Fill Your Easter Basket with Home Made Vegan Raw Chocolate Eggs

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Soon, it will be that other chocolate-filled holiday and the kids are off school getting revved up in anticipation of the upcoming egg hunts, so here is my alternative to the usually over-sweet, over-processed and over-priced commercial eggs. The kids will love to ‘help’ – or you could do it all in secret under the pretext of surprising them, but really so you get to clean out the bowl and lick the spoon! 😉

These home-made raw chocolate eggs are dairy- and gluten-free, as well as free from refined sugar. Some of them contain nuts but you can replace nut butter with tahini and ground-up nuts with seeds or you could choose the second nut-free version. All ingredients are organic where possible.

The Nutty Ones

1/2 Cup Raw Coconut Oil, melted

1/2 Cup Raw Chocolate Company Cacao Powder*

1/4 Cup Maple Syrup

1/4 Cup Unsweetened Nut Butter (no palm oil)

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup either Raw Chocolate Company Goldenberries or Goji Berries (chopped) or other preferred berries

                           2 Tbsp chopped Almonds or Cashews (or seeds)

METHOD
Whisk together raw cacao powder, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract and nut butter. Stir in the berries and nuts.

Pour chocolate mixture into freezer-safe egg moulds or other shapes placed on greaseproof paper.

Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or until set.
Remove from freezer and arrange in a pretty basket.

(You could also pour onto greaseproof paper on a tray, let it spread, freeze and break into bite-size pieces).

These are the moulds we used, they’re available from Ocado and Amazon. They’re silicone and are freezerproof, ovenproof to 260C and dishwasher safe.

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Nut-Free Eggs

For this version, we used the basic Raw Chocolate Company recipe on the back of their Cacao Powder and Raw Coconut Palm Sugar packs, with the addition of vanilla and goji berries.* It is a more intensely dark flavour and not as sweet as the first recipe. In fact, for a few of the eggs, we added a teaspoon of maple syrup as well to cater for those who have a slightly sweeter tooth.

The coconut palm sugar needs refining in a small chopper to make it dissolve and blend more easily.

You can of course leave out the berries if you just want plain chocolate or add whatever you prefer.

Ingredients

90g Cacao Butter, melted

60g Cacao Powder

60g Coconut Palm Sugar (+ 1 Tsp Maple Syrup if required) 

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup Goji Berries or lightly chopped Dried Mulberries

Method

Mix the melted cacao butter and coconut palm sugar in a bowl over hot but not boiling water to dissolve the sugar. Whisk in the cacao powder and vanilla extract, then stir in the goji berries.

Pour into moulds and set in the freezer as before.

‘Mylk’ Chocolate Nests

28330256_UnknownIf you want to make chocolate nests, you can mix this basic chocolate recipe (minus the Goji Berries) with Weetabix- or shredded wheat-type cereal or gluten-free equivalents, or puffed rice cereal, and place in moulds or bun cases. Refirgerate as before.

With these ones, we added a little vanilla, a tablespoon of lucuma powder, and a couple of tablespoons of homemade tiger nut milk.

You could also make ‘eggs’ from marzipan with the option of dipping in raw chocolate! You can also use natural food colourings. Here, though, we used ground almonds mixed with a little maple syrup.

See also my page of Raw Treats – Recipes for more Raw Chocolate Recipes (at the bottom of the page) and here is a new recipe for Raw Vegan Fruit & Nut (or seed) Chocolate – not just for Easter!.

Have a fun Easter weekend with the people you love!

The Raw Chocolate Company

* (They sell a special chocolate-making kit containing all the ingredients for home-made raw chocolate on their website).

Copyright: Chris McGowan”

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Healthy Almond, Raisin & Mulberry Treats

imageThese are another version of fruit and nut energy balls made from almond milk pulp, this time using some dried Turkish mulberries from The Raw Chocolate Company  and also trying out some Pulsin’ Cacao Butter Buttons for the first timePlease don’t mistake these Cacao Butter Buttons for White Chocolate Buttons – I wonder how many people have done that? They are cacao fat, to cook with, not dessert chocolate for eating or decorating birthday cakes.

These cacao butter buttons are so much more convenient than solid blocks of cacao butter which need a hammer and chisel and some hefty muscles to break up! The melted cacao butter not only adds a mild chocolate flavour but also helps bind and firm up the ingredients.

I’ve also used some Golden Linseeds, partially ground to release the nutrients,  which some of you may not have seen or used before. They contain Omega 3, 6, and 9 healthy oils, protein and fibre and are regarded as a superfood. (See Golden Linseeds (aka Flax Seeds): The Original Superfood?)

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All ingredients are organic, vegan and gluten-free and the recipe can also be nutfree if you use an alternative to almond milk pulp as the base. (Eg Tiger nuts are actually tubers and make excellent sweet and creamy milk).

These energy balls are healthy bites of protein, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and fibre. They are sweet and fruity but contain no refined sugar.

Measurements are very apporoximate and rely on my short-term memory functioning long enough to write them down!

