Romanesco, Cauliflower & Quinoa Pesto Salad with Pine Nuts & Basil

Romanesco, Cauliflower & Quinoa Pesto Salad with Pine Nuts & Basil

This cauliflower pesto salad recipe is inspired by a memorable dish I enjoyed last summer on the island of Ibiza. We were at El Silencio which sits on a picturesque little beach called Cala Moli. El Silencio is a sand-under-your-feet, raw wood tables with a thatched roof style chiringuito (beach restaurant), but what sold it for me was their food menu.

We started with homemade focaccio from the clay oven, followed by fresh hamashi sashimi alongside the coldest, most refreshing bottle of sparkling water I’ve ever had. Not sure what they did to that water but it was amazing, and absolutely perfect on that especially hot day.

Nick followed up with a pasta dish while I had their cauliflower pesto salad which was so delicious I knew I had to try and recreate it. The cauliflower and broccoli florets had been cooked in a broth of some sort as they were extra juicy and tasty, combined with the fresh green leaves and toasted pine nuts the combination was just perfect.

So here we are, I have recreated this recipe for you to enjoy now too! We’ve been eating this dish whenever I come across a romanesco broccoli (like a green cauliflower), and when I can’t find one but still crave this salad I substitute with a regular broccoli. You could also use purple cauliflower in place of the romanesco, or keep it super simple and just double the amount of regular white cauliflower. If you make your own pesto for this recipe, it is full of spinach and herby greens so you won’t miss the green romanesco if you can’t find any.

I hope you enjoy this quinoa pesto cauliflower salad as much we do!

Cauliflower, Quinoa Pesto Salad - vegan recipe

Cauliflower Quinoa Pesto Salad with Spinach & Pine Nuts

Serves: 4
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes

1 cup quinoa
2 tsp vegetable bouillon (or your favourite veggie stock)
1/2 head cauliflower
1/2 head romanesco broccoli (green cauliflower)
1 cup/large handful baby spinach leaves, washed
1 handful basil leaves
1 /3 cup green pesto (storebought or see recipe below for a vegan recipe)
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
salt + pepper
Extra virgin olive oil to serve

 

To make the salad:
Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions with 1tsp of vegetable bouillon added to the cooking water.

Toast the pine nuts in a 160C oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cut the caulflower and romanesco broccoli into large florets. Steam the cauliflower and romanesco broccoli either using a steamer pot or simply add 2 cm of water to a large saucepan and 1 tsp of vegetable bouillon. Bring the liquid to a simmer then add the florets and cover with a lid. Check after a few minutes and stir as needed to ensure the florets are evenly cooked. The aim is to gently steam the florets so they’re cooked but retain their colour and firm texture.

While the florets are steaming, add the washed greens to a large mixing bowl along with the cooked quinoa, toasted pine nuts and pesto. Add the steamed cauliflower and romanesco broccoli and toss until the pesto is thoroughly mixed through.

Transfer salad to a large serving dish or individual plates if desired. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

Vegan Basil Pesto
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 cup cashews, almonds, pine nuts
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (savoury yeast flakes)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

To make the basil pesto:
Wash the basil and spinach leaves well, drain and place in a food processor along with the garlic and salt. Pulse/blend until they resemble coarse crumbs.

Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine but be careful not to over blend. You’re aiming for a chunky pesto rather than a smooth sauce.

Store the pesto in a jar in the fridge for up to 5 days (can also be frozen for up to 3 months).

 

Cauliflower, Quinoa Pesto Salad - vegan recipe

Moroccan Carrot & Kale Salad With Preserved Lemon & Sumac Dressing

Moroccan Carrot & Kale Salad With Preserved Lemon & Sumac Dressing

Moroccan Carrot & Kale Salad with Preserved Lemon & Sumac Dressing

 

Last week I felt uninspired by all my go-to lunch options which usually look like a nourish bowl, avocado on paleo toast with all the toppings, or some kind of leftover dinner.

I usually love creating a huge plant based nourish bowl for lunch topped with tahini, hummus, dukkah, nut cheese and kraut, but every now and then I crave something different.

So I did something I never normally do. I went to a deli up the road and bought my lunch! Radical I know.

This particular deli is well known for their amazing raw salads and other lunch offerings of loaded veggie sandwiches, wraps, filo pies and hash cakes. In winter these turn to more hearty root vegetable salads, soups, pies and tray bakes.

