raw

Chocolate Cherry Chia Pudding

It's a rare day when I don't create some sort of chocolate concoction to nourish myself with. I used to feel like I was 'bad' for loving chocolate and eating it so much. I thought it was unhealthy. Until I learned the sacred and super nourishing benefits of raw cacao (Read more about cacao benefits here), then raw chocolate became a really happy and positive treat for me.

There's something about chocolate paired with cherries. I mean, two of the best foods this Mother Earth has gifted us! Do you agree?

I hope you can indulge too with my latest creation. As usual, the simplest ingredients make such a decadent treat.

I created this recipe for Oh My Drifter (photographed by Micaela). Click here for the cutest video of the making of this pudding. 

Ingredients

1 can full-fat coconut milk

1 cup frozen cherries

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

2-3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Let sit for 10-20 minutes to allow it to thicken. 

Enjoy every bite! 

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

 

Mojito Power Protein Smoothie

Mojito smoothie featured image

Summer in San Francisco is not really summer, but I still like to enjoy the amazing flavors and make summer treats like this smoothie and plum & coconut popsicles. This mojito power protein smoothie is perfect for an afternoon boost or a well-balanced breakfast. It's packed with healthy fats, two of the best plant-based protein sources (spirulina, hemp seeds), and fresh greens that offer a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals.

Two of the best plant-based protein sources:

Spirulina - Blue-green algea that grows in fresh water lakes all over the world  and is truly a superfood. It is made up of about 60-70% plant protein, which makes it the world's highest source of protein. Spirulina supports blood sugar regulation, immunity, kidney function, skin issues, cholesterol levels, depression, and provides lasting energy.

Hemp seeds - A complete protein, containing all essential amino acids. They have a perfect balance of protein, essential fats, enzymes, and vitamins. Hemp seeds are excellent for controlling blood sugar, reducing inflammation, improving circulation, muscle recovery, immune support, and providing sustained energy.

Ingredients

1 frozen banana

1/4 avocado

2 heaping teaspoons spirulina powder

1 large handful mint leaves

1/2 cucumber

2 cups spinach

2 cups coconut water (or filtered water)

3 Tablespoons hemp seeds (or chia seeds)

Juice of 1 lemon

Pinch of sea salt

Mojito smoothie

Procedure

  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Pour into fancy glasses and enjoy.

Serves 2 or 1 for a nice big meal (I drink the whole thing for breakfast)

Mojito smoothie 2

 

Plum & Coconut-Maca Popsicles

Plum & coconut popsicles featured image

There is lots of plum and coconut going on in my house these days. It's stone fruit season here in California and plums are just too good to pass up at the farmers market every week. This is a very simple recipe and perfect for an afternoon craving on a hot day. You can substitute any stone fruit for plums. Peaches would also taste amazing.

Besides the great taste and vitamin benefits of plums, an added health benefit to this recipe is the maca powder. Maca is an adaptogenic root full of super powers. Adaptogenic means that it works to balance any system that is unstable/unbalanced in the body (nervous system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, musculature). It also provides energy, enhances stamina and libido, increases endurance and strength, boosts mood, and balances hormones (aids with PMS). It has a nutty and delicious flavor. Make sure to purchase a raw and organic maca powder to get the full benefits and added chemicals.

Ingredients

Plum Layer:

3 fresh plums

1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (or vanilla extract to taste)

Pinch of sea salt

Coconut-Maca Layer:

1 cup full-fat coconut milk (homemade or Native Forest Classic Coconut Milk - BPA free and organic)

1-2 Tablespoons coconut nectar, raw honey, or pure maple syrup (to taste)

1 Tablespoon raw maca powder

Pinch of sea salt

Plum & coconut popsicles

Procedure:

  1. Make plum layer: blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and place in freezer for 10-15 minutes for it to begin setting before you pour the next layer.
  2. Make coconut-maca layer: Blend all ingredients until smooth. Once plum layer has nearly set, pour coconut mixture over it to fill molds. Place in freezer for another 15 minutes.
  3. Insert popsicle sticks and return to freezer until fully frozen. To take out popsicles, run molds under cold water for about 10 seconds. Enjoy!

Makes 6 popsicles

For another delicious plum recipe, check out my previous treat: coconut-lavender pie with plum sauce.

Tell me, what's your favorite stone fruit?

Summer Minty Gazpacho

minty gazpacho featured image

Perfect for a summer day. Gazpacho is also a great way to get in a variety of vegetables at once. The beauty of this recipe is that you can't go wrong with what ingredients you use. This is all I had on hand, but feel free to use any vegetables you'd like (still including tomatoes though). I would throw in some cauliflower and bell pepper, or broccoli, yum!

Ingredients

2 pounds ripe heirloom or early girl tomatoes, cores removed and roughly chopped

1 cucumber, roughly chopped

1 small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Chili flakes, to taste

Sea salt, to taste

minty gazpacho

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until combined, but leave chunks for texture. I use "pulse" setting instead of "process" setting to make sure not to over process. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. Plate and top with toppings of choice.

Serves 4

Enjoy! x

Coconut-Lavender Pie with Plum Sauce (Raw & Vegan)

coconut lavender pie feature

This has to be the best raw dessert I've ever made. My sister has attested to it as well. She gets spoiled by me once a year. Actually, most days, but on her birthday she gets to request any dessert she wants. This year, she left it up to me, so I let the summer flavors guide me.

Enter this insanely good Coconut-Lavender Pie with Plum Sauce.

I know you'll love this one also. Every bite is perfect.

Ingredients

Crust

1/4 cup raw hemp seeds

2 1/2 cups fresh medjool dates

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Coconut-Lavender Filling

4 cups fresh coconut meat or thick coconut cream (To get coconut cream, place canned coconut milk in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. Use the thick layer that separates at top.)

1 cup coconut milk

4 Tablespoons raw honey or grade B maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 teaspoons fresh lavender

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or vanilla powder)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Pinch of sea salt, to taste

Plum Sauce

2 fresh plums + a few extra to garnish

1 teaspoon raw honey

Note: I used an 11-inch springform pan. You might want to cut the recipe in half if you're using a smaller pan, or you can leave it and have thicker layers. 

coconut lavender pie

Procedure

Crust

  1. Place hemp seeds in food processor and process until ground. Add remaining ingredients and process until well incorporated and mixture holds together when pressed with fingers.
  2. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of a springform pan (I used an 11-inch size pan). You might want to line it with parchment paper so it doesn't stick to the bottom.
  3. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare filling.

Coconut-Lavender Filling

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust if needed.
  2. Pour over crust and place in the freezer for at least 8 hours, until it has set completely. Store in freezer.

Plum Sauce

  1. Place ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. I chose to leave the skins of the plums on, but you may take them off if you don't want pieces of skin left.

Serve

  1. To serve, remove pie from freezer and let sit out 20-30 minutes before serving for it to thaw out and be the perfect consistency.
  2. Decorate with sliced plums and drizzle with plum sauce.

coconut lavender pie 3

Enjoy and savor every bite!

Xo

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

Chocolate macaroons featured image

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

Choc coconut ice cream feature image

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!