Halloween Brownie Graveyard

Keeping with the healthy halloween treats from last week, this is one of my favorite raw dessert recipes. Most likely because of the all hallows eve, cemetery feel it’s got going on. Oh, and the bananas. Yum!

This is the perfect type of recipe to make with kids. It’s made with whole foods, has a lot less sugar than commercial brownies, and it’s really fun to decorate together!

Making Your Own Raw Brownie Cemetery

In a high-speed blender or food processor put equal parts dates and walnuts and add 2 to 3 tablespoons Raw Chocolate Powder. Feel free to spice it up by adding a little bit of mint extract or vanilla into the mix.

Blend well and watch as the ingredients form into dough. Once the chocolatey dough is ready, push into the bottom of a pie or brownie plate.

Decorating Your Raw Brownies

It’s time to get creative!

To create some tombstones, slice the two ends of a peeled banana into thin tombstone shapes. To have them stand up, make small indentations in the “earth” and place these tombstones standing up.

To create a fall-time tree, stick a grape stem into the dough. The benefit of this is that you get to munch on some yummy grapes while you make this dessert. That, and you get a tree without leaves… perfect!

Now let’s add some pumpkins. Use the skin from a tangerine or orange and roll it up into several balls to create little pumpkins. Or you could use the left overs from making your orange bell pepper jack-o-lanterns!

Eat this brownie graveyard with a spoon and knife or just let your guests wonder at how you made this using nothing but wholesome foods.

Frighteningly Delicious!

Now it’s your turn… what have you got planned for All Hollows Eve? Any yummy treats brewing in your cauldron?

Love, Nathalie

How to Make a Festive Raw Pumpkin Pie Recipe

nathalie-pumpkin-pie

[Editor's Note: This is a crowd pleaser for both Thanksgiving and Halloween, and I'm republishing it because I added a new ingredient so read till the end to find out what makes this whole pie jive even better!]

This week-end it was Canadian Thanksgiving. Our thanksgiving happens earlier because our harvest season is shorter, and we want to enjoy it when it’s fresh!

As it happens I had two social gatherings to attend, one all raw and the other not so much. What’s a girl to bring to please such different groups?

Luckily I have been immersing myself in the wonderful world of raw desserts for the past few weeks so it was just a matter of choosing a healthy dessert recipe from my store.

I decided to go with the Raw Pumpkin Pie, using freshly cut pumpkin. Jack-o-lanterns are totally appropriate here at the Raw Foods Witch site.

How to Make a Raw Pumpkin Pie Video

Raw Pumpkin Pie Recipe

If itʼs not Autumn and you canʼt get your hands on a fresh pumpkin you can use a variety of replacements: from butternut squash to sweet potato.

Raw Pumpkin Pie Crust

  • 2 cups pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup soaked dates
  • Dash of sea salt

Blend the crust ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor, then evenly distribute in the bottom of a pie plate.

Raw Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • 2 cups shredded pumpkin, butternut squash, or sweet potato flesh
  • 1 cup soaked dates
  • 1/2 cup soaked, washed Irish Moss
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. freshly diced ginger
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • Dash of vanilla
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or water to help blend

What is Irish Moss?

Irish Moss

Don’t worry if you don’t have Irish Moss, just skip this ingredient and put your pie in the freezer before serving. Irish Moss helps the whole pie gel together better, because it is a fibery seaweed product that blends well. Irish Moss is full of super gentle fiber, it’s got great mineral content because it’s seaweed and it makes for great looking pies!

Make sure to wash the Irish Moss thoroughly to remove any sand or salt. Otherwise you’ll get a crunchy salty pumpkin pie, which is not exactly what we’re going for here!

Making the Raw Pumpkin Pie

If you donʼt feel like shredding the pumpkin by hand, simply cube and place in a high speed blender or food processor until itʼs nicely chopped.

Then add the rest of the ingredients and blend until nice and smooth. You might need to add more liquid to get it to blend well.

Pour into crust, then chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving. This dessert might not seem overly sweet, but trust me when I say it can rival even the most traditional of pumpkin pies.

Love, Nathalie

Super Simple Raw Chocolate Cups Recipe

Raw Chocolate Recipes

Here’s a quick raw chocolate recipe that you can’t do wrong!

You take some raw cacao butter, mix it with raw cacao powder, add some stevia (or raw honey) and bam! You’ve got healthy chocolate.

Let me take you by the hand and show you exactly how this would work.

