raw food

Raw Paleo Carrot Cake Squares

Raw Paleo Carrot Cake SquaresRaw Paleo Carrot Cake Squares

I have always been both heavily obsessed, and inspired by DAMY & Clean Eating With a Dirty Mind both pages literally make me lick the screen – no joke!!! Those two blogs will just blow your mind with the amazingly naughty yet delicious creations that they come up with. Before I had Anya I used to love making raw desserts – especially raw cheesecakes and I guess I wanted to perfect my own raw & Vegan dessert. I guess that’s why I came up with this gorgeous raw carrot cake.

This recipe calls for some rather juicy and succulent dried pineapple to be used in the base instead of just plain old medjool dates, and as much as I love medjool dates I do feel that they can end up overpowering the taste of most recipes rather than complimenting the overall flavours. The whole cake is packed full of flavour and juiciness – even the frosting stays solid enough to not melt off unlike most cashew cream cheese frostings I have tried out before. In fact I actually think that this is better than regular baked carrot cake!

This raw carrot cake is a total doddle to make, you actually can’t go wrong; all you need is a food processor, a small brownie tin (I used an 8.5″ x 6.5″ tin), some clean hands and maybe a little taste tester to help along the way. This recipe will also require you to soak your raisins in some orange juice and also your cashew nuts in a bowl of water (for the frosting) overnight. It is best to do the same with your pecans and walnuts too but they will need dehydrating before use which can be done by transferring onto a large baking tray and cooking in the oven on the lowest heat until sufficiently dry enough. The choice is yours!

Yields: Roughly 6-8 squares

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Setting Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

For the base:

1.5 carrots (peeled & chopped)
1 cup dried pineapple
1/2 (packed) cup pitted medjool dates
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
3/4 cup pecans (activated)
3/4 cup walnuts (activated)
Juice 1/2 orange
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 carrot (peeled & finely shredded)

For the faux cream cheese frosting:

1.5 cups cashews (soaked overnight)
Juice 1 lemon
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut cream (solid part of a chilled can of coconut milk)
1/8 coconut oil
1/8 cup cacao butter (melted)
1/4 tsp vanilla powder (optional)

Optional toppings:

1/4 cup walnuts (crushed)
1/4  carrot (spiralized/shredded)

Method:

  1. The night before making place a can of coconut milk into the fridge and leave your raisins to soak in the orange juice overnight in an airtight container, be sure to store them in the fridge until needed. You will also need to soak your cashews in a bowl of water with 1 heaped tsp of Himalayan pink salt. Make sure that you cover them with enough water so that there is about an inch of water above the nuts. Cover with cling film and leave in a cool dry place overnight. In the morning drain and rinse your cashews thoroughly. Set aside until later.
  2. In the bowl of your food processor add all of the ingredients for your base except for your pecans, walnuts, and orange juice soaked raisins. Pulse the ingredients a few times before processing until smooth. Be sure to scrape down the sides frequently with a spatula to ensure that everything gets processed thoroughly.
  3. Add in the nuts and pulse until some of the nuts have processed smoothly and the rest have left small chunks.
  4. Stir in your orange juice soaked raisins and shredded carrot.
  5. Line a brownie or small cake tin (I used an 8.5″ x 6.5″ tin) with some greaseproof paper and transfer the mixture in. Using your hands ‘knuckle in’ the mixture until nice and even. Place into the freezer whilst you prepare your faux cream cheese frosting.
  6. Clean the bowl of your food processor and add in all of your ingredients for your frosting. Pulse a few times before processing and process until completely smooth. Make sure to scrape down the sides frequently in order keep your mix really smooth!
  7. Remove the base from the freezer and pour over your cream cheese frosting. Using a spatula spread out the frosting evenly. Sprinkle over your crushed walnuts and place the tin into the freezer, leaving to set for around an hour.
  8. Remove the tin from the freezer when set and carefully lever out the sides of the carrot cake using a large sharp knife. Cut into 6-8 large squares.
  9. Top each square with a small amount of spiralized/shredded carrot and tuck in!!!

Raw Paleo Carrot Cake SquaresRaw Paleo Carrot Cake SquaresRaw Paleo Carrot Cake SquaresRaw Paleo Carrot Cake Squares

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The Raw Chocolate Company – Christmas Raw Chocolate Berries Review

The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Mulberries

Kris at The Raw Chocolate Co. has slowly become my best friend by plying me with copious amounts of raw chocolate. Although, I have to say that anyone can become my friend pretty much instantly if they send me out some chocolate goodies (hint hint), especially raw chocolate. So this time in line with Christmas, Kris sent me out their Organic berry collection, and ooooooh, oh yeah was it good!

Inside my little care package was; The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Raisins, Goji Berries and Mulberries.

