Monday Meditation: Relax with these Raw Tiger Nut, Cacao & Coconut Treats

9D53B3F2-CD26-408F-8731-EA58B260A9E2When life is relatively calm, ie no family crises, and I find myself alone with no urgent tasks, I like to sit down and just let my mind wander where it will. I might close my eyes and just wait for my breathing to slow, or I watch the birds, or just take in my surroundings: the paintings, the family photos, the gentle flames of the woodburner.

When I am completely relaxed, I might get the urge to be creative. This can mean painting rocks, making cards, or even writing a letter – the old-fashioned way! But often, I like to bake or cook. It needs to be simple, quick, and not require that I keep several plates spinning at once, and definitely no interference.

Cooking on my own at leisure is a different experience from the pressure cooking of doing a meal with other bodies around and people requiring my attention or getting in my way. I like to be free to select whatever appeals, create something for my own pleasure and not have to be mindful of others’ pernickety tastes!

B2D4B8E0-1499-443E-962E-920F164433FEI rarely follow a recipe, or if I do, it’s more of a starting point that inspires a variation of the original, as with these no-added sugar energy balls. I fancied a little something with my cup of tea and didn’t really know what the result would be, but on looking in the cupboards I found some Tiger Nut Powder that needed using and remembered a recipe on The Tiger Nut Company Instagram page for Tiger Nut Macaroons by Eve Kalanik.

I used the general measurements, but made some substitutions: almond butter for the cashew, cacao nibs for the coconut chips and coconut water for the plain water in the original recipe. I also added some wild berry-flavoured supergreen powder.

These take literally seconds to make in the food processor and once in the fridge, by the time you’ve cleared up and put on the kettle, they are ready to eat.

It’s easy to make your own substitions so long as they’re like for like, but the texture or flavour will be different.

These easy raw treats are Vegan, Gluten-free and can be made Nut-free if you use Seed Butter. 

Please note: Tiger Nuts are Tubers, Not Nuts.

Ingredients

100g Tiger Nut Powder

45g Desiccated Coconut 

1 Tbsp Raw Cacao Nibs, for a bit of crunch

2 Tbsps Almond Butter 

A pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt

4g Vivolife ‘Thrive for Her’, Raw Green Superfood Powder, Wild Berry flavour

Approx. 4 Tbsps Coconut Water (or water or apple juice)

Pulse all ingredients except water for a few seconds. Add water and process for a couple of seconds to mix.

Scoop spoonfuls of the mix and roll into balls.

Makes about 10.

Place in the fridge to set.

Keep for days in an airtight container in the fridge and for a long time in the freezer if you can resist!

So much healthier and satisfying than a shop-bought biscuit or pastry to have with your afternoon cup of tea, and will give you a lift, making you more alert and energised without the inevitable slump afterwards.

The tea, by the way, is Pukka Herbs’ Licorice and Cinnamon. A perfect relaxing combination on your own or to share with a friend.

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Copyright: Chris McGowan

Ginger & Lemon Bliss Balls with a Bite!

29398032_UnknownIt’s been some time since I posted a recipe for raw treats, even longer since we made energy balls, so when we were in the midst of an horrendous thunderstorm and planting had to stop for the day, the food processor was put through its paces and these are what we came up with.

Using lightly ground rather than finely ground Sweet Apricot Kernels and Sunflower Seeds, together with Raw Cacao Nibs, gives them a satisfying nutty bite rather than the fudge texture of most energy/bliss balls. Cacao nibs are dried pieces of raw cacao. If you can’t get Sweet Apricot Kernels, Almonds are a good substitute.

I’ve had a bar of The Raw Chocolate Company Ginger & Lemon raw chocolate for some time, waiting patiently for me to come up with a recipe. It contains tiny pieces of Fijian crystallised ginger which are really spicy! These were set aside when the chocolate was melted and used to decorate the treats.

These treats are packed with healthy ingredients including protein, iron, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, healthy oils, and raw chocolate is mood-enhancing, so go on spoil yourself!

As always, these are vegan and gluten-free and they can be made nut-free if you substitute with other seeds, though the taste and texture will be a little different.

(All ingredients used were organic where possible).

Ingredients for basic energy balls:

1 Cup Organic Raw Mulberries*

1/2 Cup Sweet Apricot Kernels (ground)*

1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds (ground)

1/3 Cup chopped Medjool Dates

Juice & Zest of 1/2 Lemon (washed)

1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger

1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs*

Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt

2 Tbsp Melted Cacao Butter*

Process all ingredients together until the mixture will stick together when pressed into a ball.

Make approximately 15/16 balls and place in tiny truffle cases.

