Category Archives: Chocolate

Raw Chocolate Balls

BallPopsHandBliss Balls, Chocolate Balls, ‘Rum’ Balls, Tuffles; whatever you like to call them – they are delicious! There are approximately 4 million recipes online for different versions of these, and here’s why I like mine.

1. My recipe uses no dates. I don’t really have a problem with dates eaten in moderation, they are delicious and a natural fruit. They are however extremely sweet, and I find can often take over the flavour of raw desserts.

2. These balls are PACKED full of protein, good fats and nutrition from the nuts, seeds and tahini.

3. They are not overly sweet, and make use of the wonderful cinnamon, not only for flavour but to help with balancing blood sugar.

4. They are incredible easy to make, versatile, and use ingredients that you most likely have hanging around in your cupboard.

5. They are delicious and family friendly! If you need them for school lunches, just sub out the nuts with extra seeds.

BallPopIvy

So there you have it. Five great reasons to try out these balls. We have a birthday party coming up!!! (very exciting – any ideas welcome!) and so I fashioned them into ‘pops’ with the use of a fancy straw – kid appeal – very high – job done.

 

Raw Chocolate Ball Pops

 

½ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup hemp seeds (or quinoa flakes or pepitas)

¼ cup brazil nuts (or macadamias, cashews etc)

¼ cup tahini or almond butter (I used black tahini)

2 tbs chia or flax seeds

¼ cup coconut–desiccated, plus extra for rolling

2 ½ tbs raw cacao powder

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ cup of rice syrup or honey, or to taste

A pinch of sea salt

Up to a tbs water – depending on consistency

Blitz the nuts and seeds in a …

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Liquid gold! Drinkable snacks, including a convertible chocolate shake.

I have recently acquired a new blender, and so needless to say, there has been a LOT of blending going on in our house! And juicing. How beautiful is this juice above?! Who knew kale, cucumber, celery, carrot, beetroot, mint and ginger could be so GORGEOUS? I suspect many of us did! 

Green smoothies have to be THE greatest drinkable snack in my opinion. It’s quick, versatile, fabulously nutritious, and gives you a nourishing little energy boost. I have been dining out on this spicy green smoothie this week – give it a go!

Spicy Green Smoothie
Handful of kale/spinach/greens
1/2 apple or orange
1/4 cup frozen berries
1/4 banana
1/4 – 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup coconut water or filtered water
Blend and love! This is not the greenest of green smoothies due to the different coloured ingredients, but she’s just delightful!

Next up is a ripper of a convertible chocolate milkshake, without the dairy and packed with goodness! Hooray! Leftovers? (not likely) Convert it to a choc-mint mousse, oh yes! This thick shake is packed with protein and good fat, which is exactly what you should be looking for in a sustaining snack. The protein will stave off the sugar cravings and balance your blood sugar, and the healthy fats will fill your tummy and keep you satisfied.





Raw Chocolate Good Shake 
1 large frozen banana (the frozen part is important to get the right taste and texture at the end
1/4 cup cashews – soaked for at least 2 hours, preferably 4 hours (or other nut of your choice – macadamias would be fab)
1 avocado
2 tbs raw cacao
2 tbs agave or maple syrup
1 1/4 cups nut milk, or water
A pinch of sea salt
A few ice cubes

Blend, thin out

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PMS, Chocolate and a Blueberry Fudge.

Food as medicine is a beautiful concept. I figure, we have to eat, why not eat something that can make our ailments fade and our bodies sing! 
Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food, as Hippocrates said about two and a half thousand years ago, it’s not a new concept!
It makes sense that what we eat can effect the way out body behaves.
Around 70-90% of adult women experience some form of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) each month, with symptoms ranging from bloating, pain, headaches, fluid retention, back pain, mood changes and emotional outbursts, just to name a few. The cause is multifactorial, involving dietary, hormonal, emotional and lifestyle factors. 
In other words, what you eat and what you do with your body can have a wonderful effect on you symptoms. Here are my top tips. 


1. There are certain key nutrients that are extremely helpful and have been shown to reduce symptoms, and these include magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, and Omega 3 fatty acids. Pack in as much of these as you can in the form of nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables, whole unrefined grains, oily fish, and all vegetables in general.


2. Reduce sugar and refined foods. 
Sugary foods not only strip the body of nutrients, but spike your blood sugar, impair oestogen metabolism, and mess with your mood. Not a great combination for this time of the month!
It is also a good idea to keep a lid on your caffeine intake as it is associated with a worsening of symptoms. Likewise with alcohol. This may sound all very bleak and boring, until you realise all the AWESOME things you CAN have, and how you can make chocolate that’s not chocolate (read on!). And once you realise how GREAT you feel from

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Chocolate, Easter and Pumpkin Cheesecake.

I had to do a post on chocolate with Easter around the corner! And what a wonderful thing it is! A little time off to spend reconnecting, enjoying and eating with family and friends. I’m particularly excited this year as it’s the first Easter that my daughter is old enough to enjoy the Easter Bunny – so I get to make footprints on the floor and host egg hunts – all very exciting!

So, to the chocolate. There is a lot of politics surrounding chocolate, or more specifically cocoa and the way that it is collected. West Africa is home to at least 40% of the world’s cocoa production, where there have been ongoing issues with child labour and exploitation.

Fair Trade International is a global organisation that requires companies to pay sustainable prices to the farmers, and this therefore improves their working conditions and local sustainability. The organisation also prohibits child and forced labor.

For more information on which chocolate is fairtrade, have a look here or here

Unfortunately, just because chocolate is fairly traded, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s of wonderful quality. Get into the habit of reading labels, and choosing varieties with less sugar, and without artificial sweeteners, flavourings and other sorts of numbers and names that you don’t recognise.

Conscious Chocolate is a lovely thing! It uses cacao sourced from Bolivia and certified by the “Hand in Hand” programme which supports sustainable farming practices and gives back to the farmers via education, health and environmental programmes, and ensures fair pay.

It’s dairy free, gluten free, soy free, low GI and vegan – whoa. Usually this might also equal taste free….but not here – yay!! Check out their website for more information on the ingredients and how it’s made.

Another option is to make your own!

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Meg Thompson

Naturopath & Nutritionist
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