WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

CHOCOLATE

HIGH VIBE HYDRATION . FUNCTIONAL QUINOA HOT CHOCOLATE W/ ADAPTOGENS

Seasonal, Sugar Free, Vegan, Winter, Recipe, Drinks, Dairy Free, Business Stories, Autumndanielle coppermanComment

It doesn’t get much higher vibe than this lemme tell ya. If you’re looking for the ultimate hot chocolate recipe, I am telling you really truly honestly no bs, there's a good chance this is it. When I was growing up, I felt like I was on a lifelong quest for the best hot chocolate. It’s like finding the perfect brownie. Bad versions of either are still not that bad, but half arsed versions are disappointing and unfulfilling, especially when you know that better versions are out there somewhere. Your best option? Make you're own.

The kind of hot chocolate you want (or lets face it sometimes just desperately need) differs - just like anything else in your life - depending on how you're feeling and what you're going through. Sometimes I need a light energy boost so hot water and cacao powder - although not decadent or indulgent - does the trick. I often make a quick blend of cacao powder, nut or oat milk, vanilla, maca and a pinch of himalayan pink salt for something a little creamier and more filling as a lively energy hit that doesn't require too much effort. When I have more time and ingredients, I add soaked cashews to make a thicker, more intense option, but recently I’ve become sensitive to cashews (I think stress, or general cashew overdose, or both), and I know many people are allergic to nuts or wary of the calorie content, so I wanted to create an option that was less dense and less rich, and easy to be made nut free (depending on what milk and nut or seed butter you use).

Although this recipe is less heavy, it's still quite filling, so if you’re catering for a movie night on the sofa and planning to down an entire glass of this after dinner, you may have some regrets (and you also probably won’t sleep because cacao is liiiiit). I’d go for this drink first thing in the morning, consumed instead of a smoothie (it is basically a hot smoothie), or mid afternoon if I’m hungry between lunch and dinner, and/or planning an evening workout. Quinoa is so high in natural plant proteins, amino acids and omega 3, so this drink is a functional option to support particularly active lifestyles.

+ Adaptogens are natural substances (often herbs, roots, vegetables or fungi) that help to decrease cellular sensitivity to stress. They go one step further than superfoods which are known as nutritional powerhouses, by actually helping with internal balance, mental and emotional activity and biological calm. I'll share a full post on them and their benefits in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, experiment with the ingredients in the Elevate It list, which I've listed as optional additions, as some are quite uncommon and difficult to source, and just might not be everyones jam.

INGREDIENTS

Serves 3

1 cup cooked quinoa (about 200g)
30g cacao powder
500ml plant milk or water
5-6 medjool dates
2 teaspoons fresh vanilla or vanilla extract / powder / paste
1 tablespoon maca powder
Pinch Himalayan pink salt - to taste
30-40g tahini or nut butter (I like to use tahini, almond, pecan, hazelnut or brazil nut butter)
2 teaspoons melted coconut oil (could also use extra virgin olive oil or melted cacao butter)

ELEVATE IT

with 1/2 teaspoon of one or some of the following superfood powders and adaptogens:
ashwaganda
amandamide
rhodiola
reishi
chaga
he shou wu
cinnamon
ginger
chilli
turmeric
bee pollen

METHOD

If you haven’t already cooked your quinoa, do so now as per the packet. If it’s loose and unpackaged (yay, good for you!) i generally bring 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water to the boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes until the water is completely absorbed. Halve the cooking quantities if you don’t want so much leftover quinoa, as 1 cup of raw quinoa will over double in size and this recipe only calls for 1 cup of cooked quinoa. Once cooked and cooled (you can rinse with cold water to speed things along) add to a high speed blender with all the other ingredients. Blend on a medium speed for 30 seconds then on the highest speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is completely smooth. Taste and season, adding more superfoods, salt or dates to suit your tastes, then transfer to a saucepan and heat, whisking, over a low - medium heat. If the result is too thick, add a little extra nut milk or water to thin to your tastes.

Serve piping hot. Top with himalayan pink salt, qnola of choice or any superfoods / spices you used in the recipe, or decorate and infuse with fresh rosemary, dried rose petals or chamomile flowers.

+ You could also serve over ice, or blend with ice, for a chocolate milkshake / slushy option

+ Try also substituting the cacao powder with extra honey, cardamom, vanilla and honey, for a creamy vanilla chai option

+ Try also using less liquid to make a thicker result, which can be used as a chocolate sauce (or a custard if you substitute the cacao powder) for desserts.

 

YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THESE CHESTNUT BROWNIES

Seasonal, Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipe, Gluten free, Dairy Freedanielle coppermanComment

So, although it's practically sunbathing weather compared to most Decembers in the UK, winter is coming, and more importantly, (in the words of Coca Cola) the holidays are coming. Silently, alongside public Christmas light displays, Starbucks' red cups and pumpkins and chestnuts filling my local grocery store, winter is unfolding and I have an underlying suspicion that it's just gonna come out of nowhere and hit me in the face with blue lips, frozen toes (no matter how strong my sock game), and some seasonal illness for good measure. My response will be these seasonal brownie bites, inspired by the abundance of chestnuts this time of year - definitely not one of those ingredients you come across in a recipe that makes you think 'where on earth?!'.

These brownie bites are perfect as a sugar-free snack with full-on chocolate vibes during the winter, and would be well received making an appearance at duvet days, movie nights, cocktail or dinner parties, wrapped as a gift to give or kept in the freezer when the boxes of Celebrations and balls of Chocolate Orange begin to get a bit much.

INGREDIENTS

makes 8- 10 small brownies or 1 dish around 9 x 5 in

FOR THE CHESTNUT BROWNIE LAYER

170g medjool dates
80g chestnuts
90g raw almonds
70g raw walnuts
20-25g raw cacao powder
25g coconut oil - melted
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 Teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
10g coconut palm sugar or natural sweetener of choice - optional

ELEVATE IT

1/2 Teaspoon of some or all of the following:
He Shou Wu Powder / Maca Powder / Chaga Powder / Reishi / Shilajit / Cordycepts / Mucuna / Ashwaganda

FOR THE CHESTNUT CARAMEL LAYER

100g chestnuts
2 tablespoons almond butter or tahini
25g coconut oil - melted
65g dates
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup plant milk or water
1 teaspoon honey, coconut syrup or other unrefined sweetener of your choice
1 tablespoon maca

FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER

250g cacao butter (or coconut oil) (can also use half cacao butter + half coconut oil)
150g raw cacao powder
40ml coconut syrup or other unrefined sweetener of choice
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

+ Can also use store-bought dark or raw chocolate bars. I like Ombar.

METHOD

Start by making the brownie layer. place the almonds, walnuts and chia seeds into a food processor and blend until they form a flour like consistency, similar to breadcrumbs. next, add the chestnuts and blend again for 30 seconds. then add the dates, cacao powder, coconut oil, himalayan pink salt and coconut sugar, if using. blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the mixture comes together to in a slightly sticky dough-like consistency. make sure the mixture is smooth and that there are no large chunks of nuts involved, as this recipe tastes so much better when the mixture is completely smooth.

Once blended, either place into a cupcake or mini loaf tin tray (i use this one) or into a standard loaf tin or baking tray (around 9 x 5 in). Using trays with individual mini sections will be easier to handle, but you can use a larger tray and simply cut into individual pieces once set. Whichever you use, spread the mixture on the bottom of the tray/tray sections, making it about 1 to 1.5 cm in height. Place in the freezer to set.

Whilst the brownie layer sets, make the chestnut caramel layer. In a cleaned food processor or your blender, pulse the chestnuts for 20 seconds until they begin to break down into small pieces. Add the dates, almond butter or tahini, coconut oil, vanilla, syrup of choice and maca, if using and then continue to blend until smooth - about 1-2 minutes should do it.

Once the bottom layer is beginning to set and firm to touch, spread the chestnut caramel layer on top until the entire base is covered. Smooth evenly to ensure a more level finish to coat with the raw chocolate.

Return to the freezer and set for about 1-2 hours, or overnight. Unfortunately this step is necessary in order to easily coat the brownies in the chocolate layer. If you can't wait, follow the following step for drizzling the melted chocolate over the bars instead of dipping the bars into it.

Once set, start making the chocolate. Leave the brownies in the freezer until you have made the chocolate. bring a small pan of water to the boil and then set a heatproof bowl over the top. Add the cacao powder, cacao butter or coconut oil (or combination of both), salt and sweetener of choice to the bowl and whisk as the mixture melts together. Once combined, remove from the heat but leave the bowl over the water to avoid the chocolate cooling and thickening too quickly.

Remove the brownies from the freezer and remove from the tins carefully with a knife or cake slice. If you used a large dish, slice into desired sizes. Set each individual brownie onto a cooling rack with a layer of baking paper on the surface underneath the rack. One by one, add a brownie to the chocolate mixture and, working quickly, use a fork to turn the brownies through the mixture until fully coated. *You could alternatively keep the brownies on the rack and pour or spread the chocolate mixture over them, but I find this method a little messier. Sprinkle each one with chopped pecans or hazelnuts, Qnola or himalayan pink salt before the chocolate has fully set. You can also experiment with drizzling a second layer of chocolate over the smooth chocolate layer, and if you have leftover chocolate you could double dip, for a thicker, crunchier outer coating.