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Chocolate Dip:

1 x 44g The Raw Chocolate Company Ginger & Lemon Bar for melting + 1Tbsp Melted Cacao Butter 

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Break up the bar into squares and gently melt with the cacao butter in a bowl over a pan of hot, but not boiling, water, stirring until smooth. Set aside the pieces of ginger for decorating.

Dip the energy balls in the melted chocolate and cacao butter.

29397888_UnknownAllow the dipped energy balls to set a little before gently placing a small piece of crystallised ginger from the melted chocolate on top of each ball –  it is quite strong so if you prefer, use a raw mulberry instead.

It’s also been some time since we got jiggy in the kitchen! RecentlyI was sorting through old cd’s and rediscovered The Lemonheads, so here’s a video of them – not very good reproduction, but worth a revisit.

*The Raw Chocolate Company

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Spooky (but healthy) Halloween Treats!

img_2294These were a very last minute flash of inspiration, there was tiger nut milk pulp* to use up (but you can use nut milk pulp or rolled oats) and a family visit coming up, so something had to be done and pdq!

They are very fruity, soft and squishy with a very slight tartness due to the Bramley apple and lemon juice, offset by the sweetness of the carrot, raisins and mulberries.

All ingredients are organic, vegan and glutenfree and the only possible ‘nut’ allergin is the pine kernels used to decorate (which can be omitted), however I believe pine kernels are seeds rather than nuts. Tiger nuts are of course tubers, not nuts.

These are healthy treats, no refined sugar and won’t have the kids bouncing off the ceiling or in a funk next morning. They are full of vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats and micronutrients.

All measurements are very approximate!

Ingredients

1 Cup Raisins

1/3 Cup Chopped Dried Sulphur-free Apricots

1 Cup Tiger Nut Milk Pulp (you could use any nut milk pulp or swap for ground oats moistened with a little apple juice, but the taste and texture will be a little different)

1 /2 Cup Grated Bramley Apple (or any tart apple)

1/2 Cup Grated Carrot

1 Chia Egg (1 Tbsp Chia seeds* soaked in 3 Tbsps Water, stirred frequently for about 10-15 minutes until they swell)

1 1/2 Tsps Baobab Powder (we use Aduna)

1 Tbsp Melted Cacao Butter (we used 4 Pulsin’ cacao butter buttons)

1/4 Cup Desiccated Coconut

Good Squeeze of Lemon Juice – watch out for the pips!

Place all ingredients in a food processor, pulse and stir down as often as it takes for the mixture to come together and roll into balls.

Make small balls and decorate with cacao powder* or coconut for hair, goji berries*, dried mulberries* or pine kernels for eyes and mouths and slightly squash the sides or tops to distort the ‘faces’ a little.

Place them in petit fours cases and put them in the fridge to firm up.

Happy Halloween! 🎃😱

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*Nut & Seed Milks & Smoothie Recipes

The Raw Chocolate Company

The Tiger Nut Company

Aduna

Pulsin

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Spicy Orange Fruit Balls – A Taste of Christmas

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These raw treats are loved by everyone who tastes them, including the sceptical male Tweens in the family! They are moist, sweet and fruity and will keep for ages in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. They are quick and easy to make and would be a lovely gift if placed in pretty cases and a suitable box, decorated with colourful ribbon or string.

They provide a wealth of nutrients and make an excellent afternoon pick-me-up, a lunchbox treat or after-school energy hit.

Depending on the size, makes about 15.

All measurements are approximate.

Vegan, Gluten-Free & Organic.

Can be nut-free if you have a nut allergy.

Ingredients

10 Dried Figs, stems removed, chopped

6 Soft, Sulphur-Free Dried Apricots, chopped

(You can substitute other dried fruit but the overall flavour will be different)

1 Tbsp Orange Zest and a small squeeze of juice

1 Cup Desiccated Coconut or half and half with Almonds, freshly ground

1 Tsp Organic Maple Syrup (optional)

1/2 Tsp Ground Cardamom Seeds

A little Desiccated Coconut and/or ground Raw Sweet Apricot Kernels* or Almonds, Raw Cacao Powder*, Tiger Nut Flour* for dusting.

Method

Process the dried fruit, then add the rest of the ingredients and process again until it all comes together.

(Here comes the lovely messy bit!)

Scoop up about a rounded tablespoon of the mixture and using your hands, shape gently into balls.

Next, roll some of them in Dessicated Coconut, ground Raw Sweet Apricot Kernels, Almonds or a little dusting of Raw Cacao Powder or Tiger Nut Flour.

Refrigerate to firm up and keep chilled in an airtight container or if they aren’t going to be gobbled up at once, keep them in the freezer.

Lick your fingers!

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Ps You might also like Ginger & Lemon Bliss Balls with a Bite!

*The Raw Chocolate Company

*The Tiger Nut Company

 Copyright: Chris McGowan