Beetroot Chocolate Cake with Avocado Frosting

This cake is my ultimate chocolate dream! It’s decadent, rich, utterly indulgent and yet so healthy and even has vegetables in it! 😉 The beetroot adds an extra depth of flavour and surprisingly it goes so well with the cocoa powder. The avocado frosting is definitely the real surprise here, all the people that have tried it just couldn’t believe it the main ingredient is avocado! It’s silky, smooth and creamy and it still has that richness that you would expect from regular frosting without being sickly sweet.

To add an extra summer note I love to top the cake with fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries which adds a lovely burst of freshness.

This recipe is in Collaboration with Waitrose to celebrate 25 years of their Duchy Organic range. You can find out more about it here: http://www.waitrose.com/content/waitrose/en/home/inspiration/about_waitrose/the_waitrose_way/waitrose_organic.html

Ingredients:

170 gr of Duchy Jumbo oats

60gr of unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao

125gr cup of unrefined demerara sugar

110gr beetroot pure – I have used Duchy Organic Beetroot

60ml of melted coconut oil

175ml of almond milk

1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon of sea salt

For the avocado frosting:

2 very ripe avocados

60gr cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

Between 120-150 ml of Duchy Organic maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)

A splash of vanilla extract

 

About 150 gr of mixed fresh berries to decorate – I have used a mix of Duchy strawberries, blueberries and raspberries

Start by making the oat flour: simply blend the jumbo oats oats into a blender until they reach a flour consistency.

To make the beetroot pure: peel and chop 1 small beetroot and steam it or boil it for about 30 minutes until very soft. Drain it and let it cool down. Place it in a blender with a splash of the cooking water until you have a smooth puree. You might have some extra left which is great to use in smoothies.

Start by preheating the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

In a bowl mix together the oat flour, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl combine the melted  coconut oil , almond milk and apple cider vinegar, whisk everything well together.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well together.

With some coconut oil grease the cake tin.

Pour the cake batter into the tin and level it out with a spatula. Bake the cake in the oven for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool down completely before take it of the tin.

To make the avocado frosting: simply place the flesh of the 2 avocados, cocoa powder, maple syrup and vanilla extract into a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth and creamy mixture. Make sure to scrape the side of the food processor and blitz again to avoid any avocado lumps in the frosting.

Once the cake has completely cooled down with a spatula spread the frosting on top and on the sides. Top it with mix fresh berries, slices it and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pasta & Mollica

This recipe comes straight from my Italian roots and it brings back memories of holidays spent in Sicily. This in fact is a traditional Sicilian recipe which normally include anchovies in the ingredients. I swapped them with sweet and juicy slow roasted cherry tomatoes, nutritional yeast and I have added rosemary for an extra aromatic note to the dish. I love how humble and simple this dish and yet so packed with gorgeous summer flavours and textures.

 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

About 300gr of pasta of your choice

1 large slice of bread, even better if it’s stale ( I have used white sourdough)

2 clove of garlic

1 -2 fresh rosemary branches

½ teaspoon of fresh chilli flakes

2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon of sea salt

For the slow roasted cherry tomatoes:

About 250 gr of cherry tomatoes

A pinch of sea salt

½ tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

 

Start by roasting the tomatoes. Preheat the oven at 150 degrees Celsius.  Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and place them on a baking tray. Drizzle the tomatoes with some olive oil and sprinkle with some salt. Bake in the oven at 150 degrees celsius for 30-40 minutes. Don’t roast them at any higher temperatures otherwise they will kind of explode and lose their shape.

If you are using fresh bread and not stale you can place it in the oven with the tomatoes until is super crispy and crunchy.

To make the tomato “sauce” : place the bread broken down into pieces, garlic, rosemary leaves, chilli flakes, nutritional yeast and salt into the Von Shef spice grinder and blitz until you have almost like a very fine flour.

Cook the pasta according to the cooking instructions. Drain it and add the extra virgin olive oil. Stir the breadcrumbs flour reserving at least 1 tablespoon to sprinkle on top. Mix everything together and serve it with the slow roasted tomatoes, extra breadcrumbs mix, some cracked black pepper and garnish with some rosemary leaves. Enjoy straight away!

 

 

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bites

These are possibly the BEST thing I have made lately. I know I say this all the time but trust me these are bites of heaven!!  How can you possibly go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter? I just love the contrast between the nutty base, the creamy filling and crunchy chocolate layer, is just the perfect mid afternoon treat or post dinner dessert.

