WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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Sweets + Desserts

The Best Hot Chocolate's To Cosy Up With This Winter

Drinks, Dairy Free, Essentials, Review, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winterdanielle coppermanComment

Winter is approaching and although the Sun is still out here in London, all I want is a hot drink to settle down with. Fancy something different to your usual tea or coffee? Below are my favourite hot chocolate brands, the ideal warmer during winter months and also a perfect sweet snack to satisfy daytime or evening cravings. Add some extra components to these base ingredients, for added nutrition and / or flavour. I’m adding a shot or teaspoon of fresh turmeric or ginger juice to mine, and during the day, a little he shou wu, maca, tocos and ashwaganda. Embrace your inner alchemist!

1. Zenbunni’s Shaved Dark Chocolate - biodynamic, raw, handcrafted chocolate spiked with a selection of adaptogens. Mix with hot water or milk of choice.

2. Zenbunni’s Vanilla Reishi Gheenache - an alchemical blend of biodynamic and organic stone-ground chocolate and full moon-made ghee. A delicious and nutrient-dense superfood, it is filled with essential minerals, vitamins, and fats for a healthy & magical chocolate experience. Just mix with hot water or milk of choice.

3. Mörk Drinking Chocolate - crafted with cocoa powder, 100% cacao liquor and sweetened only with unrefined coconut blossom sugar. Mix with hot water or milk of choice.

4. Ombar Mylk Chocolate Buttons - Raw chocolate buttons make with creamed coconut and sweetened only with coconut sugar. Chop roughly and mix with hot water or milk of choice.

Or anything Ombar for that matter. Chop roughly and mix with hot water or milk of choice.

5. Loving Earth Creamy Drinking Chocolate - Fair trade, dairy-free, gluten-free, organic, vegan, vegetarian, and again, sweetened only with coconut nectar. Mix with hot water or milk of choice.

Pure Raw / Ceremonial Grade Cacao Powder - pure and simple. Mix with hot water or milk of choice, and sweeten gently if desired with natural syrup or other natural sweetener.

Archived hot chocolate recipes from the blog…

High Vibe Quinoa Hot Chocolate
Tahini Reishi Hot Chocolate

Quick Ginger Hot Chocolate Recipe

Either use 1/2 shot glass of fresh ginger juice (made using a juice or by blending 20-30g sliced fresh ginger with 60ml water) or brew 250ml water or plant-based milk of choice with either sliced fresh ginger or 2 ginger teabags. (You can also use ground ginger but the flavour wont be as strong, the nutrients wont be as active and you will find the ginger doesn’t dissolve and combine fully).

If using water, boil in the kettle and then add the shot of ginger juice or, if using fresh ginger, steep in a mug or small bowl. Add your chosen hot chocolate powder or solids, and stir to melt and combine.

If using a milk, heat in a small saucepan and add either the shot of fresh ginger juice or, if using, the fresh ginger slices. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10-20 minutes. Leave on the hob but switch off the heat and continue to infuse for as long as possible (if you’re in a rush or don’t want to wait, you don’t need to do this extra infusion step, but if you have time, leave for an hour or so just to deepen the flavour). Then, stir in your chosen hot chocolate powder or solids, and stir to melt and combine.

Enjoy!

Finally ~ The Ultimate Chewy Chocolate Chip (Vegan!) Cookies

Gluten free, Dairy Free, Paleo, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle copperman4 Comments
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I’m not even joking, I went as far as testing 4 different cookie recipes in 1 day a few weeks ago, and none of them came out how I wanted them to.

I revisited the challenge again this week though, and this story has a different ending. The best vegan cookies that have ever been.

To me, a cookie should be tough, crisp and gently crunchy on the outside, and soft, moist and chewy on the inside. It should definitely not be too crispy or biscuity, and at all crumbly. That’s the worst. What’s the point in a cookie if it isn’t chewy? I tried several different options that Sunday afternoon; some with egg, some without; some with coconut sugar, some with syrups; some with flour, some with ground nuts; some with coconut oil, some with olive oil. I even tried some chickpeas (the dough was insane, the baked version, not so much). All of them came out completely different and left me baffled by the science of cookies. Some were super light and fluffy and almost a dusty / sandy texture (inedible). Others were super oily and dense, but didn’t set properly or remained oily and moist like the dough it had been, rather than an actual cookie.

