca-Chilli and Lemongrass-Wheatgrass Chocolates

Chilli & Lemongrass Chocs

The mayans believed that cacao was the drink of the gods, and with good reason! Raw cacao is high in magnesium and all the B vitamins; it promotes cardiovascular health and aids digestion; it is high in anti-oxidants, neutralising free radicals in the body and thereby preventing cancer. Cacao also promotes mental well-being due to containing phenyethylamine and theobromine, organic compounds which stimulate the release of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. No wonder we feel so good after eating chocolate!

Making your own raw chocolate is simpler than you would think, and means you get all the incredible health benefits of raw cacao without the added sugar, dairy or chemical additives. Make sure to buy organic and raw cacao products, rather than regular cocoa, which has been processed and stripped of nutrients.

Ingredients

For the flavoured caramel centres:

50g organic virgin coconut oil
70g raw almond butter
100g runny raw honey or 85ml organic maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp Oryx desert salt
1 tbsp maca
a pinch of cayenne
5 drops organic lemongrass essential oil
1 tsp wheatgrass powder

For the chocolate:

75g raw cacao paste
25g raw cacao butter
30ml runny raw honey or organic maple syrup
1/4 tsp organic stevia leaf powder (alternatively, use an additional 30ml honey or organic maple syrup)
pinch of Oryx desert salt

 

Method

To make the caramel, place the coconut oil, almond butter, honey or maple, vanilla and salt into a blender and blend for a couple of minutes. You want everything to melt together into a creamy consistency, and the mixture will change colour as you do this. It’s important to blend for long enough, as opposed to just mixing everything together, to get the right consistency. If it doesn’t look right yet just keep on blending!

Divide the mixture in two. To one half add the maca and cayenne, and to the other add the lemongrass oil and wheatgrass powder. Taste each mixture for flavour – you may want to add another pinch of cayenne or a drop of lemongrass, according to your preference. Place the flavoured caramels in the freezer to set while you make the chocolate.

Place the cacao paste, cacao butter, honey or maple, stevia and salt in a glass or stainless steel bowl which can fit over a saucepan. Bring some water to a simmer in the saucepan, and set the bowl over it. The trick with chocolate is to only ever use gentle heat, and to heat all the ingredients together. If you try to melt the cacao over direct heat, or add cold honey to it once it’s been melted, it will seize. Use a whisk to stir the chocolate until everything is melted, well combined and glossy.

Fill your moulds with chocolate one third of the way, making sure to use only half of the chocolate.  If you don’t have moulds, ice trays work just as well. Place in the freezer until set. Now use a small spoon to make a little ball of the set caramel and drop into the centre of the mould, trying to avoid the sides of the mould. Use the maca-chilli caramel for half of the moulds and the lemongrass-wheatgrass caramel for the other half. Fill the moulds with the remaining chocolate so that it pours around the caramel, and covers it. Place in the freezer again until set.

These chocolates do need to be kept in the fridge as they can melt at room temperature. I keep mine in a glass jar, and they can last up to a month (at least, that’s the longest mine have ever lasted before being eaten!)

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

 

Double Chocolate Cookies

Double Chocolate Cookies

It’s tough being pregnant and health-conscious! But what time could be more important than now to watch what I eat? The growth and health of my baby is solely dependent on me – that’s a lot of pressure! So I need to make sure I’m consuming only the healthiest, most nutritious organic produce but that’s not always easy; as we know, everything healthy takes preparation. I must admit, I have succumbed to the odd store-bought chocolate biscuit over the last few weeks as the serious chocolate cravings hit, but I try to make a batch of something sweet yet healthy once a week or once a fortnight so I have stuff on hand.

Today we looked after our 18 month old niece (good practice!) and while she had her afternoon nap I whipped up these bad boys, adapting from a recipe by Wholesome Patisserie. Not only did they 100% fully satisfy my craving (and I’m not lying, they really did – even more so than the store-bought processed stuff!) but my niece loved them too and we got to have them warm out the oven when she woke up. That’s what I call Sunday afternoon bliss! I hope you like them as much as we all did 🙂

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients:
1 heaped tbsp ground flax seeds
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup almond butter
1 and quarter cups coconut palm sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp Himalayan or Oryx salt
3 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
2 tsp almond milk
Half cup dairy free (or your choice of) chocolate chips

Method

Preheat oven to 180 and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ground flax and 3 tbsp filtered water and set aside for 2-3 minutes or until it has thickened up. Then whisk the flax egg one final time.

Now add the wet ingredients to the same bowl with the flax egg; solid coconut oil, almond butter, brown sugar, coconut sugar and vanilla. Beat the mixture until smooth and well combined.

