4 Recipes: Homemade, Raw Dark Chocolate!

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My name is Danielle, and I’m a chocoholic! However, I love to make my own. All the chocolate I make is raw, organic, healthy, dairy-free, sugar-free and gluten-free. It is easy, fun, so nutritious and I have the ability to make it taste just the way I want. I am going to give you 4 variations that I absolutely love. Feel free to add in whatever ingredients you love. Nuts (soak them first, see guide here.), goji berries, dried fruit, unsweetened desiccated coconut, etc.

I took this picture of some of the chocolates I made at home!

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All of my chocolate recipes are made with the superfood, raw form of cocoa (highly processed and little to zero nutritional benefit) ; cacao- it’s beyond amazing! Pronounced: ka-kow.

Some of its more amazing feats include: improved brain function, very high in antioxidants, very high in magnesium, promotes heart health, quells headaches, mood enhancing, aphrodisiac, and even promotes healthy skin and aids in weight loss.  Read this post I wrote to learn all about it!

#1) The Original Raw Dark Chocolate

Ingredients:

* 1/4 cacao powder

* Just under 1/4 cup organic, extra virgin coconut oil

* 1 tsp. raw honey

* 2 packtes natvia or stevia (or to taste)

Method:

Mix all together in a bowl and place in rubber mold. Then place in freezer for 20+ minutes and enjoy!

#2) Raw Banana Dark Chocolate

You will need a rubber mold for this recipe as well.  (See picture above.  I love the heart-shaped mold!)

Ingredients:

* 1 cup organic, extra virgin coconut oil- If you’re in colder weather right now you may need to let the jar of coconut oil sit in a bowl of warm water for about a minute or so until it’s melted.

* 1 cup cacao powder

* ¼ mashed banana

* ¼ coconut oil

* Stevia/Natvia, to taste

Method:

Mix ingredients together in a bowl and  place chocolate into the mold.  Place in freezer (at least 20 min) and wait for them to set!

#3) Instant Creamy Banana Dark Chocolate

This thrid recipe is REALLY quick and so yummy! You can throw it together and eat it within minutes. Make enough for a sinful tasting snack for yourself or double, triple the recipe for guests or dinner at a friend’s.

Ingredients:

* 3 Tbsp. of cacao powder

* 3 Tbsp. of organic, extra virgin coconut oil

* Banana, mushed and to taste

*Stevia or Natvia, to taste

Method:

Mix together and eat! If you’re not a fan of banana you can replace it with avocado. It is very creamy and delicious and no, you can not taste it at all!

#4) Instant Cherry Dark Chocolate

The fourth recipe contains Medjool dates and cherries! It is also just as quick as the second!

Serves 1

Ingredients:

* 2 Medjool dates, pitted (might be easier to process them if they have been soaked in filtered water for 15-30 min)

* 2 Tbsp. Cacao powder

* 5 Cherries, pitted

* 1 Handful of walnuts

* 1 Tbsp. organic, extra virgin coconut oil

* Splash of water

*Stevia or Natvia, to taste

Method:

Combine all ingredients together in a food processor. If you have a vita mix you can use that! If you are finding consistency too liquidy, add more dates or cacao powder. Don’t use too much stevia, it is really sweet! Double or triple the batch for a bigger serving. Enjoy!

Picture below of the chocolates without a mold->

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For personalized guidance with your health, wellness and fun recipe ideas I invite you to contact me today so we can schedule your complimentary consultation.

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Raw Cheesecake Bars

Inspired by, The Detoxinista! She is so fabulous and has hundreds of amazing recipes. You can check out her website here.

I could not believe how delicious this cheesecake is. My fiancé and I were swooning the whole way through. It’s so similar to regular cheesecake (better I think), easy to make and doesn’t leave you feeling sluggish and gross after eating it. However, it is still super rich and you probably won’t be able to eat more than a couple pieces.

First, we need to make the crust.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 2 tablespoons organic, natural maple syrup (or you can use organic stevia, to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon himalayan/celtic sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil

Method:

  1. Grind up your pecans (preferably soaked for 8 hours or overnight in a bowl of filtered water) in a food processor until crumbly. Be careful you don’t over-do it, or the oils will be release from the nuts, leaving you with a more glossy, oily crust.
  2. Next, add the rest of your ingredients and blend away. Once it all sticks together press the dough into a greased or lined pan and place into the freezer to set!

Cheesecake time!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup raw cashew butter
  • 2½ Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2½ Tbsp. raw honey
  • 2 medjool dates
  • ½ tsp. natural vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. celtic/himalayan sea salt

Method:

  • In a mini food processor, blend zucchini until finely processed.
  • Add the lemon juice, raw honey, medjool dates (these may need to soak for 15-25 minutes before they will blend easily), natural vanilla, sea salt and blend until smooth.
  • Next, add in the cashew butter and blend until well combined.
  • Pour into a baking pan, over your raw graham cracker crust and freeze overnight or until set.
  • Serve frozen for an authentic cheesecake texture.
  • Optional: Add strawberries, blueberries or raspberries on top for an added juicy burst of flavor!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I always do!

xoxo, Danielle

Introducing: Felicia from A Simply Raw Life + Vanilla Milkshake Recipe

Today, I am sharing an exclusive interview with Felicia from A Simply Raw Life! This woman is so inspiring and her recipes are so delicious and creative. I first stumbled upon A Simply Raw Life when I discovered her Banana Cream Vanilla Smoothie. It is one of the most delicious, simple and healthy smoothies you will ever make. Not to mention, it tastes positively sinful. Once I tried this smoothie I knew I just had to connect with the person who was genius enough to create it. Read below to get a better idea of who Felicia is, what makes her tick and what A Simply Raw Life is all about-you won’t want to miss it. The Banana Cream Vanilla Smoothie is included as well.

