Double Chocolate Baked Donuts

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Yes donuts can be healthy. So you can literally have your donut, eat it and feel good about yourself. No need to feel guilty when eating these incredibly fluffy, rich and chocolately double chocolate baked donuts. Apart from being completely vegan and refined sugar free they can also be made totally gluten free by using gluten free oats. Result!! They are ridiculously easy to make and they are will satisfy any  donuts/chocolate cravings.

 Dry ingredients:

 ½ cup of oats flour ( I just placed some oats into a blender until they reach a flour consistency)

½ cup of brown rice flour

½ cup of coconut sugar

4 heaped tablespoon of raw cacao powder

2 tablespoon of ground almond

2 tablespoon of milled flax seeds

1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

½ teaspoon of salt

 Wet Ingredients:

 ¾ cup of almond milk

3 tablespoon of apple puree

3 tablespoon of melted coconut oil – I have used Indigo Herbs Coconut oil

For the chocolate frosting:

 1 very ripe avocado

7-8 pitted medjool dates

3 heaped tablespoons of almond butter (cashew butter will work as well)

2 tablespoon of raw cacao powder

 Sprinkles ideas:

 Chopped nuts

Shredded coconuts

Hemp seeds

 Start by preheating the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

 With a bit of coconut oil grease your donuts tin.

 Mix all dry ingredients together until fully combined.

 In a separate bowl whisk together all the wet ingredients. Pour the wet mixture onto the dry ingredients and gently mix everything together. Do not over mix as this will result in a heavier consistency. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes. Don’t mix again after this point.

 Scoop the batter into the donut moulds. Don’t overfill it as they will raise a bit during baking. Don’t press the batter down, just gently level it with the back of a spoon or a spatula.

 Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean.

 While the donuts are baking make the frosting: simply place into a food processor the pitted dates, the almond butter, raw cacao powder and the peeled and destoned avocado. Blitz for few minutes, scraping mixture from the sides from time to time. You want a really smooth consistency so don’t be afraid of let it process for quite some time.

 Once the donuts are baked let them sit in the mould for at least 15-20 minutes. Gently remove them from the tin and let them sit on a cooling rack  for another ½ hour.

To frost the donuts: spread the frosting with a spatula onto the cooled donuts and sprinkle with the topping of choice. I went for chopped pistachios.

 Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

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Double Chocolate Black Forest Tarts

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Double chocolate Black forest tarts

For the base:

1 cup of almonds (pecans, walnuts will work as well)

6-7 medjool dates

2 tablespoon of raw cacao powder

2 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

A splash of vanilla extract

For the cherry layer:

About 10-12 fresh cherries

For the chocolate cream layer:

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

1 cup of almond milk ( I wouldn’t use coconut milk as I am not a huge fan of the flavours combined with the raw cacao)

4 heaped tablespoon of raw cacao powder

5-6 tablespoon of liquid sweetener of your choice – I have used rice malt syrup

3 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

A splash of vanilla extract

 

For topping:

70gr of good quality dark chocolate

Few fresh cherries to decorate (optional)

 

Start my making the base: in a food processor blitz the almonds until they become a coarse flour. Add the raw cacao powder and blitz again for few seconds. Add the pitted dates, coconut oil and the vanilla extract and blitz for a minute or so until you get a sticky dough when pressed between your fingers.

Lightly grease with some coconut oil a muffins tin. With your hand press down some of the base mixture in each muffin hole. You want to have a base about 2 cm thick. Place the tin in the freezer to set.

To make the cherry layers simply chopped roughly the fresh cherries. Place about 1 teaspoon of the chopped cherries in each cup. Spread it over the base with the back of a spoon. Place it back in the freezer.

To make the cashew- chocolate cream: Drain and rinse the soaked cashew and place them in a blender with all the other ingredients. Blend for a good few minutes until everything is smooth and silky.  Pour the cream on top of the base enough to fill up the muffin hole. Place it back in the freezer to set for at least 3 hours. Remove the tarts from the freezer at least ½ an hour before serving.

For topping: melt the dark chocolate au bain Marie ( place them in a bowl and then place the bowl on top of a pan with boiling water). Drizzle the melted chocolate on top of the tarts and decorate with the fresh cherries.

Store the tarts in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4-5 days.

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Oaty Chocolate Chips Cookies

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I have been totally obsessed with the these cookies lately, they are literally the best chocolate cookies I have ever made! They are everything you want from a cookie, they are chewy, gooey , a bit crunchy and obviously super chocolately.

Although they are super decadent they are made with only wholesome ingredients which will satisfy any sweet cravings but will not leave you feeling sluggish or tired. As always they are also super easy to make so you can whip them up in under 20 minutes and nobody will ever believe that they are completely vegan, refined sugar and gluten free!

