Carrot Chocolate Squares (yes, of course it’s raw)

P1070317Up to my eyeballs in carrot pulp. I love what carrots do for my skin – bright glow almost instantly. I made this raw carrot curry soup with lots of fresh tumeric and miso. It’s from “Everyday Raw Detox” by Matthew Kenney and Meredith Baird:

P1070304I cannot reproduce the recipe here but will say that this recipe is outstanding if you appreciate the full and beautiful violence of flavours as is contained when fresh tumeric and ginger root are used. When I use these roots it is because I am defending my body against potential ill health, not because of the flavour – well, this applies to tumeric. I love the taste of ginger as well as its burn. With tumeric, I just thank it without a smile on my face. Heart full of gratitude.

So…that left me with buckets of carrot pulp, out of which I made an exceptional “fish” dish as well as these carrot chocolate squares.

P1070326Enough babbling, here’s the recipe:

2 cups of carrot pulp

4 cups of oats

(or 3 cups of oats and 1 cup of flaked almond/ chopped almonds/ almond powder)

2 cups of date paste (soak dates in hot water then blend till pastey)

1 cup of raisins

1 cup of cacao nibs

1/2 cup of honey/ maple (taste after you add, you may like it sweeter)

2 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp of clove powder

2 tsp of ginger powder

I suggest doing the mixing by hand as it gives you more differentiated texture. Chuck your date paste and honey in with the pulp, oats, almonds, cacao nibs and raisins as well as spices and plough that mother down until you have a dough. Press it into a lined over tray then refrigerate. A few hours should do the trick.

Make a quick raw ganache:

1/4 cup melted coconut oil (GOOD fat!)

1/4 cup honey

1/2 – 1 cup of raw cacao powder (this is available in Taiwan and please don’t cut corners, get this. Hershey’s is NOT raw!)

Whisk all three together, pour the ganache over then set in the fridge once again. The cut, remove from the oven tray onto a board and slice into squares.

Enjoy!

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Addictive (Healthy) Raw Chocolate Fudge! Be Gone, Winter Blues!

P1060631Thank God I never liked commercial fudge growing up. It tastes so gross. Even though I didn’t like it, somehow this raw chocolate fudge gives me such satisfaction, bite after bite after bite.

Make it. In bulk. It will disappear quickly! But that’s cool because it’s made with 4 simple ingredients that carry great health benefits: nuts, cacao powder, honey and coconut oil. Now go read a label on a box of commercial fudge and feel your tummy turn.

Recipe

Blend two cups of your favourite nuts on medium speed for about 15 minutes until it turns to butter. You will need to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender until you incorporate all the little bits of nut that stick to the sides of the blender. Your nutter-butter production will go through several phases:

ground nut flour – paste – thick creamy paste – oils release – full liquid

IMG_1742

Coconut butter (solidified)

Please bear in mind that not all nuts behave well as butters. Macadamia is a dream to work with, turning into butter before you even reach ten minutes. Cashews are very starchy but turn out a good butter. Almonds are difficult because they turn into a thick paste and don’t easily release their oils. If this happens, do stop blending and just use the paste as you would a butter.

Once your nuts have turned to butter, add 2 tablespoons of honey and raw cacao powder (or more), then blend until it is incorporated. Using a spatula or spoon, remove the thick, sticky mass from the blender into a bowl and give it a final squeeze and mix with your hands.

Pull out your favourite ice cube trays (with shapes) or simply line a square or rectangular-shaped container with plastic and press the fudge mass into the container. Flatten with your palm and neaten the edges so they are flat and straight. Refrigerate while you make the chocolate coating. If you’re using ice cube trays, leave enough space at the top to finish with chocolate coating. I use 1 tablespoon of fudge for each mould. photoChocolate Coating

1/2 cup coconut oil (melted over low heat, double boiler style)

4 tbls raw cacao powder

4 tbls honey

Mix all together until smooth. Take fudge out of fridge and gently spoon the chocolate over the fudge if you used mould. If you used a container, simply pour the chocolate over. Let it set it the fridge for an hour then un-mould or turn out of the container and slice into squares.

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“Get Your Sexy On” Maca Cacao Smoothie!

P1020618I must confess. I do sing that Justin Timberlake refrain after drinking one of those. Please, don’t judge it. It’s not me. It’s the maca. I swear! The maca! The magical, wonderful, sexy maca!

I don’t generally dig breakfast unless I haven’t eaten the night before. And raw cacao is too powerful for me in the morning so bear that in mind if you are a light eater in the morning. I made this on a day I had a serious hunger.

