Chocolatiering

imageI don’t think that’s even a word, but it’s what I’ve been doing.  Chocolate – the real, straight stuff – is actually on the ‘superfood’ list, but the bitter taste can be a bit hard to enjoy.

In comes raw chocolate.

I have several different recipes, which I will experiment with over time.  This first one was ridiculously easy, and doesn’t have that real bitterness.  However, it does have a rather odd undertone that I’m not sure about.  I assume that’s from the coconut nectar, which I haven’t used much as yet.

Sharny & Julius held a demonstration at my local organic food store a few weeks ago, and I managed to catch the tail end of it.  I also wound up purchasing their book, Healthy Junk.  Whilst that was before our current dietary upheaval, there will still be quite a few recipes that I can use in it.  This is the first one.

Ingredients

  • 70g cacao butter
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut nectar
  • Seeds from 2 vanilla seed pods
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  • Melt cacao butter in a bowl over simmering water
  • Whisk in remaining ingredients until smooth
  • Pour into molds and place in the fridge to set

 

My Notes

In order to incorporate another superfood, I spread raw almonds in the bottom of a lined tray, then poured the chocolate over the top.  Once set, I broke it into pieces.

I used vanilla extract rather than seeds

Next time I will try either reducing the amount of coconut nectar, or a different sweetener altogether

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Raw Sushi or Nori Rolls Recipe

imageI love sushi – the nori rolls filled with rice, vegetables and other goodies.

I had always thought that ‘sushi’ was raw fish, so when my Korean flatmate offered to make me some, I was more than a little reluctant.   However, the nori rolls she presented started a love affair with the tasty little morsels.

Whilst raw fish is still a component of traditional sushi, I stick with the ‘westernised’ versions with chicken, cooked seafood or vegetables.

Great news though!  I now have a recipe for Raw sushi!  Nori (seaweed) is an extremely nutritious sea vegetable that provides wonderful health benefits.  The main difference is that there is no rice in Raw sushi, as it is a cooked grain.  Instead, a tasty nut pate forms the basis, and the filling is only limited by your imagination.

 

Recipe from The Raw Food Institute of Australia:

Ingredients for Smokey Almond Pate

  • 2 cups soaked almonds (rinsed and patted dry)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ cup water

Method for Pate

  • Place all ingredients except water in a blender or food processor.
  • Process until mixture starts to turn into a hummus-like paste. Make it as chunky or as smooth as you like.
  • While processing, drizzle water slowly into the mixture – only use as much as you need to achieve a thick pate texture.

Method for Assembly

  • Place nori sheets on your kitchen bench.
  • Spread half of the ingredients on each sheet starting with the pate. Use a spoon to spread it across the entire width of the sheet. Make sure that you only cover one end of the sheet with the filling (piling it on top of each other and covering only 1/3 of the sheet’s length).
  • When ready to roll the nori’s, place the end with the filling closest to you. Applying even pressure, firmly but gently roll your nori.
  • Use a little water on the end of the sheet to make it stick.
  • Now cut the nori with a serrated or very sharp knife.
  • Serve with Nama Shoyu sauce for dipping.

 

My Notes

imageBeing the impatient person I am, I used dry almonds, instead of soaking them as the recipe specifies.  This led to my pate drying out.  Still very tasty, but I will definitely be more organised next time and soak the nuts first.

The above recipe originally specified diced tomato, mung beans, grated carrot and herbs as the filling.  As mentioned, the choice is really up to you.  I used tomato and snow pea sprouts, which still tasted great.

I used Tamari as dipping sauce (I know, not really raw!)

I found that laying my nori sheet on a piece of baking paper allowed me to start the rolling process much easier – I used the baking paper to fold over the leading edge, after which I could start rolling properly.

My mother is not a fan of seaweed.  I tried to win her over with this recipe, but she wouldn’t have it.  So I used the same ingredients and process, but using cos lettuce leaves in place of the nori.  Worked a treat!