Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Do you have chocolate cravings? Or are you just a chocolate lover like me?! Well, whatever the case, here is a healthy chocolate mousse alternative. This recipe is naturally sweetened with either coconut nectar which has less sugar content (low glycemic) or with maple syrup which is a tad sweeter in flavor.

The ripe avocados give this mousse a rich creamy texture that will trick you into thinking you're eating chocolate pudding. The avocados also provide healthy fats, magnesium, and omega 3 fatty acids. The raw cocao boosts this recipe's nutrient content by adding iron and powerful antioxidants. 

I love making this recipe for my friends, or sometimes just making this quickly as a snack for myself. You can serve this right away or I also like to let it cool off in the refrigerator and set for about an hour. 

 It's hard not to eat all of it, but I promise you, you will be licking your bowl clean! 



Cocao Goji Berry Smoothie


My smoothie creating method seems to be, "oh I see that ingredient I like, now what else can I put in there?" And I have to say it seems to be working. There was no planning or measuring really with this recipe, all the ingredients combined perfectly together.

I've been having a love affair with cocao as of recently, and its what I really enjoy adding to my smoothies. It doesn't hurt that its also rich in iron, antioxidants, and magnesium either, but mostly I like the flavor. Especially when combined with my homemade almond milk, and some fruit!

If you're a lover of cocao, goji berries, coconut, and almond milk, well then, say no more, because  this smoothie was  basically made for you! Blend, drink up, and enjoy! 


Makes One Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 ripe banana (frozen) 
  • 1 Tbsp. Goji berries
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut chips
  • 3 Tbsp. cocao powder
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 medjool date

Instructions:

1.  Blend together ingredients until mixture is smooth and creamy. If you didn't freeze the banana, then add 2-3 ice cubes. 

2. Drink, and enjoy!

 

Beautifying Brownie Recipe

This recipe is part of Dig Inn's Wellness Series. Dig Inn is a farm-to-counter restaurant serving up real, good food here in NYC with a focus on seasonal, vegetable-friendly cooking.



These brownies are moist, gooey, chocolaty and sweet. But, guess what? They are also good for you! You can eat these date-sweetened treats as a snack, breakfast or the perfect dessert.

You may be thinking to yourself, a brownie recipe that makes you feel and look beautiful!? Sign me up! Did you know that raw cocao is rich in magnesium, dietary fiber, and antioxidants including flavnols and polyphenols? The antioxidants found in cocao prevent premature aging. These nutrients protect our cells from premature oxidation or destruction and can keep us looking and feeling younger longer. The more cocao you eat the more you will notice glowing skin and improved skin texture. In 2006 the Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank cacao with at least 326 mg of flavonals a day had better skin texture, improved microcirculation, increased oxygen saturation, and improved skin hydration than those didn’t.

Did you know that cocao can prevent sunburns? A recent study by London scientists found participants who ate 20 grams of cacao for 12 weeks were able to stay in the sun for twice as long as those who didn’t, without getting sunburned. In addition, German scientists found that cacao may protect against harmful UV rays that cause cancer. 

Cocao is also known to fight tooth decay. Recent studies from Tulane University discovered that an extract of cocoa powder was even more effective than fluoride in preventing cavities. This crystalline extract similar to caffeine helps harden teeth enamel.

Cocao’s high sulfur content also makes your hair shiny, gives you stronger nails, and detoxifies the liver and pancreas.

Add raw cocao to your coffee, oatmeal, smoothies, and brownies, and you’ll begin to glow! 


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cocao powder
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 2 eggs
  •  1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  •  ¼ cup and 2 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  •  1 tsp. baking soda
  • 9 medjool dates

Instructions: 

1.    Preheat oven to 350’F.

2.    Grease and dust flour over a 8 x 8 nonstick pan. 

3.    Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until mixture is gooey and thick. 




4. You can add a bit more almond milk to make the batter gooier. Spread batter evenly over pan. 



5.    Bake for 20 minutes.

6.    Cut brownies into squares and dust brownies with cocao powder. 




Raw Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter

I've been coming across fudgey raw brownie recipes lately, and they've been calling my name. So I finally decided to give in and make a batch. Of course they didn't disappoint. Chocolate goodness topped off with creamy peanut butter. No added sugar, just pure all-natural raw, vegan and gluten-free ingredients.

These would be great to make for friends, or a dinner party. I know you'll want to eel them all to yourself once you make them, but spread the love, or the brownies in this case. ;) Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients: 

Makes 8 brownies 

  • 3/4 cup almond or cashew flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 cups soft dates (soak for 5-10 minutes in hot water if hard)
  • 3 Tbsp. cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 Tbsp. brewed coffee
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of creamy salted peanut butter 9to spread on top)

1. Blend all ingredients except the peanut butter in a food processor until fully combined. You may need to add a bit more flour if batter is too gooey.

