Tag Archives: raw chocolate

Raw chocolate, high protein, high energy slice for blissed out new mums

6 May
IMG_7596

Delicious raw chocolate, high energy, high protein slice for new Mums

My lovely pescaterian friend Jenn has just given birth to a yet-to-be-named, healthy, beautiful baby boy. Knowing she needed sustenance for the labour, I was inspired to create a high energy protein bar, also tailored to Jenn’s cravings for dried cranberries. Quote unquote: ‘there’d better be tonnes of cranberries otherwise there’s no point’.

I also chose to use coconut oil, the only other natural substance on earth, besides breast milk, that contains lauric acid. Lauric acid is transformed into monolaurin in the body, which has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities, hence supporting evidence that breast fed babies tend to have less infections.

THE RECIPE:IMG_7721
2 tbspns raw cacao powder
4 tbspns cup cold pressed virgin coconut oil
3 tablespoons hemp protein powder
½ cup of dried cranberries
Big dollop of honey (only use local if possible)
4 tbspns unbleached almond flour

I then made a big messy pile of it on baking paper, smoothed it down until it was roughly 1cm thick and popped it in the fridge, before slicing, eating 1/3 of it and only then giving it to Jenn…

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Denmark’s fat tax! I l love it! But let’s pick on thin and lazy people also.

9 Oct

Fat people are more obviously unhealthy than thin people but both cost the NHS. We need a tax on unhealthy food in general, not just saturated fats. Thank you NZ Sunday Mercury for this pic, which raises lots of other questions...

I think a fat\health tax is great but sadly totally flawed. I’d call it a health tax, tax refined carbs and dramatically lighten up the costs of ‘healthier’ foods.  My belief is that the masses, including both skinny and fat people, know that a KCF/Maccy D/Burger King/Taco Bell/Red Rooster/etc burger/fries is bad for them, but because it tastes good, it fills you up and it’s cheap, health doesn’t get a look in.  

The figures are widely varied but recently, the Independent newspaper blog suggested that ‘fat’ people cost the UK £4.2bn’ in obesity related illnesses. However in a 2008 story in The Grocer, this figure is more like £6.8bn and it’s not just fat people who are chronically unhealthy, thin people are also a drag on the system costing the NHS even more at £7.3bn a year.

I pay £2.99 for a raw chocolate bar that perks me up and gives me essential minerals and vitamins when I could pay for 35p for an average chocolate bar that also does the job of perking me up but only for a moment and at a cost to my liver, gut, brain and adrenal system.  When times are tough, and I need a snack – there is no way I can afford to choose ‘healthy’.  Fresh fruit and vegetables are expensive and they don’t last for months in my grocery cupboard, making bulk buying difficult. Raising the price of naughty food will certainly make me (average person) think twice, but the only way this will really work to cut costs to the NHS is if the price of health foods is also slashed.

While it is a worry that Cameron is proposing a tax only on saturated fats, it is a step in the right direction. Breaking habits of lifetimes is hard and people don’t like change, but when it comes to money – maybe we have hope that the message will get through to the people who need it whether they are smart, thin, fat, stupid, poor or rich.

We are what we eat and it’s as simple as that!

Delicious detoxing? I’m teaching raw food recipes on 23rd Jan

2 Jan

I'm teaching a raw food detox class at Books for Cooks on 23rd January

If you are anything like me at the dinner table around Christmas time, you’ll have an extra chin, even more rolls on your stomach (and back…), two large love handles and big bags under your blood shot eyes by now.  Sounds gorgeous doesn’t it?  Um, well, no… However – it just so happens that not only am I about to embark on a serious detox to get rid of those unwanted bits but I’m also teaching a raw food/detox preparation class at the wonderful Books for Cooks, here in London, on 23rd January.

Books for Cooks is Notting Hill’s famous specialist cookbook shop, crammed with thousands of tasty titles and equipped with a squashy sofa for cookbook junkies in need of a long read. Cookbooks are put to the test in their café at the back of the shop, while cookery classes take place in the demonstration kitchen upstairs

The class will be based on an international selection of raw food treats using organic ingredients in season at the moment.  I also throw in some of my extra strong opinions on nutrition and living the good life.

