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Chunky Chocolate Hazelnut Slice

chochazelnut{BASE}

  • 2 cups of roasted hazelnuts (skins removed)
  • 2 heaped Tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 Tbsp rice syrup (or your sweetener of choice)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil

Process the nuts and cacao until crumbly. We aren’t looking for fine crumbs here – chunky is good! Add the dates, one at a time, then the remaining ingredients. Mix until a sticky ‘dough’ is formed. You may need to add cold water, 1 Tbsp at a time if the mixture is too dry. Press into the bottom of a small rectangular tin lined with baking paper and and set aside while you prepare the chocolate topping. (if you like press some halved hazelnuts into the base mixture for some extra crunch!)

{CHOCOLATE TOPPING}

  • 70 g cacao butter, shaved (you could use coconut oil but you won’t get that rich chocolate taste)
  • 1 heaped Tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsp rice syrup (or your sweetener of choice)

To speed up the melting process, grate or shave your cacao butter first. Place in a small stainless steel bowl that sits comfortably over a small saucepan one-quarter filled with water. Over a low heat, melt the cacao butter until smooth. Remove from heat with care and use a small whisk to combine the cacao powder and syrup. Whisk vigorously! (a fork just won’t cut it here, as the cacao mixture will not combine completely with the syrup). Taste. Add more sweetener if desired. Pour over the base and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours to harden.

Slice into squares and enjoy!

This makes a cute little gift for someone special as well – just add twine and brown kraft paper.

chochazelnut_gift

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{GUEST POST} The problematic vegetarian/vegan diet – how to do it the right way!

veggiesby Jessica Cox

Following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is a choice that many choose to make. Whether it is a choice fuelled by humane concerns or just a downright dislike of meat, this type of diet results in a major shift in the intake of dietary protein. The vegetarian or vegan diet is often equated with the notion of a healthier lifestyle choice. It is perceived that to omit meat and other animal products from the diet automatically opens the door to glowing health. Unfortunately, in many circumstances this is not the case.

If a vegetarian diet or vegan diet is applied correctly it can be fabulously rich in nutrients, fibre and protein. Regrettably, many people who make the step to this style of eating do not understand the general mechanisms that create a healthy balanced diet. Therefore, they end up with major deficiencies in core macronutrients such as protein and vitamins such as B12 alongside minerals such as calcium and iron.

The general mistake that is made is the removal of major sources or protein such as meat, dairy and other animal products without replacing these foods with sufficient alternatives. The classic case in point of this would be a typical vegetarian/vegan diet that included a grain-based breakfast, snacking on fruit and nuts with a lunch and dinner of grains and vegetables. This looks good at first glance to some, yet there is a huge slice of the pie missing. The lack of protein in this common scenario results in some well-known signs and symptoms, which may be familiar to those who follow this style of eating.

vegetarian

Firstly, there is general feeling of malaise. Energy is low and the day feels like a struggle. You feel like you want to eat to get your energy levels up yet the food consumed does not seem to give you what you’re looking for. Often this is followed by huge sugar cravings; vegan biscuits, cakes, cookies, chocolate, you name it. These sugar cravings are due to the lack of protein being consumed and your body looking for energy for a ‘quick hit’. These sugary foods devoid of protein and loaded with sugar leave you more tired and can easily lead to unwanted weight gain.

The trick to a healthy diet devoid of animal products is consistent protein intake. Every meal and ideally even your snacks should include some form of protein in combination with your grains. Vegetarian protein sources lack some of the essential amino acids needed by the body to form complete protein. However, these missing amino acids are found in grains, which is why combining the two is so fundamentally important. Protein combining must be consistent with every meal to gain optimal intake of all amino acids. This is especially important during times of growth and pregnancy.

The general rule of thumb for a vegan is that 15% of vegetarian diet should consist of legumes, 30% of the diet should consist of grains and the diet should also include nuts and seeds for energy density and further protein. As a vegetarian, there is still the option of eggs and dairy products, which contain complete protein. These foods can be incorporated with meals to add additional (and more complete) protein.