Makes about 8-10 bars

Ingredients:

For the base:

1 ½ cup of ground almond

1 tablespoon of One Earth Vanilla Zilla Blend

3 tablespoons of runny peanut butter

1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

6 tablespoons of maple syrup

For the cheesecake layer:

1 cup of cashews soaked overnight or for at least 8 hours

2 tablespoon of peanut butter

2 tablespoons of maple syrup ( add more if you like it sweeter)

1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

½ cup of creamy almond milk

For the chocolate layer:

100gr of good quality dark chocolate, meltedLine a brownies tin with some baking paper. Place all the ingredients for the base in a bowl and mix well. You should have a quite solid, sticky dough. If it’s too dry add a splash of almond milk.

With your fingers press the dough in the tin until it’s evenly spread.

Place the tin in the freezer to set while you are making the filling.

Drain and rinse the cashews and place them into a blender with all the other ingredients. Blend until completely smooth and creamy. Remove the tin from the freezer and pour the cashew cream on top of the base. Smooth it out with a spatula or the back of a spoon.

Place the tin back in the freezer to set for at least 1 hour.

Melt the chocolate and pour it on top of the cheesecake, make sure to shake the tin around quickly so the chocolate gets evenly spread. Place the tin back in the freezer for 20-30 minutes until the chocolate is completely set.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Speedy Tofu Pad Thai

This is perfect dinner for when you are in hurry and you want something quick, filling and delicious.

I love all the Asian inspired flavours which they just work perfectly with the fried tofu and cashew nuts.

Serves 2

Ingredients

 200 gr of rice noodles

1 handful cashews, roughly chopped

250gr of firm tofu sliced into cubes

1 teaspoon of coconut oil

 For the sauce

2 spring onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp of smooth and runny peanut butter

2 tbsp of coconut aminos sauce

1 tbsp of tamari sauce

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp chilli flakes

2 tbsp water

To serve:

Extra fresh spring onion finely chopped

2 tbsp of Food Doctor Super Seeds Mix

 

Instructions

 Place the rice noodles in a bowl and cover them with boiling water and let sit for 5-10 minutes until they become soft while you are preparing the rest.

Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl until combined and set aside onto side.

Heat the coconut oil to a large pan on medium heat. Add the tofu pieces and cook them onto each side for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and add the sauce, give it a quick toss and then add the drained rice noodles.

The noodles should be soft but still chewy. If they are still a bit hard add another splash of water and keep cooking the noodles in the pan.

Transfer the noodles into a bowl and add the cashews, chopped spring onion and mixed seeds.

 

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Chocolate & Coffee Mousse Chia Pudding Parfait

This is such an easy and fuss free dessert. I love how simple it is to make and yet so delicious and satisfying. The chocolate mousse has to be my favourite part as it’s so rich, creamy and decadent. I love the contrast between the crunchiness of the crumble and the creamy chia pudding, it’s literally heaven in a mouth! I love topping it with cacao nibs and chocolate cookies for extra indulgence but coconut chips or extra chopped chocolate would be great too!

Ingredients: 

Makes 2 jars/glass

For the chia base:

1/3 cup of chia seeds

¾ cup of almond milk

A dash of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of maple syrup (optional)

For the crumble layer:

½ cup of almond

5 pitted dates

1 tablespoon of cacao powder

For the chocolate & coffee mousse:

¾ cup of cashew soaked for at least 8 hours or overnight

40 gr of good quality dark chocolate – I have used Goodio Coffee Flavoured one

2 tablespoon of strong brewed coffee

2 tablespoon of coconut cream

1/3 cup of almond milk

2 tablespoon of maple syrup

Toppings:

Dark chocolate chunks

Cacao nibs

Some crumbled cookies of your choice

 

Start by chia pudding. Place the chia seeds into a bowl and add the almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Mix everything well together, I like to use a whisk to avoid any lumps. Once you have a smooth consistency place it in the fridge for at least 1 hour to thicken up. The chia pudding is ready when is thick and creamy and kid of gloopy consistency.

To make the crumble layer: place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you have a crumbly and slightly sticky mixture. Leave it onto one side.

To make the mousse: drain and rinse the cashews, place them into a food processor and all the other ingredients. Add the coffee, coconut cream, almond milk, maple syrup (don’t add the chocolate at this point). Blend everything until you have a creamy and smooth consistency. Scoop out about a bit less half of the mixture and place it into a bowl while you are making the chocolate layer. Add the melted chocolate to mixture in the blender and blend again until smooth.

Make sure the other ingredients are room temperature and not straight from the fridge as the melted chocolate might split in reaction to that.

To assemble: place half of chia pudding into each jar/ glass, add the nutty crumble and pour the coffee cream on top follow by the chocolate.

Top with your favourite toppings and enjoy! If you like a thicker consistency you can refrigerate the parfaits (without toppings) for 1 hour.

 

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Chocolate Chips & Almond Cookies

 

These cookies have been my latest favourite treat. They are lusciously chocolately but they are also packed with incredible fibre from the oats and ground almond, healthy fats from the flaxseeds and almond butter.  Thanks to the natural sweetness of the banana I have used very little sweetener (use less or more depending on your personal taste) so they are basically the perfect guilt free treat that you can have at any time of the day.

