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

Bounty Bars – The Healthy Way

My mum always makes coconut pyramids for Passover which are yummy but of course they use sugar so I thought I’d whip these beauties up as an alternative Passover (and any other time) treat.

They are gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, egg free and vegan.

Ingredients

2 cups desiccated coconut
ÂĽ cup ground almonds
½ cup coconut oil
The cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk
ÂĽ cup maple
1/4 tsp vanilla powder

Chocolate coating:
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 tbsp almond or cashew butter
1/2 cup coconut oil

Method

Melt the coconut oil then mix all the coconut ingredients in a bowl.

Line a baking tray (I use a square silicone one) with cling film, leaving enough hanging over the edges, then press the mixture into it. Remember, they need to be cut into fairly substantial bar sizes once set so keep the thickness and don’t fill the whole tray if it’s too big. Put this in the freezer for half an hour.

Make the chocolate coating while it’s in the freezer by melting all the ingredients in a saucepan over a gentle heat.

Take the coconut mix out the freezer and cut into bars, then dip them into the chocolate and place on a plate and put in the fridge to set for 30-60 minutes.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Love & health,
Lauren

Cacao & Cashew Oaty Bites

cashew-cacao-oaty-bites

I may even go as far as to say that these are the tastiest things I’ve ever made…

I have to be honest, I wasn’t sure if it would even work but oh dear lord they do! So simple; literally took 5 minutes, 1 spoon, 1 saucepan and a cup, and to make it even more exciting, there is no refined sugar, dairy or gluten and totally vegan. It makes giving sweet treats to kids easier. Braxton is 13 months and has never had refined sugar and I want to keep it like that. If he always has treats that taste this good, hopefully he’ll never feel the need to binge on the rubbish stuff 🙂

Cacao is also a great plant-based protein which is essential for babies, as well as the essential fatty acids in the coconut oil.

Basically, MAKE THESE!

I used Biona coconut oil, coconut palm sugar and cashew butter as I prefer their ingredients so use them wherever I can ❤

Ingredients

3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp almond milk
1.5 tbsp cacao powder
4 tbsp cashew butter
1 cup organic rolled oats

cashew-cacao-oaty-bites-2

Method

Heat all the ingredients except the cashew butter and oats in a pan, on a low heat, very gently until combined.

Once melted, turn off the heat and stir in the cashew butter and keep stirring until fully incorporated.

Now add the oats and stir until totally mixed into the mixture.

Wait until it’s cooler, then spoon a tbsp. full onto a plate that has baking paper on and press into cookie shapes.

Leave to cool then once cool put in the fridge for an hour until set.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Love and health,
Lauren

 

Chocolate Covered Figs

chocolate-figs

Check out the post I made about the awesome plant-based restaurant in Marbella, Gioia. They gave me the idea for this super easy dessert. It really is an excellent addition to any dinner party table, and couldn’t be easier to make. Also nice for kids as it’s fruit – but it’s chocolatey! 🙂

Ingredients

Chocolate sauce recipe
4 fresh figs
Handful almonds, crushed

Method

Make the sauce in a small saucepan then pour it over the figs.

Top with the crushed almonds and leave in the fridge to set.

Love & health,

Lauren

 

Lemon & Poppy Seed Smoothie

Lemon & Poppy Seed smoothie

This is a beautifully fresh smoothie for the last days of summer. The baobab powder intensifies the tartness of the lemon and provides many health benefits. Baobab is an eco friendly African product, which is high in vitamin C, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Poppy seeds are also high in calcium, magnesium and potassium, as well as iron, zinc and essential fatty acids. Add the vitamin C in the fresh lemon and you’ve got a smoothie which will help to bolster your immunity for the coming winter months.

Ingredients (serves 1)

1 frozen banana
1/2 a lemon, including skin, pips removed
1 tbsp poppy seeds
10ml chia seeds
1 tbsp baobab powder
1/8 tsp organic stevia leaf powder
1 – 2 tsp raw honey, depending on your preference
90ml coconut cream
90ml water
5 ice cubes
optional: 1 scoop plain protein powder (you may need to add some more water)


Method

Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren & Raine

 

 

 

Winter Detox Smoothie

Avocado smoothie

It’s all about the detox this winter and although I usually juice my green veg as I prefer the texture, I also like to make the odd smoothie in the vitamix or nutribullet so that I can get the superfoods in like spirulina, and add an avocado which I don’t do when juicing. This one is great to get the metabolism going and boost the immune system on these cold winter days.

Ingredients

Half an avocado
Handful of kale
1 banana
100ml coconut water
1 tsp spirulina
1 probiotic capsule
1 tsb Manuka honey
2 ice cubes

Method

Add all the ingredients to your blender (I used a Vitamix) and open the probiotic capsule and pour it in. Blend, pour and enjoy!

