Creamy Chocolate Mousse

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Lib and I first made this recipe a few years ago with the inclusion of peanut butter.  It’s hard to believe that the main ingredient is avocado! The mousse is a perfect substitute for traditional dairy mousse, it is so creamy, thick and rich in chocolate flavour.  A great topping for cakes instead of frosting, spoon onto slices of banana or have by itself after dinner.

This recipe we have not used a lot of cacao as it can be quite biter and everyone has a different taste preference, so adjust with extra rice malt (any liquid sweeter will do) or add extra cacao if you like its strong taste.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

2 ripe avocados
½ cup coconut cream
¼ cup cacao powder
¼ cup rice malt syrup
1 pinch of salt

Method

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth and creamy.
  2. Serve straight away or store in a refrigerator for an hour before serving if you want it extra thick. Store mousse in an airtight container in the fridge.

Jx

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Vegan Mud Cake with Cashew Icing

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Everyone loves a good chocolate cake recipe so I thought I would experiment and make a chocolate cake that is vegan, therefore free of egg and dairy.  This cake is so beautifully moist, gooey and decadent.

I have used the cashew icing recipe in a few of my previous desserts but I wanted to make a vibrant pink icing for Valentines Day. I initially tried using raspberries but the icing was lumpy and didn’t have a good consistency, I tried again using beetroot and it blended so well and the colour came out so beautiful.

This delectable mud cake is the perfect dessert and it is unbelievably easy to make. I made this for Valentines Day but it would be a hit for any celebration.

Cake Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups of unbleached all-purpose gluten free flour
1 cup of coconut oil, melted.
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
1.5 tsp of baking powder
2.5 tsp of baking soda
1 1/4 cup of raw cacao or cocoa powder
1/3 cup of melted dark chocolate. (I used Whittakers 70% Dark Ghana)
2 tsp of vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups of coconut sugar
1/4 tsp of salt
2 tsp of cinnamon

Icing Ingredients:

1 small beetroot – slice into small cubes (skin off)
1.5 cups of raw cashews
2 Tbsp of melted coconut oil
1.5 Tbsp of vanilla essence

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C and lightly grease 2x 8 inch baking trays.
2. Mix the coconut oil, olive oil, dark chocolate and vanilla essence in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cacao, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and stir well.  The mixture should be think and creamy with no lumps. If the mixture is too thick, add more melted coconut oil and if the mixture is too wet add more flour or cocoa.
4. Divide the batter and add evenly to the 2 baking trays. Place the trays in the oven.
5. Bake for around 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool before icing.
6. To prepare the icing, blend the cashews, coconut oil and vanilla essence in a blender or food processor.  Slowly add the beetroot until the mixture turns into a vibrant pink colour. If the mixture is too thick, add a small amount of water so it turns into a smooth and fluffy consistency.
7. Once the cake has cooled down, frost the first layer of cake with pink icing. Add the top layer and ice generously. I sprinkled desiccated coconut over mine, alternatively dust with icing sugar or cocoa.

I served mine with a dollop of coconut yogurt but it would also be delicious with dairy free ice-cream. Store in an airtight container in the pantry. Cake should keep for 4-5 days.

Enjoy! L x

 

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Coconut Ice

 

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With the silly season just around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to share a recipe that is delicious, easy to make, and can be taken to upcoming summer BBQ’s and parties.  I wanted to make a healthier version of the classic coconut ice recipe by replacing the original recipes refined sugar with coconut sugar and red food colouring with beetroot juice. The beetroot juice gives the slice a beautiful, vibrant pink colour.
This is a chewy treat that is quick to make and super moreish. It is perfect for a sweet afternoon treat served with a herbal tea or wrapped up as a Christmas gift.

* Vegan
* Raw
* Gluten Free
* Dairy Free

Ingredients

4 cups of desiccated coconut
1/2 cup of coconut sugar
1 small beetroot or 1 tsp of beetroot powder
400 grams of coconut milk
3/4 cup of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

Method

1. In a sauce pan, mix the coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla and coconut sugar on a low heat. Combine ingredients until the coconut oil has melted. Take off heat and mix in the desiccated coconut.

2. Line a shallow baking tray or baking tin with baking paper. Halve the mixture, and press half of it into the baking tray. Place in freezer.

