Raw cacao & almond pralines

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Woo your Valentine with chocolates which aren’t only devoid of bad stuff, they’re packed with goodness, and The LOVE Drug. As an added bonus, these insanely tasty little morsels take all of 6 minutes to make (I’ve timed it); freeing you up for some extra loving.

Praline-centre

In it’s raw, unprocessed state cacao’s loaded with antioxidants, iron, zinc (said to increase testosterone, stamina and libido..!), calcium and potassium. Cacao also helps produce the body’s happy hormone, seratonin and there’s the Love Drug: Phenylethylamine is said to mimic the feeling of being in love. Minus the drama. And if that doesn’t float your boat, there are always the almonds. Apparently the aroma induces passionate thoughts in women – Samson’s strategy with Delilah…

Makes 25 chocolates (depending on your mould)

Ingredients

1/2 cup cacao butter or coconut oil
2 1/2 tbsp raw cacao
2 tbsp maple syrup or agave
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp macadamia butter. Optional but makes the chocolates sweeter and creamier.

Cacao-pralines

raw-cacao-pralines,-lace

Method

In a bain-marie (bowl placed with a pan of simmering water) very gently melt the cacao butter. Stir in the cacao powder, removing any lumps, followed by the maple syrup. Take care not to boil or over heat or you’ll obliterate the fantastic health benefits of raw cacao.

Check for sweetness and consistency, adding more maple syrup for a sweeter tooth (remember the nut butter will also sweeten). As you’d expect, cacao thickens, butter  adds gloss and thins out.

Pour into moulds or ice cube trays and freeze for 30 mins. Transfer to a fridge to store. Eat. See, quicker than a desperate dash to the garage for Dairy Milk.

For any of you balking at the price of cacao (it isn’t cheap): It packs such a punch, that very little goes a very long way. I’ve had my bag for at least 6 months and I make a LOT of energy bites and chocolates. So, it’s quite possible that gram for gram, it’s cheaper than Cadbury’s.

 

Pea, kale, fennel & smoky bacon soup

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, V, WF

If kale really isn’t your thing but you want some of its (biblically proportioned) health benefits, stick it in soup. While the freshness of the pea in this old classic is retained, the antioxidant, fibre and nutrient dense kale adds a meaty, heartiness which is perfect for fresh spring days and, should you so wish, summer slimming prep. Soup’s also surprisingly quick: this takes 15 mins.

Pea, kale, fennel & smokey bacon soup

Feeds 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
4 rashers smoked bacon – optional, the fennel seed gives this lots of flavour
1 onion, chopped
3 tsp ground fennel seeds
500g frozen peas
1 ltr Boullion or chicken stock
200g chopped curly kale, stalks retained
Sea salt and black pepper

METHOD

Set 1 dsp of the oil to heat, then fry bacon until it starts to brown. Remove and set aside. Add remaining oil, followed by onions once hot. After a couple of mins stir through ground fennel seeds.

Once onions have started to turn translucent, add in kale, then stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins. Add peas and chopped bacon and simmer for a further 5 mins.

Remove from the heat and blend. I use a hand blender for ease and minimal washing up.

Return to the heat, adding salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

 

Super smoothie bowl

Posted in: DF, Featured, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

I’ve been having green shakes most mornings since January and am now a convert. They’re quick (I put most ingredients into a hand blender jug the night before), deliciously creamy and clean tasting and have done wonders for my digestion, skin, energy levels and reducing bloating. I stick to a base recipe, swapping in extra ingredients for energy, detoxing, immune boosting or alkalising. Tip: Avocadoes transform shakes into creamy sweetness, are a great source of unsaturated fats and are loaded with skin soothing vitamin E; I rarely sub these out.

granola

Feeds 1

INGREDIENTS

150ml coconut, almond or brown rice milk – I like Rude Health
150ml coconut water or sub 50/50 milk and water
100ml water – leave this out if making a smoothie bowl
50g / 1/4 cucumber
50g / 1/2 banana, frozen if possible
1 good fistful of curly kale or spinach
1/2 avocado

Optional extras:

1 dsp parsley – for cleansing the liver, flushing out toxins and water retention.
1/2 tsp maca – for energy
1 kiwi (I chop the ends off but keep the skin) – 1 kiwi contains more than your RDA of Vit C!
1/2 tsp spirulina – for antioxidants, magnesium, iron, B vitamins and calcium.

Making-green-smoothies

METHOD

Put all ingredients in the order listed above into a blender and blitz. I use a stick blender for speed and minimal early morning washing up.

Drink from a glass or transfer to a bowl and top with Almond, orange & cranberry granola and / or bee pollen.

Super-smoothie

TIP

The beauty of green smoothies is that, once you have the fruit to veg ratios sussed, pretty much anything goes. Swap ingredients depending on what’s in the fridge, in season, your hunger levels or dietary requirements.

Nut butters and milks are filling and protein packed, although OD’ing probably won’t help your waistline; I tend to use more coconut milk. You can add a scoop of whey (sweet and inoffensive) or hemp (dairy free but possibly not to everyone’s taste – grainy) protein powder for a low fat hit that fills you up all morning.

I like Pulsin protein powders as (I’m told) they don’t skimp on the quality of ingredients.