GoGo Berry Fudge: So Decadent, It Should Be Illegal!

imagePlease Note: Since I wrote this recipe, The Raw Chocolate Company have stopped selling Goldenberries, if you can’t get them elsewhere or want a less tart fruit in the fudge, try apple juice-infused dried cranberries or dried apricots. Also, the sweet apricot kernel butter can be replaced with almond nut butter.

Grab a bag of Raw Chocolate Company Golden Berries* – or 2, you may find you want to snack a little as you work – and find some Belinda Carlisle and The GoGos (http://youtu.be/KjNZcGP-jAkto give your vocal chords a workout while you try out this simple recipe.

It is so decadent it should be illegal but it has protein, antioxidants, essential fatty acids and minerals. It’s so moreish I was advised by one family member not to leave it out!

This fudge makes a lovely gift if placed in an airtight tin – I used a tartan shortbread tin: line the base, cut 2 paper doillies in half and stick the straight edge of each half inside the top edges of the sides so they fold over the fudge. Keep the fudge chilled before placing in the tin at the last minute and seal around the edges before gift-wrapping.

This recipe also uses Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter – see earlier recipe Gettin’ Jiggy in the Kitchen – you could use any nut butter, but this will slightly alter the flavour.

(The Raw Chocolate Company products are specified because it was originally developed for their blog, you can of course use other brands, these are the ones we use as they are organic, fairtrade and excellent quality).

WARNING: I strongly advise you do this alone in the privacy of your own kitchen with no family members around or there could be an unseemly scrimmage to scrape out blender, bowl and utensils before you’ve even finished – and that should be your privilege!

Ingredients

1 Cup melted Raw Chocolate Company Cacao ButterTip: place the tub in a bowl of hot water while you get everything else together 
1 Cup Maple Syrup
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Tsp Raw Chocolate Company Lucuma Fruit Powder
1 Cup Raw Chocolate Company Cacao Powder
1 Cup Raw Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter (see above, or substitute with almond butter
1/2 Cup Raw Chocolate Company Golden Berries
1/2 Cup Raw Chocolate Company Goji Berries
Few Squares Raw Chocolate Company Pitch Dark Raw Chocolate

Method

(N.B. You need to work quickly before it starts setting).

Blend all ingredients except the Berries and Pitch Dark. I tried this in a small flask blender, but it didn’t work and I ended up transferring to a food processor, but a high speed blender is probably best.

Transfer to a bowl and stir in the Berries and some grated Pitch Dark.

Spread in a lined 8×8 tin

Grate some more Pitch Dark on top and refrigerate for half an hour – if you can wait that long!

Break into bite-size chunks – it is quite rich so a little goes a long way.

Tip: clean up as you go along, the cacao butter and fudge batter set quickly so wipe up any drips straightaway and put blender, bowl and utensils to soak as soon as you’re done with them, saves elbow grease later and gives you more time to indulge before you have to let in the hungry hordes.

*http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com

This recipe first appeared on The Raw Chocolate Company Blog in an edited form.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Zoodles with Garlic Mushrooms, Beansprouts & Lemon Avocado & Pine Nut Dressing

The title pretty much describes the recipe. This is a light, quick meal conjured up when I wasn’t feeling very hungry but knew I needed to eat something or I would be hungry during the night. As usual, once I began eating I was glad I had made the effort to come up with something to stimulate my appetite.

First, we spiralised a small Courgette (zucchini) and arranged it on the plate. (see Spiralising: A Great Way to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Greens, Reds, Yellows …)

Next, the avocado dressing was prepared in a small chopper: we had no fresh avocado so we used some from the freezer – did you know you can freeze stoned and peeled avocado? We use it to blend with freshly extracted juices.

For one person, blend 1/4 – 1/2 Avocado, a good squeeze of Lemon Juice, a little Water, some Pine Kernels and Black Pepper. Season with a little Pink Himalayan Salt if liked.

I love Chestnut Mushrooms and we seemed to have rather a lot that needed using. So about 7 or 8 were washed, stalked and chopped in quarters before the whole lot was tossed in a teaspoon of Coconut Oil with some crushed Garlic and lightly stir-fried with Tamari.

The mushrooms were placed on the top of the zoodles. The avocado dressing in the middle, a reserved mushroom on top. We had some Mung Beans sprouting and we scattered some over the rest of the food. (See Sprouting for Health, Energy and the Environment!)

It was finished off with more black pepper.

It doesn’t look very exciting, but it tasted good and was surprisingly satisfying. Raw food is more filling than cooked, with plenty of fibre and nutrients to keep you healthy. Avocado is the ultimate in healthy convenience food with its protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and fibre. (See Raw Energy).

