Raw Crunchy Raisins and Chocolate slices

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These must be the best sweets I have ever made! They are so incredibly fudgy, chocolatey and wonderfully decadent without being sickly sweet.

The buckwheat groats also add a really nice crunch and the dates give them a subtle caramel flavour.

Apart from being so delicious and satisfying they are also a powerhouse of goodness. Buckwheat ( not to be confused with normal wheat) aside from being naturally gluten free is also packed with minerals like manganese, copper and magnesium and it’s an excellent source of fibre. To keep your skin healthy glowing I have used ground almonds, rich in vitamin E which helps maintain the collagen level in your skin and pumpkin seeds which are a great source of zinc, proven to help healing acne and keep skin spot free.

These bars are ideal for a sweet snack on the go as they are totally portable, I love having one after a work out (they are also high in protein) or when the 4 pm slump hits. They are also a definite crowd pleaser, I have made them few times for office birthdays and most importantly for the gorgeous ladies of Star in a Bra and every time they have proven to be a total winner!

 

Ingredients: make about 12-14 bars depending on the size

 

¾ of a cup of ground almond

 

½  cup of raisins

 

1 cup of buckwheat groats

 

2 cups of pitted medjool dates

 

4 tablespoon of raw cacao powder

 

1 cup of pumpkin seeds

 

3 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

 

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

 

For topping:

 

A handful of pumpkin seeds

 

A handful of goji berries

 

Start by preheating the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

 

Spread the buckwheat grouts into a baking tray and roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes.  After 10 minutes shake them around so they all get evenly toasted. Take them out when they start to turn golden brown. Leave them on one side.

In a food processor place the pumpkin seeds and blitz until they are fully ground. Add the ground almond and raw cacao powder and blitz for few seconds. Add the pitted dates, the melted coconut oil and the cinnamon and blitz again until you have a sticky and smooth dough.

 

Transfer the mixture into a  bowl and add the toasted buckwheat and the raisin. Combine all the ingredients together. The dough will be quite sticky so I personally find easier to use my hand to mix everything together.

Cover a baking tin with some parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and goji berries and press them gently onto the dough with your fingers.

 

Place the tin in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Remove from the fridge and cut into slices and enjoy! Store them in air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

 

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Sweet Potatoes Chocolate Ice Cream

IMG_0786Since I am Italian ice cream has always had a special place in my heart and when I gave up dairy not having ice cream anymore was definitely the toughest part (back in those days you can only find soya base ice cream as a dairy free option, now luckily there are an incredible array of different plantbased alternatives to traditional ice cream. I have tried probably all of them and although they are all delicious how can you beat a chocolate  ice cream that actually pack 1 of your 5 a day? Yes you have heard right, I have sneaked in some sweet potatoes and I promise it makes the ice cream taste even more delicious! As usual you can decide how much sweetener you want to add and if you don’t have date nectar you can also maple syrup, agave or honey.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup of cooked sweet potatoes

½ cup of cashew soaked in water for at least 8 hours ( I normally soak mine the night before)

1 cup of almond milk ( for this recipe you want to use a very creamy non dairy milk, so I would avoid rice or oat milk)

3 tablespoon of raw cacao powder

5 tablespoon of date syrup

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

 

Toppings:

Cacao nibs

Coconut chips

Fresh berries

The night before soak the cashew in a bowl with plenty of cold water.

To cook the sweet potatoes juts peel them and chop them into chunks and steam them until nice and soft. Leave them on one side to cool.

Drain and rinse the cashew and place them in a blender and add all the other ingredients.

Blend until super smooth and creamy. Cover a baking tin with parchment paper (so the ice cream will not stick to the bottom). Pour the mixture onto the tin and place it in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

Take the ice  cream out of freezer at least 20  minutes before serving. Scoop it out into a bowl and top with coconut chips, cacao nibs or your favourite toppings.

 

 

 

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Raw banoffee pie slices

IMG_6786These slices are simply a mouthful of heaven! I have made last Sunday and by Monday night they were all gone, I just couldn’t stop eating them. Thy are so moreish, decadent and deeply satisfying. I would swap a doughnut for one of these any days. Chocolate, banana and almond butter are just 3 of my favourite things in the entire world so I knew they would have worked as a dream together.

They are also the ultimate “win everybody over treat”, my friends and boyfriend tried some (the few that escape my mouth) and they just couldn’t  believe that they are raw, vegan and good for you!I will definitely have to remake them again, hopefully next time will last a bit longer 🙂

 

For the base:

½ cup of oats

½ cup of shredded coconut

½ cup of almond

10 pitted dates

1 tabespoon of coconut oil

3 tablespoon of raw cacao

For the frosting:

1 very ripe banana

3 heaped tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter

5 pitted dates

For topping:

½ banana

Cacao nibs

Coconut chips

 

In a food processor place the oats, coconut and almonds. Blitz for less than 1 minute until you have a coarse flour. Add the pitted dates, the coconut oil and the raw cacao powder. Blitz again until a sticky dough starts to form. Remove the mixture and place it into a baking tin covered with parchment paper.