These, though, are the ones. They are the perfect texture - light and chewy, but not too dense or tough. In my opinion, they are more flavoursome than shop-bought cookies (which, since I’m now used to lower sugar foods, always taste too sweet and artificial, and somehow quite plain - maybe from the flour and the fact that the ingredients they contain are rarely fresh and hardly real food at all). Another couple of pros: these are make with completely natural ingredients (that’s where the flavour comes from) and are gluten free, paleo, and vegan. Uhhhhh. Who knew a cookie could hit so many spots?

They literally take about 5 minutes to make and 10-12 to bake. So you don’t have an excuse not to make these, really. Sorry.

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Components

Makes 6 large cookies

200g ground almonds
5 tablespoons natural syrup (about 100g) (I used dark agave but any natural syrup, like honey, maple or coconut nectar would also work)
3-4 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1/2 teaspon bicarbonate soda
4 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil (around 50-60g), melted
Generous pinch of salt for the dough and extra for topping
4 tablespoons gluten free flour - I use either buckwheat, rice, chickpea or chestnut
50-100g raw or dark chocolate - I use Ombar or 85-99% dark chocolate depending on what I can find locally

Optional

1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground ginger or grated or sliced fresh ginger
Chopped nuts (like hazelnut, pecans, pine nuts or walnuts)

Method

Preheat the oven to 175c.

Simply measure all of the ingredients - except for the chocolate - into a food process and pulse until they form a smooth dough. Ideally, it should begin to form a sticky, doughy ball, and the mixture should be smooth. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. On a chopping board, roughly chop or crush the chocolate, if it is in a bar or buttons, to create small chocolate chunks. Stir the chocolate chunks into the dough mixture and use your hands to combine and distribute evenly throughout the dough.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Take a small handful of mixture and roll into a compact ball, then place in the palm of one hand and flatten with the other hand. Aim to make each cookie about the size of the palm of your hand, and about 1cm thick. Place on the baking tray and continue to flatten gently with your figures, if necessary. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, if desired.

Place in the oven and bake for 10 - 12 mins, until the edges begin to brown and the surface is tough and dry to touch. I remove mine around 10 minutes as they continue to cook a little as they cool, and they set as they cool, so don’t worry if they feel too soft when you remove them from the oven.

Enjoy warm or cooled, with a glass of hot or cold plant-based milk, adaptogen-spiked milk (I like cacao) or other hot drink of choice.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for about 1-2 weeks.

Healthier Toffee Apple Recipe ~ For Ecoage

Sweets + Desserts, Commisionsdanielle coppermanComment
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Toffee apples are everywhere around this time of year as Fall celebrations like Halloween and Bonfire Night arrive. I was never very fond of them as a child, they were too tough to get into, and the reward for hurting teeth, cutting lips and getting sticky hands wasn't tempting enough for me. However, this variation is much more up my street. The coconut sugar used creates a really rich flavour and adding a dash of lemon juice and salt creates a wonderful salted caramel flavour, without the additives, e-numbers or artificial flavourings of most shop-bought options. I also use organic apples which always seem bigger and juicier. Apples are in abundance around September / October and I love to use ingredients that are seasonally available. I truly believe that ingredients grow for us as, when and where we need them and apples play a huge part in keeping colds at bay as the seasons shift, amongst other things. Offer a more functional and 100% natural sweet treat for family and friends this Halloween and if you have young children, get them involved in dipping and decorating too!

Components

Makes 4-6

1 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
250ml Cold Water
1 1/4 Cups Almond or Coconut Milk
Generous Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt, sea salt or rock salt
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice - optional
4 Small - Medium Apples of choice (I used Granny Smiths)

+ You will also need a selection of bamboo sticks, kebab sticks or lollipop sticks.

