Raw Chocolate Bark

Many of you know by now that I have quite the sweet tooth. I actually don’t do much baking for the particular reason (I would eat it ALL, sigh). This Raw Chocolate Bark has become my favorite go-to along with my Perfect Banana Ice Cream. I love it mostly because it’s easy, uber fast and I can take a few nibbles and be satisfied. It is also packed full of nutrients and minerals and won’t leave you feeling like you were naughty. It is also easy to customize to your liking so don’t be afraid to experiment!

Raw Chocolate Bark, quick, clean and naughty all at the same time ;)

Raw Dark Chocolate Bark

INGREDIENTS:
3/4 extra virgin coconut oil*
1/2 cup high quality raw cocao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
4 drops liquid stevia**
A pinch of Himalayan Salt (more…)

Mixed Mushroom Parcels with Sherry & Herbs

Everyone is looking for exciting vegetable side dishes. These tasty little parcels are super fun, fast and a neat crowd pleaser. Many different veggies will work and you can even place a piece of fish inside the parchment for a full and flavorful meal.

Mixed Mushroom Parcels with Sherry & Herbs

INGREDIENTS:

6 cups mixed sliced mushrooms, such as shiitakes, oysters or chanterelles or portabellas, cleaned and de-stemmed
1 small head of fennel, tops and core removed and sliced very thin (I use a mandolin)
6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
6 large stems of tarragon or dill, stems removed and chopped
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup dry sherry, marsala or madeira
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
6 slices of butter, about 1/8 inch thick (optional)

(more…)

Gooey Fudgy Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

When my husband Anthony makes a food request, I will always oblige. This is rare and he is my favorite person to cook for. I asked him what dessert he wanted for Valentine’s Day and his request was brownies. Now, I’m not sure if you have ever made a classic brownie but they are full of an inappropriate amount of butter and sugar and will basically make your teeth fall out :). So this left me to the task of a new and improved brownie, but still healthy-ish. So I set out to make an version that would sweep him off his feet.

This one takes the cake (or the brownie as it were) and suffices to say it just might have been breakfast this morning. This delicious ooey, gooey treat also happens to be totally plant-based, gluten and refined sugar free…but I’m not telling!

Gooey Fudgy Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

1-15oz can black beans, rinsed well
2 large flax eggs*
6 Tablespoons brown rice syrup or maple syrup**
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup hazelnut flour***
1/2 cup cocoa powder (raw is highest in nutrients)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2-3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Makes 10-12 decadent squares (more…)

Vanilla Cashew Milk

This Vanilla Cashew Milk recipe is a revelation for me. Some of you know of my “milk conundrum”. That is, my long time battle with what kind of milk to take in my coffee. I used to use fat free organic dairy milk. If you don’t know what that was a bad choice read this post.

I switched to store bought organic almond milk. I follow the rule of not using anything with ingredients that I cannot pronounce…almond milk was my only exception. Why not make my own my own you ask? Because it’s grainy and separates in my coffee and I refuse to be annoyed before 7am. So then I went to grass-fed whole milk. This didn’t quite sit right either, as I try to lessen my environmental impact and eat vegan much of the time.

I went back and fourth for a long time. Then the “ahhhhh ha” moment came. Cashew milk was the answer! Creamy, rich, vegan, easy to make, no straining and it doesn’t separate in my coffee…victory! You can make it plain for universal applications or put vanilla or other fun stuff in it.

Creamy Vanilla Cashew Milk

Ingredients:
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water to cover for at least 4 hours
1-1/2 cups filtered water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder* or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (more…)

Raw Energy Bars

Raw Energy Bars

1 cup nuts such as walnuts, pecans or almonds or a mixture of
1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup chia seeds
1/3 cup coconut flakes
1 heaping packed cup pitted dates
1/2 cup dried cranberries, raisins or dried cherries
1/3 cup sweet cacao nibs (optional)
2-3 Tablespoons filtered water, as needed
A pinch of Himalayan Salt

Makes 8 bars or 12 balls

Place the nuts, chia seeds, coconut flakes and sunflower or pumpkin seeds in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until the mixture is the texture of coarse sand. If you would like some more texture in the bars you can take out a little of the nuts, coconut and seeds before mixing and add them in later.

Add the dates, cranberries and the cocoa nibs and blend until the mixture begins to come together in a sticky dough. If this is not quite happening you can add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until it is sticky and moist and will come together easily in your hands. At this time mix in the chunky pieces if you kept some aside and pulse just until blended.

For Bars:
Line a baking sheet or baking dish with parchment paper and press the mixture down into a rectangle about 1/3 of an inch thick, making the sides as even as possible.

Place in the fridge for 1 hour. Remove and flip over onto a cutting board and peel off the parchment. Cut into 12 even pieces and store in a glass container or wrap individually in plastic wrap for easy transportation.

For Balls:
The faster method is to roll the dough between your palms into balls about 1 ½ inch diameter.

Both methods will keep in fridge for up to a month or at room temperature for a week.