 

Moroccan Carrot & Kale Salad with Preserved Lemon &

 

The salad that caught my eye was a vibrant Moroccan carrot and kale salad with a preserved lemon and sumac dressing.

Wow was it good!!

This salad had everything. Crunchy sweet carrots, a generous helping of kale (king of the greens no less), fresh herbs, toasted spices, sliced almonds, a sprinkling of Medjool dates, and a dressing that was so more-ish I actually licked the bowl.

In fact, it was so good I’ve been back several times under the guise I needed to be sure of the flavours so I could share it with you ūüėČ

So while I don’t know the deli’s exact recipe is for this amazing Moroccan carrot & kale salad, this is my attempt at recreating it and I think it comes pretty darn close to the original.

 

Moroccan Carrot & Kale Salad with Preserved Lemon &

 

The secret to this salad is in its exotic dressing which is no doubt where my version differs slightly from the original.

While the deli’s dressing was quite clear, my version is more creamy which I suspect is from using a whole lemon and orange. If you prefer a less creamy, thinner style dressing, simply use the juice instead of the whole fruit. Also, preserved lemons are not the easiest (or cheapest) ingredient to come by, so I’ve included a substitution of regular lemon in the ingredients list to help keep things as simple as possible.

Other than that, making the dressing couldn’t be easier! Simply combine everything in a high speed blender until smooth.

Serve this salad as a meal on it’s own or pair it with your favourite main dish. It makes delicious leftovers and keeps well for up to 3 days in the fridge.

 

Moroccan Carrot & Kale Salad with Preserved Lemon &

 

If you make this salad, let me know! Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or Facebook.  Enjoy!

 

Moroccan Carrot & Kale Salad with PRESERVED LEMON & SUMAC Dressing

Serves: 4 to 6

Prep time: 20 minutes

3 cups shredded carrot (approximately 4 large carrots)
1 large bunch of kale (curly and/or cavalo nero)
1 handful fresh parsley
1 handful fresh mint
1 handful fresh coriander
1/4 cup activated almonds or slivered almonds
6 Medjool dates (optional)
3 Tbsp dukkah (see recipe below or store bought)

Preserved Lemon & Sumac Dressing:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup preserved lemons (or 1 peeled whole lemon)
1 lemon – juiced
2 oranges – one whole & 1 juiced
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp turmeric powder (or 4cm fresh root)
2 tsp sumac
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pink Himalayan salt & black pepper to season

To shred the carrot you can either use a shredder attachment on a food processor or a standard hand grater. Place the shredded carrot in a large mixing bowl.

Wash the kale, remove the stems, tear into bite size pieces and add to the bowl.

Wash the parsley, mint and coriander. Remove the stems, roughly tear the leaves into smaller pieces and add to the bowl.

If using activated almonds roughly slice and then add to the bowl, otherwise just add the silvered almonds.

Remove the pits from the dates if using, slice into small pieces and add to the bowl.

Lastly add the dukkah and toss everything together until evenly mixed.

Just before you’re ready to serve the salad add a generous amount of dressing and toss until evenly combined.¬†Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To make the dressing:

Add everything to a high speed blender (or good food processor) and blend until smooth. Store any leftover dressing in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Almond Dukkah Recipe:
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp black sesame seeds
1 Tbsp white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

To make the dukkah, place the almonds into a 160¬ļC oven and bake until they just start to change colour, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and roughly chop. Meanwhile, place the seeds in a dry fry pan over medium heat and shake around the pan until you begin to smell the spices, this should only take a minute or two. Remove the seeds from the pan and combine with the salt and chopped almonds. Store in an airtight jar at room temperature.

 

Moroccan Carrot & Kale Salad with Preserved Lemon &

 

For more carrot and kale recipes check out this Smoke & Fire Kale Slaw with Coconut, Lime & Ginger or these Carrot & Zucchini Herb Fritters. 

Mulled Wine Spiced Beetroot & Berry Smoothie

Mulled Wine Spiced Beetroot & Berry Smoothie

Mulled Wine Spiced Beetroot & Berry Smoothie

 

 

This mulled wine spiced beetroot and berry smoothie is essentially my morning smoothie with a Christmas makeover!

My last couple of posts have all been Christmas themed, so I thought it would be fun to give my morning smoothie a makeover too.¬†But don’t worry, it doesn’t actually contain any wine! I just used the beautiful flavours and aromas of mulled wine as inspiration.

Mulled Wine Spiced Beetroot & Berry Smoothie

Usually I have a green smoothie in the morning, but lately there’ve been so many delicious berries in season (our organic raspberry bush has been churning them out too), that I switched from a green to a berry.