Add in the baking soda, baking powder, salt and cacao, beat the mixture well. You may have to knead a bit with your hands to get it fully incorporated, then beat or knead in the buckwheat flour with the almond milk until smooth and well combined.

Now mix in the chocolate chips.

Take a small piece in your hands and roll into a ball then flatten into a cookie shape and place on prepared baking tray. Make sure to leave enough room between each cookie as they will rise.

Put them in the oven for 12-15 minutes then remove them and leave to cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. After that you can either eat them warm or wait until fully cooled before storing them in an airtight container.

Enjoy the decadence!

Love,
Lauren

Raw Chocolate Hearts with Maca Caramel Centre

Maca Caramel Chocolates

With Valentine’s Day just a week away I’m sure chocolate is on everyone’s mind. So I thought I’d show you that it doesn’t have to be unhealthy or “fattening.” Chocoholics round the world rejoiced when the experts started saying “chocolate is good for you.” But some of you may have been confused by this statement… after all, chocolate is full of sugar, right? So how do you get all those amazing benefits of raw cacao without the toxins of refined sugar, dairy and other additives such as emulsifiers and thickeners? Raw chocolate!

This was one of my favourite discoveries when I started this lifestyle… and it really is simple to make. By omitting all the bad stuff, and keeping the raw cacao at low temperatures so that you don’t destroy the nutrients, you’re giving your body one of nature’s most nutrient dense foods. Raw cacao is rich in anti-oxidants, is good for cardiovascular health and fights cancer. It also contains phenylethylamine, which is a mood enhancer. That explains the “feel good” effect of chocolate! 🙂

What is the difference between cacao and cocoa? Cocoa is what you probably grew up with… it is made from cacao beans but has gone through processing which means a loss of nutrients. To get the full benefits of the cacao bean, and a high-quality chocolate, make sure you only buy organic raw cacao products.

My chocolate recipe uses raw cacao paste as well as cacao butter. If these are not available to you, or you first want to see what this is all about before spending money on those products, you can make raw chocolate using coconut oil and raw cacao powder.

Maca is a root grown in Peru, which comes from the radish family. It has been revered for over 2000 years for its ability to provide stamina, mental clarity and aid fertility. It is believed to be an excellent aphrodisiac, particularly when paired with raw cacao. It has a bit of an odd taste (I must admit at first I didn’t like it!) but adding it to my raw caramel is a good way to start… the result is heavenly!

Ingredients

1 x Raw Caramel recipe
2 tbsp maca powder

Chocolate recipe #1:

75g raw cacao paste
25g raw cacao butter
30ml runny raw honey or organic maple syrup
1/4 tsp organic stevia leaf powder (alternatively, use 60ml honey or maple)
pinch of himalayan salt

Chocolate recipe #2:

90ml coconut oil
90ml runny raw honey or organic maple syrup
125ml raw cacao powder

Method:

Add the maca powder to the caramel ingredients when blending. Set aside.

For chocolate recipe #1, place all the ingredients in a glass or stainless steel bowl which can fit over a saucepan. Bring some water to a simmer in the saucepan, and set the bowl over it. The trick with chocolate is to only ever use gentle heat, and to heat all the ingredients together. If you try to melt the cacao over direct heat, or add cold honey to it once it’s been melted, it will seize. Use a whisk to stir the chocolate until everything is melted, well combined and glossy.

For chocolate recipe #2, place the coconut oil and honey or maple in a glass or stainless steel bowl which can fit over a saucepan. Bring some water to a simmer in the saucepan, and set the bowl over it. Gently melt the oil and honey, using a whisk to combine. Remove from the heat and add the cacao powder, using the whisk to combine well.

Fill your heart mould with chocolate one third of the way. If you don’t have moulds, ice trays work just as well. Place in the freezer until set. Now use a small spoon to drop some caramel onto the set chocolate, trying to avoid the sides of the mould.

Maca Caramel Chocolates 2

Place in the freezer again for a few minutes to harden, so that pouring more chocolate over the caramel doesn’t melt it. If your chocolate is no longer pouring consistency, heat it gently again over the simmering water. Fill the moulds with chocolate so that it pours around the caramel, and covers it. Place in the freezer again until set. These chocolates do need to be kept in the fridge as they can melt at room temperature, especially if you’ve made the coconut oil version. I keep mine in a glass jar, and they can last up to a month (at least, that’s the longest mine have ever lasted before being eaten!)

I hope these will put you in the mood for Valentine’s Day!

Health & happiness.

Love,
Raine