Raw Chocolate-Covered Orange & Vine-Fruit Slices

img_3091I realised we still had a large bag of mixed vine fruit and an open bag of Sweet Apricot Kernels left over from Christmas and as we were making almond milk and would have the pulp to use up, I decided to combine the two. My husband kindly donated the Raw Chocolate Company Goji and Orange bar from his Selection Box* for the topping and we made it extra orangey with some fresh orange juice and zest.

You could substitute the almond milk pulp for any other nut milk pulp or even use finely ground nuts and/or seeds, it will alter the flavour a little and you may have to adjust the amount of liquid.

The vine fruits can be substituted with any mix of chopped dried fruit, I would have liked apricots but we didn’t have any. Again, it will slightly alter the taste.

The Sweet Apricot Kernels can be substituted with chopped almonds or other nuts.

 Vegan, Gluten-Free and Organic where possible.

All quantities very approximate.

Ingredients

1 Cup Almond Nut Milk Pulp

1/2 C Sweet Apricot Kernels, roughly chopped

2 Cups Mixed Vine Fruits

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

2 Tbsps Shelled Hemp Seeds

Juice and Zest of 1 Small Orange, washed, reserve a little for the topping

1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

1 Tbsp Melted Cacao Butter (about 5-6 cacao butter buttons)

22g bar of The Raw Chocolate Company Goji and Orange Raw Chocolate melted with 2 cacao butter buttons (about a tsp) + a tsp of Orange Juice

A Square of a 22g bar of The Raw Chocolate Company Orange Raw Chocolate, grated (it’s up to you what you do with the remainder, I won’t tell if you don’t;-))

More Orange Zest for topping

Method

Add all the main ingredients to the food processor up to the melted cacao butter and process until it comes together, scraping down and restarting a few times.

img_3088Press firmly into a baking tin which has been lightly oiled with a little melted cacao butter.

Place in the fridge to firm up a little.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and cacao butter over a pan of hot but not boiling water. Add a little orange juice.

Remove the tray from the fridge and drizzle or cover the fruit img_3090mixture with the chocolate and grate a little orange zest and orange raw chocolate all over. Put back in the fridge for a few minutes.

When firm and the chocolate set, slice carefully and enjoy.

Will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

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Relaxing with James Arthur, my favourite green tea with jasmine in my new oversized cup and a raw slice treat or two. The chocolate bar is just for the photo, honest!

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See Raw Treats – Recipes and Raw Chocolate Recipes in the menu for more raw treats.

The Raw Chocolate Company

Copyright: Chris McGowan

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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

Chilled Sweet Hemp Treats

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Do you ever feel that slump of energy after a stressful morning or feel a craving for something sweet that doesn’t involve ingesting unmentionables or make you feel guilty for whatever reason? Do you have a sweet tooth that just won’t be assuaged by a banana or a smoothie? You have to try these Chilled Sweet Treats!

They are fizzing with energy, can be as sweet as you need and you won’t go on to eat half the batch and spoil lunch or dinner. They are satisfyingly sweet without leaving you craving more, unlike refined processed snacks.

These Treats have the nutty flavour and texture of Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds, Sweet Apricot Kernels and rolled oats as well as the sweetness of dates, raisins or other dried fruit such as apricots. Even my mum loved these and she doesn’t like dates or dried apricots.

So, without further ado, on with the music – what else, but James Bay busking ‘Craving’ in front of Sydney Opera House!– and out with the measuring cups.

Ingredients:

1/3 Cup Sweet Apricot Kernels* – roughly ground

1/3 Cup Shelled Hemp Seeds* + a little for the topping

1 Cup Dried Fruit, I used a combination of Medjool Dates (chopped) and Raisins

1 Tbsp Maple Syrup (optional) or a little apple juice

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Tsp Cinnamon

1 Cup Gluten-Free Rolled Oats

Method

Pulse the Sweet Apricot Kernels, Shelled Hemp Seeds and Dried Fruit a few times until they begin to combine.

Add the Maple Syrup (if using) or apple juice, Vanilla Extract and Cinnamon and process until all combined, forming a ball.

Mix in the oats until well blended in.

Line a baking tray with parchment

Break off small amounts of the mixture, roll into balls and then flatten out into thin circles and place on the try.