Tell us about yourself:

My name is Felicia and I am designer whose real passion is cooking.  My life is surrounded by wonderful friends and family, many who have the same passions, loves and desires as I do. One of them being to feed our families with healthy foods and treats. Over the past year this passion has evolved into really trying to make over our meals, creating our old favorites into healthier natural versions. Thus,  A Simply Raw Life was born. This blog is about sharing healthy recipes, fun things revolving around food and the kitchen and maybe some other fabulous things we come across living in Los Angeles. But mostly, this blog was created help people like me and many of my friends, to transition into incorporating a more plant based diet into their lives, to eat more raw foods in their natural state and see the benefits from doing so.  I hope you come and join this journey with us.

When did you start your journey to a healthier lifestyle?

I started 7 years ago thinking a vegetarian lifestyle was the healthiest change I could make.  I didn’t know anything about raw food and I didn’t think I could be a vegan and give up cheese.  Only 10 months ago did I learn about raw foods and made the changes and adjustments to be raw most of the time and vegan the rest. I haven’t looked back.

What led you there?

What led me there was were two things, one of them being the realization that as I grew older my body did not digest proteins well at all.  The change to vegetarian was to cut out all animal meat protein thinking it would help and solve the problem.  I realized that even with that, my body was not functioning correctly. Very painful at times.  I did my usual yearly cleanse last June and finally made the transition to raw foods.  The other was the cancer diagnosis a close friend received last year.  She had a very aggressive form of cancer and she needed to act fast and fight it.  She consulted a nutritionist and immediately when raw.  The doctors were amazed the results of her blood work only after a week.  She was able to help suppress her cancer with the raw diet and ended up only needing radiation and not chemotherapy.  I joined the raw food journey to support her and it changed my life.  She is an inspiration.

What are some of the daily rituals you practice (besides making all of your amazing recipes!)?

I try to have one fresh green juice or green smoothie every day.  I drink lots of water.  I pack our families lunches every day and when we get home from work we have family time and try to get outdoors as much as we can. This year we are working on a fruit and vegetable garden.  I hope we can do it.  The best times are spent with my husband and son.

A lot of people have a hard time staying healthy when they aren’t in the comfort of their own home. How do you keep your balance when traveling or eating out?

I try to find eateries that offer heathly foods I can eat.  Part of it is doing research before you go out.  Check out the options in the area and checking out the menus. If I am traveling for work, I try to also find a juice bar in the area and drink at least one or two fresh juices.  Also, I try to remind myself of how good I feel when I do eat healthy and how I usually regret it afterwards.  However, I do allow for splurges every now and then.  It’s only natural.  But I try to make sure it doesn’t become a prolonged splurge. 🙂

What did your life used to look like before your journey began (in a nut shell) and what’s the difference now?

I’ve always been a foodie, I love food, but before I didn’t meal plan as carefully, and I really let my guard down in regards to food and was carefree about what I put into my body.  I can say I paid the price for doing that.  I was tired a lot and bloated.  I enjoyed my family as always, but now I feel good about being able to give my family even healthier options.  Now, I have way more energy, I’ve lost weight without really trying, my skin is clear, I have mental clarity and no more bloating… I could keep going…

What is your number one tip for clean eating and healthy living?

Meal plan and prepare.  Make over your pantry and refrigerator. If you have the ingredients on hand you are more likely to eat clean because the ingredients are there at your fingertips.  Give your body a chance to reap the benefits of clean eating… your body will end up craving it once it use to it.

Recipe:

BANANA CREAM VANILLA SMOOTHIE

1 cup almond or coconut milk

1 to 1-1/2 banana, frozen chunks

2 dates

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Yes, that’s it!   Blend all the ingredients together in a high speed blender. Note: I like my smoothies to be thick and creamy, especially this one. Start off with 1 frozen banana and then if it looks too thin, slowly add more frozen banana, piece by piece, until you get the desired thickness. Top your smoothie with chia seeds and raw cacao powder, or whatever your heart desires! Yum!

Enjoy!

For more amazing recipes and inspiration A Simply Raw Life can be found here:

xoxo, Danielle

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Raw Zucchini Pasta

This recipe is very unexpected. It is one of my all-time favorite meals to make and is the ultimate “fast food”. My Raw Zucchini Pasta is oh-so satisfying and so simple to make! Everyone, including myself, are shocked at just how yummy, oober healthy and absolutely sinchy it is! 🙂

What you will need: 1 zucchini ½ lemon Tamari (Gluten free soy sauce) or Shoyu (unpasteurized soy sauce), to taste Nutritional yeast flakes (optional) Raw vegetables to put on top (raw mushrooms and tomato are two of my prefernces)

Method: (Serves 1) Using a peeler. Peel zucchini from very top to bottom (vertically) making pasta-like strands. Disregard first layer unless organic. Peel evenly all around the zucchini. Once you reach the seeds -stop. Top with raw mushrooms, tomato or whatever veggies you have in the house. Sprinkle fresh lemon juice and your Tamari/Shoyu on top and lightly toss. Add nutritional yeast on top and to taste.

It’s really that simple.

Want more information on the benefits of these ingredients or perhaps a creamy sauce to go on top? See my recipe for The Ultimate Zucchini Hummus here.

Enjoy!

xoxo, Danielle

 

For personalized guidance with your health, wellness and more fun recipes I invite you to contact me today so we can schedule your complimentary consultation.