Raw Chocolate Cups Ingredients

How to Make Raw Chocolate

  1. First, shred the cacao butter. I used a cheese grater to break up the solid cacao butter. Cacao butter melts at 34.1 °C (93.4 °F), which is still raw woohoo!
  2. Now melt the cacao butter by putting the shredded cacao in a bowl, and putting this bowl in a bigger bowl that is filled with warm water. Be patient.
  3. After the cacao is melted, add the dry cacao powder. Add the dry or wet sweetener (I prefer stevia or raw honey here) and mix well.
  4. Pour the melted chocolate mix into small silicone cups. Here’s where you can get creative! Add nuts, dry fruit, coconut flakes, or any other goodies.
  5. Put the cups in the refrigerator or freezer to harden. Then take your yummy chocolates out, pop them out of the cups and store in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator.

Click to see silicone cups

Bonus! If you use stevia you’re making a super healthy chocolate, that does not spike your blood sugar at all. Truly guilt-free and yummy chocolate is possible.

Want More Yummy Raw Dessert Recipes?

Then check out my free ebook called “28 Desserts You Can Eat Every Day“.

Comment below and let me know what your favorite raw chocolate “additions” are! Whether it’s dry fruit, fresh fruit, coconut, nuts… I want to know!

Love, Nathalie

Is There Such a Thing as Healthy Chocolate?

healthy-chocolate-raw
Photo by Akico

Chocolate is such a controversial topic, with new contradictory studies and anecdotes being published regularly.

So the question at this point really comes down to this: are you eating chocolate because you like it and you feel good when you eat it, or are you doing it because you think it’s healthy?

Keep reading to find out whether there is such a thing as healthy chocolate… and then I’ll encourage you to choose whether to eat chocolate or not based on your own feelings about it.

Want a Healthy Heart and Long Life? Eat Chocolate.

But not just any chocolate! I think it’s important to highlight the benefits of chocolate without getting sucked into the hype of chocolate marketers… especially those companies that use lots of fillers and give you so little “real chocolate”.

Here are a few snippets that might encourage you to pursue healthy chocolate as part of a joyful lifestyle.

Jeanne Calment is the longest documented living woman in the world. She lived to be 122, which in itself might seem a little insane.

The really incredible part is that she claims her long life is due to eating and applying olive oil to her skin, drinking port wine, and eating nearly 1 kilo of chocolate per week. Now that’s a LOT of chocolate. Read her story here.

Recently, a friend and colleague of mine Carlene Monson sent me a sampler of healthy chocolates, and shared a very interesting story with me. Her husband started eating healthy chocolate and a few months later had his blood pressure and cholesterol tested again. The results were great, his doctor was amazed at how much better both his numbers were.

They’ve got chocolate to thank for these changes. Not just any chocolate though, but healthy chocolate that is cold pressed and packed with antioxidents. Keep reading to find out more about healthy chocolate.

Got Chocolate Cravings?

I want to emphasize that chocolate cravings are definitely a real phenomenon. Let’s look at what happens when you eat chocolate.

First you experience a shift in mood because chocolate releases feel good brain chemicals. You may also experience satisfaction from the mix of fat and sugar, great texture and taste.

On top of that you may be eating chocolate to supplement your diet unknowingly. I see it time and again: women eat more chocolate at certain times during the month when their hormones are fluctuating. Chocolate is high in magnesium which is important before or during a woman’s menstruation.

If you feel like your chocolate cravings are out of control you might want to shift the type of chocolate you are eating to a more pure form. It might be your body crying out for more of the minerals in chocolate but getting too many fillers instead. You might also need help managing your cravings.

What is Raw Chocolate?

cacao-pod
Photo by Nick Hobgood

Raw chocolate, also commonly know as raw cacao or even raw cocoa, is basically cold pressed cacao beans.

The Theobroma Cacao tree is a small evergreen tree that grows in tropical regions of the world. The photo to the right shows the cacao pod or fruit, which contains the cacao beans that are used to make chocolate.

Raw chocolate is essentially the cacao beans ground down to a powder, or sometimes also sold as nibs. You can also get your hands on cold pressed cacao butter, which is the healthy-oil part of the bean.

David Wolfe spoke at great length about raw chocolate and the benefits of eating chocolate for minerals. I’ve definitely felt the effect of eating healthy chocolate in my life, and must admit that it’s something I choose to enjoy regularly.

The Difference Between Dark Chocolate and Raw Chocolate

cacao-beans
Cacao Beans – Photo by Chrissy Gombos

The difference between raw chocolate and “regular” dark chocolate is that it has not been heated.

Traditional “candy bar” chocolates contain very little cacao and in fact are mostly fillers. Some of the worst aspects of regular chocolates is that they are filled with sugar and allergens like dairy, soy, and other unrecognizable filler products.