With your hands spread the base evenly across the tin. I find it easier to use a glass jar as a “mini rolling pin”.

Place the tin the fridge.

To make the caramel layer peel the banana and place it in a food processor together with the almond butter and the dates. Blitz for a couple of minutes. You should have a sticky, silky cream. Don’t worry if you still have few bit of dates, it will still taste delicious!

 

With a spatula spread the caramel on top of your base and place in the freezer for a couple of hours. Just before slice it into square and place few slices of banana on top and sprinkle with the cacao nibs and coconut chips.

 

Store them in an air tight container in the fridge for 5-6 days.

 

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Sweet Potatoes and Quinoa Falafel

IMG_0769These little falafel have been my latest lunch obsession, they are so just so delicious and filling! I love making a big batch on Sunday and take them with me in my lunch box throughout the week. I just add a bit of salad, some chopped veggies, some hummus and my lunch is sorted!

Ingredients: Makes about 20 -25 falafel

3 sweet potatoes (if you have very big sweet potatoes use only 2)

½ cup of cooked quinoa

1 can of rinsed and drained chickpeas

1 tablespoon of tahini paste

6 sundried tomatoes

The juice of ½ lemon

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

1 clove of garlic

Salt and pepper to taste.

Start by peeling the sweet potatoes. Chopped them into pieces and steam them for 25 minutes.

Once the potatoes are half way preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius.

Once the potatoes are soft and a knife can go through transfer them to a food processor. Add the drained chickpeas, sundried tomatoes,lemon juice, all the spices and the garlic. Blitz everything together for a minute or so until you have a smooth paste. Transfer the mixture into a bowl. Fold in the cooked quinoa.

With your hands take about 1 tablespoon of mixture and roll it into balls (I find it easier if my hands are a bit wet), the process is a bit messy I am not going to lie but the final results is totally worth it!

Place the balls onto a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Half away through flip them over so they cook evenly on both sides.

Once they are cooked leave them on one side for few minutes, otherwise straight out of the oven they tend to crumble.

Store them in airtight container in the fridge for up to 5-7 days.

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Kale and Apple Salad with Candied Pecans and a Creamy Tahini Dressing

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This salad is probably one of my favourite way of eating raw kale which I am going to be honest is not the most immediately friendly veg to be eaten raw, especially if you are a kale beginner!

The key to eat raw kale is to chop it extremely finely (the smaller pieces the better) and to massage it for few minutes with a bit of lemon juice and salt. In this way the leaves soften and wilt so it’s also much easier to digest. To balance the bitterness of the kale I like to add chopped apples, grapes and goji berries, apart from adding so much antioxidants and vitamins their flavours and texture just works perfectly together.

Finally the tahini dressing just brings everything together, it’s super creamy and decadent and make the kale even softer and juicer. This salad is also perfect to make in advance as it won’t go soggy, even after few days in the fridge it will still be crunchy. I like to make a generous portion on Sunday and then bring it into work with some some sweet potatoes wedges or some veggie burgers.

Ingredients: Serves 2

200gr of cavolo nero or curly kale

1 Jazz apple

½ cup of pecans

1 teaspoon of maple syrup or date nectar

1 cup of grape

1/3 cup of goji berries

The juice of ½ lemon

 

For the tahini dressing:

2 heaped tablesoon of tahini paste

1 teaspoon of sweet miso paste

2 tablespoon of lemon juice

2 tablespoon of water

Salt and pepper to taste

Start by preheating the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

Mix the pecans halves with the maple syrup and place them on a baking tray in the oven for 10 minutes.Wash the Cavolo nero and remove the stem. Chopped the leaves finely (if you are not used to eat raw kale or cavolo nero I would suggest to chop it as finely as you can, in this way it will be also easier to digest)

Place it in a bowl and add the juice of ½ lemon, apple cider vinegar and a pinch of salt. With your hands start to massage the leaves, continue this process for a couple of minutes, you should start to see the leaves wilting. Leave it on one side.

To make the dressing:

Simply whisk all the ingredients apart from the water in a bowl. At last add the water gradually until you reach the desired consistency. Ideally you want the dressing to be creamy but not too thick.

Chopped the apple in bite size pieces and cut the grape in half.

Remove the candied pecans from the oven and leave them onto one side.

To assemble the salad simply add the apple pieces, the grape halves, goji berries to the bowl where you massaged the cavolo nero and mix everything together. When serving sprinkle the candied pecans on top and drizzle with the tahini dressing.

