Raw Chocolate Chilli…
I am not a huge fan of super foods as I find many of them are overpriced and quite frankly don’t taste that great. However Raw Cacao is one of the exceptions to the rule! Raw Cacao is the unprocessed natural form of chocolate and contains huge amounts of the antioxidant Flavanol. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals which can otherwise damage our DNA, causing premature aging and degenerative diseases. Raw cacao has been shown to contain twice the amount of antioxidants found in red wine and green tea. It is also super yummy and can be used to make all kinds of chocolatey treats!!
100g Organic Raw Cacao Butter melted
5 tbsp Organic Raw Cacao Powder
1 tbsp Organic Raw Carob Powder
1 tbsp Organic Agave Syrup or Raw Honey
½ tsp Chilli Powder
Pinch Organic Sea Salt
Image supplied by Irene Kightley
Note these chocolates require a chocolate or sweet mould. You can buy all the ingredients above from www.vivapure.co.uk
- Using the double boiler method (sauce pan with boiling water and a glass bowl inside) gently melt the cacao butter.
- Add the cacao powder and carob powder and whisk using a balloon whisk.
- Whisk in the Agave and then the chilli and salt.
- Remove from glass bowl from the pan and pour straight into your moulds.
- Freeze for 20 minutes, you will then be able to easily pop the chocolates out of the moulds.
- Store in a container suitable for the freezer and separate each layer of chocolates with grease proof paper.
- Pop back in the Freezer and simply remove the amount you want 1 hour before serving. Alternatively store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Top 10 Tips For A Gluten Free Christmas
Ok so you’ve just started your gluten free (dairy free) food plan, you’re feeling great, bags more energy, your waistline is shrinking before your eyes and your skin is glowing.
Suddenly the festive season has arrived and all that good work is imminently at risk of being thrown away as we are caught up in the feeding frenzy that is Christmas!! So how do you negotiate the plethora of Christmas buffets, family dinners and Christmas parties without putting the brakes on your fantastic success so far?
Arm yourself with my Top Tips for a Gluten Free Christmas and you will be ringing in the New Year with a happy healthy body, mind and soul.
Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy, Prosperous New Year to you. x
1. Full English Breakfast – start the day with a high protein English Brekkie. Everyone knows this is the most important meal of the day; you will be less likely to gorge on naughty snacks if you start the day with a full tummy. Buy good quality organic meat and enjoy this traditional English feast guilt free.
2. Make your own truffles or chocolates - Simply follow my recipes and you will have rich dark yummy chocolates that contain only the best raw organic live ingredients. They are so tasty that you will only want a couple so great for your waistline too!
Image supplied by David Leggett
3. Don’t go empty handed – take your own tasty Gluten Free goodies with you when you are visiting friend and family over Christmas. Most of us don’t like to arrive empty handed anyway so kill two birds with one stone and take a selection of your favourite unpasteurised goats cheeses and gluten free crackers.
4. The Christmas Buffet – the obligatory Christmas buffet will be brimming with breads, crackers, cakes, cheeses and chocolates. Make life easy for yourself and take a few extra bits you know you can eat and add them to the table, or head for the salads, cold meats, pate and veggie sticks. You can always settle your sweet tooth when you get home with some of your beautiful homemade truffles.
5. Eat before you go – if you know you are going somewhere where you will be tempted, have a snack before you go, there is nothing worse than and empty tummy and a bulging table of naughty nibbles to make your will power weak and your mouth salivate!
6. Be Prepared – If you have booked a festive meal out then be prepared and phone ahead. Any decent restaurant will be more than happy to cater for your needs and it saves the awkward embarrassment at the dinner table as you scan through the menu desperately trying to find something you know you can eat.
7. Opt for Organic Red Wine or Champagne if you want to have a tipple. They do not contain chemicals or sulphites which can lead to hangover symptoms. Remember it is the dose that is your poison so activate your quantity control!
8. Be the Hostess – this way you are in complete control, simply ask your guests to bring a bottle to contribute to the cost.
Image supplied by Andrea Parrish – Geyer
9. Hydrate – with all the best will in the world the festive season is a time where we will indulge our taste buds more than we should. Be sure to support your detox pathways with plenty of fresh clean water daily to minimise the ‘damage’ caused.
10. Chill out – if all else fails and you eat something you know you shouldn’t, just relax, life is for living and while it may not serve your greater health stressing over it will only make things worse!!
Merry Christmas To You – Enjoy!
Ok so with just under 4 weeks until Christmas the Gluten and Dairy free foodies amongst us will be trying to figure out the best way to dodge the plethora of festive treats such as crumbly mince pies and thickly whipped brandy butter, short bread biscuits dunked in a steaming mug of hot chocolate and of course the oodles of brightly wrapped sickly sweet chocolates that seem to pop up wherever you go.
My big little Sis as I affectionately call her (namely because she is older but smaller!) has been my family’s Gluten free mascot for the last 15 years, growing up I never really understood how lonely and isolated she felt around meal times particular at Christmas with all of the festive goodies laid out to tempt her.
In the last 3 years I have also chosen the gluten free path and have added the ‘no dairy’ for good measure! I have to say my health challenges; bloating, stomach pains, indigestion, night sweats, weight challenges etc etc have all gone but I have been left with the question of…what the hell can I actually eat?!
I have made it my mission to combine my natural talents of ultra organizational skills and my love for cooking (my friends say that I am Monica in ‘Friends’) to bring you the best, homemade, organic, gluten and dairy free recipes to make your life easy and literally pain free. These recipes are so good that you will be converting people left right and centre with these tasty treats.
So first up is the quintessential English tradition of Christmas Mince Pies. This recipe combines a readymade organic mincemeat for ease and speed with a naturally gluten free buckwheat pastry. The pastry is super crispy and crumbly and a little more savoury than conventional pastry which offsets the sweetness of the mincemeat perfectly.
Homemade ‘Cheats Mincemeat’ – Buckwheat Mince Pies
Image supplied by Peter Asquith
10 oz / 285g Buckwheat Flour
4 Tbsp Organic Sunflower Oil
3 Tbsp Organic Olive Oil
1 Level tsp Xantham Gum
1/2 tsp Salt
300g jar ‘Authentic Bread Co’ Organic Mincemeat
- In a bowl mix well your buckwheat flour with your xantham gum and salt.
- Add your olive and rapeseed oil and rub together with your fingers.
Your pastry mix will not clump together like when using wheat and butter (shortcrust pastry).
- It should stick together in your hand then crumble away.
- Carefully add cold water to your gluten free pastry mixture.
Only add a little at a time keep mixing well before adding more water so that you can see when you do not need to add any more.
- When the gluten free pastry mixture is clumping together and becoming a little sticky then your buckwheat pastry is ready.
- Bring together with your hands to form a ball.
- Roll out into a thin sheet, the thinner you can roll your pastry the crispier your pies will turn out!