3. Prepare your juicer and juice the beetroot. Add 2 tablespoons of the juice to the remainder of the mixture, combine well.

Note: If you do not have a juicer, slice up the beetroot and boil in a pot for 5 minutes.  Add 3 tablespoons of the water to the remainder of the mixture.  The water would have turned red from the beetroot, making the mixture a pink colour.

4. Add the pink mixture to the base and press it in well. Place the coconut ice into the freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.

5. Cut the coconut ice into squares and store in the fridge. It will melt if it is kept in room temperature for too long.

Enjoy! L x


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Peanut Butter Fudge

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Since I can remember I have loved fudge, usually the kind with half a kilo of white or brown sugar in it, usually caramel flavoured (condensed milk, yum) and more often than not I am unable to just have one piece.  Fudge is my vice.  In my ongoing quest to create clean vegan sweets it has lead me to what I would say is my favourite recipe to date.  Just 3 ingredients, how simple can you get? While this fudge contains no dairy, gluten, refined sugar or additives and a whole lot of good fats,  please don’t eat it all at once.

Recently I was gifted 5 jars of peanut butter, it was a good day when that delivery arrived.  Lib and I are huge fans of PB, we have used it here and here and here.  If you are allergic, do not worry, you can replace the PB in this recipe with any other nut butter.  The taste won’t be the same, but that doesn’t matter as one of the best things about this recipe is the chewiness of it.  Tonight I cut some of the  fudge up and mixed it in with frozen banana and cinnamon…  Try it and thank me later.

All you will need to prepare the fudge is a food processor or blender, a baking dish and baking paper.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1/3 cup rice syrup (or any other liquid sweetener)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil 

METHOD: 

Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend on low until everything is combined.
Mixture should be quite runny so add more melted coconut oil if need be.
Transfer mixture into a lined baking dish and pop into the fridge.
Fudge should be set in a few hours.  Take out of dish and cut into small pieces.
Store the fudge in the freezer (this keeps it nice and chewy).
Jx
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Raspberry Raw Cheesecake

IMG_1490Fan of traditional cheesecake but want to steer clear of all the empty calories, refined sugar and dairy?  If you are a raw food skeptic and have been avoiding raw desserts as you do not think they will have any flavour then I can promise you that this will be the cake to change your mind.  A friend of mine passed this recipe on and since then I have made the cake for a dinner party, birthday and with my 8 year old niece who said “Aunty Juls this cake is yummy are you sure it’s healthy?”.

As this cake is raw there will be no oven needed! All you will need is a food processor/blender and some measuring spoons and cups.  Raw cakes tend to be more expensive due to the ingredients used so save this for a special occasion OR put what you don’t eat in the freezer.  I don’t think you will have that problem though, this lasted 6 days in my house…

If you cannot find cheap raspberries use any other berry, if you cannot find macadamias then use almonds and to keep the cake filling white don’t use berries in the filling.

Prep time: 15-20 minutes.

Crust Ingredients:
1 cup walnuts
1 cup raw macadamia nuts
1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup dried coconut

Filling Ingredients:
3 cups raw cashews.  Soak overnight or for at least a few hours before using.  
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
3/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or stevia)
1/4 cup honey, melted
1 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
Pinch himalayan salt

Raspberry Sauce:
1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted
Juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

1. Sprinkle dried coconut onto the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch springform pan.  If you are making mini cheesecakes use a pan with 12 muffin holes.

2. Place the walnuts, macadamia nuts and medjool dates in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  Then press onto the coconut.

3. Now it’s time to make the filling.  Blend the cashews, raspberries, lemon juice, water, coconut sugar, honey, melted coconut oil, water, vanilla essence and salt.  Blend until smooth.  If you would like the filling a bit more tart add extra lemon juice, if you want it pinker add more raspberries.

4. Pour the mixture onto the crust and smooth out with a knife or spatula.

5. To set, place in the freezer. It will take a few hours for the cake to set.  When ready to serve unclip the spring pan and place a sharp knife around the edge of the pan to ensure that the cake does not stick to the sides.

6. When ready to serve make the raspberry sauce so it is fresh.  Blend the raspberries, medjoool dates and lemon juice and pour on top of the cake.  If you have more raspberries use to decorate like I have done.