1. a green smoothie 
2. raw spring rolls
3. raw som tam salad
4. raw sushi
5. various raw mexican salads
6. raw cauliflower couscous
7. raw chocolate

Of course the menu may change slightly as we get closer to the 23rd, however, essentially, I can promise I’ll prove that a raw food detox doesn’t have to be dull, worthy and a royal pain in the backside to make and live by.

So – to book, click right here.

Raw chocolate Christmas pudding deluxe

23 Dec

Raw Christmas feast for twelve carnivores? What do you think their opinion of a six course raw menu would be? Exactly! So the hypocrite in me gave them what they wanted; turkey mince balls, cranberry chutney, chestnut souffle and a mountain of roasted vegetables. At least until dessert.The raw foody in me then managed to sneak in a raw chocolate Christmas pudding without anyone noticing it was raw. Usually traditional Chrissie puddings seriously clog up your digestive system – you’ll find this one does the opposite!

 

THE INGREDIENTS
200g organic dried apricots
300g raisins
100g prunes
10 delicious caramel-like medjool dates
2 pods of vanilla
a pint of freshly juiced apple juice
3 grated carrots
2 grated apples
a healthy dash of cinammon
150g ground almonds
100g chopped hazelnuts
100g chopped pecan nuts

HOW TO MAKE IT
1. Soak the fruits, vanilla, cinammon and carrot in the apple juice, in a covered bowl, for three days
2. Blend as best you can – roughish texture is still ok
3. Add chopped nuts to mixture
4. Spoon mixture into small pots as in the pic above (I use recycled yoghurt pots)
5. Make the raw chocolate to the recipe here
6. Cover with a generous layer of liquid raw chocolate and refrigerate before serving. Yum.

It tasted delish and with all those dried fruits in there, also gave everyone a good digestive clean out the next day! Just two of the benefits…

TIP
I had loads left over, so rolled the mixture into balls, coated them in left over raw choc and then coconut. They last for ages and make yummy late Christmas presents for lovely neighbours.

Conscious Bars are a Raw Chocolate Treat Deluxe Supreme

1 May
Conscious chocolate bars wrapped in conscious recycled paper

Incredibly amazingly superlatively delicious Conscious Chocolate bars

Okay – I know I said I would stop writing about raw chocolate but I can’t help it. I’ve just had a bar of Conscious Chocolate called Love Potion Number 9. It’s amazing. It’s so amazing it’s beyond amazing and I’ll say that it could even be beyond ‘beyond amazing’. Actually, I’m holding back, it is so good it is nothing short of a culinary epiphany. Sorry –I know I might be going a little bit over the top about this chocolate bar (as I was over the others) but really and truely this is the best. I promise. And yes Vivian, you were right!

The raw ingredients in the few tiny crumbs of chocolate left on my lap are cacao butter, cacao powder, agave nectar, carob, coconut butter, spices, Himalayan salt, maca and essential oil of Otto rose. It’s also sugar free (even good for diabetics), pesticide free, gluten free, raw, vegan, handmade and wrapped in lovely recycled paper.

Based in Kent, Conscious Chocolate was founded in 2006 by vegan chef, Iyengar yoga teacher and chocolatier Emma Jackman for small scale distribution of their 40g chocolate bars only. Only a couple of years later Emma’s stunningly clever and delicious choccie bars are now, unsurprisingly, stocked in more than 50 outlets across the UK, including my local Planet Organic and Wholefoods. And best of all there are several delicious varieties:

Sunny Easter Feast
Yummy Mummy
Berry Christmas
Fruit Fantasy
Chocha Mocha Magic
Nicely Nutty
Best Ever Plain Chocolate
Best Ever Fiery Hazelnut
Best Ever Spiced Up
Fruity Goji and Coconut Delight
Love Potion No. 9
Love Your Heart Superfood
Best Ever Hint of Mint
Best Ever Citrus Zest
Best Ever Chilli Hot
Best Ever Essential Orange.

a truely life enhancing chunk of raw cacao

a truely life enhancing chunk of raw cacao

I don’t think I need to preach the benefits of raw cacao to you once again but in case you forgot or missed my post about it – it’s basically an aphrodisiac, serotonin booster, appetite suppressant, a cannibanoid without any side effects, and it’s rich in anti-oxidants, magnesium, zinc, calcium, phosphorus and sulphur (the beauty mineral).