If you’re going to eat chocolate that isn’t raw (in a pinch or because you can’t get your hands on raw chocolate) then definitely make sure it is dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is by far a better choice than a sugary “cheap” substitute.

Dark chocolate is generally made with cacao that has been processed with heat, which is what is called “dutched” chocolate. This process helps the cacao powder hold together as what we commonly know as the chocolate bar “feel”.

With that in mind, I’ve seen the best results when eating truly raw chocolate. You might be wondering how you can eat cacao powder… certainly not by the dry spoonful, right?!

Well with raw chocolate powder and raw cacao butter you can make your own raw chocolate fudge, cookies, brownies, and shakes. You can also purchase premade raw chocolate bars that contain far more actual cacao than any other bars out there on the market.

Where to Buy Raw Chocolate

I’ve got a few raw chocolate recipes in my free ebook called “28 Desserts You Can Eat Every Day“. You’ll need some basic raw chocolate ingredients, and here they are:

  • Navitas Naturals Raw Chocolate Powder: This is my go-to raw cacao powder for making smoothies, brownies, and chocolate puddings too.
  • Organic Raw Chocolate Nibs: If you’re looking for “chocolate chip” alternatives, this is what you need. Crunchy and great to add a different texture to raw ice creams and trail mix.
  • Raw Cacao Butter: If you’re looking to make your own decadent raw chocolates or raw fudge, then this is the healthy fat of the cacao that you’re looking for.
  • Raw Cacao Powder by Ultimate Superfoods: Although I’m a big fan of Navitas, I’ve recently tried the Ultimate Superfoods brand and I gotta say I’m loving this cacao powder. It’s got a slightly different taste and texture and I’m really loving it.
dark-cacao-truffles

Or, if you want to go straight for the raw chocolate bars and truffles, these are some of my favorites:

Do You Love Chocolate?

Leave a comment below and let me know whether you love chocolate or not. I know chocolate is not for everyone – it’s toxic for dogs, and my boyfriend likes to joke that he must be a dog because he can’t stand chocolate.

Take this article with a grain of salt and check in with your heart at this point.

If eating chocolate doesn’t appeal to you, or you feel jittery and stressed after you eat it, then it’s not for you. On the other hand if you feel good when you eat chocolate, then keep doing what works for you. We’re all different!

So are you more chocolate or vanilla?

Love, Nathalie

The Importance of Investing in Yourself & Your Health Without Giving Up

Investments. We all make them. We invest time, money, and attention every day.

That TV show you spent 20 hours of your life watching? That was an investment of your time and attention.

That new coat, those new boots, and your car. Those are monetary investments.

Every day we are called to make investments. But how many of these investments are for your health?

Are you investing in your health?
Photo by Michael

In an attempt to save money and stay on budget you might be scrimping on the one investment that could affect them all. Your health.

Investing in Yourself

I’ve noticed that every time my life started to “take off” and feel really magickal was when I invested in myself.

One of my earliest investments was in taking Tae Kwon Do lessons. My parents footed this investment, yet it is still repaying us today. In fact, it could save my life were I ever in a tough spot and needed to defend myself.

Another really life changing investment was attending University. I paid for all of my college education myself, save for the first year that my parents covered. College taught me so much about software, the working life, and what I wanted to do with my own life.

Other investments that have had a huge impact on me are getting a coach, attending raw food lectures, attending seminars, and buying books about raw food. I’ve also invested in kitchen tools like the vitamix, and a dehydrator.

None of these investments were necessary. I could have easily gone on living my life without any of these additions. But I am who I am today because of them.

Other important investments I make every day: eating high raw, exercising, sleeping enough, thinking good thoughts, and spending quality time with the people I love. These are all investments of time and attention too. (And sometimes willpower!)

Investing in Your Health Without Giving Up

One trap that I used to fall into when it came to “investing in myself” was giving up my power.

This happened mainly when I gave my power to authorities and “experts” like doctors, dermatologists, and pharmaceutical companies. (Who all seem to have their own vested interest in giving me certain types of advice. Funny, that.)

I was essentially accepting everything they told me as gospel, without doing my own research. Actually I started taking the birth control pill because I didn’t know about the alternatives to achieve clearer skin.

I definitely encourage you to do your research and take back that power of choice. You have choices, you have alternatives, you just need to learn more about them.

What have you done to invest in yourself lately?

I’m really curious to know what you have done or are doing to invest in yourself. It can be health investments in the form of education, training, exercise, what ever it is for you.

Leave a comment below!
Love, Nathalie