If the cooling rack fits, place it in your fridge or freezer once each brownie has been coated. If it doesn't fit, wait for the chocolate to set slightly at room temperature, and then transfer the brownies onto smaller plates or to tuppaware.

+ store in the freezer, and remove 5 minutes before serving.

FERERRO ROCHER SWEET JESUS CAKE

Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipe, Gluten free, Dairy Freedanielle copperman2 Comments

Sweet Jesus. That's exactly what a friend of my sisters exclaimed during his first encounter of what was then my sisters birthday cake but what is now just a collection of tantilising 2D images on my laptop. I'm reliving the entire thing from the comfort of my Airbnb in Berlin, but Berlin's got nothing much to do with this recipe so I'll save that for another time. The cake is the real reason we're all here, am I right? And the aim is for you all to get a Sweet Jesus exclamation out of as many people as possible, okay? Let's go.

Sometimes you just need a birthday cake, and you need it fast. An example of one of these 'sometimes' was last week when I spent the day with my sister and her friends to celebrate her thirtieth birthday. We were on our way home for a quick freshen up of spa faces (you know?) and a light meal before heading to partytown in the form of our local, when the topic of the cake i'd made our other sister for her birthday came up in conversation. It was really good guys, but I literally threw things at the food processor hoping they would warm to each other and get along. It happened, but it was a miracle, a miracle. I wrote a few notes on my phone as i went along but the measurements were not what mattered here, just the end result, and so the specifics were pretty blurry. It was all about taste and texture and I might as well have been blind, which is all good and pretty clever at the time, but not when you're challenged to recreate it another time. That's when the feeling clever wares off. Never the less, as my sister and her friend reminisced about the cake gone by, I took my 1.5 hours, that same food processor (maybe it remembered?) and whatever I could find in the kitchen and I made it happen. Again. I do work well under pressure, but daaaamn, I didn't know I worked this well.

This time, wrapped up in a frenzy of searching and blending and writing and tasting, I somehow managed to add a frosting to the initial version, and thank god I did because the frosting is what really makes everthing you see going on here happen. It's inspired by the crispy, creamy, nutty, chocolatey vibes of fererro rochers, which may seem impossible to achieve with natural ingredients, but is simply what happens when roasted hazelnut butter meets thick, creamy coconut milk. We're all familiar with the phrase having your cake and eating it, but this recipe goes even further and is all about having your cake and your fererro rocher. It's not, however, going to be like eating a fererro rocher. It's going to be so much better. With a brownie-like cake layer (infused with maca and pure cacao) and a seriously smooth topping, it puts those poxy mouthfuls of wafer to shame if anything. Although, I'm grateful for the inspiratoin of course, otherwise where would we be? So thanks Fererro.

+ You'll notice in the ingredients list that there are a few loose options, as certain ingredients in version one were replaced in version two with whatever I had on hand. I can confirm that all options worked perfectly well without much alteration to the flavour, and no alteration to the texture. So approach this recipe freely and tailor it to your own supplies).

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE
60g hazelnuts (cashews and walnuts will also work)
60g ground almonds
50g flaked or whole almonds
8 tablespoons coconut syrup (or other natural sweeteners such as date paste or raw honey)
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
4g pinch himalayan pink salt (tamari also works nicely)
1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste powder or extract
80g cacao nibs
45g cacao powder
12g maca powder
10 dates
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons almond butter
50g coconut milk powder (I use this one. Coconut flour will also work if you can't get hold of coconut milk powder, but isn't as flavoursome. You could also use roughly 4 tablespoons of a melted bar of creamed coconut)

ELEVATE IT
1 teaspoon reishi powder
1 teaspoon chaga powder
1 teaspoon shilajit powder
1 teaspoon cordyceps powder
1 teaspoon spirulina powder
1 teaspoon mucuna puriens
1 teaspoon ashwaganda powder

FOR THE FROSTING
120G hazelnuts, roasted
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
4 tablespoons coconut milk powder (can replace with 4 tablespoons melted creamed coconut)
1-2 teaspoons coconut nectar or other natural sweetener of choice
Pinch himalayan pink salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract / paste / powder or fresh seeds
2 tablespoons almond butter
3 tablespoons tinned coconut milk - the thick creamy part + 2 tablespoons of the liquid part

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 150c. Place the hazelnuts from the frosting ingredients list on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until they begin to brown slightly.

Meanwhile, start pulsing the nuts - including the ground almonds - with the cacao nibs in a food processor. Once the ingredients begin to come to a fine flour-like consistency, add the salt, vanilla, cacao powder, maca and other superfood powders and pulse to combine.

Next, split the dates in half to remove their stones and place them in a small bowl. Cover with freshly boiled hot water and leave to stand for 1-2 minutes.

Add the coconut powder or flour, syrup of choice, almond butter and coconut sugar to the food processor and blend for another minute, first on a low speed, and then on the highest speed for the final 30 seconds.

Next add the dates to your food processor, squeezing each one to remove as much liquid as possible. Blend for another 1-2 minutes on a high speed, scraping down the sides and blending continuously until the mixture is smooth and begins to form a doughy ball.

If you haven't already, check on the roasting nuts and remove from the oven. As they cool, transfer the mixture into you choice of cake tin, dish or even a muffin tin to make smaller individual cakes. I scattered the bottom of my dish with cacao nibs and pressed the brownie mixture onto it which adds a subtly crunchy base layer. You could also add crushed nuts, or nothing at all. Press the dough into your mould/s, making sure it is even and compact.

For the frosting, you can either blend the nuts with their skins or remove the skins by placing the nuts inside a teacloth and rubbing them together for around 1 minute which will encourage the skins to flake away naturally. Whichever you choose, add the nuts to your fresh and cleaned food processor and pulse on a high speed until buttery. This can take up to 10 minutes, and may take some scraping. Add the melted coconut oil and almond butter as the machine is still running. If your mixture still seems dry, these ingredients will help it to loosen up and combine. Now you should have a nut butter consistency. Next add the coconut milk, coconut powder, salt, vanilla and your sweetener of choice. Blend for a further 30 seconds to combine and then spread the mixture over the cake layer. Smooth with a spoon or spatula and if you wish, top with your choice of chopped nuts, superfood powders or cacao nibs. Place in the freezer to set for at least 30 minutes to set - this is what gives it it's chewy, decadent texture. Store here until ready to serve and remove 5 minutes before you plan to enjoy it.

+ If you don't end up making a cake of this recipe, you can break it into two. The cake mixture can be made into bars or balls, and the frosting can be used as a nutella alternative for things like pancakes, crepes, porridge or other desserts.

COCONUT MACA MACAROONS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipe, Gluten free, Dairy Freedanielle coppermanComment

Easter treats for ya! A cross between cornflake crispy cakes, rice crispy cakes, and those cute little easter nests we all used to make in junior school. These are, ofc, gluten, grain, dairy and refined sugar free, and involved highly nutritious ingredients such as golden linseeds, sunflower seeds, flaked almonds, cacao nibs, pure cacao powder and maca.

Hi and bye.

INGREDIENTS
Makes roughly 20-26 macaroon domes / balls, depending on size

50g Cacao Powder
120g Coconut Oil
30g Coconut Nectar, Raw Honey, Date Syrup, Maple or Natural Syrup of choice
50g Cacao nibs
20g Sunflower Seeds
20g Golden Linseeds
200g Desiccated Coconut
30g Flaked Almonds, sliced (can also use coconut flakes)
5g Maca Powder
5g Bee pollen (optional, if you have it)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste, Seeds, Powder or Extract

Optional
Goji Berries or Other Dried Fruit, for a rocky road kind of vibe

METHOD

Start by weighing out and mixing the cacao nibs, sunflower seeds, linseeds, flaked almonds, desiccated coconut, maca and bee pollen, if using, in a medium bowl.

Next, weigh out your cacao powder, coconut oil, natural sweetener of choice and vanilla in a saucepan. Melt over a medium to low heat until the powder combines with the other ingredients and everything is dissolved and smoothly incorporated.

Remove from the heat and pour over the dry ingredients. Use a spatula or a wooden spoon to carefully but quickly stir the mixture, coating all of the dry ingredients completely. Mix for about 2 minutes in order to combine every last nib and every little seed, then place in the fridge for 5 minutes to set briefly. Once the mixture begins to stiffen, it will easier to form into balls. If you want to make bars, you can work with the mixture without having set it, if you have suitable bar molds.

For the balls / domes, take a small handful of the mixture and form it into a small ball in the palm of your hands.

Arrange on a baking tray or a plate, and repeat until all of the mixture is used up. Place in the freezer for at least 20-30 minutes to firm up, and then enjoy.

+ Store in the freezer for as long as you can resist them for.
+ Use or create leftovers on purpose to freeze in clusters to make raw granola. Simply serve with almond milk or on smoothie bowls or yoghurts.