Berries are an amazing source of antioxidants which fight off harmful free radicals and prevent ageing on the inside and out. They’re also lower in fructose than many fruits so are perfect if you’re keeping an eye on your sugar intake or are a person who can’t tolerate a lot of fruit sugars.

Of course I still like to sneak a few greens into my berry smoothie too, so to avoid ruining the beautiful red colour I use either purple kale or red chard.

I also add beetroot, either grated or in powder form. Beetroot goes beautifully with berries and has amazing detoxifying and blood pressure lowering properties, which are exactly what many of us need during the festive season!

Mulled Wine Spiced Beetroot & Berry Smoothie

To make my beetroot & berry smoothie taste like Christmas I used mulled wine for inspiration and added fresh orange, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, which all combine to give it a beautiful festive flavour and aroma.

So before you make these indulgent Cinnamon Bun pancakes on Christmas morning, whip up one of these nutrient packed red beauties to sip on while exchanging presents, and your body will love you for it!

Mulled Wine Spiced Beetroot & Berry Smoothie

If you make this mulled wine spiced beetroot & berry smoothie, let me know what you think!

Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or facebook. Enjoy!

 

Mulled Wine Spiced Beetroot & Berry Smoothie

Makes: 1 large smoothie
Prep time: 10 minutes

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries

2 tsp beetroot powder or 1/2 cup freshly grated beetroot

1 large stalk of red chard or purple kale

1 orange, peeled

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch ground cloves

pinch ground nutmeg

4 ice cubes

To serve:

2 Tbsp coconut yoghurt

Place all the ingredients into a high blend blender and blend until smooth.

Spoon the coconut yoghurt into a serving glass or jar and pour the smoothie over top. Serve immediately with a straw.

This smoothie also keeps well in the fridge overnight if you want to prep ahead and make it the day before.

Mulled Wine Spiced Beetroot & Berry Smoothie

Raw Cacao Cupcakes with Shroom Brew Frosting

Raw Cacao Cupcakes with Shroom Brew Frosting

Raw Cacao Cupcakes with Shroom Brew Frosting

 

These raw cacao cupcakes with shroom brew frosting were inspired by some beautiful whole food ingredients from my friends at Nourish and Thrive, and by the mystical powers of Shroom Brew, created by my clever friend Misty Day Plant Potions.

What’s Nourish & Thrive?

Nourish and Thrive is an online whole foods store with a focus on quality, sustainability and affordability. They’re smart cookies over there too. They believe “good food services your whole life. When you nourish well, you feel well, and when you feel well, you thrive!”

Not only are their foods good for your body, but they’re good for our planet too. They package in biodegradable and eco-friendly cartons and bags, and while they don‚Äôt use any plastic vessels at the moment, if they ever do they’ll be intended to be washed and used again.

I love this because reducing plastics and packaging waste is certainly a major incentive for me when choosing where to buy ingredients.

 

Raw Cacao Cupcakes with Shroom Brew Frosting

 

What Are Misty Day Plant Potions?

In Misty’s words: “pretty hued,¬†herbal elixir¬†powders to nourish the body, fortify the mind and invigorate the spirit.” Her beautiful blends are made from tonic and adaptogenic herbs, flowers and nutrients, to support timeless beauty, effortless detoxification, a happy outlook, meditation, energy and performance.

If you follow Swoon on Instagram you’ll have seen me throwing these gorgeous potions all over my breakfast bowls, but they’re so much more than just a pretty powder!

I chose Misty Day’s shroom brew for these raw chocolate cupcakes because it has a base of raw cacao and peppermint, which means the flavours blend beautifully, and because it’s packed with uplifting, mood boosting, mystical powers.

And lets face it, that’s what we’re really looking for in a chocolate cupcake, right?!

Does Shroom Brew really have magick powers?

Shroom brew is a blend of the very best organic medicinal mushrooms nature has to offer. Chaga, known as the king of mushrooms, is an amazing antioxidant and supports healthy stress levels and immunity. Lions Mane supports healthy cognition and a healthy nervous system. Gotu kola, an Ayurvedic herb, supports the brain, healthy veins and a calm healthy nervous system. Peppermint stimulates the senses while calming the gut and the mind, and last but by no means least, raw criollo cacao contains a heap of minerals such as magnesium, and the feel good plant chemical, anandamide.

 

Raw Cacao Cupcakes with Shroom Brew Frosting

Do these cupcakes have magick powers?