What’s in it?

  • maca powder
  • raw cacao powder
  • pumpkin seed milk
  • ba jiao (Japanese banana)

What is maca powder and how does it help you get your sexy on?

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Maca is a root vegetable, cultivated at high altitudes in Peru and Andean Bolivia. The root resembles a turnip and is known to increase vitality, energy and yes, libido.Maca is cultivated at altitudes high enough that there is no need for pesticides since very little else can survive up there. Farmers use potatoes to act as natural deterrents for root pests so maca is a very clean food. It is rich in calcium, potassium and contains essential trace elements iron, iodine, copper, manganese and zinc as well as fatty acids. Maca’s reported beneficial effects for sexual function could be due to its high concentration of proteins and vital nutrients. (Wiki)

Called an Incan Superfood can be a turn-off to the cynics out there (understandably – there is so much crap in the market out there) and indeed when I compulsively grabbed two bags whilst on holiday recently, I had no idea what maca was about, except for what a dear friend had previously mentioned, so I wanted to find out.

I included a teaspoon in my green drinks (spinach), my orange drinks (carrots) and my red drinks (beets) and found different experiences with all. First of all, I found that if I had one “heaped” teaspoon of maca, my belly became unsettled and I got diarrhea and nausea.It has to be one “level” teaspoon. Also, if I have it with sweeter drinks like carrots and beets, the taste is too overwhelming. Maca has  a sweet taste already, but it also has a subtle after taste which is not easy to palate. So, always level your teaspoon. Of course, it’s not the same for everyone. It does work really well for the more savoury green drinks I have. Also, if I include lots of squeezed lemon in my orange drinks, then it works well too.

After having every day for about a week, I started to feel a higher than normal level of sexual arousal. And it is constant and alive with me. It’s a great feeling. It doesn’t only relate to want to having sex, it also relates to a great feeling of self awareness and life awareness. I feel more sensitive to my surroundings, more energetic, a lot more focused (my friend who told me about maca also reported feeling the same focus). Since I started using it, there were days when I didn’t have my drinks or days when I was on my period and didn’t take it as is suggested. So I could feel the difference in my energy and sexual arousal.

It’s a great addition to your daily nutrition and I highly recommend it. Please note that you should not have maca while on your period. Also note that you should read up about iodine in maca and how it affects goiters. Finally, note that while it increased my sexual vitality, it may not necessarily have the same effect on everyone.

In this smoothie, we also have raw cacao. Another super food of note, please read all about it in my Raw Chocolate post.

P1020614Recipe:

1. Pumpkin seed milk: soak a cup of pumpkin seeds for about 6 hours then blend with 3 cups of water until liquid. Pour into a nut milk bag and squeeze the milk into a jar. Dehydrate the pulp to make your own pumpkin seed flour or combine the pulp with other ingredients to make cookies.

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This is the pulp after blending.

You should get a thick, white milk like this

You should get a thick, white milk like this

2. Rinse out your blender, then throw in

  • two ba jiao
  • all the pumpkin seed milk
  • a few heaped table spoons of cacao (to your preference)
  • two level teaspoons of maca (this makes two large drinks)

Blend on high speed for a few minutes, the pour out into smoothie cups and enjoy. I slice my ba jiao and freeze them in ziplock bags to make a quick, easy, icy addition to my smoothies.

This is a powerful drink. Proceed with caution 😉

To buy Maca:

http://www.navitasnaturals.com

http://www.vitacost.com

Raw Coconut Ganache Tart

Raw Coconut Chocolate Ganache

My first love into raw food was Susan Powers of Rawmazing. I first discovered raw food after a meat-infused month and a half in both South Africa and the US. Upon returning to Taipei, my Beloved and I who are generally not used to eating meat at all, felt heavy and lethargic so we did a 12-day detox and during those 12 days, I reserached healthier eating options and that’s when I found Susan Powers.

Her recipes are gorgeous and healthy and her desserts and killer. This one down below is based on her own recipe, Cacao Coconut Ganache Tart. Being a chocolate-lover and big fan of hers, I decided to try this incredibly simple recipe. Even though it’s so simple, the gourmet factor is very high.

chocolate coconut cake

The addition of fresh pomegranate seeds bolsters and balances the rich thickness of the raw ganache and excites the taste buds even further.

I use Raw cacao from Bali and must say that I find its chocolatey-ness much richer than most.

Enjoy!