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Sprinkle a few Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds on the middle of each circle and press in gently with the back of a teaspoon.

Place in the fridge until they firm up. They will also freeze. Open-freeze them first on a tray before placing them in a container.

Makes about 15, but I think 2 will be enough!

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*http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Banana & Sweet Apricot Kernel Smoothie

imageThis gorgeously light and delicate smoothie was created on a beautiful Spring morning and I couldn’t resist adding a photo of these striking red tulips in amongst the forget-me-nots – the smoothie looks a bit peely-wally by comparison (Scots: look it up! One for you Scribbleartie 😉)

Have you ever had bananas and peanut butter? If so, you’ll love this. It has home-made Sweet Apricot Kernel butter in it, but you can substitute it if you wish. I’d just read a Raw Chocolate Company tweet about their special offer on Sweet Apricot Kernels and I remembered we still had a bag in the cupboard, so we put them together et voilà!

                                     image                   Sweet Apricot Kernels are like small delicate almonds and can be used in the same way. You can make Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter and milk as you would with almonds.

 B vitamins, healthy fats, protein and electrolytes in a glass. Sweet and simple, so what are you waiting for?

*

All ingredients are organic, vegan and gluten-free. 

Ingredients

1 Small Ripe Banana

Handful of Sweet Apricot Kernels*

1 Tbsp Hemp Seeds*

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds*

1 Tbsp Raw Unsweetened Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter or Peanut Butter

1 Heaped Tbsp Gluten-Free Oats

1 Glass Unsweetened Coconut Water

*

Blend and relax.

*

This recipe is for Bernadette over at https://haddonmusings.com/ she hadn’t heard of sweet apricot kernels until she read my recipe for Oh-So-Choolatey Hemp Seed Coins – there are some more recipes which have them among their ingredients here.

*http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Christmas Truffles

img_2880These are similar to the mix for the Spiced Fruity Raw Vegan Gluten-Free Christmas Pudding  The method is a little different, however. You may want to make individual treats for a gift or if you don’t need a whole pudding. They keep well in the fridge or freezer.

As always, measurements are approximate, substitutions are encouraged so long as they are like for like. If you don’t have enough dates, use some raisins or figs to make it up. The recipe contains no refined sugar.

The mix is vegan, gluten-free and all done in the food processor, so it’s easy-peasy lemon squeezy!

Different combinations of tart or sweet berries will give you a different balance of sweetness.

The fun bit is that if you really want, you can scoop out small amounts of the mixture and try them with a different combination of spices, or dust with a different powder eg cacao, lucuma powder, fine tiger nut flour,** finely ground sweet apricot kernels or almonds, and you can test as you go along: add a bit of this or that, see what you prefer and then next time do it all for real with your preferred combination!

Good for getting the kids involved rolling them in different ingredients and trying them out.

They also make a great gift.

So put on some Seasonal music – my antidote to all the shopping centre Christmas muzak: Miley Cyrus, Permanent December – and off we go!

Ingredients

Half Cup Sweet Apricot Kernels (or almonds, roughly chopped) pre-soak them while you get everything else ready
Half Cup Walnuts
Half Cup Dates
Half Cup Goji Berries
Half Cup Dried Mulberries
Zest and Juice of Half an Orange (or apple juice if you prefer a sweeter flavour)
Zest of Half a Lemon
1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
Or whichever spices you prefer, adjust amount according to taste

Method

Pre-soak the Sweet Apricot Kernels
Soak Berries in the Orange Juice (or apple juice if you want it less citrusy)

Drain Kernels and process
Add remainder of ingredients
Process & Stir, Process & Stir, it will take a while, until you arrive at your preferred consistency.

Scoop spoons of the mixture and roll into balls in your hands.
Refrigerate to firm up.
Lightly dust with Raw Lucuma Fruit Powder or whatever else you fancy. It has a slightly malted flavour and is rich in healthy nutrients.

You could also dip them in melted raw chocolate, add a little raw cacao butter to make it dip easier and prevent it being too brittle when it sets.
Place in truffle cases, decorate with holly and gracefully accept all the compliments!