Well, they’re cupcakes and they’re chocolate, so we’re already off to a winning start.

They’re also raw which means all their beautiful nutrients and tonic herbs remain intact. The cupcake base is made with a blend of brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, raw cacao, coconut and dates, so they’re jam packed with protein, fibre, healthy fats and antioxidants.

The shroom brew frosting is actually a sneaky raw chocolate avocado mousse. Avocado is another amazing source of healthy fats (think glowing skin), and when combined with the magickal powers of Shroom Brew, you’ve got a chocolate cupcake that will elevate even the lowest of moods.

So many fantastic reasons to make these raw chocolate cupcakes. But possibly most important of all, they taste freakin AMAZING!

 

Raw Cacao Cupcakes with Shroom Brew Frosting

Makes: 6 standard sized cupcakes
Prep time: 45 minutes Chill time: 2 to 3 hours

Chocolate Cupcake Base
1 cup raw brazil nuts
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup sunflower seed flour (or sunflower seeds)
pinch pink Himalayan salt
1/2 cup dates (medjool blend the best)
1/4 cup coconut oil

Chocolate Avocado Shroom Brew Frosting
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup rice syrup (or pure maple syrup)
pinch Himalayan pink salt
1 Tbsp Misty Day Plant Potions Shroom Brew
1/4 cup coconut oil

Decoration (optional)
Superfood powders e.g. matcha, blue pea, Misty Day beauty brew
Edible flowers e.g. dill blossom, rosemary blossom, chive blossom, basil blossom, rose petals, viola, pansy, lavender

Cupcake Base:¬†Gently melt the coconut oil by placing it in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of steaming water with the heat turned off (this ensures it doesn‚Äôt heat above 46¬ļC and remains in it‚Äôs raw state). Place the brazil nuts, desiccated coconut, raw cacao, sunflower seed flour, and salt into a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the dates (ensuring pits removed) and blend until well combined. Add the melted coconut oil with the motor is running. Press the base mixture evenly into either a 6 hole silicone cupcake mould, or 6 cling-film lined holes of a standard cupcake tin. Place in the fridge to firm up while making the frosting.

Frosting:¬†Gently melt the coconut oil using the method above. Place the avocado, raw cacao, rice syrup, salt and shroom brew into a food processor. Blend until super smooth and creamy. Add the melted coconut oil gradually through the top of the blender with the motor running, and blend until well combined and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a fluted nozzle and place in the fridge for 10 minutes or so to firm up. Note, don’t leave it too long though as you want it to be pipeable consistency.

To Assemble: Remove the cupcake bases from their moulds and dust the tops with a superfood powder of your choice (I used misty day plant potions Beauty Brew which is a matcha based green powder). When the frosting has firmed up enough, pipe pretty swirls on top and decorate with edible flowers.

Store these raw cacao cupcakes in a sealed contained in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for one month.

 

If you make these¬†Raw Cacao Cupcakes – I’d love to hear from you!
Leave me a comment below.

 

Raw Cacao Cupcakes with Shroom Brew Frosting

 

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How To Make A Low Sugar Super Antioxidant Açai Bowl

How To Make A Low Sugar Super Antioxidant Açai Bowl

How to make a low sugar super antioxidant açai bowl

 

Even though a√ßai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) bowls have been around for ages, I only recently got into them while holidaying in Noosa. Noosa’s main beach strip is full of amazing healthy food cafes,¬†so after walking along the coastal track each morning we’d treat ourselves to breakfast. Almost every single eatery has an a√ßai bowl on the menu and it was hard not to admire these pretty bowls being carried out to customers.

If you’re also new to the acai party too, an a√ßai bowl is essentially a frozen smoothie bowl made with raw a√ßai berry pulp.

 

A√ßai berries are naturally sugar free, both most a√ßai bowls aren’t

A√ßa√≠ is an ancient berry that grows along the banks of the Amazon river on a√ßai palms. A√ßai berries¬†naturally contain very little sugars (if any), and because of this the raw a√ßai pulp is traditionally blended with guarana syrup, which is a sugar syrup with guarana extract, to give an a√ßai bowl it’s creamy texture and distinctive flavour.

What I didn’t know was most of the a√ßai bowls found in cafes or juice bars are also blended with sweeteners, such as apple juice and banana, in order to create a more appetising blend. So there I was, on holiday in Noosa thinking I was having a super healthy smoothie bowl for breakfast, only to realise it was loaded with fructose! No wonder they tasted so damn good.