Love,
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

 

Vitamin Packed Berry Smoothie Bowl

Berry Smoothie Bowl

Ice cream for breakfast?? Who says you can’t be healthy and have fun! Smoothie bowls are one of my favourite breakfasts. You can literally put anything you want in or on them and you can pack them with vitamins and nutrients which is what I’ve done here. Once again, vitamins C & K and antioxidants are what I’m looking to increase right now as well as omega 3, as I approach the last few weeks of pregnancy, so I took this all into account by using blueberries (vitamins c and antioxidants), mulberries (vitamin k), acai berries (antioxidants) and flax seeds (omega 3), when making this simple, quick, delicious breakfast.

Ingredients

1 frozen banana
A large handful of frozen blueberries
2 dates
1 tbsp almond butter
2 acai berry capsules (sprinkled in)
A splash of almond milk

Toppings:
1 tbsp flax seeds
Handful organic dried white mulberries
Tbsp sunflower seeds
Handful fresh blueberries

Method

Simply put all the ingredients (except the toppings) into a high-speed blender and blend until a smooth, ice cream forms. The blueberries and banana being frozen will cause the blender to turn it to ice cream.

Spoon into a bowl and add the toppings.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Healthy Hot Chocolate

IMG_3581

Nothing’s better on a cold winter’s day (like we’re having in Joburg) than a comforting cup of hot chocolate. My version is dairy-free and sugar-free, and goes perfectly with my Gluten-free Biscotti. If you don’t like spice you can simply omit these, but they do compliment the natural flavour of cacao really well.

Ingredients 

500ml almond or coconut milk
2 star anise
pinch of ground cardamom
pinch of Oryx Desert Salt
pinch of vanilla powder
pinch of cayenne
2 tbsp raw cacao butter
2 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tbsp raw honey or organic maple syrup, or 1/4 tsp stevia powder

Method

Place the milk and the spices in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer, then remove from the heat and allow to steep for a couple of minutes, so that the flavours of the spices permeate the milk. Return to the heat just to bring it up to temperature. Remove the star anise, add the cacao butter, cacao powder and sweetener and use a small whisk to combine. Serves 2.

Try using hazelnut milk or brazil nut milk for a delicious alternative.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Raw Chocolate & Coconut Mousse

Chocolate Coconut Mousse

Pregnancy has got me craving something sweet after a meal (or all the time?!) and although I am totally happy with my 80%/20% lifestyle in which, during the 20% I allow myself to eat out, have the odd pizza or have a processed chocolate bar, I have to remember that my continued remission is not something to take for granted; it is a product of continuous maintenance on my part and that maintenance comes in the form of diet and homeopathy. If I get slack on either one I could see the arthritis coming back at any point and now, more than ever, with a baby on the way, I need to make sure that I stay strong and healthy, especially because carrying extra weight could also impact my joints if they are not kept healthy and supple enough. It is constant work, this keeping healthy business, but I can’t think of anything more worth it.

Sometimes people say to me, ‘we can’t afford to eat organic’ or ‘I don’t have time to make those meals’. In some cases this is very true, but a lot of people who say these things to me would happily go out on a Saturday night and spend ÂŁ150 on a meal, or buy a new pair of shoes, or spend the evening in front of the TV. There is nothing more precious than our health and prevention is better than cure so ditch the dinner out and save yourself some money and put it towards buying organic, and spend an extra hour in the kitchen once or twice a week preparing fresh lunches and snacks like this one here. I have to sacrifice many things to be able to afford organic food, superfoods and my supplements, and it shouldn’t just be a case of ‘well that’s ok because you had a disease but I don’t’. Because if you ever get diagnosed with something, from arthritis to cancer or the millions of others that people suffer from, you will wish you did all you could to prevent it, for you and your children. There are ways around EVERY SINGLE HEALTH ISSUE, you just need to be willing to work hard enough and remember that a lifetime consuming the chemicals that are found in every single thing you eat or drink that isn’t organic, WILL lead to disease. Don’t do it to your bodies, not in this day and age when there are so many options. Enjoy an organic, superfood lifestyle! And if you need any help getting started, feel free to drop us a line so we can help.

Ingredients

Chocolate mousse layer:
Half cup pecans
1 frozen banana
Half an avocado
Half a cup of almond milk
1 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp maple syrup
Half tsp vanilla extract

Coconut mousse layer:
2 frozen bananas
The cream from the top of a can of organic coconut milk (save the watery part for cooking)

Optional toppings:
Raw cacao covered goji berries
Desiccated coconut

Method

You will need a high speed blender to make the ‘ice cream’ from bananas. I use a Vitamix.

Put the pecans in the blender and blend well until they form a fine meal. Then add the banana and blend until smooth, followed by the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Add this to fill just over half a small glass.

Wash the blender out then add the 2 bananas for the coconut layer until smooth but not melting, then add the coconut cream and blend quickly so combined but not melting.

Add this to the top of the chocolate layer then top with your choice of toppings. I used cacao covered goji berries and desiccated coconut.

I hope you all enjoy this as much as my husband and I will enjoy it after our dinner tonight!

Love,
Lauren

P.s. I had some leftover from the coconut layer so I used this as a milk / yoghurt replacement with my homemade granola this morning. Was lush!

Coconut mousse granola