Raw Chocolate Brownie

Raw Chocolate Brownie with Chocolate Frosting I love my chocolate! Before I was introduced to raw food and raw desserts, if I ate a piece of chocolate I would end up finishing the packet, box, container within a short period of time. I was hooked. Afterwards I would feel yuck. I’d consumed way too much chocolate, I now had a chocolate high which meant I was going to crash sometime soon and I just felt angry at myself that I had let myself pig out on the packet. I mean who eats a whole packet of Tim Tams as they walk home from the shops or eats all the Ferrero Rocher in less than 24hours (yes the big box)? That is why I wouldn’t have chocolate in the house as I knew that if I started it would all go very quickly.  Well that is not the case now.  I love my raw chocolate creations. They satisfy the sweet tooth, I do not feel bloated and heavy after having it and best of all I feel satisfied after a slice and have no desire to consume it all.

This is one of my favourite chocolate recipes as the brownie part is moist while the chocolate frosting is just to die for. Once I’ve made a batch I slice it up and store it in the freezer and then I am able to have a piece whenever I feel like it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups of pitted, chopped medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 tsp celtic sea salt

Frosting

  • 2 rip avocado
  • 4 Tbs raw cacao
  • 2 tsp coconut oil (liquid)
  • 8 pitted, chopped medjool dates, soaked for 30 mins

IMG_4290Directions:

  1. Process in a food processor macadamia nuts and walnuts to a breadcrumb consistency
  2. Add cacao powder, desiccated coconut and celtic sea salt to food processor and process again until combined
  3. Add medjool dates to food processor and process until dates are finely chopped through the mixture. This mixture should stick together forming a ball when you squeeze it.
  4. Press dough into 13cm x 36cm flan tin. Place in fridge while making frosting.

 

Frosting:

  1. Drain medjool dates reserving the soaking water
  2. Place all avocado, raw cacao powder, and dates into a high powered blender like a Vitamix. Blend until smooth consistency.
  3. Add coconut oil and blend again. Mixture should be spreadable and not too runny. If needed, add 1tsp of the date soaking water, at a time to the blender and process again.
  4. Smooth the frosting over the brownie mixture and place back int eh fridge for 30 mins.
  5. Slice brownies into about 4cm squares.
  6. Keep brownies in the fridge until required or freeze for the occasional sweet treat.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

In good health, Vicki

Green Juice

Green juiceI have been experimenting the last few weeks increasing my intake of dark green leafy vegetables. I wrote about why here. I have used them in juices, smoothies, soups and salads. I have noticed a difference between the days that I have a high intake compared to the days that I don’t. The days when I’ve consumed more dark green leafy vegetables I’ve felt more energised, centred and focused. I’ve also felt that I have coped better with what has happened in the day. One of the ways that I have increased my intake is to have a juice – either start the day with a juice or have one in the morning. I have also found that by having the juice I have reduced my intake of coffee. Ok I don’t drink much coffee normally, at the max two coffees a day but I have been feeling it is now time to let go of them and have found it difficult to do. The juice has helped so far. One of my favourite juices is below:

  • small bunch of spinach, removed from stems
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 red apple
  • 1/2 lime, skin removed

Run all ingredients through a juicer.

In good health,

Vicki

Green miso soup

Green miso soupOn my journey to increasing my intake of green vegetables and in particular dark green leafy vegetables I created this dish. I was inspired to create a soup that would feel nourishing, filling but also light. It had been raining continuously the last 24 hours and I just wanted to snuggle up with something wholesome.

I found some dried mushrooms in the cupboard and decided to also add these to the soup. I’ve been listening to a few lectures about the benefits of mushrooms, particularly for the immune system so thought why not. I also found some instant white miso soup and knew it would make a lovely base. I’m so happy with this soup that I had to share it.

