WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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

chocolate

Vegan Chocolate Easter Nests ~ For Ecoage

Commisions, Dairy Free, Gluten free, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle copperman2 Comments
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Chocolate covered cornflake cakes are a vital component for pretty much any Easter celebration, but for those searching for something a little more nutritious amongst the conventional confectionary, I've created these cornflake cakes with a difference and, as always, are gluten free, vegan and made with 100% natural, unrefined ingredients. Whilst many might prefer to avoid the sugar rushes and general hyperactivity of the Easter holidays - for either themselves or young ones around them - these have a much subtler sweetness, are high in fibre and can be customised with any of your favourite superfoods, adaptogens or other nourishing ingredients, like dried fruits or cacao nibs. High in cacao, they are also super energising, so whilst everyone else is in their food coma or sugar crash, you can enjoy a natural little high of your own.

+ Add mini eggs to replicate traditional Easter nests, or instead, to keep things as natural and nourishing as possible, replace with nuts, seeds, fresh berries, dried fruits or whatever else you fancy.

Vegan Chocolate Easter Nest Ingredients

Makes approx. 12 nests

200g fibre flakes or corn flakes (doves farm) (link)
8 tablespoons coconut oil or cacao butter
5 tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons coconut syrup other natural sweetener of choice like maple, date or rice syrup
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds or chia seeds (optional but extra nutritious)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, powder, paste or seeds
Pinch of salt

Optional
Handful sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds
1 tablespoon nut butter or tahini
Handful of dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, goji berries, chopped dates or mulberries
Qnola
Puffed quinoa or puffed brown rice

Method

Make a double boiler by placing a heatproof bowl over a small / medium saucepan with about 2-3 inches of water in it. Bring to the boil then reduce to simmer and add the coconut oil or cacao butter. Allow to completely melt, then remove from the heat and whisk in the cacao powder, syrup of choice, flaxseeds or chia seeds, if using, vanilla and salt. Stir to combine, then add the flakes. Add any of the optional ingredients, if using, and stir a final time to combine. You can use a gentle mashing technique to slightly break down the flakes, if you like. This will just encourage the flakes to set more closely together and will intensify the crunchiness.

Next, spoon the mixture into a case-lines muffin / cupcake tin, using about 1 or 1.5 tablespoons per case. Gently press down on the mixture with the back of a tablespoon or spatula. Place in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes to set and stiffen.

Store either in the fridge or in an airtight container.

Decorate with nut butter, fresh or fried fruits, raw chocolate chunks or eggs or even a dollop of something like date caramel or cashew cream.

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Ginger Biscuits with Raw Chocolate and Clementine Pieces

Anytime, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Winterdanielle copperman1 Comment

I improvised with this recipe in desperation the day before an event I hosted last weekend, and thank god they turned out to be a huge win. I always loved gingernut biscuits as a child, and so it is with great pleasure that I present to you this healthier and all-natural variation, which, IMO, is better than the shop-bought ones I used to crave.

These biscuits are so crunchy and bake to perfection, and unlike most processed biscuits are a) only gently sweet (and only sweetened with natural and nutrient-rich sweeteners) and b) gluten-free and c) made with only 5 main ingredients, and absolutely no additives / flavourings / preservatives or anything else funky you wouldn’t recognise.

I personally love the ginger, but you could also leave the ginger out and / or swap for other spices (such as cinnamon, vanilla or cardamom).

Components

For the biscuit

200g gluten free oat flour (gluten-free oats ground in a food processor until they resemble a fine flour consistency)
50g coconut sugar
60g coconut oil
50ml natural syrup (like date syrup, coconut blossom nectar, maple syrup or organic / raw honey)
Pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons ground ginger (to taste)

For the chocolate layer

100g cacao butter (a combination of part cacao butter, part coconut oil will also work)
Pinch of sea salt
40g cacao powder
1 tablespoon coconut sugar or natural syrup (see above for options)

To top (optional)
Crushed hazelnuts or other nuts
Halved or full clementine segments (or other fresh or dried fruits)

Method

Preheat the oven to 160c.