Makes about 8-10 cookies depending on the size

Ingredients:

1 large very ripe banana, mashed well with a fork

2 bars of Goodio Chocolate (80 gr) roughly chopped in chunks

½ cup of smooth and runny almond butter

2 tbsp brown rice syrup or date syrup

2 tbsp of melted coconut oil

A dash of vanilla extract

¾ cup of ground almond

1/3 cup of oat flour

⅓ cup of milled flaxseeds

½ tsp baking powder

 

Line a large tray with some baking paper.

Start by preheating the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. In a bowl mix together the almond flour, oat flour, milled flaxseeds and baking powder.

In a separate bowl add the almond butter, mashed banana, rice syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract. With a whisk mix everything together breaking down any lumps. You want the mixture to be as smooth and creamy as possible.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Add the chopped chocolate but make sure to reserve few pieces to sprinkle on top of the cookies. Gently mix everything together. Try not too overmix it as it will result in heavier consistency. If the cookie dough is too dry add a splash of almond milk.

Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and place it on the baking tray. With your hands try to shape I into a round cookie shape. Don’t worry if they look very irregular, they will still be delicious!

Bake the cookies in the oven for 20 minutes until the edges start to turn golden brown. Remove the tray from the oven and let the cookies cool down in the tray for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack until they are completely cold. Enjoy!

Store the cookies in a jar for few days.

 

 

 

 

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Coffee Nougat Ice Lollies

These ice lollies are literally my favourite summer dessert right now! I still can’t believe how incredibly delicious they are when they are made with only a handful of simple and wholesome ingredients. The maca combined with the hazelnut butter create the most luscious caramel nutty flavour which is just a match made in heaven with the coffee. These ice pops also packed a protein punch thanks to Linwoods Hemp Protein powder which is a blend of hemp protein, flaxseeds, pumpkin powder, Vitamin D, Q10 and Bio cultures.

Ingredients:

2 frozen bananas

2 tablespoon of smooth hazelnut butter

1 tablespoon of maca powder

1 tablespoon of Linwoods Hemp Protein + powder

1 teaspoon of maple or date syrup

A dash of almond milk if your blender or food processor is struggling to blend

About ¼ cup of brewed cold black coffee

Toppings:

About 70 gr of melted good quality dark chocolate

A handful of cacao nibs

To make the ice lollies just add the banana into a blender or food processor and add all the remaining ingredients. Blend for a minute or so until you have a creamy and completely smooth consistency. If your blender is struggle just add in some almond milk.

To assemble the ice lollies: Fill up some ice lolly moulds with about 1 teaspoon each of black coffee  Add a bit of the hazelnut icecream and top with more black coffee (about another teaspoon or less) Repeat the process until the ice lolly mould is filled to the top.

Place the ice lollies to set in the freezer for at least 8 hours or overnight.

To pop the ice lollies out of the mould just place the under some warm water. Drizzle the melted dark chocolate on top and sprinkle with the cacao nibs. The chocolate should harden up straight away. Enjoy!

Store them in the freezer for a couple of weeks.

 

 

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Vanilla & Cherry Pancakes

 

Pancakes will always be my favourite weekend brunch dish. There is nothing better than a fluffy stack of vanilla pancakes on a lazy Sunday morning. I have created this recipe in collaboration with  Seasonal Berries to celebrate the British’s cherry season which is now in full bloom. If you guys have been following for a while you know how much I love cherries, they are literally nature’s candies! And what’s better than cherries? You guessed it, cherry and chocolate! The chocolate sauce take the whole dish on another new level especially with the addition of coconut yogurt.

For the cherry compote:

150 gr of fresh cherries pitted and cut in half

1 flat tablespoon of chia seeds

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

For the pancakes:

1 cup of flour of your choice – I have used gluten free flour from Dove’s farm

1 cup of soy milk

1/4 cup of apple puree

1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Toppings:

1 generous dollop of coconut yogurt

About 40 gr of good quality melted chocolate

½ cup of fresh cherries

 

Start by making the cherry compote:  Place the cherries in a pan with a splash of water on a medium heat. Cover with the lid and bring it to boil. Once the fruit start to bubble away turn the heat down to a simmer. Add the chia seeds and maple syrup. Cook the jam on a low heat for about 20-25 minutes until it becomes gloopy and thick. Don’t worry if it’s slightly runny when still hot, it will thicken up during cooling process.

To make the pancakes place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until everything is completely smooth and creamy. You should have quite a light and fluffy batter.

