Thursday, 25 February 2010

Raw chocolate revolution

What if you didn't have to feel guilty about eating chocolate? What if chocolate could be one of the most healthiest things you could imagine? Does it sound like an impossible thing to you? Raw chocolate is the answer. It's made only from organic and the most healthy and highly nutrient ingredients: raw cocoa beans, cocoa butter, extra virgin coconut oil, raw cocoa powder, lucuma-powder,maca-powder, agave-syrup and organic cashew nuts. If you have some knowledge about superfoods, you recognize that maca and lucuma powder and raw cocoa beans belong to them. They have many amazing effects on your body and mind.
For example raw cocoa contains over 1200 active ingredients, and 10% of it's weight is antioxidants. So it protects our body ia from heart diseases. Raw cocoa contains more antioxidants than goji-berry, blueberry, acai-berry, red wine and pomegranate all together. Isn't it incredible? Raw cocoa is also a great source of vital minerals: iron, manganese, chrome, brimstone, zinc and copper. Furthermore it's an excellent source of fibers. It also has unique qualities, that effect on our brain functions and the feel of happines.

This chocolate is a revolution. It's suitable for everyone, it's delicious, and the most important thing is that it's healthy!! I mean you can eat it and you can think at the same time that oh, this does so many good things for me, I'll feel even better after enjoying this, no hard feelings at all, only pure joy! You don't have to eat chocolate secretly, not anymore, when you eat raw chocolate you can be proud of it.

Did you know that every chocolate is made from cocoa beans? However, the difference between an ordinary chocolate and raw chocolate is huge. Ordinary chocolate contains only about 30% of cocoa beans, all the rest is all kinds of filling agents that have nothing to do with the real chocolate. And the cocoa beans in ordinary chocolate have none of their valuable nutrients left, all of them disappear when the producers manipulate the beans in the process of making chocolate - for example roasting the beans destroys all the important antioxidants and vitamins. And it's very normal that ordinary chocolate contains milk powder, soy lecithin, milk fats, palm tree oil or artificial aromas, that are not so good for you.

So the acquaintance with raw chocolate is very recommendable.
I feel so moved by this chocolate, it opened a whole new world to me. I hope you can feel it too, because it's so amazing. I'm really running our of words. Maybe I'll just explain now how you should do it.
It might be hard to find all the ingredients for this chocolate, but I think yo can find them from well equipped organic shops. Draw your attention to the quality of the ingredients, it's very important to use only the best. Choose products that are packed well.

This recipe is a basic recipe, you can add different nuts, dried fruits or berries (e.g. goji-berry), different powders (e.g.spirulina) and spices, e.g. cinnamon, genuine vanilla, mint or chili. Anything you like. It's very easy to make (I was very surprised how easy it was) and it's quickly done. And the result is so pretty, cute little hearts or other chocolates, depending on the forms you use. I fell in love with the raw chocolate, instantly. I can't wait to try new combinations of different flavours - I want to try it with cinnamon the next time.

All the ingredients.

Raw cacao beans.
Extra virgin coconut oil.

Agave syrup.

4 dl grated organic raw cocoa butter
1 big tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 dl organic raw cocoa beans
1 dl organic raw cashew nuts
1 dl organic lucuma-powder
1 big tsp organic maca-powder
2 big tbsps raw cocoa powder
1 big tbsp organic agave syrup
(dried fruits, spices, herbs etc.)

1. Peel the cocoa beans using a knife and nails.

2. Bruise the cocoa beans and the cashew nuts into tiny bits.

3. Melt the cocoa butter and the extra virgin coconut oil in a kettle over another kettle of simmering water, the temperature of the butter shouldn't rise over 40°C degrees.
4. Add cocoa powder into melted butter, add agave syrup and then all the other ingredients. Mix well, with a teaspoon put into a silicone form and cover with a glad wrap. Put into fridge for 10-15 mins until set. It happens quite quickly!

