Tag: cacao

Double Chocolate Crunch Bars, and the goodness of cacao.

Double Chocolate Crunch Bars, and the goodness of cacao.

chocbuck1

Well it is coming up to that time again, Easter time, holidays, time with family and friends, and temptations a plenty! This month I am creating a number of chocolate based recipes for Loving Earth, so I thought I would share this recipe with you here also. I wanted to put together recipes that were delicious, festive, and also nourishing and not full of rubbish. These bars fit the brief perfectly!

This recipe is quite heavy on the cacao. I love cacao. It is amazingly rich in minerals (particularly magnesium) and antioxidants. Cacao powder is the unheated, raw version of cocoa, and cacao butter is made by pressing the raw cacao nibs. The butter has a much higher melting temperature, and so is solid at room temperature. By the way – if you have any left-over cacao butter, it makes the BEST body moisturiser.

However like everything, it can be controversial. Cacao contains theobromine, which is a powerful stimulant to the nervous system. Some indulgence here and there is not going to be a problem, and everyone is different in terms of how much they can tolerate – similar to coffee. Just know that as much as I love cacao, I am not eating spoonfuls 10 times a day – moderation is key, as with anything! A little trick I often use is to use 1/2 raw cacao powder, and 1/2 carob powder in recipes that I want to tone down the caffeine, or if I am making it for people I know are sensitive to it. It is a wonderful combination as carob is rich in calcium, which nutritionally combines beautifully with the magnesium rich cacao. Most people however will tolerate it beautifully, and it is certainly 100 times better than your typical commercial chocolate bar.

[headline]Double Chocolate …

Chocolate Thyme Ice-Cream; and how to make ice-cream without an ice-cream machine.

Chocolate Thyme Ice-Cream; and how to make ice-cream without an ice-cream machine.

chocthymeplateIt’s chocolate thyme! Ha ha, okay, that was pretty bad. But it’s weird and wonderful flavour combination day at My Wholefood Romance – so I’m a little excited. In keeping with my promise last week, I wanted to show you how to make DELICIOUS ice-cream without the use of an ice-cream machine. Chocolate is fairly universally accepted as being awesome, but to give it a little something something, why not crazy it up a bit with other flavours? Chocolate and chilli, chocolate and raspberry, chocolate and any warming spice like ginger, cinnamon, or cardamom, chocolate and mint, chocolate and orange, Heston Blumenthal’s chocolate cauliflower risotto, you get the idea, the list is endless.

Today I have paired it with thyme, which gives the ice-cream an earthy, ‘adult’ kind of edge, that is still incredibly delicious. If that’s not your bag, feel free to substitute another flavour, or stick to chocolate straight up. This recipe is an egg based ice-cream, but I have kept it dairy free using coconut milk for its creaminess and nutritiousness (not sure if that’s actually a word….). It has only a few ingredients, and provides you with a nourishing sweetness that is full of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and protein.

In terms of health benefits, we normally think if thyme as a respiratory herb, used to assist chest infections or congestion. It is also antimicrobial and antioxidant. In a savoury sense, thyme is great with any vegetable, bean or egg dish, or in any stock, stew or soup. It is easy to grow yourself in a pot, so you can just harvest what you need as you need it.

cocothyme[headline]Chocolate Thyme Ice-Cream[/headline]

10-12 sprigs of fresh thyme

550ml full-fat coconut milk

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons cacao powder

4 egg yolks…

Raw Chocolate Balls

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.

 

[headline]Raw Chocolate Ball Pops[/headline]

 

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 …