The first time I tried raw chocolate was the moment I never turned back, and the very first raw chocolate that I sampled was from The Raw Chocolate Co.

The Raw Chocolate Co. was founded by raw foodie enthusiast Linus Gorpe. Linus became very intrigued with raw cacao and he began to experiment with raw chocolate making. After a lot of ‘lab’ experiments, trial and error and some very happy taste testers, Linus, had become an expert. The company was launched in early 2006.

The one thing that has always attracted me to The Raw Chocolate Co. is it’s values and ethics. Out of all of the raw chocolate companies I have come across this one by far is the most ethical. All of their outer packaging for their chocolate bars is made from recycled paper and printed with vegetable inks, their factory is wind and solar powered (meaning no CO2 emissions) and all of their produce is Fairtrade too. In fact they recently picked up an award for being one of the UK’s most ‘socially responsible businesses’ – not too shabby hey?!

The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Mulberries

So what makes their chocolate and the rest of their products so special? I hear you ask.

Good question! Well for a start their ingredients are either raw or cold pressed, organic (well at least all of the ingredients that can be) and they don’t treat any of their cacao produce with chemicals. In fact they often scour the world to find the absolute best ingredients even if it takes them years!

All of their bars and berries are suitable for Vegans, and Paleo followers alike – fab!

I heard that raw chocolate totes some awesome health benefits. Is this true?

Yes. Raw chocolate does indeed boast a whole host of health benefits; it improves digestion, enhances the libido (wit woo – insert winky face here oi oi!), improves cardiovascular function, is packed full of antioxidants that neutralise free radicals, and contains a variety of vitamins and minerals.  So, on that note… let the taste testing commence!

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, the review!

Welcome to Cinderella’s 3 ugly sisters… Ok they’re not so ugly but as you will probably notice they look like some little organic lifeforms’ miniature brains… Mmmm brains… brains covered in delicious chocolate. Each ugly duckling that I popped into my mouth transformed into a beautiful swan. Each had their own unique quality and made my mouth have a little party – awesome.

All 3 products contain raw cacao mass, coconut palm sugar, virgin cacao butter and cacao powder.

Organic Raw Chocolate Raisins

Raisins, raisins, raisins… I do not like raisins… but luckily I do like chocolate raisins.

These juicy and plump raisins are covered in a dark chocolate (minimum of 74% cacao solids) oh and then dusted in cacao powder just for good measure!

Now, The Raw Chocolate Co. do not do things by halves as you may probably have noticed already. Yes these wonderful folk have consumed many a raisin in their lifetime just in order to find the perfect one to coat with their gorgeous bittersweet chocolate with. They sourced these juicy, plump raisins all the way from Turkey!

Now this is like eating one of the ugly bolshy sisters out of Cinderella crossed over with an ape. It’s the goji berry’s overweight and over indulgent sister – this isn’t a dainty snack, oh no, don’t let it fool you. This is a big bang wallop to your taste buds. The juiciness of these raisins really shocked me and they almost explode in your mouth with a ginormous amount of flavour, it’s crazy.  Seriously. The only problem is that these raisins are so sweet and so loud that it’s hard to be able to appreciate the beautiful chocolate that encases them. I’m not saying that you can’t taste the chocolate – you can. But you do have to do quite a bit of mental digging to latch on to and appreciate it’s beautiful complex flavours. But then again this could be to do with my taste buds not liking raisins so much. Did I enjoy eating these though? Most certainly!

The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate RaisinsThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate RaisinsThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate RaisinsThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Raisins

Would I eat these again? Uhhhhh hello? Are you crazy?! Of course I would, but in moderation for sure as these are the highest in sugars out of all of the berries with 46.8g sugar per 100g.

They are available in the following sizes;

100g resealable foil pouch for £3.29

200g resealable foil pouch for £5.29

Organic Raw Chocolate Goji Berries

So these I thought were going to be my favourite but then I tried the mulberries and they were my favourite. So these are my ummmm 2nd favourite.

The guys at The Raw Chocolate Co. searched for 7 whole years just to find the perfect goji berries! Say whaaaaaaaaaat?! I am starting to think that they are all a little bit bonkers but after eating their goji’s I can see why. They are the biggest, plumpest, chewiest, juiciest, and all round loveliest goji berries ever. I have eaten goji berries that are almost flat and brittle before and that is always a sad experience. But not these yummy bad boys oh no! They sourced these all the way from beautiful China, just in case you were wondering.

Goji berries (also known as ‘Wolf Berries’) were originally used in Chinese medicine but these little fellas have found their way over to the UK due to the huge number of celebrities that are in utter awe of them. They are packed full of antioxidants and the beta-carotene which gives your skin a lovely, radiant glow. They are also are high in fibre, and vitamins E, C, B1 & B2. If you’ve never had goji berrie before they are bitter like a cranberry and have the sweetness of a cherry.