I’m officially addicted and have the long list above to get through.

You can buy it right here.

Brief history of the raw chocolate revolution

15 Apr
The first raw chocolate bar in the UK - clearly packaged with male consumers in mind

The first raw chocolate bar in the UK - clearly packaged with male consumers in mind

While cacao has been around in Mayan and Aztec cultures since time began (200BC), it was only ever consumed in its cooked form, often as a hot drink given to armies on their way to war.   

The key ingredients of raw chocolate are raw cacao butter and/or cacao powder.  Both are produced through a compression process, apparently only invented in Ecuador a few years ago.  It’s this revolutionary process that ensures the integrity of the vital nutrients is kept intact until they enter our hungry digestive systems.

As you may have seen on Willy’s Wonky Chocolate Factory, the cacao that usually goes into our ‘normal’ chocolate is put through a heating process, killing off some of the vital and beneficial nutrients we desperately need in our hectic lives. While Willy’s chocolate is absolutely delicous too, raw chocolate has many healthy and nutritious bonuses as well as completely satisfying flavour.

Amongst other raw food pioneers, the rather dubiously named Shazzie’s Naked Chocolate brand claims to have produced the UK’s first ever raw chocolate bar in 2003. Before that great day, we raw food types lived with the best that carob could deliver, which, to be frank, wasn’t much to talk to about. 

If cacao in its cooked form is considered a nutritious boost for big tough soldiers on their way to conquer civilisations towards world domination, I wonder what they’d do with raw chocolate.

Viva La Revolucion

Raw Cacao Top Ten Bliss Benefits

15 Apr
raw cacao nibs

raw cacao nibs

According to my raw chocolate guru, Kate Magic, ‘we are defined as either healthy do-gooders or live-hard-die-young types and raw cacao is the bridge between the two.’ Sounds good doesn’t it?

 And to prove it – Kate gives this list of benefits:

1. Raw cacao is known as a ‘grounded’ food because it contains so many minerals from zinc, calcium, phosphorous, copper…and it is therefore thought to be spiritually ‘grounding’;
2. It’s an aphrodisiac because amongst other things, it contains anandamide, often described as an euphoric substance;
3. It’s high in essential feel good neurotransmitters such as seratonin;
4. It carries PEA (phenylethylamine) also known as the ‘molecule of joy’.  While this super molecule exists naturally in the brain, the only other food that contains PEA is blue green algae;

raw cacao butter
raw cacao butter

5. It’s also considered a natural appetite suppressant on the basis that it apparently helps the body ‘tune into its natural appetite’;
6. There are two cannibinoids in the world. One is racked with downers, paranoia, appetite increase and bad publicity and the other isn’t;
7. It’s the best source of sulphur there is, which is, by the way, also known as the beauty mineral;
8. It’s a rich source of magnesium, which is great for keeping anxieties and hormones at bay;
9. It’s extremely high in antioxidants – according to the US ORAC scale – seven times that of normal chocolate;
10. It tastes delicious.

As Kate continued; ‘Everyone is addicted to something so just choose your addictions wisely. Mine are my children, green juices, raw chocolate and yoga.’

So – raw cacao gives the high of cannabis without any of the lows, it carries something called the molecule of joy, it has the beauty mineral in it, it’s an aphrodisiac and an appetite suppressant. See you later – I’m off to Venezuala.

You can buy raw cacao in its various forms from Rob at Funky Raw or from Kate at Raw Living.

Happy Raw Chocolate Easter with Kate Magic

13 Apr

I’m sure some London-born children must think that, like Parsley, chocolate eggs sprout up from the ground from late Feb to late April. It’s damned well everywhere at Easter time and my willpower can only take so much. So – to help me deal with my chocolate addiction, my nutritionist pal and fellow chocoholic invited me along to the Camden meeting of CFEA (Cooked Food Eaters Anonoymous).