Toppings

Chopped Salted Almonds (or any nut/seed of choice)
Golden Linseeds
Chia Seeds
Cacao Powder
Maca Powder
Chopped Cacao Nibs
Granola or Qnola

Method

Start by boiling the water in a medium saucepan. As it begins to boil, stir in the coconut palm sugar, and let the mixture boil on a high heat for 2-3 more minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce to a medium heat, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer here for 10-12 minutes, stirring constantly as it can stick to the pan or burn easily. Keep a close eye on it, watching it thicken, and continue to simmer until it becomes darker brown in colour, thicker and begins to reduce slightly. To test whether it is done, take a teaspoonful and rest it on a plate to cool. As it cools it should become even thicker and should be slightly tough to touch. If it is still sticky and runny, continue to simmer and allow it to thicken even more. Once you are happy with the consistency and once it begins to set more solidly, remove the pan from the heat.

Now you need to work relatively quickly as the toffee will cool rapidly. Lightly grease a plate or a baking tray with coconut oil. Take one apple at a time and insert whichever sticks you are using through the middle of it. It shouldn't go all the way through to the other side, but deep enough to ensure it won't slip out. Now, carefully tilt the sauce pan to one side, dip the apple into the toffee mixture, and turn the apple repeatedly to coat it evenly. Lift it out of the toffee and continue to turn it above the mixture, to let any excess drip off. I recommend scraping the bottom gently, to ensure it doesn't stick too much to the plate/tray that you place them on. As the toffee begins to stop dripping, place the apple on your prepare surface, and repeat with the other apples. You can either leave the apples bare like this, or roll them through the toppings of your choice. I chopped some salted almonds finely and placed them in a medium bowl, then gently rolled the apples around in the bowl until the almond dust stuck. If it is easier, you can top the apples by taking a handful of your toppings and pressing it into the toffee coating.

Once coated, or if you are leaving them bare, place the apples in the fridge to cool and set a little more, for around 1 hour. The longer you leave them, the better.

+ These will last for around 2 weeks in the fridge or in an airtight container.

+ You can also use this toffee recipe to make individual toffees. Instead of coating apples, simply allow the toffee to cool a little, and then take teaspoonfuls of the mixture and mould it into individual shapes, or fill chocolate moulds with the mixture, and set in the fridge.

See the full article here.

Almond & Adaptogen Ananda Mouthfuls

Dairy Free, Gluten free, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle copperman2 Comments
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I love to make some variation of these simple snacks every few weeks, and they're especially convenient if I am traveling a lot. I love to take them with me for the journey, and if i have the facilities where I am staying abroad, I always make them if I am staying somewhere for a while, as they are super easy to make and provide functional nutrition in an instant. They are high in protein, healthy fats, fibre and essential vitamins and minerals, and are a delicious way to incorporate a dose of your favourite adaptogens and / or tonic herbs if you want other ways to use them. Depending on the adaptogens you use, these mouthfuls have a host of physical and mental health benefits, and the bonus is that they taste like chewy caramels. Enjoy!

Components

50g gluten free oats (or cashews)
50g ground almonds (or whole almonds)
A generous pinch of salt
1 tbs vanilla vegan protein powder (i use The Welle Co or Innermost Health)
1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon
150g medjool or other soft dates (pitted and halved)
1.5 tablespoons coconut oil (soft, or melted)
60g almond butter or cashew butter, or a mixture of both

Optional adaptogens: (use one or several of the following, or add your own preferred adaptogens or tonic herbs)

1/4 teaspoon pearl
1/2 teaspoon ashwaganda
1 tablespoons tocorionels
1 tablespoon cacao
1 teaspoon he shou wu, cordyceps, reishi or chaga

Method

Start by blending the oats, ground or whole almonds, salt, protein powder, cinnamon and adaptogen powder of choice in a food processor, on the highest speed, until they form a fine, flour-like consistency. 

Next, add the dates and then blend again until the mixture becomes doughy and perhaps even forms a large, sticky ball. 

Next, add the coconut oil and the nut butter and blend a final time. The mixture should be smooth, sticky and doughy and may even begin to form a doughy ball. It should not be wet or paste-like. You should be able to handle it with your hands and it should hold together when you press or squeeze it.