Heat up a no stick frying pan or add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil if needed. Spoon in large spoonfuls of pancake batter. Allow to cook on a medium heat for 5-6 minutes until golden brown, then flip and repeat on the other side. Repeat the process until all your pancakes are cooked.

To serve stack the pancakes on a plate and add a generous dollop of coconut yogurt, add some of the cherry compote, drizzle with the melted chocolate and serve with extra fresh cherries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chocolate & Mint Avocado Ice Lollies

These are one of my favourite Summer treat. I just love making my own ice lollies, they are so easy to make, much healthier than the shop bought ones and you can really experiment with different flavour combinations. I love the contrast of the freshness of the mint with the richness of the cacao. For the mint layer I have used avocado and coconut milk which just create the creamiest of the consistency. They are totally delicious as they are but if you want to make extra special you can drizzle them with melted dark chocolate and sprinkle some cacao nibs for an extra crunch.

Ingredients:

For the mint layer:

1 can of full fat coconut milk chilled in the fridge overnight (very important, please don’t skip)

1 very ripe avocado

2 tablespoon of We Are Tea Mint tee

2 tablespoon of rice malt syrup or honey (if you use a darker sweetener like date syrup or dark agave it will result in a not so green colour)

For the chocolate layer:

2 frozen banana

2 tablespoons of coconut yogurt

3 tablespoons of raw cacao

Optional:

About 50 gr of melted dark chocolate to drizzle on top

A handful of cacao nibs for sprinkle

1 tablespoon of liquid sweetener of your choice (optional -I didn’t use any as the bananas were sweet enough for me)

Start by making the mint layer: After the coconut milk has been refrigerated overnight scoop out only the solid part which should be at the top when you open the can. Don’t use the watery part, you can use that in smoothies or curries.

Place the solid coconut milk into a pan on a low-medium heat. Once the milk start to bubble add in the mint tea. Switch off the heat and let the mint tea brew for at least 15-20 minutes until the coconut milk has cooled down a bit.

Place the avocado flesh into a blender or food processor and add the coconut milk and maple syrup. Blend until everything is smooth and creamy (you don’t want any avocado lumps in your ice lollies)

Pour the mixture into some ice lollies mould until they are half full.

To make the chocolate layer: Wash and dry the blender. Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until you have smooth consistency. Pour the chocolate mixture into the ice lolly moulds until full. Tuck in the holding stick and lace them in the freezer overnight until solid.

To pop the lollies out of the mould just place them under some hot water for few minutes. If using drizzle them with the melted dark chocolate and sprinkle some cacao nibs. Enjoy straight away!

 

 

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Kale & Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Crunchy Chickpeas

 

If you have been following me for a while you know how much I love cauliflower, especially when is roasted. It’s possibly one of my favourite vegetables and what I love the most is that is so versatile and great for heart warming, filling dinners. Although I am not the biggest fan of raw kale it works really well in this recipe as it gets much softer when massaged with the dressing. I love how the roasted chickpeas add so much texture and crunch.

Ingredients:

Serves 2

For the kale:

3 cups of destemmed and roughly chopped kale of your choice (I have used curly kale)

For the roasted chickpeas

½ can of chickpeas drained and rinsed

a glug of olive oil

1 tablespoon of Love Raw Immunity Boost blend

1 teaspoon of cumin powder

½ teaspoon of curry powder

½ teaspoon of smoked paprika

½ teaspoon of sea salt

Pinch of black pepper

For the cauliflower

½ head of a large cauliflower broke down into florets

A glug of olive oil

1 tablespoon of Love Raw Immunity blend

½ teaspoon of salt

Pinch of black pepper

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons of runny tahini

1 clove of garlic crushed

The juice of ½ lemon

1 teaspoon of miso paste

About 2-3 tablespoons of water to thin it out (use less or more depending on the consistency you like)

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

Start by making the dressing: place all the ingredients into a bowl and with a whisk mix everything together adjusting with water until you reach the desired consistency.

Reserve about 1-2 tablespoon of the dressing for drizzling and pour the rest over the kale and with your hands massaged it for few minutes until the leaves start to wilt slightly.

Cover the bowl and leave the kale salad onto one side while you are preparing the rest.

With a towel pat dry the drained chickpeas and place them on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Add the glug of olive oil and all the spices, give the tray a good toss so all the chickpeas get evenly coated in the oil and spices. Place the tray in the oven and bake them for 30 minutes until the chickpeas turn really crispy and crunchy.

Place the cauliflowers florets into a baking tray, toss them with the oil and all the spices. Use your hands to rub the spices onto the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower in the oven and cook it for 25 minutes until the edges start turning golden brown.

To serve the salad: place the kale in a large salad bowl, add the cauliflower florets and the crunchy chickpeas. Drizzle with the extra dressing and enjoy!

This is salad is also great to be enjoyed the next day so store any leftover in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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