Tag Archives: cacao

Under the Microscope – Maca.

Under the Microscope - Maca.

Superfood Maca is native to the mountains of Peru and is cultivated as high as 4300 meters above sea level. It has been used for over 3500 years and legend claims that during the peak of the Incan empire, the warriors consumed maca before going into battle to ensure super strength and stamina.  On return from battle however, Incan soldiers were prohibited from using maca in order to protect the women from their insatiable sexual desires. Maca is renowned for providing strength, endurance and enhanced libido.

So what is maca?

A member of the cruciferous  tribe  such as kale and cabbage, maca is abundant in potassium, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, iron, sodium and phosphorous and also contains trace minerals which includes iodine, zinc, selenium, bismuth, copper, magnese, tin and silicon. It is also rich in vitamins B1, B2, C and E.

Maca has the ability to stabilise and balance the body’s glandular – hormonal system, nervous system, cardiovascular system and musculature. This makes it great for managing hormones, stress, thyroid and your mood in general.
According to David Wolfe, maca is great if you suffer from:
Anaemia
Chronic fatigue
Depression
Infertility and sterility
Lack of libido
Malnutrition
Menopausal symptoms
Menstrual discomfort and disorders
Poor memory
Stomach cancer
Stress tension
Tuberculosis

How to use it and where to get it?

Seeing as maca is a superfood it can be used in greater quantities than other medicinal herbs.  It has also found to be safe to use long term. You can purchase it online or at most health food stores in dried, raw, organic food. Look for the real deal and only buying from the root, not other parts of the plant.

Use a tablespoon in smoothies, juices, nut milks, tea or coffee, or add to your raw chocolate treats.

Here’s a recipe to get you started:

Blend 2 frozen bananas

2 fresh bananas

3 medjool dates

200mls of filtered water (or your favourite nut milk)

1 heaped teaspoon of maca root powder

Sprinkle with cacao nibs.

David Woolfe also claims that maca has a special relationship with cacao so use them together regularly to experience the culinary sensation 🙂

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Reference: Woolfe, D. (2009). Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future.  

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Breakfast Ice-cream

Breakfast Ice-cream

Ice-cream for breakfast? You can eat it all day long on a high raw, plant based diet

For the base blend: 3 frozen and 1 fresh banana with 1 tablespoon of almond butter and a heaped teaspoon of cacao powder

On the top blend 2 frozen bananas, 3 soft dates and 1 vanilla pod.

And for an extra health kick, drizzle some black strap molasses.

Black strap molasses will give you b vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium, and great hair 🙂

Eat it guilt free 🙂

Note: Always make sure you use really ripe bananas (spotty skins) to ensure sweetness and optimal digestion.

Mini Chocolate Cakes

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One of the things that I love about this lifestyle is that you can eat chocolate, ice-cream and dessert at any time of the day, whilst losing weight and feeling healthy.  It is also nice to be able let your kids eat decadent foods that you know aren’t full of rubbish.

These chocolate mini cakes are easy to make.  No dehydrator required, just a food processor and/or high speed blender.

Base:

1 cup of almonds

1 cup of soft dates

1/4 of cup of shredded coconut

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla.

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture  holds together. (add a teaspoon of water if needed).  Press a tablespoon of mixture into muffin tins.

Middle:

1/4 cup coconut butter (not to be confused with coconut oil)

1/4 cup raw almond butter

1/4 cup coconut nectar.

In a clean food processor blend together the ingredients for the almond fudge until well blended. Add mixture to your bases and clean your food processor for the chocolate icing.

 

Top:                                                                                                                             tumblr_n5n7mbmbtJ1s77sf0o1_500

1 cup of soft dates

1/4 of a cup of coconut oil

1/4 of a cup of cacao powder

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla.

Blend until smooth and spread icing over cupcakes.  Place in the freezer to set.