Finally, roll the mixture into balls, or form into bars, (using individual moulds or pressing into a dish or loaf tin and then slicing into individual bars once they have set) and store in the fridge or freezer. I keep some in the fridge for an instant snack, and some in the freezer as they will keep for much longer, and take just seconds to thaw.

Salted Peanut version

Components

50g gluten free oats
80g roasted peanuts
Pinch of salt (don't use if your peanuts are already salted)
1 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract, or vegan or whey protein powder
250g medjool dates
50g peanut butter (could also use other nut butter)
1 tablespoon coconut oil, room temp

Optional adaptogens: (use one or several of the following, or add your own preferred adaptogens or tonic herbs)

1/4 teaspoon pearl
1/2 teaspoon ashwaganda
1 tablespoons tocorionels
1 tablespoon cacao
1 teaspoon he shou wu, cordyceps, reishi or chaga

Method

Start by blending the oats, peanuts, protein powder and adaptogen powders of choice in a food processor, on the highest speed, until they form a fine, flour-like consistency. 

Next, add the dates and then blend again until the mixture becomes doughy and perhaps even forms a large, sticky ball. 

Next, add the coconut oil and the nut butter and blend for a final time. The mixture should be smooth, sticky and doughy, and may even begin to form a doughy ball. It should not be wet or paste-like. You should be able to handle it with your hands and it should hold together when you press or squeeze it.

Finally, roll the mixture into balls, or form into bars (using individual moulds or pressing into a dish or loaf tin and then slicing into individual bars once they have set), and store in the fridge or freezer. I keep some in the fridge for an instant snack, and some in the freezer as they will keep for much longer, and take just seconds to thaw.

Cacao version

Components

50g gluten free oats
100g walnuts (can also use almonds or cashews, or a mixture)
4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract or vegan or whey protein powder
Pinch of salt
250g medjool dates
50g almond butter (can use other nut butter too)
2 tbs coconut oil

Optional adaptogens: (use one or several of the following, or add your own preferred adaptogens or tonic herbs)
1/4 teaspoon pearl
1/2 teaspoon ashwaganda
1 tablespoons tocorionels
1 tablespoon cacao
1 teaspoon he shou wu, cordyceps, reishi or chaga

Method

Start by blending the oats, walnuts or other nuts, protein powder and adaptogen powders of choice in a food processor, on the highest speed, until they form a fine, flour-like consistency. 

Next, add the dates and then blend again until the mixture becomes doughy and perhaps even forms a large, sticky ball. 

Next, add the coconut oil and the nut butter and blend for a final time. The mixture should be smooth, sticky and doughy, and may even begin to form a doughy ball. It should not be wet or paste-like. You should be able to handle it with your hands and it should hold together when you press or squeeze it.

Finally, roll the mixture into balls, or form into bars (using individual moulds or pressing into a dish or loaf tin and then slicing into individual bars once they have set), and store in the fridge or freezer. I keep some in the fridge for an instant snack, and some in the freezer as they will keep for much longer, and take just seconds to thaw.

Upside Down Apricot + Almond Cake

Dairy Free, Gluten free, Recipe, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Summerdanielle copperman1 Comment
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Inspired by a cake my mama threw effortlessly together last week in desperation to use up some of the plums from the tree in our front garden, this cake is super simple and seasonally delicious. It is one of the moistest, lightest cakes you have and will ever encounter, I'm sure of it. Most of the flavour comes from the natural juices and essence of the fresh apricots (you can also use peaches, plums, nectarines or other seasonal fruit of choice - it will literally work with anything; berries, banana, citrus fruits etc etc), which goes so well with the creamy, nuttiness of the ground almond batter.

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This is such a summery recipe and it feels so energising, refreshing and nourishing to eat the vibrant fruits that nature offers up this time of year. I am a firm believer that we truly need exactly what the Earth provides for us in certain seasons / situations. I have been craving juicy, hydrating fruits all summer - probably due to the dry, hot weather - and feel so grateful to have things like peaches, apricots and nectarines thriving in abundance right now. 

This is such a quick and easy recipe and I would seriously recommend it, especially if you have some over-ripe fruits to use up. All the ingredients, as always, are 100% natural and unrefined and thus dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar free.