*https://www.therawchocolatecompany.com

https://www.thetigernutcompany.co.uk

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Grab Yourself a Slice of Energy: Raw Sweet Apricot Kernel Slices!

Raw Sweet Apricot Kernel Slices

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These Sweet Apricot Kernel Slices are protein-packed and bursting with so much energy you could be bouncing off the walls! Simple and quick to make, they are excellent for a.m. and p.m pick-me-ups, lunch-boxes and activity snacks. They keep well in a sealed container in the fridge and even keep for a long time in the freezer – if you can resist them that is.  Even the sceptical children in the family love these! They also make a lovely gift.

They are an excellent way to use home-made Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter – see earlier post Gettin’ Jiggy in the Kitchen 

All measurements are approximate. Substitutions are ok on a like for like basis. I use organic where possible. They are vegan and gluten-free and very yummy!

(If you want a slightly less chewy bar, briefly soak the goji berries in a little apple juice or water).

Ingredients
1 Cup Raw Chocolate Company* Organic Sweet Apricot Kernels, ground coarsely
1 1/2 Cups Gluten-Free Oats
12 Soft Organic Dried Apricots
2 and a bit Tbsps Water
1 Heaped Tbsp Raw Chocolate Company Chia Seeds
1/2 Cup Raw Chocolate Company Goji Berries
A Generous 1/3 Cup Raw Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter (see earlier recipe)
A Generous 1/4 Cup Organic Maple Syrup
Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Method

Place ground kernels in a large mixing bowl
Process oats, apricots and water until the apricots are coarsely chopped
Add to mixing bowl along with Goji Berries and Chia Seeds
In a small saucepan, warm the Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter, Maple Syrup, Sea Salt and Vanilla Extract until smooth and pouring consistency
Add to mixing bowl and mix thoroughly until it starts to come together, clean hands are the best tool for this!
Press into an 8″x 8″ tin lined with greaseproof paper

Refrigerate for several hours to set.
Slice and savour!

PS my husband reckons they taste like Christmas cake and was convinced they were made with almonds.

*http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Gettin’ Jiggy in the Kitchen: Make Your Own Raw Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter

Raw Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter

For this recipe, I have chosen a different take on the usual nut butter recipes.

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If you’re a raw food newbie, then this will ease you in gently to raw food cuisine. It is so simple, you just need a little patience – or in this case, a little Florence – see later, bad joke!

Raw Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter features my favourite Raw Chocolate Company Raw Organic Sweet Apricot Kernels.* 

 They are found inside apricot stones and look like small flat almonds. They are sweet and nutty, packed with protein and fibre and contain essential Omega 3 fats, iron, zinc and calcium.

By the magic of my ancient Braun Multipractic food processor we transformed them into yummy butter in less than half an hour. Half an hour, you say! Standing stirring, switching on and off for 30 minutes, surely that’s like watching paint dry, is it going to be worth the effort? YES! It is so simple and so tasty, and you know what they say, patience is a virtue and all good things come to those who wait…

(If you’re using an old food processor like us, be careful it doesn’t start to overheat, process in short bursts. It is well worth it, but a more modern processor/high speed blender will get the job done a lot quicker).

So, to make things more interesting, let’s get jiggy with it: put on some loud music, preferably the kind you can sing along to, and get some moves on while you switch and stir.

Today’s music of choice was Florence and The Machine’s Shake It Out but don’t hold that against me! 

Raw Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter

Ingredients
2 Cups of The Raw Chocolate Company Sweet Apricot Kernels.
or 1 1/2 150g bags
Pinch of sea salt

Method

Process in short bursts, frequently scraping down the sides. It will seem like nothing is happening for about 15 minutes and you may start questioning your existence but then miraculously it all starts coming together. After that, it’s up to you how long you keep going, depending on how smooth or crunchy you like it. Some people like to add a teaspoon of coconut oil to help it along, but we kept to the basics.

Makes enough to fill a honey jar. I like it with Nairn’s Gluten-Free Oatcakes but it can easily be used in other recipes. Look on the back of the bag for a sweet and spicy choco version and see also my Sweet Apricot Kernel Slices and other Raw Treats on the   Recipes Page

It makes a lovely gift tied up with a colourful ribbon or string.

*http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com

Copyright: Chris McGowan