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Raw Tiger Nut, Walnut & Chocolate Orange Cookies

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This is my version of The Tiger Nut Company’s Coffee and Walnut Cookies (see website for original recipe*). They are a great way to use up the pulp left over from making Tiger Nut Milk or Horchata. I have also adapted my original post to include the use of their new Naked Organic Peeled Tiger Nuts, which produce a much finer pulp.

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I don’t drink coffee but these looked so good, we decided to adapt them by substituting orange zest and a tiny squeeze of orange juice.

They are so easy to make.

To make Tiger Nut milk:

100g of pre-soaked Naked Organic Raw Tiger Nuts from The Tiger Nut Company* (almost a Cup) (these peeled tiger nuts give a finer pulp).

Soak overnight in 3x as much filtered water 

Blend with 1 Pitted Medjool Date and Half a tsp Vanilla Extract

Pinch of Pink Hamalayan Salt

Strain through nut bag and save pulp

Keep milk in airtight bottle in fridge.

Ingredients for Cookies

(All ingredients are organic, vegan and gluten-free. All measurements are approximate and may need adjusting, but that means you get to keep tasting and testing!)

Leftover Tiger Nut Pulp

3 Pitted Medjool Dates

Handful of Walnuts + some for decoration

2 Tsps Ground Organic Linseeds/Flaxseeds

2 Tsps Raw Chocolate Company Cacao Powder*

2-3 Tbsps Raw Virgin Organic Coconut Oil

1 Generous Tsp Orange Zest

Tiny squeeze of Orange Juice, be careful, it doesn’t want to be wet.

Splash of Organic Maple Syrup

 Method

Process all ingredients until it starts coming together.

Press together and roll into a ball

Dust a very little Tiger Nut Flour or Cacao Powder onto surface and rolling pin to stop the dough sticking

Roll out and cut into shapes

Freeze for about 15 minutes

(Eat any leftover scraps that won’t form another cookie and lick your fingers – cook’s prerogative!)

Icing

Either:

Gently melt some coconut oil with a splash of maple syrup, a couple of teaspoons of raw cacao powder and a squeeze of orange juice

or

Gently melt some Raw Chocolate Company Pitch Dark or Orange raw chocolate in a bowl over some hot water (but not boiling). You might like to add a drop of coconut oil or cacao butter to make it go a little further and drizzle.

Decorate cookies and top with broken walnuts. 

Freeze and Keep or Eat at leisure!

Ps At the request of Rachel @healthy&psyched, here is today’s video – don’t blame me, it was her suggestion! (I’m not quite sure this is what she meant 😂 Sorry, (not sorry).

*http://www.thetigernutcompany.co.uk

*http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Tiger Nut Chia Breakfast Bowl with Apricots & Raspberries

Ani of The Tiger Nut Company set me a challenge with her announcement on Instagram that I would be publishing new recipes on my Tiger Nut Page every day this week, which was a little daunting to say the least. In fact I had intended posting a couple of new recipes and reposting old ones! So I had to work fast, this and the following  posts are the results of my efforts…

In my first post, I did a review of their new Naked Organic Peeled Tiger Nuts and made Horchata with them (see here). The next morning, I decided to use some of the resulting tiger nut milk in my breakfast bowl and came up with this summer fruit combo that is not only rich in protein, fibre, essential fatty acids, B vitamins, Vitamins A and C, and minerals, but will satisfy your taste bids and your tummy too!

I promise there are no hidden veggies in this one!

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Tiger Nut Milk made from Naked Organic Peeled Tiger Nuts and stored in my funky Grip and Go glass bottle.

It’s a good idea while the summer fruits are in season to pop some in the freezer for later on when they are no longer available. I have used frozen apricot slices for this (I did let them defrost before I ate it!)

For a change, I used buckwheat flakes instead of oats. Despite their name, they are gluten-free and have a nice texture too. They are high in protein, dietary fibre, antioxidants and have cholesterol-lowering properties too. They aren’t from grain but a seed that is related to rhubarb.

This can be prepared the night before or put them to soak while you have your shower in the morning.

All ingredients were organic, vegan and gluten-free.

Ingredients

1 Cup Buckwheat Flakes

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds*

1 Tbsp Golden Linseeds

Soak all these in

1 1/2 Cups chilled Tiger Nut Milk (recipe here)

for at least an hour or overnight in the fridge

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When they have absorbed the milk, add a litle more if needed.

Decorate with fresh Apricot slices and Raspberries

Top with plain CoYo Coconut Yogurt and a Blueberry (or two)

*

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This is such a healthy and satisfying breakfast, it will keep you going all morning and if you prepare it the night before it will take no time to finish it off next morning.

*http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Leslie Kenton’s Sandstone Loaf

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I first had this in the summer of 1986 when my friend and I discovered ‘Raw Energy’, the book and the philosophy. It was a beautifully sunny summer (remember them?) and we spent many days eating our raw creations in her garden – with the occasional glass of white! I think this may well have been the first thing I made with my faithful Braun Multipractic Food Processor, bought that summer and still going strong.