+ A quick note on sugar: my opinion is that all sugar is sugar, it is received very similarly by the body, however it does make a difference using coconut sugar as it's is higher in fibre and other vitamins and minerals than regular white sugar or other highly processed sweeteners. I also use almost half the sugar required in most similar standard cake recipes, so that's something.

Components

8-10 medium apricots (or a similar amount of other fruits of choice. I'd suggest roughly 5 peaches or nectarines, 8-10 plums, 4-5 oranges or lemons - also feel free to use a combination of several different fruits)
120g  ground almonds
3 eggs (replace with equivalent of flax or chia gel for vegan option, although I haven't tested this)
100g coconut sugar
140g coconut oil
25g water
65g buckwheat flour (can also use self raising gluten free flour or standard self raising flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, paste, powder or fresh vanilla pod seeds
Pinch of salt
+ extra coconut oil and coconut sugar, for greasing

Method

Preheat the oven to 170c.

Line a 9 inch cake tin (I like to use one with a removable bottom, for ease) with baking paper and grease with the coconut oil and sprinkle with coconut sugar (enough to evenly cover the entire base) and a pinch of salt. 

Slice your fruits of choice into flat disks, however possible. I sliced my apricots in half only once, and removed the stone, but for peaches and nectarines you might want to slice four times for thinner layers. Then, lay the fruit - open side facing down and skin side facing up - over the entire base of the tin. Cover as much of the tin as possible and fill any gaps with smaller slices of fruit.

Next, make the batter. Whisk all of the remaining ingredients together in a bowl or combine in a mixer or a food processor. Once smooth, pour the mixture into the tin, covering every inch of the fruit. Smooth to even out with a spatula or back of a spoon.

Bake for 40-45 mins, testing to see if the centre is cooked through by poking a knife or skewer into the middle. If it comes out clean, it is ready, but if it brings a lot of raw looking mixture with it, leave it to bake a little longer. If the top begins to darken too much, cover with foil for the remaining time. 

Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Remove the cake from the tin and gently flip it upside down onto a large plate or cake stand. Carefully remove the baking paper, pressing it away from you as you peel it away, to avoid any pieces of fruit coming with it.

Leave to cool for a minimum of 30 minutes, then either enjoy warm or leave for longer and enjoy at room temp. 

I enjoyed mine with yoghurt (I like soy, almond, cashew or coconut, but you can also use natural probiotic yoghurt). You could also serve with vegan cream (I like Oatly). I also added a little fresh grated ginger, but it would also be nice with fresh herbs like mint, thyme or lemon verbena, depending on the fruits you've used.

+ Store in an airtight container either at room temperature or in the fridge. I left mine at room temperature and it lasted for 4-5 days.

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Summery Vegan Lemon Curd Tart ~ Vegan & Gluten Free Ofc

Dairy Free, Gluten free, Summer, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipedanielle copperman3 Comments
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Ah, this could be just about the dreamiest thing I've ever made. I thought it would be impossible to recreate a favourite of mine (and many's) - The Lemon Tart - using all-natural and vegan ingredients, but it wasn't, and that's why we're where we are today. First off, this post contains around 3 to 4 individual recipes in itself; not only a lemon tart but also a lemon jam, a lemon curd and a biscuity base you can use for all kinds of sweet treats, desserts, freezer granola (I'll explain later) or simply enjoy as a snack. 

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+ You can make this recipe into one big tart to serve sliced (right), or you can use smaller tart dishes to make individual tartlets (left). You can also make this into more a cheesecake pot if you don't have the right kind of tart dish, by filling small ramekins, small bowls or even glasses with some of the base mixture followed by the filling on top.

The Basic Biscuity Base

You can take inspiration from pretty much any recipe for a raw dessert when looking for a quick and simple base for a conventional dessert; whether you intend to make an entirely raw dessert or not. You can make a basic base for any dessert with pretty much any combination of nuts / seeds, coconut oil or butter and a little natural sweetener. I've given up using recipes as it is so easy to judge by eye how much oil and by taste how much sweetener you need to add to any amount of nuts / seeds for it to work as a base. The magic of a raw base like this is that the hard work is done by the coconut oil / butter and the fridge / freezer. It is so simple, and the result is always perfectly crunchy, creamy and crumbly. I use the same kind of recipes as the bottom layer for dessert pots, the base for cheesecakes and as an easy alternative to pastry shells - as I have done here.