 

 

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Raw Cacao, Coconut and Goji Berries Slices

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I love playing around with raw sweets, they are so easy to make and they are almost always fail proof! They are also so quick to make as they obviously require no baking. Medjol dates is almost always the base for this kind of treats, as they are sticky and naturally sweet so they are perfect to bind the ingredients together and they don’t require any added sweetener. If you are allergic to nuts you can totally substitute the ground almond either with more oats or with more shredded coconut (yes, is not a nut!). Raw cacao for me is the always the perfect match in terms of flavour, it literally transform them into fudgy, gooey and decadent bites of heaven!

 Ingredients- makes about 10-12 slices:

 1/2 cup of shredded coconut

 1 cup of ground almond

9 Medjol dates (pitted)

3 tablespoon of raw cacao powder

 1/2 cup of jumbo Oats

 1 teaspooon of cinnamon powder

 1/2 cup of goji berries

 For decorating (optional):

 An handful of coconut chips

 An handful of goji berries

This recipe couldn’t be simpler! Place all the ingredients apart from the dates into a food processor and blitz for a minute until everything become the consistency of a coarse flour. Add the pitted dates and blitz again until a sticky ball starts to form.

 Remove the mixture from the food processor and with your hands press it down into a tin layered with baking paper. Spread the mixture evenly, I like to use a rolling pin as I find it helps to make the process easier. Place the tin in the fridge and leave it to set for about 1 hour.

Remove it from the fridge and slice it in bars of the size you prefer. Sprinkle them with the coconut chips and goji berries and enjoy!

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Chia pudding and Apple Crisp Parfait

Apple and chia pudding parfaits

My new summer obsession has officially began, parfaits! I actually don’t know why I haven’t experiment with it before as they are so easy to make, and they are just the perfect dessert or healthy snack! In this version I have decided to use one of my favourite fruit, apple. Although apples might sound a bit boring to you, they are actually a powerhouse of goodness! They are rich in antioxidants and fibres. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and even heart disease!

 

I love the combination of sweet and soft apples with the crunchy textured of the nuts and seeds and the silkiness of the coconut yogurt, is literally a match made in heaven!

 

 

 

Makes about 4-5 pots depending on their size

 

Ingredients:

 

For the chia pudding layer

 

½ cup of chia seeds

 

1 and ½ cup of almond milk

 

1 teaspoon of vanilla powder or vanilla essence

 

 

For the coconut layer:

 

125 gr of plain coconut yogurt, I have used 1 pot of Coyo

 

For the apple compote layer:

 

1 apple

 

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

 

1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

 

For the apple crisp topping:

 

2 apples

 

¼ of a cup of pumpkin seeds

 

¼ of a cup of sunflower seeds

 

¼ of a cup of goji berries

 

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

 

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

 

2 tablespoon of coconut sugar (optional)

 

 

Method:

 

Start by making the chia seeds pudding. I personally prefer to make this the night before and let it thicken up in the fridge overnight. If you didn’t have the chance you can leave it sit in the fridge for at least an hour or so.

In a mixing bowl combine the chia seeds with the almond milk and the vanilla essence. Whisk everything well together to avoid any clumps. Cover with cling film and place it in the fridge. After about ½ an hour take out of the fridge and give it another stir.

 

To make the apple compote: chopped the apple in bite size pieces and place them in a pan with the cinnamon, turmeric and a splash of water. Cover with a lid and cook gently for about 15-20 minutes until the apples are all soft and squishy. Transfer it into a blender and blend it until smooth. I didn’t add any sweetener as I think the apples are sweet enough but feel free to add a tablespoon or 2 of maple syrup or honey.

 

To make the apple crisp: chopped the apples in small pieces. Chopped roughly the pecans. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to a pan and let it heat up. Add the chopped apples, nuts and seeds to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Add all the spices, goji berries and the coconut sugar (if using). Cook for a further 5-7 minutes until the apples start to soften and the nuts and seeds are crispy.

 

To assemble: place about 2-3 tablespoon at the bottom of the glass, top with the apple compote, then proceed with a layer of coconut yogurt. Top the parfait with the apple and seeds crisp. I love having mine while the topping is still warm as I love the contrast with the cold chia pudding and coconut yogurt, but cold is delicious too!

Cover the pot with cling film and store in the fridge up to 5 days.

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Apple and Coconut Bliss Balls

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I really enjoying trying new flavour combination of bliss balls, the sky is literally the limit when it comes to energy balls. I personally love the classic nuts, dates and raw cacao powder but this apple and coconut have definitely stole my heart.

This is the first time I have used and oats base and it worked really well, they also pack a fibre and complex carbohydrates punch so they are perfect for a speedy breakfast or for a post workout snack. I love the combination between apples, figs and coconut. It might sounds a bit weird but it works really well!