*

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I altered the amounts and some of the ingredients each time I had it, but this one is relatively faithful to the recipe, although I prefer more seeds to give it a bit more of a bite and we used coriander instead of parsley. Leslie often used to use vegetable bouillon powder in her raw savoury recipes, we didn’t have any so we improvised and used some dried King Soba instant organic miso soup! You could also use nutritional yeast.

You can make it as smooth or as coarse as you like, depending whether you would prefer it as a pâté or spread, or more like nut roast to have with salad.

(You could use almond butter instead of tahini for a slightly different flavour, but it would need to be fairly runny).

As always, the measurements are very approximate, you can never stipulate the size of a carrot for instance! So, go with what looks right and taste as you go along.

All ingredients are organic.

The recipe is Raw, Vegan and Gluten-Free.

Makes enough for 4 or 5 for a light lunch. Will keep about 3 days in the fridge and can be kept in the freezer too.

Ingredients

2 Chunky Medium Carrots, roughly chopped

1 + a half Celery Stalks (with leaves if they have any), roughly chopped

1/4 Cup Almonds + a few extra for serving*

1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds*

1/4 Cup Sunflower seeds*

1/4 Cup Mixed Sunflower + Sesame seeds*

Large Tbsp Tahini

1 Small Onion, finely chopped or a few Spring Onions

Handful of fresh Parsley or Coriander or herb of your choice

1 level Tbsp Organic Miso Soup powder or Nutritional Yeast or 2 Tsp Vegetable Bouillon Powder or 1 Tsp Chilli Flakes

2 Tbsps Grated Beetroot

Method

Process the carrots and celery until well homogenised. Set aside in a mixing bowl.

Finely grind the almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Add to carrot mixture.

Coarsely grind the mixed sesame and sunflower seeds and add to mix with tahini, onion, fresh herbs, powder and beetroot.

Stir well, add seasoning to taste.

Spread in a square dish, press and smooth it down if you want a pâté or loosely roughen the mix if you want some texture.

Garnish with fresh herbs and almonds or toasted seeds.

Refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

I had it on a bed of mixed rocket salad with thinly-sliced cucumber and tahini/lemon juice/water dressing.

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*https://www.buywholefoodsonline.co.uk/

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Juicy Sweet Potato Surprise

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Sweet Potato Surprise made in my Retro Super Juicer* and stored in my Grip and Go* glass bottle.

Many of you will know from earlier posts that I love sweet potatoes: I love them baked whole with a nut roast, or as healthy chips tossed in coconut oil or even toasted!… But best of all, I love them juiced. Sweet potatoes are good sources of Vitamin A, B vitamins, iron, potassium and fibre.

*

Juice the following ingredients:

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2 Sweet Potatoes, with skin on, scrubbed and chopped

2 Carrots, ditto

1 Apple

1 Pear

1 Kiwi, peeled

Several Romaine leaves, washed

(Did you know romaine lettuce contains protein?)

Blend with 1/4 of a ripe Avocado (for extra protein, fibre, Vitamin E – good for your skin and keeps you fuller longer).

Serve with ice, if desired.

(The Suprise? That you’ll like it!)

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*http://www.retrojuicer.com/

*http://gripandgo.co.uk

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Too Hot To Cook? Simple & Spicy Summer Chickpea Salad

imageOn an overwhelmingly hot day, we had no will or desire for a cooked or complicated dinner. It was also midweek, so this what we cobbled together.

Chickpeas are good to have in the cupboard, so easy to use and a good source of protein, fibre, calcium and iron.

Cucumber is always cooling and hydrating and nicely offsets the hotter flavours of the spring onions, chilli flakes and black pepper.

*

In a bowl, empty half a tin of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed.

Add about 4″ of ridge cucumber, chopped

2 Spears of Asparagus, chopped

Half a Stick of Celery, chopped

2 Spring Onions, sliced

 Some Chilli Flakes to taste or Fresh Chilli, chopped

Chopped Coriander

Black Pepper to taste

Mix together and add Tamari and Olive Oil Dressing

Serve on a bed of babyleaf salad on a large leaf of Romaine Lettuce.

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(Meg, Rufus, this one’s for you 😉)

Ps If you’re reading this via email, you’ll need to head to the blog to watch the video.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

A Sweet Distraction: Almond Apricot Chia Treats

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Mug from The Raw Chocolate Company website.*

These were created the day our beloved piano was going to a new home and we needed a distraction and something sweet! (Ok, I needed the distraction and something sweet – see Ode To Our Piano, a Faithful and Long-Suffering Friend). I apologise that this is a short post, I’m too emotional to write anything sensible!