+ You could make this tart on a more conventional pastry shell if you feel so inclined / prefer it / have more time and patience on your hands. The pastry from my recent Savoury Vegan Picnic Tartlets recipe would work amazingly with this filling.

Components

Makes enough for 1 medium to large tart dish, or about 8-10 small individual pots / tart dishes

200g raw cashews
200g raw almonds
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3-4 tablespoons honey, medjool dates or other natural sweetener of choice (I find 3 tablespoons is enough to make the dough stick but add more depending on your taste preferences)

+ You can of course use a combination of any other raw nuts and / or seeds you have on hand. I love using pecans or walnuts, and sunflower seeds for a nut-free option.

Process

Simply add your nuts / seeds of choice to a food processor and blend until ground into a fine, crumbly consistency. With the machine still running, slowly pour in the coconut oil followed closly by the honey or other natural sweetener of choice.

The mixture should begin to clump after 30-60 seconds on a high speed. Add a little more oil if the mixture seems too dry and/or a little more honey or sweetener of choice if the mixture isn't sticking and holding together when you press it with your fingers of the back of a spoon or spatula. You want it to stick and hold a compact shape.

Now, cut a strip of baking paper almost twice the diameter of your tart dish (do the same for each small individual tartlet dishes if using). Lay the baking paper across the tart dish as centrally as possible, with the baking paper flat to the middle of the tart dish, and the ends of the laying long outside of the dish. This will help you to lift the tart out once it is set.

Next, transfer the base mixture into your tart dish or tartlet dishes, and use a spatula and / or your hands to spread the mixture evenly to the edges. Press the mixture down until it is compact, and use small handfuls to press some of the mixture up and around the sides of your dish too. 

The base should be about 1/2 cm - 1 cm thick at the base, probably naturally a little thinner around the edges. Transfer to the freezer to set whilst you make the filling.

+ Leftovers tip: You can use any leftover base to energy balls or bars, either rolling it up or pressing into bar moulds or even tuppaware boxes. You can also crumble it into a small container and leave it in the freezer to enjoy as an instant granola for breakfast.

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The Lemon Curd Filling

I have previously made an all-natural lemon curd recipe but it contained eggs and quite a bit of coconut milk which made it quite heavy and rich. This new versions is incredible, I'm genuinely smiling just thinking about it. 100% vegan / plant based and 100% natural and unrefined, you won't find the usual eggs, overload of sugar or butter that is traditionally used in conventional recipes / lemon curd products, or any additives, preservatives and weird thickeners or acidity regulators (err, sorry what?).

As mentioned in the intro, you get 3-in-1 with this recipe. The earliest stage of this filling makes the most delicious lemon jam, which can be used on toast, in yoghurt or enjoyed with baked goods. The next stage makes the perfect lemon curd, which can be used as a spread, a dip or a side for fruit salads or other desserts. And the final stage is your lemon curd tart filling, which could also be used as a slightly richer and creamier spread, dip or side for other desserts. The choice is yours.

Components

140g coconut oil, melted
juice of 6 lemons
160-180g honey, coconut sugar or other natural sweetener of choice
6 tablespoons arrowroot powder
6 tablespoons soy yoghurt (can replace with other yoghurt of choice such as coconut, oat or almond yoghurt. Those who eat dairy can also use probiotic dairy yoghurt or double cream)

Process

Measure the lemon juice, oil and honey into a medium saucepan over a medium - high heat. Immediately whisk in the arrowroot. Add 3 tablespoons first then whisk until fully combine, then add the remaining 3 tablespoons and whisk again.

Heat over a medium - high heat until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble. It should become incredibly gloopy. Also, during one of my test runs, a lot of the oil separated and sat on the surface, but if this happens it will all turn out fine, so don't worry.