 

Low Sugar Super Antioxidant Açai Bowl

 

The health benefits of açai

The reason açai bowls have become so popular is because açai berries are widely believed to contain more antioxidants than any other fruit in the world. Regular servings of antioxidant rich fruits is thought to slow down the ageing process, lower cholesterol levels, improve circulation and help prevent disease.

However, there seem to be a lot of differing opinions about which fruit does in fact have the highest level of antioxidants. Many claim wild blueberries in fact have the highest, pomegranate and goji are also in the running, and recently I read an article saying it was in fact New Zealand grown blackcurrants that have the highest level of antioxidants!

So how do we know who to believe and which fruit is the best?!

 

Which fruit truly has the highest level of antioxidants?

In lieu of an extensive worldwide, super fruit antioxidant study, I think it’s fair to conclude that ALL these fruit contain amazingly beneficial levels of antioxidants. Perhaps what it should come down to, is which of these fruits are most readily available to you.

It seems almost every country has a fruit that can compete in the super antioxidant category, but it’s equally important to consider the fruit’s sustainability, and try to eat as locally as possible to reduce your carbon footprint.

 

How to create an açai bowl without loading it with fructose

So with that in mind, I set about creating my own super antioxidant, low sugar, a√ßai bowl blend. I decided to use a combination of a√ßai, blueberries, raspberries and blackcurrants, because they’re all readily available here in New Zealand, they’re very high in antioxidants and very low in fructose.

Instead of any syrup or sweeteners I added a little lemon juice and passionfruit pulp, as these combine so well with the berries and add an extra flavour dimension. Of course, feel free to mix up the berry combination to whatever you have to hand or can easily source, and use the quantities in the recipe below as a guide.

 

Could açai bowl toppings be the best part?!

Another bonus of keeping the sugar content low in your a√ßai blend is that you can then go to town on the toppings! Firstly you’ve gotta have some kind of crunch, like a granola or even just toasted nuts. Some of my favourites are this¬†Blackcurrant & Coconut Buckwheat Granola¬†or this no bake¬†hemp seed crumble! After that a dollop of coconut yoghurt, a sprinle of fresh berries and maybe some edible flowers if you’re feeling fancy. The possibilities are endless, so I’d love to hear your suggestions!

And of course,  if you make this low sugar, super antioxidant açai bowl, come back and tell me what you think! Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or Facebook. Enjoy!

 

Low Sugar Super Antioxidant Açai Bowl

Serves: 1
Prep time: 5 minutes

1/4 cup frozen raspberries
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup frozen blackcurrants
1 packet unsweetened frozen açai
1/4 cup fresh or frozen passionfruit
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp water to blend

Topping ideas
Blackcurrant and Coconut Buckwheat Granola (Raw Activated)
hemp seed crumble
Dried coconut
Flaxseeds
Hemp Seeds
Toasted Nuts
Sunflower/Pumpkin seeds
Chia/Basil seeds
Freeze dried raspberries/strawberries/blueberries
Edible flowers

Place all the smoothie ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
Take care not to over blend as you want the smoothie to remain relatively frozen so that it’s thick and spoonable.
Pour the smoothie into a bowl and sprinkle with your favourite toppings.
Eat immediately with a spoon.

 

Tip: to ensure you have a lovely thick smoothie bowl try freezing all the ingredients. E.g. freeze lemon juice and passionfruit pulp into ice cube trays and buy ready frozen açai and berries.

 

Low Sugar Açai Bowl with Yoghurt Swirl

Raw Chocolate Mousse Kisses with Raspberry Cheesecake Frosting

Raw Chocolate Mousse Kisses with Raspberry Cheesecake Frosting

Raw Chocolate Mousse Kisses with Raspberry Cheesecake Frosting

 

I made these raw chocolate mousse kisses with raspberry cheesecake frosting¬†for my Valentine. I‚Äôd love to say they‚Äôre all his favourite things in a dessert: dark chocolate biscuits, rich chocolate mousse and a¬†tangy¬†raspberry cheesecake frosting.¬†But if I’m honest, they‚Äôre probably more mine.

Nick isn’t a big dessert person and would equally be happy with something simple like ginger cookies or swoonuts. However, cookies and donuts aren’t anywhere near as lush or romantic as chocolate kisses, and I make swoonuts all the time, so this is what he’s getting instead this year!