5. Remove from the forms, put on a beautiful plate and enjoy, really, really enjoy because this chocolate really is the one you can enjoy, without any guilt!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Banana bread with chocolate & hazelnut paste

I've been very busy the last two weeks, I haven't really had time for blogging. Today is the second day of my holiday. It's snowing very hard and I'm really thinking that if it doesn't stop soon we'll be drowning in the snow. And last two days the temperature has been minus 20 °C degrees - being outside is like wandering on the northern pole! The only reasonable thing to do is to stay inside and to bake this lovely, warming and melting in the mouth banana bread. It's a very healthy and good for you recipe (if you don't count the chocolate, but actually dark chocolate is healthy!), it includes a lot of healthy vegetable fats, and no sugar used, only natural sweeteners. I used various flours to make this bread packed with important vitamins and minerals and of course fiber.

So when the weather gets cold and frigid, I advise you to bake this banana bread, enjoy it with a cup of hot tea and sit by the fireplace under a warm blanket - soon you'll forget all about the winter and it's wretchedness. And if you don't have a fireplace, you can always imagine.


For the banana bread:

3 ripe bananas
125 g seedless dates
2 eggs
0,5 dl rape oil
0,5 dl soymilk
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp himalaya rose salt
1/2 dl minced hazelnuts
1 dl quinoa flakes
1 dl soyflour
1 dl wholewheat flour
1 dl buckwheat flour
2 tbsp honey

For the chocolate & hazelnut paste:

3 dl minced hazelnuts
1 dl melted dark chocolate
dollop of rape oil, to make this paste fluid

1. Heat oven into 200°C degrees. Boil some water, soak the dates for 5 mins to soften them a bit. Chop the softened dates into tiny bits.

2. Beat the eggs into a foam. Add the dates, add oil. Mash two of the bananas.

3. Mix together all the dry ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients with the egg-mixture and the mashed bananas, add soymilk.

4. Fold a long shaped bread mould with parchment paper, pour the batter on it. Cut the third banana into slices, put into a line on top of the batter. Spread honey over.

5. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, try with a stick if it's ready. Remove from the oven.

6. Mix together the minced hazelnuts and the melted chocolate, add oil to make a smooth paste.

7. Serve the banana bread with the chocolate & hazelnut paste.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Runeberg's tarts

Today, the 5th of February, we celebrate our national poet's, Johan Ludvig Runeberg's birthday. He was a Finnish Swedish-speaking poet, writer and a journalist, whose production was very patriotic. Her wife, Frederika Runeberg was a great writer too.
These tarts we bake and eat every year have a story. J.L. Runeberg had a sweet tooth, so he often asked his wife to bake him something. But they didn't have any special ingredients, and that's why Frederika decided to use those she could find in her cupborad: wheat flour, biscuit crumbs and almonds. The result was a delicious tart, which is named after Runeberg. The story tells that Runeberg loved to have these tarts when eating breakfast, and that he enjoyed these with punch.
I love Runeberg's tarts, and it's a must thing to bake these every year. So step inside to the history of Finland and enjoy one of these fabulous tarts!

makes about 18
300g butter
4 dl dark muscovado sugar
4 eggs
5 dl wheat flour
1 dl minced almonds
16 crushed digestive cookies
3 tsp baking powder
2 dl cream
2 tsp cardamom
2 drops bitteralmond extract

For the decoration:
raspberry jam or marmalade
powdered sugar

1. Heat the oven to 200°C.
2. Beat the sugar with melted butter into a foam, add eggs individually.

3. Mix together the dry ingredients, add cream and combine with the sugar-egg-butter mixture. Add bitteralmond extratct, mix well.

4. Divide into about 18 muffin cups or use silicone moulds like I did. Fill 2/3 of the cups, so the dough doesn't rise over the edges.

5. Bake in the oven for about 15-18 minutes, try with a stick if the tarts are ready. Remove from the oven.

6. Let the tarts cool down, remove from the mould and turn over, put on a plate. Decorate the tarts with raspberry jam and icing made from powdered sugar and water. ENJOY!