As the mixture becomes thick and gloopy, remove the pan from the heat and whisk the mixture vigorously for 1-2 minutes (may need longer if your oil has separated slightly). The mixture should calm down and become a smoother more creamy looking texture. Return to a low-medium heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, whisking every so often to avoid any sticking and burning.

When the mixture is thick, smooth and glossy looking, remove from heat and then whisk in the soy yoghurt (or whichever alternative you might be using), one tablespoon at a time, until smooth. This will make the mixture thin a little but don't worry, it will set perfectly.

Pour the mixture into your tart base or tartlet bases, filling it up to come almost level with the edges of the base. This time, place in the fridge for about 1-2 hours to set fully.

+ Leftovers tip: If you have leftover filling mixture once you've filled your tart or tartlet bases, pour the remainder into a jar or container and store in the fridge. You can serve a dollop alongside the tart for anyone who wants extra, or you can use to accompany breakfasts (such as granola and yoghurt, fruit salad, spread on toast or on porridge) or other desserts.

Once set, slice and serve with an extra dollop of soy yoghurt (or you preferred alternative) and a side of fresh, seasonal fruit. Keeps for 1 week in the fridge. To keep for even longer, slice and store in the freezer; it thaws back to perfection in no time.

+ Decoration tip: You could try swirling an extra dollop of soy yogurt into the middle of the filling before setting, to create a marbled effect. You could also garnish with edible flowers, lemon slices or other fresh fruit of choice

Updated Raw Tamari + Avocado Brownies

Gluten free, Dairy Free, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Dessertsdanielle coppermanComment
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This was one of the first and most popular recipes I posted back in 2014 when I first started my blog. I don't even know how, since the pictures were awful, the ingredients list quite overcomplicated in parts, and the method really not as straightforward as it could have been. I've simplified the recipe and perfected the method (since now I am familiar with the power of food processors, when back in 2014 I apparently was not and attempted these in my Vitamix - which is also possible but just not the most straightforward or sensible approach IMO. 

These are my favourite things to keep in the freezer as they don't freeze fully but instead stiffen to become the perfect chewiness; sort of caramelly and fudgy. They are super easy to make and are high in fibre, healthy fats, protein and powerful adaptogens like cacao and maca - which enhance energy levels, reduce stress, balance the nervous system and regulate hormones (and moods y'all). I actually prefer these to baked brownies as they're less sickly and are are filling in a less uncomfortable way.

Ingredients

100g nuts or seeds (I tend to use cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds - either just one or a combination of several (you could also use gluten free oats)
1 tablespoon maca
200g Medjool dates (or standard dates, as long as they are soft)
1 teaspoon coconut sugar or natural syrup of choice
1 tablespoon nut butter - preferably smooth (almond, cashew, peanut, hazelnut, pecan or macadamia all work well)
30g coconut oil - at room temperature (could also use cacao butter, melted)
5-6 tablespoons raw cacao powder (use more or less to suit your tastes)
1-2 tablespoons tamari (could also use soy sauce, or replace with a pinch of salt, to taste)
50g avocado flesh (as ripe as possible)

To top

1 tablespoon cacao nibs, crushed nuts or seeds, cacao powder, salt or fresh orange zest.

Method

Start by measuring the nuts or seeds into food processor. Blend on a high speed Blend until it forms a flour-like consistency similar to ground almonds. Next add the remaining ingredients, except for those you plan to use on top and blend for a further 1-2 minutes. The mixture should become crumbly and should eventually form into a smooth, doughy ball. If it remains crumbly, check to see if the mixture sticks together when you press it with the back of a spoon or a spatula, and it will still work.

Transfer into a container, tray or small individual moulds (cake tins work well). Use the back of a teaspoon, tablespoon or small spatula to press the mixture into the base of whatever you decide to use. Ensure the mixture is compact and smooth it down to avoid any gaps. 

Top with toppings of your choice or, like me, leave au naturale. Place in the freezer for a minimum or 1-2 hours, and store them hear until ready to serve. I keep mine in the freezer for weeks and slice mouthful sized pieces off every now and then when I need a little something.