Ingredients:

1 cup of oats

¼ cup of ground almond

¼ cup arrowroot flour

½ cup of cashew butter (almond butter will work as well)

3 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

½ cup of maple syrup or liquid sweetener of your choice

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

100 gr of good quality dark chocolate chopped in small pieces ( I have used 80% cocoa Madecasse chocolate)

 

Start by preheating the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

Place the oats into a food processor and blitz until you have a flour consistency.

Remove the oat flour from the food processor and place it into a bowl with the almond flour and the arrowroot flour.

In a separate bowl mix together the almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and the vanilla extract. Whisk everything together Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir everything vigorously so you have no clumps. Add the chopped chocolate and mix again. You should have a sticky batter, not too runny and not too dry at the same time.

Cover a baking tray with parchment paper. With a tablespoon place the mixture onto the baking tray. About 1 tablespoon for 1 cookie. Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes depending on how gooey you like the cookies to be. I baked them for about 12 minutes and they were slightly crunchy and soft on the inside.

Let them cool completely in the tray for about 30 minutes and then enjoy!

 

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Maca, Sesame and Apricots bars

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Since we had such a gorgeous weather here in the UK in the past few weeks I have really been enjoying making raw treats instead of baked goodies.

I tend to normally use a but base but this time I wanted to experiment with what I think is a very underrated seed which is sesame.

Sesame seed are an excellent source of copper, a very good source of manganese, and a good source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, molybdenum, vitamin B1, selenium, and fibre. Sounds like a lot of good stuff packed into such a small little thing, right?

Especially if you are on a vegan or plantbased diet I would definitely recommend to try to incorporate this powerhouse seeds more into your daily meals more. These bars are obviously a great way to experiment with sesame seeds, I love the combination of flavour with sweet dried apricots and the tangy notes of the maca powder. I love having one these bars before or after a work out as they give me a little boost of energy without make me feel too full or sluggish afterwards.

Ingredients: Makes about 10-12 slices depending on the size

1 cup of sesame seeds

½ cup of ground almond

1 cup of dried apricots (if you can try to buy the one without any sulphites)

2 tablespoon of coconut oil

1 tablespoon of almond butter

2 tablespoon of yacoon syrup or any other liquid sticky sweetener (honey and rice malt syrup would work well)

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of maca powder (optional)

Place the sesame seeds into a food processor and blitz for few moments, until the seeds start to break down but not completely dissolve into flour. Add all the remaining ingredients and blitz for a minute. You should have a quite sticky dough, if you feel is too dry add a bit more sweetener.

Remove the mixture from the food processor and place it into a  brownies size baking tin covered with parchment paper. Press the mixture down with your hands until it’s evenly spread across the tin. Place it in the fridge for at least 1 hour to firm up. Remove the tin from the fridge and cut into slices.

Store the squares into an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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Raw Coco Double Chocolate Cake

The base is a combination of coconut flour, ground almonds, raw cacao and dates filled with super silky coconut milk and dark chocolate. Is completely raw so it takes only 10  minutes to make and you can store it in the freezer/fridge for days. Is super decadent and chocolately but is still perfect for hot summer days.

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 Ingredients:

 For the base:

 ¾ cup of coconut flour

 ½ cup of shredded coconut

¼ cup of ground almond

10 medjool dates

2 tablespoon of rice malt syrup (optional)

2 heaped tablespoon of raw cacao

2 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

A dash of vanilla essence

For the filling:

1 can of full fat coconut milk placed the in fridge the night before

100 gr of good quality dark chocolate

2 tablespoon of liquid sweetener of your choice ( I have used Yacoon syrup)

A dash of vanilla essence

In a food processor place the coconut flour, ground almonds, shredded coconuts and cacao powder and blitz for a minute or so until everything is fully combined. Add the pitted dates, the coconut oil and the sweetener is using and blitz again until a sticky dough starts to form.

Grease a cake tin with a bit of coconut oil. Remove the mixture from the food processor and with your fingers press it down evenly onto the cake tin. I find a small jar sometimes help to spread it out better. Place the cake tin in the freezer while you are making the filling.

For the filling scoop out the solid part of the coconut milk which it normally at the top of the tin. DON’T use the water, you only want to use the solid, creamy part. Pour it into a pan on a low heat, add the chopped dark chocolate and gently let it melt. Add the sweetener of your choice and the vanilla essence.

Remove the cake tin from the freezer.

Once the coconut milk and chocolate are all melted and combined together pour the mixture on top of base. Place the cake back in the freezer and let it set for at least 2 hours.

Remove if from the freezer half an hour before serving, cut it into slices and enjoy! I love serving mine with fresh berries and coconut chips.

Store the cake in the freezer for up to 7 days.

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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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