Category Archives: Raw

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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Celery Leaf and Macadamia Pesto

celeryleafpestoI love celery. Hubby doesn’t. But he’s away at the moment, so my house is currently celebrating this underrated vegetable. Celery deserves more than its “negative calorie” image. I admit in the past I have viewed it only as a vehicle for nut butter, but celery has a load more to offer us than that. Today I am celebrating celery in all its glory.

The quick nutritional run down is that it’s loaded with vitamin K, fibre and potassium, and it is wonderfully alkalising. Throw in antioxidants, a good dose of folate, vitamin A, vitamin C and a little calcium and magnesium, and suddenly celery is looking good. It also contains sodium (the good kind) and so is perfect for rehydration and balancing out the electrolytes when partnered with potassium and the rest of the vitamins and minerals.

celery leaves

But don’t forget the leaves! Often ignored, these fabulous foliage contain more vitamin C, calcium and potassium than the stalks. I use mine as I would parsley, so added to salads, or on top of soups, veg, or beany mixes. They work well juiced or in green smoothies, or you can get fancy and make delicious celery salt a la 101 Cookbooks. It’s so lovely to be able to use the whole vegetable to minimise waste and save some cash.

Making pesto with the leaves is a great example.  They don’t keep well, so it’s a nice way of using them up. Use this recipe as a guide, this is how I like it, but you can add more or less of anything to make it your own. I had a complete disaster today in the form of my blender breaking (OMG…hence the lack of smoothie post today) so I made this in my mortar and pestle, which is the best way …

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Cacao Love: Chocolate Avocado Mousse and Chocolate Kale Chips

I have had a little cacao obsession this week.

It started with the avocado love from last week, which just sort of melted into an avocado chocolate mousse; and finished with cacao and cashew kale chips…. Lucky that cacao is chock full of antioxidants: 10-15 times more antioxidants than blueberries, and 20 times more than green tea to be precise – whoa! Cacao beans are super rich in magnesium, and are also high in chromium, iron, zinc, vitamin C and manganese. If you are worried about the caffeine content, it is actually quite low – around 1%, compared with coffee which had around 10%.

So what’s the deal with cacao anyway? The cacao tree grows the cacao pod which is the fruit. The pod is full of fabulous seeds which we know as cacao beans. You can find cacao as beans, nibs, powder and cacao butter. The nibs (like chocolate chips) and the powder lend themselves fabulously to baking, trail mix, smoothies, desserts and my new gourmet granola (I will post the recipe soon!).

The difference between cacao and chocolate, or ordinary cocoa, is that the latter is like a watered down version of cacao, with added extras like sugars, binding agents, milk solids, colourings and other chemicals. Vitamins and minerals are very sensitive to heat, and as most chocolate and cocoa is made using high temperatures, the end product is severely depleted in antioxidants, and has almost none of the vitamins and minerals it began life with. Good quality raw cacao however is produced using low temperatures and so maintains much of the original nutrient profile, hooray! Although it’s not something you should really eat in the same quantity as vegetables, the health benefits make it such an awesome alternative for a sweet treat! You will find it in …

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Meg Thompson

Naturopath & Nutritionist
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