Nuts and grains along with leafy greens are also an alternative source of iron and calcium, not to mention folate. Iron can also be found in dried fruit such as prunes and apricots. Calcium can be found in sesame seeds and spreads such as tahini and almond butter. The vegetarian diet still has an ample supply of dairy products that provide great calcium, along with the inclusion of eggs that contain iron.  Unfortunately B12 is found in meats and will often become deficient in a pure vegetarian or vegan diet.  It can be found in seaweed based foods such as nori, but these would need to be incorporated regularly into the diet and are not often eaten enough to maintain B12 levels. Supplementation is often needed here.

It is possible to have a broad and nutritious vegetarian or vegan diet. It just needs to be thought about before the jump is made into excluding major food groups. Done correctly if can open a world of new food experiences and tantalise the palette with new and exciting food possibilities.

Jessica is an accredited and practicing Nutritionist with a Bachelor Health Science (Nutrition). Jessica is available for consultations at Professional Therapists based in Brisbane City.  Contact Jessica with any queries or questions at www.jessicacox.com.au or email jessica@jessicacox.com.au. Source great food ideas by following Jessica on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest (jescoxnutritionist) or Facebook 

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cookies + cream cupcakes

cookies and cream raw dessert sugar free

Too good to be true? Nope. Humble rice syrup and coconut oil replace the dates that are otherwise a staple in raw desserts. Well, if we’re being technical the hazelnuts have been roasted (not essential but very much recommended!) so this isn’t 100% raw. It’s 100% amazeballs though AND refined sugar-free! (no fructose in this recipe)

Base:

  • 1 cup macadamias
  • 1 cup hazelnuts (roasted if you prefer) See how to roast them here
  • 2 Tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla powder (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup rice syrup

Process the nuts, cacao powder and vanilla powder if using until fine and crumbly. Add the coconut oil and rice syrup until a ‘dough’ is formed. You may need to add cold water, 1 Tbsp at a time until the desired consistency is achieved. Taste to ensure it’s sweet enough and chocolatey enough for you liking. Adjust if necessary. Press about 1 Tbsp of the nut mixture into each cup of  a 6 hole silicone muffin tray and place in the freezer. Reserve the remaining nut mixture for the filling.

Filling:

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked in water overnight – rinsed well
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (+ extra)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup rice malt syrup

Blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. You may need to gradually add extra coconut milk until the entire mixture is churning consistently.  Add 3/4 of the base mixture to the filling and blitz for a few seconds only. (This is the cookies part so you want it chunky! Alternatively you could stir it through).Taste and adjust if necessary.

Remove the muffin tray from the freezer and pour the mixture evenly into the 6 moulds. Scatter remaining nut mixture evenly over the top of the cupcakes. Freezer for 6-8 hours or overnight for best results. Serve with sugar-free chocolate topping.

sugar-free chocolate topping

  • 20g cacao butter (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 2 tsp cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsp rice syrup
  • 2 Tbsp coconut cream

Melt cacao butter over low heat. Add  cacao powder + whisk in syrup to taste. (Important to use a whisk to properly combine the syrup and thin chocolate mixture) Add the coconut cream and taste to see if it needs adjusting. Pour over the cupcakes (or drizzle, but it’s so much more fun to pour!)

Enjoy!

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P.S Don’t forget to sign up to the website to receive your FREE copy of my latest mini eBook!

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raspberry, walnut + buckwheat breakfast pudding

breakfast healthy raw recipe

  • 1 Tbs protein powder
  • 1 Tbs chia seeds
  • 2 Tbs buckwheat (or oats/quinoa flakes)
  • 1 tsp psyllium husks
  • Handful of raspberries
  • Handful of activated walnuts
  • Almonds/rice milk and/or coconut water

1. Add the first 6 ingredients to a glass jar
2. Cover with enough liquid of your choice (1/2 – 3/4 cup) and SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE!
3. Refrigerate overnight
4. Top with extra raspberries and walnuts before serving
Enjoy!