2. Put wax paper in a loaf pan. Spread batter evenly.

3. Spread peanut butter on top, you can add more if you'd like. Lightly sprinkle more salt on top.

4. Place in freezer for about 2 hours.

5. Cut and serve. Enjoy!

Superfood Super Delicious Hot Cocao

In the wintertime I always crave good hot chocolate. It’s not as easy to come across vegan hot chocolates but it also isn’t hard to make at home yourself! So I whipped up a delicious superfood version of my favorite wintertime drink. Using raw cocao powder instead of the conventional cocoa powder makes all the difference. No longer will your hot chocolate indulgence be a “guilty” pleasure! Cocao is the purest form of chocolate you can consume, and is way less processed than cocoa powder, meaning you receive more nutrients, and antioxidants. It is also known to be the highest source of magnesium of all foods. Cacao powder contains more fiber and calories than cocoa powder since more of the nutrients from the whole bean are still intact. Cacao is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, cholesterol-free saturated fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber, natural carbohydrates, and protein which make is a powerful superfood ingredient!

I also used organic coconut sugar and maple syrup instead of processed white sugar in this recipe. This way the hot chocolate is sweet, but with all natural sweeteners, and when I say all natural, I literally mean ALL NATURAL! No gimmicks or false advertising here. I want to avoid any harmful sweeteners at all costs. So coconut sugar and real maple syrup (not the Aunt Jemima stuff) are healthy and naturally sweet! Yay!

I even added shredded coconut on the top of my hot cocao to finish it off, because i’m not a big marshmallow fan, and i figured why not!? It came out delicious and provided a nice texture.

So keep this recipe on hand for cozy warm nights or days when you’re snowed in, or just whenever you crave a hot chocolate. You won’t have to cringe anymore at the thought, because enow you have a healthy version to keep in mind! Nourishing, delicious, and tasty, I hope you enjoy!

Serves 2 People

Ingredients:

  1. Heat up almond milk on low-medium heat until it begins to bubble, then put on low heat.
  2. Add in coconut sugar, maple syrup, cocao powder, salt, cinnamon, and whisk until mixed completely.
  3. Taste and add anymore ingredients according to taste.
  4. Pour into cups and sprinkle with shredded coconut or a dash of cinnamon if desired. Drink and enjoy!

Chocolate Overnight Oats With Peanut Butter Crunch Nice-Cream

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Being a foodie and following a plethora of health and food related Instagram accounts, always gets my creative juices flowing. When I first began my journey into eating a plant-based vegan diet, I realized there are so many recipes to create out there! I even realized how much more I enjoyed the taste of veggies compared to meat. Everyone is different, this is just my own personal preference at this point in my life.

By following all these foodie accounts I not only became inspired to try new ways of cooking, but I also re-discovered my love for cooking! It also pushed me to mix up my daily menu. You know when you get in the rhythm of cooking the same 3-4 staple meals almost every week for a while, and then you feel as if there are no other simple recipes on the planet to make? An then become overwhelmed with cooking all together? Yeah…it happens to the best of us. The best thing I can recommend in times like this, is to look online and see was inspiration is out there!. It doesn’t have to be a grand meal, it can be a simple 4 ingredient meal. You can even type in to your search engine what ingredients you have in your kitchen to see what you can make out of them. Or just type in something that you are craving.

I’ve following other accounts for a while now, posting decadent vegan desserts and breakfast jars, and my mouth has been watering and waiting to create a recipe similar!  So I grabbed inspiration from a few pictures and recipes I saw, and tada! A masterpiece was born! I have to warn you, once you make these layered jars once, you will never go back! That’s the thing I love MOST about cooking with whole foods, you don’t have to do much to make the food taste good, because your ingredients will shine through no matter what! (As long as you pair flavors together well, of course).

This is a great breakfast for in the summer time, or as dessert! The overnight oats are creamy, rich, and chocolaty, and the banana-nice cream mixed with peanut butter is the perfect mixture! The toppings add a crunchy chewy texture and will have you scooping around for more! Have fun, and mix up whatever flavors and toppings you have in your kitchen!

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Yields 1 Serving

Ingredients:

 Chocolate Overnight Oatmeal:

  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 2 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 TBSP cocao powder

Peanut Butter Nice-Cream:

  • 1 ½ frozen banana
  • 1 ½ TBSP unsalted peanut butter
  • 3 TBSP unsweetened almond milk

Chocolate sauce:

  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 TBSP cocao powder
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup

Layers and toppings:

  • Dates
  • Shredded coconut
  • Cocao nibs
  1. Make chocolate oatmeal night before. Mix together ingredients and store in fridge overnight.
  2. Add layer of shredded coconut on top of oatmeal.
  3. Blend together peanut butter nice-cream ingredients. Add on top.
  4. Mix together chocolate sauce ingredients. Pour on top.
  5. Sprinkle on top cocao nibs and sliced dates. Enjoy this gooey heavenly jar!