Licking the spoon is mandatory. photo

Yields 9

 

 

 

 

 

Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie Bowl

Move over green smoothies, smoothie bowls are the new black. You’ll need your blender, large bowl, spoon and…

1 tablespoon of Maqui Berry Powder
1 handful of organic baby spinach
1 cup of raspberries
3 frozen bananas
Some water or coconut water for desired consistency
Blend well and top it off with hemp seeds, cacao nibs and raspberries.

We use maqui berry powder in our smoothies often. Whilst you may of seen goji berries or acai berry powder used in many recipes, maqui berries are less known.

Maqui berries grow wild in Chile and Argentina and are one of the richest sources of antioxidants in the berry family. They are a beautiful vibrant purple colour, which comes from a pigment called anthocyanin.

Research indicates that consuming anthocyanin rich foods may protect against high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and have anti-cancer properties.

 

 

Mint Chocolate and Caramel Swirl

Mint Chocolate and Carmel Swirl

I’ve made a variation of this before which you can find here http://rawkiwi.org/2014/02/28/caramel-chocolate-bites/

For the chocolate section I used 1/2 teaspoon of alcohol free peppermint essence instead of vanilla. For a different effect I used a tooth pick to mix small spoonfuls of caramel through the chocolate base. The caramel is seriously good. Full of fat but really good.

 

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If you are looking to add even more sweetness to your day, this should hit the spot.

Juice

1 ripe pineapple.

3 celery sticks.

1 cucumber.

🙂

Caramel Chocolate Bites

 

The base:

Chocolate Fudge

1/2 cup coconut butter (Different to coconut oil and often used in raw treats).
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup of coconut nectar
1 tsp vanilla

The top:

Almond Fudge

1/4 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup raw almond butter
1/4 cup coconut nectar
1 tsp vanilla

Line a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan with baking paper. Allow for excess baking paper to hang over the edge.

In a food processor blend together all the ingredients for the chocolate fudge until it is fully blended and has a thick consistency. Pour into the prepared pan, smooth out and set aside.

In a clean food processor blend together the ingredients for the almond fudge until well blended. Spread smoothly over the chocolate base.

Place fudge the freezer to set up. Once solid, remove from pan by lifting up the baking paper. Peel off paper and cut into equal pieces.

Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

 

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Dessert for every meal

Dessert for every meal

One of the best things about eating this way is being able to eat dessert for breakfast (lunch and dinner) and knowing it’s good for you.

To make this delicious chocolate sauce you will need:
5-6 medjool dates
1 vanilla pod
1 heaped tablespoon of cacao powder (or carob)
1 teaspoon of Acai berry powder
1/2 cup of filtered water.
Blend until smooth

In a mason jar, spoon in your banana ice-cream (made from 1 banana and 4 frozen bananas) and layer it with sauce.

Simply delicious 🙂

His n Her Smoothies

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My husband is currently doing a bit of a raw challenge which is great, but it does mean extra work for me as well as coming up variations on smoothies and other meals. I’m happy with really simple food but he likes a lot more fat and chunkier food.  This smoothie was pretty popular on the day.

Blend

Bananas, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, acai berry powder, maqui berry powder, and chia seed gel in coconut water.

I topped his off with homemade organic peanut and coconut oil butter (but you could use any nut butter) and cacao nibs.

 

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And to keep mine low fat, I topped it with berries and kiwi fruit 🙂

 

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Banana and Date Smoothie

Banana and Date Smoothie

If you are struggling to curb your sugar cravings then eat more dates – the semi dried, gooey, organic medjool kind. I love them in a smoothie especially with frozen bananas. I made this for my husband the other night as part of his dinner and as usual half of it got robbed off him.

You will need your own homemade almond milk of
1 cup of almonds
4 cups of filtered water
2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil
1 teaspoon of organic vanilla essence (or pod)
1 teaspoon of non-GMO Lecithin Powder

Using around 300 mls of this milk, blend it with 4 frozen bananas; 4-5 medjool dates and a small handful of cacao nibs.

Serves 2.

It’s thick, creamy and super sweet – absolutely no need to reach for the junk food 🙂