cacao

Captures of Yoga & Superfood Smoothies Workshop

What a wonderful weekend. We were so happy to share smoothies and knowledge with everyone at the Yoga & Superfood Smoothies Workshop on Saturday. There was some great Q & A and hopefully everyone is trying out their new recipes this week! We're grateful for Dave Ford's yoga practice, our amazing helper, Maddy Smith, the beautiful well-lit space (aMuse Art Gallery & Meeting Place) in the Mission, and everyone who brought their good energy. It was pretty cool to do yoga in an art gallery. Let us know if you'd like to see a similar event, we'd be happy to host if there's interest - contact Regina at reginafelice@apurifiedlife.com

xx

Captures of Valentine’s Day Chocolate Making Workshop

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There’s no such thing as getting your hands dirty when it comes to chocolate. But if there were, I guess you could say that’s how we spent our Valentine’s Day. At the Chocolate Making Workshop we made rose and fig truffles, chai spiced chocolate mousse, and dark chocolate bark. Everyone got to build their own dark chocolate bark with nuts, seeds, fruit, and superfood powders. There was a lot of love in the air (and in the chocolate) on Saturday! We’re grateful for everyone’s great energy and company.

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Double Layer Chocolate Slice

Chocolate Slice featured image

Another day, another guilt-free chocolate creation. I was about to make some chocolate for an afternoon boost, and couldn't decide between a simple chocolate bar or raw brownies. Then I thought, I want both in one bite. So this happened. And it was heaven. Cacao has many health benefits. It is truly a superfood, but of course, when it's in its pure unrefined state and not when consumed in excess or with loads of refined sugar and dairy.

Pure unrefined (raw) cacao properties:

  • Rich in magnesium - essential nutrients for vitality
  • High in antioxidants - cancer and heart disease prevention
  • High in iron - provides oxygen to cells
  • High in chromium - balances blood sugar
  • Theobromine - lowers blood pressure, boosts energy
  • Dopamine - Neurotransmitter that boosts pleasure
  • Serotonin - Neurotransmitter that balances mood and fights stress
  • Tryptophan - an amino acid that is the most commonly deficient

So there you have it. Raw chocolate is simply good for you in right amounts. I'm going to be celebrating the weekend with this creation. I hope you do too.

Chocolate slice

Ingredients

Bottom layer:

20 medjool dates, pitted

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Pinch of celtic sea salt

Top layer:

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup raw cacao paste (or caca powder)

2 Tablespoons coconut nectar or raw honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

Bottom layer:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined and mixture holds together when pressed with fingers.
  2. Line a small dish with parchment paper and press mixture down to form layer. Make sure to use a dish where you will cover all the surface, I used a 5 x 7 dish.
  3. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the top layer.

Top layer:

  1. Mix melted coconut oil and cacao paste (melt ahead) or cacao powder.
  2. Place in a bowl and whisk in remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour over bottom layer and place back in the refrigerator until set, about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Cut into slices to serve. Store in the refrigerator.

Makes 12 slices

 

Creamy Fig and Cacao Smoothie

Fig cacao smoothie featured image

Figs are in season here in California! Naturally, I created a creamy and decadent chocolate smoothie with fresh figs. The great nutrition components of fresh figs:

  • Fiber - supports bowel health, regulates blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Vitamin B6 - brain health, detoxes the liver, aids in the metabolization of carbohydrates
  • Copper - builds strong bones and tissue, energy production, balances cholesterol levels,
  • Potassium - helps control blood pressure
  • Manganese - supports skin health, controls blood sugar, protects free-radical damage, aids in bone production

I don't have much else to say about this recipe other than encourage you to run to your farmers market to buy some fresh organic figs.

fig cacao smoothie

Ingredients

7-8 fresh figs

1 1/2 cups creamy coconut milk

1 cup water

2 heaping Tablespoons raw cacao powder

3 Tablespoon raw hemp seeds

2 teaspoons maca powder (optional)

1 teaspoon ashwagandha (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Pinch of celtic sea salt

Pinch of stevia

Splash of lemon juice

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Enjoy in the sun.

Serves 2

 

Spiced Chocolate Pudding

chocolate pudding featured image

This pudding is absolutely delicious. Better than any chocolate pudding I've ever had, it's hands down the favorite treat I make. And I'm not the only one who thinks so, friends that I've shared it with love it as well. The best part about this pudding is that it's refined sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and it is packed with health benefits that you don't normally get from any other dessert.

What makes it good for you?

