“Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.”, Joanne Harris, Chocolat.
Choc to the System
This is a Chocolate Smoothie with a healthy twist. It is gluten-free, dairy free and egg free. The banana and the coconut water give it a sweet taste. You do have the option of adding rice malt syrup or honey if you have a sweet tooth.
This smoothie is jam packed with goodness. The pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and avocado add good healthy fats (EFA’s). The avocado gives the smoothie a creamy texture. Raw Cacao powder is the pure form of chocolate. Cacao contains fibre, iron, zinc, copper, calcium and magnesium. Cacao is high in sulfur which helps to build strong bones and nails. Another exciting piece of information about Cacao is that it contains a chemical called Anandamide or “Chocolate Amphetamine”. This neurotransmitter creates a feel good high sensation, another reason to purchase a bag.
Banana’s give the smoothie a sweet taste as does the coconut water. Both a nutrient dense and contain quality levels of potassium. Coconut water is high in natural electrolytes which make a great sport drink as opposed to sugar laden drinks on the market. It also contains Lauric Acid which helps boost your immune system and fight off infections.
1-2 heaped tablespoons Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds (soaked prior to consumption, minimum 4 hours)
2-3 heaped tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
1 Medium Avocado
½ Banana or you can use 1 Banana
1 teaspoon Vanilla Powder
1 cup Coconut Water
Pinch Pink Himalayan Rock Salt
Optional add 1-2 teaspoons of Rice Malt Syrup or Honey (if you have a sweet tooth)
Pop in blender or smoothie maker, blitz until mixture is combined. Pour into a glass and add ice cubes.
Sip away to chocolate paradise.
Eat Real, Great Feel!
Trips to the supermarket can be a daunting task when you aren’t sure what you really need or want. Below I have put together an outline of essential items that will help you to enhance your healthy eating habits.
- Oils: Coconut Oil Cold Pressed, Olive Oil Cold Pressed, Avocado Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Ghee Clarified Butter.
- Salt: Pink Himalayan Rock Salt, Rock Salt.
- Spices: Every press should have an abundance of spices to add flavor to your favourite dishes. Pick yourself up some Chilli Flakes, Garam Masala, Turmeric Powder, Cardamom Pods, Star Anise, Mustard Seeds, Chilli Powder, Whole Coriander Seeds or powder, Ginger Powder, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Fennel Seeds, Fenugreek, Cumin Seeds and Peppercorns; the list is endless!
- Herbs: Where possible I like to use the fresh herbs, however, it isn’t always possible so I go for the dry option. Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Bay Leaves, Sage, Tarragon, Mint; tailor to suit your cooking habits.
- Sauces: Fish Sauce, Tamari Style Soy Sauce (gluten-free option), Tabasco Sauce, Mustard, Peanut Butter (make sure it has only peanuts in the ingredients, this is the healthier and more natural form).
- Tins of Coconut Milk. Check the ingredients list and try to avoid brands that add additives, try keeping it as natural as possible. My favourite brands are Biona or Chaokoh.
- Tins of Tomatoes. Great for the bases of sauces and soups.
- Vinegar: Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, brands I like are Bragg or Biona, Balsamic Vinegar, White Wine Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar.
- Sweeteners: Raw Honey, Unrefined Brown Sugar, Stevia, Coconut Sugar, Agave Syrup.
- Chocolate: 70-85% Dark Chocolate is great when you get a sugar craving. My favourite brands are Lindt or Green & Black. Also keep an Organic Cocoa Powder in the press; Green & Black have a great cocoa powder. It comes in very handy for making your own natural hot chocolate drink (recipe to follow),Carob Powder is fantastic.
- Nuts: Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Brazil Nuts, Roasted Coconut Flakes, Raw Peanuts ; these are all great for snack recipes.
- Flour: Almond Flour, Coconut Flour and Desiccated Coconut; I use these flours mostly as I am Gluten Free.
Places I can recommend in Johannesburg are:
For a list of Farmers Markets in Johannesburg visit Eat Out.
The list above is an outline of products that will be needed for the various healthy recipes and ideas that I post. There is no need to make a burst for the store straight away to purchase the entire product list. I will add to the list as time progresses.
Eat real, Great Feel!
Be warned its addictive!
What you will need:
- 3 cups Desiccated Coconut (Read the product label to ensure there are no other chemical additives present)
- 1/2 cup Almonds (nibbles, flaked, blanched – any kind you like)
- 1/2 cup Walnuts (crushed) I usually crush them with a rolling-pin if the supermarket doesn’t have the crushed version.
- 1/2 cup Hazelnuts (crushed)
- 1/2 cup Golden Linseed
- 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
- 1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds
- 1/2 cup Chia Seeds
- 1/2 Sesame Seeds
- Coconut Oil (1 teaspoon)
- Pink Himalayan Rock Salt (pinch)
- Honey (1 tablespoon, however, you can season to taste)
Oven Temp: 150 degrees Fan Oven
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Next put the mixture on a flat baking tray. I tend to layer it up to about 1 inch in thickness. Once the mixture is golden in colour remove it from the oven. Allow it to cool. Place in a storage container.
In a Pyrex jug add the honey and coconut oil. Place the jug in a saucepan of heated water and wait for the mixture to melt. Once melted pour on the cereal and mix it all together
Coconut milk works great if, like me, you prefer the dairy free option. A brand I am very fond of is “Kara”. You can also use rice, soya, hazelnut, quinoa or almond milk. Add some fresh fruit, dried fruit or natural yogurt.
The recipe isn’t set in stone and if you are feeling creative you can mix up the ingredients by adding pecans, cashews, brazil nuts, a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg. I am a coconut fiend so I like to add roasted coconut flakes. Swap honey for agave syrup or molasses. Season it to your taste buds.
You can have the mixture pre-made and store it in your press so when you are running low it is easy to throw another batch in the oven.
Eat Real, Great Feel!