Makes about 10-12 balls

Ingredients:

½ cup of pecans

¾ of cup of oats

3 tablespoon of shredded coconut + more for coating

6 dried figs (if possible try to buy the ones without any preservatives or sulphates)

½ apple grated (skin included)

1 tablespoon of date syrup (optional)

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

 

Place the oats and the nuts into a food processor and blitz for until a flour starts to form. Add all the remaining ingredients and process for another minute or so until you have a sticky dough. Remove the mixture from the food processor and roll them into balls of the size you prefer. Coat them in the shredded coconut and place them in the fridge for half an hour to firm up.

You can store them in air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. ( I normally tend to eat them all in a couple of days :))

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3 Seeds Chocolate Bars

imageThis recipe has been inspired by the ever so Talented Audrey at Unconventional Baker. When I saw her mini hemp chocolate bar I knew I had to make them as they looked absolutely stunning! (like everything else she does). If you are not already familiar with her make sure to check her amazing blog: http://www.unconventionalbaker.com/

In case you are not familiar with hemp seeds, these little guys are literally a gift of nature, they are actually the most nutritious seed in the world! They are packed with protein, essential fats, vitamins and enzymes. Raw hemp seeds have also be proven to help weight loss, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce inflammation and control blood sugar level.

I wanted to add even more goodness to this already super-good-for-you bars so I have added pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds which are another great nutritional bomb in small size. Pumpkin seeds have a variety of nutrients, from manganese copper to iron and zinc. The latest is such an important mineral for healthy looking skin and it has also been proven to help healing acne! On the other hand sunflower seeds are a good source of selenium which apart from being great at preventing cancer is also amazing for strong nails, luscious hair and glowing skin!

Aside from being so good for you  these bars are also so ridiculously easy to make, it literally takes 10 minutes to put them together and they last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Ingredients- Makes 8-9 bars

½ cup of hemp seeds

1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup of sunflower seed

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence or powder

9 pitted medjool dates

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

1 tablespoon of date syrup

 

For the raw chocolate layer:

2 tablespoon of coconut oil

2 tablespoon of raw cacao powder

1 tablespoon of date syrup

 

Method:

Place all the seeds into a food processor and blitz for few minutes. Add the coconut oil, dates, vanilla and date syrup and blitz again until a sticky dough starts to form.

Remove the dough from the form processor and transfer it to a baking tray covered with parchment paper. With your fingers press the sticky dough down and try to spread it evenly across the tin. Place it in the fridge to firm up further.

To make the raw chocolate: Simply place the coconut oil in pan on a low heat. Let the coconut oil melt and once is all melted add the raw cacao powder and the date syrup. Whisk everything together and remove from heat.

Take the tin out of the fridge and pour the liquid raw chocolate on top, spread it evenly with a spatula or the back of a spoon until everything is covered. Place it back in the fridge for another hour or so until the chocolate become solid.

Slice it in bars and store them in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

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Tropical Bliss Mousse

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I had a bit of nostalgia of my Mexican holidays the other day and all of a sudden I find myself craving juicy coconuts and all the gorgeous tropical fruit that I was able to eat everyday.

So when Mighty Bee frozen coconut meat arrived in the post I was literally in heaven!

I never used frozen coconut meat before so I was a bit unsure what do with it at first, but it turn out to be super easy. I just defrosted ibn the fridge over night it and use it as I would do normally with fresh coconut meat and the texture is perfectly meaty and creamy at the same time.

This mousse I promise you will literally tele transport you to a tropical island with swishing palm trees, bright colourful flowers and crystal clear waters, you got the picture right? It’s also the perfect summer pudding, light and fresh but creamy and decadent at the same time. I love topping it with passion fruit, I think it just create the best combination of flavour but feel free to experiment with different toppings!

Make about 4-5 pots depending on the size

Ingredients:

1 cup of soaked cashew for at least 8 hours

1 very ripe mango

1 very ripe banana

About 100gr of frozen coconut meat or the meat of 1 young coconut ( I have used Mighty Bee frozen coconut)

The juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoon of coconut syrup

1 cup of rice milk

3 passion fruit for topping

 

Method:

This recipe couldn’t be simpler!

Drain and rinsed the cashews. Peel and chopped the banana and place them in a blender with all the remaining ingredients. Blend everything together until you reach a smooth and creamy consistency.

Pour the mousse into pots or dessert glasses. Cover them with cling film and place them in the fridge to set for at least an hour. This will help to make the mousse even thicker and creamier.

Just before serving sliced the passion fruit in half and pour the juicy pulp on top of the mousse. I have used ½ passion fruit for every pot. You can also add whatever fruit you like, I think chopped papaya or melon will taste amazing as well!

Cover with cling film and store them in fridge for up to 3 days.

 

 

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