Kate - this is an old pic - she looks ten years younger these days

Kate - this is an old pic - she looks ten years younger these days

OK – there is no such thing as CFEA and it wasn’t really a CFEA addiction meeting. Even though it felt very self-helpish, it was a raw chocolate lecture by Kate Magic, a raw chocolate pioneer, author and guru, mother and raw foody foody for some 16 years! And Kate delivers on her name. She is magical. If she told me she was 172 years old, I would have believed her. She is youthful, glowing and clear eyed with a magnetic, happy energy. And she is for real. Kate’s pink-dyed hair and wholesome, some would say hippy get up, only momentarily distracts from her obvious focussed discipline and ambitious vision for her raw food business called Raw Living.

Kate describes herself and her business partners as ‘long-term, raw futurefood pioneers’.This is a superb description for the ‘raw food movement’, which is fast moving beyond a trend and into the mainstream. Her online shop sells the concept of living raw, alongside the equipment to live the raw life hands on, and a wide range of raw foods; delicious chocolate bars, something scary called high vibrational food, books, DVD’s, natural sweeteners (not sugar) and a range of raw cakes. Either Kate had her publicist planted in the audience or one excited lady could not stop raving about the cakes because they are so good. I’m about to order one.

An important part of the business being these lectures that spread the word and certainly give comfort to those of us who stick to the hypocritical cooked side of life. The topic of tonight’s lecture was ‘raw cacao’, but Kate’s extensive knowledge and experience of living a rewarding raw food life spilled over, almost taking up half the talk. Her advice makes so much sense.

As Kate said; ‘Raw food is a journey. It’s not about going 100% raw, it’s much more helpful to have some basic guidelines and nurture your cravings.’ But Kate, (wishing I asked this at the time) what if your cravings are for a roast pork sandwich?

Besides a tonne of insight about raw cacao (in my next post) – I took three things away with me:

1. The more enzymes in your system – the younger you’ll look. And raw fruit and vegetables are packed with valuable youth promoting enzymes…I like this. A lot.
2. The five most addictive foods are rice, corn, potatoes, wheat and soya. That’s almost my entire diet on a bad day.  I’ll be looking into why all my favourite food groups are no-nos.
3. 1 x Hi-Buzz Bar. This was a delicious raw chocolate bar loaded with bee pollen, and of course, raw cacao.

You can buy Kate’s books from here and her Hi-Buzz bar from here.

The Raw Chocolate Bar that Beats Lindt chocolate balls

2 Apr

I love chocolate, not as much as my Dad, sister, sister in law and friend Linda, but enough to make it a problem. I love it in any form but I particularly hanker for Lindt chocolate balls, which I wish with all my heart and soul, were raw.

Raw chocolate that leaves Lindt balls for dust

Raw chocolate leaves Lindt balls for dust

In my search for raw chocolate nirvana, I tried various ideas, some that worked and some that really truely didn’t.  I tried carob in its many forms, mixed raw cacao nibs with goji berries and avocado and I’ve added black strap molasses to coconut oil and dates. Most of my attempts were catagorical disasters that may have, when looking from a certain angle, in certain light, with a squint, only ever reached ‘same-colour-as-chocolate’ status. 

But now I can cease my search, give my kitchen bench a break and move on because I’ve found Twilight at my local Planet Organic.  It is a 44g chocolate bar described on the packaging as ‘creamy, sweet and lush with a touch of a rush’. It’s true.  In this particular bar, the ingredients are listed as virgin cacao butter, mulberries, cacao nibs, algarroba (American carob), and sea salt.  Every ingredient is raw, no sugar is added and all are super-good for you because they’re packed with nutrients and anti-oxidants.  And even better, the chocolate bars are made in Sussex (although the cacao is from Sth America). Lindt balls are officially out and Twilight bars are in.

Even though this sounds like a big boring ad – I should reiterate that it isn’t and I have no idea who these people are.  It’s just really astoundingly yummy and I do urge you to go to The Raw Chocolate Company’s website to order your truckload.