These are the least sweetest out of the berry batch but only because of their beautiful sourness that comes through at the beginning, and the aftertaste is somewhat bittersweet as you can expect from a goji berry. There’s a little bit of seed crunch going on here and there but nothing that takes away from the whole experience. The fruitiness of the goji compliments that signature fruity flavour of all of The Raw Chocolate Co. chocolate. As the chocolate has a minimum of 50% cacao solids it helps to sweeten any bitterness that the goji berries tend to carry with them and so almost goes unnoticed. However the cacao dusting does keep that chocolatey flavour lingering for longer.

I was trying to think of what these remind me of and all I can really think of is that they carry the flavour of a really fruity tasting milky dark chocolate with the texture of well… chocolate raisins. The aftertaste stays for quite a while and is beautiful. Yes I devoured this snack pack in no time whatsoever. Yummy scrummy in my tummy!

The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Goji BerriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Goji BerriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Goji BerriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Goji Berries

These are perfect sprinkled over your faux porridge in the morning, and also as a post workout recovery snack as they contain 9.9g of protein per 100g.

They are available in the following sizes;

32g snack pack for £1.49

100g resealable foil pouch for £4.49

200g resealable foil pouch for £7.99

Organic Raw Chocolate Mulberries

These little beauties shocked me. These were my favourite out of the whole berry collection. Oh my oh my… I’ll stop blabbering now, wipe away the drool and get my brain back on track.

These gorgeous little white mulberries have been dipped in chocolate and then dusted with cacao powder. They have a minimum of 41% cacao solids so that’s pretty standard milk chocolate. They source their organic white mulberries from Turkey.

Mulberries are high in iron, calcium, riboflavin and vitamins A,C, E & K. They are also high in antioxidants. So like goji berries they are great for your hair, skin and nails and also for cardiovascular health.

These really reminded me of one of my favourite little childhood sweets ‘Poppets‘ – who remembers those? These little bad boys are like eating a silky smooth fruity milk chocolate with a soft toffee chewy centre. I literally think that if you were blind folded you wouldn’t be aware that you were eating berries – magic!

In fact I had never had mulberries before until today that is, but I have always wanted to try them, and I am so glad that I did. There was a tiny bit of crunchiness when you eat them, I take it that these are seeds but it wasn’t unpleasant, it almost reminded me of eating little miniscule rice pops or something like that. I have to admit that I polished off the bag in under a minute and I don’t tend to do this as I like to savour my chocolatey treats. The light dusting of cacao is what makes all of these berries, it takes away from the overpowering sweetness and just adds that tiny little bitterness that enhances both the flavours of the mulberries and the raw chocolate itself. The mulberries themselves taste distinctly caramel like and it is the most bizarre thing that I have ever eaten (but in a nice way) I mean how can a berry taste exactly like a piece of soft chewy caramel?! Splendid! I guess their flavour reminded me quite a bit of the Vanoffe bar that The Raw Chocolate Co. do.

I just want to clarify that although these are chewy like a caramel/toffee they do break apart into fragments rather than staying as one big fat lump – I prefer this because it means I can throw a handful into my mouth and chow down as fast as I like.

And another thing that impressed me – these are the lowest in sugars compared to all of the others with just a 30.4g sugar content per 100g.

The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate MulberriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate MulberriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate MulberriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Mulberries

These are soooo going to be making an appearance under my tree this Christmas for sure!

They are available in the following sizes;

32g snack pack for £1.49

100g resealable foil pouch for £3.79

200g resealable foil pouch for £6.29

150g festive gift tube for £6.49

So, overall what did I think? What’s the verdict? Would I purchase any of these products myself?

Yes, yes and yes times infinity!

I don’t think I need to add much else really. I love the ethics and hard work that this company possesses. I  love the overall branding. I love the quality and taste of the products.

I really think that these are the greatest little Christmas snacks that you can indulge in, and well not just for Christmas but the mulberry gift tube just reminds me of something that good old Santa would drop down the chimney! Oh and don’t forget the snack packs to whack in your pocket on your travels or workouts!

So where can you buy myself some of these lovely little treats?

Good question.

Well the first place you can go is directly to The Raw Chocolate Co. themselves. In fact if you live within the UK you can enter in your postcode into the map on their website and it will tell you your nearest stockist. Clever huh? Yup.

Other than that they are available in a lot of online and health food retailers.

You can follow The Raw Chocolate Co. in these places:

Twitter: @TheRawChocCo

Facebook: @therawchocolatecompany

Instagram: @therawchocolatecompany

Pinterest: @therawchocco

Have you had any experience with The Raw Chocolate Co. products before? Please do comment below and share your experience!