RAW CHOCOLATE GALAXY FUDGE BARS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Recipe, Paleo, Gluten free, Dairy Freedanielle coppermanComment

This weekend was almost like any other weekend, although not quite. Breakfast and/or brunch are major parts of most of my weekends, but this week a Juice Cleanse from Raw Press turned up on Friday, and like all genuinely healthy foodstuffs and drinkstuffs, these things go off. It couldn’t wait until monday.

So Saturday was kinda sad. I didn’t brunch, hell i didn’t even eat. But I was full in other ways. Full of nutrients, vitamins and surprising amounts of energy, and full of overplanned ideas about what I’m going to eat first on monday.

Then I was also full of guilt because my sister,  whose birthday happened to fall on day two of my juice cleanse, and whose gluten intolerance is much more serious than mine, was coming over for the evening and i hadn’t made her a cake. With a food blog centered around a hatred for gluten and miraculous ways in which to create things without it, this was the one day of the year that she deserved one of my gf creation the most.

Thankfully, with a pretty well stocked kitchen (rule one, guys), i managed to wing a no-recipe, use-whatevers-in-the-cupboard creation in under 10 minutes because as well as being unprepared i was also late and my sister likes to avoid telling us her ETA until it is about 30 minutes away so i had to act fast.

Proof is in the pudding though (literally) that it is possible to create truly delicious and truly madly deeply nourishing provisions quicker than you can get to the nearest shop to buy standard ones.

I do have a few disclaimers for this recipe though. It contains more natural sweetener than I would usually use, mainly because I had different kinds of guests with different kinds of tastes on this particular evening (inc. a boy with a very boyish diet). My relationship with dates, which never really took off, has almost entirely diminished mainly because of how sickly i find them. I have also been rethinking my relationship with nuts, as, although they have tremendous health giving qualities, i find them quite rich and indulgent and difficult to digest. These foods are healthy, but in a world where fad diets are frowned upon, they have ironically become faddy themselves. Because they are healthy, people assume it’s okay to eat them as if they’re going out of style. But, dates and natural sweeteners, although more nutritious, still have the same affect on our blood sugars, glucose levels and insulin responses as refined sugars. And too many nuts can be tough on the system, especially if they are not prepared properly. So, by all means embrace them and replace the nutritionally void alternatives, but be mindful of quantities and frequency of consumption.

That being said, this is far healthier than artificial, shop bought cakes which, as well as refined sugar, contain a hideous selection of other hideous ingredients like hydrogenated fats, margarine, white flour, colourings, flavourings and preservatives. You can reduce the amount of natural syrups used in this recipe, although I have a feeling the texture might suffer a little.

I’ve done this recipe in grams as I’ve been testing new recipes for Qnola products and I’m just in that frame of mind. When developing recipes for big-scale production, you have to work in grams even with liquids in order to percentagise the recipe, to scale it up or down as painlessly as possible. I’ve also provided ml and tbs, just in case.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 12 Large or 24 Medium

50g Hazelnuts or walnuts
60g Ground almonds
60g Flaked almonds
100-120g (about 8 tablespoons) Coconut Nectar or natural sweetener of choice (to taste)
4g Salt or Tamari
6g (1 tablespoon) Vanilla bean paste powder or extract
100g Cacao nibs
45g Cacao powder
12g Maca
8 Dates (soaked in boiling water for 1 minute)
20g (2 tablespoons) Coconut Oil, melted
30g (2 tablespoons) Almond butter
50g Coconut Milk Powder or Coconut Flour
1 Teaspoon Reishi Powder, optional
1 Teaspoon Chaga Powder, optional
1 Teaspoon Lucuma, optional

METHOD
Start by pulsing the nuts, including the ground almonds, and the cacao nibs in a food processor.

Once the ingredients begin to come to a fine flour consistency, add the salt, vanilla, cacao powder, maca, mushroom powders or other superfood powders if using, coconut flour, syrup of choice and almond butter and blend for another 1-2 minutes, first on a low speed, and then a higher speed for the last 30 seconds.

The mixture should begin to thicken and stick together when you pinch it between two fingers.

Next, add the dates. Remove the pits and place in a small bowl, then cover with about 1-2 inches of boiling water. Soak for just 1 minute and then squeeze gently to remove as much liquid as possible before adding to the food processor.

Blend for another 1-2 minutes on a high speed, scraping down the sides and breaking the mixture up if it forms a tight, doughy ball. In order to get the smoothest consistency, break the ball up a couple of times and blend further until you are happy with it.

To set, choose a baking tin or dish, a muffin tin or something like mini loaf tins. I scattered the bottom of my dish with cacao nibs and pressed the brownie mixture onto it. This adds a subtly crunchy base layer to the brownies. You could also add crushed nuts to make a quick, simple cheesecake variation, or you can leave them au naturale. Press the dough into your mould/s as compactly as possible. You can decorate the top with just about anything. I like using cacao powder, maca and coocnut flour to create a galactic effect, as well as chopped nuts, almond butter drizzle and, of course Qnola.

Once complete, place in the freezer to set for at least 30 minutes. Remove 5 minutes before you plan to serve / enjoy.

+ Store in the freezer for as long as you can resist eating them.

HOW TO MAKE PECANS, DATES AND RAW CHOCOLATE TASTE UNHEALTHILY TO-DIE-FOR

Snacks, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten free, Dairy Freedanielle coppermanComment

One evening in July 2015, my flatmates and I found ourselves all at home at the same time, for the first time since we'd moved house. We moved in the first week of July, and because these days everyone has multiple jobs and no spare time at all, we hadn't even found time to sit and eat dinner together since moving in. However, this particular Saturday night we decided to have a wild one. We pulled together everything our fridge and cupboards had to offer, made a meal out of mismatches, dusted off my projector screen and had an old school movie marathon (featuring movies so terrible they're brilliant). We were thinking about movie snacks before we'd even decided on dinner, but what is a movie marathon without some sweet thangs? Popcorn gets stuck in your teeth and is nutritionally substandard. Chocolate - dairy/sugar/emulsifiers. Raw Chocolate - good but slightly boring. Sweets - just no, not these days. Chewy Bliss Balls / Cookie Dough Bites - chewy, sweet and salty goodness with raw chocolate. All natural, gluten, grain, dairy and sugar free, antioxidant, fibre and protein rich, and filling in a clean way. Well, that's just about the only way to christen a new home in my eyes, so thats exactly what we done.

This recipe is just the kind of recipe we all need more of. It is quick. It is seriously inexplicably delicious. And I practically made it with my eyes shut. I was concentrating on dinner, catching up with my flat mates and thinking about what films we should watch, whilst the food processor did the hard work. I also didn't measure any of the ingredients thoroughly, and chucked in whatever I could find. This recipe, although I have more or less estimated the quantities that I used, should work just fine. As long as you have the nuts and buckwheat flakes as the foundations, the dates and the coconut oil to bind and bring everything together, and the superfood powders to flavour, you'll end up with something delicious. The quantities only really alter the texture, not so much the flavour. So, if yours turn out too soft or wet, add more buckwheat flakes. If they turn out too sticky, and so stubborn they won't blend, add a little hot water. If they're too sweet, add extra lemon juice and/or salt/tamari. And if they're not sweet enough, add 1/2 or 1 date more.

In my defence of this seeming like a lazy recipe (why don't I just try it again and give you the exact measurements? Sadly, I. Don't. Have. The. Time), even if I did have exact measurements, the end result may not suit your personal tastes. This way, you can take inspiration from my recipe and work with it until you have it just the way you want it. I'm here to encourage you to create your own delicious foods, by providing you with the foundations and leaving the flavourings up to you. We're all different, and not everybody, for example, likes raw chocolate (shame on you tho). 

SALTED RAW CHOCOLATE CHIP & PECAN COOKIE DOUGH BITES

INGREDIENTS
100g Pecan Nuts
2 Tablespoons Desiccated Coconut
200g Buckwheat Flakes
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (room temp
1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
Tamari
6 Medjool Dates
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice or Zest
2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
1 Tablespoon Hot Water - if needed to help things blend
½ Tablespoon Lucuma Powder
1 Teaspoon Maca Powder
1/2 Cup Raw Chocolate (I like Ombar), chopped

METHOD
Start by blending the nuts into a flour - usually takes around 1 full minute. Then add the buckwheat flakes and blend for another 30 seconds. Next, add the dates (halved), then the rest of the ingredients, apart from the raw chocolate. When fully combined and dough-like, transfer to a bowl and stir in the raw chocolate, kneading with you hands to combine (work quickly so the chocolate doesn't melt). Break the mixture into small chunks, roll into balls, flatten into bar shapes, or roll out gently and cut with shaped cutters to make raw cookies. Arrange on a baking tray or a plate and place in the freezer. Leave for 30 minutes, to 1 hour and remove 5 minutes before enjoying. I like mine straight from the freezer, and as they melt they become a fudgey consistency. If you prefer yours softer, leave them out for 10-15 minutes before enjoying. I'm sure you can work it out.

+ If yours seem too oily, wet, sticky, salty, sweet or lumpy, see above for directions.