Start by making the biscuit. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor until they form a crumbly dough. The mixture should stick together compactly when pressed with the back of a spoon or spatula, or when squeezed between your fingers.

Tip the mixture out onto a flat baking tray. You can grease the tray with a little coconut oil, but I didn’t feel the need to, and the biscuits didn’t stick. Spread the mixture out evenly across the baking tray and then press down with the palm of your hands, your fingers and fists - whatever works for you. The aim is to make the mixture completely compact, pressing it together and spreading it evenly to about 0.5mm in thickness. Pat the mixture and bring the sides in as much as possible, then when the mixture is as flat, even and compact as you can get it, use a sharp knife to gently slice off the edges (which will look slightly uneven and loose) to make them clean-cut and straight.

Next, use the same knife to gently score the mixture into biscuit shapes. I use the knife to make small rectangle shapes, but you could make squares or other shapes, or use a cookie cutter if you’d prefer. Ensure the knife cuts through to meet the baking tray rather than just lightly scoring the mixture, as this will make it much easier to break the cookies apart when they have baked.

Place inside the pre-heated oven and bake for 12-20 minutes. The baking time will depend on the thickness of your biscuits. Just keep an eye on them after 10-12 minutes, and if they still feel a little soft, leave them baking for a little longer. The edges should begin to brown slightly. If you aren’t sure if the biscuits are done, try to break an edge piece off and leave it to cool for a few minutes before testing. It should be crisp and crunchy, and ideally not chewy - unless you prefer them a little chewy in which case, remove from the oven slightly earlier.

When you are happy with the baked texture, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before carefully breaking the biscuits apart along the lines / cutter shapes you made before baking.

Set aside on a cooling rack to cool whilst you prepare the chocolate.

To make the chocolate, fill a small saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the pan (creating a double boiler), then add the cacao butter and salt.

Once the cacao butter has melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the cacao powder. Add your natural sweetener and whisk again, until combined.

Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes ideally, and then, one by one, dip the biscuits into the chocolate, on one of the flat sides only. Place immediately in the freezer on a tray or plate, and repeat until each biscuit as been dipped. After about 5-10 minutes in the freezer, double dip, to get a thicker layer of chocolate. This time, before placing in the freezer to set, sprinkle with your crushed nuts and fruit - if using. Then, this time, place in the fridge in an airtight container to set and store them hear until ready to eat (you can also store at room temperature but the chocolate may soften a little, depending on the temperature of the surrounding area).

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

Drinks, Dairy Free, Essentials, Review, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winterdanielle copperman1 Comment

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!

Upcoming Event ~ A Grounding Evening of Cacao Ceremony, Sound Healing & Natural Nourishment

Eventsdanielle coppermanComment

Next month, I will be hosting a really special evening with two dear friends of mine, Kate White and Mollie Mendoza, at Mollie’s sacred studio in East London. The evening will involve rituals for welcoming transformation, at this particularly transformational time between Autumn and Winter, and as the year draws to a close. It is a time of constant change and welcoming the unknown, and we will share our favourite rituals, as well as guiding you through a powerful, heart-opening cacao ceremony, meditation and sound healing.

This event is for anyone wanting to feel more grounded whilst a lot of things seem to be shifting or feel in flux, and for anyone wanting to feel more open, accepting and more aligned with themselves on a deeper level, as we enter into a new year of possibility, opportunity and newness.

Join myself, Kate and Mollie for an intimate and transformative journey into the heart space, as we share and explore rituals of sound, meditation and nourishment. Held together in a beautiful and intentional space, this candlelit workshop will be a chance to delve deeper within your self, to rest and receive with the support of ritual, cacao ceremony, sound journey, and creative expression followed by group sharing and seasonal treats. 

This will be a special opportunity to connect and share ways in which we can support ourselves throughout the season, as well as exploring the power of intentional daily practice to cultivate inner warmth, love and an open heart.

*Practice: Cacao Ceremony, Ritual & sound journey led by Mollie Mendoza and Sam Garrett. A selection of delicious and heart warming dishes will be provided by Danielle Copperman for us to enjoy after the ceremony.

15 Dec 4pm-7pm.

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

Gluten free, Dairy Free, Paleo, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle copperman5 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.

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.