These sweet little chocolate kisses consist of a brazil nut, coconut and raw cacao ‘biscuit’ base, topped with an avocado and date, raw chocolate mousse, finished with a creamy cashew and raspberry “cheesecake” frosting. Chocolate, coconut and raspberries are all matches made in heaven, and they’re completely raw, dairy, gluten and refined sugar free.

This recipe is a little more time consuming than Swoon Food’s usual recipes and requires some planning ahead by way of soaking cashews and allowing some time for the raspberry cheesecake frosting to firm up. But don’t let that put you off! These little desserts are well worth the effort and will literally have your Valentine swooning.

If the idea of making three different components for this dessert sounds far too time consuming and unachievable for you, feel free to adapt this recipe to work for you. The simplest option is to leave off the raspberry frosting and sprinkle the chocolate mousse with freeze dried raspberries, superfood powders and/or edible flowers. Alternatively you could skip the chocolate mousse and simply ice the chocolate biscuits directly with the raspberry cheesecake frosting.

I hope these little chocolate kisses have given you some delicious inspiration, and if you make them please do come back and leave me a comment below! Enjoy.

 

 Raw Chocolate Mousse Kisses with Raspberry Cheesecake Frosting

 

Raw Chocolate Mousse Kisses with Raspberry Cheesecake Frosting

Makes: approximately 20
Prep time: 1 hour Soaking time: 2 to 4 hours Chill time: 2 to 3 hours

Chocolate Biscuit Base
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup raw brazil nuts
5 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or essence
pinch pink Himalayan salt
5 medjool dates, pits removed
1 Tbsp coconut oil

Chocolate Mousse
2 ripe avocado
10 Tbsp raw cacao powder
8 medjool dates
2 Tbsp smooth peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1/4 cup coconut oil

Raspberry Cheesecake Frosting
1 cup cashews, soaked
1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup coconut milk (or nut milk of choice)
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup, rice syrup or raw honey
1 Tbsp lemon juice
pinch Himalayan pink salt
1 tsp vanilla powder
1  tsp pink pitaya (dragon fruit) or beetroot powder (optional)
4 Tbsp coconut oil

Decoration
Superfood powders e.g. pitaya, beetroot, blue pea, matcha
Freeze dried raspberries
Edible flowers e.g. viola, pansy, lavender, chive blossom, basil blossom, rose petals

Prep Ahead: Soak the cashews for the raspberry frosting by placing in a bowl, cover with filtered water and leave to stand for 2 to 4 hours. Drain off the water and rinse well. This can be done ahead of time and the cashews stored in the fridge for up 2 days until needed.

Frosting: Make the raspberry frosting first as this needs to firm up in the fridge so it can be piped. Gently melt the coconut oil by placing it in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of steaming water with the heat turned off (this ensures it doesn’t go above 46¬ļC and remains in it’s raw state). Place the soaked and drained cashews into a high speed blender with the raspberries, coconut milk, sweetener, lemon juice and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add the melted coconut oil gradually through the top of the blender with the motor running until well combined and smooth. Lastly, add the pink pitaya or beetroot powder (if using), until you reach your desired colour. Transfer the frosting to a bowl and place into the fridge or freezer to firm up. You’re looking for a thick consistency that holds it’s shape when piped. When firm enough, transfer the frosting in a piping bag with a fluted nozzle and pipe pretty swirls onto the mousse topped biscuits.

Biscuit Bases: Gently melt the coconut oil using the method above. Place the desiccated coconut, brazil nuts, raw cacao, vanilla and salt into a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the dates (ensuring pits removed) and blend until well combined. Add the melted coconut oil with the motor is running. Press the base mixture evenly into a lined brownie pan until approximately 7mm, then place in the fridge for at least half an hour to firm up. When firm, use a cookie cutter to cut out small circles approximately 6cm wide. Gather up leftover cuttings, press back into a 7mm thick sheet and keep cutting out circles until all the mixture is used up. Place the biscuit bases on a tray and return to the fridge to keep firm.

Chocolate Mousse: Because this mousse contains dates, you need a really good blender or processor to get a super smooth consistency. Melt the coconut oil using the method as above. Place all the ingredients except the coconut oil into a food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth. Slowly add the coconut oil with the motor running until well combined. Place the mousse into a piping bag with a large round nozzle and pipe round domes onto the biscuit bases.

Decorate: Finish off by dusting with superfood powder, freeze dried raspberries and edible flowers if desired.

These raw chocolate mousse kisses will keep in a sealed contained in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for one month.

 

Raw Chocolate Mousse Kisses with Raspberry Cheesecake Frosting

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