Enjoy! Jx

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Organic Protein Powder

Organic Protein Powder by 180 Nutrition

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Finding a high quality protein powder can be hard.  The market is saturated with powders that are full of artificial flavourings and preservatives, processed sugars, artificial sweeteners, soy, gluten and not to mention fillers.  It is surprising to see how many people choose to eat optimally but use a poor quality protein powder that contradicts their healthy diet.

Beginning the day off with a breakfast rich in protein improves appetite control, regulates blood sugar levels and reduces unhealthy snacking throughout the day.  I usually begin my day off with a smoothie and I love adding protein powder to it.  A friend recommended 180 Nutrition, an Australian based brand that is new to the NZ market.
Guy Lawrence and Stuart Cooke are the founders of 180 Nutrition.  Guy, a fitness trainer created this brand after researching protein powders on the market that his chronically ill patients could use.  He was shocked to discover the amount of chemicals and fillers were in the protein powders that were on the market so he decided to create a formula using organic, raw and natural ingredients.

180 Nutrition make a pea protein and also organic whey (NZ sourced whey).  I have been using their products for the last few weeks and what I love about 180 Nutrition that makes it different from the rest is their ingredient formula.

The ingredients include:

Flaxseed
Almond Meal
Sunflowers kernels
Coconut flour
Shredded coconut
Cocoa
Peptia (Pumpkin seeds)
Sesame seeds
Chia seeds
Psyllium husks
Inactive brewers yeast
Stevia

In the morning, after a workout or if I want a snack I’ll blend up a smoothie using 180 Coconut flavored Pea protein powder (my favorite flavor), berries, coconut milk and a dollop of Greek yogurt.  There is no need to add any other ingredients as this protein powder already contains a super food blend.  There is also a chocolate flavored protein available.

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What I also love about this product is that it is vegan friendly, tastes great, mixes well and can be used in baking.  I always add a scoop when making my dairy free, yonana ice cream or protein muffins.

For more information on this product check out the 180 Nutrition website for recipes using this protein, including dairy free coconut ice-cream, paleo friendly raw cheesecake, quinoa chocolate loaf and carrot cake and cream cheese muffins. YUM! You can also read some of the testimonials, some of the athletes that use this protein, and browse the online store.  There are also superfood bars and kids snacks that are tasty and made with real ingredients.

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We have a discount code for anyone wanting to purchase 180 protein when you buy online.  Enter ‘JULLIB’ for 10% off all purchases at primal-life.co.nz.  Check out our Facebook page for a giveaway we are running for your chance to win a sample of this protein.

L x

 

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Cookie Dough Truffles

These cookie dough truffles are the perfect little snack to have when on the go.  I usually make a batch of these on a Sunday night to keep in the fridge to have for the following week. Whenever I feel like a sweet treat I will have one.

There are only 5 ingredients needed to make these and they take around 5 minutes to make.

* Raw
* Vegan
* Gluten free
* Refined sugar free

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Ingredients

1.5 cups of raw cashew nuts
1.5 cups of pitted dates
1/4 cup of desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon of coconut oil (melted)
1/3 cup cacao nibs

Directions

1. Place the cashews, dates, desiccated coconut, coconut oil and cacao nibs in a food processor and blend well.
2. Take mixture out of the food processor and place into a bowl.
3. Separate the mixture and roll into small balls. Repeat until all the mixture is used.

This recipe makes approximately 10 truffles.

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Enjoy. L x

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Basil Pesto

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When hosting a dinner party I can take some time to cook so always make sure there are snacks for guests.  One thing I love to make is home made basil pesto – it goes well with crackers, cut up raw vegetables and corn chips.  This basil pesto is gluten free, dairy free and vegan so suits most people (sorry, it does contain nuts).

Supermarket pestos are often expensive and contain milk, cheese, sulphites, rennet and some even artificial colours.  Most of the oils used in supermarket pestos are vegetable oils, this can either be canola oil which is a big no no as majority of the worlds canola oil is GMO.  Other oil used can be palm oil, again a big no no due to the terrible destruction of rain forests and deaths of precious Orangutans.   To avoid any confusion as to if your pesto is sustainable, GMO free and dairy free it is best to make your own.  This literally takes five minutes including preparation and can be made in a food processor or blender.