THE BROWNIES PROMISE

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle copperman8 Comments

I call these gratitude brownies. Gluten free, grain free, dairy free, sugar free and nut free, these brownies not only make you feel grateful for all of the ingredients they contain that enrich life here on earth, but also for every single thing going on in your life at this moment in time. You could call them stress-releif brownies, you could call them break-up brownies, you could call them holiday-blues brownies. What i'm trying to say is, no matter what life is throwing at you, making (and then demolishing) a batch of these brownies will make none of it matter. You'll instantly feel grateful for all the good in your life, focussing on everything positive (predominantly, the brownies that sit before you), and momentarily leaving behind any bad/negative thoughts/issues/situations. It's like these brownies take your problems and pack them away into an insignificant little box never to be found, creating more space for you to dwell on the positive aspects of your life. I guess you could call them feel-good brownies, but thats a little generic. Name them as you see fit. Today, these are Easter brownies. And also it's-so-grey-outside-lets-brighten-things-up brownies.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 10-12 large brownies, or enough batter to split between two tins for thin brownies.

300g Coconut Oil
120g Cacao Powder
Pinch of Salt
4 eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract, Bean Paste or Seeds from Fresh Pods
200g Coconut Palm Sugar 
2 Tablespoons Agave
200g Buckwheat Flour
1 Teaspoon Maca
1-2 Tablespoons Brown or Golden Linseeds, to top

+ These brownies are incredibly decadent and dense. They aren't fluffy or cake-like, and once chilled in the fridge they stiffen and begin to resemble fudge. For a cakier, lighter version, use less coconut oil and use ground almonds and dates, instead of buckwheat flour and sugar. I'll develop a precise recipe for these in the next couple of weeks.
 

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180c. Grease a heat proof dish with a little coconut oil. (You can line the tin with baking paper, but if the mixture sticks to that, it isn't as fun to salvage and is extremely frustrating to separate the paper from the brownie).

Start by melting the coconut oil in a large sauce pan over a low-medium heat. Whisk in the cacao powder, vanilla, maca and agave. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour and salt. In another bowl or a wide mouth jug, whisk the eggs with the sugar until completely combined. When the coconut oil and cacao has dissolved and come together, remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then, whisk the sugar and egg mixture into the chocolate, working quickly to avoid allowing the egg to cook in the warmth of the chocolate. Next, add the flour, a few large tablespoons at a time, and whisk constantly. When everything is combined, pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake for 30-45 minutes. I like to take mine out when the middle is still a little gooey, as they will continue to cook as they cool, and this will leave the middle incredibly chewy. If you cook them for too long, they may end up too dry.

+ I prefer these cold having been chilled in the fridge. Serve with coconut cream or top with avocado cream, almond butter or tahini frosting.

+ This recipe fills an entire tin about 5cm deep. I made large brownies then cut them in half as they are so rich and dense it was almost too much. You could simply halve the mixture to make your brownies flatter/thinner, or split the mixture between a couple of tins. Alternatively, use a larger tin, or shallow baking trays with high sides, and make really flat brownies to serve canapé style. (see picture above, with almond butter topping)

LEMON AND CHIA SEED WHITE CHOCOLATES

Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment

Chocolates come in all shapes and sizes. Since stocking Qnola in The Food Hall at Selfridges, I have come to realise that no matter how long you spend wondering around that place, there is always a new Chocolatier to discover, a new chocolate to sample. I discovered the possibility of making healthy raw white chocolate a while ago (see here), and love to experiment with adding different natural flavourings and super foods to the base recipe to create a variation of delicious, chocolatey sweet treats.

Chocolate was always a Friday night kind of thing in my family. Aside from the fact it also made its way into our packed lunches, Friday night always seemed more of a chocolate occasion. It wasn't complete without a large bar of Dairy Milk or Galaxy, provided my the man of the house, positioned strategically on a table within arms reach of each sofa. 

These chocolates differ considerably to the kind we used to pass around and share square by square. They are made without dairy or sugar and instead consist of pure cacao butter, natural sweeteners and added super foods. They make the perfect snack to instantly enhance your energy levels, generally maintaining blood sugar levels - unlike conventional chocolatey snacks which are high in refined sugar and additives. They also make great gifts, are a brilliant activity for children to get involved with and are perfect after dinner sweets to share with a table of guests.

INGREDIENTS
(makes 25 Chocolates)

1 Bar Creamed Coconut (like this)
3/4 Cup Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter
Juice of 1 Fresh Lemon (add the zest too if you want to)
3-4 Tablespoons Agave/Coconut Nectar/Raw Honey
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Powder or Fresh Vanilla Seeds from 1 Pod
3 Tablespoons Chia Seeds

OPTIONAL
Fresh Chopped Goji Berries
Superfood Powders of choice (I love maca, baobab, mucuna puriens and a drop of aloe vera juice)

METHOD

Start by melting the coconut oil over a low heat. Chop away at the solid bar of creamed coconut and then add that to the pan, stirring constantly. Add the rest of your ingredients, whisking or stirring with a wooden spoon until everything has melted and combined together. 

Pour into chocolate moulds (you can even use an ice tray if you don't have proper moulds) and place into the freezer to set for 20-30 minutes.

+ Store in the freezer for really stiff chocolates, or in the fridge. Serve as a gift or after dinner snack, or enjoy as a mid-afternoon pick me up.

+ You can also experiment with making these with my lemon curd recipe. You can either stir 2 tablespoons of the pre-made curd into the mixture (reducing the amount of fresh lemon used), or you can use a small spoonful of curd to fill the white chocolates. Simply fill your moulds half way only, set, then arrange a small amount of the curd in the centre of the set chocolate, then pour over the remaining white chocolate mixture, and set again for 20-30 minutes.

TWO TONE ALMOND BUTTER CHOCOLATES

Sugar Freedanielle copperman1 Comment

These chocolates are quite special. Not only is raw chocolate much easier and less technical to make than normal chocolate (which involves vital precision and a lot more science than most people can fathom), it is a hundred times healthier, too. Cacao is the purest and most nutritious form of chocolate, and having undergone little to no processing at all, has a multitude of health benefits still in tact, which are usually stripped from the cacao bean somewhere along its journey from bean to bar. 

Cacao is one of the richest sources of antioxidants, and promotes healthy cellular activity, ensuring your body is functioning to the best of its ability. Cacao is also high in fibre and can stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, which helps support healthy digestion. Many people also believe it may aid weight loss or maintenance, as it can act as an appetite suppressant. Cacao also contains serotonin, which, put simply, is the ‘happy hormone’. By elevating your levels of serotonin, cacao helps to improve your mood, positivity and has even been proven to reduce depression and anxiety.

I’ve played around with dark and white chocolate in this recipe. The white chocolate layer is made predominantly from cacao butter, which is the solidified pure oil of the cacao bean. It has an intensely creamy and ridiculously rich flavour, and also smells divine. Mixed with a few delicate natural flavourings like vanilla and unrefined, organic sweeteners, the raw white chocolate layer adds a unique creaminess to the rest of the chocolate. Combined with a generous dollop of nut butter, if these chocolates aren’t in your mouth, fridge or tuppaware box, they’ll be on your mind forever more.

INGREDIENTS

8 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
120g Raw Cacao Butter
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
2-3 Tablespoons Coconut Blossom Nectar, Honey or Sweetener of Choice
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Seeds or Extract
Maca, optional
4 Tablespoons Coconut Milk
1 Jar Almond or Cashew Butter
Qnola, Puffed Quinoa, Granola, Buckwheat or Chopped Nuts and Seeds - optional
A Few Pinches of Salt

METHOD

Start by making the bottom layer of chocolate. I'll start with the white chocolate but it is up to you how you structure yours. In a medium saucepan, melt 60g cacao butter, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1-2 tablespoons coconut blossom nectar (or sweetener of choice), maca and the salt. Stir with a whisk or a wooden spoon on the lowest heat to gently melt the cacao butter and the oil without damaging it with too high a temperature. Once dissolved and everything is combined, remove from the heat and pour into chocolate moulds. You can use anything from ice cube trays to cake tins, depending on the size you'd like the chocolates. I prefer small moulds about 2 centimetres deep and no bigger than 2 inches wide. Once you have evenly distributed the white chocolate mixture into your moulds, place in the freezer for 20 minutes to set.

Whilst the white chocolate sets, make the dark chocolate layer. Rinse the saucepan (save any leftover white chocolate by pouring it into a small bowl or ramekin and setting it in the freezer). Melt the remaining 60g cacao butter, 1 tablespoon sweetener, salt, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk if you want the chocolate a little less rich, and creamier (you can leave the coconut milk out if you prefer a darker chocolate). Whisk together on a low heat until everything is combined nicely, then remove from the heat and set aside until the white chocolate layer has set. 

Prepare the nut butter filling. I like using pure nut butter, but for some people it may be a little bland and a bit too thick. You can either use nut butter straight from the jar, or make a lighter cream out of it. 

For the nut butter cream, whisk together your nut butter of choice, 2 tablespoons coconut milk, a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoons coconut blossom nectar or honey (or your preferred sweetener) in a small bowl. When combined, remove the white chocolate base from the freezer and spoon a small amount of the almond cream into the centre of each one. Flatten the nut butter with the back of a spoon or spatula to spread it evenly onto each white chocolate, but don't spread it too near to the edges or you will be able to see it when the chocolates have set. This isn't a major problem but it will look a little messy.