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P.S Don’t forget to sign up to the website to receive your FREE copy of my latest mini eBook!

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HOME, sugar ~ free

clean choc mint ice cream hearts

raw dessert healthy dessert recipes

Remember Ice Magic? This is waaaaay better…

By now you must be aware of my penchant for moulds – particularly of the heart shaped variety. These latest little creations (which really aren’t more than a few older recipes thrown together!) are no exception. If you defrosted them fully – you would have more of a ‘cheesecake’ consistency, and I’d advise against completely covering the top in chocolate.Reason being – the middle, due to it’s softer texture, will squish when you go to cut through the hard chocolate on top. Go for a drizzling – a generous drizzling – instead.

CHOC MINT ICE CREAM HEARTS

serves 6

{BASE}
1 cup almonds          2 tbs cacao powder
1 tbs chia seeds        2 tbs rice syrup
2 tbs coconut oil      3 drops peppermint oil

Process the nuts + the cacao powder until crumbly. Add remaining ingredients until well combined and adjust sweetener if necessary. Pinch the mixture together between your fingers – if it holds it’s shape it’s the right consistency. If not, add cold water, 1 tbs at a time until the desired consistency is achieved. Firmly press the mixture into the bases of a 6 heart mould tray and place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

{FILLING}

1  cups cashews (soaked overnight) – rinsed well
1 1/2  tbs coconut oil                            ½ cup coconut water + extra
2 tbs rice syrup                                      4 drops essential peppermint oil (therapeutic grade)

Blend all ingredients, starting with ½ cup coconut water, till smooth. Stop and scrape the sides of the blender regularly to allow for a well combined mixture. Slowly add the extra coconut water until the entire mixture is smooth and churning consistently. Taste. Sweet enough? Enough peppermint? Adjust if desired.
Remove the prepared bases from the freezer and pour the peppermint cream evenly into each one. Return to the freezer for 6-8 hours or overnight for best results. Remove hearts from mould when frozen through (this will make it simple to do) and top with chocolate topping before serving.

sugar free CHOCOLATE
50g cacao butter
1 heaped tbs cacao powder
2 tbs rice syrup

Melt cacao butter over low heat. Add  cacao powder + whisk in syrup to taste. (Important to use a whisk to properly combine the syrup and thin chocolate mixture) You could also add a few extra drop of peppermint oil too. Cover the tops of the ice cream hearts and just try to stop at one!

raw chocolate mint ice cream raw desserts healthy desserts

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P.S Don’t forget to sign up to the website to receive your FREE copy of my latest mini eBook!

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my interview {with myself!}

I am often asked how I figured out what I wanted to do. How on earth I have the courage to go and chase my dreams. What makes me tick. How I like my eggs in the morning. (People wanna know!) So, with the help of the brilliant Danielle Laporte – I interviewed myself. Just me and my iPhone. For the record, I hadn’t looked at these questions before, I just continued reading  The Fire Starter Sessions, found myself on that page you see below and decided to press record.

allaboutyou

Click the link below to hear my answers!

http://wp.me/a3diFY-aL

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P.S Don’t forget to sign up to the website to receive your FREE copy of my latest mini eBook!

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fig + vanilla bliss balls

raw dessert recipes fig and vanilla

Ingredients
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • 8 dried figs
  • 1 tbs vanilla powder*
  • 1 tbs tahini
  • 1 tbs maple syrup (optional)
  • sesame seeds to coat
Method

1. Process all ingredients till a sticky dough forms. You may need to add a little extra water if a workable dough has not formed.
2. Using a tablespoon as a guide, roll into balls and coat with sesame seeds.
Will keep for about a week in the fridge.
*If you can’t get vanilla powder use 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract or paste

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P.S Don’t forget to sign up to the website to receive your FREE copy of my latest mini eBook!

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