Ingredients

1 Cup Almond Milk Pulp (see How To Make Almond Milk) or any other milk pulp (which may alter the taste or texture)

1 Cup Raisins

3-4 Medjool Dates, pitted and chopped

1/4 Cup Mixed Golden Linseeds & Sesame Seeds, partially ground

1/4 Cup Pulsin’ Cacao Butter Buttons, melted

3/4 Cup Dried Mulberries

2 Tbsps Apple Juice

Desiccated Coconut and Cacao Powder for dusting

Pulse a few times and then process in bursts, scraping down the sides, until it is the texture you want and will come together to form a smooth ball.

Roll in coconut or dust with cacao powder.

Refrigerate to firm them up. Will keep for several days in an airtight container.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Oh-So-Chocolatey Hemp Seed Coins

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Chocolatey Hemp Coins with Spicy Raw Hot Chocolate and The Raw Chocolate Company Chocolate Mulberries*

This recipe is for all of you chocolate fiends who don’t have a particularly sweet tooth but crave a chocolatey something mid-afternoon. They do have a small amount of raw coconut palm sugar in them but as it is low GI and unrefined it doesn’t produce the same sugar rush or have that tooth-rotting sweetness of refined white sugar. They are easy to make, involve no cooking and are full of raw energy, but be warned, less is definitely more! I can only manage 2!

These are a good protein pick-me-up containing hemp seeds and sweet apricot kernels (like mini almonds).

The only possible track to jig along to while making these is Choco Choco Latte, so you can sing your heart out and expend some of that Raw Chocolate energy!

Here goes:

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Shelled Hemp Seeds*

1/4 Cup Sweet Apricot Kernels*

1/4 Cup Cacao Powder*

1/4 Cup Raisins

3 Tsps Coconut Palm Sugar*

1/4 Tsp Cinnamon

Approx 2 Tbsps Apple Juice

Raw Chocolate Mulberries Snack Pack*

Method

Put the Hemp Seeds and Sweet Apricot Kernels in the food processor and grind them finely.

Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix well, adding a little apple juice at a time until the mixture is just moist enough to come together but not too wet.

Take small amounts of the mixture and form into little balls then flatten out into coins on some greaseproof paper.

Press a Raw Chocolate Mulberry into the centre of each coin and place in the fridge for a short time to firm up.

What you do with the leftover Raw Chocolate Mulberries is entirely up to you – but I won’t tell if you don’t.

*http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Health Revolution – Review & Recipe

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Recommended Read (and tasty recipe at the end of the post!)

If you are reading this blog because you are wanting to make some changes to your lifestyle and improve your health but you’re not sure where to begin, then this book is for you! 

Based on his own experiences, Dale Preece-Kelly describes how he once had everything and nearly lost it all – including his life – through bad luck, poor choices and an unhealthy lifestyle. In a style that is neither hectoring nor prescriptive, he takes you by the hand and gently guides you along the path that led him to living a happier and healthier lifestyle.

Dale is passionate about helping others and in writing this book he passes on what he has learned along the way, from being an overweight smoker and drinker on a slippery slope to a permanent hospital bed to becoming a man of many talents: actor, lifestyle coach, nutritionist, pet therapist and educator, and now writer, to name a few! (http://www.organicguineapig.com & http://www.critterishallsorts.co.uk)

Dale has an easy, accessible style that is chatty and amusing and very down-to-earth. His book is so easy to read and covers nutrition, juicing, addictions, exercise, household products and provides quick, tasty and healthy recipes to set you on the road to a better you. There’s even a recipe for toothpaste!

I have a couple of copies of the paperback version which I pass around to those who express an interest in leading a healthier lifestyle but can’t quite motivate themselves or who can’t see the forest for the trees.

It would make an excellent gift for those who regularly make Spring their season for personal improvement, but who get bogged down in Life or don’t have the support to make it sustainable.

Available on Kindle and Paperback from http://www.amazon.com

Organic Guinea Pig’s Signature Chocolate Orange Brownies

Vegan & Gluten-Free.

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Prep. Time: 15-20 mins Cooking time: 25 mins. Preheat oven to 180C

Line oven dish with baking parchment

Ingredients:

2 Medium Sweet Potatoes

1/4 Cup Raw Organic Cacao Powder (We used The Raw Chocolate Company* version)

1 1/4 Cups Ground Almonds

1/4 Cup Honey (or Maple Syrup)

1/2 Cup Pitted Dates

Zest & Juice of 1 Orange

Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

 Method:

Peel, chop and boil sweet potatoes for 5 minutes, or until cooked. Blend till smooth

(I recommend leaving the skin on if they’re organic, and steaming for more flavour)

Add all other ingredients and blend

Bake for 25 mins in a parchment-lined tray or until knife comes clean

Sprinkle chopped nuts over brownies before cutting into squares

Allow to cool before demolishing!

(Reproduced by kind permission)..

They are moist and tasty and keep well in a tight container in the fridge. We froze some of ours and they kept for ages, only because I wanted to save some for a family visit!

*The Raw Chocolate Company

Copyright: Chris McGowan