All ingredients are organic except the maple syrup. Vegan and Gluten-free.

Ingredients

1 Cup Almond Milk Pulp (residue of approx 1L of nut milk)

1/3 Cup Dried Apricots

1/3 Cup Almonds

3  Medjool Dates, pitted

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds*

1 Tbsp Golden Linseeds, partially ground

1 Tbsp solid raw Coconut Oil

1/2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

1/4 Cup Raw Chocolate Mulberry Chips*

Raw Cacao Powder for Dusting (that’s dusting the treats, not the piano)

Method

Place first 5 ingredients in food processor and process for about 30 seconds until it comes together and almonds are chopped into small pieces but not ground.

Add partially ground Golden Linseeds, solid Coconut oil and Maple Syrup and process for a few seconds to mix in and further break up the almonds but still leaving bits for bite.

Add in Mulberry Chips and whizz for a few seconds to mix them in but not pulverize them!

Take small pieces and roll into balls in the palms of your hands, then dust with Raw Cacao Powder.

Place in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up.

Keep in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze for later.

 *http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/

Coco Banana Smoothie

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This is a lovely, light smoothie – not like my usual everything-but-the-kitchen-sink experiments at all! I managed to exercise restraint with this one and it turned out a success.

Coconut water from young, green coconuts is wonderfully hydrating: it contains electrolytes, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and about half the sodium of so-called energy drinks. It is naturally sweet so doesn’t need the added sugar found in so many energy drinks, nor does it contain all the nasty colouring and additives.

All ingredients are organic except the coconut water, none was available, but this is unsweetened and no added flavours or citric acid.

Ingredients

1 Ripe Banana

1 Ripe Pear

2 Tbsp Gluten-Free Oats

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds*

1 glass chilled unsweetened Coconut Water – size depending on how thick or thin you like it, I used a small one

1 Tbsp CoYo Natural Yogurt

Blend well. Add ice if liked.

And our music for today? Only one choice really…

Coco Banana – get it? 😂

Ps If you’re reading this via email you’ll need to click onto the blog to see the video!

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Choco Almond Truffles

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Every time we make almond or tiger nut milk, we can’t bring ourselves to throw away the leftover pulp – we are of the waste not, want not generation – and it’s become a kind of subconscious challenge to come up with a different recipe everytime!

These came about by accident as often happens. It’s the end of the month and as we searched the cupboard for likely ingredients,  we weighed and measured what happened to be left, which wasn’t very much – it was definitely a case of Old Mother Hubbard finding the cupboard almost bare! – and what was there we used up.

We reached for dried apricots, but found one had gone very mouldy and had to throw the rest away. We went for figs, none left. Dates, 3. No seeds. A quarter cup of almonds was all that was left after making the milk. We even ran out of cases!

 My husband kept saying we couldn’t do it, but I refused to be defeated. Stubborn is my other middle name! He was going to visit our son’s family and I wanted him to take some treats for our daughter-in-law. Try that, what’s in that jar? No, we haven’t any apple juice but we have an orange needs using. So, all in all, these turned out pretty well given the severity of the challenge.

They are little balls of protein, healthy fats, minerals and B vitamins, and taste moist and chocolatey.

But I’ll have to see what my daughter-in-law’s verdict is as I’m a little biased. Husband liked them though!

All ingredients are organic except the Maple Syrup. Makes about a dozen. Vegan, Gluten-free.

Ingredients

Approx. 1 Cup Almond Milk Pulp, squeezed as dry as possible

Half a Cup Raisins

3  Medjool Dates, pitted

Third of a Cup Almonds, ground

Quarter Cup Desiccated Coconut

Quarter Cup Goji Berries* lightly moistened in fresh orange juice + a few dry ones for decoration

2 Tbsps Melted Raw Coconut Oil

2 Tsps Maple Syrup

Small pinch of Pink Himalyan Salt

1 Mini Bar Goji and Orange Raw Chocolate*

1 -2 Tsps melted Raw Cacao Butter*

Method

Process all ingredients except the chocolate and cacao butter until it comes together when you press it.

Form into balls and place in the fridge to firm up while you melt the chocolate.

Melt cacao butter in a bowl over hot – not boiling- water and stir in broken up chocolate bar.

When melted remove from heat and dip treats in, placing them in small cases to keep them from rolling over.

Decorate each with a dry Goji Berry.

Place in fridge.

Keep well in an airtight container in the fridge.

*

While I was writing this up on a very wintry sleety Spring day, I was coincidentally listening to James Bay ‘I Need The Sun To Break’ (‘been in the dark for weeks’) then Suede Snowblind came on! Click the links to see the YouTube videos. I need some Raw Hot Chocolate!

*from The Raw Chocolate Company

Copyright: Chris McGowan