Once you have arranged the nut butter mixture onto each white chocolate base, pour over the dark chocolate so that it covers the nut butter entirely. Fill the moulds and then return to the freezer to set for another 20-30 minutes. 

Pop each chocolate out of its mould and leave at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving. Store in the freezer or fridge. The filling will stay softer in the fridge.


 

 

OTHER FILLING OPTIONS

Fresh Mint Cream
Goji Cream
Apricot Cream

FRESH MINT COCONUT CREAM CHOCOLATES

Snacks, Sugar Freedanielle coppermanComment

These are one of those things that are born from your leftovers. You could use any fresh herbs but the mint adds a delicious sweetness to these chocolates, and is refreshing against the richness of the raw chocolate. And for those of you who are partial to an after eight from time to time, these are your new after dinner treat. Made without dairy, refined sugar and artificial flavours and additives, these chocolates should make it onto every dinner table and should be considered just as important as the main course. Cacao butter builds the foundations of the these chocolates, making them exceptionally high in antioxidants and healthy fats. Cacao butter is the pure oil that comes from raw cacao beans, and although it hasn't much flavour eaten in its solid form, it adds a rich, smoky, chocolate flavour when combined with cacao powder and a little sweetener. No need for flavourings or E-numbers, these nutritious mouthfuls are 100% natural, and the cacao and fresh mint help to aid digestion - so they really are the perfect way to end a meal.

INGREDIENTS

CHOCOLATE

6 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Coconut Nectar or Sweetener of Choice
1 Tablespoon Coconut Milk, solid (for a slightly milder, creamier chocolate)

FILLING

1 Large Handful Fresh Mint Leaves
1 Bar Creamed Coconut
3 Tablespoons Coconut Milk, solid
1 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

METHOD

Melt the chocolate ingredients in a medium saucepan on the lowest heat. On a medium heat, wait for the cacao butter or coconut to melt. Then, whisk in your chosen sweetener, along with the cacao powder, salt and finally the coconut milk. Whisk until everything is combined and everything has dissolved nicely. Pour into a jug and distribute a small amount into your chosen chocolate moulds. Fill the moulds just under half way up with the chocolate mixture, and set the remaining chocolate aside for later. Place the filled moulds in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to set. Meanwhile, make the filling.

Start by melting the creamed coconut. Fill a large mug, jug or bowl with boiling water and sit the bar of coconut inside, so it is fully covered with water. Do not cut open the outer plastic packet, as this will let the water in an dilute the creamed coconut. Massage the bar once the water is cool enough to touch, until it has become entirely soft and runny. Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan or in the oven. Once melted, pour both the oil and the creamed coconut into your blender or food processor, adding the fresh mint leaves and coconut milk. Blend on a low speed for 1 minute, then as the ingredients begin to combine, turn the speed up and blend for a further 30 seconds. Once everything is smooth and runny and the mint leaves are no more than a few green specs, use a small spatula (i can't live without this one), to get every last bit out of your machine. Remove the chocolate from the freezer and, leaving them in the moulds, spoon a small amount of the mint cream into the centre of each one. Flatten it as much as you can, but be careful not to spread the cream to far towards the edge of the chocolate. You want it as central as possible in order for the top layer of chocolate to cover it completely. 

Take the remaining chocolate from earlier and, if it has solidified, briefly melt it again. Pour over the mint cream until you can no longer see it. Return to the freezer to set for a further 15 minutes. Remove 10 minutes before serving/enjoying. Store in the fridge

RAW CARAMEL SHORTBREADS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Gluten freedanielle coppermanComment

A while ago I made healthy caramel shortbreads. I don’t know how it came about, but it did. One of my favourite snacks miraculously made into a concentrated form of promising nutrients(!?). For me, that recipe was a little long winded and the caramel had to reach just the right temperature in order to set perfectly. The beauty of raw desserts is that the preparation takes hardly any time at all, and instead of having to monitor the cooking process carefully, it requires only a blender and a freezer, and very little devotion of time or effort. This recipe is much simpler, much quicker and, in my opinion, maybe even tastier. Free from gluten, grains, dairy and refined sugar, I guarantee you can feed this to anyone and they’d be easily convinced that it was bad for you and incredibly naughty.

With a layer of protein rich nuts high in healthy fats, a filling of dried fruit and nutritious coconut oil, and a topping of cacao - one of the purest super foods high in natural, sustainable energy - these are perfect snacks any time of the day. Totally acceptable for breakfast, a perfect yet gentle pick me up for the afternoon, and a brilliant treat in the evening to satisfy any sudden, post-dinner sweet cravings.


INGREDIENTS

150g Cashews
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Seeds
Generous Pinch of Salt
2-3 Tablespoons Tahini
5 Tablespoons Ground Almonds
3 Tablespoons Desiccated Coconut
1/4 cup Coconut Oil
2-3 tablespoons Agave


RAW DATE CARAMEL

2 Cups Dates (preferably medjool)
1 Tablespoon Solid Coconut Milk
2-3 Tablespoons Liquid Coconut, Almond Milk or Water
4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
1/4 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
Pinch of Salt
1 Teaspoon Agave
2 Tablespoons Almond or Cashew Butter, or Tahini

+ Try alternative raw caramels like Apricot Caramel and Quick Almond Caramel.


TOP LAYER

1 Cup Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter or a mixture of both
10 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
Pinch of Salt
2 Tablespoons Solid Coconut milk or Almond Milk (this is optional, but it adds a creaminess to the chocolate and makes the flavour a little less bitter)
1 Teaspoon/Tablespoon Agave or Coconut Blossom Nectar (again, optional if you like things sweeter).

 

METHOD

Grease a dish with coconut oil then set aside. Although you’re not cooking the biscuit, raw desserts still have a tendency to stick sometimes. Alternatively, you can line your dish with baking paper.

+ I chose to do mine in a rectangle baking tray, and then cut them into individual bars. You could also use small ramekins for this recipe if you have guests for dinner. Or you could use a muffin tray, to make perfectly formed individual ones.

Start with the shortbread layer. Add the cashews, coconut oil, tahini, vanilla, salt and agave to a blender. Blend for 2 minutes and then add the desiccated coconut and ground almonds. Scrape down the sides and then blend for another minute or so. Adjust the speed to help get things moving. Stir again, and blend for a final time, until the mixture if becoming really smooth. It should resemble a very thin cookie dough. It won’t hold its shape in a ball like normal cookie mixture, but it should be a thick paste, and shouldn’t be runny. 

+ You could experiment with a cooked base for this recipe too. You could either use a mixture of toasted nuts, although it wouldn’t be as smooth, or you can use the biscuit base from this recipe.

Scrape into your dish and spread the mixture along the base. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, make sure you press the mixture down as firmly as possible, making it compact. If it isn’t compact, it won’t set properly and may crumble. Once the entire base of the dish is covered evenly, place in the freezer to set. It should take about 1-2 hours to become really crunchy like a normal biscuit, but you can carry on adding the other layers even if it isn’t completely firm.

For the caramel, start by blending the dates and water. When the dates are completely broken down and a liquidy paste is forming, add the remaining ingredients. Blend on a high speed for 2-3 minutes to ensure you get the smoothest caramel possible. Pour the caramel onto the shortbread layer then return to the freezer.

You can let the date layer set for a couple of hours until it becomes tougher and chewier, or you can add the chocolate straight away. Just be careful not to spread the chocolate together with the caramel or you won’t get all three layers properly.

For the chocolate, simply heat the coconut oil in a pan until it is melted, whisk in the salt, coconut milk (if using) and agave, or sweetener of choice, and pour over the caramel layer. You can either leave it like this, or you can create a marble effect like mine. Simply melt together the Milk Chocolate ingredients, pour gently over the raw chocolate layer whilst it is still wet, and use the end of a fork or spoon to gently intwine the two shades of chocolate.

Set in the freezer for 2-3 hours at least. I prefer these really crunchy, so i leave them for about 6 hours. When they are ready, gently cut into rectangles and enjoy.

+ Store in the freezer, as the base may soften if you leave them in the fridge.

CHOCOLATE CREAMS - EIGHT WAYS AND COUNTING

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment

FOR THE CHOCOLATE

10 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
8 Tablespoons Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1-2 Teaspoons Coconut Nectar or Sweetener of Choice
1-2 Tablespoons Coconut Milk, solid (for a slightly milder, creamier chocolate)

METHOD

Melt the chocolate ingredients in a medium saucepan on a low heat. Use a whisk to combine everything and when all of the ingredients have dissolved and come together, remove from the heat and let cool for a couple of minutes. Take a chocolate mould and pour a little chocolate mixture into each one, filling it half way only. Place in the freezer to allow to set for 15-20 minutes. Leave the remaining chocolate mixture in the pan, and if it sets you can always re-heat it quickly for the top layer. Meanwhile, choose and make your filling from the suggestions below.


F I L L I N G S


APRICOT COCONUT CREAM

100g Dried Apricots
2 Tablespoons Water
1 Bar of Creamed Coconut
Pinch of Salt
3 Tablespoons Coconut Milk, Solid
1-2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

METHOD

Place the apricots and water into a high speed blender or food processor and blend on the highest speed for 2-3 minutes. When a paste is beginning to form, prepare the creamed coconut by leaving it sealed in its plastic pouch and sitting it in a small bowl, a mug or a jug of boiling water. As the water cools, massage the bar firmly to help the middle to melt. Once it has melted, add it to your blender or food processor, along with the salt, coconut milk and coconut oil. Blend for a further 1-2 minutes, until a thick, pale orange paste forms. 