  • Avocado: Anti-inflammatory, supports the skin, promotes heart health, balances blood sugar, supports cardiovascular health, anti-cancer
  • Coconut: Nourishes the skin, reduces inflammation, fuels brain, balances blood sugar, supports immune system
  • Cacao: Enhances mood and stamina, fights depression
  • Maca: Supports hormones, increases stamina, increases energy, and enhances oxygen in the blood. Adaptogenic root - enhances any necessary area in the body such as the endocrine system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, and musculatore.
  • Cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne: Anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-clotting, anti-cancer, regulates blood sugar, supports immunity

You can't go wrong with this pudding.

chocolate pudding

Ingredients

1/2 avocado

1/2 cup fresh coconut milk

3 Tablespoons raw cacao powder

1 medjool date, pitted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon maca (optional)

1 teaspoon mesquite (optional)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon stevia

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

pinch of cayenne

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If not using a high-speed blender, you may need to stop and move things around with a spatula to help blend.
  2. Optional: Place in refrigerator for 20 mins to serve chilled.
  3. Enjoy!

Serves 2

Have you made chocolate pudding before? Or a variation of this? 

 

 

 

 

Raw Chocolate Macaroons

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The best things come when you least expect them. I wasn't even thinking or craving chocolate, but these sweet things snook up on me as I was standing in front of my pantry in search for something to do. These raw chocolate macaroons pack a punch of vitamins and minerals and are gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free. They're a quick little treat to boost mood and energy. Honestly addicting.

Enjoy!

chocolate macaroons 1

Ingredients

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

1/2 cup melted coconut oil (measure after you have melted it)

3 Tablespoons coconut nectar (I use Coconut Secret)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Tightly pack mixture into a Tablespoon measuring spoon and gently drop it over a plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the batch.
  2. Freeze for 1-2 hours. Let sit for a few minutes out of the freezer before serving, but don't leave out for too long or they will melt.

Makes ~20

These would be better if dehydrated with a dehydrator, but I don't own one. I encourage you to use it if you do.

Tell me, how do you relieve stress? What methods do you use to keep your focus? 

 

Vegan Chocolate-Coconut Ice Cream

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It's not summer yet, but I'm already craving (and testing) all the amazing treats I want to create on those sunny days to come. My first test was this delicious and ridiculously simple chocolate-coconut ice cream. I always thought of ice cream as something that was impossible to make at home. Even using an ice cream maker seemed like a lot of work for me, and I never felt the need to try to make it at home since ice cream is not usually my go-to treat. Then I visited Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco and had their chocolate vegan ice cream and life was different. That ice cream is always worth the 30 minute wait. Since trying Bi-Rite Creamery, I knew I had to come up with my own healthy version to avoid indulging again. And that I did.

I still don't have an ice cream maker, but that is not necessary for this recipe. Making vegan ice cream turned out to be very easy. All I used was a blender and a glass container to freeze the ice cream in. The best part is that I only used 4 ingredients and the ice cream is gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. It couldn't be better if you ask me. It's a perfect guilt-free treat or snack for adults and kids.

Please try this recipe and share below how yours turned out. Feel free to substitute pistachios with any type of nut.

Choc coconut ice cream

Ingredients

1 can coconut milk (make sure to use full-fat, otherwise, ice cream won't be creamy)

3 Tablespoons raw cacao powder

1/4 cup coconut nectar or raw honey

1/4 cup chopped pistachios

pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour in glass container or dish and place in freezer for 6-8 hours, until completely firm.
  3. Serve scoops using ice cream scooper (or eat straight from container, which I may or may not have done)

Enjoy!

Homemade Dark Chocolate

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These chocolates are the perfect treat to have at home to avoid the white stuff (refined sugar). They're delicious and ridiculously easy to make. The chocolate base is 3 ingredients, that's it! Then you can add your flavorings and toppings of choice. If you like very dark chocolate, omit the sweetener and just use spices to sweeten. My favorite are turmeric and maca powders.

IngredientsIMG_0190

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2-1 Tablespoon coconut sugar or raw honey

Optional Flavorings and Toppings

Vanilla extract

Turmeric

Cinnamon

Ginger

Maca powder

Mesquite powder

Sea salt

Cacao nibs

Raw nuts and seeds

Shredded coconut

Procedure

  1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. If adding flavorings, add them now.
  2. Place mixture in chocolate molds or in a small dish lined with parchment paper. Top with desired toppings and place in freezer until firm (about 20 minutes).
  3. Remove from mold or dish. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Serves 4