Instead of using costly pine nuts I use raw cashews.  You can also use half cashew and half walnut, depending on what you have at home.  The recipe calls for 3 cups of basil leaves, I didn’t have quite that much so my pesto is quite light green.

Ingredients: 

3 cups of fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup macadamia oil (I use Brookfarm)
1 cup raw cashew nuts (you can also use 1/2 cup walnuts 1/2 cup cashews)
2 gloves of garlic
juice of one lemon
pinch of himalayan salt

Method:

Put all ingredients into a food processor or blender.  Start with putting the oil in first and the basil in last.  Blend until all ingredients are mixed well and deepening on if you like textured pesto or not stop blending when the cashews get to fine pieces.  Store the pesto in an airtight jar in the fridge.  Will keep for approximately a week.

* pesto can be frozen and used at a later date.

Jx

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French Bean Salad

IMG_1321My best friends Mum made this dish one night when I had dinner with her and it is something I have re created several times since as it is so delicious!  The combination of mustard, vinegar and capers is beautiful – a little bit tangy, sour and the crunch of the beans is a lovely texture.  I would say that this dish is best used as a side dish and not a main.  The perfect accompaniment to a BBQ meal, Sunday Roast or with some vegetable protein.

This recipe is taken from a  Jamie Oliver cook book so a big thank you to him.  The original recipe does not include spinach, however, I have added some in for extra nutrients.

This recipe is gluten free, vegan, dairy free, nut free and sugar free so suitable for everyone.

Ingredients:

 

4 handfuls French beans, stalk ends removed
1 handful spinach leaves, chopped into small pieces
2-3 heaped teaspoons French mustard, to taste
2 tablespoons good-quality white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
himalayan salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 medium shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, optional
½ clove garlic, finely grated

Method:

 

Bring a pan of water to a fast boil, add your beans, put a lid on the pan, and cook for at least 4 to 5 minutes. Boiling the beans fast like this helps them to retain all their nutrients. Meanwhile, put the mustard and vinegar into a bowl and, while stirring, add the olive oil to make a good hot French dressing. Season carefully with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then add the finely chopped shallot, the capers if you’re using them and the garlic.

Remove one of the beans from the pan to check if it’s cooked. If it holds its shape but is also soft to the bite, it’s perfect. Drain in a colander. Now, while the beans are steaming hot, this is the perfect moment to dress them – a hot bean will take on more of the wonderful dressing than a cold one. Mix through the raw spinach and it will slowly wilt with the heat of the beans.  It is best to serve the beans warm, not cold, and certainly not at fridge temperature because the flavours will be muted and boring. Serve the beans in a bowl.

Jx

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Berry Superfood Smoothie

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We all have those days when a little extra boost is needed – instead of grabbing a cup of coffee in the mornings make this berry superfood smoothie to kick start your day.  Full of super foods, flavour and protein you will be satiated and give your insides some extra love.

I have used maca root powder, lucuma, chia seeds and maqui berry powder in this dairy free, gluten free, vegan smoothie.

We have spoken about the health benefits of Maca root before here.  It has a slight caramel taste and can help to balance hormones, enhance libido and provide energy.  Maca is also a great source of protein for vegans as it contains all of the essential amino acids.

Lucuma is a new pantry staple in my house and one that works so well in baking and smoothies thanks to its sweet taste.  Lucuma contains beta-carotene, vitamin B3, zinc and fibre.

Chia Seeds are highly nutritious and a a must in any smoothie thanks to their high levels of Omega 3, omega 6, protein and fibre.  Soak the seeds in water for 10 minutes before adding to smoothies/juices to double their size and help them sweep through your GI tract and regulate blood sugar levels.

Maqui is a purple berry that is native to South America.  Maqui is incredibly high in anti oxidants so being able to eat this plant in powder form is great as you are consuming a large amount of nutrients at once.

Ingredients:

1 cup almond milk (or any other dairy free milk)
1 cup frozen berries
1 tsp maca root powder
1 tsp lucuma powder
1 tsp chia seeds (soaked in water for 10 minutes)
1 tsp maqui berry power
1 serving of “natural” Clean Lean Protein
Handful of ice cubes.

Method: 

Put milk, ice and berries in a blender first, then add powders and chia seeds.  Blend on high until combined.
I topped with goji berries.

Enjoy!

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