Take your prepared chocolate bases from the freezer and arrange a small amount of the cream mixture in the centre of each chocolate. Press down slightly to make it easier to cover with the top layer of chocolate. Now take the remaining chocolate from earlier and re-heat it if it has set slightly. Then, pour it over the cream filling, covering it completely. Return to the freezer to set for another 15-20 minutes.


GOJI COCONUT CREAM

1/2 Cup Goji Berries
1 Bar Creamed Coconut
1 Tablespoon Filtered Water
1/4 Cup Coconut Milk, solid
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil, melted

METHOD

In a small bowl, soak the goji berries in boiling water (enough to cover the berries) for 5 minutes, to soften them. Drain, and then place the goji berries and filtered water into a high speed blender or food processor and blend on the highest speed for 2-3 minutes. When a paste is beginning to form, prepare the creamed coconut by leaving it sealed in its plastic pouch and sitting it in a small bowl, a mug or a jug of boiling water. As the water cools, massage the bar firmly to help the middle to melt. Once it has melted, add it to your blender or food processor, along with the coconut milk and coconut oil. Blend for a further 1-2 minutes, until a thick paste forms. It should become a beautiful peachy, orange colour.

Take your prepared chocolate bases from the freezer and arrange a small amount of the cream mixture in the centre of each chocolate. Press down slightly to make it easier to cover with the top layer of chocolate. Now take the remaining chocolate from earlier and re-heat it if it has set slightly. Then, pour it over the cream filling, covering it completely. Return to the freezer to set for another 15-20 minutes.


DRIED BLUEBERRY CREAM

1/2 Cup Dried Blueberries
1 Teaspoon Acai Powder or Ginseng (optional)

1 Bar Creamed Coconut
1 Tablespoon Filtered Water
1/4 Cup Coconut Milk, solid
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil, melted

METHOD

In a small bowl, soak the goji berries in boiling water (enough to cover the berries) for 5 minutes, to soften them. Drain, and then place the berries and filtered water into a high speed blender or food processor and blend on the highest speed for 2-3 minutes. When a paste is beginning to form, prepare the creamed coconut by leaving it sealed in its plastic pouch and sitting it in a small bowl, a mug or a jug of boiling water. As the water cools, massage the bar firmly to help the middle to melt. Once it has melted, add it to your blender or food processor, along with the acai or ginseng powder, coconut milk and coconut oil. Blend for a further 1-2 minutes, until a thick paste forms. 

Take your prepared chocolate bases from the freezer and arrange a small amount of the cream mixture in the centre of each chocolate. Press down slightly to make it easier to cover with the top layer of chocolate. Now take the remaining chocolate from earlier and re-heat it if it has set slightly. Then, pour it over the cream filling, covering it completely. Return to the freezer to set for another 15-20 minutes.


WHITE CHOCOLATE AVOCADO TRUFFLE GANACHE

INGREDIENTS
1/4 Cup Raw Cacao butter
1/2 Ripe Avocado
2-3 Tablespoons Coconut oil, melted
1 Tablespoon Coconut Blossom Nectar, Date Syrup or preferred sweetener
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Cashews, soaked for 4 hours
1/2 Creamed Coconut Bar, melted
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Tablespoons Plant Based Milk (almond or coconut work well)

METHOD
Start by preparing the creamed coconut by leaving it sealed in its plastic pouch and sitting it in a small bowl, a mug or a jug of boiling water. As the water cools, massage the bar firmly to help the middle to melt. Once it has melted, add all of the truffle ingredients to your blender or food processor and blend on a medium speed until a smooth paste begins to form. (Use 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to begin with, and if the mixture seems to thick to blend properly, add the remaining tablespoon to help it along). You don't want the mixture to be too wet, so if it is having difficulty blending, use a spatula to scrape down the sides and help clear the blade area slightly. Continue to blend until the mixture is completely smooth. Scrape the mixture from the blender and arrange a small amount into the centre of your prepared chocolate bases. Press down firmly before pouring over the remaining melted chocolate from earlier. Return to the freezer to set for another 15-20 minutes.


TAHINI CHESTNUT CREAM

INGREDIENTS
1 Cup Chestnuts
1/4 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Tahini
1 Tablespoon Agave, Coconut Palm Sugar, Raw Honey or Date Syrup
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

METHOD
Simply add all the ingredients to your blender and blend for 2-3 minutes.
Take your prepared chocolate bases from the freezer and arrange a small amount of the cream mixture in the centre of each chocolate. Press down slightly to make it easier to cover with the top layer of chocolate. Now take the remaining chocolate from earlier and re-heat it if it has set slightly. Then, pour it over the cream filling, covering it completely. Return to the freezer to set for another 15-20 minutes.


TAHINI CARAMEL

INGREDIENTS
4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil 
4 Tablespoons Tahini
2 Tablespoons Solid Coconut Milk
2 Tablespoons Coconut Palm Sugar, Coconut Blossom Nectar or Agave
A Generous Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt or a Teaspoon of Tamari
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Ground Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Almond or Cashew Butter
1 Teaspoon Maca or Lucuma, optional

METHOD
Simply place all ingredients into a small saucepan and stir continuously until everything has dissolved, whisking to break up any lumps. Bring to the boil for 2-3 minutes, and then reduce the heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly, cautious not to let it burn. Let the mixture cool for 5-10 minutes before spooning onto your prepared chocolate bases. Then arrange a small amount of the caramel in the centre of each chocolate. Press down slightly to make it easier to cover with the top layer of chocolate. Now take the remaining chocolate from earlier and re-heat it if it has set slightly. Pour it over the caramel filling, covering it completely. Return to the freezer to set for another 15-20 minutes.


APRICOT / DATE / GOJI CARAMEL

INGREDIENTS
2 Cups Unsulphured Apricots or Dates
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Coconut Milk, solid
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Seeds
A Generous Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Maca
4 Tablespoons Almond Butter or Cashew Butter

METHOD
Simply place all of the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend on a high speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides to collect any escaping ingredients, and add water or nut milk if the mixture needs a little help to get moving. Blend for another 2-3 minutes until a thick paste begins to form. It must be as smooth as possible as you don’t want lumpy caramel. Scrape the caramel from the blender and spread evenly over the centre of your prepared chocolate bases. Press down slightly to make it easier to cover with the top layer of chocolate. Now take the remaining chocolate from earlier and re-heat it if it has set slightly. Then, pour it over the caramel layer, covering it completely. Return to the freezer to set for another 15-20 minutes.


QUICK RAW CARAMEL

INGREDIENTS
2 Tablespoons Almond Butter, smooth
Generous Pinch of Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Coconut Palm Sugar (or a syrup)
1/3 Cup Coconut Oil, melted on a low heat
1-2 Tablespoons Almond Milk or Coconut Milk (or warm water)

METHOD
Simply blend all of the ingredients together in a high speed blender for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. Add more water if you'd like the caramel thinner. This caramel won't be gooey like the heated version, but if left to set in the fridge, it hardens and becomes melt-in-the-mouth amazing. Scrape the caramel from the blender and spread evenly over the centre of your prepared chocolate bases. Press down slightly to make it easier to cover with the top layer of chocolate. Now take the remaining chocolate from earlier and re-heat it if it has set slightly. Then, pour it over the caramel layer, covering it completely. Return to the freezer to set for another 15-20 minutes.

+ Store in the freezer until 5 minutes before you are ready to eat/serve them.

RAW CACAO DIGESTIVE BISCUITS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Gluten freedanielle copperman1 Comment

I recently had a conversation with my make up artist on a shoot about how good crunchy food is. Sometimes, we agreed, we don’t even crave sugar or food at all, we just want something to munch on. Biscuits are the devils. Made predominantly from butter, sugar and flour they are so simple yet somehow so incredible. The perfect snack and the perfect accompaniment for a hot drink. I was recently back and forth in emails giving health advice to a full time teacher who complained that it’s all well and good eating healthily and taking leftovers for packed lunch, but there is no escaping the staff room and the morning break-time snacks. I came up with this recipe as a simple and portable snack to make at home and take to work if office snacks are hard to turn down. I also think it is a great idea to have these in a jar or to make fresh for guests, so that you have something to offer them that you can enjoy with them. The look on my grandmothers face when i turn down the offer of a biscuit with my tea is so painful, I needed to come up with something.

I made these for a group of guests over the weekend whilst I was moving house and they are completely gluten, wheat, dairy, grain and refined sugar free. I made mine similar to chocolate digestive biscuits, but you could easily make the biscuit and leave it plain as there is plenty of flavour from the vanilla, salt and coconut palm sugar. You could also add ground ginger for a healthy gingersnap variation, or a mixture of spices to make chai biscuits - amazing with hot drinking cacao. If you want more of a proper cookie, add chopped chunks of raw chocolate to the mixture and leave them about 1cm in depth instead of flattening them down. You can top yours with cashew cream instead of icing, or stick two biscuits together with a spoonful of cashew cream in the middle to make a delicious cookie sandwich.