Ingredients:Green miso soup

  • 1 bock choy, thinly sliced
  • 8 – 10 small florets of broccoli
  • 2 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 -2 Tbs coriander
  • small handful of dried wild forest mushrooms
  • 2 packets of instant white miso soup
  • 2 cups of boiled water

Directions:

  1. Add bok choy, broccoli, mushrooms, coriander and dried mushrooms to a large bowl
  2. Pour both instant miso soup powders into a large cup and add the boiled water.
  3. Stir then pour over the vegetables.
  4. Leave for 10 mins for the vegetables to soften slightly.
  5. Enjoy.

I sat at the table listening, snuggled in my pj’s listening to the rain as I enjoyed my dinner. Hope you enjoy this soup as much as I did.

In good health,

Vicki

Are you getting enough greens?

Dark Green Leafy VegI have started studying with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and in the last few weeks I have been discovering how wonderful green vegetables really are. I already knew that dark green leafy vegetables could assist me in taking my health to the next level, however I didn’t fully realise their potential.

Green vegetables and in particular dark green leafy vegetables are missing from most of the meals that we eat these days. I know that when I was growing up peas, beans and broccoli where the only green vegetables that landed on my plate. Well actually brussels sprouts also landed on my plate, oh how I wished they landed on the floor! However now days, we are so busy with life that we either eat out, grab a take away or if a meal is prepared at home, green vegetables don’t usually feature as one of the main ingredients.

So what have I learnt about green vegetables and dark green leafy vegetables:

  • they are full of micronutrients – vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals
  • help purify the blood
  • strengthen the immune system
  • help detox and alkalise the body
  • green is associated with the liver in Traditional Chinese Medicine, so can assist with liver function

When you think about it, if green vegetables and dark green leafy veg can help detoxify your body, assist the liver to function better, improve the immune system and alkalise the body why are we not eating more of this stuff? I know from my own experience, personally and as a mother, green is not the ‘in’ colour. Also most of the green things, such as kale, broccoli, bok choy and of course brussells sprouts have either a bitter taste or a very strong taste. Kids taste buds are very sensitive so something what we as adults think is quite bland can be so full of flavour it is over powering for them. The bitter taste, one of the five tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salt and umami) does not feature in most modern diets. Instead the food consumed today relies heavily on sugar (sweet) and salt and we are conditioned (our taste buds) to want more of those flavours.  However our taste buds can be retrained by incorporating green veg into our meals.

Mango and baby spinachI decided to look at what I ate and start increasing my green leafy vegetables. I’ve been doing this for just over a week now and to be honest I didn’t think I would notice much of a difference as my ‘diet’ is quite healthy – plant based, high percentage raw food and very low in processed foods and diary. I was surprised then, to have found that my sleep has improved, not that I thought I had a real issue with sleep. My energy has increased and this ‘fog’ has lifted which I wasn’t aware of. Very happy with what I have experienced so far so encouraged to keep going.

How can you increase your intake of green leafy vegetables?  Add them to salads, green smoothies, green smoothie bowls, juices, soups, stir fries, steam them, use large leaves for rolls instead of rice paper, even add them to desserts or make icy poles out of the green smoothies. I make a lovely raw peppermint chocolate slice with pepermint cream part made with baby spinach. Everyone is surprised they are eating greens for the peppermint cream part. Great way to increase your kids green intake! Check out my facebook page for some ideas.

So here are some green leafy vegetables to start playing with:

  • bok choy, green cabbage, kale, collards, watercress, mustard greens, rocket (arugula), endive, baby spinach, parsley, coriander, mint, broccoli, spinach, swiss chard, beet greens and of course brussels sprouts.

Remember to rotate the greens you use and use spinach, beet greens and swiss chard in moderation as they are high in oxalic acid which can inhibit the absorption of calcium.

Oh I forgot to mention that as these vegetables convert the sunlight, via photosynthesis to chlorophyll, so when you eat them you are consuming sunlight! How cool is that.

I would love to know how you have increased your green leafy vegetable intake and what you have noticed in doing so.

In good health,

Vicki