INGREDIENTS:
½ Cup Coconut Oil, room temperature
¼ Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1 Teaspoons Organic Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Almond Butter
1 1/2 Cup Buckwheat Flour
2 Tablespoons Water

+ (Can add 2 tablespoons unrefined syrup of choice (date, coconut blossom, agave, honey, yacon) to add a wonderful caramel flavour to the biscuit)

FOR THE CHOCOLATE:
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter
3-4 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
1 Teaspoon Agave
Pinch of Salt

METHOD:
Preheat the oven to 175c.
Use an electric whisk to beat the coconut oil until it softens and becomes slightly fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure the coconut oil becomes a good soft consistency before continuing. Next add the sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon and beat again for 1-2 minutes. Add the almond butter and whisk again until everything becomes completely combined and the mixture becomes light and fluffy. It will look darker in colour than usual biscuit or cake batter but this is just the caramel colour of the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is combined and gradually add the water, before whisking one last time. Now, taking a wooden spoon, add the flour bit-by-bit and mix gently but thoroughly. When all of the flour has been added, give the mixture a final vigorous beat with the spoon before taking a tablespoon of the mixture at a time to flatten in your palms. If the dough is too wet and sticks to your hands, add a little more flour. You can also use a rolling pin and a circle cutter (or any shape for that matter) to separate into biscuits, but i always get frustrated when the dough sticks to the surface. I made the tablespoon of dough into a ball and then used the heel of my hands to gently flatten it into a circle. Grease a baking tray with a little coconut oil before arranging the uncooked biscuits. 
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the edges begin to brown slightly.

Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. They must be completely cool before you add the chocolate or things will become extremely messy. If you are leaving them plain however, eat the straight away whilst they are still hot with a glass of almond milk or a cup of herbal tea.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE:
In a small bowl, melt the coconut oil in a microwave, or melt it in a small saucepan on the hob. Remove from the heat and whisk in the raw cacao powder until it is fully dissolved. Add the agave and salt and stir to combine. Leave aside for 5-10 minutes to let it thicken slightly. Now, take a pastry brush or something similar and brush the melted chocolate onto the cooled cookies. If you do not have a pastry brush you could try using a spatula or just dunking one side (or both - it’s entirely up to you) into the bowl of chocolate. Place them onto a plate and put them in the freezer for 2-3 minutes to set. Repeat this 3 or 4 times depending on how thick you want the chocolate layer to be. You could even sandwich two biscuits together, painting both flat sides with chocolate 2 or 3 times before finally pressing them together. Then leave them in the freezer to stick.

COCONUT PALM MILLIONAIRE SHORTBREADS - BAKED VERSION

Snacks, Sugar Free, Gluten freedanielle copperman3 Comments

A few weeks ago I finally found the time to make a healthy version of a former addiction of mine - millionaire shortbreads. I used to eat one almost every day from the dinner ladies at school, and used to buy tubs of the mini ones from Sainsbury’s or Marks & Spencer’s. They were sharing tubs, but if no one else was around to help me out then there was no sharing to be done. Anyway, as such a big fan of theirs, I’d wanted to have a go at making these with a model mange tout twist for ages, but felt it was something that required proper time and effort. And I was right; making healthy versions of your favourite unhealthy addictions is possible, but it’s not effortless.

The image above was unexpectedly shocking to most of my followers on Instagram. The reaction it got was insane - people refused to believe their eyes. The words ‘healthy’ and ‘caramel’ just don’t go together in the same sentence. And something that looked so good and so goey and chocolatey and delicious, looked pretty out of place on my account among raw salads and smoothies. I worked hard on this recipe and have been perfecting it since i first made it - hence my delay in uploading the recipe. I made them twice in one week and once for a dinner event and they went down so well, with everyone. Even my flatmate who normally doesn’t like caramel (!?) liked these. My version of this infamous snack is even more flavoursome that the shop bought millionaire shortbreads i used to demolish. Looking back, the shortbread was always a little dry, crumbly, powdery and sickeningly sweet. The caramel was hit and miss and in most millionaire shortbreads i got from cafes or restaurants was too sparse and extremely dry. The chocolate tasted artificial and was also far too sweet considering the amount of caramel it sat atop. These millionaire shortbreads are intensely rich due to the darkness of the raw cacao. They are incredibly creamy due to the coconut milk in the caramel, and the base has a wonderful crunch with a simultaneous melt-in-the-mouth texture, due to the coconut oil. I took inspiration from raw dessert recipes that rely on freezing and chilling to set certain ingredients. I baked the base and boiled the caramel but once all the ingredients were layered together, i let the freezer do its thing. The base becomes even crunchier, the caramel becomes chewier and the chocolate is the perfect way to top it off, with a rich, creamy crunch. The added nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and superfoods that come from the pure ingredients used in these shortbreads are what really makes them special. The coconut in the recipe has incredible health benefits from aiding digestion, regulating blood sugar levels and reducing inflammation in the gut. Cacao is one of the richest sources of the purest energy and contains nearly twice the amount of antioxidants found in red wine and three times that found in green tea! So, make these with guilt-free confidence and eat them as regularly as you feel necessary. They are full of essential vitamins and nutrients and very low in sugar - the content of which you can control to your personal needs/preferences. Enjoy with a green tea or as a midday snack or serve as a light dessert with homemade coconut or cashew cream and berries.

INGREDIENTS

For The Base:

1/2 Cup Coconut Oil, room temperature/soft
1/4 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
1 Tablespoon Organic Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Water
1 Cup Buckwheat Flour
Cacao Nibs, optional

For The Caramel:

2 Tins Coconut milk - using only the solid milk at the top of each tin
3/4 - 1 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cashew Butter or Almond Butter
2 Tablespoons Cacao Butter, or Coconut Oil
2 Teaspoons Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
-
4-5 Dates, blended with a little water into a homemade Date Paste - optional

For The Chocolate:

1/2 Cup Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil
4 Tablespoons Cacao Powder
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Tablespoons Agave or Raw Honey

METHOD

Start by making the base. Preheat the oven to 170c. Whisk the oil with an electric whisk and add the sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Whisk together for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture becomes light and fluffy and everything is combined. Add the water - a little at a time - and whisk again. Now take a wooden spoon and add the flour to this mixture. Stir gently to incorporate the flour and when it becomes too dry, use your hands to knead it. (If the dough is too crumbly, add a little more water). Roll the dough into a ball and squash with your hands for 2 minutes to make sure it’s compact. The heat from your hands will make the oil work into the flour.
Now press the dough into a lined baking tray. Either grease the tray with coconut oil or line the tray with baking paper and grease that. Press the dough down with back of a spoon or your hands until it is fully compact in the tray (this will avoid crumbling). This took me about 2 minutes, so make sure you work at it otherwise your base may collapse.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until it begins to brown at the edges and on top. Remove from the oven when cooked and place in the fridge to cool whilst you make the caramel and the chocolate.

For the caramel, make the dates into a paste first, if you are using. Set aside and place the coconut palm sugar and coconut milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes before reducing the heat. Add the salt, vanilla, almond butter and chia seeds, whisking continuously. Lastly, add the coconut oil and the date paste and whisk vigorously to combine. It should start to thicken round about now. Simmer for 25 minutes, whisking every 5 minutes or so. After half an hour, pour into a heat proof bowl and place in the freezer. After 15 minutes, mix the caramel in order to avoid any of the coconut oil or cacao butter from separating. Then pour it onto the shortbread which should be perfectly cool now. Spread the caramel evenly over the base and again be sure to press it down with the back of a spoon to make it compact. Place in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes, whilst you make the chocolate.

For the chocolate, place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan filled with boiling water. Add to the bowl the cacao butter and stir with a whisk to encourage it to melt. Once it is more or less melted, add the cacao powder, salt and agave. Whisk until everything dissolves and combines and then remove the bowl carefully from the pan. Pour over the caramel layer and spread evenly, but do this quickly so as not to melt the caramel. Place it back in the freezer for 15 - 20 minutes so the chocolate hardens (the freezing won’t effect the shortbread). When the chocolate is set and the caramel seems tougher, remove from the freezer and store in the fridge until ready to serve. Slice into rectangles or smaller squares depending on how you want to serve them.

RAW MILLIONAIRE SHORTBREADS

For the Base

2 Cups Nuts of Choice - i like almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts
1 1/2 Cups Medjool Dates
3 Tablespoons Almond Butter or Cashew Butter
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Ground Almonds
1 Tablespoons Maca

For the Caramel

2 Cups Soft Medjool Dates
8 Tablespoons Almond and/or Cashew Butter (can combine)
1/3 Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons Tamari or Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds

For the Chocolate

100g Cacao Butter
6 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
1 Tablespoon Agave
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

METHOD
This is a much more straightforward variation and like more raw desserts, relies heavily on your blender and your freezer.
For the base, place the nuts in a food processor and blend for half a minute to make into a floury consistency. Next, add the dates, maca, coconut oil and almond butter and blend again, until sticky and almost smooth. Use a spatula to scrape the raw dough from the blender into a rectangular dish or tray. Press down firmly until compact and set in the freezer.
Rinse the blender and add all of the caramel ingredients, apart from the chia seeds. Blend until everything is smooth and add a little extra melted coconut oil if the mixture is too thick. When the mixture is smooth, scrape out and pour onto the base which should be setting nicely. Spread evenly and return to the freezer.
Lastly, place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan filled with boiling water. Add the cacao butter to the bowl and stir with a whisk to encourage it to melt. Once it is more or less melted, add the cacao powder, salt and agave. Whisk until everything has dissolved and then remove the bowl carefully from the pan. Pour over the caramel layer and spread evenly. Return to the freezer and leave for at least 1 hour. You can store them in the freezer too, as they will stay firm but won’t turn to ice. Since changing my diet i have never valued my freezer more!

ROLOS AND RAW ROLO BLISS BALLS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment

Caramel is almost on a par with chocolate in my opinion. I love the rich, creamy taste sensation of chocolate but is there anything more delightfully, mouth-wateringly confusing than the sweet ‘n’ salty combination? This recipe came about when i succeeded in making healthy millionaire shortbreads (recipe up tomorrow). Having proven it was possible to make a healthy caramel, i didn’t want to stop there and couldn’t wait to work it into brownies, muffins and raw chocolate treats. Rolo’s sprang to mind immediately and the lead up to Easter seemed the perfect time to give them a go. I would personally recommend making these if you only make one of my easter recipes this year. They are much easier than the eggs, don’t require buying any egg moulds and taste just as good, if not better!

FOR INDULGENT COCONUT CARAMEL

2 Tins Coconut Milk (use the solid coconut fat from each and only 1 tablespoon of the liquid)
3/4 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar 
1-2 Teaspoons Himalayan Pink Salt, to taste
1 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla Extract.
3 Tablespoons Almond Butter or Cashew Butter
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Maca Powder - optional

METHOD
In a medium saucepan, melt the cacao butter or coconut oil depending on what you prefer. The cacao butter tastes better but they both act similarly in setting the caramel after the boiling process. Once melted add the rest of the ingredients and whisk. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes on a medium to high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 35 minutes, whisking every 5 minutes to ensure the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan, or worse, burn. Transfer to a bowl and set in the freezer for half an hour. Check on the caramel after 10 minutes and give it a stir. The coconut oil may separate a little so if this happens, transfer to the blender and blend before the coconut oil becomes completely solid. The cacao butter will be less likely to do this. Once the caramel is set but not entirely solid, remove from the freezer.

When the caramel has hardened, take teaspoonfuls of the mixture at a time and roll in to balls in your hands. Place on a plate and then leave in the freezer again to remain stiff whilst you prepare the chocolate.

FOR EASY, RAW ALMOND CARAMEL
(Makes 26)

INGREDIENTS

6 Tablespoons Smooth Almond Butter
1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Fresh Seeds From 1 Vanilla Pod
1 Tablespoon Coconut Palm Sugar or Coconut Nectar
8 Medjool Dates
3-4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, room temp
1/2 Teaspoon Maca Powder - optional

METHOD
Simply blend all of the ingredients together in a high speed blender for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. This caramel won't be gooey like the heated version, but leave it to set in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes until it hardens. Then use a spoon or a small scoop to form the chewy mixture into balls.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE

100g Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil
6 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
1 Teaspoon Agave, Coconut Palm Sugar or Date Syrup
Pinch of Himalayan Salt (optional - the caramel is pretty salty itself so you can choose to leave this out)
2 Tablespoons Coconut Milk - if you want a milkier, milder chocolate

METHOD
In a heatproof bowl over saucepan filled with boiling water, place the cacao butter, agave and salt. Whisk until the cacao butter or coconut oil dissolves. Gradually add the cacao powder and whisk continuously to avoid any lumps. When everything is combined and fully melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan and set aside. Get the Caramel Balls out from the freezer and form into rolo shapes with a little squishing at the sides. Keep them in balls if you’d prefer or even make them into long rectangles for a curly-wirly or twix kind of snack. Anyway, if using the balls like i did, roll them gently in the chocolate until fully coated and place on a plate. Refreeze for 2 minutes, then repeat this process 2 or 3 more times to ensure a thick, crunchy layer of chocolate. You could also pour the chocolate into mini cupcake cases and simply take a small spoonful of caramel to place in the middle. Then top the caramel with more melted raw chocolate to make a caramel ‘cup’ - similar to a reese’s peanut butter cup, but in my opinion, far more delicious!


RAW ROLO BLISS BALLS
These are a little easier and simpler to make. Once the dates are smoothly blended there is nothing to worry about. I know a lot of people have difficulty blending dates effectively and i even know someone who’s Vitamix got defeated by a bunch of dates. They are strong, sticky little things so be careful. If you don’t have a very powerful blender i would suggest soaking them for a few hours before blending. However, if you begin this recipe by breaking the dates down with a little water, everything should go smoothly. If you are confident in the power of your blender simply chuck everything in at once and let it do all the work for you.

FOR THE CARAMEL FILLING

1 1/2 Cups Soft Medjool Dates (or unsulphered apricots)
6 Tablespoons Almond Butter, optional
2 Tablespoons Cashew Butter or Tahini
2-4 Tablespoons Water or Plant Based Milk
1-2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
4 Tablespoons Ground Almonds, optional
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
2 tablespoons Coconut Milk, solid parts only
1 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
Dash of Organic Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Seeds

METHOD
Place the dates and the water into a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until a smooth paste begins to form. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again for another 2-3 minutes until everything is combined and smooth. Pour into a bowl and set in the freezer for half an hour. It should be firm to touch and when it is, take a teaspoon and begin to form the mixture into balls. Place the balls on a plate and then set in the freezer again whilst you prepare the raw chocolate coating.

FOR THE RAW CHOCOLATE COATING

100g Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil
6 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
1 Teaspoon Agave, Coconut Palm Sugar or Date Syrup
Pinch of Himalayan Salt (optional - the caramel is pretty salty itself so you can choose to leave this out)

METHOD
In a heatproof bowl over saucepan filled with boiling water, place the cacao butter, agave and salt. Whisk until the cacao butter or coconut oil dissolves. Gradually add the cacao powder and whisk continuously to avoid any lumps. When everything is combined and fully melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan and set aside. Remove the Caramel Balls from the freezer and roll them gently in the chocolate until fully coated. Place on a plate and refreeze for 2 minutes, then repeat this process 2 or 3 more times to ensure a thick, crunchy layer of chocolate.

RAW TAMARI FUDGE BROWNIES

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment

These are pretty much irresistible. They’ve been in my freezer for three or four days now and every time i go to the fridge i find myself also going to the freezer for a cube of brownie. I thought they’d be pretty average and have nothing like the gooeyness of the average brownie. I expected them to be quite mediocre and very similar to those date bars you get in health food shops. However, they were completely different. These brownies are rich and subtly sweet. They are not cakey at all because there is no flour, cooking or rising involved. But i always liked the more dense, slightly uncooked middle of a brownie anyway. These brownies are what you would get if you took the undercooked part of a brownie and left it in the fridge to harden. They are rich and creamy and they literally melt in your mouth, because you set and store them in the freezer. They are incredibly chewy and have a slight crunch to them if you choose to include the chia seeds and cacao nibs. I’m not going to lie, i would probably be inclined to grab a normal brownie if i had a choice between the two, but i know for a fact i will never make a normal brownie again. These raw brownies are so easy and they make you feel amazing. The only sweetener comes from the dates and the cacao works at giving you so much pure energy and positivity. The coconut oil aids digestion and assimilation of all the amazing vitamins and nutrients from the other ingredients. I’ve been having a cheeky mouthful (or two) in the morning whilst i make my hot water, fresh lemon and ginger; a wonderful start to the day.

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups Soft Medjool Dates, pitted
4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, room temp
6 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Pysillium Husk (not essential but advised)
2 Tablespoons Tamari
2-3 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
1/2 Ripe Avocado
1/2 Cup Pecans, Cashews, Almonds or Sunflower Seeds
1 Tablespoons Cacao Nibs

+ 1 Teaspoon Essential Orange Oil, optional

METHOD

Blend all of the ingredients together, except for the nibs, on full speed. Blend for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the blender to make sure everything is incorporated. Add a little water if the mixture is being stubborn and seems to thick to blend. When completely smooth, scrape the mixture out of the blender into a bowl. Add the nibs and any superfoods you like, along with chopped nuts if you’d like to add them. Mix to combine and then press into a glass dish or some kind of tin. It may make sense to grease the dish first with a little coconut oil to prevent the brownie from sticking. I covered my dish in cling film so the brownie was easier to remove. You could use baking paper too. Press the mixture down until it is compact. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to really press down hard. Place in the freezer to set for 1 hour.

Alternatively, you could chop the brownie into small squares and either leave them this shape or roll them into truffle balls with the warmth of your hands. Then roll them through some raw cacao powder, maca or desiccated coconut and re-set in the fridge. Give as a gift this Easter or for any occasion for that matter. I’ll be taking them home to my parents in the form of fudge squares.

+ You can also top these with cacao frosting which will solidify as it sets, adding a crunchy texture to the brownies and intensifying the chocolatiness.